This, the eighth volume of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's projected complete cycle, is an excellent disc of three of Haydn's early piano sonatas, two much more substantial late sonatas and two excellent free-standing single-movement pieces. I love Haydn's piano music; in my view it is the equal of Mozart's and deserves to be much better known. It has all of Haydn's trademark wit and joy, but also real tenderness and beauty and a depth that marks it out as genuinely great piano music. Bavouzet does it proud.
Bavouzet's admirable technique allows him to get right into the heart of the music. He articulates it very crisply and preserves the structures so essential to Haydn but uses just the right amount of rubato and subtle phrasing to convey the music's meaning and give it real character. He understands, crucially, that Haydn often said serious things in a witty way so that the depth comes through the often melodious and genial air.
With excellent recorded sound and very full notes this is a very good disc all round. This series now stands with my much-loved Brendel and Schornsheim recordings in my affections, which is high praise indeed. Very warmly recommended.