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These are two live recordings from the Kunsthaus in Lucerne, the Mozart from 1953 and the Beethoven from 1957. The Haskil/ Klemperer K466 predates Haskil’s famous 1960 account with Markevitch. Klemperer’s heaviness in the outer movements is as effective as it is unsurprising; but attempted tenderness seeks to mitigate the gloom. Soloist and conductor gel exceptionally well. The orchestral balance is not ideal (the bassoon is particularly recessed), but in compensation Haskil plays her own imaginative cadenza, its primary focus on beauty and purity. The Casadesus ‘Emperor’ is perhaps less interesting. Pianist/conductor rapport is not always intact at crucial moments (neither is the timpani/rest of orchestra rapport, for that matter), and woodwind and horn solos are recessed. Casadesus’ imperial pianism contrasts with the more internal Haskil. He honours the tempo caveat of un poco mosso for the slow movement, yet it remains expressive. A fascinating coupling.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing