"Sauer's technique is impeccable but never in evidence for its own sake. From the opening phrases, one feels a friendly warmth and welcoming lightness of spirit, punctuated by gruff cadences; all of this seems true to the composer and to the music...Sauer has a keen sense for balance, at the keyboard as well as interpretively...[he] would send each member of [an] audience home smiling".
FANFARE - March/April 2004
PROGRAM NOTESThe five sonatas on this disc were composed by Haydn in the years 1784-1790, a period in which he turned to the piano as his keyboard instrument of choice. They are an early reflection of the distinct keyboard style associated with his late piano sonatas and trios.
American pianist Thomas Sauer is highly sought after as soloist, chamber musician and teacher. Sauer’s recent appearances include concerto performances with the Quad-City Symphony and Greenwich Village Orchestra; solo-recital performances at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium), Merkin Concert Hall, Rockefeller University, and St. John’s College, Oxford; appearances on Broadway as the pianist in 33 Variations, a play about Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations; and performances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. With his long-time duo partner Colin Carr, Sauer has performed at the Wigmore Hall, Holywell Music Room in Oxford, the Musikgebouw in Amsterdam, Bargemusic in New York and at Princeton University, among others. He has also given duo recitals with Midori at the Philharmonie in Berlin and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, performed with members of the Juilliard String Quartet at the Library of Congress and given numerous concerts with the Brentano String Quartet. Sauer has performed at many of the leading festivals in the United States and abroad, including Marlboro, Caramoor, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Northwest, El Paso Pro Musica, and the Chamber Music Festivals of Seattle, Taos, Four Seasons in North Carolina, Portland and Salt Bay in Maine, as well as Lake District Summer Music in the UK and Festival des Consonances in France. In recent seasons, Sauer has premiered works by Philippe Bodin, Robert Cuckson, Sebastian Currier, Keith Fitch, David Loeb, Donald Martino and David Tcimpidis. His varied discography includes Haydn piano sonatas (MSR), Hindemith sonatas with violist Misha Amory (MHS), Britten and Schnittke with cellist Wilhelmina Smith (Arabesque), music of Ross Lee Finney with violinist Miranda Cuckson (Centaur) and Mozart violin sonatas with Aaron Berofsky (Blue Griffin). Currently a member of Vassar College’s music faculty and Mannes College’s piano faculty, Sauer is the founder and director of the Mannes Beethoven Institute. His major teachers included Jorge Bolet, Edward Aldwell and Carl Schachter.
FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN