Haydn: Piano Concertinos; String Trios

Haydn: Piano Concertinos; String Trios

by Sabine Vatin
     
 

This disc offers some entertaining music from early in Haydn's career but misrepresents its nature. The four "piano concertinos" contained herein weren't written for piano (likely dating from around the early 1760s, they are harpsichord works), and the term "concertino" is just one of several that have been applied to these hard-to-classifySee more details below

Overview

This disc offers some entertaining music from early in Haydn's career but misrepresents its nature. The four "piano concertinos" contained herein weren't written for piano (likely dating from around the early 1760s, they are harpsichord works), and the term "concertino" is just one of several that have been applied to these hard-to-classify little three-movement pieces for piano, two violins, and, in a survival of the old trio-sonata terminology, "bass" (here played by a cello). They're not concertos in the usual sense of the word; the keyboard dominates the texture, and there is only incidental contrast between keyboard and strings. They're more like keyboard sonatas accompanied by a string trio. And only one of the two "string trios" that appears on the disc actually merits that designation; the D major work here (tracks 4-6) is actually a baryton trio, written for the odd plucked-bowed instrument favored by Haydn's employer, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, and cleverly set up so as to give him good lines. (The other trio, in C major, is much more like a viola-less string quartet.) Finally, the "fortepiano" billed on the cover of the disc is no such thing; it is an Erard piano from 1893, a bit more agile than the muscular Steinway at your local concert hall but otherwise very much a modern piano. It tends to overwhelm the stringed instruments; the engineers try to restore the balance by miking the strings close up, but this makes the violins sound harsh and the cello sound buzzy. These problems aside, the performance is energetic and attractive. These aren't commonly heard works, and the Haydn lover will hear the composer working out the details of what's now called the Classical style. Each of the four concertino opening movements takes a different approach to the problem of getting from tonic to dominant in the exposition. And the music is full of the delights that spring up in music from every phase of Haydn's career: hear the sad little C minor passages in the transitions of the minuet of the "String Trio in C major, Hob. 5/16," for example. This disc is enjoyable enough and useful enough, but historically informed performances would have volumes to say in these pieces.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/2006
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313266029
catalogNumber:
8557660
Rank:
322573

Tracks

  1. Keyboard Concerto in C major, H. 14/12  - Franz Joseph Haydn  - Sabine Vatin
  2. Baryton Trio in D major, H. 11/11  - Franz Joseph Haydn  -  Ensemble L'Arco
  3. Keyboard Concerto in F major, H. 18/F2  - Franz Joseph Haydn  - Sabine Vatin
  4. Keyboard Concerto in G major, H. 14/13  - Franz Joseph Haydn  - Sabine Vatin
  5. Trio for 2 violins & cello in C major, H. 5/16  - Franz Joseph Haydn  -  Ensemble L'Arco
  6. Keyboard Concerto in C major, H. 14/11  - Franz Joseph Haydn  - Sabine Vatin

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