These particular two concertos share a quality with some of Haydn’s piano sonatas, in being written for his own use. Since he didn’t consider himself a keyboard virtuoso, they are more simple in their expressiveness and designed to appeal to a broad range of listeners. Only in the Rondo finales of both concertos does Haydn cut loose a bit as he frequently does in his later symphonies. Still, these are both most enjoyable works, and with the lovely, well-balanced sound of Demeyere’s harpsichord with the small baroque orchestra of longtime early music specialist Kuijken, the final result is most worthwhile.
The Divertimento in F Major which separates the two concertos is an early work which leaves behind baroque practices and begins to sound like the pre-classical symphony in its instrumentation. Critics point out Haydn’s Divertimenti of this period are experiments for his symphonic style. Five short movements comprise the work, and it has some virtuoso French horn parts that assail the highest registers. this was though to be due to Haydn having two outstanding Bohemian horn players in his orchestra at the time.
This SACD uses a nice simple jewel-box alternative – No plastic ears to break, plenty of room on the spine for large type to identify the disc on the shelf, and a simple insert for the note booklet inside so you don’t have struggle to free it from the jewel-box as usual.
– John Sunier