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Joseph Haydn Complete Keyboard Sonatas, Vol. 1

Prelude in G minor - Sonata No. 32 in G minor (Hob. XVI:44) - ca. 1770
Prelude in A-flat major - Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major (Hob. XVI:46) - ca. 1767/68
Prelude in C minor - Sonata No. 33 in C minor (Hob. XVI:20) - 1771/1780

Geoffrey Lancaster, fortepiano

Tall Poppies TP201

This first release in an auspicious integralé anticipates 2010 as did the historic re-releases of Haydn's complete symphonies [Nimbus NI 5847 - £25 for an 8 disc MP3 Box Set !] mark a new chapter in recorded music presentation in 2009.

Lancaster, on a fine Walter/McNulty, gives the most winning and flexible interpretations of some of Haydn's finest and most lovable sonatas (the programmes are organised as recital programmes, not chronologically), each preceded with a little improvised preluding as was the custom in Haydn's time and, indeed, right into the early 20th C.

With a lavishly illustrated forty-four page booklet (in English only), this series gets off with all the background information, personal and historical, that you could possibly want.

An imperative purchase, and one that should hasten the death-knell of the ubiquitous Steinway in this repertoire. It follows hard an anachronistic Haydn performance which prompted my recommendation that "with two major piano manufacturers' showrooms within a stone's throw of Wigmore Hall, arrangements might usefully be considered for suitable pianos (and a good fortepiano) to be made available for recitals there?"

Put yourself on the waiting list for Tall Poppies subsequent Haydn releases !

Peter Grahame Woolf


Hear Geoffrey Lancaster talking about Haydn in Canberra