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Gottlieb Wallisch - Haydn: The London Sonatas - Gramophone

26 August 2014
Jed Distler

There's something about Gottlieb Wallisch's stern and spiky reading of the Haydn E flat Sonata, No 59 (old No 49), that evokes Rudolf Serkin's live Carnegie Hall recording...The D major (No 61) fares better via Wallisch's excellent projection of the Andante's woodwind-like bass-lines and his incisive delineation of the Presto's cross-rhythmic phrases that other pianists flatten out.

In the F minor Variations, Wallisch's poised pianism, suave tempo relationships and keen attention to the music's bountiful harmonic inventiveness offer much to savour...If the outer movements of the great E flat Sonata (No 62) ultimately lack Hamelin's transparency and buoyant momentum, one must credit Wallisch's power and propulsion in the Allegro's development section and canny timing of the Presto's surprising silences. Better still is Wallisch's fluent, rhythmically pointed and heartfelt rendition of the Andante in the remote key of E major. Linn's surround-sound production gives a realistic and close-up sense of both instrument and venue.

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