It's not as if recordings of the 62 Piano Sonatas of Franz Josef Haydn are thick on the ground. Among the relative big names, there's Jeno Jando on Naxos and John McCabe on Decca. Among the less well-known names, there's Walid Akl on Koch Discover, Roland Batik on Camerata, Ronald Brautigam on BIS, Walter Olbertz on Berlin Classics, and Christine Schornsheim on Capriccio. And for those listeners with record players and aging memories, there's also the venerable Hungaroton cycle, the first complete recorded cycle, that coupled relatively well-known Hungarians like Zoltán Kocsis and Dezsö Ránki with nearly unknown Hungarians like János Sebestyén and the inimitable Zsuzsa Pertis.
Among that less-than-entirely illustrious company, these early-'70s recordings by Rudolf Buchbinder for Telefunken reissued here by Warner Classics are quite distinguished. They are distinguished by Buchbinder's agile finger work and minimal pedal work and by his quite cool interpretations that catch the spirit of Haydn's fast movements but miss the charm of his Menuettos and the depths of his slow movements. Telefunken's stereo recordings were clear and close, but not particularly atmospheric, and although Buchbinder's choice of the Weiner-Urtext Edition is to be commended, his set of the sonatas cannot be recommended above Jando's or McCabe's.