The multi-award-winning pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet continues his great survey of Haydn’s piano sonatas. This is Volume 3 in a series, of which The Times wrote: ‘Who is the best composer for refreshing the spirit and making you laugh? Haydn, of course, especially when in the hands of a pianist like Bavouzet, another master of delight.’
In the words of Bavouzet himself: ‘Each volume of this ambitious, extended project will arrive over the years like a postcard, dispatched during my travels with scant respect for chronological considerations, but undertaken with the greatest passion for trying to convey as vividly as possible to twenty-first-century ears the boundless treasures of this sublime music.’ He also notes: ‘We often forget how little information Haydn left us in the scores of his keyboard works: few indications of nuance or of phrasing, and the briefest guides to tempo. This task is never anything other than absolutely fascinating, but for the performer it is also testing, and even risky. He must, even more than usual, create his own world, his own logic, left only to hope that, in the absence of tangible evidence, he will not distance himself too far from the composer’s intentions, which remain forever unknowable.’
For the recording of this series, Bavouzet brought in a specially selected Yamaha piano which he feels gives the sort of tonal quality he is looking for, and once again this shows in a programme, which here presents the large-scale Sonata in C minor alongside sonatas of a lighter and sunnier character.