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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

Joseph Haydn, András Schiff ‎– Piano Sonatas

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This week's YouTube share, in our Cover 2 Cover series, is kind of a follow-up to two past Friday montages, Haydn at the keyboard from about two years ago and a recent montage featuring Scarlatti and Mozart keyboard sonatas performed by András Schiff. Schiff is again featured, this time in a few Haydn keyboard sonatas.

The classical piano sonata doesn't seem to achieve mass appeal until you reach Beethoven's contributions. Mozart's Sonatas are appreciated, but not really taken to people's hearts in the way that the 'Moonlight', 'Hammerklavier' or 'Appassionata' manage.

As a reviewer to my Haydn montage from 2017 writes, "When compared to the later Mozart, and followed by Beethoven at the turn of the 18th Century, Haydn's keyboard music has been pushed unfairly to the background. [...] You can also hear elements of the early Beethoven sonatas here - yes, he took off from his mentor Haydn, not Mozart, in piano style. Of course, he later surpassed both of them."

Haydn was not a keyboard virtuoso, but had a number of students for whom he composed piano sonatas. The wide range of ability among his students accounts for the disparate levels of sophistication and technical difficulty we find among the surviving sonatas, most of which were written before 1770.

Happy Listening!

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Selected Piano Sonatas

  • Sonata in G Minor, Hob.XVI:44 (No.32)
  • Sonata in G Major, Hob.XVI:40 (No.54)
  • Sonata in E Minor, Hob.XVI:34 (No.53)
  • Sonata in C Major, Hob.XVI:48 (No.58)
  • Sonata in C Minor, Hob.XVI:20, (No.33)

András Schiff, piano

Selections from Teldec Classics ‎– 0630-17141-2
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