Classical Corner Classical Music Corner (thread #62)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by George P, Oct 27, 2014.

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  1. john greenwood

    john greenwood Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Get her Mozart sonata cycle. Also, I loved her rendition of Berg's Opus 1 when I heard it in recital. I need to pick that up at some point.
     
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  2. john greenwood

    john greenwood Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    That's in the Decca Analogue box. Sound so far from that box has been first rate.
     
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  3. John S

    John S Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    RE: Chopin Polonaises
    Thanks for the recommendations. Late in my life, I am playing catch-up with certain major composers, Chopin's solo piano being one. I may double back for multiple versions when I get more confident with the music.
    Mazurkas are next. I know you cited some favorites recently, but I can't find your post right now. I have the Ashy Etudes disc bluemooze posted above. The most impressive Chopin I have so far are the Ballades. That Zimerman disc on DG is DA BOMB. :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
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  4. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Wasowski or Luisada (the first set on DG) are both wonderful and in great sound. Either of Rubinstein's mono sets are excellent as well. Not complete, Friedman on Naxos is a superb historical option. I'd check youtube for samples, as they all play these works very differently.
     
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  5. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    Now: Franck: Symphony in D Minor - Pierre Monteux/Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Stravinsky: Pétrouchka - Pierre Monteux/Boston Symphony Orchestra - hybrid RCA SACD, CD-layer

    [​IMG]

    Really looking forward to the upcoming Monteux box The Complete RCA album Collection.
     
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  6. RelayerNJ

    RelayerNJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Whippany, NJ
    Has anyone heard Argerich's versions of Chopin's preludes (DG)? Thanks!
     
  7. john greenwood

    john greenwood Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    I like them.
     
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  8. jukes

    jukes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern Finland
    Just listened to...

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Yes, I have. She did well in a survey I did a few years back of 28 different recordings of the Preludes, but didn't make the final cut. My findings for the survey are below:

    Chopin Preludes - A Survey

    I decided to finally compare the various sets of Chopin preludes that I have acquired over the years. These include: Moravec (VAI and Supraphon), Sokolov (Naive), Lucchesini, Pletnev (live), Gilels (live), Arrau (live, Prague), Bolet (live, Carnegie Hall), Anda, Fiorentino, Ashkenazy, Freire, Pires, Barto, Ohlssohn (Arabesque), Katsaris, Sofronitsky (Brilliant, 11/21/51), Gulda (11-17-59 and Feb 1953), Serkin, Zhukov (live), Argerich, Rubinstein, Arrau (studio), Moiseiwitsch and Cortot (1933 and 1926.) My goal was to find the performers who were as adept at playing the faster, more exciting preludes as they were at playing the slower ones.

    For round one, I compared the first four preludes. That helped me narrow the list down to just 11 pianists - Pires, Lucchesini, Barto, Moravec (Supraphon), Fiorentino, Sokolov, Katsaris, Sofronitsky, Gulda (11-17-59), Cortot (1933) and Argerich.

    For round two, I compared preludes 5, 8, 10 and 12. These are some of the faster preludes. Barto and Cortot weren't up to the task.

    For round three, I compared preludes 17, 19 and 24. This eliminated Argerich, Pires, Gulda, Katsaris and Sofronitsky.

    That left four pianists for round four. I compared their performances of preludes 6, 7, 13 and 15. This revealed some holes in Lucchesini's performance and helped me choose 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. They are as follows, in order:

    1. Sokolov (Naive)- An epic performance, with the best finale I have heard. Richter never recorded the complete preludes, but I imagine this is how it would sound if he had. A unique and powerful performance.

    2. Moravec (Supraphon)- I had previously thought the much rarer, OOP VAI preludes were better than these, but after comparing them side by side, these are the clear winner. The piano tone is clearer and the playing is alternately more beautiful and more exciting. Tempos are more common than many of Sokolov's choices.

    3. Lucchesini(EMI) - Definitely a surprise for me, as this one never seems to get mentioned anywhere. However, he is remarkably consistent throughout. The recorded sound is excellent and he plays with great sensitivity and clarity. The faster preludes do not disappoint either.

    4. Fiorentino (Download) - Would have rated higher, but the finale and a few of the other preludes (7 and 19) didn't really work for me. Otherwise, like Sokolov, his is an individual, special account of these works. This includes the slowest a minor prelude I have ever heard, a haunting, beautiful reading.

    Honorable mention - Pires was great, only her heavy pedal foot and that missing last bit of intensity kept her out of my favorites. She has great, full piano sound. Katsaris was impressive technically, but his nervous rhythms and often too fast tempos didn't do it for me. His sound is also excellent, though not as full as Pires.
     
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  10. RelayerNJ

    RelayerNJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Whippany, NJ
    This is impressive work...thanks!
     
  11. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    My pleasure! I did the same with the Chopin Ballades. Since the Preludes one helped, perhaps this one will be of use:

    Chopin Ballades

    I have been working on a survey of pianists who have recorded all four of Chopin’s lovely Ballades. Over the years I have accumulated a number of different interpretations and thought it would be useful to compare them.

    The pianists used in this survey are Moiseiwitsch, Cortot (Naxos), Ashkenazy (1960s and 1980s), Gulda, Entremont, Perahia, Zimerman, Rubinstein, Arrau, Moravec, Vasary, Gavrilov, Anievas, Tipo (live, Ermitage), Richter (live, Praga) and Casadesus (live, Sony.)

    To make things more manageable, I listened to each pianists Ballade number one and then only listened to Ballade two from pianists whom I felt excelled at Ballade number one. In the same way, I only listened to Ballade three from pianists who excelled at one and two. At this point, I had narrowed the list to seven pianists; Gavrilov, Moravec, Perahia, Cortot, Ashkenazy (1980s), Zimerman and Tipo (live, Ermitage.) All seven did well enough in three so that I wanted to hear their fourth Ballade to make my final decisions.

    In the end, these were my findings. I enjoyed Cortot’s but felt that he was hampered a great deal by poor sound and somewhat sloppy playing. Nevertheless, his set makes a fine historical choice, especially because his Ballades are coupled with a number of gorgeously played Nocturnes. Zimerman had a number of things going for him, including great sound, technique and finish. However, I often found his dynamic contrasts to be too extreme, too Lisztian for my taste. Perahia also had much going for him, beautiful playing throughout and also very nice sound. Unfortunately, his playing was often generic, lacking spontaneity and excitement found in other readings. Gavrilov played these works extremely well, but unfortunately interpreted these much like Zimerman. His forte chords at times sounded steely and downright banging. Ashkenazy’s 1980’s readings were better than all the above, though a few times his recordings were somewhat generic, sounding dull and/or less exciting than others.

    Moravec’s Ballades were much better than I had remembered. His slow tempos, dark piano sound, solid technique and sumptuous tone made for some special readings of these four works. His playing lacked some of Gavrilov and Zimerman’s drama, but it certainly wasn’t boring by any means. In fact, his set would be my favorite if it weren’t for the very special live recording by Maria Tipo. Her intensity and beautiful tone throughout has to be heard to believed. Considering that all of the above performances were studio creations and, with the exception of Cortot, therefore likely benefited from editing and retakes. The sound of her piano seemed a bit out of tune in the first Ballade, but this annoyance quickly faded into the background as she continued. She was at her best in the third and fourth Ballades, where she played with all the requisite power, along with that special beauty I look for in my Chopin. This OOP Ermitage CD is well worth seeking out. Luckily the Moravec Ballades remain in print and at Budget price.
     
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  12. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    Sounds like we both have a few hundred CD's that have yet to be played ... :winkgrin:
     
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  13. bluemooze

    bluemooze Senior Member

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Ten minutes ago I took delivery of the Baroque Era L'Oiseau-Lyre box. :goodie:
     
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  14. bluemooze

    bluemooze Senior Member

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    I'm in John S' boat, recently retired and now exploring in depth classical music, and find posts like these (and this thread) invaluable. Thanks
     
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  15. bluemooze

    bluemooze Senior Member

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Now listening to "Arne - Eight Overtures" performed by The Academy Of Ancient Music directed by Christopher Hogwood from the Baroque Era L'Oiseau-Lyre box.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. john greenwood

    john greenwood Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Great music. Just the two quartets on the disc?
     
  17. markedasred

    markedasred Forum Resident

    Location:
    Worcester UK
    Argerich & Zimerman as mentioned above, totally superb Chopin Interpreters. There is an earlier Askenase (Stefan?) and also Adam Harasiewicz who are brilliant on vinyl, no idea what reissues exist.
     
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  18. George P

    George P Notable Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    The Askenase is on an OOP DG box set. I finally found it about a year ago and wasn't impressed by it.
     
  19. jukes

    jukes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern Finland
    Just the two, but both versions of the latter.
     
  20. john greenwood

    john greenwood Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Didn't know there was more than one.
     
  21. bluemooze

    bluemooze Senior Member

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Now listening Beethoven piano sonatas on Disc 3 from the "Artur Schnabel - Scholar of the Piano" box set on EMI.

    'Appassionata,' 'Les Adieux' and 'Hammerklavier.'

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. Uncle Meat

    Uncle Meat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, Tx, US
  23. jukes

    jukes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern Finland
    'Kreutzer Sonata' (No. 1) & 'Intimate Letters' (No. 2). "The Letters" was originally for a quartet with viola d'amore, but the local quartet, that was supposed to do the premiere, found it difficult to use the viola d'amore. Janacek (i.e. Leoš Janáček, as I should write his name) made a series of revisions so that a standard string quartet can play the work. In brief, Viola d'amore player Gunter Teuffel (and the Mandelring Q?) made some of their own research to get to a functioning "original" version of the work. Some day, it'll be very interesting to compare these Mandelring versions to those few others we have (Hagen, Janáček & Melos Quartets).
     
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  24. jukes

    jukes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern Finland
    What's that? -- At first, I read it "ensemble midi" and wondered, why on earth anyone will record some midi-generated music in DSD... :)

     
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  25. jimsumner

    jimsumner Forum Resident

    Location:
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    You can superbly fill those Chopin gaps affordably with this.

    http://www.amazon.com/Chopin-Collec...49&sr=1-1&keywords=chopin+rubinstein+complete
     
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