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Ravel: Piano Concertos, Etc / Haas, Paray, Et Al


Release Date: 03/08/2005 
Label:  Dg The Originals Catalog #: 000403002   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Monique Haas
Conductor:  Paul Paray
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Here's a disc that never should have gone out of print. Monique Haas was a famous name in the 1950s and '60s, and the booklet notes offer a delightful picture of the provincial musical backwater that was Germany when it came to the music of its French neighbor. In the days before worldwide distribution, a recording of these works on the Yellow Label meant something special, and so are the performances. Haas plays each concerto without a shred of sentimentality, brightly and with virtuosity to burn. She rips through the first movement of the G major concerto with a will, and while she could relax a bit more on her initial entrance (and its recapitulation), her straight-ahead approach is still preferable to the sticky molto rubato of some of Read more her colleagues. The slow movement is all the more moving for being played too simply, and her articulation in the whirlwind finale, at a perfect tempo, offers a veritable clinic on how the music ought to go.


If anything, the Left Hand Concerto is even finer, with a strongly profiled solo and Paul Paray providing fantastically detailed and idiomatic accompaniments. Listen to the interplay between piano, harp, and the flute-led woodwinds in the "second subject" of the central march episode and you will immediately understand what separates the men from the boys in this piece. Haas offers a marvelously fluid and urgent final cadenza on the way to a smashing conclusion, and in both concertos the CD's remastered sound is excellent: a touch cloudy in tuttis, rich, full, and really well-balanced. I can't say that this is better than Francois/Cluytens (EMI), which on balance probably remains the finest all-around recommendation. It has just that much more poetry and mirth in the G major concerto, but this is really pretty marvelous. The two solo pieces (good 1956 mono) have the same virtues, with the Valses nobles et sentimentales particularly irresistible in its clarity and rhythmic energy. A pleasure from first note to last.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano in G major by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Monique Haas (Piano)
Conductor:  Paul Paray
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929-1931; France 
Date of Recording: 04/1965 
Venue:  Maison de la Radio, Paris 
Length: 20 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
2.
Sonatine for Piano by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Monique Haas (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1905; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1955 
Venue:  Beethoven-Saal, Hannover, Germany 
Length: 11 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
3.
Valses nobles et sentimentales by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Monique Haas (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1955 
Venue:  Beethoven-Saal, Hannover, Germany 
Length: 14 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
4.
Concerto for Piano left hand in D major by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Monique Haas (Piano)
Conductor:  Paul Paray
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929-1930; France 
Date of Recording: 04/1965 
Venue:  Maison de la Radio, Paris 
Length: 17 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Bargain vintage recordings, stylish & un-gimmicky February 1, 2013 By R Gregory C (Arlington, VA) See All My Reviews "Credit YouTube for piquing my curiosity about these performances. I knew of Madame Haas, but hadn't purchased any of her recordings. Once I had sampled the Adagio from the Concerto in G online, however, I was impressed: Here was a sensitive but utterly straightforward reading of that amazing movement, but without certain self-indulgences I've found in other readings. (Why, tell me, is it so fashionable to play the right-hand melody slightly behind the beat? More than one vaunted soloist tends to start every phrase that way, and it drives me nuts.) I admit I don't entire agree with everything Haas does -- I agree with a prior reviewer that in the first movement a rhythm in the slower theme is fudged -- but in both concertos, recorded in 1965, I hear a lot of standard-setting for performances in the 1970s and beyond. This version of the Valse nobles also answers to a lot of my druthers, one being avoidance of gooey tempos in the slower waltzes. Likewise the Sonatine is respectful of the text but maintains momentum, which from vintage recordings I know to be consistent with Ravel's own playing. Which brings up my only caution, that the two solo works are recorded in 1956 in slightly dry mono, though hiss is eliminated. But I've heard worse sound at much higher prices." Report Abuse
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