This edition of Haydn’s complete piano sonatas was published in four volumes last year to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the death of the composer. It is an update of the previous Universal (Vienna Urtext) edition published in 1973 that was also edited by the late Christa Landon and lauded by Maurice Hinson as being based on ‘the most authentic, scholarly sources’.
Haydn’s keyboard works span the length of his considerable lifetime (1732-1809), and his output of sonatas cover a period of 40 years – from the 1750s to the 1790s. Volume 1 contains the first 20 sonatas, from Hob.XVI:1 to Hob.XVI:11, which were composed before 1765, and includes a sonata recently rediscovered in Bolzano, Italy. Volume 2 includes ten further sonatas, Hob.XVI:18 to Hob.XVI:47, which were written predominantly in the period between 1765 and 1774.
Both books contain several pages of notes on interpretation, embellishments and cadenzas, by Robert Levin. Levin is an American pianist/composer noted for his work in the Classical literature, and for his willingness to improvise embellishments and cadenzas on the concert platform. The notes on interpretation explain, for instance, why there are no pedal indications, or why there is a complete absence of dynamic markings in both volumes, while the section on embellishments and cadenzas offer written-out solutions for elaborations of fermatas and cadenzas. As per the previous edition, fingering markings are by Oswald Jonas, and critical notes are provided in both German and English at the end of each volume.
Pianist Magazine, septembre 2011