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Pianist Thread

Pianist Thread
August 06, 2011, 10:13:08 PM
Greetings,

Anyone familiar with the pianist "Solomon" ? A few weeks ago I heard a recording of his playing of a late sonata of Beethoven, and Liszt's "transciption" of Bach's Prelude and Fugue in A minor for organ.

Otherwise, do what you want with this thread. Share, ask, rant, re: the piano as instrument, pianists, playing piano, etc.

Re: Pianist Thread
August 07, 2011, 07:23:57 AM
He's done one of the best Hammerklavier recording out there as far as I can tell. Especially the fugue which is pretty hard to make sense of. Magnificent adagio too, extremely slow but he pulls it off. http://www.megaupload.com/?d=S55G0NEA

he doesn't nail the 32nd as well though. he's a bit too strict/serious to nail some of the weird ragtimey/jazzey/whatever rhythms that crop up. I don't think I've heard anything else from him though. He's mostly known for those late-sonatas but his repertoire was somewhat wider than that obviously. I know he's performed Tchaikovksy/Brahms piano concertos too.

E

Re: Pianist Thread
August 07, 2011, 08:20:38 AM
About quality of performances:
As a relative noob, I don't feel qualified to even express a preference for one of the upper-echelon pianists. For instance,  I've heard about 5 recordings of Chopin's 1st Piano Concerto recently; I hear differences, of course, but whether It's Michelangeli, Pires, Aurrau, etc., I think preferences here mostly boil down to difference of taste and superficialities like recording quality. I guess it's best to judge ad-hoc. Feel free to prove otherwise.

Other, more intimate pieces seem to be more prone to 'wrong' approaches; e.g. Debussy's Douze Etudes- compare, for instance, Ushida's performance (Philips) vs. that of Thiollier (Naxos).

Anyone familiar with the pianist "Solomon" ? A few weeks ago I heard a recording of his playing of a late sonata of Beethoven, and Liszt's "transciption" of Bach's Prelude and Fugue in A minor for organ.
And what is your opinion about it?

Never heard about him before, but I'll be checking this out some time.

Re: Pianist Thread
August 07, 2011, 09:15:43 AM
yes, it's harder to imprint one's vision on a conductor plus an orchestra than it is when you're alone with a score. You've got to make sure that everyone's on the same page but then you don't have that much time to rehearse so performances do tend to be more standardized. This is part of the reason why Grigory Sokolov no longer plays concertos.

Re: Pianist Thread
August 07, 2011, 12:04:32 PM

Anyone familiar with the pianist "Solomon" ? A few weeks ago I heard a recording of his playing of a late sonata of Beethoven, and Liszt's "transciption" of Bach's Prelude and Fugue in A minor for organ.
And what is your opinion about it?

In short: effectively reflective (or: spiritual), serious, forceful, and balanced - there's no sense he's trying too hard. Struck me as a more communicative, less 'roided out version of Richter. For classical, I've found that I prefer recordings from the first half of the 20th century.

It probably was the Hammerklavier adagio that I had heard. Interesting observation, cmargir, about seriousness with regards to the 32nd. I guess I'm not sure what to think of the "weird ragtimey/jazzey/whatever rhythms" with regards to interpretation. Any recommendations of different takes on this?

Other, more intimate pieces seem to be more prone to 'wrong' approaches; e.g. Debussy's Douze Etudes- compare, for instance, Ushida's performance (Philips) vs. that of Thiollier (Naxos).

I'm not sure if this is restricted "intimate" pieces. I haven't found anything that Ms. Uchida has done that doesn't make me cringe, though that's just my taste. I still have a difficult time listening to Mozart sonatas (which are, admittedly, extremely difficult to get right) after hearing her cycle two years ago. This recording has helped speed my recovery (warning: fortepiano).

E

Re: Pianist Thread
August 07, 2011, 01:59:56 PM
I haven't found anything that Ms. Uchida has done that doesn't make me cringe, though that's just my taste. I still have a difficult time listening to Mozart sonatas (which are, admittedly, extremely difficult to get right) after hearing her cycle two years ago. This recording has helped speed my recovery (warning: pianoforte).
Uchida's Études was supposed to be the right performance i.m.o.! It is, by the way, an exception in her otherwise German/Viennese repertoire, of which I've only heard some Beethoven & Schumann pieces live.

yes, it's harder to imprint one's vision on a conductor plus an orchestra than it is when you're alone with a score.
Is the hierarchy usually so that the soloist is allowed/supposed to call the shots, anyway?

Re: Pianist Thread
August 07, 2011, 04:42:14 PM
I still have a difficult time listening to Mozart sonatas (which are, admittedly, extremely difficult to get right) after hearing her cycle two years ago. This recording has helped speed my recovery (warning: pianoforte).
I liked Christoph Eschenbach's interpretations quite a lot.

Re: Pianist Thread
August 07, 2011, 07:04:11 PM
It probably was the Hammerklavier adagio that I had heard. Interesting observation, cmargir, about seriousness with regards to the 32nd. I guess I'm not sure what to think of the "weird ragtimey/jazzey/whatever rhythms" with regards to interpretation. Any recommendations of takes on this?
I haven't really done any comparative listening but I think that Hungerford might do those best out of the five or so that I've heard.

I haven't found anything that Ms. Uchida has done that doesn't make me cringe, though that's just my taste. I still have a difficult time listening to Mozart sonatas (which are, admittedly, extremely difficult to get right) after hearing her cycle two years ago. This recording has helped speed my recovery (warning: pianoforte).
Uchida's Études was supposed to be the right performance i.m.o.! It is, by the way, an exception in her otherwise German/Viennese repertoire, of which I've only heard some Beethoven & Schumann pieces live.

yes, it's harder to imprint one's vision on a conductor plus an orchestra than it is when you're alone with a score.
It depends on the personality of the soloist and the conductor. In most of the romantic repertoire though, the soloist is the most important person on the stage by a fair margin so it makes more sense that the orchestra tries to follow the pianist than otherwise.

Agreed that Uchida's études are really good.