Werner Haas

Biography

Born: 1931; Stuttgart, Germany   Died: October 11, 1976; Nancy, France  
Werner Haas was a German pianist especially known for his interpretations of French repertory, particularly the works of Debussy and Ravel. But his performances of music by Chopin and Beethoven were also highly praised and his repertory was quite broad, extending to Prokofiev and Kabalevsky. He was better known in Europe than in the Americas, where he never concertized. His many admirers assert that had his life not been tragically cut short, he Read more would likely have achieved recognition as one of the finest pianists of his time.

Haas was born in Stuttgart on March 3, 1931. He exhibited unusual talent as a young child, though the pianist himself was reluctant to claim he was extraordinarily gifted. Still, he might have developed even sooner but for the exigencies brought on by the war in his homeland. He enrolled at the Stuttgart Academy of Music in 1947, where he took instruction on piano from Lilli Kröber-Asche, who was known for her Mozart interpretations. Shortly after leaving the Stuttgart Academy in 1954, he traveled to Saarbrücken for two years of study with Walter Gieseking, whose interest in the music of Debussy may well have steered Haas toward the French master's works. It was during this time that he launched his career with a critically well-received recital (1955) in his native Stuttgart. From 1956 on, Haas toured Europe and quickly developed a reputation for his Debussy interpretations. Following a 1958 Paris concert, Philips executive Igor Maslowski signed the pianist to a multi-year contract with his Dutch label. The partnership worked well for both, as evidenced by Haas' numerous discographic successes, including his Debussy complete works edition, which was awarded a Grand Prix du Disque in 1970, and his Ravel recordings, which given an Amsterdam Edison Prize also in 1970.

Though Haas began recording in the late '50s, most of his activity in the studio dates to the 1960s. His 1960 recording of Chopin Waltzes (14) garnered much critical acclaim, even in the United States where it received a rave review in the January 1961 issue of High Fidelity. On tour abroad, he generally drew favorable reviews as well, such as his November 1967 London recital at Wigmore Hall and his July 1970 Milan concert, to name but two. Haas was known to have a broad repertory, but beginning in the latter 1960s, he expanded it to include an even greater range, with works like Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 4. Later, he added that master's Sonata No. 2 to his repertory, as well as compositions by other Russian composers, including Kabalevsky and Stravinsky. By the mid-'70s, Haas' career was in full bloom, with appearances in some of the most prestigious concert halls in Europe and turning out recordings that routinely garnered critical acclaim. Like the American pianist William Kapell, however, his career ended abruptly and tragically: Haas was killed on October 11, 1976, in a accident near Nancy, France, when his automobile collided with a truck. Many of the pianist's recordings are still available via reissue, most on the Philips label. Read less

There are 22 Werner Haas recordings available.

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Biography

Born: 1931; Stuttgart, Germany   Died: October 11, 1976; Nancy, France  
Werner Haas was a German pianist especially known for his interpretations of French repertory, particularly the works of Debussy and Ravel. But his performances of music by Chopin and Beethoven were also highly praised and his repertory was quite broad, extending to Prokofiev and Kabalevsky. He was better known in Europe than in the Americas, where he never concertized. His many admirers assert that had his life not been tragically cut short, he Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
1. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso - Allegro con spirito
2. Andantino semplice - Prestissimo - Tempo I
3. Allegro con fuoco
1. Andante
2. Finale (Allegro maestoso)
1. Allegro brillante
2. Andante non troppo
3. Allegro con fuoco
1. Quasi rondo (Andante mosso)
2. Contrastes (Andante cantabile)
1. Allegro ben ritmato e deciso
2. Andante con moto e poco rubato
3. Allegro ben ritmato e deciso
Gershwin: 3 Preludes for Piano Solo - 1. Allegro ben ritmato e deciso
Gershwin: 3 Preludes for Piano Solo - 2. Andante con moto e poco rubato
Gershwin: 3 Preludes for Piano Solo - 3. Allegro ben ritmato e deciso
Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op.34 - 1. Allegro non troppo
Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op.34 - 2. Andante, un poco adagio
Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op.34 - 3. Scherzo (Allegro)
Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op.34 - 4. Finale (Poco sostenuto - Allegro non troppo)
1. Danseuses de Delphes
2. Voiles
3. Le vent dans la plaine
4. Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir
5. Les collines d'Anacapri
6. Des pas sur la neige
7. Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest
8. La fille aux cheveux de lin
9. La sérénade interrompue
10. La cathédrale engloutie
11. La danse de Puck
12. Minstrels
1. Brouillards
2. Feuilles mortes
3. La puerta del vino
4. "Les fées sont d'exquises danseuses"
5. Bruyères
6. "General Lavine" - eccentric
7. La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune
8. Ondine
9. Hommage à S. Pickwick, Esq., P.P.M.P.C.
10. Canope
11. Les tierces alternées
12. Feux d'artifice
1. Reflets dans l'eau
2. Hommage à Rameau
3. Mouvement
1. Cloches à travers les feuilles
2. Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fût
3. Poissons d'or
1. Pagodes
2. Soirée dans Grenade
3. Jardins sous la pluie
1. Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum
2. Jimbo's Lullaby
3. Serenade for the Doll
4. The Snow is dancing
5. The little Shepherd
6. Golliwogg's Cakewalk
1. Prélude
2. Sarabande
3. Toccata
No. 1 Andante con moto
No. 2 Allegretto scherzande
1. Prélude
2. Menuet
3. Clair de lune
4. Passepied
1. Avec emportement
2. Lent. Sombre
3. Scherzando
1. En bateau
2. Cortège
3. Menuet
4. Ballet
1. Pour invoquer Pan, dieu du vent d'été
2. Pour un tombeau sans nom
3. Pour que la nuit soit propice
4. Pour la danseuse aux crotales
5. Pour l'Egyptienne
6. Pour remercier la pluie au matin
1. Allegramente
2. Adagio assai
3. Presto
Ondine
Le gibet
Scarbo
1. Noctuelles
2. Oiseaux tristes
3. Une barque sur l'océan
4. Alborada del gracioso
5. La vallée des cloches
1. Lento
2. Allegro
3. Tempo I
1. Prélude
2. Fugue
3. Forlane
4. Rigaudon
5. Menuet
6. Toccata
1. Modéré
2. Mouvement de menuet
3. Animé
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 In B Flat Minor, Op.23 - 1. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso - Allegro con spirito
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 In B Flat Minor, Op.23 - 2. Andantino semplice - Prestissimo - Tempo I
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 In B Flat Minor, Op.23 - 3. Allegro con fuoco


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