January 28, 1956, at the Mozarteum, Herbert von Karajan and the Philharmonia Orchestra introduce Symphony No.39 (K543) in plush and romantic style, leading to a swift Allegro played with precision. The Andante, flowing and songful, also intense, with sheeny strings, is followed by a Minuet of strong rhythms and, indivisibly, a lyrical Trio led by a mellifluous clarinet, presumably belonging to Bernard Walton. The Finale is fast and fiery, all over in a flash. With Clara Haskil, the D-minor Piano Concerto (K466/No.20) begins a little too smoothly but is soon in its stride. Haskil is admirably honest yet penetrating, and if Karajan during the first movement seems to be conducting a different Concerto to the one Haskil is playing in terms of character, the following two movements are conspiratorially of one mind. (I wonder who composed the outer-movement cadenzas? Not Beethoven, I think.) For her encore, September 7, 1956, at Besançon, Haskil essays Mozart’s Variations on a Minuet by Duport K573, a stylish winner from start to finish. ICA Classics ICAC 5166 sports good sound courtesy of Paul Baily.
Herbert von Karajan conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra at Salzburg in 1956 – Mozart’s bicentenary – with Clara Haskil in K466 [ICA Classics].
Aug 21, 2022 | Recording Reviews | 1 comment
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Dear Colin, Thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention. It’s a unique document. DW