Thoroughly enjoyable Haskil/Mozart
Jeffrey Lee | Asheville area, NC USA | 07/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the most gratifying things about Clara Haskil is that though she has a wonderfully delicate touch, she manages to avoid sounding overrefined. When called for, she also plays with convincing authority. All is exemplary in this pairing of Mozart's 20th and 24th Concertos with Igor Markevitch. Though the conductor's orchestral accompaniment fairly frequently sounds more Beethovian than Mozartian, that's fine with me. Haskil's performance in Concerto No. 20 (one of my absolute favorites) strikes a rather interesting comparison with another outstanding artist from the same time frame---Annie Fischer, who is partnered by Ervin Lukacs and the Budapest Symphony on Hungaroton. To my ears, Haskil comes across as considerably more relaxed, tuneful and fluid, while Fischer seems a little too sober and unvarying in style. Clearly, the former provides a more fulfilling experience...In the opening of Concerto No. 24, Markevitch gets a bit bombastic, but Haskil keeps things moving nicely with her splendid musical temperament. Together, she and Markevitch serve up an especially engaging larghetto. She also makes Ashkenazy sound rather faceless here by comparison. Altogether, a prime example of this wonderfully sensitive and special pianist from a great bygone era."
Vintage yet fine recordings of these Mozart concerti
John Kwok | New York, NY USA | 04/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Those unfamiliar with Clara Haskil's career as one of the 20th Century's most distinguished pianists (this includes yours truly) will be pleasantly surprised with her thoughtful, lively performances of both Mozart piano concerti. These early recordings from the 1960's sound quite vibrant and fresh thanks to state-of-the-art digital image bit remastering. Legendary conductor Igor Markevitch leads his Parisian orchestra in two elegant performances which do not overshadow Haskil's vividly dynamic playing. This was an unexpected surprise when I heard it first; without a doubt I see why it is included in the Philips 50 series of legendary recordings."