Piano Concertos 19 in F, K459; 27 in B flat, K595, Clara Haskil, BPO/Bavarian State Orch/Ferenc Fricsay - Speakers Corner DG LPM 18383 (mono; 180g vinyl)

The frail Romanian pianist was not always so lucky with her recording conductors. In these 1955 reissues she is partnered by Ferenc Fricsay, a significant figure in the postwar DG catalogue. In an essay written shortly before his early death he described Mozart as ‘a golden-feathered messenger of God’. Haskil’s unerring, needle-sharp fingerwork suggests no less a messenger of this composer. Fricsay had clearly worked hard in preparing the last Concerto, yet the BPO (K459) proves the superior orchestra. Both are recessed in favour of the soloist and the dated sound has a character not unlike a Decca ffrr: part of its charm?

Sound Quality: 70%