This is Volume 4 in Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s project to record the complete piano sonatas of Haydn. The last volume in the series (CHAN 10689) was a Critic’s Choice in Gramophone, an Instrumental Choice in the magazine BBC Music, Editor’s Choice in the magazine Classic FM, and Recording of the Month in MusicWeb International.
In the words of Bavouzet himself: ‘Each volume of this ambitious, extended project will arrive over the years like a postcard, dispatched during my travels with scant respect for chronological considerations, but undertaken with the greatest passion for trying to convey as vividly as possible to twenty-first-century ears the boundless treasures of this sublime music.’
He also notes: ‘We often forget how little information Haydn left us in the scores of his keyboard works: few indications of dynamics or of phrasing, and the briefest guides to tempo. This task is never anything other than absolutely fascinating, but for the performer it is also testing, and even risky. He must, even more than usual, create his own world, his own logic, left only to hope that, in the absence of tangible evidence, he will not distance himself too far from the composer’s intentions, which remain forever unknowable.’
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet received a BBC Music Award in 2012 and a Gramophone Award in 2011 for his recording of works by Debussy and Ravel (with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Yan Pascal Tortelier). His recording of Bartók’s Concertos (with Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic) was short-listed for a Gramophone Award, and he has won multiple awards for his recording of the complete works for solo piano by Debussy, including a BBC Music Magazine Award for Volume 3 and a Gramophone Award for Volume 4.