Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754-1812): Sonatas for piano, Vol. 1 / Biliana Tzinlikova, piano


This beautifully recorded Grand Piano disc is the first of a planned series of the complete keyboard music of Franz Hoffmeister. All world premiere recordings, the program is played with sensitivity, spirit and sparkle on a modern grand piano by Bulgarian pianist Biliana Tzinlikova.

Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754-1812) was born in Rothenburg am Neckar, a medium-sized town lying about 30 miles southwest of Stuttgart. At the age of fourteen, he moved to Vienna to study law, where he simultaneously perused his interests in music. He completed his studies, passed the bar exams and was qualified to practice law, but very shortly afterward chose a career in music. He also began a music publishing business, initially for the distribution of his own work, but was soon printing scores for many of the leading composers of his time, including Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Pleyel and Clementi.

Working in many genres, Hoffmeister produced a large body of work, including sacred and secular vocal music, symphonies, concertos, chamber music, stage works and some twenty or so sonatas and sonatinas for solo keyboard. This generously-filled disc offers three sonatas and the Variations for Piano in C Major. The style of Hoffmeister's writing is representative of his time, when Mozart, Haydn, Clementi and Beethoven were active. Generally, his keyboard oeuvre as it is heard here is probably most suggestive of Haydn and early Beethoven. The audio sample I've provided for the recording, with the kind permission of the Grand Piano label, is the final Presto movement of the Piano Sonata in A Major of 1790. His pleasant, melodic music has, in the late 20th century, enjoyed a resurgence of interest, kindled particularly by flautists who have discovered his charming twelve flute quintets.

Pianist Biliana Tzinlikova has a background steeped in this repertoire, having studied at the Salzburg Mozarteum with Andor Losonczy, Christoph Lieske and Menahem Pressler among others following her undergraduate studies at the Sofia State Music Academy. If you enjoy well-crafted keyboard music of the classical era played on a modern instrument, you can't go wrong acquiring this.

F.A. Hoffmeister - Viola Concerto in D-Major