Monday, 23 September 2013

Clara Haskil in Mozart

I am not old enough to have heard Mozart play his piano concertos. But I think that Clara Haskil is a good substitute for Wolfgang Amadeus, particularly in the D minor concerto K 466 which she played at the Lucerne Festival in September 1959 with the Philharmonia conducted by Otto Klemperer. Despite the 1959 recording (and the poor balance, with the piano grossly favoured over the orchestra) one can see why Haskil regarded it (in a letter to a friend) as an exceptional concert. She and Klemperer work together as in a perfect musical marriage; the somewhat grim music of K 466 seems to suit both admirably. A performance in a thousand, happily recorded and issued for posterity by Audite. Clara Haskil, like Klemperer, favours clarity, balance and note values. Such a pity the partnership never survived the dictats of the recording companies of that era.

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