Fata Morgana - Song by Pavel Haas
Resonus Classics present this significant new recording of vocal works by the early-twentieth century Czech composer, Pavel Haas. Featuring four song cycles composed by Haas at various stages in his life, this captivating album includes the world premiere recording of Fata Morgana, Op. 6 – Haas’s first major work composed following studies with Leoš Janáček in 1922.
Pianist Lada Valešová is joined by an exceptional array of singers as well as the acclaimed Navarra Quartet in a vivid portrait of this neglected composer. The album is released on CD and in digital formats ranging from MP3 up to 24-bit studio quality master with a 28-page full-colour booklet also available as a PDF
Song by Pavel Haas
Sedm písní v lidovém
tónu, Op. 18 (1940)
Seven Songs in Folk Style
Fata Morgana, Op. 6 (1923)
Rabíndranáth Thákur, Zahradník
Čínské písně, Op. 4
Čtyři písně na slova
čínské poezie (1944)
Four Songs on Chinese Poetry
Nicky Spence tenor
James Platt bass
Anita Watson soprano
Anna Starushkevych mezzo soprano
piano & artistic director
" I first came across the music of Pavel Haas while researching the links between the Czech composers and their students. This line of enquiry led me from Leoš Janáček to Pavel Haas, one of his most significant and original students.
From the very first moment Haas’s music has mesmerised me: it was an exciting discovery and a wonderful challenge. The unique fusion of the local Moravian folklore influences, of jazz and film music of his time ( his brother Hugo Haas was one of the most popular actors in the pre-war Czechoslovakia ), with the echoes of the synagogue chants, which he heard as a child when visiting his uncle, a Jewish community cantor, as well as Haas’s intricate work with harmonic and rhythmic patterns, and the formative influence of his composition teacher Janáček: all these factors united in a highly original musical language of great coherence, depth and wit. While Haas’s music captures the zeitgeist of his era, its roots reach deep into the Czech musical tradition, where the ancient Saint Wenceslas choral resonates, rousing the Czech nation to courage in the times of hardship.
My interest further led me to Haas's daughter, Olga Haasová-Smrčková. Meeting this remarkable lady, the closest living relative of the composer, provided another impulse and inspiration for my work. Her wit and energy, regardless of her advanced age and frail health, her inner fire and inner strength made me think of what her father would have been like. It is an unspeakable tragedy that his life has been so cruelly cut in its prime, and one can but ponder on what another masterpieces Pavel Haas could have had composed. But we are fortunate to have the music he's left us, which speaks on his behalf.
The ambition behind this album is double: to share the exquisite song cycles by Pavel Haas, and to present, for the first time, the magic of his Fata Morgana to the wider audience, but it is also to inspire others to get hold of the music, to study it, and make it a regular part of the repertoire on records and concert platforms. The legacy of Pavel Haas deserves that, and more.