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post #16 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeusEx View Post
You've been under a classical rock =0.
My father didn't listen to much Chopin, mostly Mozart, Bach and Beethoven unfortunately, and I didn't pay a great deal of attention when he listened at all. He'd select from the program pieces he was interested in that were being played on the local classical/jazz radio station and record them onto reel-to-reel tape or, later cassette. Later he built up a library of Naxos CDs after I modernised his hi-fi back in the early '90s (and also persuaded him to buy me my first pair of high-quality headphones, MB Quarts, so I can say I was into Head-fi close to a decade before it existed!). However, there hasn't been a lot of classic I have felt like listening to either, except Chopin lately. Aside from that, someone did suggest to me the Scottish Chamber Orchestra playing Beethoven's 3rd, 4th and 5th piano concertos from Linn Records, which I quite like, if the recording quality isn't as good as I might have wished.
post #17 of 112
Franz List, a prolific composer and a virtuoso pianist, needs a mention here.

As a composer, Liszt left behind a huge and diverse body of work, in which he influenced his contemporaries while anticipating 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form, and making radical departures in harmony.

His thoroughly revised masterwork, "Années de Pèlerinage" ("Years of Pilgrimage") includes arguably his most provocative and stirring pieces.

In addition to his original compositions, he was also very well-known for his transcriptions of Schubert songs, his fantasies on operatic melodies, and his piano arrangements of symphonies by Berlioz and Beethoven.
post #18 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
My father didn't listen to much Chopin, mostly Mozart, Bach and Beethoven unfortunately, and I didn't pay a great deal of attention when he listened at all. He'd select from the program pieces he was interested in that were being played on the local classical/jazz radio station and record them onto reel-to-reel tape or, later cassette. Later he built up a library of Naxos CDs after I modernised his hi-fi back in the early '90s (and also persuaded him to buy me my first pair of high-quality headphones, MB Quarts, so I can say I was into Head-fi close to a decade before it existed!). However, there hasn't been a lot of classic I have felt like listening to either, except Chopin lately. Aside from that, someone did suggest to me the Scottish Chamber Orchestra playing Beethoven's 3rd, 4th and 5th piano concertos from Linn Records, which I quite like, if the recording quality isn't as good as I might have wished.
Those linn recordings are a bit of a disappointment both sonically and also performance wise. I tried them after hearing the Linn SCO recordings of Mozart Symphonies, which are fantastic.

For great performances, good sound try the Pollini.
post #19 of 112
Martha Argerich started my love for classical piano years ago when I stumbled by accident over her Liszt B-minor sonata.. It blew me of my socks and the piano quest started for me..

Turned out, except the B-minor sonata and the second year of the Années de Pèlerinage I'm not a big fan of Liszt piano work.. I spend about 3 or 4 month exclusively listening to Brendel's Beethoven sonatas (Hamerklavier!), which where a revelation for me at the time.. Later I bought his Schubert double live cd and the Moment Musicaux, which started my eternal love for Schubbie

Sviatoslav Richter is another chapter of my piano adventures.. I love most of his work, except for Chopin, which is not my cup of coffee (I dont like tea)
My all time Richter fav. are Brahms pianosonate 1 & 2 and his two Decca Haydn sonatas cd's, those are stunning..like his Prokofiev 2

Some sunny afternoon I bought a Bach piano cd, because I didnt know any yet..
It happened to be the Goldberg variations '81 by Glenn Gould..
I loved this at the first second and I love all his Bach, Beethoven, Mozart (not for purists! but I enjoyed it immensely and laughed my butt of, only knowing Brendel's Mozart at that time), Scriabin and Strauss now.

Other favorites are Uchida (Mozart and Schubert), Ashkenazy, Pollini, Arrau, Kempf, Sokolov and Serkin (I think I miss a few )

I like Brautigam's forte piano as well (Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn)

I guess overall I like Schubert, Beethoven and Bach the most..O, and Haydn maybe best

My most recent piano buy is Bach piano concertos by the young French pianist David Fray, very good music and very good SQ!!
post #20 of 112
Thread Starter 
With Beethoven's piano music generally, my mental benchmark is Wilhelm Kempff and his recording of the cycle of the Beethoven Sonatas. He was known for his even tempo, and to me, there are no extremes in his interpretations - not too fast, not to slow, evenly paced always. Everyone else to me is somewhere else on that pianistic graph, with Kempff dead centre.
post #21 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridleyguy View Post
With Beethoven's piano music generally, my mental benchmark is Wilhelm Kempff and his recording of the cycle of the Beethoven Sonatas. He was known for his even tempo, and to me, there are no extremes in his interpretations - not too fast, not to slow, evenly paced always. Everyone else to me is somewhere else on that pianistic graph, with Kempff dead centre.
Sounds like Kempff is ' the original' Beethoven for you.. I have the same with some pianists with certain pieces, but I try to resist it, because ' the original' only exisists on paper..

Kempff's Beethoven is very, very good though
post #22 of 112
Thread Starter 
Yes, as he was one of the few to have recorded the full cycle of the Sonatas at the time - but I am by no means saying he is my favourite or that his interpretations are the best - that's a different subject. Just a mental reference point as being quite "neutral".

For Chopin, I have similar issue, growing up with the Novaes Plays Chopin full vinyl set of the Preludes, Nocturnes, etc. and hearing them literally hundreds of times.

For younger people on the Forum, you probably don't have the same issues, as you have had a far greater choice of both the old recordings, often re-mastered, and the newer ones. What I think can't be improved upon though in this century, is the lineage of the great pianists of the last century, more or less being able to trace them back to Liszt - that connection back to the composer and 'Romantic' era.

For those who have not heard the story, Horowitz and Rachmaninoff, as an example of the connections between composers and artists, met originally at Steinway in New York. As the story goes, apparently Rachmaninoff, upon hearing Horowitz play his music, made a comment to Horowitz to the effect that "you play my music better than I do" - and as we know, Rachmaninoff was a great pianist in his own right.

If you haven't read it, a very famous book, "Speaking of Pianists", by the highly regarded music critic Abram Chasins provides tremendous insight on the chain of influence of Liszt on pianists up to the 80's when the book was written, and is both a great education on pianistic styles, and a very entertaining read.
post #23 of 112
Great book tip. thanks!!

I read ' Grand obsession, (a piano odyssey, by Perri Knize) a while back, it's about the quest for a perfect sounding piano, very nice read!!

Cheers.
post #24 of 112
Thread Starter 
Thank you too. I just ordered a copy from Amazon!
post #25 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post
Franz List, a prolific composer and a virtuoso pianist, needs a mention here.

As a composer, Liszt left behind a huge and diverse body of work, in which he influenced his contemporaries while anticipating 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form, and making radical departures in harmony.

His thoroughly revised masterwork, "Années de Pèlerinage" ("Years of Pilgrimage") includes arguably his most provocative and stirring pieces.

In addition to his original compositions, he was also very well-known for his transcriptions of Schubert songs, his fantasies on operatic melodies, and his piano arrangements of symphonies by Berlioz and Beethoven.
His "Transcendental Etudes" are also a must if you love Liszt!
post #26 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinto View Post

Other favorites are Uchida (Mozart and Schubert)
Her Mozart is definitive! I usually like period performances, (Check out Bilson's performance of the concertos), but she really brings out the beauty of Mozart without sounding too precious, no mean feat. And the sound of the concertos in particular is first class.
post #27 of 112
Thread Starter 
Interesting. I have the Ashkenazy recordings of all the Mozart concertos, with the Philharmonia Orchestra, and haven't felt the need to buy other versions, but I will check out the Bilson performances.

Another pianist to check out if you haven't heard her is Yuja Wang (Deutsche Grammophon). Also on the DG site, you can stream any tracks for 99 cents /wk. to try before buying and their 111th Birthday collection of 55 CDs is a bargain for those starting a collection.
post #28 of 112
Speaking of Mozart piano concertos, I especially like no.20
I really liked Brendel's and recently discovered Richter's.. God, I adore his piano play..

I know you are going to enjoy the book Ridley!
post #29 of 112
Thread Starter 
My favourite too - very reminiscent to me of Beethoven's 1st and 4th Piano concertos.

Richter used to be my favourite pianist for many years. In my mind, his most memorable recordings are those of the all Beethoven concerts he performed in Carnegie Hall over a 5-day period. If you haven't heard the 3rd movement of the Appassionata sonata in those concerts please check it out on the DG site. It is known for the way he built to a thundering climax - and for more than a few obvious wrong notes as well, which didn't detract from the performance!
post #30 of 112
Annie Fischer is my favorite performer of Beethoven, followed by Brendel, Gilels, and Jando.
I'm starting to get into Brautigam's fortepiano recordings, but he seems to rush a lot of it.

Murray Perahia is probably my favorite 'all around' interpreter of many composers, especially his Mozart and Chopin.
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