Can these recordings really be 50 years old? They hardly sound their age. Even card-carrying audiophiles will be impressed with the Mozart Concerto's ideal orchestra/piano balances and sonic warmth. Granted, the Winterthur Symphony Orchestra is less than a world-class ensemble, and you wish that the over-prominent oboe soloist played more elegantly. And what about that jarring ritard before the first movement cadenza? But you're buying this disc for Clara Haskil's extraordinary pianism in the service of music. In addition to her noted lyricism and grace, Haskil is not afraid to take the music's drama by the reins and let things rip, as in the first movement development, or throughout the finale. What's more, Haskil is on fresher, moreRead more incisive form here than in her 1960 stereo version with Igor Markevitch (the pianist's final recording, in fact).
Once a long-sought-after rarity on the piano LP market, Haskil's Westminster Scarlatti recital was reissued as a promotional tie-in with Philips' Great Pianists of the 20th Century Edition. These miraculous performances belong in every serious piano collection. Haskil's Scarlatti sonatas are paradigms of control, taste, color, ornamentation, and timing. Note, for example, her shifts in color and minuscule tempo fluctuations that heighten the G minor Kk 2 Sonata's slippery major-minor shifts, or the E-flat Kk 193 Sonata's exquisite trills and deliciously spun line. For some reason the sound is thinner and less full-bodied in the final three selections, but that doesn't matter in light of the sublime music making. Discover Clara Haskil's genius Scarlatti playing for yourself, then write Universal a big fat thank you note for reissuing these performances.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Piano no 20 in D minor, K 466by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Performer:
Clara Haskil (Piano)
Winterthur Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria Date of Recording: 09/1950 Venue: Winterthür, Switzerland Length: 31 Minutes 6 Secs.
Sonata for Harpsichord in B minor, K 87/L 33by Domenico Scarlatti Performer:
Clara Haskil (Piano)
Period: Baroque Written: 18th Century Date of Recording: 10/1950 Venue: Winterthür, Switzerland Length: 4 Minutes 35 Secs.
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