Anton Kuerti

Haydn: Six Piano Sonatas

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Born in Austria, raised in the United States, and a long-term resident of Canada, pianist Anton Kuerti is well known north of the 49th parallel but less well known south of it. As this 2007 Analekta disc of six sonatas by Haydn shows, Kuerti is a highly skilled and deeply dedicated pianist who unerringly finds the right equilibrium in Haydn between entertainment and profundity. He's breezy in the opening Allegros of the Sonata No. 13 in G major, probing in the opening Moderato of the Sonata No. 32 in D minor, and imposing in the opening Allegro of the Sonata No. 62 in E flat. Kuerti also clearly grasps and articulates the correct degree of emotional involvement in each work. The Andante con espressione opening the Sonata No. 56 in D major is tenderly lyrical, while the Andante con espressione opening the Sonata No. 58 in C major is as lyrical but slightly more reserved. Naturally, Kuerti can balance the horizontal and vertical in Haydn's central Adagios and fly through Haydn's closing Allegro moltos and Prestos. For a taste of the pianist at his best, try the beguiling two-movement Sonata No. 58, and if it pleases, try the whole disc. Though Analekta's sound is a tad too distant, Kuerti's performances come through loud and clear.

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