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Debussy & Ravel: Piano Works (Monique Haas) Box set

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Price: £21.96 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Composer: Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel
  • Audio CD (18 Jun. 2007)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B000QFBW5G
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 281,585 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

Like many of the French pianists who grew up in the aftermath of the First World War, Monique Haas's repertoire was characterised by an avoidance of romantic composers and a significant representation of French music. However, it was as a performer of twentieth-century French music that Haas is best remembered. Her recordings of Debussy include the comparatively neglected Etudes, which won a Grand Prix du Disque. She also recorded both of the Ravel concertos, the G major twice, as well as the solo piano music.
Haas combined the cleanness and precision associated with the older school with a warmth of tone colour that reflected the influence of Alfred Cortot. Her unsentimental readings, especially of Debussy and Ravel, give a different view of their music, presenting them as both modern and as inheritors of the tradition of Couperin and the clavencinistes of the 18th century.
Fascinating contrasts can be found between her two recordings of the Ravel concerto in G. The earlier one, made in 1948, makes much of the work's connections with the jazz idiom of the twenties. The later recording, made in 1965, on the other hand, is far more "Mozartean", reflecting Ravel's self-confessed debt to Mozart when he wrote the concerto.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
excellent recordings of French repertoire by the great Monique Haas...her earlier Debussy Preludes slightly have the edge on these here, but heartily recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
clean, clear, crisp, structual, colorful but not dry 5 Nov. 2011
By Yukio Sasaki - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Unlike Samson Francois, her tempo is relatively slow and stable. It may sounds boring but it is not the case here. This set is one of my best "positive surprises" this year. Her Ravel is my personal best among works by many well documented great pianists. Another positive is sound quality. Great job, engineers!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
* * 1/2 -- Not up to her earlier, freer DG readings 27 Nov. 2013
By The Man in the Hathaway Shirt - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I ordered this set with much anticipation. I had Haas' earlier set on DG. There are some very fine solo readings there (still not up to Gieseking or Arrau levels, but great) as well as unique and superb readings of both of Ravel's piano concertos. (Two of the first, an early, bright, Gershwinesque performance and a more somber later take that I liked a lot more.) But most of those recordings were pre-stereo, and I hoped these would be as good or even better and also in superior sound. The sound is better, but not as good as sound from the late-60s, early-70s generally was. But even more disappointing were the performances. They are rather uninspired and sound labored at times. There's no joy in Les Collines D'Anacapri, for just one example, and no quiet mystery in Des Pas Sur La Neige. (I heard a live performance by Radu Lupu of this piece once that stopped time.) These sound read off the page rather than explored by the interpreter. The Ravel is similarly okay but not spectacular. Throughout there's little color, little imaginative use of pedal, and the dynamics are minimized (though honestly I have the same issue of minimized dynamics in her earlier set as well). There are many better, richer compilations of these oft-recorded works to be had out there.

Barely three stars. But her earlier DG set is recommended, as are readings by Gieseking (both sets), Arrau and (so far, just started exploring) Kocsis. Much ballyhooed Michelangeli and Uchida left me cold.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Definitive Ravel in the same way that Bernstein nailed Copland 27 May 2013
By Jack Engard - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For all those wishing for an ultimate version (one of them)of Ravel's piano works, look no further: Monique Haas delivers a beautiful utterly faithful rendition. It really knocked me out! Ravel's heart, humanity, magic & mystery are captured & realized here.I think Monique identified so completely with Maurice's work, that she became him in this performance. Listen to this at night and maybe you'll think Ravel's spirit got channeled through Monique's playing. Want a personal recital within the confines of your home, put this in your player. Just wish there were 6 disks of Haas doing Ravel. Two disks however are wonderful! Can't fathom why Monique Haas never seems to be mentioned in the comparative discussions of best pianists! I think she's extraordinary: the complete package in my estimation seemingly lacking nothing. My hunch about this purchase proved to be right on target. Next I'm going to buy her complete recordings for DG. After listening to Haas play Ravel, you may conclude that both artists are still with us. Debussy in this same set is also quite brilliant and a terrific complement to Ravel.......

P.S: This collection is so good I'm tempted to purchase an additional spare! Happy listening......
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A solid set, but superseded 27 Nov. 2013
By James A. Altena - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
While Monique Haas was a fine interpreter of Debussy and Ravel, this set is now superseded by others, both sonically and interpretively, such as those of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (Chandos) and Noriko Ogawa (BIS) for Debussy, and Vlado Perlemutter (Nimbus) for Ravel. This for fans of the pianist only, though definitely worth it to them at the bargain price.
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