HAYDN Joseph, Piano Trio in B flat Hob. XV:20

Andante cantabile 
Finale. Allegro 

Haydn wrote piano trios throughout his career, but many of them dated from later in his life. The B flat Piano Trio was completed in 1794 during Haydn’s second stay in London, one of a set of three first published in the same year by the London firm of Longman and Broderip with a dedication to Princess Maria Therese of Esterhazy. The first movement (Allegro) is full of typically Haydnesque verve, some unusual sonorities and numerous delightful touches. In the slow movement (Andante cantabile), the theme is presented in the piano left hand before Haydn embarks on a series of delicate and subtle variations, each instrument contributing the colours and contrasts of each iteration of the theme before coming to rather an abrupt end. The finale (Allegro) is an amiable delight, recalling the style and the expressive range of the finales of Haydn’s mature string quartets, moving from quiet charm to moments of pathos and back again, to bring the work to an affirmative close.  


© Nigel Simeone 


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