Magazine article Gramophone

Haydn * Mozart: Haydn Piano Sonatas-HobXVI:21

Magazine article Gramophone

Haydn * Mozart: Haydn Piano Sonatas-HobXVI:21

Article excerpt

Haydn * Mozart (G)

Haydn Piano Sonatas--HobXVI:21; HobXVI:29:

HobXVI:38 Mozart Piano Sonatas--No 4, K282;

No 12, K332

Jerome Hantai fp

Mirare (F) MIR456(73'. DDD)

It may be that Jerome Hantai is better known to the greater musical public as a distinguished viola da gamba player. However, for those familiar with his recordings of Haydn's piano trios (Naive) and sonatas (Ambroisie), both difficult to find these days, this new Mirare release of sonatas by Haydn and Mozart will not be a surprise. In fact, some may wonder why we have had to wait so long for more of Hantai's lucid, imaginative fortepiano-playing. Here he uses an anonymous and undated antique which incorporates many of the emergent south German innovations of Andreas Stein, stunningly restored in the workshop of Christopher Clarke.

From the first bars of Mozart's F major Sonata, K332, it is clear that Hanta'f inhabits every square inch of this musical edifice lovingly and with delight, his expressive gestures informed by the most progressive contemporary thinking about late 18th-century Viennese style. There is no straining after effect, no crawling out on limbs in pursuit of an individual statement; instead we hear solid music-making that sings or dances as the context requires, delivered with unimpeachable technique, all of it deliciously entertaining. The vivid orchestral character of K332 is also sustained in the earlier E flat Sonata, K282, with its soulful opening Adagio. Every detail of articulation and emphasis is scrupulously realised, so that Mozart's rhetoric seems to flow from Hantai's fingers unimpeded. …

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