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Harold Bauer - The Complete Recordings


Release Date: 04/14/2009 
Label:  Apr (Appian) Catalog #: 7302   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Anton RubinsteinHarold BauerJohann Sebastian BachCamille Saint-Saëns,   ... 
Performer:  Harold Bauer
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 3 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Notes:

(3 CDs for 2 at mid-price.) English born pianist Harold Bauer originally hoped to make his career as violinist but his piano playing so impressed Paderewski that he subsequntly focussed on that instrument. He had huge success in the USA and as a result became a US citizen in 1917. Bauer was not a crowd pleasing virtuoso firebrand but rather a true musician; there is always a wonderful poetry to his art and he excelled in miniatures, such as the Grieg presented here, though his legendary recording of the Brahms f minor sonata (still a benchmark) shows he had the requisite virtuosity when needed. These new transfers by Ward Marston are the only ones currently available of Bauer's legacy.

Review:
Read more /> Harold Bauer was a rara avis, indeed, a concert pianist who never had a formal piano lesson, enjoyed a concert career lasting nearly five decades and was a respected teacher at institutions of higher learning; were he to come along five decades after his death, Bauer would never had made it past the front door of any American university as instructor. One thing Bauer was not was a particularly prolific recording artist; Bauer's most famous and widely circulated recordings were made for Victor between 1924 and 1929, to which he added a final group in 1942; another batch was made for the short-lived Schirmer label in 1939 and Bauer recorded a few things for British HMV in 1935. All of this material is included in APR's Harold Bauer: The Complete Recordings, though the "complete" part is somewhat subjective; the set does not include Bauer's chamber music recordings with others, nor the audio track of the 1926 Vitaphone film in which he appeared with violinist Efrem Zimbalist, Sr. Also, if one is of the opinion that a hand-played piano roll is a recording, then Bauer more than doubled his phonographic output in solos for player pianos.

As one would expect with a package containing the entire life's work of a single pianist, Harold Bauer: The Complete Recordings has its ups and downs. His 1928 Victor recording of his own transcription of Bach's chorale setting "Jesu, Joy of a Man's Desiring" -- well-known to any player who cannot hack the Hess or finds the Busoni bedeviling -- does not raise to a level much above that of what a good amateur pianist can do with it. The Adagio sostenuto of his 1926 Beethoven "Moonlight" Sonata -- a work for which he was famous in concerts -- is a little lumpy and uncoordinated, though his Presto agitato is quite simply on fire. That is one of the amazing things about Bauer; relatively simple things tend to trip him up, whereas he was able to take difficult, virtuosic material and deliver it with intensity, drive, and absolute assurance. With Bauer, technique was not the prime consideration, musicianship was, and if there was any time where he felt his technique was letting him down, the musicianship took over. All of Bauer's performances emphasize the melodic line -- his first instrument was the violin -- and concentrate very productively on the dramatic progression of a particular piece; Bauer's tone is likewise warm and inviting. His 1939 Schirmer recording of the Brahms Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor is a benchmark performance of that work, a prime example of pianistic power and passion in the romantic keyboard idiom.

APR's transfers, generally, are excellent -- all of the material from Victor and HMV is quiet on the noise and productive on the piano end, well enough for just about anyone who can tolerate slightly constricted mono sound to enjoy all of those performances without discomfort. The bugbear in Bauer's recorded output is the Schirmers, pressed on hopelessly noisy surfaces and the masters lost long ago. The Schirmer that matters most is the Brahms sonata mentioned above -- perhaps his finest recording overall -- and that sounds fine in this APR package, though some of the other ones just simply cannot escape the ferocious noise of the original pressings. On the upside, however, are the inclusion of nine 1942 Victors that have never appeared before; in some cases it's easy to tell why they weren't initially put out, but Bauer's playing is fascinating even when it isn't 100%.

Harold Bauer was somewhere in between a virtuosic maverick of the piano -- like his idol and mentor Ignace Jan Paderewski -- and your brilliantly talented Uncle Ed who played the piano so well you wondered what ever kept him out of the concert hall. APR's Harold Bauer: The Complete Recordings is certainly the most comprehensive package of his recordings to be found on CD, and anyone who loves the piano and can withstand the vagaries of mono era recording technology will well regard this collection and perhaps even cherish some of the performances within. While history has given us a lot of great pianists, there was still only one Harold Bauer, and this is a fitting tribute to his superhuman achievements and honestly documents his very human shortcomings as a pianist.

- Uncle Dave Lewis, All Music Guide
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Works on This Recording

1.
Rocky Island, Op. 10: no 22, Rêve angélique by Anton Rubinstein
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853-1854; Russia 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
2.
Tunes from the 18th Century: Barberini's Minuet by Harold Bauer
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 3 Minutes 19 Secs. 
3.
Tunes from the 18th Century: Motley and Flourish by Harold Bauer
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 2 Minutes 58 Secs. 
4.
Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Jesu bleibet meine Freude "Jesu, joy of man's desiring" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Harold Bauer. 
5.
Caprice on Airs from Gluck's "Alceste" by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Length: 4 Minutes 20 Secs. 
6.
Gavotte in F major by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: Vienna, Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Harold Bauer. 
7.
Sonata for Piano no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 no 2 "Moonlight": 1st movement, Adagio sostenuto by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 52 Secs. 
8.
Sonata for Piano no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 no 2 "Moonlight": 2nd movement, Allegretto by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 23 Secs. 
9.
Sonata for Piano no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 no 2 "Moonlight": 3rd movement, Presto agitato by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 52 Secs. 
10.
Sonata for Piano no 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata": 1st movement, Allegro assai by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1804-1805; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 8 Minutes 7 Secs. 
11.
Sonata for Piano no 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata": 2nd movement, Andante con moto by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1804-1805; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 40 Secs. 
12.
Sonata for Piano no 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata": 3rd movement, Allegro ma non troppo-Presto by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1804-1805; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 50 Secs. 
13.
Impromptu for Piano no 1 in A flat major, B 110/Op. 29 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Paris, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
14.
Impromptu for Piano no 4 in C sharp minor, B 87/Op. 66 "Fantaisie-Impromptu" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
15.
Phantasiestücke (8) for Piano, Op. 12: no 5, In der Nacht by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 34 Secs. 
16.
Concert Etudes (3) for Piano, S 144: no 3 in D flat Major, Un sospiro by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1848; Weimar, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 6 Secs. 
17.
Papillons d'Amour, Op. 59: no 2, A la bien-aimée by Eduard Schütt
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
18.
Waltz no 1 in E flat major, Op. 83 by Marie-Auguste Durand
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
19.
Novelletten (8) for Piano, Op. 21: no 2 in D major by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 16 Secs. 
20.
Pieces (8) for Piano, Op. 76: no 2, Capriccio in B minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 27 Secs. 
21.
Album Leaves (4) for Piano, Op. 28: no 3 in A major, Vivace by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1864-1878; Norway 
Length: 3 Minutes 13 Secs. 
22.
Suite bergamasque: 3rd movement, Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890/1905; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 28 Secs. 
23.
Sonata for Piano no 3 in F minor, Op. 5: 1st movement, Allegro maestoso by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 49 Secs. 
24.
Sonata for Piano no 3 in F minor, Op. 5: 2nd movement, Andante espressivo by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 0 Secs. 
25.
Sonata for Piano no 3 in F minor, Op. 5: 3rd movement, Scherzo by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 16 Secs. 
26.
Sonata for Piano no 3 in F minor, Op. 5: 4th movement, Intermezzo by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
27.
Sonata for Piano no 3 in F minor, Op. 5: 5th movement, Finale by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 58 Secs. 
28.
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude and Fugue no 3 in C sharp major, BWV 848 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1722; Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 20 Secs. 
29.
Suite for Harpsichord in E major, HWV 430: no 4, Air and Variations "The Harmonious Blacksmith" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1720; London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
30.
Sonata for Harpsichord in A major, K 113/L 345 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
31.
Pièces de clavecin, Book 3: Ordre 14 in D major/D minor - Le carillon de Cithère by François Couperin
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1722; Paris, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 
32.
Moments musicaux (6) for Piano, D 780/Op. 94: no 3 in F minor by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823-1828; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
33.
Character Pieces (7) for Piano, Op. 7: no 4 in A major by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1824-1826; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
34.
Berceuse for Piano in D flat major, B 154/Op. 57 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Paris, France 
Length: 4 Minutes 4 Secs. 
35.
Romances (3) for Piano, Op. 28: no 1 in B flat minor by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
36.
Waltzes (16) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 39: no 15 in A flat major by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Austria 
37.
Waltzes (16) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 39: no 16 in C sharp minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Austria 
38.
Rêverie by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
39.
Phantasiestücke (8) for Piano, Op. 12: no 1, Des Abends by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 30 Secs. 
40.
Phantasiestücke (8) for Piano, Op. 12: no 2, Aufschwung by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
41.
Phantasiestücke (8) for Piano, Op. 12: no 3, Warum? by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
42.
Phantasiestücke (8) for Piano, Op. 12: no 4, Grillen by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
43.
Phantasiestücke (8) for Piano, Op. 12: no 6, Fabel by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
44.
Phantasiestücke (8) for Piano, Op. 12: no 7, Traumes Wirren by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1832; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
45.
Phantasiestücke (8) for Piano, Op. 12: no 8, Ende vom Lied by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
46.
Concert Etudes (2) for Piano, S 145: no 1, Waldesrauschen by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1862-63; Rome, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 7 Secs. 
47.
Pictures (3) from life in the country, Op. 19: no 2, The bridal procession passes by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Norway 
Length: 3 Minutes 38 Secs. 
48.
Album Leaf, EG 109 by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1878; Norway 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
49.
Album Leaves (4) for Piano, Op. 28: no 1 in A flat major, Allegro con moto by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1864; Norway 
Length: 1 Minutes 56 Secs. 
50.
Lyric Pieces (6), Book 3, Op. 43: no 1, Butterfly by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Norway 
Length: 1 Minutes 55 Secs. 
51.
Lyric Pieces (6), Book 3, Op. 43: no 6, In Springtime by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Norway 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
52.
Lyric Pieces (6), Book 5, Op. 54: no 4, Notturno by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Norway 
Length: 3 Minutes 26 Secs. 
53.
Lyric Pieces (7), Book 4, Op. 47: no 1, Valse-Impromptu by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885-1888; Norway 
Length: 1 Minutes 55 Secs. 
54.
Humoresques (4) for Piano, Op. 6: no 3, Allegretto con grazia by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Norway 
Length: 1 Minutes 51 Secs. 
55.
Lyric Pieces (8), Book 2, Op. 38: no 1, Berceuse by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Harold Bauer (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Norway 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 

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