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HAYDN: Piano Sonatas Nos. 20 and 30-32 (Ibolya Toth/ Jeno Jando) (Naxos: 8.553364)


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Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809)



Piano Sonatas Vol. 6



Sonata No. 20 in B flat major, Hob.XVI: 18



Sonata No. 32 in G Minor, Hob.XVI: 44



Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Hob.XVI: 46



Sonata No. 30 in D major, Hob.XVI: 19



 



Joseph Haydnwas born in the village of Rohrau in 1732, the son of awheelwright. Trained at the choir-school of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna,he spent some years earning a living as best he could from teaching and playingthe violin or keyboard, and was able to learn from the old musician Porpora,whose assistant he became. Haydn's first appointment was in 1759 asKapellmeister to a Bohemian nobleman, Count von Morzin. This was followed in1761 by employment as Vice-Kapellmeister to one of the richest men in theEmpire, Prince Paul Anton Esterhazy, succeeded on his death in 1762 by hisbrother 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 thecompletion of the magnificent palace at Esterhaza, in the Hungarian plains underthe new Prince, Haydn assumed command of an increased musical establishment.

Here he had responsibility for the musical activities of the palace, whichincluded the provision and direction of instrumental music, opera and theatremusic, and music for the church. For his patron he provided a quantity ofchamber music of all kinds, particularly for the Prince's own peculiarinstrument, the baryton, a bowed string instrument with sympathetic stringsthat could also be plucked.



 



On the deathof Prince Nikolaus in 1790, Haydn was able to accept an invitation to visit London, where heprovided music for the concert season organized by the violinist-impresario salomon.

A second successful visit to London in 1794 and 1795 wasfollowed by are turn to duty with the Esterhazy" family, the new head ofwhich had settled principa1ly at the family property in Eisenstadt, where Haydnhad started his career. Much of the year, however, was to be spent in Vienna, where Haydnpassed his final years, dying in 1809, as the French armies of Napoleonapproached the city yet again.



 



The classicalkeyboard sonata developed during the eighteenth century, the changes in its formand content taking place during Haydn's life-time. This formal development tookplace during a period when keyboard instruments themselves were changing, withthe harpsichord and clavichord gradua1ly replaced by the new hammer-actionfortepiano. There are some fourteen early harpsichord sonatas attributed toHaydn. Of his 47 later keyboard sonatas, dating from about 1765, the firstthirty were designed for harpsichord and the next nine for harpsichord orpiano. The remaining eight sonatas include seven specifica1ly 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 later sonatas.




 



Sonata No.20in B flatmajor, Hob.XVI: 18, among those apparently origina1ly intended forharpsichord, has been conjectura1ly dated to 1766 or 1767. In March of theearlier year Gregor Werner had died, and Haydn had been appointed hissuccessor, now finding it convenient, amid the re-organization of the Esterhazymusical establishment, to buy a house for himself in Eisenstadt. The ornamentedfirst subject of the opening Allegro moderato, with its dotted,ascending arpeggio outline, leads, imperceptibly enough, to the now expectedchange of key to the dominant, F major, and to a secondary theme that involvesthe rhythmic variety of triplet semiquavers and syncopation. A reference to thefirst subject starts the central development of ~ the material, with itschanges of key and mode, before the recapitulation of the first section, withthe modulation necessary for restoration of the original key.' The B flat majorsecond movement, in triple time, fo1lows a similar formal pattern, offering asecondary theme built on a descending sequence, a central development sectionand a final recapitulation.



Sonata No.32in Gminor, Hob.XVI: 44, has been dated, again conjecturally, to theyears from 1768 to 1770, although others, as with Sonata No.20, havepreferred a date between 1771 and 1773, providing only 1788 as a terminus postquern, the date of publication of Sonatas Nos. 31 and 32 by Artaria.

The principal subject in G minor is fol1owed by a brighter secondary subject inB flat major, leading to the expected development, with its excursions intoother keys and use of sequential patterns before the recapitulation and closingsection. The fol1owing G minor Allegretto is contrasted with a G majorsection, both varied in turn on repetition.



 



For the SonataNo.31 in A flat major, Hob. XVI: 46, the earlier dating of 1767 or 1768 ispreferred. The choice of key allows for excursions into relatively unfamiliarterritory as the sonata progresses. The opening subject of the first I movementhas al1 the rhythmic variety that is a feature of Haydn's melodic writing. Adramatic B flat pedal-point precedes the second subject material, with itstriplet semiquaver figuration and the development al1ows further variedelaboration of the pedal-point of the exposition. The fol1owing Adagio, inD flat major, finds a place for contrapuntal writing, as the thematic materialunwinds, again with contrasting secondary material in the dominant key and avaried repetition that moves to a brief cadenza before the final bars. Thefinal movement, dominated by its principal theme, again al1ows infinite varietywithin its formal pattern.



 



Sonata No.30in D major,Hob. XVI: 19, the fourth sonata included here, also seeminglyintended original1y for harpsichord, has autograph of 1767." The firstmovement, marked Moderato has a swinging first subject in the middleregister of the keyboard. The secondary material makes use of descending andthen ascending patterns of thirds and sixths, against a repeated note, and theclosing section makes extensive use of an, accompanying triadic pattern. Thecentral development finds a place for drama, before three arpeggiated chordsbring the section to an end, to be followed by the recapitulation. The A major Andantebrings a little surprise in its initial presentation of the principaltheme, very briefly interrupted by a sudden break in the first three bars,before resuming its fun course. There is due contrast of key and theme in thesecondary material, both to form the substance of the second section of themovement. The syncopated main subject of the Finale is followed by a Dminor episode, re-appearing in a more I elaborate form before a second, A majorepisode. The main theme returns once more, to be followed by a granderrestatement, at first with are turn of the original syncopation, before an Albertibass moves the sonata towards its emphatic conclusion.



 



Jeno Jando
Facts
Item number 8553364
Barcode 730099436427
Release date 01/01/2000
Category Instrumental | Classical Music
Label Naxos Classics | Naxos Records
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Performers
Artists Jeno Jando
Composers Franz Joseph Haydn
Producers Ibolya Toth
Disc: 1
Piano Sonata No. 20 in B flat major, Hob.XVI:18
1 I. Allegro moderato
2 II. Moderato
Piano Sonata No. 32 in G minor, Hob.XVI:44
3 I. Moderato
4 II. Allegretto
Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Hob.XVI:46
5 I. Allegro moderato
6 II. Adagio
7 III. Finale: Presto
Piano Sonata No. 30 in D major, Hob.XVI:19
8 I. Moderato
9 II. Andante
10 III. Finale: Allegro assai
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