Hyacinthe Jadin Piano Sonatas Build on Haydn

Hyacinthe Jadin certainly packed a lot of living into his 24 short years. This French composer and pianist published his first work at age nine. At sixteen he was assistant rehearsal pianist at the Theatre Feydeau. By nineteen he was on the faculty of the Paris Conservatoire, teaching piano. 

The bulk of Jadin’s compositions centered around the piano. Among them were six collections of piano sonatas. This release features the last three of the series. They were published between 1795 and 1800 (the year of Jadin’s death). 

These works have the balance and elegance of Classical Era works. In a sense, they emulate Haydn and early Mozart. But they’re also more developed than those models. 

Jadin was a virtuoso performer. These works place a lot of demands on the player. His use of the sonata form is effective and organic. That is, he doesn’t treat it as a framework to fill in. Rather, he gives each part its own dramatic weight. This leads the music from one part to the next, in a logical and seamless flow of ideas. 

Marek Toporowski performs on a modern reproduction of an Anton Walter pianoforte. This was Mozart’s preferred instrument. I normally don’t like recorded pianofortes. The action can be quite noisy. Some have a tinny, slightly out-of-tune sound as well. 

Not so here. You won’t mistake the sound for that of a grand piano — or even a baby grand. But the hammers strike the strings cleanly and silently. There’s nothing to detract from the sound of the music. 

Toporowski plays these works with great refinement. He shapes the phrases with subtilty. And his technical skills make even the most complex runs sound simple and elegant. 

A fascinating and enjoyable recording. 

Hyacinthe Jadin: Piano Sonatas, Op. 4-6
Marek Toporowski, fortepiano
Brilliant Classics 96958
2 CD Set

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