Any Interest in a Thread on Classical Pianists & Recordings?

And as for Gould, wearing a wool jacket and gloves in Summer (he had a phobia about getting an infection); sitting on the same (very low) piano stool throughout his career; an obsession with studio recording and forsaking all concerts throughout the latter part of his career; and, last but not least, writing that famous fugue

YouTube - Glenn Gould talks about So You Want to Write a Fugue

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6hQnBc5sQU&feature=fvw
Yes ... he was quite a character! One wonders how he could even play from that position!
Originally Posted by Ridleyguy
We should conduct a poll on most eccentric concert pianist. While Gould had his public eccentricities, Horowitz may trump him. Where do I start ... 3 (?) years w/o leaving his Manhatten apartment, later in life ..only performed as a soloist, had blackout curtains travelling with him for hotels, ate the same meal every concert day (Dover sole) ..and concerts were only on Sundays (I recall) at 2(?) in the afternoon. And I believe he was very particular about the piano(s) Steinway sent for his concert tours - now that one makes sense!
Gould definitely wins the prize for most eccentric concert pianist. While Horowitz had eccentricites, when he played you only noticed the music. GG on the other hand, his posture, humming and completely original interpretations...
Has anyone checked out medici.tv? Some nice video on Martha Agerich, etc. I didn't subscribe, but I would like to find out more about it.
Anyone have any concerts lined up for the Spring/Summer?

I will be attending a solo recital by Yuja Wang on May 1st.
Isn't it interesting how a pianist like Richter always tried to play only what was written, Brendel tried to play what was written but with a limited freedom of interpretation, the limit being the spirit of the composer and Gould did whatever he felt like..

For me one method isnt better or worse then the other, I like diversity..
Also very useful for greater musical insight IMO

For anyone who's interested in Richter I would highly recommand the Enigma DVD and/or book by Bruno Monsaingeon..Katie Hafner wrote an interesting book on Gould's quest for the perfect piano 'a Romance on Three Legs'

There are lots of books on Gould, but I avoid the one's dealing with to much private stuff, not because it's none of my business, which it isn't of course, but it gets in the way of the music..for me anyway

Gould himself wrote lots of articles over the years for various magazines on all kind off subjects (Streisand, Schwarzkopf, arguments to ban applause, Schonberg...etc etc), bundled in Tim Pages' Glenn Gould Reader..Really nice read!
Originally Posted by Ridleyguy
Anyone have any concerts lined up for the Spring/Summer?

I will be attending a solo recital by Yuja Wang on May 1st.
Yea, with any luck I'll be going to Mahler's 8th in spring 2011
Originally Posted by Quinto
Isn't it interesting how a pianist like Richter always tried to play only what was written, Brendel tried to play what was written but with a limited freedom of interpretation, the limit being the spirit of the composer and Gould did whatever he felt like..

For me one method isnt better or worse then the other, I like diversity..
Also very useful for greater musical insight IMO

For anyone who's interested in Richter I would highly recommand the Enigma DVD and/or book by Bruno Monsaingeon..Katie Hafner wrote an interesting book on Gould's quest for the perfect piano 'a Romance on Three Legs'

There are lots of books on Gould, but I avoid the one's dealing with to much private stuff, not because it's none of my business, which it isn't of course, but it gets in the way of the music..for me anyway

Gould himself wrote lots of articles over the years for various magazines on all kind off subjects (Streisand, Schwarzkopf, arguments to ban applause, Schonberg...etc etc), bundled in Tim Pages' Glenn Gould Reader..Really nice read!
With Richter and Gould one is confident that their approach to how they interpret the music is based on their awesome command of the instrument. However, in Brendel case, his interpretation sometimes seems as if it is based on a limitation. In fact, he is the more controversial of the three.
I guess it depends who you ask lol

Gould had a technical limitation for forte, because he used finger technique, he couldnt use his body/shoulders.. Richter wasnt always very note perfect...Brendel's legato wasn't alway perfect..some say

For me. it's all part of their genius' when your brain is overly specialised, it always has a price Any Interest in a Thread on Classical Pianists & Recordings?

When a perfect pianist ever arises, he/she will probably sound mediocre+ hehe
Hamelin is probably as perfect as one gets. Check out his disk of the Alkan Concerto sans Orchestre. Breathtaking!!
Originally Posted by Quinto
I guess it depends who you ask lol

Gould had a technical limitation for forte, because he used finger technique, he couldnt use his body/shoulders.. Richter wasnt always very note perfect...Brendel's legato wasn't alway perfect..some say

For me. it's all part of their genius' when your brain is overly specialised, it always has a price Any Interest in a Thread on Classical Pianists & Recordings?

When a perfect pianist ever arises, he/she will probably sound mediocre+ hehe
I suspect your post is closest to the truth yet!
It's interesting too that Rubenstein once commented that it was the technical perfection of the Russian pianists that forced him to practice, as it became no longer acceptable to drop notes. I believe he discussed this in some detail in his autobiography.

Richter, who several of us have referred to here did drop notes, as evidenced by his performance in Carnegie Hall of Beethoven's Apassionata Sonata. Musically, however, most would agree, that concert and performance was a triumph.

Mechanical playing with technical perfection seems to be attainable by quite a number of pianists, but musicality and intellectual interpretation seem to be the realm of a handful.

Of today's pianists, the most controversial interpreter I have heard recently is Pogorelich, (whom no less a pianist than Agerich declared to be a 'genius"). I have his Scriabin Sonatas recording on Deutsche Grammophon, and could anything be more different than his interpretation when compared to Horowitz's interpretation of Scriabin?

You can download this on the DG site for 99 cents a week if interested.

I was first introduced to Scriabin through the Horowitz's Met and Moscow CDs, and Horowitz was known as a champion of Scriabin's music. I would be interested in reading other opinions on Pogorelich's interpretations ... and on other pianist interpreters that went out on a limb in interpreting the music of various composers.
Originally Posted by Ridleyguy

... but musicality and intellectual interpretation seem to be the realm of a handful.
I'll have to put Barenboim's name to the list, and I was truly impressed with his traversal of the Beethoven 32 three years ago in Berlin, captured in an awesome DVD published by EMI. Nevertheless, he will likely be best remembered as a conductor (and a good one at that) many years from now.
I haven't heard it, but I will see if it is available on Amazon or elsewhere for legal download.

I wish there were more services like the one on the Deutsche Grammophon site, where you can stream something you are interested in for a week for a very reasonable price before buying it. Unfortunately they only have the DG and Decca labels available there. We can't get Passionato in Canada yet, which I would also like to try.

Did anyone check out that Medici.tv site? It's quite cool.
Originally Posted by Ridleyguy
Did anyone check out that Medici.tv site? It's quite cool.
I chanced upon Medici.tv several months ago, and happened to watch the Yuja Wang Prokofiev No.2 performance via the site. Really doesn't seem to be updated that often, unfortunately.
The Canadian movie "32 short films about Glenn Gould" provides some insight into the mind of the genius.
I came across an interesting site the other day related to this topic: Piano Sheet Music | Classical Piano Music | pianostreet.com. They have a Forum section, videos, etc. and one interesting thread within the 'Performances' thread is one on the most over-rated pianists. What makes this interesting is that a number of the Forum members are either concert pianists or aspiring concert pianists ...so they have a very interesting take on a number of pianists - past and present, and often some very interesting technical comments to support their arguments. I hope you enjoy it!
Originally Posted by Quinto
For anyone who's interested in Richter I would highly recommand the Enigma DVD and/or book by Bruno Monsaingeon..Katie Hafner wrote an interesting book on Gould's quest for the perfect piano 'a Romance on Three Legs'
Richter struck me as somewhat of a depressive character in that video, but perhaps it was a laissez faire attitude towards the media and the press in general. I think it was Richter who mentioned that score memorization is a bit of a vain exercise, since it is "impossible to remember every single nuance and mark on a sheet anyway." Granted, he was a terrific sight reader and I guess the fact that he interprets from sheet music contributes to a sound that I find both pristine and faithful to the intent of the composer. It puts the focus on the music rather than the relationship between the player and instrument. It's something I wish more top calibre pianists would do.
Originally Posted by Lex2
Richter struck me as somewhat of a depressive character in that video, but perhaps it was a laissez faire attitude towards the media and the press in general. I think it was Richter who mentioned that score memorization is a bit of a vain exercise, since it is "impossible to remember every single nuance and mark on a sheet anyway." Granted, he was a terrific sight reader and I guess the fact that he interprets from sheet music contributes to a sound that I find both pristine and faithful to the intent of the composer. It puts the focus on the music rather than the relationship between the player and instrument. It's something I wish more top calibre pianists would do.
I don't care much for the so called 'intend' myself, it's mainly a word for me when someone fills it in for some long gone guy..but I love Richter..man without an ego

He only start playing with sheets in his later years though, maybe his argument was an excuse for a lesser memory?
I like the older Richter better myself, maybe it has something to do with it, who knows
Looking at video footage, one thing I've noticed about Richter and the sheet music in front of him is that he doesn't really look at the score that constantly. It's there almost as if he needed to be reminded that the way he was playing a particular passage conforms to what has been specified on the sheet. That could also be probably due to an innate obssessive compulsive nature with getting the right notes for any particular performance. I recall reading somewhere about Richter having a preference for practicing after about 9pm until the wee hours of the morning before any particular concert so that he wouldn't have to be interruped by "meals" and the like. And there was this note of apology which he made due to having played a wrong note (an F sharp instead of an F) for a particular piece for the past twenty years, in one of his CD blurbs. And which he duly corrected in that particular revised recording. However, compared to someone like Michelangeli or Hofmann he did drop more notes during performances but then again his repertoire was a lot bigger.
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