Author Topic: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced  (Read 8710 times)

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Offline filipek7

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Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« on: August 08, 2010, 08:35:42 PM »
Not so very long ago I discovered the music of Pavel Haas.  Recordings have been surfacing lately on Supraphon.

He was a Janacek pupil - perhaps the best and most faithful.  Alas, he was killed by the Nazis.

Judging by his String Quartets (esp. "From the Monkey Mountains"), his music is unjustly neglected.  It really is splendid and an ABSOLUTE must-listen for any serious admirer of Janacek.

I am only just now starting to explore more broadly.  Are the quartets a good measure of the quality of his work?  Where else should one look?

If you have not yet listened to Haas, I strongly recommend his quartets.

Harry

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2010, 11:08:17 PM »
Its good to hear that there is another admirer of Pavel Haas around on GMG ;D
I would strongly recommend this disc with Orchestral works. Its well performed and recorded, and the music is fabulous.
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http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Pavel-Haas-Symphonie-1940-41-unvollendet/hnum/7873061
« Last Edit: August 08, 2010, 11:10:13 PM by Harry »

Offline False_Dmitry

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2010, 02:03:22 AM »
His page at IMSLP has his oboe sonata :)

http://imslp.org/wiki/Category:Haas,_Pavel
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Offline Luke

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2010, 02:37:06 AM »
Been touting Haas for years - nice to see him mentioned again! As you say, Janacek's best pupil, and also perhaps the only real Janacek follower in a more than general sense, though very much his own man. His most Janacek-like work is the utterly delightful Wind Quintet, which would make he ideal couplng for Mladi. The disc Harry posted is superb, too, and very moving indeed.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2010, 04:10:39 AM »
The CD in Harry's post is excellent.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online Brian

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2010, 05:14:54 AM »
I have been fortunate enough to see the Pavel Haas Quartet play Pavel Haas' Second String Quartet, live. A really moving experience to be sure - terrific music, and the players emphasize their enthusiasm by, as is their custom, playing everything standing up. Except for the poor cellist.  ;D

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2010, 07:18:46 AM »
Decca featured Haas in their Entartete Musik series. A great discovery was his only opera:



Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Franco

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2010, 07:22:48 AM »
This disc is all I have at present - but it is so good, I might invest in the orchestral works posted previously.




Offline The new erato

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2010, 07:23:50 AM »
Decca featured Haas in their Entartete Musik series. A great discovery was his only opera:




And can anybody explain why this series hasn't been reissued as a midpriced series or whatever?

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2010, 07:50:18 AM »
I'm not familiar with Haas.  Interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOxbMrCxgto&feature=related
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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2010, 08:07:08 AM »
And can anybody explain why this series hasn't been reissued as a midpriced series or whatever?
Because it's a major :P

Even if they can't be bothered to put any effort into it, a boxed reissue of the whole series minus notes would be a hit - I'd certainly buy it. Hell, licence to Brilliant - pure money, no effort. Goddamnit, Universal... :-X

Edit:


On topic - I greatly enjoyed this disc, which includes an orchestration of his second quartet, along with two other fine orchestrations of quartets by two others.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 12:57:22 PM by Lethe »
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Offline CaramelJones

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2010, 02:35:12 PM »



Two others?!!!

Szymanowski and Janacek are not just 'two others'  8)

Got the album - it isn't actually a complete transcription of the full string quartets for string chamber orchestra. 

The larger chamber orchestra does however slow down the dynamics of the quartet, so instead of that intense analytical character of all three quartets, the Australian group really reveal a sumptuous body of smooth strings.

Offline lescamil

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2010, 04:52:56 PM »
My favorite works of his are his Suite for Piano and his Partita for string orchestra. The suite, which I have played, is a work that shows his preoccupation with jazz and Czech melodies. It is a work brimming with life, but is not immune to the dire situation around him, which was only to get worse, unfortunately. The Partita is an orchestration of his string trio and also includes many Czech folk melodies in it. Interesting note: this work was conducted by Haas in the Terezín camp where Haas and many of his composer contemporaries such as Gideon Klein and Hans Krása were incarcerated.
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Offline filipek7

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2010, 04:58:07 PM »
I'm new to this forum and have not yet figured out how to respond to a specific post (it seems many others are doing so).

Re: Sarlatan.

I purchased a copy of the opera a couple of months ago, but several days later offered to lend my copy to a friend (who works at the Met in NY) who has not yet returned it!  And so, I have not yet had a chance to listen to the opera!!!

I have, however, been exploring other operas on the FABULOUS Entartete Musik series.  Schreker (Die Gezeichneten), Korngold (Das Wunder der Heliane), Krenek, Schulhoff, etc.  I recently got a great deal on Schulhoff's Flammen on ebay - a great fortune, because I would not have otherwise been able to purchase the set, having been recently laid off.  The OOP operas in this Decca series tend to be inordinately expensive, and yes, they should definitely be reissued!!!

Offline filipek7

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2010, 05:27:23 PM »
Re: Lethe (on the disc of music by Janacek, Szymanowski and Haas)

I ran across this disc on Amazon some time ago, but I passed it over because I am generally pretty skeptical about orchestrations, etc. (generally any non-original version of a composition).  The only occasional exception I make is when the original composer has transcribed the piece him- or herself (as, for instance, Brahms' clarinet sonatas in the version for viola and piano).  Perhaps I am missing out?  I just feel that there is generally good reason for the original choice of instrumentation, and this original intent is meaningful.  Many years ago, before I had much experience listening to classical music, I heard a radio broadcast of a transcription of Rachamninoff's piano trios for orchestra (the composer who orchestrated the trios argued that the original version was deficient for various reasons).  At the time I was tempted into buying the recording.  Some years later I reconsidered and sold it.  I've since stayed away from transcriptions.  I will not argue here that the Rachmaninoff trios are perfect examples of the form (they have their weaknesses), but the transcription took the heart out of the music and it really seemed that the piano, cello and violin were entirely adequate and appropriate to convey the essence of the music.  Not only was the orchestra superfluous in this case; it was somehow inimical to the whole musical experience.  It rang hollow.  Perhaps this example (Haas, etc.) is different...

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2010, 06:53:59 PM »
The quote button is found on the top right of the post you wish to quote :)

I ran across this disc on Amazon some time ago, but I passed it over because I am generally pretty skeptical about orchestrations, etc. (generally any non-original version of a composition).  The only occasional exception I make is when the original composer has transcribed the piece him- or herself (as, for instance, Brahms' clarinet sonatas in the version for viola and piano).  Perhaps I am missing out?  I just feel that there is generally good reason for the original choice of instrumentation, and this original intent is meaningful.  Many years ago, before I had much experience listening to classical music, I heard a radio broadcast of a transcription of Rachamninoff's piano trios for orchestra (the composer who orchestrated the trios argued that the original version was deficient for various reasons).  At the time I was tempted into buying the recording.  Some years later I reconsidered and sold it.  I've since stayed away from transcriptions.  I will not argue here that the Rachmaninoff trios are perfect examples of the form (they have their weaknesses), but the transcription took the heart out of the music and it really seemed that the piano, cello and violin were entirely adequate and appropriate to convey the essence of the music.  Not only was the orchestra superfluous in this case; it was somehow inimical to the whole musical experience.  It rang hollow.  Perhaps this example (Haas, etc.) is different...
They certainly aren't to be taken as seriously as the original compositions, but they do add an interesting dimension to more familiar music, and the programming on that disc is excellent. Some transcriptions can be quite poor, but often they are carried out as labours of love by a person who feels a strong enough connection to the music to wish to explore it via the compositional process. This is what Tognetti's transcriptions feel like to me, and while some of the modernistic bite of the original works is lost, there is ample exploration of the moodier aspects of the pieces. I can understand exactly what you mean when you mention the problem of superfluousness, but the appealing choice of pieces and charming musicmaking won me over in this case.
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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2010, 08:08:20 PM »
No one's yet mentioned that DEcca cd of the String Quartets, with the Krasa, too. That whole cd is pretty awesome. Hawthorne Qrt.

Offline False_Dmitry

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2010, 10:59:40 PM »
My favorite works of his are his Suite for Piano and his Partita for string orchestra. The suite, which I have played, is a work that shows his preoccupation with jazz and Czech melodies. It is a work brimming with life, but is not immune to the dire situation around him, which was only to get worse, unfortunately. The Partita is an orchestration of his string trio and also includes many Czech folk melodies in it. Interesting note: this work was conducted by Haas in the Terezín camp where Haas and many of his composer contemporaries such as Gideon Klein and Hans Krása were incarcerated.

Yes, it is worth reiterating that much of the music written in Terezin is music of hope, and of wit too, in some cases - defiant music that rejected the conditions in which these brave men were held.

There is, however, a danger that we perform their music out of a mistaken sense of sympathy.  The best reasons for performing Haas, Krasa, Ullmann etc is because they wrote extraordinary music that deserves to be played! :)

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Offline lescamil

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2010, 07:53:05 AM »
There is, however, a danger that we perform their music out of a mistaken sense of sympathy.  The best reasons for performing Haas, Krasa, Ullmann etc is because they wrote extraordinary music that deserves to be played! :)

I wouldn't call it a danger, but rather extra motivation. Of course, the quality of the music is most important.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Pavel Haas - neglected and silenced
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2010, 12:32:32 PM »
I find that I can't stop playing the 'con moto', third movement from the Suite from the Opera 'Charlatan' - it has a lovely tune, a kind of melancholy slow march which really sticks in my mind. There is a poignancy to much of this music which I find very touching + the great unfinished Symphony.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).