This useful set gathers up the many shorter works that Haydn wrote for the keyboard: many minuets of light character and charming temperament and variation sets of great melodic invention. He arranged many movements from his chamber and orchestral works, doubtless encouraged by his fame and his publisher to bring his music to even greater domestic popularity in a world where live music was far more often heard on the piano at home than in great concert halls. Finally, there is his great cycle of Seven Last Words: seven poignant slow movements with an introduction and final ‘Earthquake’ originally commissioned for choir and orchestra for Lisbon Cathedral, but which quickly achieved a reputation for their sober beauty out of proportion to the specific conditions of their context: hence this arrangement made by another party. Bart van Oort is a scholar-performer who has extensively researched and performed the music of Haydn and his time (including contributions made to Brilliant Classics’ complete set of the composer’s piano sonatas). Here he performs on a fine modern reproduction of a fortepiano by Walter, a maker esteemed by Haydn and Beethoven.
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