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LP Review

Domenico Scarlatti

The Art of Clara Haskil

  • Sonata in C Sharp minor, K. 247
  • Sonata in G Major, K. 2
  • Sonata in C Major, K. 132
  • Sonata in G minor, K. 35
  • Sonata in E Flat Major, K. 193
  • Sonata in F minor, K. 386
  • Sonata in F minor, K. 519
  • Sonata in A Major, K. 322
  • Sonata in B minor, K. 87
  • Sonata in C Major, K. 515
  • Sonata in F Major, K. 437
Clara Haskil, piano
Westminster XWN18381 LP, Speakers Corner Records
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Aptly titled, 'The Art of Clara Haskil', this beautifully recorded Westminster LP demonstrates the infallible technical artistry of this superb Romanian pianist in the early 50's when introspection and mastery had replaced the youthful irritancy of yesteryear. We have eleven Scarlatti sonatas here, sure fire winners in every great pianist's repertoire and they are played with such indelible beauty by this pianist that one is almost wont to forget that these were merely exercise pieces for the embellishment of technique. It would be rather pointless to stay dawdling and lingering over the merits of Haskil's playing in each sonata but it would suffice to say that in Longo 475, for example, the trills and light touch almost transform the keyboard into a bewitched instrument.

The reader may deduct that I am especially fond of Haskil whom I believe to be one of the greatest pianists of all time! The recording is monophonic and dates from 1950 but the LP sounded beautifully on my Garrard/SME 3012 setup, retaining a special fondness for the low bass which is often overlooked in CD remasterings. The price may be a bit high but all LP lovers should certainly invest in this wonderful reproduction from the past enshrining "The Art of Clara Haskil".

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech

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