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Any Interest in a Thread on Classical Pianists & Recordings?

post #1 of 112
Thread Starter 
It doesn't seem like many people on Head-Fi listen primarily to classical music - at least looking through this and the headphones threads.

If anyone has an interest in this subject though, I know I would enjoy participating and exchanging views on the subject with others around the world.
post #2 of 112
I have a massive classical collection. Feel free to get the ball rolling.
post #3 of 112
No need to ask if you can start a thread, just start one!

I'm interested in Chopin and Bach when it comes to piano.
post #4 of 112
Beethoven here. Let's get this started...
post #5 of 112
@Currawong Thought you were asian, then clicked on your Twitter feed >.<

Chopin's entire piano repertoire of Etudes, Waltzes, and Nocturnes is sterling work; his Etudes are brilliant, and, from first-hand experience, formidable in terms of technical virtuosity. Winter Wind, that is all.

The Grieg Piano Concerto is a favorite, as well as the Tchaikovsky No.1, Rach 2 & 3, Prokofiev No.2, Chopin No.1. Also Liszt solo works.
post #6 of 112
Thread Starter 
o.k. Thanks for the feedback. Believe it or not, while I have listened to classical piano all of my life, growing up with Serkin, Horowitz, Rubenstein, Gilels and Richter in particular, and then Ashkenazy, Pollini, Michelangeli, and Lang Lang (who I am not a fan of), I have only recently discovered Martha Agerich ..and was absolutely astonished by her playing. Yes, I know (now) that she has been one of the keyboard giants of the last century (and where was I?), but anyway, better late in this case than never. What caught my attention? Her album of the 24 Chopin Preludes, and if you know this album (Deutsche Grammophon - part of its 111th year Birthday collection), you know why I reacted the way I did.

Your experiences/thoughts on Martha Agerich? And any comparisons you would like to draw with other pianists.
post #7 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiohlite View Post
Beethoven here. Let's get this started...
Sure. Best performances (not necessarily recordings) of all/any of the 5 Piano Concertos. Thoughts on the pianists, conductors and orchestras.
post #8 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridleyguy View Post
It doesn't seem like many people on Head-Fi listen primarily to classical music - at least looking through this and the headphones threads.

If anyone has an interest in this subject though, I know I would enjoy participating and exchanging views on the subject with others around the world.
If you search threads for Bach, etc you will find some pretty good stuff.
95% of what I listen is Classical. Just finished listening to all of Bach's Cantatas and am now listening to Maria Tipo playing Bach. Lovely.
post #9 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridleyguy View Post
o.k. Thanks for the feedback. Believe it or not, while I have listened to classical piano all of my life, growing up with Serkin, Horowitz, Rubenstein, Gilels and Richter in particular, and then Ashkenazy, Pollini, Michelangeli, and Lang Lang (who I am not a fan of), I have only recently discovered Martha Agerich ..and was absolutely astonished by her playing. Yes, I know (now) that she has been one of the keyboard giants of the last century (and where was I?), but anyway, better late in this case than never. What caught my attention? Her album of the 24 Chopin Preludes, and if you know this album (Deutsche Grammophon - part of its 111th year Birthday collection), you know why I reacted the way I did.

Your experiences/thoughts on Martha Agerich? And any comparisons you would like to draw with other pianists.
I've lately been a fan of Ashkenazy's playing of Chopin. While more "by the book" than Rubenstein, that seems to work for me (yet I prefer Nigel Kennedy's interpretation of Vivaldi). I'll have to check out Martha Agerich as I haven't heard of her before.
post #10 of 112
The Argerich performance of the Chopin Scherzo (from her debut) is astounding. I thought Ashkenazy did a good job, until I heard this...apart from that I'm not really familiar with her Chopin (or anyone else's for that matter, I don't really listen to his stuff).
Argerich's Rachmaninov 3 with Chailly is another one of those 'classic' performances you have to hear. It's pretty amazing, I tend to favor it even against the composer's own version!

on Beethoven:
I really love the Perahia/Haitink 5th Piano Concerto for its spirituality. Whenever I hear this piece played by almost anyone else it sounds so flashy, but with Perahia it's so profound, as to seem among Beethoven's best works.

The 4th Piano Concerto with Kempff/Leitner is incredible. There's so much texture and depth to his playing, and the BPO isn't far behind. This recording makes me believe the 4th Concerto is LvB's next to greatest composition (top spot is reserved for: Sonata #32/Quartet #13/Eroica -I can never decide!)

The rest of the P. Concertos, honestly, I can't say I really like very much. IDK why, but they're among the few compositions of his that rub me the wrong way. I think he was trying too hard to emulate Mozart, and (at least to me) it shows.
post #11 of 112
I like Argerich's 'The Legendary 1965 Recording' and also her 'Debut Recital'. Particularly the Liszt stuff on the debut.
post #12 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
I'll have to check out Martha Agerich as I haven't heard of her before.
You've been under a classical rock =0.
post #13 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridleyguy View Post
Sure. Best performances (not necessarily recordings) of all/any of the 5 Piano Concertos. Thoughts on the pianists, conductors and orchestras.
The recordings with Walter Giseking are among the finest performances of Beethoven Piano Concertos. He recorded them several times. The earlier recordings are possibly more exciting but the recording quality is primitive. There is one he did of Beethoven's 5th in Berlin near the end of the war. I think is was on radio at the time. I think you can hear bombs falling in the distance at one point! Kinda adds to the drama of the piece.
post #14 of 112
Thread Starter 
When I think of Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto, the "Emperor Concerto", I always have a mental image of Artur Rubenstein playing it. Maybe not technically the greatest pianist (as he didn't like to practice!), but musically, likely second to none.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend Rubenstein's two volume autobiography. It is a totally absorbing read giving you a perspective of the era he grew up in - and one other thing, he was known to have a photographic memory and could remember almost every day of his life (but obviously not the first few!).

I have the Ashkenazy CDs, with Ashkenazy performing with the Cleveland Orchestra, which I recommend.
post #15 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridleyguy View Post
When I think of Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto, the "Emperor Concerto", I always have a mental image of Artur Rubenstein playing it. Maybe not technically the greatest pianist (as he didn't like to practice!), but musically, likely second to none.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend Rubenstein's two volume autobiography. It is a totally absorbing read giving you a perspective of the era he grew up in - and one other thing, he was known to have a photographic memory and could remember almost every day of his life (but obviously not the first few!).

I have the Ashkenazy CDs, with Ashkenazy performing with the Cleveland Orchestra, which I recommend.
Thanks for the tip on the autobio.

If you like the Rubenstein you will almost for sure like the Giseking. I think there is a version from the 60s of the emperor which has acceptable sound.

The Ashkanazy is a different beast altogether. More modern in terms of the ideas about how Beethoven should be presented.

Rubenstein and Giseking were the kind of performers that you could almost always tell it was them. There wasn't yet the idea of presenting a museum piece, recreating the composers intent. Also orchestras had more time to practice. Both approaches have their virtues, that's on reason why we like different recordings of the same peice.
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