Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by George P, May 29, 2015.
I needed to add to my amazon order this past weekend in order to get one day delivery, so I chose this set. I believe the mastering is the same as those SACDs that came out awhile ago and people seemed to really like it, but to me, although the bass is nice and full, the top end is rolled off too much. I have an old Japan EMI CD of the preludes that has the exact opposite problem. Not sure why it's so hard to get a balanced tonality with these performances. Speaking of the performances, they are enjoyable without being particularly special. I know they are highly regarded by many, but for me, many pianists play this music better. Still, I'm glad I got it. It was only $12, takes up a small amount of shelf space and who knows, maybe one day I will come to regard the performances as highly as others. I know there was a time when I didn't get what the fuss was about Sviatoslav Richter, but I kept listening and now he is my favorite pianist.
I bought Gieseking's recordings of Mozart--the complete music for piano solo--back in 1972 for the same reasons you're buying the Debussy set: Gieseking's performances are "enjoyable without being particularly special." Although I didn't feel his performances of the Mozart sonatas bested Lili Kraus, there was still something very compelling about his approach that made me want to have his interpretations on my shelf to visit on occasion.
Also, it was an opportunity to get all 63 piano works of Mozart--even the minor ones that no one else bothers to record. The set I bought was released on 11 records, boxed in 3 separate volumes, on the Seraphim label. Volume 2 looks like this:
This was a budget-priced reissue of the set that Angel Records (EMI) originally released in 1954 as a limited edition box set for $75 (a whopping sum at the time) commemorating in advance the 200th anniversary of Mozart's birth. The recordings were made in EMI's Abbey Road Studio, St. John's Wood, London, over a period of 5 months. The sonics are nothing special--a nice, full bass, but the top end lacks sparkle and air (just as you describe the Debussy)--but my ear quickly adjusts and the performance comes through. I believe that by the time he began the Mozart project, Gieseking had already recorded the complete solo piano output of Debussy and Ravel.
Anyway, George, I hope you enjoy the Debussy set. I may have to spring for that myself some day.
Koshkin's intensely dramatic and virtuosic 30-minute Sonata is the closest we guitarists will get to a major piece written by Shostakovich!
A 19 minute recording is extremely short measure, but this is quite a good piece. I can't think of any other 21st century theorbo concertos!
Thanks, I have been enjoying the performances this week. You can't beat the price! I still want to compare the prelude recordings in this set to his pre-war recordings, found in volume 2 of the Great Pianists of the 20th Century. Hope to do that soon. I have read that Gieseking was a very different (better) pianist before the war.
By the way, I have this set of the Mozart performance:
Honestly, though, Gieseking has most impressed me in his playing on this 2CD set. Have you heard it?
No, I don't have it, but it looks like something I'd definitely be interested in hearing.
I'll put it on The List and maybe find it reasonably priced. Thanks for the suggestion!
Google has a very cool thing today where you can create your own melody and, in honor of his birthday, they will harmonize it, JS Bach-style. Here's what I came up with:
Celebrating Johann Sebastian Bach
Listening to Side 1 of Johannes Brahms/The Four Symphonies. George Szell conducting the Cleveland Orchestra on Columbia. Later pressing but sounds excellent, with better than average surfaces. Cost me a cool $.25 near mint.
Book I of the prewar set has a peculiar issue history. Columbia recorded No. 10, The Engulfed Cathedral, on 7 February 1936 in London and issued it as a single split across both sides of a 10" record; later Columbia reissued it with the two 10" sides dubbed to one side of a 12". The remainder of the set was recorded on 10 August 1938 in Berlin; these records were also all 10" disks. In the United States, at least, Columbia issued them in an album that included an extra, empty sleeve together with an explanation that those who already owned the Cathedral could store it there, and those who didn't could buy it separately.
A few of my fav's at the moment...... and yes MQA masters.
Chopin: Works For Piano & Orchestra Masters
Strauss, R.: Four Last Songs; Orchestral Works . Masters
The Chopin Project CD quality
The Tokyo Gala Concert (Live) Masters Absolutely love this Tokyo Gala Concert.
That performance sounds nothing like Toscanini to me, though I confess I haven't heard it in a very long time.
The recording of the Ninth which really does emulate Toscanini is the Munch/BSO RCA Victor Living Stereo from 1959. One of my favorites.
A wonderful new release. (24/96 Qobuz)
These guys are amazing players. I think it's easier to follow the voices on the two guitars than with one keyboard.
Is it okay to post this here?
Visiting Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood
Out in the car today, I came into the middle of Beethoven's first pno. cto. when I turned on the radio--more properly, I came into the middle of the first mvt. cadenza. The recording turned out to be this, as listed in the station's online playlist:
Ludwig van Beethoven — Piano Concerto No. 1
Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle
Ensemble: City of Birmingham Symph Orch
Lars Vogt, piano
First and last mvt. cadenzas were unfamiliar and really wild. Anybody familiar with this recording? With Vogt, a new name to me? A pleasant bonus was that for once Rattle, generally a conductor I avoid, got a move on and didn't drag the thing out to some un-heavenly length. Quite the surprise all 'round, and a recording I may seek out for my own collection.
I guess that was some sort of karma making amends for our area's other FM classical station's having inflicted "Summer" from the "Four Seasons" led by Karajan on me earlier in the day.
If it's anything like his 1963 recording of Beethoven's pastoral symphony, then it must be a very chilly summer indeed.
I haven't actually heard the recording, but if I'm not mistaken he uses cadenzas written by Glenn Gould. Maybe I will check this one out as well.
Yes, I'm somewhat familiar with Lars Vogt. He made a few nice chamber recordings.
Lars Vogt - Wikipedia
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