It can be inferred from the un-credited booklet notes
that these three concertos were composed by Haydn for piano whereas
my Haydn catalogue states that they were in fact composed for
the harpsichord. However these piano concertos are admirable works
and it is good to have them in the CD catalogue. With few exceptions
Haydn’s concertos for various solo instruments are relegated to
the background; his symphonies taking pride of place.
The concertos follow the composer’s characteristic
three movement form with two Allegro movements either side
of a slow Largo or Adagio. Owing to Haydn’s way
with virtuoso passages for the keyboard it has been often stated
that there seems to be an overload of notes. This however gives
a most energetic feel to the concertos.
There is much to enjoy here and I must single
out the Adagio cantabile of second concerto for special
praise. It is a most appealing and beautiful movement. I am in
full agreement with the author of the booklet notes who states
that, "these superb works express a fundamental optimism
I could never say that these performances were
bursting with idiosyncratic character; yet there is a real sense
of polish and style. With energy and verve, the soloist Boegner
takes the proceedings along at a cracking pace in what are accomplished
interpretations. She makes a really excellent use of the embellishments.
Michele Boegner, a soloist who I was hearing
perform for the first time, clearly has a splendid rapport with
the English Chamber Orchestra who shine under the persuasive and
quick-march direction of Jose-Luis Garcia offering a most agreeable
partnership. It is a shame that the sparse booklet notes give
no information on any of the performers or details of the recording
venue or dates.
The piano is placed rather forward in a warm
recording however I found the sound to be distracting and uncomfortably
over-bright. I did manage to tone down the brightness to a more
manageable level by adjusting the controls however the effect
was still far from perfect which is frustrating as otherwise the
performances from Boegner are most impressive.
Overall the performances of these fine Haydn
works are winning ones but the over-bright sound quality unfortunately
prevents me from being able to recommend this Apex release with