Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by George P, May 29, 2015.
A delightful CD from the Ormandy box:
No, she hasn't. She recorded a few, but not the whole set.
Too bad. She seems to have a way with Chopin.
Enjoyed some Bach this morning.
I run hot and cold with her Chopin. I'd love to hear her record the Ballades, though. Her Nocturnes are very Ballade-like. But then again, she might play them like Nocturnes.
Great article in the NYT on the brilliant Andras Schiff, who has radically changed his tune on using historical instruments.
A Pianist Comes Around on Period Instruments
I'm not a HIP fan myself necessarily, but the samples of his new Brahms cycle included in the article sound beautiful, crisp, and energetic, but not lightweight or novel. I'm looking forward to listening to them in full.
Unfortunately, buried behind a paywall--too bad, because it sounds like a stimulating read.
I've come to the conclusion that very few are the players who can make convincing music on period pianos; more often than not, the things tend to be more "interesting" than "compelling," at least to this listener's ears. Talking generalities here; there are exceptions, like Jorg Ewald Dahler in Schubert or Anthony Newman in Beethoven (the former because he actually makes the instrument sing; the latter because he beats the living daylights out of it, probably much the way Herr B. did himself). Peter Serkin recorded the Hammerklavier on a period piano and then on a modern Steinway; I really need to revisit those recordings and play them back-to-back (I got them at a wide interval). In the case of Brahms, by the time he came along the piano had developed a long way toward what we know today (which effectively took final form in the late 19th c.), so I'm not sure how much difference a "period" vs. "modern" instrument would make with him. Is it a matter of overstringing? I've read that makes a difference, but I've never made any kind of study of it.
Well, having finished my dubbing traversal of the Murray Hill Grieg set, I'm turning my attention to a Time-Life compilation of "The Late Mozart Piano Concertos," which starts with no. 18. For the most part, the recordings are licensed from London, with a couple by Karl Engel drawn from Telefunken. Last night I played Julius Katchen in no. 20, joining the Stuttgart Chamber Or. under Karl Munchinger, and I hope I won't be goring anyone's sacred cows by saying that I didn't much care for it. Struck me as entirely too dainty for this dramatic score. I was pretty tired, though; probably I should revisit it with fresh ears when I'm more alert. Be that as it may, other pianists represented in the collection include Barenboim, Ashkenazy, and de Larrocha. Once I've done with this set, it's on to another Mozart box, "The Late String Quartets," and then to a string of Time-Life "Great Men of Music" sets that I picked up off the roadside years ago. By the time all these things are copied, I'll have cleared around a full shelf for new acquisitions that await shelving.
Now enjoying this set. Thanks for the reminder! I am enjoying more than I have previously, though I still find that I best enjoy her style in this music (often more like a solo piano concert than an intimate performance) in the very early evening.
If you are like me, listening to the Mozart piano concertos (or any Mozart) will send you off on a month-long binge of various Mozart's music. Something about his music makes me just want more and more. And the older I get, the more I appreciate his music.
I'm enjoying this immensely, and while everything I've heard so far (Beethoven Diabelli, Schumann Toccata, and Prokofiev 7th Sonata) derives from live concerts, I hear some very obvious splices in the Beethoven and the sound radically changes for the better in the last movement of the Prokofiev! If anyone owns this set, do you know what's going on? For a$.99 download (yes, less than a dollar!), I guess I can't expect any documentation or perfection, but I sense some shenanigans!
Don't have the set, but that is one helluva bargain! And if the recordings are live, even better! Richter hated the studio, referring to it as the "torture chamber," so most of his best recordings are live.
I don't know this specific set, but patching in bits from other recordings to cover missing music or other issues has a long, not-quite-honorable history in historical recording reissues. One instance like what you describe that has long bothered me: in the WW II period Dvorak 9th sym. b'cast recording of Oswald Kabasta with the Munich PO, the opening of the last mvt. has radically different sonic characteristics from the rest of the recording. Something patched in from another recording to cover for a lost minute or two? I don't know, and curiously, although the recording has been subject to more than negligible commentary, much of it glowingly favorable (as well it should be!), I've never seen anyone remark on that aspect.
I got mine from Amazon. I don't normally like MP3s due to their reduced sound quality, but at that price I couldn't resist! It actually doesn't sound that bad, and the patched-in (or whatever they did) last movement of the Prokofiev sounds quite good! I'm sure the sound will vary considerably since the music presumably comes from several concerts/sources.
I have a few live recitals by other artists and the booklets are upfront about some post-concert retakes. (Sometimes to eliminate obnoxious coughing, premature applause, etc.) Maybe something like that is going here. Oh well, it's not a deal-breaker: his playing is phenomenal, which is what really matters.
I enjoyed this Dvorak Symphony 9 from the Szell box:
I keep forgetting this was once referred to as Symphony #5.
Dvorak's symphony numbering and opus numbers are a mess. What we call no. 9 was no. 5; what we call no. 5 was no. 3; our no. 6 was no. 1; our no. 7 was no. 2; and so on.
If 6 was 9 that would make Jimi happy.
Enjoying a neglected classical piano CD.
Any preferences on Pergolesi's STABAT MATER? I've got these on the way:
Pergolesi* - Emma Kirkby, James Bowman (2), The Academy Of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood – Stabat Mater
Decca – 478 4029
CD, Album, Compilation, Stereo
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Alessandro Scarlatti – Mirella Freni • Teresa Berganza - Solisti Dell'Orchestra «Scarlatti» Di Napoli* - Ettore Gracis – Stabat Mater / 3 Concerti Grossi
"Stabat Mater" recorded March 1972 in Naples, Italy.
"Concerti Grossi" recorded November 1967 in Naples, Italy.
Pergolesi* - Margaret Marshall, Lucia Valentini Terrani, London Symphony Orchestra*, Claudio Abbado – Stabat Mater
Deutsche Grammophon – 415 103-2
I'm glad that building a classical collection is a fairly inexpensive project nowadays.
His Prokofiev First Piano Concerto is off the rails great.
Yeah, his solo Rachmaninoff is superb too.
I'll definitely check out Gavrilov. Gilels' Grieg is one of my favorites.
I have a copy of that, and I revisited a few bits of it when I was working my way through that Murray Hill Grieg LP box. In at least a case or two, a partial set of Lyric Pieces by Gavrilov "filled in" a partial set by Isabelle Mourao, the lady tasked with most of the works on the LPs.
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