I don’t think I’ve ever listened to this, but Brendel is underrated in general among pianophiles IMO. He’s certainly done his share of less than inspired recordings, but at his best he could really take you to another world. I’m away from home currently, but if you ask Ron very kindly he might upload a recital from the 1979 Vienna festival, which has Liszt playing of a kind (Kempff’s kind) rarely heard, but which I personally adore.
How about also adding recommendations for the best recent (last 20 years) recordings of those works?
I appreciate the historical value of recordings from 60+ years ago, but I for one care for sound quality, too.
I love how you refer in your post to exactly one of the people I was thinking about when I mentioned the anti-schumann pianoforum faction.
I can see that dude hasn’t improved any in the 10+ years since I visited pf.
At least AH is more measured, even if I don’t understand his obsession with Sorabji.
The lack of objectivity is something that irritates me with pianophiles in particularly.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen TM’s mate Allan Evans say a positive word about Rubinstein for example.
You’d think AR had slept with his mother the way he goes on.
Academics are usually motivated by personal or intellectual biais.
For example, Allan Walker could forgive Liszt anything.
Recently here in France Jérôme Dorival has been pushing the Hélène de Montgeroult agenda, acting like she was a huge influence on the romantics and that the lack of acknowledgment of this is some patriarchal conspiracy.
I find it maddening.
I guess there always is a bit of that. Way OT, but I’m brushing up on European history at the moment and have been amused by how most countries who researched their own history during the medieval or renaissance periods concluded that their nation was founded directly by Moses or another significant biblical figure. The Poles are my favorites. They found that God spoke Polish and that all other languages are bastardizations of that.
Shoot! Which would you highlight?
Yeah, Alan Evans love to invent terms like “Soviet pianist” haha wtf.
He loves to slam Richter too. And especially Hofmann - he once said, “what is there to hear”.
Ah… raw musicology with zero piano background leads to an interesting perspective.
Oh, I’m on DASDC, I can say it like it is: he’s listening with his ass
Except stupid me was expecting Hinty to take it as a iighthearted joke. What I got was what I should have expected…
Anyone who uses the word “fora” is probably not going to get the joke.
randomly, what is yo favorite Gaspard?
I love da Gieseking 1937 rec altho da Scrabo is a bit chill for ma tastes.
Az for da Scarbo - I like da POGO early live vid.
Da YUJA recent vid is also fucking good.
No, I’m not gonna mention Mikey because I don’t like his colorless tone.
I haven’t heard a definitive gaspard.
I probably like Richter the best in Le Gibet but don’t have any favourites in the other pieces.
Gaspard for me is Ondine, since I don’t care much for the other two movements. There are many I think play it well however, and no one comes across as a clear winner. My favourites - from my memory of them - are Pogo (live 1988), Laplante (Elan), Bavouzet (MDG), Argerich (live 1981), Grosvenor (Maida Vale demo 2010), Nojima (Reference 1989), Berezovsky (live 2000), de Larrocha (live 1968) and Lifschitz (live 2000).
I’m with leechermofo on ABM, though if you set his performances in their chronological perspective it’s easy to see why his version is so famous (it’s also interesting to note incidentally that, in spite of how associated he is with the work, he never actually recorded it).
The Larrocha vid is excellent. Forgot about that. Laplante too.
And I agree, Ondine is the only movement I really care about.
de Larrocha is one of my all time favourite pianists. Primarily for what she did in Spanish music, but she was never below “good” in anything she touched IMO. The Gaspard video is from a 1971 TV broadcast - there’s an audience tape from 1968 as well which I remember as pure magic. Although, what edge it has in performance quality it easily loses in sound quality (it was Greg’s first audience recording… he made pretty much every beginner’s mistake in the book).
I like Scarborough, although tru, it does have some muddy parts in the middle, imho.
Im going to look up Larrochas Gaspard. I have a great live recording of Earl Wild which I couldnt stop listening to a few years back. Ill post it, although the recording quality is really poor.
It’s exciting and all, but I don’t think the story he tells with it is particularly interesting. I know there’s a poem with some creature jumping around and vanishes/reappears etc, and sure enough - that’s what’s happening for around 8 minutes, until he disappears for good and we can get on with our lives.
I think Ondine by contrast is extraordinary in that sense since it doesn’t depict anything which exists in the natural world. It belongs entirely to the realm of dreams and subconscious thought, and even children often bond with it and recognize what it is.
Here is the Earl Wild recital -
Listening again to Scarbo. I think my tastes have changed somewhat. Whilst it is quite exciting, I think its lacking a bit of subtlety. I like the Ondine and Le Gibet though.
This shows what a phenomenal technique Wild had! No problems at all. It may be due to the acoustics too, but his sound is mercurial and so fluid.
I’ll have to check out some of these recommendations.
For Ondine I have a pretty clear conception on how I’d like it to go (even thouh I never did it) but I’ve never heard anyone play it like I want.