52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  


  AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Keyboard Concertos – D, Hob.XVIII/11 (1770) [16’22]; F, Hob.XVIII/3 (1771) [19’06]; D, Hob. XVIII/2 (1755?) [21’10]; G, Hob.XVIII/4 (c1770?) [18’06].
Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano)
Concerto Copenhagen/Lars Ulrik Mortensen (continuo).
Rec. Garnisonskirken, Copenhagen, Denmark in October 2003. DDD
BIS CD-1318 [75’54]

Seventy-six minutes of pure delight. Brautigam’s solo BIS recordings of Mozart and Haydn are well recognised for their innate musicality, a trait no less in evidence here where he is joined by the excellent period band Concerto Copenhagen.

Brautigam plays a Paul McNulty 1992 instrument built after Anton Gabriel Walter. It is a lovely instrument, out of which Brautigam is able to coax a great variety of shades of expression. See my review also of Brautigam’s Beethoven, played on another McNulty fortepiano (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2004/Nov04/Beethoven_Brautigam.htm ; this was an SACD … will this Haydn disc appear on SACD also, I wonder?).

The present disc begins with probably the most famous of Haydn keyboard concertos, the D major, Hob.XVIII/11; famously, it was in Michelangeli’s repertoire! Here it buzzes with both inner and outer life, original-instrument horns rasping at around 4’30 in the first movement. Brautigam’s articulation is excellent, his musicality beyond doubt. An expressive ‘Un poco adagio’ retains its intimacy before the ‘Rondo all’Ungarese’, fizzing along with no small amount of wit. Superb. Concerto Copenhagen accompanies with sensitivity and razor-sharp responses.

The F major concerto dates from around the same time; as so often with this composer exact dating can be difficult. It is eminently civilised. Brautigam’s finger-work remains a delight, and there is a nice sense of stereo spread from the strings. Unfortunately the cadenza is uncredited; it leaves a lovely thread for the listener to follow.

The F major’s slow movement is positively gorgeous. Flowing yet intense, the melodic line is a thing of beauty. Actually this movement distinctly tends towards the Mozartean, before Haydn returns in full, complete with glint in his eye, for the cheeky finale.

Finally the delightful G major Hob.XVIII/4, with its cascades of descending scales (first movement), its interior slow movement and joyful finale. It seems the perfect, most satisfying way to end the disc.

Interesting that Andsnes on his EMI disc plays only three of the concertos here, leaving a playing time of only 54 minutes (556 960-2). Brautigam loses nothing in verve and immersion in the spirit of the music. Recommended.

Colin Clarke

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.