Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Clara Haskil - Ludwigsburg Festival (4/1953)

In Ludwigsburg in April 1953 Clara Haskil gave a truly exceptional recital. The programme was an unusual one for a great pianist in that epoch, in that it didn(t include only 18th and 19th century works, or a homogeneous selection of 20th century pieces.
Lipatti was another exception in this sense, and one is constantly reminded of him as one listens to Haskil's playing, reproduced here with great fidelity.
To begin with Bach was considered a duty, and it was on easy matter exposing oneself to comparison with Fischer, who for years had set a very high standard in concert halls all over the world. Clara Haskil's Bach has a slightly unusual quality, perhaps because today we are more familiar with the sort of sound produced by Gould and Richter in Bach. Nonethless, this Toccata appears in a new light, almost as if it had lain under a layer of dust until Haskil, with natural spontaneity said : Now, I play it this way. The Scarlatti is one of the highpoints of this recording. Simple phrases, sounds that flow magically, and a singular concentration that transform these brief phrases into impressive and complete solo pieces.
One should really have the courage to explore these performances in greater depth to discover the intimate nature of the relationship which the pianist established with music, to grasp the mystery world of art. It is quite natural to ask oneself how much this message has remained alive today in the concert halls, remembering that in the same period Horowitz too gave us his tense, brilliant and technically masterful reading of Scarlatti. Times have changed too much for us to reply without lapsing into nostalgia, but it is certain that the true Scarlatti emerges from the fingers of a humble performer whose whole life is dedicated to art. Who meets this description better than Clara Hakil ?
Alberto Cantoni, from the booklet (STR 13 602)

Clara Haskil
Ludwigsburg Festival


Johann Sebastian Bach

1 Toccata in E minor, BWV914  7:04

Domenico Scarlatti

2 Sonata in C major, L.457  5:02
2 Sonata in E-flat Major, L.142  3:47
4 Sonata in B minor, L.33  4:09

Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Sonata n° 32 in C minor, op. 111
5 I. Maestoso, allegro con brio  8:23
6 II. Arietta. Adagio molto semplice e cantabile  13:35

Robert Schumann

7 Variations on the name "Abegg" in F major, Op. 1  6:18
Thema (Animato) — 3 Variations
Cantabile — Finale alla Fantasia (Vivace) 

Claude Debussy

8 Pour les sonorités opposées (L 136)  3:59
(from 12 Etudes pour le piano, n° 10)
9 Pour les degrés chromatiques
(from 12 Etudes pour le piano, n° 7)

Maurice Ravel

Sonatine in F-sharp minor
10 I. Modéré  3:27
11 II. Mouvement de Menuet  2:31
12 III. Animé  3:24


Clara Haskil - p


Melanchthon said...

Unknown said...

Thank you for the Clara Haskil introduction, I am looking forward to listening.

tigerloaf said...

Thanks for a beautiful post, and I am very happy to find you again. I was a frequent visitor at one of your previous incarnations so I am glad you're back in business. All the best.

Thang Nguyen said...

thanks so much ! could you please re-up Lipatti, Ravel conduct Ravel, Ancerl Edition & Schnabel ?

rubberduck said...

Many thank Mel : dame Hasckil was, IMHO, one of the finest piano player of the century.