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Debussy: Les Préludes sont des Images - Häring

Debussy: Les Préludes sont des Images - Häring

Ars Produktion  ARS 38 246

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Instrumental


Debussy: Preludes I, Images II, Children's Corner, Reverie

Mario Häring (piano)

 

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Review by Adrian Quanjer - March 6, 2018

From his debut recording Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas 2 & 3 / Rachmaninov: Moments musicaux - Häring we know that Mario Häring is an outstanding pianists of the new generation, whose pianistic style is more about poetics than power house playing. In this new release by ARS Produktion, Häring charms audiophiles with an all Debussy programme, no doubt meant to coincide with this year’s centenary of this French composer.

Debussy aficionados will, furthermore, be pleased to note that none of Häring’s choice overlaps Larderet’s recent Debussy recital Debussy: Préludes II, Images I - Larderet. It contains the first book of preludes, complemented by the ever so popular Children’s Corner and some assorted ‘Images’; taking the listener at the end of the musical story telling home to a soothingly played ‘Reverie’.

With his interpretation of the the preludes Häring dives in the deep. There is no shortage of eminently played versions in high definition, be they mostly patched-up oldies. Amazingly, none of them have so far been reviewed, although we can safely assume that Walter Gieseking Debussy: Preludes Books 1 & 2 - Walter Gieseking will, irrespective of sound quality and price, be high on the wish list of many of the elder generation. For new, well recorded releases in Super Audio, however, the choice is small. A recent set played by Angela Brownridge on Challenge Classics Debussy: Préludes I & II - Brownridge, got excellent marks elsewhere, but went ‘unchallenged’ on this site. That leaves us with Larderet and Häring.

Just like in the case of Gieseking, one doesn’t need to be French to play Debussy, but in my - undoubtedly subjective - view, it does help. Having given my unreserved blessing to the first, I was anxious to hear what the 30 year young German-Japanese pianist had to tell us.

Debussy didn’t like his music to be labelled ‘impressionist’, but there will be few to deny it is. Especially the two books of preludes. They read like paintings; a different one for each of the preludes. Listening is like walking in a museum in Paris. Depending on where one stands one sees (hears) different aspects, which makes these preludes so wonderful, giving interpreters room to differ. Häring creates his own, distinct contribution. But poetical as he is, I missed some of the lightness in tone which is so clearly on display in Larderet’s reading of the second book. But it is a minor, and probably biased point. Taking it at face value, it’s a memorable reading all the same.

In the Children’s Corner Häring gives a ‘witty’ account of what Debussy ‘père’ wrote for his three year old daughter ‘Chouchou’. Nowadays often used by piano teachers for their pupils, it does nonetheless need a solid degree of technical skill. If played well it’s a joy for the ear and the soul. Häring obliges with most satisfactory and deliciously articulate playing,

From the booklet one learns that the recording has been funded by ‘crowd’ (amongst which Lars Vogt) and sponsors. These days not uncommon as many young talent has to fight, one way or the other, an uphill battle to reach wider recognition. Recorded with the best technical support, Mario Häring is one of those who surely deserves it.

Blangy-le-Château,
Normandy, France.

Copyright © 2018 Adrian Quanjer and HRAudio.net

Performance:

Sonics (Multichannel):

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