Great Recordings chosen by Musicians

Pretty decent list of non-critics.
Just making way through; few surprises, few obvious choices.


Honestly, I’d probably respect a critic’s opinion more than another instrumentalist’s. How many pianists really know the orchestral and violin repertoire (and vice versa)? Let alone many recordings. Meanwhile, I actually thought Zimerman’s Debussy preludes were bad, when I listened to them on the flight home a couple of months ago.

I don’t know… :slight_smile:

Brew has a point too. No names mentioned, but I know several cases where friends of mine (= hardcore pianophiles) have been pitched these questions from elite pianists to answer for them when they’ve been asked similar things by journalists.

There’s stories about juries/exam panelists where they bring different instrumentalists on to the ones they’re judging. A pianist might let something go because they realise how difficult it is, whereas a non-pianist will call it lacklustre or boring.
But I would think most of those names would be familiar with this rep - it’s mostly pretty bog standard.
Plus -

The old cliché about “it all being a matter of personal taste” still holds

It’s not just about being familiar with the rep, but knowing recordings. Most musicians aren’t like us; they might know maybe a handful of recordings of any given piece in their instrument’s repertoire. For example, if you took all the pianists at my school and asked them to name 5 great pianists, I doubt they could, and this is after including da Dongah and da Shrimp in the list.

Not sure why Bru is being nitpicky about this - I think it’s refreshing to see such lists and my only complaint is that we can’t see who voted for what!

I’m trying to figure out who da :doc: voted for :lib:

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Looks like any other critic list, really, lots of bad/uninteresting choices… Wonder what da doc voted for.

I know his dad was a huge Cortot fan so those may be his votes, and his knowledge of non-88 rep is surprisingly vast also.

These aren’t your average musicians though. (If, according to da X, we’re to believe it is actually them voting).
I remember reading Zim listened to over 90 recordings before re-recording the Brahms dminor.

I’m surprised given the usual disdain for critics opinions that you mofo’s are against this. Obviously, I don’t agree with/don’t like some of the choices.

I suppose the whole point of critics and lists like these are to act as time saving measures.

I don’t want to take the time to listen to dozens of recordings to find the best one. I want just a few contrasting but equally great recs of a work to hold my attention.

And in relying upon critics - we must trust that they have done the hard work so we don’t have to - but BRU has a point in that musicians are often NOT as big on listening to as many recs as critics are, since it’s their job - and the job of a musician very different and leaves less time for it.

Because this list is somehow supposed to be more authoritative than the usual BS list that these types of magazines put out, but for me it isn’t. And I didn’t see Zimerman’s name on the list of participants. So I don’t see what the relevance is. I remember what Hough wrote about Hofmann many years ago, which showed that he hadn’t listened to any of his recordings.

I enjoyed reading through it but I agree that I think it’s a very safe list. Just like the competition winners of today - juries pick the safe choices that wont divide opinion as much.

Brendel for the Totentanz instead of Cziffra…yeah. Case in point.

Brendel is ‘respected’ more than Cziffra. Load of shit.

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I guess he voted for da Feinberg tho

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Also - there are only 2 Chopin recs on there, wtf

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And Brahms gets 16. Brahms is awesome but NOT 8 times more significant than Chopin.

And the chop 3 is surprisingly da Plate. I admit to not having heard that one, but if it’s better than Kapell I’d be very pleasantly surprised.

Also fun to see Gould chosen for several brotha sons. I like that.

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It’s very good but Kapell is the gold standard.

Plate is a great rec for an alternative take once a gold standard has been established.

Same for :gman: in Beethoven - he’s not the gold standard authentic interp but he provides a great probing alternative to an ‘authentic’ take on Beethoven.

That was my point. Granted, he’s not on the list but I’d be willing to give the benefit of the doubt that these people know their stuff.
I’m not saying it’s better or worse than a ‘critics list’. Just a different view point. I would have liked to have seen who chose what and why.

That’s where we differ. Zimerman is by no means the rule, in fact I’d bet he’s the rare exception.