J. Haydn :: Sonata F Major (n°44), Hob. XVI/29
14:21: Tempo di menuet
I was thinking: Are we enough aware of the luxurious situation we all have to grab the score of the piece we want to play? And through the internet and all scanning projects of libraries, institutions, people like you and me,... even Google, we have access to so much music of all times, in so many different editions, even manuscripts, and most of that all for free.
What would Haydn have done with such an inexhaustible treasure of music and information? Or Mozart, Beethoven?
This might sound as a strange reflection to this fantastic Haydn sonata we've recorded, but it crossed my mind while playing/practicing, and to be exactly: bars 54/55, or, here in this recording on 5:08 . these bars sound so... Mozart like! However, Haydn wrote this sonata in 1774, so even before the six fabulous München Sonata's by Mozart. Did Mozart knew these sonata's? Probably. But all of them? I doubt it. Just imagine what could have happen if these composers had access to all works of J.S.Bach. Or Sweelinck. Or Monteverdi, or, or, or... It is just a reflection, and adds to kind of contentment of the time we live in.
As I said on facebook, I was pleasantly surprised that I got the message that the Haydn Society of Great Britain was following my humble video's on Twitter, a social platform that I neglected by lack of time and knowledge. They picked the last Haydn recording up and re-tweeted the video. Of course, the world didn't shake by this action, but, as it is with all of you who watch, listen and read the things that I post on YouTube and elswhere, it gives energy to proceed with this project in a sense that that these subscriptions, comments, ... by all of you, make me aware that there are real people behind the microphones and the lens of the camera, and those micro-digital-connections are great. Long story to say that if the Haydn Society of GB follows me on Twitter, it is as if someone asked me to record another sonata of Haydn. And so I did!
With great pleasure. I can not speak for someone else, but I did underestimate his sonata's, certainly before I got this clavichord, and even afterwards. I wondered why, because the more I play Haydn, the more I like his music, and becomes clear what giant he was. Standing in different worlds: that of CPEBach for sure, playing with contrasts and figures, not searching for melody as Mozart (or Clementi!) would do soon. But preparing a new world, that exactly of Mozart, and even of Beethoven, in the same way as Beethoven would give room to new generations starting with Schubert.
However, it strikes me every time, how fragile Haydn's keyboard work is. It may look simple, but it isn't. Contrasts need to work at full power by giving time and silence, not too much, but just right. And where I can imagine sonata's of Beethoven, even Mozart, or contrapuntal works by Bach in different tempi, Haydn always put me at the same rail. I almost have no experience from other performances, but I have the feeling as if Haydn often is played very fast. The movement is very important, it must feel as a kind of perpetuum mobile (as with all performances), but things that happen should come in exact the right time, certainly not too soon after each other, since to me, even while playing, the music appears not only less interesting, it transforms to a story I don't understand fully any more.
All those elements of diction and rhetorics, must be (IMHO) based upon a metrical pulse that gives steadiness and tranquillity, time for listening, time to understand, time for rest and relaxation. Not a kind of wilderness of notes, but a kind of friendly "noblesse."