Balsam: Haydn Piano Sonatas Nos. 20, 23, 40 & 48 - l'Oiseau-Lyre SOL 275
Jacket NM- / LP NM / UK pressing
This outstanding LP from L'Oiseau-Lyre (SOL 275, English pressing, green/silver label, stereo) features Vol. 3 in Artur Balsam's survey of Haydn's Piano Sonatas, this installment first issued in 1964 and including the following works:
Piano Sonata No. 20 in C minor
Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Major
Piano Sonata No. 40 in G Major
Piano Sonata No. 48 in C Major
Perhaps better known as an accompanist to a plethora of famous soloists, Artur Balsam was an extraordinary artist in his own right, as Bridge Records wonderful Balsam series has shown. Yehudi Menuhin once called Artur Balsam one of the few 'indispensible ones', so highly did he regard the latter's musicianship and pianism, and so it proves here.
One can only hope that Decca will restore Balsam's entire Haydn and Mozart Piano Sonata cycles to the catalog via their 'Original Masters' series.
The gradations of condition I use are as follows: MINT, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
The condition of the jacket is near-MINT-. There is slight bumping at corners and minor creasing, but that is all. There are no bends, seamsplits, or owners' markings and the whole remains very solid, bright, and glossy – overall, an excellent collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is near-MINT. There are faint spindle trails, but the disc plays without defect – again, an excellent collector's copy.