The Tahra label has produced some of the most interesting historical reissues of recent years. But this awkwardly packaged set, which won't fit on standard CD shelves, seems like real barrel-bottom scraping. Both pianists were Romanian and they were good friends, but that's scant reason to package these two CDs together. The Haskil includes early home recordings, almost drowned by surface noise (and one of them startlingly incomplete) and not played with anywhere near the level of artistry she had at her best. The big item, Mozart's Ninth Piano Concerto, does show the pianist playing well, but the recording is murky, the orchestra sloppy. And who needs to hear her practicing passages from a Beethoven Concerto? Only a Bach Chorale transcription is truly worthwhile here.
As for Lipatti, all the material on the disc is otherwise available, except for three interviews in French, translated in the English program notes. The Bartók Third Piano Concerto, also available in good sound on EMI , isn't even that great a performance. This set is strictly a fan club item. --Leslie Gerber