So we’ve engaged in debate over which pianists we like and dislike, but for the ones we happen to dislike…maybe we just haven’t been exposed to the right performance to get our spidey-senses tingling.
Here’s a thread dedicated to this -
1 - name a pianist you’ve thus far largely been left cold with
2 - someone who loves said pianist post a rec/link to a wikid performance
3 - see if minds are changed or remain the same.
In a lot of cases, I think this is exactly it. You need to find a good way in, and sometimes a bit of help with what aspect the musician does well if it’s not something you naturally resonate with. MOST, not to say ALL, famous pianists who’ve had a lasting following have something to offer from my experience.
I’m hoping for a Sof playlist from Vlad currently re Sof (the overrated thread), although I don’t think he’ll be able to convince me since I’m not new to Sof, and I’ve myself tried to convince Brew re Sokolov - harshly also unsuccessfully.
I’m gonna ask someone to convert me to BARENBOIM
I’ll try, later today, but that one will be a challenge.
I really do like him in some things. I’m more a Sokolov agnostic than a non believer!
Who knows, maybe sitting up close at his upcoming recital will convert me.
Well, first thing to say is that I’m not a Barenboim fan - and I’m not aware of anyone who is either except possibly Ron here who I know likes him - but I have explored him a little bit at least, and also did get to hear him in concert a few years ago which actually was a positive surprise. Pianistically he clearly had his best years behind him, and several of the more technically challenging pieces he played were beyond him, but you could still tell you were listening to an impressive musician. He beamed authority, and everything he did was whole, through and completely kosher from a musical perspective.
Two pieces from the recital below. The Schubert Tarantella is a bit clumsy pianistically, but it’s got lots of character - I think he played it well, and still remember his reading clearly even now several years later. The highlight of the evening however, and also the best live playing I’ve heard from him, came in a Chopin Nocturne he gave as encore. Exquisitely shaded, and he did create a moment with it a “bad” pianist would not be able to.
This said, if these don’t grab you and if you’ve heard his Mendelssohn SWWs on DG - pozz his best studio rec from those I’ve heard - I’d say just drop him. My take on him is that he’s not as bad as some people “in the know” would have it, but he’s also hardly the living legend he’s marketed as.
I actually own his Mendy SWW cds! I enjoyed some of them
Well we’ll see, but I doubt it frankly. Sokolov is starting to sound old, and it’s again a program which is a bit sheeyat. Though I’m as always really looking forward to it, especially the Bagatelles could really be something (but when you’re looking forward to a Beethoven Bagatelle you know just how desperate the repertoire situation has become).
Still, you’ve heard this before but I don’t think he’s a pianist you need to hear live. The thing with him is to a large extent interpretation & concept (along with ultra refined pianism), which works beautifully on recordings too. Indeed in most cases I’ve been a bit during his concerts since he’s normally so different from what you’re used to, and it’s only in the days or weeks after when I’ve digested it that I start making somersaults in astonishment at what he did with the music.
This is so often the case for me too. For example, I’m currently listening to the Debargue Liszt sonata which I recorded last year, and I’m amazed by what I’m hearing. I’ve listened to this recording several times in the past, but only now do I get what he was trying to do. It’s really weird.
Yup, it happens. And when it does I take it as a sign that you’ve been in the presence of a real mofo.
[This is not news. Moved to a more appropriate forum. ]
Chris, didn’t da Chop 1 convert yo azz?
No. I’ve never been a Cziffra fan.
Funny how my favourite pianist is Cziffra, and I’m left cold with much of Richter. And Chris’ favourite is Richter, and he’s left cold with Cziffra.
BUT we do share common ground in a love for Medtner who’s in my top 3 composers.
And randomly Trumofo can’t stand Medtner
I think there are some pieces you’d love, you just have to find them.
You can’t say this piece isn’t exciting!
From my experience this isn’t unique to you two, it’s always like this. Richter, Horowitz and Cziffra form an equilateral triangle as it were. da xsdc is somewhere in the middle of it, but really just because I’m so fond of wandering off on excursions - my home camp is definitely Richter.
There’s definitely crossover. I do love some Richter recordings.
It’s not about who’s better or worse, it just depends what you look for.
The things that draw me to Cziffra are his trademark rhythmic jerkyness, spiky accelerandos, and a sense of impromptu volatility… these exact same things I can see others detesting.
Same with Horowitz, his colour and inimitable sound, explosive in a different way.
Richter doesn’t attempt to do anything as immediately eccentric or idiosyncratic as those. Nor did he aim to or want to, he seemed to worship the score and produced the ultimate eccentricity-free accounts of works.
The problem for me is if I want eccentricity free - I tend towards modern recordings with clearer sound, so I don’t so often go for Richter.
If I want to hear a performer I’ll go for Horowitz or Cziffra, If I want to hear the composer…I’ll go for Richter.
if somebody can turn me on to brendel it’ll be a miracle
Ooooo I was waiting for this!
I know the feeling. Best thing he ever did was retiring