Hans Richter-Haaser Vol.2 ∙ 2CD

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Hans Richter-Haaser was firmly and unmistakably in the German piano tradition: distinctively Germanic, serious, deeply respectful of the music. This release features much piano works that Richter-Haaser never recorded commercially, and offers the opportunity to hear him playing different composers such as Scriabin, Liszt, Weber, and Debussy.

HANS RICHTER-HAASER Piano Recitals in Germany 1948-1970

CD 1

WEBER: Piano Sonata No 2 in A-flat Major, Op 39
Recorded ∙ 20 July 1953 ∙ Stuttgart ∙ Krone ∙ SDR ∙ Radio Studio Recording

HAYDN: Arietta con 12 Variazioni in A Major, Hob XVII 2
CHOPIN: Allegro de concert in A Major, Op 46
Recorded ∙ 18 May 1953 ∙ Hamburg ∙ Studio 10 ∙ NDR ∙ Radio Studio Recording

BRAHMS: Piano Sonata No 3 in F Minor, Op 5
Recorded ∙ 05 November 1954 ∙ Frankfurt ∙ Raum 3 ∙ HR ∙ Radio Studio Recording

CD 2

BEETHOVEN: Fantasia in G Minor, Op 77
LISZT: 6 Consolations, HS 172
Recorded ∙ 20 January 1960 ∙ Hamburg ∙ Studio 10 ∙ NDR ∙ Radio Studio Recording

MOZART: Rondo in A Minor, KV 511
BEETHOVEN: Andante favori in F Major, WoO 57
SCHUMANN: Symphonic Etudes, Op 13 [Posthumous Variations]
Recorded ∙ 04 December 1970 ∙ Hamburg ∙ Studio 10 ∙ NDR ∙ Radio Studio Recording

DEBUSSY: L’isle joyeuse, L 106
Recorded ∙ 14 November 1958 ∙ Hamburg ∙ Studio 10 ∙ NDR ∙ Radio Studio Recording

DEBUSSY: Deux Arabesques, L 66
Recorded ∙ 25 February 1960 ∙ Baden-Baden ∙ Studio 5 ∙ SWF ∙ Radio Studio Recording

SCRIABIN: Piano Sonata No 10, Op 70
Recorded ∙ 14 October 1957 ∙ Frankfurt ∙ Raum 3 ∙ HR ∙ Radio Studio Recording

SCRIABIN: Poême satanique, Op 36
Recorded ∙ 15 December 1948 ∙ Frankfurt ∙ Funkhaus ∙ HR ∙ Radio Studio Recording

Article number: MC 1050
UPC barcode: 791154050620
Release date: 14 September 2020
Booklet: 8 Pages
Total timing: 76:40 CD1 ∙  79:15 CD2
From the Original Masters ∙ © 2020 Meloclassic

March 2021 ∙ British Gramophone ∙ Rob Cowan ∙ Hans Richter-Haaser ∙ Piano Recitals in Germany 1948-1970
The Dresden-born pianist Hans Richter-Haaser is most widely associated with the music of Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms, a number of whose works he taped for Warner (I still rate his Diabelli and Hammerklavier recordings among the best). But Scriabin? Melo Classic has unearthed an extraordinary 1957 Frankfurt radio recording of the Tenth Sonata where rather than take the usual mystic route, Richter-Haaser unfolds the music’s structural element, which lends a sense of logic to a work that in some hands appears not to have any. Likewise the Poème satanique, wild, it’s true, but without a trace of demonic overkill. And there’s Richter-Haaser’s Debussy, clear as seawater in L’isle joyeuse and whimsical in the Deux Arabesques, or his bracing account of Chopin’s Allegro de concert. Weber’s Second Sonata is neatly tailored, as is Haydn’s Arietta with 12 variations, while Liszt’s six Consolations are true to the very different moods of each piece. Mozart’s ineffable melancholy emerges in the great A minor Rondo, K511, and Schumann’s Symphonic Études – just the theme and the posthumous études – fit the pianist’s meaty approach, as does Beethoven’s improvisatory G minor Fantasia, which clocks up the same playing time as his Warner recording, bar a single second, though it’s a little less forceful. Beethoven’s Andante favori is ideally paced but perhaps the highlight of this particular release is a sturdy account of Brahms’s F minor Sonata, weighty (in the Scherzo), passionate or lyrical where called for and with consistently well-chosen tempos (the Andante really is an ‘expressive’ andante, not a lugubrious adagio as is so often the case). I enjoyed this set enormously. It sent me back to the pianist’s equally distinctive commercial recordings, his Schubert (Sonatas D784 and 958) in particular. Could there be further broadcasts available, I wonder? If so, I’d love to hear them. As usual with this label, the transfers are exemplary and so are the annotations.
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