Inexhaustible Haydn

I’m beavering away at the second edition of the Gödel book, and hope to post a big chunk of it here over the weekend. So watch this space. Work divides between the (relatively) fun stuff of rewriting bits and pieces of the book, and then trying to proof-read the results (I’ll be providing CUP with a PDF again for printing). Judging from the typos in the initial printings of both my logic books, proof-reading isn’t my strongest suit. Certainly I find it an irksome chore. Haydn helps a lot, though, in the background. And for the last few days, it has been back to those terrific CDs of the Piano Sonatas from Naxos, as I try to spot stray commas, or irritating repetitions of ‘of course’.

I wonder: is Jenö Jandó the most listened-to pianist in the world, given his quite extraordinary quantity of often really very good budget CDs? Anyway, for the Haydn he really seems to be at the top of his game, sensitive, subtle but full of life: he sounds at home here. And the music is always wonderful to return to, an inexhaustible pleasure. I have just noticed that Jandó’s complete Haydn cycle is available at a now quite ludicrously cheap price. If you don’t know it, treat yourself.

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2 Responses to Inexhaustible Haydn

  1. Andrew says:

    When I became interested in these sonatas a couple of years ago, I bought Bavouzet’s Volume 1 recording (Chandos B003627OMG), then just released, and shortly afterwards went the whole hog with the Brilliant recording (Brilliant Classics 94090). [Whole hog = all the complete sonatas that appear in both Hoboken and Landon (i.e. no Landon 17 or 18, nor the incomplete Landon 28 = Hob.XVI:5a) plus Hob.XVI:16.]

    I hesitated to buy a set of fortepiano recordings, but after a lot of listening, I do feel the slightly plinky timbre really suits the music. When I listen to the Bavouzet or Brendel (currently on loan), I find the tone too rich: like having full-fat milk in your tea once you’ve become accustomed to semi-skimmed. I guess that’s a matter of taste.

    Another possible bargain in this repertoire is The Virtual Haydn (complete works for solo keyboard) with Tom Beghin (Naxos B002JP9I1G): but only if you have a Blu-ray player. Despite absence of the latter, I have heard a little of this. My initial reaction was that his playing was a bit fruity, but maybe that would become characterful on closer acquaintance. And there’s just so much here, both the music itself and the context, that I’m tempted to buy a Blu-ray player for this alone.

    I do have a soft spot for Jandó. A tape culled from his Well-Tempered Clavier book 2 recording has been in my car for the past 12 years, and has worn very well. So I’m curious to hear his Haydn, but sadly I don’t think I could justify any more sonata recordings at the moment.

    • Peter Smith says:

      And to add to the possibilities here, Mrs Logic Matters recently heard on Radio 3 while driving one of the sonatas on Marc-André Hamelin’s recent double CD, Vol 3 of his ongoing series. She thought it terrific, so I sent off for the recent discs, and I like them a very great deal, and now plan to get Vos 1 and 2.

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