Mark Swartzentruber, Haydn: Piano Sonatas

Gavin Borchert

By Gavin Borchert

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Haydn: it’s not for amateurs anymore.

Most of Haydn's keyboard works are designed to be played and enjoyed by amateurs, but the last one, No. 52 (or 62, according to another numbering system) in E-flat, is a grand, rich work on a Beethovenian scale and level of difficulty. Mark Swartzentruber captures both its lyrical beauty and imaginative fantasy. The Sonata No. 26/41 includes a minuet Haydn arranged from his Symphony No. 47, marked al rovescio, or “in reverse,” in which the second strain is the first strain backwards — a good example of the compositional games Haydn liked to play.