Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Monique Haas Plays Maurice Ravel

Deutsche Grammophon’s 1965 release of Ravel’s two piano concertos with Monique Haas as the soloist was an event of some importance inasmuch as it showcased modern French muisc played by a French performer. ln the 19th and early 20th centuries — a time of nationalist aspirations in music — French music was rarely heard in German concert halls, while modern French music was banned by the Third Reich. As a result, many young music lovers who teard Debussy, Ravel, Honegger and Milhaud after the Second World War were coming to this music for the first time, yet such was their enthusiasm that the works of these composers soon came to be regarded as modern classics.
But a second type of musical interpretation could also be discovered at this time. ln Hitler’s culturally isolated Germany, virtually all the artists who appeared in public were German — one thinks, for example, of the pianist Wilhelm Kempff. Now concert halls were opened to soloists and ensembles from all over the world, introducing andiences to other traditions of music making and piano playing.
One of the new post-war stars was Monique Haas. She was born in Paris in 1909 and studied at the Paris Conservatoire before refining her technique with Robert Casadesus, Rudolf Serkin and George Enescu. Casadesus had been friendly with Ravel and had helped to introduce his works to audiences throughout the world. lt was he, more than anyone else, who taught Morique Haas an understarding of modern French music in general, and she in turn became an important musical ambassador for it. Her international career had begun in 1927 but was interrupted by the Second World War, only to be resumed after 1945, when she once again became one of the most sought-after soloists.
ln his book Great Pianists of Our Time, Joachim Kaiser stresses the power of Monique Haas’s playing, a power that was in ontrast to other pianists' interpretations of lmpressionist music, which he found "unduly subtle", often transforming the music into a "cloud of notes that floats past us with excessive freedom". Conversely, Kaiser hears Rameau and Couperin in Monique Haas’s playing of Debussy : "She breathes life into Debussy’s music not just by dint of her technique but also by her uninhibited approach to the music, which she attacks with improvisatory verve." In this she perpetuated the unromantic approach of her mentor Robert Casadesus, who, as Kaiser notes, "avoided all trace of sentimentality" in Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the left hand, performing it in a way that was "rhythmically alert, coruscatingly even, and fiery rather han delicate."
FranzPeter Messmer, from the booklet

Monique Haas
Maurice Ravel


Concerto for Piano in G Major
1 I. Allegremente  7:46
2 II. Adagio assai  8:47
3 III. Presto  4:03

Concerto for the left hand in D Major
4 Lento - Andante - Allegro - Tempo I  17:45

5 I. Modéré  4:10
6 II. Mouvement de Menuet  2:57
7 III. Animé  3:56

Valses nobles et sentimentales
8 I. Modéré  1:21
9 II. Assez lent  1:21
10 III. Modéré  1:15
11 IV. Assez animé  1:08
12 V. Presque lent  1:18
13 VI. Vif  0:44
14 VII. Moins vif  2:53
15 VIII. Epilogue. Lent  3:53


Monique Haas - p
Orchestre National de la RTF, Paris/Paul Paray - dir. [# 1-4]

Recorded at Maison de la Radio, Paris ; April 1965 [# 1-4] ; Beethovensaal, Hanover ; November, 1955 [# 8-15]


Melanchthon said...


marcusr said...

Merci Beacoups!

Anonymous said...

Thank you MM, excellent music.

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Thank you very much!!
Thanks for everything, Mel

george said...

Very nice post!
Many thanks, Mel.

Sandflyer said...

Many thanks for this one. :)

theblueamos said...

Thank you vert much and for the cover art. Best wishes from Jerusalem.

Historicus said...

Many thanks!!!