Haydn’s compositions for piano trio and his pioneering work in the genre of the string quartet are well known. However, he also left a considerable body of work for chamber ensembles that do not fit comfortably within the sonata, trio or quartet category. This release explores some of these early and fascinating hybrids.
One thing all the works have in common is that the piano is the centre of attention. Written for Count Morzin the Divertimento Hob.XIV:1 adds two horns to the traditional piano trio. They have some virtuosic passages, similar in fact to the contemporaneous Symphonies Nos. 31 and 72. Presumably these parts were written with particular horn players in mind. and Count Morzin’s orchestra possessed some of the greatest horn virtuosi of the time.
Is the Sonata in G Hob.XV:2 really a sonata or a piano trio? It was known for some time as the Trio No.31.The cello part is dubious, and may well have been added by the publisher J. Bland, whom Haydn was friendly with to make it more saleable. However there is considerable evidence that it was conceived as a Trio and dates from Haydn’s first London visit in 1791. It was published in 1794 and is therefore some 30 years older than the rest of the works on this collection.
The Concertini, although laid out in the same form as a concerto, relegate the strings to providing the lightest of accompaniments, and they seldom if ever are given much to do, except to sometimes provide an echo to the piano. They are delightful accompanied piano sonatas. Written in the 1760s when Haydn was in the service of Count Morzin, these were probably meant for the Countess, and H.C. Robbins Landon suggests that Haydn probably composed these in the morning, sent them to the copyist in the afternoon, and presented them to the Countess that evening. He knew which players would be on duty at the castle, and who would be ‘free’ to spend their evening off accompanying the Countess!
- The Haydn Trio Eisenstadt has received praise for its recordings of Haydn on Brilliant. The Gramophone commented that they were "unfailingly lively and stylish in their playing" when reviewing the Haydn Scottish Songs releases on Brilliant Classics.