Joseph Haydn
Release Date

Ragna Schirmer again presents works of varied kinds in this second Haydn album. It includes simple works in variation form like the VI Variations faciles et agréables Hob. XVII:5 in a modest C major and the collections of minuets and trios that were so popular in the eighteenth century, as well as great moments of piano music like the E flat major Sonata Hob. XVI:49, which Haydn composed for his friend Marianne von Genzinger with the dedication "for Your Grace for ever".

Such a varied selection demonstrates how diverse were the demands of the people for whom Haydn wrote the works. They comprised his superiors at the Eszterházy court, his own friends and fellow musicians and enterprising publishers, for whom clavier music made up the lion's share of sales in the late eighteenth century. Prowess at the keyboard played a central role at home and in public life. Remarkably, that artistic and amusing form of social interaction was also open to women. While it was deemed indecorous for a young lady to put herself on show with a cello between her legs or a flute pressed to her mouth, sitting demurely at the harpsichord or fortepiano was socially acceptable, so that the instruments became established favourites with women.

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