- Keyboard Sonata in A flat major, H. 16/46 - Franz Joseph Haydn - Emanuel Ax - Giulio Turturro
- Keyboard Sonata in D major, H. 16/33 - Franz Joseph Haydn - Emanuel Ax - Giulio Turturro
- Keyboard Sonata in E flat major, H. 16/45 - Franz Joseph Haydn - Emanuel Ax - Giulio Turturro
- Keyboard Sonata in C sharp minor, H. 16/36 - Franz Joseph Haydn - Emanuel Ax - Giulio Turturro
- Keyboard Sonata in A flat major, H. 16/43 - Franz Joseph Haydn - Emanuel Ax - Giulio Turturro
Emanuel Ax continues his series of Haydn piano sonatas with this lovely CD featuring five more works (other discs appeared in 1990 and '94, the latter winning a Grammy Award). As before, Ax's playing is elegant and sensitively phrased, eliciting a warm sound from his Steinway grand, a quality that is enhanced by the up-front recording. And the pianist's shrewd use of the pedal adds to the fullness of the sound, especially in slow-moving passages, where the colorful overlapping of chords underscores Haydn's piquant harmonies. Ax is tastefully restrained in the music's more delicate moments, but he doesn't hesitate to dig in and make use of the piano's richness at more dramatic junctures, such as in the powerful opening to the remarkable C-sharp Minor Sonata. Other movements benefit from some nicely pointed, well-characterized playing, and Ax's fleet-fingered passagework -- such as in the Presto of the A-flat Major Sonata -- is spirited and brisk, yet with an easy-flowing lightness. In the introspective slow movements, though, like the beautiful Adagio of the D Major Sonata, Ax emphasizes the essentially intimate nature of these unsung masterpieces. Highly recommended.