A good rendition of works of a forgotten genius
Alan Rosenfelder | edgware, middlesex United Kingdom | 07/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pavel Haas is a sadly neglected twentieth century Czech composer.He was a student of among others Janacek.He could only compose for limited periods due to the demands of helping in his family business.In his forties he was deported as a jew to Theriesenstadt and murdered in 1944 in Auschwitz . This c.d. presents a selection of the limited orchestral works that exist.The c.d. is caringly presented by Israel Yinon and the Brno state philarmonic orchestra.Israel Yinon has specialised in bringing to general attention the hidden masterpieces of central European composers who perished in the holocaust. Pavel Haas has a distinctive personal style which seems to allay Czech folk melody and traditional jewish themes and some more twentieth century discord.The result is music which is resolute and taught and serious without being morose or overly discordant.A concentrating mind is audible with clear personal musical ideas .The scherzo triste is full of nostalgic whimsy with just a hint of the Saint saens danse macabre.The suite of the tragicomic opera sarlatan combines gaiety with the more serious reflection on the complexity of people's gullability to a rogue quack.The final work is his unfinished symphony completed by zdenek zouhar,this is the most heartfelt and muscular piece written in the early part of the second world war.A powerful and reflective piece which is haas's testament to the uncertainty and anxiety of the age. this is a treasure of a c.d.well worth exploring."