Haydn: The Complete Piano Sonatas, Vol. 10 / Bavouzet

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"Bavouzet’s Haydn is unmatched in its zest and its wit. But it is also substantial, informed and deeply rewarding."

--The New York Times on Bavouzet's Haydn Sonatas cycle, 2022

His multi-award-winning recordings and dazzling concert performances have long established Jean-Efflam Bavouzet as one of the most outstanding pianists of his generation. This latest album – the tenth – in his cycle of the complete Haydn sonatas is built around the Grand Sonata in C major, Hob. XVI: 50, a late work the first movement of which is one of the most highly developed that Haydn ever conceived for the keyboard. Bavouzet has surrounded this with less well-known works: Two very early sonatas (Nos. 3 & 4) provide a stark contrast to the later works (Nos. 28 & 45). The album ends with the Arietta con 12 Variazioni.

Bavouzet notes: ‘The Variations in E flat major and the Sonata in A major, Hob. XVI: 30, were for me the marvelous revelations of this program. In the E flat major Variations (the lovely theme of which Mozart borrowed in his Sonata, KV 282!). The chief question was to know whether to repeat the theme at the end, as certain editions recommend. After several experiments, I finally opted for a solution perhaps a little anachronistic, by construing the entire last variation as a long, gradual crescendo which takes us from the somber and serious atmosphere of the preceding variation towards the brilliant light of the unadorned chords that conclude this magnificent cycle.’


There’s one masterpiece on this CD: Sonata 60. From Jean-Efflam Bavouzet comes an almost furtively soft beginning to the first theme, a pondering pause, then loud arpeggiated affirmation, jubilation unleashed as ideas crowd in on one another and repeat gleefully. Second prize on this CD goes to Sonata 45, composed 20 years earlier, Haydn’s only piano sonata played without a break. As in previous volumes, Bavouzet mixes sonatas from various periods, backtracking 14 years earlier for Sonatas 3 and 4. So you experience the learning curve through which Haydn achieved his mature works. In Sonata 3, despite its relative simplicity, Bavouzet brings elegance and chipper, assertive bounce to the opening Allegro and you’ll relish his extra ornamentation in the repeat of the Scherzo’s final strain. In Sonata 4 his neatness and propriety in the opening movement is delightfully offset by the impropriety of repeats’ extra ornamentation[.]

--MusicWeb International (Michael Greenhalgh)

Product Description:

  • Release Date: March 04, 2022

  • Catalog Number: CHAN 20191

  • UPC: 095115219126

  • Label: Chandos

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: Classical

  • Composer: Franz Joseph Haydn

  • Performer: Jean-Efflam Bavouzet