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post #226 of 2209
The 140 CD Rubinstein box is down under $100 at importcds. Some fantastic stuff in that box and one of the best books and supplemental DVDs I've ever seen in one of these classical mega box sets.
post #227 of 2209
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

The 140 CD Rubinstein box is down under $100 at importcds. Some fantastic stuff in that box and one of the best books and supplemental DVDs I've ever seen in one of these classical mega box sets.

Wow, that's very attractive. Unfortunately, the last time I ordered something from importcds (Teldec Bach 2000 set), I was hit with some pretty substantial import duties. (I don't mind paying the tax, but paying for the handling at customs as well is annoying.) Then again, the euro is pretty strong against the dollar these days. Oh, why need you tempt me so.... :bigsmile_face:

post #228 of 2209
check Amazon in Europe. It's $140 at amazon.com
post #229 of 2209
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

check Amazon in Europe. It's $140 at amazon.com

 

I was actually eyeing this set for 2 months or so already. Until a week ago, Italian Amazon had the best price (130 euros), but now that has gone up to 148. I did some calculations, but even with the added duties, importcds would still be significantly cheaper than even the original Italian price. So I bought it. :normal_smile : Thanks for the tip!

 

The funny thing is, I'm actually not a huge Rubinstein fan. But I think his chamber music recordings are amazing. That's really the main reason I wanted this set.

post #230 of 2209

I've been enjoying (I think someone here recommended it?) the complete Beethoven symphonies by the Minnesota Orchestra with Osmo Vanska, on BIS. Crisp, engaging, excellent sonics.

post #231 of 2209

 

I own hundreds of classical piano cd's, this is for me the very best. This recording of Haydn (Richter's favorite composer) has a transcendent, not from this world quality, I haven't come across before.. I will always remember and cherish the first time I listened to this cd..

 

As a bonus, at the end of the recital you can hear a thunder storm closing in and you can smell the rain :D

 

 

post #232 of 2209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drosera View Post
 

The funny thing is, I'm actually not a huge Rubinstein fan. But I think his chamber music recordings are amazing. That's really the main reason I wanted this set.

 

I think you'll find an awful lot to love in that box.

 

There is one more thing you need to get that they left out of this set. It was in the last set... The DVD of the Moscow concert. I can dig up a link for you if you want. It is the most powerful and amazing live performance I've ever seen. Rubinstein was Polish and was asked to play in Moscow in the 60s. It was recorded by two B&W TV cameras. His entire life and passion for the mistreatment of the Polish people at the hands of the Soviets was poured into one performance. The Chopin at the end is devastating!


Edited by bigshot - 10/9/13 at 11:19am
post #233 of 2209
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

I think you'll find an awful lot to love in that box.

 

There is one more thing you need to get that they left out of this set. It was in the last set... The DVD of the Moscow concert. I can dig up a link for you if you want. It is the most powerful and amazing live performance I've ever seen. Rubinstein was Polish and was asked to play in Moscow in the 60s. It was recorded by two B&W TV cameras. His entire life and passion for the mistreatment of the Polish people at the hands of the Soviets was poured into one performance. The Chopin at the end is devastating!

 

Yeah, I'm confident there will be plenty to discover there.

 

I've seen that Moscow concert mentioned a few times in the Amazon reviews. It definitely sounds like a must-have, so that will go on the wishlist.

 

Right away I'm reminded of another Moscow concert by another keyboard giant. Horowitz. That must be one of the most frequently played cds in my collection.

 

Well, this should be enough big piano boxes to keep me occupied for the rest of the year. In the last few months I've bought the Cortot, Ciccolini and Francois boxes, and now Rubinstein. (But wait, there's also that Horowitz Carnegie Hall box. How long till that will be deleted again? Oh dear...)

post #234 of 2209

Hi there,

 

About the piano subject,  IMHO the three best Beethoven Piano Sonata are:

Pathetique

Apassionata

Moonlight

 

And, again imho, the best two "guys" on this are Arrau and Barenboim.

 

Here is an example how a bad recording can make a huge difference:

 

First:

Barenboim with D. Gramophon

http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Sonatas-Moonlight-Appassionata-Path%C3%A9tique/dp/B0018ND672/ref=sr_1_1?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&sr=1-1&keywords=barenboim+pathetique

 

Second:

Arrau with Philips

http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Sonatas-8-14-23/dp/B00000411Z/ref=pd_ybh_3

 

Comments?

 

Cheers

post #235 of 2209
Quote:
Originally Posted by sh4dowd4ncer View Post
 

Hi there,

 

About the piano subject,  IMHO the three best Beethoven Piano Sonata are:

Pathetique

Apassionata

Moonlight

 

And, again imho, the best two "guys" on this are Arrau and Barenboim.

 

Here is an example how a bad recording can make a huge difference:

 

First:

Barenboim with D. Gramophon

http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Sonatas-Moonlight-Appassionata-Path%C3%A9tique/dp/B0018ND672/ref=sr_1_1?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&sr=1-1&keywords=barenboim+pathetique

 

Second:

Arrau with Philips

http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Sonatas-8-14-23/dp/B00000411Z/ref=pd_ybh_3

 

Comments?

 

Cheers


Yes, try Friedrich Gulda!

 

and last three sonatas and Hammerklavier(!) Alfred Brendel (Philips)

 

Opus 10 sonatas and other early ones by Gould are hilarious (and quite wonderful IMO)

 

and all good recordings by Sviatoslav Richter, I recently bought his Beethoven recordings in Prague....his opus 106 is SUPERB!!


Edited by Quinto - 10/9/13 at 12:34pm
post #236 of 2209

Back to the topic of this thread:

This was the year I discovered Knappertsbusch. Okay, you might think I'm a little late to the party there, so let me elaborate.

I was already a little familiar with Knappertsbusch, from some Wagner snippets, the 1951 Parsifal and some cursory listening to his 1956 Ring. And...none of it impressed me very much.

 

Then, on a whim, I bought this recording.

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 60

 

 

Mainly because I was curious to hear Greindl's Sachs. What I certainly didn't expect was that it instantly became my favourite Meistersinger recording by a bit of a margin. (It was only afterwards that I discovered that this recording is actually really well regarded among cognoscenti.) This is one of those rare instances when everything in an opera comes together. Not only is there hardly a weak link in the cast, but more importantly, throughout they strike sparks off each other. Greindl is perfect as Sachs, gruff, jolly, dignified and he simply sounds like he is having the time of his life with this role. Windgassen is a very passionate knight, far removed from the 'Bayreuth boredom' which he would sometimes suffer from in later years. Grümmer is ..well Grümmer. Absolutely heavenly. Theo Adam a beautifully fatherly Pogner. (Probably the most intelligent singer ever on the Bayreuth stage.)
Knappertsbusch seems to weave the music around these singers, never losing sight of the main line, with perfectly natural tempo changes and perhaps most importantly, really allowing the singers to make the most of every one of their lines.
No weak links...? Well, it's hard to imagine they couldn't find a better Magdalene than Elisabeth Schärtel in 1960 and I prefer a lyric tenor in the role of David, rather than Gerhard Stolze's character tenor (but I can warm to him).

 

 

So, having now heard how special a Knappertsbusch interpretation could be, I was curious to hear more. So I bought this.

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 60

 


And rightaway it has probably become my favourite Holländer. (Do you see a trend developing? :normal_smile : ) Uhde is simply the perfect Dutchman, such keen intelligence, so menacingly angry when raging against fate. Ludwig Weber makes more of the role of Daland then I've heard any other singer do. Who would have thought that this character can be so interesting? I'm not generally a big fan of Astrid Varnay, but I do think she works very well for Wagner's 'crazy b!tches' (Ortrud, Kundry, Senta). Windgassen really throws himself with heart and soul into the role of Erik. (Wow, he really was amazing at this age.) Knappertsbusch approach here might take some getting used to. You could say he makes too heavy weather of such early Wagner, but he certainly manages to convince me and it's absolutely gripping from beginning to end.

 

 

But what Knappertsbusch is really famous for, is his Parsifal isn't it? So why has his fabled 1951 interpretation never failed to put me to sleep? Well, as it turns out, that 1951 Parsifal might be the worst of the available Knappertsbusch Parsifals. (Controversial opinion, I know.) Listening to recordings of the following years (Knappertsbusch directed Parsifal in Bayreuth from 1951 to 1964 (except for 1953)), it becomes obvious that he was just getting to grips with the work in that first year after the war and only in later years his interpretation really came into its own. Of the ones I've heard up till now the 1954 is my favourite. Available in rather decent sound, compared to the 'bootlegs' from other years.

 

 


So these are some Wagner recordings I consider to be among very best available.

post #237 of 2209
Quote:
Originally Posted by sh4dowd4ncer View Post
 

Hi there,

 

About the piano subject,  IMHO the three best Beethoven Piano Sonata are:

Pathetique

Apassionata

Moonlight

 

I think Beethoven wrote at least 32 'best' piano sonatas. With some lesser composers a remark like that would be trite, but choosing among Beethovens piano sonatas seems just as silly as trying to choose the best prelude and fugue from the Well-tempered Klavier. (Of course, all his IMHO. ;) )

 

And yes, Friedrich Gulda. Definitely.

post #238 of 2209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drosera View Post
 

 

I think Beethoven wrote at least 32 'best' piano sonatas. With some lesser composers a remark like that would be trite, but choosing among Beethovens piano sonatas seems just as silly as trying to choose the best prelude and fugue from the Well-tempered Klavier. (Of course, all his IMHO. ;) )

 

And yes, Friedrich Gulda. Definitely.

 

I tried to point how a bad recording can make a huge difference and "just" because I chose 3 piano sonatas as reference you tell me that choosing is silly...

Anyway, it is just your humble opinion as well... ;)

 

The point of the post was: how a better performance (Arrau`s in my opinion) can be overpassed by a better recording (Barenboim`s in this case).

I really enjoy Gulda`s signature of the three mentioned sonatas. But I still think Arrau`s is the best.

 

Cheers

post #239 of 2209
Quote:
Originally Posted by sh4dowd4ncer View Post
 

The point of the post was: how a better performance (Arrau`s in my opinion) can be overpassed by a better recording (Barenboim`s in this case).

 

I don't think that's as self evident  as you seem to think it is. Schnabel is the proof that a bad recording can trump many worthwhile performances with much better sound quality.

post #240 of 2209
Quote:
Originally Posted by sh4dowd4ncer View Post
 

 

I tried to point how a bad recording can make a huge difference and "just" because I chose 3 piano sonatas as reference you tell me that choosing is silly...

Anyway, it is just your humble opinion as well... ;)

 

The point of the post was: how a better performance (Arrau`s in my opinion) can be overpassed by a better recording (Barenboim`s in this case).

I really enjoy Gulda`s signature of the three mentioned sonatas. But I still think Arrau`s is the best.

 

Cheers

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

I don't think that's as self evident  as you seem to think it is. Schnabel is the proof that a bad recording can trump many worthwhile performances with much better sound quality.

 

In this case, a more interesting question would be: How does sensitivity for recording quality influence our preferences for recorded performances?

 

For my own part, as you can see from my Wagner selections above, recording sound quality isn't really very important to me. In fact, I can honestly say that I never bought a single recording where sound quality was part of the reasons for buying that recording. I don't know if I'm an oddball in this or not (perhaps I am on these forums at least :regular_smile : ), but I certainly do know a number of people that simply can't enjoy a recorded performance if it was recorded in mono.

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