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Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

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Haydn & CPE Bach: Cello Concertos

Haydn & CPE Bach: Cello Concertos


Bach, C P E:

Cello Concerto No. 3 in A major, Wq. 172 (H439)

Boccherini:

Cello Concerto No. 7 in G major, G 480: Adagio

Haydn:

Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major, Hob. VIIb:1

Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major, Hob. VIIb:2 (Op. 101)

Mozart:

Geme la tortorella (from La finta giardiniera)

arr. for cello by Steven Isserlis


Read our exclusive interview with Steven Isserlis about the recording here.

If the two Haydn concertos are the most accomplished contributions to the cello’s burgeoning repertoire written in the eighteenth century, the CPE Bach coupling is scarcely less fine. Two charmingly rococo encores complete this latest essential release from Steven Isserlis.

“This recording is a real tonic. I defy anyone not to smile at Steven Isserlis’s effervescent readings of Haydn’s graceful and urbane cello concertos...He spins an exquisitely light and agile line, maintaining a delightfully sunny disposition, even in each concerto’s adagio...The Bremen players add just the right degree of elegance and poise to make this a CD to treasure.” The Observer, 10th September 2017 *****

“His partnership with the brilliant Bremen orchestra is a musical marriage made in heaven.” Sunday Times, 10th September 2017

“These interpretations sing of an artist still thoroughly in tune with his prevoius thoughts, but who is keen to develop those ideas further. He's supported every step of the way in this pursuit by the warmly responsive Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen...Isserlis's 1998 recording [of the Haydn] remains classy stuff, but this has superbly trumped it.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - Awards Issue 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Haydn: Concertos

Haydn: Concertos


Haydn:

Concerto for violin & keyboard in F major, H. 18/6

Violin Concerto No. 1 in C major, Hob.VIIa:1

Violin Concerto No. 4 in G major, Hob.VIIa:4


Justin Oprean (piano)

European Union Chamber Orchestra, Adelina Oprean

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Haydn: Kleine Orgelmesse & Harmoniemesse

Haydn: Kleine Orgelmesse & Harmoniemesse


Haydn:

Mass, Hob. XXII: 7 in B flat major 'Kleine Orgelmesse'

Mass, Hob. XXII:14 in B flat major 'Harmoniemesse'


The Brandenburg Orchestra & The Choir of Winchester Cathedral, David Hill

“With a 55-second Gloria for the Kleine Orgelmesse Hill certainly puts the 'brevis' into Missa Brevis. The late Harmoniemesse is thoughtful, Winchester's collegiate polish underpinned by instrumental punch and top drawer soloists.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2005

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Haydn: Piano Concertos Nos. 3, 4 & 11

Haydn: Piano Concertos Nos. 3, 4 & 11


Haydn:

Keyboard Concerto No. 11 in D major, HobXVIII:11

cadenzas by Wanda Landowska

Keyboard Concerto No. 3 in F major with French horns and strings, Hob.XVIII:3

cadenzas by Marc-André Hamelin

Keyboard Concerto No. 4 in G major, Hob.XVIII:4

cadenzas by Marc-André Hamelin


Marc-André Hamelin has proved himself—in three lauded volumes of Haydn’s piano sonatas—to be a formidable Haydn pianist, combining style, exuberance and dazzling technique with a palpable sense of joy in the music. Now he has recorded the composer’s three most popular concertos.

This release is the fruit of a partnership with the award-winning Canadian chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy and their director Bernard Labadie, whose previous recordings for Virgin Classics and other labels have received the highest critical acclaim.

“Hamelin and Les Violons du Roy play that gypsy finale [of the D major Concerto] with irresistable verve...If there's an incongruity between the sound of Hamelin's modern piano and that of the period-band that accompanies him, it's one that's easy to get used to...it's hard not to enjoy Hamelin's showmanship and the eloquence of his slow movements is an added bonus.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2013 ****

“Hamelin’s songful legato in the F major’s largo cantabile and bravura in the presto finales make the strongest possible cases for these works, and I don’t know a more exhilarating account of the D major — but it ought to be the disc’s climax.” Sunday Times, 21st April 2013

“ Hamelin could probably hum these concertos into a battered plastic kazoo and they’d still sound great. Everything works. There’s the requisite dynamism and energy, coupled with a superhuman lightness of touch...Hyperion’s sound is beyond reproach. Another entry in my provisional "Best of 2013" list.” The Arts Desk, 27th April 2013

“[in the F major] Hamelin weaves an enchanting spell, approaching an almost Mozartian pathos...[in the finale of the D major] he pushes forward without dropping the tempo, heightening the delirium of this whirling gypsy dance. Add to that some unmarked col legno earlier in the same movement for an authentic touch of Hungarian paprika and the result cannot fail to raise a smile.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2013

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Haydn - Piano Sonatas Volume 1

Haydn - Piano Sonatas Volume 1


Haydn:

Piano Sonata No. 50 in D major, Hob.XVI:37

Piano Sonata No. 40 in E flat major, Hob.XVI:25

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

Piano Sonata No. 55 in B flat major, Hob.XVI:41

Piano Sonata No. 62 in E flat major, Hob.XVI:52

Piano Sonata No. 38 in F major, Hob.XVI:23

Piano Sonata No. 35 in A flat major, Hob.XVI:43

Piano Sonata No. 39 in D major, Hob.XVI:24

Piano Sonata No. 47 in B minor, Hob.XVI:32

Piano Sonata No. 50 in D major, Hob.XVI:37


(2 discs for the price of 1)

“Hamelin kicks off with the late C major Sonata, H50, nailing his virtuoso credentials firmly to the mast with a mercurial account of its opening movement. Some may prefer Schiff's more measured approach, but Hamelin's playing is dazzling, and his 'presto' finale is no less witty than Schiff's.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2007 *****

“Hamelin’s gift for making light of complex textures and technically taxing writing is here harnessed to music of Classical clarity and economy. It is without doubt one of his finest achievements—and that’s saying something. This cleverly chosen selection of diverse character is played with masterly resourcefulness. Hamelin can do deadpan humour (the finale of No 40) and brilliant note-spinning (No 32) like few others, but also finds a truly affecting wistfulness in some of the slow movements. Superbly recorded, this is a life-enhancing release” Classic FM Magazine

“The ever-phenomenal Marc-André Hamelin breaks out into the light with a two-disc set of Haydn sonatas … these are astonishing performances … Hyperion’s sound and presentation are, as always, immaculate” Gramophone Magazine

“For long confined to the by-ways of the repertoire, the ever-phenomenal Marc-André Hamelin now breaks out into the light with a twodisc set of Haydn sonatas. And unlike Haydn who considered himself less than a wizard of the keyboard, Hamelin is a prodigious virtuoso. Here, he remains one, in a full if not entirely inclusive sense, often susceptible to Haydn's wit, to vertiginous music which can veer to the right just when you expect it to turn left, and vice versa.
He is brilliantly alert to the first Menuetto from No 43, to a dance at once perky and serious, almost as if the composer with his toy fanfares was trying unsuccessfully to keep a straight face. And he can be hauntingly limpid and serene, as in the alternately calm and troubled Adagio from No 46. However, in No 23 one longs for Hamelin to relax his virtuoso prowess.
Here, there is an unmistakable sense of hurry, of Haydn's riches glimpsed rather than savoured, of a composer's piquancy nearly bustled out of existence. Others, too, have achieved greater grandeur in the final E flat Sonata or made the storm clouds scud more menacingly across the B minor Sonata's finale (Andsnes, Ax and, most of all, Brendel). None the less, these are astonishing performances. Hyperion's sound and presentation are, as always, immaculate.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Awards 2007

Finalist - Instrumental

BBC Music Magazine

Instrumental Choice - April 2007

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Haydn - Piano Sonatas Volume 2

Haydn - Piano Sonatas Volume 2


Haydn:

Piano Sonata No. 46 in E major, Hob.XVI:31

Piano Sonata No. 56 in D major, Hob.XVI:42

Piano Sonata No. 48 in C major, Hob.XVI:35

Piano Sonata No. 53 in E minor, Hob.XVI:34

Piano Sonata No. 41 in A major, Hob.XVI:26

Fantasia (Capriccio) in C major, Hob. XVII:4

Andante & Variations in F minor, Hob.XVII:6 (Sonata - un piccolo divertimento)

Piano Sonata No. 59 in E flat major, Hob.XVI:49

Piano Sonata No. 34 in D major, Hob.XVI:33

Piano Sonata No. 52 in G major, Hob.XVI:39

Piano Sonata No. 58 in C major, Hob.XVI:48


2 discs for the price of 1.

Marc-André Hamelin’s first set of Haydn Piano Sonatas was Hyperion’s best-selling release of 2007, and had the critics jostling to acclaim his performances in the highest terms, in particular his expression of the ‘physical exhilaration of Haydn’s playful inspiration in a way unmatched by any pianist past or present’. His second volume, released in a year where new Haydn recordings are prominent, should surely match the critical and commercial success of the first.

Some of Haydn’s most alluring and appealing keyboard works are recorded here. The surprising (to some) emotional range of the composer is fully evident in the extraordinarily sensitive and intimate Sonata in E flat major No 49, written for Maria Anna von Genzinger, and the profoundly felt Andante con variazioni in F minor, the composition of which coincided with her death.

“Hamelin is especially compelling in the great C major (No 48) and E flat major (No 49) sonatas, works that rank with the finest creations of the Viennese Classical period. An unmissable bargain at two-discs-for-the-price of one.” Sunday Times, 2nd August 2009 ****

“In the sonatas proper...he is a model of correctness, with enough wit, exuberance and the most exquisite lightness of touches to keep the music buoyant.” The Guardian, 31st July 2009 ****

“…a luminous evenness of touch and a wonderful lightness in his decorations and runs. …his account of the Adagio of the E flat, HobXVI:49, has a tenderness of its own. And while his account of the unsettling F minor Variations knocks a startling three minutes off the timing of Gary Cooper's account reviewed here in the July issue, it proves quite as intense.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2009 ****

“…Hamelin exhibits a coruscating wit and brilliance known to few pianists. When have you head dotted rhythms more sprucely articulated than in No 35's finale, or wondered how terms such as vivace can take on a whole new meaning given such rapier reflexes and musical sheen?” Gramophone Magazine, October 2009

“One of the outstanding releases of the Haydn celebratory year” International Record Review

Presto Disc of the Week

28th December 2009

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Haydn - Piano Sonatas Volume 3

Haydn - Piano Sonatas Volume 3


Haydn:

Piano Sonata No. 13 in G major, Hob.XVI:6

Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major, Hob.XVI:1

Piano Sonata No. 11 in B flat major, Hob.XVI:2

Piano Sonata No. 32 in G minor, Hob.XVI:44

Piano Sonata No. 40 in E flat major, Hob.XVI:25

Piano Sonata No. 33 in C minor, Hob.XVI:20

Piano Sonata No. 49 in C sharp minor, Hob.XVI:36

Piano Sonata No. 37 in E major, Hob.XVI:22

Piano Sonata No. 44 in F major, Hob.XVI:29

Piano Sonata No. 61 in D major, Hob.XVI:51

Piano Sonata No. 19 in E minor, Hob.deest


Hyperion’s Record of the Month is the third double-volume release in Marc-André Hamelin’s much-praised series of Haydn’s keyboard sonatas. Haydn wrote around sixty keyboard sonatas and this selection of eleven focuses on those from the 1770s, including the great C minor sonata from the composer’s ‘Sturm und Drang’ period, with its dynamic contrasts and virtuoso demands. These are bookended by three from Haydn’s earliest output from the 1750s, most likely penned for his young female pupils to play, and the D major sonata written during the second of the mature composer’s triumphant London visits in 1794.

In all these fascinating, idiosyncratic works, Marc-André Hamelin wears his renowned virtuosity lightly, while playing with understated wit and the elegant, immaculate musicianship that has come to define one of the greatest pianists of our time.

“the playing is outstanding for its crystalline tone, springy rhythms, lively tempos and integral handling of ornamentation...Hamelin is often at his most brilliant where Haydn is at his most eccentric” BBC Music Magazine, July 2012 ****

“The most immediately striking feature of the set is the unfailingly superb, crystalline clarity of Hamelin's sound...Here no detail is obscured and, with the exception of certain legato ligatures that Hamelin consistently chooses not to observe, articulation is within the realm of what Haydn's notation suggests...There is a certain stylistic cohesion to all these performances: everything is unmistakeably stamped 'Hamelin's Haydn'.” International Record Review, June 2012

“the majority of the sonatas, with their volte-face humour and open-hearted delight in the unexpected, reflect a joy in compositional wizardry. Such qualities are dazzlingly articulated by Hamelin, with one performance after another of crystalline brilliance and musicianship...These are magnificent performances and clearly a prime love for Hamelin.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2012

“Hamelin’s fluency amazes but is never ostentatious...Slow movements are delicately coloured, and there’s never a hint of indulgence. Hamelin lets Haydn do the talking.” The Arts Desk, 28th July 2012

GGramophone Awards 2013

Finalist - Instrumental

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Haydn - Piano Trios Volume 1

Haydn - Piano Trios Volume 1


Haydn:

Piano Trio No. 38 in D major, Hob.XV:24

Piano Trio No. 39 in G major, Hob.XV:25 'Gypsy'

Piano Trio No. 40 in F sharp minor, Hob.XV:26

Piano Trio No. 43 in C Major, Hob.XV:27


Chamber music devotees will welcome with enthusiasm this first volume of a new series by one of the world’s greatest piano trios. Every recording by the award-winning Florestan Trio receives extravagant plaudits from the critical world and the public alike. Haydn’s piano trios are a uniquely important body of work in the classical spectrum and a detailed survey by this group is welcome indeed—especially in 2009, when the musical world will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the composer’s death.

The piano trio form (where the piano took centre stage and was accompanied by a violin and a cello) was popular in domestic circles and many composers supplied the market. Haydn took the form beyond the domestic arena, and indeed poured into his accompanied sonatas as much inventiveness and range of musical expression as he did into his mature piano sonatas and string quartets. But the music requires a very different approach from the great piano trios of later composers. It requires a particular sensitivity to the shifting relationships between strings and piano, which Haydn exploits so subtly. When it receives it, these trios are revealed as works with a very special sense of unified, co-operative music-making, unlike anything else in the history of music.

Four such works from Haydn’s career are recorded here. Among them the Piano Trio in C major Hob XV:27 was written for one of Clementi’s finest pupils and the piano writing is suitably virtuosic. The delightful Piano Trio in G major was written while Haydn was at Esterháza and revels in the Hungarian gyspy music which the composer heard at this time.

“This is an auspicious start to what will presumably be a far-reaching series. There are more than 30 Haydn piano trios to choose from, and the Florestan's flexible personality brings life to this group of four of them, all composed in London in the 1790s. Their character ranges from the gravity and intensity of the D major Hob XV:24 to the mix of melancholy and virtuosity in the F sharp minor Hob XV:26. As always with Haydn's music, there are subtle shifts of mood, nuances of phrasing and inflections of dynamics.” The Telegraph, 12th February 2009

“Domestic music-making in the late 18th century featured Haydn's "accompanied sonatas", designed to show off the newly popular piano with violin and cello doubling - and occasionally countering - the piano "soloist". (Contemporary advertisements in the Observer show the sheet music sold for three shillings.) Four of his later examples, including the familiar "Gypsy Rondo", are played here by the Florestan Trio with a captivating grace that silences those who would have us believe that these sonatas, which lack the independent part writing of later trios, are somehow lesser works.” The Observer, 15th February 2009

“These are altogether lively and alert performances, with repeats imaginatively varied, and a real feel for the subtle balance of the music.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2009 ****

“The articulation of Susan Tomes and her colleagues is alert and imaginative, with a “period-instrumental” feeling for texture, effortlessly capturing Haydn’s mercurial wit.” Sunday Times, 22nd February 2009 *****

“…Tomes and her partners identify themselves fully with the emotional scale of these works, ostensibly meant for domestic use on small pianos. The noise-quelling opening chord of No 24 would have stopped rowdy audiences of the day in their tracks. There is so much from the Florestan to stop us in our tracks too... Their interpretative acumen is unimpeachable. ...this is a very special disc, recorded in detailed, front-row sound.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2009

“Tomes and her partners identify themselves fully with the emotional scale of these works, ostensibly meant for domestic use on small pianos.
But their scope suggests that Haydn structured them for the powerful English Broadwood instruments suited to the concert hall. The noise-quelling opening chord of No 24 would have stopped rowdy audiences of the day in their tracks.
There is so much from the Florestan to stop us in our tracks too, not least in their feel for expressing the content of these sparsely marked scores, as in the finale of No 24 when Allegro madolce in D major changes to a stabbing D minor before returning to the original key. The musicians intuitively recreate the return even more sweetly. Their interpretative acumen is unimpeachable.
The continuous triplets in the Adagio of No 26, tiresome if badly played, are instead profoundly yielding. And the Presto finale of No 27 isn't driven on cruise control.
A very special disc, recorded in detailed, frontrow sound.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“the Florestan Trio play with understanding and sympathy to each other and to the music. Their lines of phrase are smoothly satisfying, Tomes deals with the difficult piano passages with ease, and Marwood and Lester's instruments sing with conviction when the music allows, and elegantly support when the piano is centre stage.” Charlotte Gardner, bbc.co.uk, 3rd March 2009

“wonderfully fresh and appealing, alive, full of subtle detail and indeed joy in the music. They are vividly yet truthfully recorded.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

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Haydn - Piano Trios Volume 2

Haydn - Piano Trios Volume 2


Haydn:

Piano Trio No. 44 in E Major, Hob.XV:28

Piano Trio No. 45 in E flat Major, Hob.XV:29

Piano Trio No. 42 in E flat Major, Hob.XV:30

Piano Trio No. 41 in E flat minor, Hob.XV:31


Haydn’s ‘piano trios’ (as his accompanied piano sonatas are known) are among the most delightful and inventive of all his works. They have a ‘domestic’ reputation, and indeed they were intended for playing at home. But we make a mistake if we think that this meant that Haydn expected music-making of limited accomplishment. Many outstanding musicians of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries never performed in public for one simple reason: they were women. Who knows how many gifted women musicians were denied opportunities that their male counterparts enjoyed. But when it comes to pianists, we can at least get some idea of their talents from the music that was written for them.

Among the women pianists whom Haydn met while he was in London in the 1790s, one of the most highly-regarded was Therese Jansen, a pupil of Clementi. Haydn named her as among the capital’s most important pianists. Haydn wrote for her a set of three piano trios which were published in London in 1797—Hob XV:28 and 29 on this disc, and No 27 in C major (on Hyperion CDA67719). The challenging piano parts suggests that she must have been a very fine performer—and indeed the string-writing is no less demanding. They are not only virtuoso works, but have an exceptionally wide range of expression.

The Florestan Trio, with their magnificent pianist Susan Tomes, dazzle in this repertoire. Their first disc of Haydn’s piano trios was enthusiastically acclaimed (see below) and this release is sure to follow its critical and commercial success.

“…the players avoid any possibility of tonal monotony by maximising the variety of texture, colour and dynamics in their performances, and by relishing the degree to which Haydn continually challenges his listeners with unexpected turns of phrase and audacious modulations. ...these warmly recorded performances offer plenty of musical insight and deserve a positive recommendation.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2009

“…the Florestans display their customarily virtuosity, elegance and caprice in these outwardly easy-going works, once again capturing the full (and deceptively wide) emotional range of what may appear on the surface to be merely domestic entertainment music.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2010

“wonderfully fresh and appealing, alive, full of subtle detail and indeed joy in the music. They are vividly yet truthfully recorded.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

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Haydn: Songs

Haydn: Songs


Haydn:

Arianna a Naxos, cantata, Hob.XXVIb/2

Das Leben ist ein Traum, Hob. XXVIa:21

Auch die Sprödeste der Schönen, Hob.XXVIa:18

Sailor's Song, Hob. XXVIa:31

Recollection, Hob. XXVIa:26

The Wanderer, Hob. XXVIa:32

A Pastoral Song, Hob.XXVIa:27

Piercing Eyes, Hob. XXVIa:35

Despair, Hob. XXVIa:28

Sympathy, Hob. XXVIa:33

Pleasing Pain, Hob. XXVIa:29

She Never Told Her Love, Hob. XXVIa:34

The Mermaid's Song, Hob. XXVIa:25

Transport of Pleasure 'Content', Hob. XXVIa:36

Fidelity, Hob. XXVIa:30

The Spirit's Song, Hob. XXVIa:41

O Tuneful Voice, Hob. XXVIa:42


Lisa Milne (soprano), Bernarda Fink (mezzo-soprano), John Mark Ainsley (tenor) & Roger Vignoles (piano)

It is well known that Haydn was a favoured visitor to London towards the end of his life and spent much time in the English capital. In addition to the famous ‘London’ symphonies he wrote a considerable amount of other music whilst he was here, including chamber works and, particularly, songs, many of them to English words by his friend Anne Hunter. All of the famous ones are here, along with other, German, settings and the extended scena ‘Arianna a Naxos’, to an anonymous Italian text.

“A winner” Fanfare

“Much subtle musicianship in fine and neglected repertory and I am sure that no one who buys it will be disappointed” Gramophone Magazine

“There can’t be many more delightful ways of spending an hour than in the company of these songs” International Record Review

“Another outstanding song issue from Hyperion” Sunday Times

“Even those weaned on fortepiano-led Haydn will be hard pushed to find fault with this dream team” The Independent on Sunday

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