Monique Haas - Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon (8 CD box set, APE)
Monique Haas - Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon (8 CD box set, APE)

Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester
Conductor: Ferdinand Leitner, Eugen Jochum, Ferenc Fricsay, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, Paul Paray
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Joseph Haydn, Robert Schumann, Frederic Chopin, Claude Debussy
Audio CD
SPARS Code: A-D
Number of Discs: 8 CD box set
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 1.66 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

CD1 – Mozart – Piano Concerto no.14, Sonatas for Piano Duet
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Piano Concerto no.14 in E flat major, K.449
01. Allegro
02. Andantino
03. Allegro, ma non troppo
Berliner Philharmoniker
Conductor: Ferdinand Leitner
Recording: Berlin, Jesus-Christus-Kirche,
18-20 December 1957

Sonata for Piano Duet in B flat major, K.358
04. Allegro
05. Adagio
06. Molto Presto
Sonata for Piano Duet in D flat major, K.381
07. Allegro
08. Adagio
09. Molto Presto
Sonata for Two Pianos in D major, K.448
10. Allegro con spirito
11. Andante
12. Allegro molto
Heinz Schroter – piano
Recording: Hannover, Beethovensaal,
20-21 June 1957 (K.358, K.381)
19 & 21 November 1955 (K.448)

CD2 – Mozart – Piano Concerto no.23, Haydn – Piano Sonatas, Fantasia in C major
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Piano Concerto no.23 in A major, K448
01. Allegro
02. Adagio
03. Allegro assai
Berliner Philharmoniker
Conductor: Ferdinand Leitner
Recording: Berlin, Jesus-Christus-Kirche,
23-25 January 1953

Joseph Haydn
Piano Sonata in F major, Hob.XVI:23
04. Allegro
05. Adagio
06. Finale. Presto
07. Arietta con variazioni in E flat major, Hob.XVII:3
Piano Sonata in E flat major, Hob.XVI:52
08. Allegro (moderato)
09. Adagio
10. Finale. Presto
11. Fantasia in C major, Hob.XVII:4
Recording: Hannover, Beethovensaal,
13-15 July 1959

CD3 – Schumann – Piano Concerto, Fantasiestucke, Chopin – 2 Etudes
Robert Schumann

Piano Concerto in A minor, op.54
01. Allegro Affettuoso
02. Intermezzo. Andantino grazioso – attacca:
03. Allegro vivace
Berliner Philharmoniker
Conductor: Eugen Jochum
Recording: Berlin, Jesus-Christus-Kirche,
22-23 May 1951

Fantasiestucke op.12
04. Des Abends. Sehr innig zu spielen D-flat major.
05. Aufschwung. Sehr rasch F minor.
06. Warum? Langsam und zart D-flat major.
07. Grillen. Mit Humor D-flat major.
08. In der Nacht. Mit Leidenschaft F minor.
09. Fabel. Langsam – Schnell C major.
10. Traumes Wirren. ДuЯerst lebhaft F major.
11. Ende vom Lied. Mit gutem Humor F major.
Recording: Hannover, Beethovensaal,
3-5 January 1955

Frederic Chopin
12. Etude op.10 n° 5 en sol bйmol majeur. Vivace
13. Etude op.10 n° 3 en mi majeur. Vivace ma non troppo
Recording: Hannover, Beethovensaal,
16 July 1959

CD4 – Debussy – Preludes
Claude Debussy

Preludes (Livre I)
01. Danseuses de Delphes
02. Voiles
03. Le vent dans la plaine
04. Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir
05. Les collines d’Anacapri
06. Des pas sur la neige
07. Ce qu’a vu le vent d’ouest
08. La fille aux cheveux de lin
09. La serenade interrompue
10. La cathedrale engloutie
11. La danse de Puck
12. Minstrels
Recording: Berlin, Jesus-Christus-Kirche,
2-5 July 1962
Preludes (Livre II)

13. Brouillards
14. Feuilles mortes
15. La puerta del vino
16. Les fees sont d’exquises danseuses
17. Bruyeres
18. General Lavine – Eccentric
19. La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune
20. Ondine
21. Hommage а S.Pickwick Esq. P.P.M.P.C
22. Canope
23. Les tierces alternees
24. Feux d’artifice
Recording: Berlin, Jesus-Christus-Kirche,
14-17 January 1953

CD5 – Debussy – Douze Etudes pour piano, Ravel – Valses nobles et sentimentales, Le tombeau de Couperin
Claude Debussy

Douze Etudes pour piano
01. Pour les ‘cinq doigts’ d’aprиs Monsieur Czerny. Sagement
02. Pour les tierces. Moderato, ma non troppo
03. Pour les quartes. Andantino con moto
04. Pour les sixtes. Lento
05. Pour les octaves. Joyeux et emportE, librement rythmE
06. Pour les huit doigts. Vivamente, molto leggiero e legato
07. Pour les degrEs chromatiques. Scherzando, animato assai
08. Pour les agrEments. Lento, rubato e leggiero
09. Pour les notes repetEes. Scherzando
10. Pour les sonoritEs opposEes. ModErE, sans lenteur
11. Pour les arpиges composEs. Dolce e lusingando
12. Pour les accords. DEcidE, rythmE, sans lourdeur
Recording: Hannover, Beethovensaal,
22-23 October 1951

Maurice Ravel
Valses nobles et sentimentales
13. Modere
14. Assez lent (avec une expression intense)
15. Modere
16. Assez animE
17. Presque lent (dans un sentiment intime)
18. Vif
19. Moins vif
20. Epilogue. Lent
Le tombeau de Couperin
21. Prelude (Vif)
22. Fugue (Allegro moderato)
23. Forlane (Allegretto)
24. Rigaudon (Assez vif)
25. Menuet (Allegro moderato)
26. Toccata (Vif)
Recording: Hannover, Beethovensaal,
22-24 November 1955 (Valses)
5-7 January (Tombeau)

CD6 – Stravinsky – Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra, Ravel – Piano Concerto, Bartok – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no.3, Debussy – Pour le piano
Igor Stravinsky

Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra
01. Presto
02. Andantino rapsodico
03. Allegro capriccioso ma tempo giusto
RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Recording: Berlin, Jesus-Christus-Kirche,
26 & 27 September 1950

Maurice Ravel
Piano Concerto in G
04. Allegramente
05. Adagio assai
06. Presto
Sinfonie-Orchester des Nordwestdeutschen Rundfunks
Conductor: Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt
Recording: Hamburg, 30 November 1948

Bela Bartok
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no.3
07. Allegretto
08. Adagio religioso
09. Allegro vivace
RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Recording: Berlin, Jesus-Christus-Kirche,
27-30 April 1954

Claude Debussy
Pour le piano
10. Toccata. Vif
Preludes, 1er Livre
11. La fille aux cheveux de lin. Trиs calme et doucemen…
Etudes I
12. Pour les huit doigts. Vivamente, molto leggiero e legato
Preludes, 2e Livre
13. Feux d’artifice. Moderement anime
Recording: Hamburg, Studio Blankenese
3 June 1949

CD7 – Ravel – Piano Concerto in G, Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, Sonatine, Hindemith – Konzertmusik
Maurice Ravel

Piano Concerto in G
01. Allegramente
02. Adagio assai
03. Presto
04. Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D major: Lento – Andante – Allegro – Tempo I
Orchestre National de la RTF, Paris
Conductor: Paul Paray
Recording: Paris, Maison de la Radio,
12-15 April 1965

Sonatine
05. Modere
06. Mouvement de menuet
07. Anime
Recording: Hannover, Beethovensaal,
22-24 November 1955

Paul Hindemith
Konzertmusik op.49
08. Ruhig gehende Viertel
09. Lebhaft
10. Sehr ruhig – Variationen
11. Mabig schnell, kraftvoll
Berliner Philharmoniker
Conductor: Paul Hindemith
Recording: Berlin, Jesus-Christus-Kirche,
17, 19 & 21 October 1957

CD8 – Mihalovici – Ricercari, Roussel – Trois pieces, Bartok – Sonatine, Ravel – Sonata for Violin and Piano, Mihalovici – Sonata for Violin and Piano
Marcel Mihalovici

Ricercari op.46
01. Poco lento (Tempo di passacaglia)
02. Un poco piщ mosso
03. Andante, non troppo
04. Allegro ben ritmato
05. Allegro giusto
06. Lento sostenuto
07. Leggiero, con moto
08. Andantino
9. Allegretto capriccioso, ma molto ritmato
10. Molto vivace
11. Grave, piu tosto moderato
Recording: Hannover, Beethovensaal,
24 October 1951

Albert Roussel
Trois pieces op.49
12. Allegro con brio
13. Allegro grazioso (tempo di valse)
14. Allegro con spirito
Bela Bartok
Sonatine
15. Dudeisok [Les joueurs de cornemuse.. Allegretto
16. Medvetбnc [Danse de l’ours.. Moderato
17. Finale. Allegro vivace
Recording: Hamburg, Studio Blankenese
3 June 1949

Maurice Ravel
Sonata for Violin and Piano
18. Allegretto (G major)
19. Blues. Moderato (A flat major)
20. Perpetuum mobile. Allegro (G major)
Marcel Mihalovici
Sonata for Violin and Piano no.2 op.45
21. Allegro molto appassionato
22. Larghetto cantabile
23. Molto vivace
Max Rostal – violin
Recording: Hannover, Beethovensaal,
6-7 October 1958

The Magnificent Monique Haas

Before I begin writing this review I would like to pose a question to the folks at DG/Universal. Among the great French classical musicians of the 20th Century, is Monique Haas more fondly remembered in the United States than Pierre Fournier? Clearly the answer must be yes, because you have decided to reissue your new Monique Haas Original Masters box set domestically while the recent Pierre Fournier is only available as a pricey import. UNI, you once again leave me scratching my head at your marketing decisions, but then I never was very good at judging popularity contests.

Ultimately, the music is all that matters, and there are some fine examples on this 8CD set, “Monique Haas: The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon.” Haas was best known for her interpretations of French music, and in particular for reacquainting German audiences with Debussy and Ravel after WWII. Among the French fare included here are two remarkably differing accounts of the Ravel Piano Concerto. The first is a delightfully jazzy mono rendition with Schmidt-Isserstedt from 1948, and the second the famous 1965 stereo recording with Paul Paray (recently reissued as a single title in the DG “Originals” series and reviewed by yours truly), with whom she also produced the Concerto for Left Hand. But as good as the Ravel is, it is the Debussy that steals the show here, and if her award-winning performances of the Preludes and Etudes weren’t enough, DG archivists have unearthed four previously unreleased Debussy test recordings from 1949.

While these aforementioned recordings are the cornerstones of this set, they are far from the only compelling material. CDs 1 & 2 are dedicated to Mozart and Haydn, including the 14th and 23rd Piano Concertos with Ferdinand Leitner conducting, and various Sonatas. A touch of the Romantic crops up on disc 3 with the Schumann PC (Jochum/Berlin, 1951), Fantasiestucke, and a couple of Chopin Etudes. These recordings are definitely not Haas’ finest moments, but they are interesting if not remarkable. Something that Haas does have a firm grasp of is 20th Century music and she illustrates that on ecstatic readings of the Stravinsky Capriccio and Bartok 3rd, both in mono with Fricsay and the Berlin RIAS, and Hindemith’s “Konzertmusik” with the composer conducting. (Unfortunately, the latter performance has already been made available in the Hindemith “Original Masters” set, causing annoying, but I suppose necessary duplication as “Complete” has to be complete.) This set fittingly concludes with an eighth disc of music for Violin and Piano, performed with violinist Max Rostal, and including a composition by her husband Marcel Mihalovici — Ricercari Op. 46, Variations libres pour piano.

In all, the Monique Haas “Original Masters” set is a most welcome addition to a great series of box sets. I only wish that Universal would make all their sets as universally available as this one.

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