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.
French pianist Monique Haas recorded the piano works of Debussy and Ravel twice, once in the late '50s and early '60s for Deutsche Grammophon and again in the late '60s and early '70s for Erato. The later recordings are released here in this six disc set from Warner Classics. As on the earlier set, Haas' performances are elegantly stylish, technically impeccable, consummately musical, and quintessentially French. Pick any piece by either composer at random, and you'll see. Try her bright but sensual Suite Bergamasque with its ravishing Clair de lune or her brilliant and visionary Études with their astounding concluding Pour les accords. Or try her recklessly virtuosic Gaspard de la nuit with its frightening Scarbo or her sweetly swaying Valses nobles et sentimentales with its heartrending Épilogue. There are only two meaningful differences between Haas' recordings: in the earlier performance, she is more passionate and impetuous while in the later performances she is more measured and thoughtful.
The piano repertoire occupies a central position in Deutsche Grammophon’s long, distinguished history. Almost from the beginning, the yellow label has been home to established keyboard luminaries and promising newcomers alike. Born between 1895 and 1991, the 32 pianists presented alphabetically in this set, encompass a wide range of performing styles, aesthetic orientations, and composer affinities.
La Bruchollerie was born in Paris. She came from a family of musicians, both François-Adrien Boieldieu and André Messager being among her ancestors. At the age of 7 she entered the class of Isidor Philipp (a friend of her parents) at the Paris Conservatoire, which she left in 1928 with a first prize. After that she was a pupil of Alfred Cortot in Paris, of Emil von Sauer in Vienna and of Raoul von Koczalski in Berlin. A concert she gave in 1932 under the baton of Charles Münch brought her breakthrough as a pianist. Between 1936 und 1938 she went on to take part in more piano competitions, above all in the Chopin Competition of 1938 in Warsaw and the 1939 Brussels Competition.