Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

Gramophone Reviews Leon McCawley’s Haydn Sonatas Volume Three

Gramophone Magazine’s January 2021 issue features a review of Leon McCawley’s Haydn Piano Sonatas Volume III:

“In McCawley’s vivid realisations …Each sonata emerges as a succinct, self-contained drama, with airtight plot and an endless variety of characters. In the exquisite Adagio of the A flat Sonata (HobXVI:46), for instance, McCawley is all artful simplicity, letting Haydn’s eloquent polyphony speak unimpeded. The Presto finale that follows exudes such a sense of sheer fun that you may find yourself laughing out loud. … McCawley never invites complacency. Things are always liable to take unexpected turns, as in the moderate first movement of the D major Sonata (No 42), when a sudden collapse into an extended minor section not only occludes the sunlight but suggests some unanticipated tragedy may be at hand. … McCawley plays a modern Steinway but brings such clarity to Haydn’s textures than one never feels them thickened or heavy. He’s a thoughtful, keenly intelligent artist in peak form, who brings a wealth of pianistic resources to this incomparable music. Haydn was never a virtuoso pianist on a par with Mozart or Beethoven but, as McCawley brilliantly demonstrates, his piano works are an inexhaustible source of artistic riches.”

Patrick Rucker, Gramophone

See the full review on gramophone.co.uk