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One of today’s most impeccably musical pianists, Leon McCawley’s playing is characterised by clean textures and an innate grasp of his chosen repertoire.

These five sonatas make an exquisite set. The charming D major (No 34) contains a jewel of profundity in its Adagio. McCawley’s G minor, No 32, is exceptional, his measured reading proving that less is more. He has the rare ability to make Haydn’s sparse textures speak fully.

One of the longest sonatas, the A-flat (No 31) holds a tender, expansive Adagio that simply shines, allowing us to hear its forward- thinking majesty before Haydn grounds us with a brief, sparkling finale. McCawley finds profundity in the F major Sonata, too, its lilting Adagio contrasting nicely with the sprightly finale. The remaining two sonatas are each cast in two movements, a joyful No 55 and more thoughtful No 56. Informed booklet notes by Matthew-Walker complete the deal.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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