P1039. CLARA HASKIL: Mozart & Bach Program (w.Geza Anda; Galliera & Klemperer). (Germany) Archipel 0339, recorded 1956. Final copies! - 4035122403398
"Haskil's return visit [to Boston] surpassed all expectations. A series of concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Charles Münch and an appearance at Carnegie Hall created a sensation and were reported in TIME magazine. Rudolf Eli wrote in the Boston Herald, ‘One of those most magical revelations that occurs in music once in a generation ... the most beautiful performance of Beethoven’s Third Concerto I have ever heard or expect to hear again’.
I first heard Clara Haskil’s name mentioned by Dinu Lipatti after a recital he gave in Switzerland. When I congratulated him on his Mozart playing, Lipatti said, ‘In two weeks’ time you must hear Clara play Mozart. Then you will realize how far the rest of us are from the truth’. I was young at the time, but the name stuck in my mind. Who was this mysterious Clara?
As Clara sat down the music materialized as if from nowhere. Her arm seemed to glide over the keyboard without preparation, just as a flat stone skims across the water. This was so typical of her playing; nothing seemed to start or end, and everything became timeless. Admiration and international fame came late in life for Clara Haskil, in a career beset by poor health and the adversities of a worldperfection on earth. Dinu Lipatti described her playing as ‘the sum of most beautiful in the world’, Tatyana Nikoleyeva burst into tears when she first heard Haskil...."
- Peter Feuchtwanger
“Géza Anda was a Swiss-Hungarian pianist, a celebrated interpreter of classical and romantic repertoire, particularly noted for his performances and recordings of Mozart, he was also a tremendous interpreter of Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms and Bartók. In his heyday he was regarded as an amazing artist, possessed of a beautiful, natural and flawless technique that gave his concerts a unique quality.
Anda was born in 1921 in Budapest. He studied with some of the renowned teachers of the 20th century such as Imre Stefaniai and Imre Keeri-Szanto, and became a pupil of Ernst von Dohnányi and Zoltán Kodály at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. In 1940 he won the Liszt Prize, and in the next year, he made an international name for himself with his performance of Brahms' Piano Concerto #2. In 1941, he also made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic under Wilhelm Furtwängler, who dubbed him ‘troubadour of the piano’. In 1943, he settled in Switzerland. In the mid-1950s, Anda gave masterclasses at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and in 1960 he took the position of director of the Lucerne masterclasses, succeeding Edwin Fischer.
As a performer, Anda was particularly noted for his interpretation of Schumann's and Brahms' piano music. The New Grove Dictionary cites his ‘charismatic readings of Bartók and Schumann’. He was regarded as the principal Bartók interpreter of his generation, even if other pianists since his death have made more obviously exciting recordings of that composer's concertos. Although he played very little Mozart in his early career, he became the first pianist to record the full cycle of Mozart's piano concerti; he recorded them between 1961 and 1969, conducting himself from the keyboard. His performance of the Andante from Mozart's Piano Concerto #21 in C on the soundtrack of the 1967 film ELVIRA MADIGAN led to the epithet ‘Elvira Madigan’ often being applied to the concerto.”
- Concours Géza Anda, Zürich