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Quartets - Released October 11, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - Qobuzissime
Six quartets: six works that are key to understanding what Joseph Haydn brought to western music. This effort by the Quatuor Hanson is particularly successful because they are past masters in constructing and expressing the soul of this subtle art. And what's more, they bring it off with a fascinating level of instrumental skill. Listening to this piece, we have to bow down once again before the genius of a composer who, along with Boccherini, invented a new genre and immediately studded it with masterpieces of staggering quality. Judiciously picked out from among Haydn's vast corpus, these six quartets are touching both in their expressiveness and in the perfection of their writing. Not a single note out of place, a perfect balance of four voices and inspired right from the first moment up to the incomplete closing Opus 77, which was a contemporary of Beethoven's first Quartets, Op. 18 – works that betray the lessons their writer learned from his master. More than two hundred years after his death, Haydn has only just found recognition as one of the greats, although he had been accorded that status during his life. But his works for keyboards, the symphonies, the oratorios, and to a lesser extent, the operas, speak in his favour. More than a forerunner, Haydn is a founder, a genius whose influence was felt by those who came after him, foremost amongst whom Beethoven and Schubert. This splendid album puts him (back) in his rightful place. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 22, 2019 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released February 1, 2019 | harmonia mundi

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After having released his complete recording of Mozart’s Sonatas and collaborated with the singer Mark Padmore (Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann), Kristian Bezuidenhout continues to expand his discography with Joseph Haydn this time. Under the record label Harmonia Mundi, the South-African pianist emphasizes the whimsical and fanciful elements of a selection of Haydn’s works that were influenced by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, a composer from whom he learnt a lot and described with a certain fondness. Here, the Sonata in C major (Hob. XVI:48) is halfway between the Variations on a Theme and a totally unbridled fantasy, whereas the Sonata in C minor (Hob.XVI:20) unlocks the full dramatic potential of keyboard music. The later works on this album are contrasted with earlier ones such as the charming and spirited Sonata in G major (XVI:6) which is followed by two sequences of variations. This repertoire showcases Haydn’s inexhaustible creative energy as well as his ability to reinvent himself with each of his works. The performer relishes the performance here, playing on a Paul McNulty fortepiano modelled on an Anton Walter Viennese piano from 1805. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released October 26, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
To say that the concerto was one of Haydn's favourite forms would be a bit much, daft even. The man wrote a good hundred symphonies, dozens of quartets, trios, piano sonatas, fifteen or so masses and as many operas, and oratorios... Currently we know of three violin concertos (others being lost or apocryphal), two cello concertos (others... see above), one horn concerto, one for trumpet (there are no others) and at most about ten concertos for piano. Musically, they are fascinating works, but the level of technical skill they demand runs from moderate to a bit tricky. But the First Cello Concerto is not without its moments of difficulty, such as the rapid high notes in the final movement, and it offers some real fireworks. It should also be noted that most of the concertos were written for Esterházy, specifically for the first soloists in the house orchestra of Konzertmeister Luigi Tomasini and first cellist Joseph Weigl. The orchestral accompaniments offered the soloists some fine backdrops: in particular in the second movement of the Concerto for violin in C Major , with the orchestra's string section accompanying the solo violin with a sort of lute-playing that becomes a kind of serenade à la Don Giovanni. Amandine Beyer takes up the violin for this recording, while Marco Ceccato deals with the cello solo – both members of the Gli Incogniti ensemble ("The Unknowns"), a fluid grouping that plays without a conductor. Their leaderless style means that the musicians all listen to one another: it's a lovely way of making music (and sadly rare in the world of orchestras). © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released November 15, 2019 | harmonia mundi

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Joseph Haydn composed around 15 masses between 1748 and 1802. The Missa Cellensis in honorem Beatissimae Virginis Mariae, presented here in this new release from the Akademie für Alte Musik and the excellent RIAS-Kammerchor Berlin conducted by Justin Doyle, is better known by the later name Missa Sanctae Caeciliae ("Mass for Saint Cecilia"). It's the most vast of Haydn's masses and his only mass-cantata in the solemn Neapolitan style, whose numbers alternate between arias, ensembles and choirs. It seems that Haydn had intended the composition of this mass to be a great coup: it is a deft mix of the "modern" writing of his day and the "baroque" writing of his predecessors. In his monumental biography of the composer, Marc Vignal notes correctly that Haydn's masses are first-rate, not only set against the production of his quartets or symphonies, but also when set against the religious music of his times. This recording, taken at a June 2018 concert at the Berlin Konzerthaus, completes a RIAS-Kammerchor discography which is already rich in choral works but which hadn't yet tackled Haydn's masterpieces. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released March 30, 2010 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - Hi-Res Audio
Perhaps one of classical music's least noted but most important stories of the new millennium has been the profusion of recordings of Haydn's keyboard sonatas, each as different from the others as are the major schools of playing Beethoven, if not more so. Part of the reason for the variety is that, as French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet points out here, Haydn's manuscripts contained very little in the way of interpretive markings, leaving the field open for future performers and editors. Bavouzet, operating in the sonically superb environment of Suffolk, England's Potton Hall and playing a modern Yamaha, nevertheless adopts the fruits of historical research in his approach. He takes the repeats and heavily ornaments them, without, however, drawing attention to himself in the process. More generally, his tone is clean, very quiet, and rather harpsichord-like. In the slow movements of these four middle-period sonatas he's low-key indeed, but his playing holds up under attentive listening; his playing successfully draws the listener into an intimate space. Bavouzet's readings generally have the sort of Haydn X factor that leaves the listener completely unsure of what's coming next. Strongly recommended and whets the appetite for other albums in the occasional series that Bavouzet promises is coming.
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Solo Piano - Released May 17, 2019 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released April 13, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
The vagaries of the market have led a French pianist to record all his albums in England (Jean-Efflam Bavouzet for Chandos) whereas an English pianist, Paul Lewis, recorded all of his for the French label Harmonia Mundi. They both share a real love of Haydn. While the Frenchman has been recording sonatas by the Austrian composer from the start, Paul Lewis waited until he had assimilated Beethoven's 32 Sonatas and Schubert's as well, so as to be able to get to the root of the repertoire. For his first album dedicated solely to Haydn, he has chosen four sonatas, 32, 40, 49, and 50, allowing him to deploy his whole expressive range, dispelling once and for all the "Papa Haydn" tag that has for so long dogged the great musical innovator. In Paul Lewis's hands, Haydn's music is not that of an ancestor, however good, but of a Viennese classicist, performed with great nuance, a fluid sound and a wonderful, plastic beauty which makes the keyboard sing, underlining Haydn's joyful and puckish side as well as his passing melancholy. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released April 20, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
After celebrating thirty years of life and work together with the Trios by Dvořak, our three wandering companions (Vincent Coq, piano, Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian, violin and Raphaël Pidoux, cello) have brought out another round of Trios, this time by Joseph Haydn, the inventor of this form, which is an inheritor of the baroque trio sonata, with a cello part often providing the basso continuo. There are 39 authentic compositions by Haydn for this instrumental format, which he wrote at various points throughout his life. The music is of very high quality and it unites all the characteristic forms of his style, his vivacity, expression, freedom of tone and form, and the zest of his cheering humour. The Wanderers have judiciously selected their works from three different epochs for this new album which offers the Trios n° 14, 18, 21, 26 & 31 which offer plenty of surprises and rare tonalities from Haydn, like A-flat major, F-sharp minor, or E-flat minor. The performance is both fluent and lucid. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Quartets - Released March 10, 2014 | harmonia mundi

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Symphonic Music - Released August 6, 2007 | Warner Classics International

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This live recording of a group of Haydn's late masterworks lies at the intersection of several tales of trouble -- that of Simon Rattle's conductorship of the venerable Berlin Philharmonic, that of the EMI label's flagging fortunes and those of the classical recording industry in general, and that of the attempts of the massive symphony orchestras rooted in the nineteenth century to remain relevant in music written by composers who for the most part had no inkling of their existence. The results are, well, troubled. Rattle tries to borrow a page from the authentic-performance book, using a small group of strings with little vibrato and striving for transparent textures that reveal Haydn's wind and horn parts. The trouble is that he seems stuck in a 1970s conception of historical performance, apparently believing that it means interpretations that are restrained to the point of being pinched, yet at the same time outrageously unorthodox. A few hours of listening to the Haydn recordings of Thomas Fey and the Ensemble La Passione would have set him straight on the issue of restraint, but what you get here are recordings that, as flawlessly as the Berliners may play, are pretty lifeless. Hear the mushy, directionless slow introduction to the first movement of the Symphony No. 91 (CD 2, track 1), for example. Rattle's tinkering with the score (he has an odd way of making phrases back off dynamically in mid-utterance, robbing Haydn of his robust good cheer) largely fails to convince. His tempos are fast to the point of breakneck, destroying the minuets' fun-at-the-expense-of-the-courtiers mood and turning the great false endings of the Symphony No. 90 in C major into nervous, slightly unpleasant moments. That finale appears on disc 1 in two separate versions, one with the audience breaking mistakenly into applause (and then laughter) at the false ending, the other with the applause edited out (the timing of this one is way off in the track list, incidentally). This doesn't really come off, for on all the rest of the recordings audience sound of all kinds is ruthlessly edited out -- the applause, when it does happen, sounds like a horror film effect, and the eerie sonic backdrop sounds as though someone couldn't decide whether the recording was live or studio. There are good moments here -- the sly opening movement of the Sinfonia Concertante in B flat major, where Rattle's restraint becomes a virtue, and the detailed thinking-out of some of the development sections -- but the set as a whole is too clever by half.
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Symphonic Music - Released September 29, 2017 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released March 29, 2019 | RUBICON

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The Jubilee Quartet, formed in 2006 and named so as all the members lived along the route London’s Jubilee underground line, have studied with such illustrious figures from the world of chamber music as Gunter Pichler, Thomas Brandis, Garfield Jackson and the Belcea String Quartet. They have participated in masterclasses with the Skampa, Wihan and Chilingirian Quartets. They have an impressive tally of prizes from international chamber music competitions and have a busy international schedule. Their debut album features three Haydn quartets which, as ever with this composer are brim-full of innovation, drama and wide-ranging emotions. © Rubicon
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Cello Concertos - Released May 26, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released April 21, 2009 | harmonia mundi

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Quartets - Released September 1, 2017 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released October 17, 2017 | NoMadMusic

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Classical - Released April 22, 2016 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released June 24, 2013 | HORTUS

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Symphonic Music - Released April 23, 2009 | Sony Classical

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography