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Bach, Haydn & Schumann - Andras Schiff

Bach, J S: Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor; No. 4 in A major & No. 5 in F minor

Haydn: Piano Sonata No. 58 in C major, Hob.XVI & No. 60 in C major, Hob.XVI:50

Andras Schiff - piano
English Chamber Orchestra/George Malcolm

Dal Segno - DSPRCD042

Two reissues from Schiff's younger days deserve notice. George Malcolm was prominent, first as a harpsichordist, in older readers' younger days and although these 1979 recordings were before the movement for authentic instruments had gathered pace, these are thoroughly stylish performances, well recorded and transferred, and well deserving the accolades they received originally on Denon. Clean, sensitive playing from Schiff is matched by alert partnership from the then ground-breaking English Chamber Orchestra.

The Haydn sonatas (probably a separate CD originally, together with the C minor one on the disc reviewed below) are likewise impeccable, and if you are going to have a modern piano, Schiff knew exactly how to avoid its potential excesses; his playing and pedalling are a model for younger players.

At mid-price thoroughly worth exploring.

The Schumann disc [Dal Segno - DSPRCD042], which includes also another Haydn sonata, Hob. XVI-20 (though that does not feature on the cover) has many felicities, but is uneven, particularly as regards recorded sound, and I found listening to some tracks very different on different record players, so you may want to sample first?

But, again, Schiff was stylistically in tune with all the music, nothing routine or perfunctory, and his interpretations have much to recommend them.

Del Segno is sparing of informationabout the source recordings that collectors like to have.

Peter Grahame Woolf