Haydn, Keyboard Concertos 3/4/11, M.-A. Hamelin, Les Violons du Roy, B. Labadie
(released on April 9, 2013)
Hyperion CDA67925 | 61'44"
Haydn, Keyboard Sonatas, Vol. 3, M.-A. Hamelin (2012)
The three concertos combined here, each lasting around twenty minutes, are the only ones that can actually be attributed to Haydn with any certainty. The history of problems authenticating the many such pieces supposedly by Haydn is laid out in an informative booklet essay by scholar Richard Wigmore, the author of The Faber Pocket Guide to Haydn, published during the Haydn anniversary year in 2009. Publishers in the 18th and 19th century often took advantage of the fame of Haydn's name to give music a better chance at popularity, so often in fact that even contemporaries doubted the provenance of new Haydn pieces. The D major concerto (Hob. XVIII:11), destined for either harpsichord or fortepiano, is certainly the best known of the three, which Hamelin performs with the somewhat fancifully Romantic cadenzas of Wanda Landowska (some of the harmonies, especially in the one for the slow movement, sound like Poulenc at times). In the best virtuoso tradition, Hamelin plays his own cadenzas for the two earlier concertos, in F major (Hob. XVIII:3) and G major (Hob. XVIII:4), and given the scope of his own compositions, they are (not surprisingly) flashy, witty, and overall delightful. Labadie and his ensemble, just strings in the earlier concertos and with fine oboes and horns in the D major, provide an agile and sensitive backdrop.