The first question
here is whatís wrong with this disc?
It was recorded in 1996 and released
This is a highly competent
selection of Haydnís keyboard music
most of which was written for the harpsichord.
Later works were intended for the pianoforte.
These variations are in addition to
his 47 sonatas. Haydn is undervalued
as a piano composer despite the advocacy
of masters such as Schiff and Brendel.
There are now at least four sets of
the complete sonatas and Jando has recorded
many of these. Single discs of the variations
are rare and the value of this recording
is therefore considerable.
The Twenty Variations
in G major was written in about
1765 and in 1788-1789 abridged, re-arranged
and transposed to the key of A major
for publication (Naxos 8.553826).There
is also a splendid performance by John
McCabe as part of his 12 CD set (Decca).
The theme is one of great simplicity
in the form of a dance and Jando plays
it with just the right amount of charm.
The tune reminded me of Mozartís early
divertimento (K131), much loved by Beecham.
Haydnís Theme and
Variations in C major from around
November 1790 was written shortly before
the composer left for his visit to London
for the "Saloman"concerts.
This piece is more demanding than "20
variations" and is a teaching work.
It is very well played with the odd
intrusion of pianist vocalise.
The Capriccio in
G major was written in 1765. Iím
puzzled why we are jumping about chronologically.
The detailed notes tell us itís based
on a folk song which must qualify in
the bizarre titles league: Acht Sauschneider
müssen sein (There must be
eight to castrate a boar!). This is
a happy piece and well executed by Jando
with no hint of routine.
1768ís Arietta con
12 Variazioni, in the key of E flat
major, is based on the Minuet of his
Quartet, Op. 9, and No. 2 - dismissed
by Hans Keller as a primitive work-splendidly
played by the Angeles Quartet on Philips.
The development of the variations is
inventive and makes me wonder why Haydnís
piano music isnít better known. This
is delightful to listen to and must
be fun to play. Some may prefer a harpsichord
but I like the sound conjured up here.
The title Variations
on "Gott erhalte", will
mean little to the general public but
the tune will. This is Haydnís own keyboard
arrangement of the variations on the
Emperorís Hymn that he had included
in his String Quartet in C major, Op.
76, No. 3, written in 1797. It became
the Austrian and later the German National
Anthem. The variations are those in
the quartet and works very well for
the piano. As the standout piece on
this disc I donít understand why the
cover doesnít make it clearer what the
music is based on Poor old Haydn!
Haydnís F major
Divertimento: Il Maestro e lo Scolare
(The Master and the Pupil),
for piano duet is from 1766-1768. The
material apparently appears in a Baryton
Trio of about 1767. Written for teaching
purposes, my first thought was that
the theme was reminiscent of Handelís
"The Harmonious Blacksmith".
This only adds to its charm as far as
Iím concerned. I think this would work
well for a teacher and a promising pupil
as the master plays first and the pupil
follows. This was fun unlike some four
In summary this is
an enterprising selection of music that
deserves greater recognition. I loved
it and would recommend this disc as
a very good introduction to Haydnís
variations. I still donít know why itís
been "in the can" for ten
David R Dunsmore
review by Glyn Pursglove