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JOSEPH HAYDN - PIANO SONATAS - MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN (Piano) - 034571175546 - Hyperion CDA67554

This is one of the best piano recordings of 2007, and surely has to be one of the best interpretations of Haydn Piano Sonatas available. The sonatas in question on this CD pretty well cover Haydn's composing career over a span of many years.

Personally, I've always been one to think that if you've heard one Haydn sonata you've heard them all, because they all seem to follow the same exacting rules of form and structure. Well, Hamelin has proven me wrong. On this recording, his technique is so good that it simply disappears and is replaced by his magical imagination and sense of fun, with which he shines a bright light on the obvious differences from one moment to the next.

A tour de force in linear structure and phrase shaping. There is no end in sight to what Hamelin can do, with whatever material. I know Hyperion have started a Beethoven sonata cycle with Angela Hewitt, but I hope they let Hamelin record a handful if not more, because I would give an arm and a leg to see what he can do with Beethoven's genius.

Jean-Yves Duperron