Late Piano Works (2009)

Haydn

Gary Cooper

The inspiration for this recording was derived from that all-too-rare occurrence: a perfect marriage of instrument and composer's music. The language of Haydn's later keyboard writing, containing such infinitesimal subtlety of expression, inflection, dynamic range, colour, and every mood under the sun, from tempest to sunny wit, seems to me perfectly matched by the gem of a piano used for this recording, dating from Vienna c.1785. In truth, I have never encountered an instrument capable of such breadth of touch and response from this period: to my mind, Haydn's last, and greatest, keyboard works, richly deserve being heard on such a piano, in order that the fullest range of expression and depth of imagination contained in these remarkable pieces may be brought alive. Commissioned by Breitkopf to write a group of piano sonatas in 1789, Haydn ended up composing only two: the Sonatas in C and Eb, Hob. XVI:48/49. Taken together, these new works represent an astounding advance in the composer's language on the keyboard. The opening Andante con espressione from the Sonata in C major is a set of variations, alternating major-minor tonality, and contains a level of mercurial fantasy and full use of all registers of the instrument, hitherto unmatched. The highly detailed dynamic, phrasing, and articulation markings represent Haydn's clearest intentions in performance, punctuated by many periods of silence. Haydn is the first composer to use silence in such a magical way! There are only two movements in this sonata: the ensuing Presto finale is the first keyboard movement of its type to draw inspiration from the sheer ebullience and brilliant scoring of finales from his later symphonies - together with an unmistakable, and increasing indebtedness, to Muzio Clementi, whose playing and piano sonatas were both greatly admired by the composer. The paired Sonata in Eb seems to me to be the most balanced, perfect composition. The outer movements date from 1788/89, but the work was only completed with the composition of the centre-piece: an extended, highly poignant, slow movement, written in 1790 during a period in which the composer felt troubled and lonely. He later admitted this movement was 'full of significance' to his close friend, and dedicatee of this sonata, Marianne von Genziger. Lack of space prevents a fuller discourse on the great merits of this work, but attention should be drawn to the vigour and inspiration of the first movement: that Haydn can sustain our interest with such suspense through the development section, using very little motivic material, and continue to do so in the unexpected final coda, is nothing short of remarkable. There is even a brief suggestion of Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata - as well as his Fifth Symphony! The simple, yet sublime, final Tempo di Minuet balances out the powerful opening movements beautifully, with delicate decoration, intense charm and a central minore section that is highly suggestive of Schubert!...

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Gary Cooper

Gary Cooper is an English conductor and classical keyboardist who specializes in the harpsichord and fortepiano. He is known as an interpreter of the keyboard music of Bach and Mozart, and as a conductor of historically informed performances of music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods.Gary Cooper studied organ and harpsichord at Chetham's School of Music, the John Loosemore Centre, and was an organ scholar at New College, Oxford, where he graduated with First Class Honours. In 1990 while still a student at Oxford, he co-founded the New Chamber Opera, and has conducted many of their performances, including a complete recording of Rameau's cantatas and a new production of Handel's rarely performed opera, Orlando, at Sadler's Wells Theatre in 2006.

Between 1992 and 2000, he was a member of the baroque ensemble, Trio Sonnerie, with whom he performed regularly throughout Europe and the United States. Cooper made his Wigmore Hall solo recital debut on 1 December 2000 with a performance of Bach's complete Well-Tempered Clavier, and has frequently appeared as a recitalist both in the UK and in Europe. Several of his performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, including his 22 November 2004 recital at the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall in Manchester and his 29 January 2006 Wigmore Hall performance of Mozart's sonatas for piano and violin with violinist Rachel Podger, broadcast live as part of the European Broadcasting Union's Mozart Day.Gary Cooper has conducted for many ensembles including, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Hanover Band, and English Touring Opera (Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Handel's Alcina). He also teaches harpsichord and fortepiano at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Birmingham Conservatoire, and is Visiting Professor of fortepiano at the Royal College of Music.

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Late Piano Works (2009)

Haydn

Gary Cooper

    Klassik.com

Gary Cooper imbues the contrast between solemnity and skittering brilliance with all the drama of a Mozart fantazia (...)

    Classique Info

Haydn au pianoforte: le talent de Gary Cooper (...) Un excellent travail artistique, qui bénéficie de l’indéniable apport de l’instrument ancien utilisé par le musicien, et qui intéressera les amateurs de pianoforte préromantique. (...) Le livret du disque offre à Gary Cooper l’occasion de s’expliquer sur le choix de son instrument, un pianoforte d’époque à tempéraments, et sur les couleurs particulières, propres à chaque tonalité, qu’il tâche d’en tirer dans les différentes pièces. (…) Gary Cooper est un pianiste superbe, à la maîtrise technique irréprochable, et surtout à la musicalité sans faille: il use avec subtilité d’un rubato très naturel et se sent apparemment en phase avec les ‘surprises’ et l’humour propres à l’esthétique haydnienne : il introduit ainsi d’intelligents contrastes sans céder à la tentation peut-être facile des explosions de violence. (…) Tous ceux qui aiment le piano de Haydn, ou ceux qui voudraient le découvrir, seront comblés par cette réalisation impeccable, qui combine une documentation historique à un effort musical plus que louable.

    Fanfare

The three sonatas are a total success. (...) His playing suggests deep study of these works and of their era, as well as unlimited manual dexterity (...) On the evidence of the two Cooper cd’s I have heard, he has already become a favourite musician.

    Classics Today

Coopers' instrument does permit a wired dynamic range, which he exploits to the fullest (...)

    Luister

Gary Cooper behoort tot de pianisten die in staat zijn alle vooroordelen over de fortepiano nu eens voorgoed uit te bannen (...) Cooper speelt de muziek met levendigheid, passie en lyriek. Zijn frasering is zorlgvuldig en fantasievol. (...) Bij Cooper zit ik op het puntje van mijn stoel. Een heel plezierige cd onberispelijk opgenomen, met een instrument dat ideaal in de ruimte staat. Luister zelf maar, zou ik zeggen. Hebben!

    Pianowereld

Er ligt een cd in de winkel waar nieuwsgierigen zich aan kunnen vergapen: Haydn's late pianowerken gespeeld op een Weense fortepiano uit de colletie van Edwin Beunk. Dit instrument past uitstekend bij deze pianowerken maar vooral laat het Cooper's kleurrijke spel optimaal uitkomen.

    NDR Kultur

Eine lohnende Anregung (...) Cooper kann durch die originale Stimmung des Instruments viele harmonische Wendungen deutlicher herausstellen. Durch seine farblichen Schattierungen bringt er die Vielschichtigkeit und den Einfallsreichtum in Haydn Werken noch klarer zum Ausdruck. Allerdings neigt Cooper dazu, durch Detailfreude und die damit verbunden schleppenden Tempi die Kleinteiligkeit mancher Stze zu betonen. (...)

    Musicweb International

great flair and richly dramatic energy ... charming and sensitive ... one senses that the soloist is reaching deep inside the music. () () The recorded sound from Doopsgezinde Kerk, Deventer is outstanding and the booklet contains a splendid essay written by the pianist. (...) These performances are imperious. Excellent accounts from Gary Cooper performed on the fortepiano.

    Early Music Today

The sound is fabulous, though I suspect it is the passionate conviction of Cooper's playing that really invigorates the music, helped by his fleet-fingered virtuosity. () () Haydn's late pianoworks may have found the ideal instrument and the ideal instrumentalist

    Volkskrant

opgenomen op een instrument dat volmaakt past bij de muziek en buitengewoon fraai klinkt. Haydn wordt er zonder meer transparant en kleurrijker van dan op een Steinway en Cooper zorgt voor de andere verrassingen door zijn voordracht.

    International Piano

Cooper's playing here is absolutely scintillating. He energises as much as he interprets, bringing to the fore all the colour, vigour and rich variety of Haydn's sound world. () () This is bold, expressive playing of the highest order.

    Www.opusklassiek.nl

volgens Cooper heeft deze fortepiano de klank die Haydn voor de geest zweefde toen hij deze werken componeerde. Het instrument is gestemd zoals dat aan het einde van de 18e eeuw gangbaar was, hetgeen andere effecten sorteert dan de moderne gelijkzwevende stemming. Cooper is een fantastische pianist die zich geeft ingeleefd in de wereld van Haydn en zijn betrokkenheid blijkt uit de zeer informatieve toelichting die hij in het boekje heeft geschreven.

    Rondo

eine Überraschung, dass es dem Briten Gary Cooper tatsächlich gelingt, zu viel gespielten Stücken etwas ganz Eigenes zu sagen. (...) Für seine Interpretation hat Cooper das vermutlich bestmögliche Instrument zur Verfügung: das Fortepiano aus der Sammlung von Edwin Beunk verkörpert die Eigenschaften der Wiener Hammerflügel im Extrem (...) die Coda der f-Moll0Variationene hat wohl noch nie derart erschütternd geklungen.

    HVT

“Eh, da’s even wennen”. En ik moet eerlijk toegeven, na een paar minuten je aan het klankbeeld te hebben gelaafd, ga je het waarderen. De dynamiek en de frasering wordt op een historisch instrument zoveel anders. In vergelijking met een ‘gewone’ vleugel – die overigens door de meeste pianisten worden gebruikt omdat de concertzalen nu eenmaal veel groter zijn geworden in de loop van de tijd èn omdat ze veel langer op toon blijven – neigt de klank van deze fortepiano (Anon. ca. 1785), wat overigens hetzelfde is als een pianoforte, het midden tussen een tokkel- en snaarinstrument. Ik vrees dat ik deze SACD in mijn koffertje stop met voorbeelden van hoogstaande opnametechniek. Die ‘Anon.’ uit ca. 1785 heeft een naam gekregen…

    Gramophone

Gary Cooper imbues the contrast between solemnity and skittering brilliance with all the drama of a Mozart fantazia (...)

Late Piano Works (2009)

Haydn

Gary Cooper

Cables:Van den Hul
Digital Converters:Meitner A/D DSD / Meitner DA
Mastering Engineer:Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment:B&W 803 diamond series
Microphones:Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board:Rens Heijnis custom design
Producer:Daniel Grimwood
Recording Engineer:Jared Sacks
Recording location:Deventer Holland, 2009
Recording Software:Pyramix bij Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate:DSD64
Speakers:Audiolab, Holland

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26509: Late Piano Works
01:15:59   Select quality & channels above
Tracks
1.
Sonata in C Major, Hob.xvi_48 - Andante Con Espressione
Haydn
00:09:29   Select quality & channels above
2.
Sonata in C Major, Hob.xvi_48 - Rondo. Presto
Haydn
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3.
Variations in G Major on ?Gott erhalte? - Haydn?s Own Arrangement Of The Slow Movement From His ?Emp
Haydn
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4.
Sonata in Eb Major, Hob.xvi_49 - Allegro
Haydn
00:07:33   Select quality & channels above
5.
Sonata in Eb Major, Hob.xvi_49 - Adagio E Cantabile
Haydn
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6.
Sonata in Eb Major, Hob.xvi_49 - Finale. Tempo Di Minuet
Haydn
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7.
Variations in F Minor, Hob.xvii_6
Haydn
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8.
Sonata in Eb Major, Hob.xvi_52 - Allegro
Haydn
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9.
Sonata in Eb Major, Hob.xvi_52 - Adagio
Haydn
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10.
Sonata in Eb Major, Hob.xvi_52 - Finale. Presto
Haydn
00:05:27   Select quality & channels above

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