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Angel Records Cover Art

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Harmonie Magazine Review
February 1967
Click Here - in French
Click Here - in English

Click Here - BnF Reference

Columbia Records (EMI Pathé Marconi) CCA-1097
Angel (Toshiba/EMI) AA-8176 (Stereo)
Reissue - Danté Records, HPC029 - Vol. 2
Haydn Recital

Haydn - Sonata No. 49 in mib majeur, Opus 66

1. Allegro / 01_haydn_opus_66_sonata_49_1st.mp3
2. Adagio e cantabile / 02_haydn_opus_66_sonata_49_2nd.mp3
3. Finale: Tempo di Minuet / 03_haydn_opus_66_sonata_49_3rd.mp3

Haydn - Andante et variations en fa mineur, Opus 83

Andante et variations / 04_haydn_opus_83_variations.mp3

Haydn - Sonata No. 23 in fa majeur, Opus 13, No. 3

1. Allegro moderato / 05_haydn_opus_13_no_3_sonata_23_1st.mp3
2. Adagio / 06_haydn_opus_13_no_3_sonata_23_2nd.mp3
3. Finale - Presto / 07_haydn_opus_13_no_3_sonata_23_3rd.mp3

Click Here for some portions on YouTube

Recording Date(s):
January 4 to 7, 1966

Recording Location:
Salle Wagram, Paris, France

Release Date:

Harmonie Magazine Review (February 1967):
Three Haydn scores are among the most frequently recorded. The 23rd Sonata (1773) is a perfect example of the stylistic diversity of the times, at the beginning of the Classical era: already written in gallant style, but also with broken and jerky lines in the manner of Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach and of the Sturm und Drang movement, arpeggiated chords and long passages in minor in an overall context of major. On the other hand, the 49th Sonata (1790) and the F minor Variations (1793), two of the masterpieces for piano of their days, are representative of the composer's highest maturity. The 49th Sonata, lighter, more Mozartean in style than the three last ones, culminates in its magnificent Adagio cantabile; as for the F minor Variations, they are in fact a double series of variations, alternately in minor and major - an typical formula of Haydn.

In the 49th Sonata, among André Tchaikowsky's most notable predecessors were Richter (Chant du Monde), Riefling (Valois) and - for me unforgettable but unfortunately now almost impossible to find - Lili Kraus (Ducretet). I think he takes the upper hand - at least on the two first-mentioned: a commendable result given their merits. But Richter made one repeat too much in the opening Allegro; and Riefling shows less depth, less poetry than André Tchaikowsky today. Not that the qualities of the Polish pianist are limited to that: at his hands the 49th Sonata sounds spacious, grand, contrasted; the middle, minor episode in the Adagio cantabile, with its opposing registers, is one evidence among others. Worthy of note is also, in the F minor Variations, the choice of a right tempo : not too flowing, which remains the only way to do justice to the numerous 64th notes in some of the variations.

Highly recommended then, especially to those who do not yet have, in their music library, any music for solo piano by Esterhazy's Kapellmeister.

Marc Vignal (Trans. Edouard Reichenbach)

Known Details
Just about the time this recording was made, André was moving into his own home at 29 Waterlow Court, Hampstead, London. From the book, The Other Tchaikowsky.

One of André's first possessions for his new home at 29 Waterlow Court, Hampstead, was a 6-foot Steinway grand piano, purchased on an extended time-payment plan. With his home thus established, André started to practice, and the complaints began. His neighbor next door worked nights and wanted quiet during the day. His neighbor upstairs went to bed early and was a light sleeper; she wanted quiet during the evening. Nobody wanted to hear piano playing into the early hours. There was talk of a petition to have André evicted. John M. Thomson, a New Zealander who was then Music Books editor for Faber & Faber, was André's neighbor. John remembers André and the Waterlow Court scene:

"I first met André Tchaikowsky when I moved into a small flat on the upper floor of Waterlow Court in Hampstead in the 1960s. André lived in a ground-floor flat, very small indeed for his requirements, for it housed his grand piano, books and scores. It consisted of one main room looking out onto the courtyard and gardens at the side, a separate small bedroom, and a bathroom. This was the basic pattern of all the flats in the Court.

"The Court itself was a distinguished piece of Edwardian architecture, designed by the eminent architect Baillie Scott. It was modeled on a north Italian monastery, with its cloisters running around three sides, its bell tower and its overall atmosphere. This was the only example of Baillie Scott's work in the Hampstead Garden Suburb, which had been founded by Dame Henrietta Barnett around 1906. Her vision was to provide a wide variety of types of housing in a superb setting abutting the Hampstead Heath Extension, only a minute or two away from the Court and connecting into the Heath proper.

"I suspect that one reason André decided to live there was its proximity to the Heath, with refreshing walks at a moment's notice. He loved the Heath and I often walked with him while he commented on its beauties.

"The Residents' Association was very powerful, especially one of the members, a Miss Cubison, who lived two floors above André and therefore tended to hear him practicing. She was a formidable lady and bowled over almost everybody, including myself. André told me how she appeared at his door one day, after he had practiced far into the night, and almost roared at him, 'Have you no human feelings, Mr. Tchaikowsky?' André invited her in and so charmed her that she set aside the petition she was circulating to have André evicted. It was an insuperable problem, for André practiced regularly and when he was working on big works such as the Hammerclavier Sonata by Beethoven, he would toil away almost as if he were about to ascend Everest. He also worked very late when he was composing.

"We would walk outside the Court into Hampstead Village on innumerable occasions. An instance of his spontaneous generosity was once when he went into a record shop in Hampstead, and knowing my love of Haydn, bought me the set of 'London' symphonies conducted by Eugene Jochum, which I still have and treasure.

"I knew of his love affairs, exclusively male, their dramas and occasional successes.

"He once asked me what the 'M' in my name stood for. 'Marmaduke' I replied. He often called me by this name. When I visited him backstage unexpectedly after a recital in 1980 in the old Town Hall in Wellington, New Zealand, he shouted it out 'Marmaduke!' to the astonishment of my friends!

"André used to bring his autobiography and read it to me. He had such a tragic past that anything therapeutic, like writing the autobiography, one simply had to seize on. I once went to a concert he gave at one of the London satellite towns and met his mentor, the famous psychologist George Lyward, who ran a school. André always considered Lyward to have saved his life and restored his perspective and sanity.

"There was a tremendous fund of stories about artists and conductors. He once had to play a piano concerto with Karl Böhm conducting and there was a contretemps. André stuck to his guns until Böhm said, 'I have conducted this concerto 154 times.' André replied, 'That's 153 times too many,' whereupon Böhm strode angrily offstage and André didn't know whether or not he would appear for the performance. [He did.]"

The uneasy alliance between André and his neighbors at Waterlow Court continued for the entire ten years he lived in Hampstead.