Franz Joseph Haydn is easily most famous for his symphonies. And so he should be. Yet as an inveterate contrarian, I’ve long had a soft spot for his lesser known chamber music and concerti. (And yes, I realize that saying something is lesser known than Haydn’s symphonies is a far, far cry from saying it’s obscure. But comparatively…)
His baryton trios, for example — composed during his employment by “renowned” barytonist Prince Nikolaus Esterházy — are wonderful. So are his horn works. But for the last little while, I’ve been absorbing his keyboard concerti with relish – mostly recordings featuring the harpsichord, but dipping into piano and organ performances from time to time, as well.
Here’s a particularly fun clip featuring Paul Badura-Skoda. (For those who find Herr Badura-Skud’s appearance a bizarre amalgamation of Krusty the Clown and Roberto Benigni, I suggest playing this video in a separate tab. But if that’s not who you see when watching, enjoy!)