Dawn to the Zenith’ is the title of this delightful disc.
The French pianist Claude-Marie Le Guay is a highly
talented musician who here juxtaposes Haydn and Mozart in
an attempt to show their differences as much as to show their
kinship. It makes for fascinating listening; By the way, the
review title does not reflect the playing order
as the Haydn sonatas frame the two Mozarts.
first sonata to be heard is the Haydn B flat. Le Guay is clearly
trying to project a carefree demeanor but what appeals most
is the exploratory feeling. The Largo contains some magical moments. The
right-hand projection of melody is perfectly judged. The recording,
too, helps. It is crystal clear yet there is a warmth there,
too - Producer and Editor is the experienced Nicolas Bartholomée.
Nods in the direction of Domenico Scarlatti in the ornamentation
of the finale are very effective.
Sonata, K282 begins with a slow movement. Le Guay’s playing
reflects the daring desolation of the musical surface. Lili
Kraus, recently reissued on Music & Arts CD1001, finds
even more depth, though. And does Le Guay over-egg her pudding
at around the thirty second mark? I believe she is attempting
a pianistic cri de coeur here. The Menuettos are actually
just as desolate as the first movement here, leaving the finale
to find some semblance of joy in life.
later K570 is a magnificent work. The notes of Le Guay’s opening
octave statement are not quite as connected as I would like,
but there is much to admire in the first movement: accompaniments
are clearly very carefully weighted. Unfortunately Le Guay
pecks at the staccato too much in the finale. Finally, the
second Haydn offering, the famous late E flat, so beloved
of Brendel - whose Philips recording remains an eye-opening
experience, 416 6432. Le Guay can be a trifle clumsy in the
first movement, yet her delicate slow movement almost makes
up for this. Her finale is blessed with an almost organ-like
bass but it is here that more of Brendel’s cheeky humour is
is no doubting Le Guay’s talent. Intriguingly, her discography
includes a disc of the Dutilleux, Bartók and Carter piano
sonatas (see her Universal website).
It will be interesting to track her career trajectory.