Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809)
Piano Sonatas Vol. 8
Sonata No.11 in B flat major, Hob.XVI:2
Sonata No.12 in A major, Hob.XVI:12
Sonata No.13 in G major, Hob.XVI:6
Sonata No.14 in C major, Hob.XVI:3
Sonata No.15 in E major, Hob.XVI:13
Sonata No.16 in D major, Hob.XVI:14
Sonata No.18 in E flat major, Hob.XVI deest
Joseph Haydn was born in the village of Rohrau in 1732,the son of a wheelwright. Trained at the choir-school of St. Stephen'sCathedral in Vienna, he spent some years earning a living as best he could fromteaching and playing the violin or keyboard, and was able to learn from the oldmusician Porpora, whose assistant he became. Haydn's first appointment was in1759 as Kapellmeister to a Bohemian nobleman, Count von Morzin. This wasfollowed in 1761 by employment as Vice-Kapellmeister to one of the richest menin the Empire, Prince Paul Anton Esterhazy, succeeded on his death in 1762 byhis brother Prince Nikolaus. On the death in 1766 of the elderly and somewhatobstructive Kapellmeister, Gregor Werner, Haydn succeeded to his position, toremain in the same employment, nominally at least, for the rest of his life.
On the completion of the magnificent palace at Esterhaza,in the Hungarian plains, under the new Prince, Haydn assumed command of an increasedmusical establishment. Here he had responsibility for the musical activities ofthe palace, which included the provision and direction of instrumental music,opera and theatre music, and music for the church. For his patron he provided aquantity of chamber music of all kinds, particularly for the Prince's ownpeculiar instrument, the baryton, a bowed string instrument with sympatheticstrings that could also be plucked.
On the death of Prince Nikolaus in 1790, Haydn was ableto accept an invitation to visit London, where he provided music for theconcert season organized by the violinist-impresario Salomon. A secondsuccessful visit to London in 1794 and 1795 was followed by a return to dutywith the Esterhazy family, the new head of which had settled principally at thefamily property in Eisenstadt, where Haydn had started his career. Much of theyear, however, was to be spent in Vienna, where Haydn passed his final years,dying in 1809, as the French armies of Napoleon approached the city yet again.
The classical keyboard sonata developed during the eighteenthcentury, the changes in its form and content taking place during Haydn'slife-time. This formal development took place during a period when keyboard instrumentsthemselves were changing, with the harpsichord and clavichord graduallyreplaced by the new hammer-action fortepiano. There are some fourteen early harpsichordsonatas attributed to Haydn Of his 47 later keyboard sonatas, dating from about1765, the first thirty were designed for harpsichord and the next nine for harpsichordor piano. The remaining eight sonatas include seven specifically intended forpiano and one for piano or harpsichord. The principal musical differencebetween music for harpsichord and that for the piano lies in the possibilitiesfor gradual dynamic change, indications of which appear in Haydn's latersonatas.
The sonatas included in the present volume have all beendated to a period before 1766 The order in which they are played follows thatof the Wiener Urtext Edition of Christa Landon but does not necessarily correspondto the order of composition, which must remain conjectural, in the generalabsence of autograph copies or external evidence. The Sonata No.11 in B flatmajor, Hob.XVI:2, in the thematic material of its first movement and itspresentation has much in common with the keyboard style of Haydn's contemporaries.
The central development starts with the first subject in the key of F major,with much use of sequence in what follows, before the return of the originalkey and material in recapitulation. It is tempting to imagine the G minor Largo
as written for the instrument much favoured by Carl Philipp Emanuel Each, the clavichord,with its possibilities for gently sustained melody and characteristic use ofseries of syncopations. The sonata is completed by a Menuet with a Bflat minor Trio at its heart.
The Sonata No.12 in A major, Hob.XVI:12, starts witha gently lilting triplet theme, moving almost imperceptibly into the dominantkey for the secondary material, before the central development that continues thelargely two-voice texture, as does the final recapitulation. The secondmovement, a Menuet, again finds a place for triplet rhythms and at itscentre is an A minor Trio, a rhythmic contrast in its syncopations. The sonataends with a movement in abridged sonata-allegro form, with the briefest ofpassages, a mere seven bars, representing the central development of the formand providing a necessary link to the recapitulation, together with which it isrepeated.
Haydn's G major Sonata No.13, Hob.XVI:6, exceptionallysurvives partially in an autograph copy of part of the work, which some havechosen to place as early as 1755 or at least before 1760. It is described on thefirst page as Partita per il Clavicembalo Solo, with Haydn's name, GiuseppeHaydn and his customary dedicatory In Nomine Domini. The earliersonatas bore the title Partita or Divertimento, with the firstuse of the word Sonata for Haydn's works of this kind occurring in 1773.
The sonata follows the now established pattern in its opening Allegro,with all its thematic rhythmic variety, The development includes something ofthe rhetoric of C.P.E.Bach and contains the necessary reference to the firstsubject, duly omitted in the recapitulation. The Minuet, then sospelled, a reason for the earlier dating, makes use of ascending bass octaves andframes a G minor Trio. It is the latter key that is used for the slowmovement, with its favoured triplet rhythms and place for a brief final cadenza.
The final Allegro molto allows for a measure of technical virtuosity.
The material of the Sonata No.14 in C major, Hob.XV1:3,is also used in one of the many trios that Haydn wrote for the baryton. Muchuse is here made of broken triads in accompaniment of the simple melodic material,with its repeated exposition and central exploration of the minor possibilitiesof the principal theme. The Andante is in G major and uses a fuller tripartiteform, with a varied version of the principal theme returning in recapitulationThe sonata ends with a C major Menuet and C minor Trio.
The Sonata No.15 in E major, Hob.XV1:13, is placedby the Haydn scholar Robbins Landon to the composer's period at Eisenstadt, inperhaps 1763. The sonata suggests Haydn's more personal style of keyboard-writing,familiar from later sonatas. The second movement is a Menuet in the same key,framing a contrasted E minor Trio. The rapid Finale is again in the threesections of sonata-allegro form,