This week we attended a short recital of keyboard music by Joseph Haydn at the Austrian Cultural Forum near Knightsbridge. The event had been convened by the pianist Alisdair Kitchen in order to launch a unique project, in which he intends to record a selection of the Haydn Piano Sonatas and release them online via the social media-curating platform Flipboard. Placing the recordings of the sonatas on either Soundcloud or YouTube (for desktop use, Flipboard being a mobile application) Alisdair proposes to collect other pertinent articles hosted on various platforms online into the Flipboard, to create an interactive booklet of information, images and writing to complement his recordings. The first Flipboard has already been published here.
To accompany the launch, Alisdair played the Andante with variations in F Minor, Hob. XVII/6 (1793) and the Sonata in E flat No. 62, Hob. XVI/52 (1794), with the central movement of the Sonata in E flat No. 59, Hob. XVI/49 as an encore (a more detailed review of the performance may be read here). We were very interested not only to hear his performance but also to hear of his plans for harnessing the free platforms available online for disseminating and promoting Haydn’s music and other disparate media associated with it. We were also indebted to the Austrian Cultural Foundation for their hosting of the evening’s event, both their warm welcome and reception that followed.