There are no autograph manuscripts of Haydn’s earliest sonatas, which were all written before 1766. The authenticity of No. 1 (Hob. XVI/8) is certain, and many of the others of these three-movement works bear the same musical finger-print and a characteristic simplicity of style. Doubts have been expressed about No. 8 (Hob XVI/5), but it is presented attractively enough here. Indeed Jenő Jandó seems in his element throughout: his freshness of approach and stylistic confidence are consistently striking. The recording too is excellent, and overall this Naxos series can be recommended with confidence.
"Haydn's first 10 keyboard sonatas are unpretentious, inventive little gems. While they were written with the harpsichord in mind, Jeno Jando makes them sound perfectly pianistic without touching up the scores. On paper the left-hand parts don't look terribly stimulating or special. Jando, however, shapes them in a way that articulates harmonic motion so that the steady rhythm never feels square. Fast movements are taken at dangerous clips, yet the scales and runs don't smudge or misalign one iota. Add Naxos' superlative engineering and you've got the finest volume so far in Jando's Haydn cycle. Highly recommended."
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