It may be rash to claim that the French pianist Monique Haas (1909-1987) never made a bad recording, but you won't find one among her complete DG sessions. Dating from the late 1940s up to 1965, the recordings have been transferred from scratch, and they sound remarkably well for their respective vintages. The repertoire is diverse and unhackneyed, ranging from Mozart piano duets (with Heinz Schröter) and K. 449 and K. 488 concertos, rare Haydn gems (the E-flat Arietta with Variations and the Fantasia in C major), and the Stravinsky Capriccio, to Hindemith's Concert Music for piano, brass and harps (with the composer conducting), and a substantial sonata by Marcel Mihalovici (the pianist's husband) featuring violinist Max Rostal.
This is Reger at his most accessible. In both pieces there is plenty of atmosphere and colour. The Hiller Variations is possibly his greatest and most satisfying orchestral work and is indispensable. Reger was a prolific composer, and it has to be said not all that came from his pen was necessarily memorable. However, the two works on this disc are vintage Reger. He lived his short life as fast as he composed his music. His is a special and unique sound-world which offers great rewards to those who take the time to explore it. Radiant playing from the Concertgebouw under Jarvi and sound to match.
Black-Forest-born Arno Haas released his debut album Magic Hands in 2013 receiving high accolades by critics. His sophomore album Back To You is scheduled for release on October 22, 2015 on Mochermusic. The album starts full throttle with the title song Back To You. Perfectly arranged by Tom Saviano supports the brass group saxophonist Arno Haas. A treat for fans of cultivated jazz music with the emphasis on horns.
Andras Schiff and Peter Serkin, internationally celebrated and multi-award winning classical soloists, make their New Series debuts with Music for Two Pianos. Regarded as 2 of the greatest pianists of our time, Schiff and Serkin are very seldom heard - as they are here - as piano duo. With this recording, ECM begins a long-term relationship with Andras Schiff, a musician described by Gramophone magazine as "a unique poetic voice among the pianists".
In both volume and artistic distinction there is little doubt that Reger was the greatest German composer for the organ since Bach. He relished Lutheran chorales and employed them freely, a sense of grandeur and gravity permeating his music for the instrument. The Suite No. 1 in E minor was completed in 1895, and admired by Brahms. Its four movements offer a compendium of Reger’s genius for both complexity and transparency. His later Suite No. 2 in G minor, cast in seven taut movements, similarly employs contrast, imitation and variety whilst ending in a glorious and triumphant Fugue.