The six keyboard sonatas selected for this CD are taken from Haydn’s middle period, all written between 1773-1776 when he was loyally at the service of Prince Nikolaus Esterházy (and to whom three of the sonatas are dedicated). I find it fascinating that even within the context of Haydn’s 60 continuous years of composition, and given the vast development and change in his style – moving from the early Classical period and Style Galant, through the Empfindsamkeit and C.P.E. Bach’s influence, to establishing and refining what is now the essence of “The Classical Style”- Haydn displays in a short period of 3 years an astonishing diversity of compositional techniques, modes of expression, style and characters. The elegant finesse, proportion and (deceiving) symmetry presented in the first movement of the D major Sonata (Hob. XVI:24), is followed with the contrapuntal lines of the first movement of the A major Sonata (Hob. XVI:26), its ingenious Menuet Al Rovescio (Minuet in reverse) and its surprising, playful and brisk third movement. Later on unfolds a serene and beautiful slow movement, reminiscent of a Passacaglia with interwoven long polyphonic lines, in which Haydn overtly leans back to the Baroque era (Hob. XVI:31, 2nd movt.). The set of sonatas chosen here culminates with the B minor sonata (Hob. XVI:32), which foreshadows some Beethovenian elements - in drama, architecture and motivic use.