Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732 - 1809)
Dans la bibliothèque des Esterházy
Sonata in E flat (H XVI,49) [19:24]
Pieces for a musical clock (H XIX)*:
Allegretto in C (H XIX,11) [1:15]
Menuet in C (H XIX,14) [1:27]
Andante in C (H XIX,12) [1:13]
Vivace in C (H XIX,13) [1:24]
Sonata in C (H XVI,48) [12:56]
Pieces for a musical clock (H XIX)*:
Andante in C (H XIX,10) [0:51]
Presto in C (H XIX,24) [1:02]
Allegro ma non troppo in C (H XIX,15) [1:17]
Menuet allegretto in C (H XIX,9) [1:02]
Andante con variazioni in f minor (H XVII,6) [15:06]
Yasuko Uyama Bouvard (fortepiano, organ*)
Date and place of recording not given. DDD
HORTUS 098 [57:04]
The title of this disc, "In the library of the Esterházys",
especially refers to pieces for a musical clock which Yasuko Uyama Bouvard
has included in her programme. Haydn composed 18 such pieces for Primitivus
Niemecz, one of his pupils, who was at the service of Prince Esterházy.
They date from the 1790s when Haydn himself had already left his employer.
A musical clock is a mechanical instrument which plays music at regular
time-intervals. Its musical performance is usually separate from the
hourly chiming sequence. Some musical clocks, which in Haydn's time
were called Flötenuhren, didn't even have a clockwork, but
were independent musical instruments. Many composers of the time composed
pieces for musical clocks. Today one doesn't hear them often from the
musical clocks for which they were written, probably because these have
not been preserved or are not in good shape. A performance at the organ
is the most common performance habit. Some performers choose a very
moderate registration, in order to suggest the sound of a musical clock.
Ms Bouvard treats them as organ pieces, and plays them in various registrations,
some quite powerful. They work rather well that way, and show that even
in relatively simple pieces Haydn is still a master.
The other three pieces were written for the conventional keyboard. The
Sonata in C (H XVI,48) dates from 1789 and was commissioned by
the Leipzig publisher Breitkopf. It comprises only two movements. The
first is an andante con espressione in five sections, three (A)
in major, two (B) in minor. It has a strong improvisatory character,
and despite the structure of ABABA there is no strict repetition. This
improvisatory aspect comes well off in Ms Bouvard's performance. The
second movement is a rondo for which Haydn made use of the sonata form.
In 1789/90 Haydn composed the Sonata in E flat (H XVI,49) for
Marianne von Genzinger who was a gifted amateur keyboard player. Haydn
frequently attended the concerts she and her husband organised in Vienna.
It is interesting to note that she was still playing the harpsichord
when Haydn composed this sonata for her. It just shows that the fortepiano
had still not overshadowed the harpsichord. In a letter Haydn expressed
his view that with a fortepiano by Schanz "Your Grace would get twice
the effect out of it". This may be an indication that Haydn had written
this sonata with the fortepiano in mind. The first movement is dominated
by a figure of four repeated notes which is consistently played at various
pitches, separated by general pauses. This creates a kind of tension
which is well realised here. It certainly has some humorous traits as
well. The adagio e cantabile includes various passages which
require crossings of the hands. Ms Von Genzinger found that quite problematic.
It is played with grace here, with subtle and effective dynamic shading.
In the B part Ms Bouvard effectively uses the moderator, creating a
The disc ends with one of Haydn's most popular pieces, the Andante
con variazioni in f minor. It is considered one of his most dramatic
works, and is based on two contrasting themes. The dramatic character
is expressed well, but sometimes I found the playing a bit awkward.
The tempi are well chosen, though.
Ms Bouvard plays a copy of a fortepiano by Walter; the exact year of
the original is not mentioned. The organ dates from the late 17th century
and was reshaped one century later; the booklet gives no further details.
The pieces for a musical clock sound well on it, and the piano also
seems appropriate for the two sonatas and the andante.
In general I have enjoyed these performances, without having heard anything
remarkable. The later keyboard works by Haydn are well represented on
disc. That is not the case with the pieces for a musical clock, and
that part of this disc seems the most interesting, although they take
relatively little time. Maybe these pieces should have been given more
Johan van Veen