Haydn: Piano Trios XV:14, 18, 21, 26 & 31

Haydn: Piano Trios XV:14, 18, 21, 26 & 31

by Trio Wanderer



Haydn's keyboard trios were written in response to commercial stimuli, and for the most part they work reasonably well on any keyboard instrument. These pieces, however, mostly written in London and all from the 1790s, are genuine piano trios, and they exploit the possibilities of the then-new piano with dynamic contrasts, emphasis on the composer's striking late-life harmonic boldness, and a tendency toward Hungarian rhythmic zip that works better on a piano than on a harpsichord. Sample the syncopations in the finale of the "Piano Trio in A major, Hob. 15/18," for an idea. These trios still follow the amateur model of accompanied piano sonatas; the violin breaks off into dialogue, but the cello doubles the piano's left hand for the most part. The music contains both experimentation and passion, however; the piano parts were mostly connected with the British pianist Rebecca Schroeter, with whom the unhappily married Haydn was apparently romantically involved, and the slow movements, like those of the late sonatas for piano alone, go into uncharted harmonic realms. Haydn thought enough of the slow movement of the "Piano Trio in F sharp major, Hob. 15/26" (F sharp major being an extremely unusual key in the first place), to adapt it for the slow movement of the "Symphony No. 102 in B flat major, Hob. 1/102." Some may prefer period instruments in this music, and Harmonia Mundi -- although it usually gets fine results from Berlin's Teldex Studio -- offers an unsatisfying hollow sound. With these factors, however, the list of cautions ends.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/18/2018
Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
UPC: 3149020232125
catalogNumber: 902321


  1. Keyboard Trio in E flat major, H. 15/31
  2. Keyboard Trio in F sharp minor, H. 15/26
  3. Keyboard Trio in C major, H. 15/21
  4. Trio for 2 violins & cello in B flat major, H. 5/18
  5. Keyboard Trio in A flat major, H. 15/14

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