Complete Piano Music
Several assets set this box apart from it's competitors in the market, and not just the price-point for which Brilliant Classics is well known. It is the most complete set of Haydn's piano works available: there are others of the solo works, which exclude the spirited keyboard concertos (only those which he wrote for the fortepiano are included here; there are others for harpsichord and organ which can be found in Brilliant Classics compendious Haydn Edition, BC93782). Other 'complete' box sets omit the version of the Seven Last Words which Haydn may not have arranged himself, but which still powerfully conveys the pathos of his orchestral original. Then there are the many 'miscellaneous' variation sets, single movements and solo arrangements of pieces from larger-scale works such as the symphonies, operas and string quartets, which Bart van Oort diligently researched and recorded a few years ago on a fine modern reproduction of a fortepiano by Walter, a maker esteemed by Haydn and Beethoven. Several of these smaller works are not otherwise available. No less valuably, all the recordings are made on fortepianos on the scale that the composer himself played and composed for: with a lighter and more capricious touch than today's pianos, enabling him to write fast movements of complementary brilliance which can sound heavy or clangorous on modern instruments. Likewise all the pianists here are historically informed forte pianists by inclination, who have made most of their recordings in music of this era. The sonata recordings which constitute the bulk of the set, and indeed of Haydn's pioneering work for the instrument, have received consistently fine reviews since they were released. Now gathered up with the Klavierstücke and concertos, they make an attractive proposition to any listener with an ear for Haydn's eternally fresh spirit of invention. This 16 CD set contains all of Haydn's works for piano: the piano concertos, the complete piano sonatas and the complete Klavierstücke. All performances are on fortepiano, historical instruments which Haydn knew and on which he developed his own personal keyboard style, perfect examples of the classical Viennese keyboard writing, but all bearing the stamp of Haydn particular genius, reveling in witticisms, unexpected turns and twists and a genuine expression of sincere feelings, eschewing operatic drama, but all the more keenly felt. Pianists are Bart van Oort, Jolande Violante, Stanley Hoogland, Riko Fukuda, Yoshiko Kojima and Ursula Dütschler, artists specialized in the handling of historic instruments and the appropriate style of "authentic performance practice".