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View Full Version : Who has the best cycle of Beethoven's piano sonatas?


amadeus
12-14-2000, 01:35 AM
I need opinions, and lots of them!

For the past month I have been researching reviews on the internet and can't come to a conclusive decision to who has the best RECORDED cycle of Beethoven's sonatas. Im talking amazing sound quality, great interpretation and obviously a fantastic performance. I know there isnt one pianist that will be the best for every sonata. But I still like to know who has the overall best recorded cycle.
I've been reading many great things about Arrau's box set that was released in 1999, but a few mediocres reviews have me questioning the purchase. Then I hear great things about Brendel but the same things happen. Some really negative reviews have me questioning that purchase. Just recently I heard that he dosen't even use the pedals of the piano. Is this true? Then there's Perahia. Who I have yet to read anything bad about, but I dont believe he did a whole cycle. And I know Schnabel probably has the best Interpretations but I believe his set was recorded in the 50's. And one would think that the sound quality would be inferior to more recent releases. And there are so many more like, Goode, Sherman, Barenboim, Fischer, Hobson, Kuerti, Ashkenazy, Kempf, Jean-Bernard Pommier, O'conner, etc... Who is the best???
Like I said before I want opinons and lots of them!!! And if you have any comments about who has the best recorded piano concertos I'd like to hear them as well.

Chris
12-14-2000, 07:17 AM
My opinion - Brendel. His lastest cycle is absolutely fantastic - best I've ever heard. I can't think of a single one I'd say is even average. I'd say they are all highly above average, and some are simply the best. The interpretation is superb. But are you saying you heard he doesn't use the pedals? Well, that's not true at all. I think his pedal usage is great.

Rod
12-14-2000, 09:35 AM
Forget all the big names, in my opinion the best complete set you can get by one individual is by Paul Badura-Skoda using a variety of fortepianos. One of the disks has a pretty poor sound quality, but the rest are very good. Very hard to come by these days however, as the set has been deleted from the catalogue.

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Peter
12-14-2000, 09:49 AM
The problem is that you will always get conflicting views on this - The answer is to buy the sonatas individually ! As to Brendel not using the pedals - I've never heard that before - he certainly uses them in the recording of the last 5 sonatas, which are the only Brendel Beethoven interpretations I have.
You also have the problem of period v's modern instruments .
If I were buying a complete set I would go for the historical Schnabel (1935 - mono) (PEARL) - I believe Pearl's remastering offers the best sound quality of this recording.



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'Man know thyself'

PDG
12-14-2000, 11:22 AM
Amadeus (surely, not THE.....?),

No complete cycle will ever reveal the whole truth (there`s that word again) behind this life-enhancing oeuvre, as each interpretation offers its own insights. I grew up with the Kempff set on DG LPs, and for years, would listen to no other; but then I heard a cycle by Barenboim, and was eventually privileged to hear the first-ever recorded complete opus, by Schnabel. Which is the best? I could not say - like one`s children, each, in turn, will tug at the heartstrings and be deemed the favourite, but there will never be an overall winner.

In terms of value, I still think, though, that Bernard Roberts` Nimbus set (11 DDD cds for around £22) is impossible to beat.

A far as the concertos go, I`ve not heard a completely satisfactory cycle; Pollini on DG is special, although I don`t know whether his are available as a complete set.

Serge
12-14-2000, 03:38 PM
Brendel is a very good choice; he is renowned as one of the best Beethoven interpreters ever. I must, however, allow for Anton Kuerti (I'm glad you mentioned him). His cycle is mesmerizing. I love his subtlety and his clear, taut sound. Some mov'ts drag on a little, but it's a small price to pay. His cycle includes a booklet as well with his own views on the performance and composition of the pieces, and it is a wonderful read. It is one thing to hear a pianist play thru the sonatas but another thing entirely to hear a pianist play thru the sonatas and read along what he's written about them. You get a very clear idea of why he plays the way he does.

Bonus: the cycle includes the Diabelli var. as well.

PDG
12-14-2000, 09:30 PM
Since we`re talking bonuses, I believe that Jeno Jando`s complete set on Naxos is worthy of mention - not only was it the first bargain-priced set available (bravo, Naxos!), but volume 10, available separately, contains op.28, WoO 47 (1 -3), WoO 51 & Anhang 5, nos. 1 & 2.

amadeus
12-15-2000, 01:02 AM
WAIT.... No one has anything to say about Arrau. I read some reviews that his interpretations were better then Schnabel's. That his slow playing is perfectly suited for Beethoven. But the again I believe his recordings were done in the sixties and I havent got a clue to how good the sound quality is. So far the favorite seems to be Brendel.. Figures that his set would cost the most. But then again I was also hoping for plenty more insights then what we got so far.

Also almost everyone of you has chosen a different pianist, this is what I wanted dont get me wrong, but it also dosent give me an overwhelming favorite. WHich I guess there never will be one since everyone has there own preference. Is Schnabel's cycle sound quality good enough to choose over the more recent recordings?

Anyone happen to know who Gramophone has rated as the best recordings of the entire cycle. Plus anyone else have any things to say about Kuerti besides Serge. Read so many good things about that guy.

As it stands now its coming down to Brendel(which I'd rather stay clear from cause I already have a CD of him playing the named sonatas, which happens to come right off his set, And his playing is remarkable, but I'd rather not have duplication in my collection, but if he's the overwhelming favorite after a month I'll make the sacrifice), Anyway as I was saying it seems to becoming down to Brendel, Schnabel, Kuerti, and Arrau, yet if no one backs me up with Arrau he will certainly be taken off my list. If his sound qualtiy is really good his set might be the best value cause you get the all the concertos and the Diabelli var. along with the sonatas.

And Rod I will certainly consider Badura-Skoda and his cycle, which by the way I have heard much about him. More of him playing Mozart but I would want a cycle done on the fortepiano as well as one done on a modern piano. Is he hands down the best with the period instrument as I've been told?

Anyway keep the opinions coming. The more the merrier. THanks to all that answer.

Amadeus

P.S. Im an eagerly anticipating the arrival of my Perahia box set of Mozarts piano concertos. Are these recordings as good as everyone seems to making them out to be. DId I make a mistake in buying this Item? Or is it plain and simply as good as it gets.

Rod
12-15-2000, 07:35 AM
Originally posted by amadeus:


And Rod I will certainly consider Badura-Skoda and his cycle, which by the way I have heard much about him. More of him playing Mozart but I would want a cycle done on the fortepiano as well as one done on a modern piano. Is he hands down the best with the period instrument as I've been told?



He has been bettered on period instruments for occasional pieces but overall he is the most accomplished and disciplined. No other individual has recorded the complete set using the fp as far as I am aware. Nevertheless there are still many good recordings of selected B sonatas by others using the fp. I can name Paul Komen and Jos van Immerseel and Malcolm Bilson.

There is still available on DHM a recording by Padura-Skoda of B's 4th fp concerto and the trio concerto. The 4th is an especially superb account, assisted by his most colourful Graf piano (a much weaker sounding instrument was used for the trio, or it may have just been recorded less effectively).

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

chrisg
12-16-2000, 03:16 AM
No one has anything to say about Arrau. I read some reviews that his interpretations
were better then Schnabel's. That his slow playing is perfectly suited for Beethoven. But the again I believe his recordings were done in the sixties and I havent got a clue to how good the sound quality is.

If slow playing is your idea of perfectly suited for Beethoven, by all mean go for Arrau. Beautifully introspective, but for my taste, far too laid back. As to the recording quality, most of the anolog of the period, including Philips for Arrau, still puts most of today's DDD to shame. Schnabel could not be more opposite. Blow and go, fast and faster, mangled notes by the bushel, and sound quality that isn't remotely up to par by any modern standard.


So far the favorite seems to be Brendel..

Safe, middle of the road, never bad, yet never anything really special either. His earlier Vox recordings, though not as well recorded as the later Philips, are generally better to my ears.

Is Schnabel's cycle sound quality good enough to choose over the more recent recordings?

Not even close. Putting the 30's mono sound and finger flubs aside, I have never understood what all the fuss is about when it comes to Schnabel. I like his early sonatas, and some of the late ones, but in all of of the best known "named" sonatas, Schnabel does nothing for me. His basic approach is full speed ahead, without a hint of the kind of phrasing that makes a great Beethoven interpreter. Compare any of Richter's recordings, and almost anything of Gilels, and you're in a different league. Tastes vary, so this is IMO of course.

Anyone happen to know who Gramophone has rated as the best recordings of the entire cycle.
Schnabel no doubt.


Plus anyone else have any things to say about Kuerti besides Serge.

Never heard him.

My favorite complete set is Alfredo Perl's, very inexpensive (Arte Nova) and in excellent sound. The Bernard Roberts set mentioned earlier is bland in comparison. I've read a lot of great things about Annie Fisher's cycle (early stereo), but havent' heard it.

For me, the greatest Beethoven pianist is Sviatoslav Richter, with Emil Gilels right behind. These guys play B with fire, passion, and soul. Richter's live Appassionata (Moscow '60) must be heard to be believed - an incredible combination of all of the above; staggering, completely fearless , on the edge playing. Everything Richter touched was distictive, his Beethoven was peerless.

cg



[This message has been edited by chrisg (edited 12-15-2000).]

[This message has been edited by chrisg (edited 12-15-2000).]

Rod
12-17-2000, 02:49 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by chrisg:
[B] No one has anything to say about Arrau. I read some reviews that his interpretations
were better then Schnabel's. That his slow playing is perfectly suited for Beethoven. But the again I believe his recordings were done in the sixties and I havent got a clue to how good the sound quality is.

If slow playing is your idea of perfectly suited for Beethoven, by all mean go for Arrau. Beautifully introspective, but for my taste, far too laid back. As to the recording quality, most of the anolog of the period, including Philips for Arrau, still puts most of today's DDD to shame. Schnabel could not be more opposite. Blow and go, fast and faster, mangled notes by the bushel, and sound quality that isn't remotely up to par by any modern standard.


So far the favorite seems to be Brendel..

Safe, middle of the road, never bad, yet never anything really special either. His earlier Vox recordings, though not as well recorded as the later Philips, are generally better to my ears.

Is Schnabel's cycle sound quality good enough to choose over the more recent recordings?

Not even close. Putting the 30's mono sound and finger flubs aside, I have never understood what all the fuss is about when it comes to Schnabel. I like his early sonatas, and some of the late ones, but in all of of the best known "named" sonatas, Schnabel does nothing for me. His basic approach is full speed ahead, without a hint of the kind of phrasing that makes a great Beethoven interpreter. Compare any of Richter's recordings, and almost anything of Gilels, and you're in a different league. Tastes vary, so this is IMO of course.

Anyone happen to know who Gramophone has rated as the best recordings of the entire cycle.
Schnabel no doubt.


Plus anyone else have any things to say about Kuerti besides Serge.

Never heard him.

My favorite complete set is Alfredo Perl's, very inexpensive (Arte Nova) and in excellent sound. The Bernard Roberts set mentioned earlier is bland in comparison. I've read a lot of great things about Annie Fisher's cycle (early stereo), but havent' heard it.

For me, the greatest Beethoven pianist is Sviatoslav Richter, with Emil Gilels right behind. These guys play B with fire, passion, and soul. Richter's live Appassionata (Moscow '60) must be heard to be believed - an incredible combination of all of the above; staggering, completely fearless , on the edge playing. Everything Richter touched was distictive, his Beethoven was peerless.

cg


I've heard alot of all these names and I would agree Arrau is too laid back, Roberts is good in places (Nimbus recordings are done virtually live, ie in one take, so bear this in mind). Fisher is good but lacks polish. Interesting you critisise Schnabel on the same ground I have previously critisised Richter. I heard a rendition by R of op57 that was similarly a high speed rolercoaster ride lacking any expression, the only time I have ever got a headache listening to Beethoven. Whereas I have heard Schnabel that was as sensitive as the insensitive Steinway allows. Gilels is ok but not as dynamic as I would like. I would still rate Badura-Skoda above this lot, though he is assisted by having more appropriate instruments.

About Brendel I agree, his earlier efforts are the best. His last recordings with Rattle of the B concertos are pretty lame to my ears.

Rod


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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Serge
12-17-2000, 07:38 PM
It appears not Peter or Rod have heard of Anton Kuerti! What a shame! I would recommend giving him a try. He doesn't play period instruments, though, so Rod may not become overly enthused about his style. Kuerti is pretty old now; I suspect he'll retire sometime soon. The cycle I have of his is on the Fleur de Lis/Analekta label; a label that's fairly obscure, I believe.

Perahia is one of the finest pianists I have ever heard. His recent Goldberg Var. CD is glory. You will not go wrong with anything he's released on CD as far as I'm concerned.

I must give credit to Sony Classical. They either have a knack or the funds to sign up many if not most of the finest soloists (incl. Perahia) in the c.m. world today.

amadeus
12-18-2000, 03:35 AM
I found a web page that deals exactly with the question that was asked.
http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/articles/beethoven/psonatas.html

let me know if you views of the page. and his reccomendations.

Rod
12-18-2000, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by Serge:

Perahia is one of the finest pianists I have ever heard. His recent Goldberg Var. CD is glory. You will not go wrong with anything he's released on CD as far as I'm concerned.


By coincidence I listened to Perahia's cd in Borders recently, alongside another rendition of the variations played by someone else on the harpsicord. The latter served to highlight the cumbersome treatment of the score by the former.

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Peter
12-18-2000, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by Serge:
Kuerti is pretty old now; I suspect he'll retire sometime soon.


Pianists never retire, they merely expire!

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'Man know thyself'

Mako
01-12-2001, 12:32 PM
Here's one out of left field. Australian (though Dutch born) pianist Gerard Willems on an Australian designed and hand made pianoforte, by Stuart & Sons. The cycle was completed in 1998, and it's better than many performances I've heard. These pianos are the first real development in technology of pianomaking in almost 100 years and has been, I feel well worth the wait.

BTW, no-one has mentioned the set by Ashkenazy. Funny that, easily better than Arrau, Schnabel and co. I agree that Perahia is a master of our time.

Mako
01-17-2001, 12:38 PM
Hey check this out!! Beethoven lives at the 2001 Sydney Festival!!!! Here's a quote from the promo:-

Beethoven Sonatas
Sydney Festival presents at Angel Place Recital Hall

Beethoven's thirty-two sonata's for pianoforte are one of the sublime creative achievements of man. Composed between 1793 and 1822, they provide inexhaustible interpretative possibilities.

Seven of Australia's distinguished pianists will perform the complete cycle, and in another manifestation of Australia's musical maturity, they do so on an Australian instrument, the celebrated Stuart Piano, a gift to Sydney Festival from the Government of New South Wales.

10 January - Stephanie McCallum
Sonata No6 in F Major Op10 No2
Sonata No23 in F Minor Op57 Appassionata
Sonata No18 in E-flat Major Op31 No3
Sonata No32 in C Minor Op111

12 January - Stephen Savage
Sonata No9 in E Major Op14 No1
Sonata No2 in A Major Op2 No2
Sonata No17 in D Minor Op31 No2
Sonata No30 in E Major Op109
Sonata No19 in G Minor Op49 No1

13 January - Phillip Shovk
Sonata No16 in G Major Op31 No1
Sonata No31 in A-flat Major Op110
Sonata No11 in B-flat Major Op22
Sonata No12 in A-flat Major Op26 Funeral March

14 January - Mark Coughlan
Sonata No26 in E-flat Op81a Les Adieux
Sonata No14 in C-sharp Minor Op27 No2 Moonlight
Sonata No15 in D Major Op2 No1
Sonata No1 in F Minor Op2 No1

17 January - Ian Munro
Sonata No7 in D Major Op10 No3
Sonata No5 in C Minor Op10 No1
Sonata No21 in C Major Op53 Waldstein
Sonata No20 in G Major Op49 No2
Sonata No27 in E Minor Op90

20 January - Stephen McIntyre
Sonata No3 in C Major Op2 No3
Sonata No8 in C Minor Op13
Sonata No28 in A Major Op101
Sonata No24 in F-sharp Major Op78
Sonata No25 in G Major Op 79

21 January - Michael Brimer
Sonata No4 in E flat major Op7
Sonata No10 in G major Op14 No2
Sonata No13 in E flat major Op27 No1
Sonata No22 in F major Op54
Sonata No29 in B flat major Op106 Hammerklavier

Anyone in Sydney should really try to get along to this!

Rod
01-17-2001, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by Mako:

...they do so on an Australian instrument, the celebrated Stuart Piano, a gift to Sydney Festival from the Government of New South Wales.


Is it Stuart who is the Aussie inventor of the new stringing technique designed to increase brightness and sustain? They demonstrated this new Aussie piano in TV here in the UK (but not with B's music). It sounded brighter ok, but a little jangly - reminicent of the early iron framed English-actioned piano sound one associates with 'Western Saloon Bar' scenes. But why they want to increase an already infinite sustain is a mystery to me, perhaps its the new thing in compositional requirement. I don't think this new development will catch on over here from what I heard. Of course I'm sure Aussies are proud of it!

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Mako
01-17-2001, 03:27 PM
Rod,

Yes, It is Wayne Stuart. The notes in the sonata package refer to it as".... 'bridge agraffe'. A sophisticated string coupling device designed to retain the vertical mode of vibration produced when the hammer strikes the string. Compared to standard piano tone, these new instruments demonstrate a dramatic improvement in tuning and internal damping of the string's decay transient....has eight octaves...and four pedals....

I think Beethoven would have approved of the first real development in piano making in a hundred odd years.

Peter
01-17-2001, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by Mako:


I think Beethoven would have approved of the first real development in piano making in a hundred odd years.

I doubt Rod would agree - the improvements would infuriate B because he would have to rewrite the whole damn lot! Sorry Rod, I couldn't resist it.

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
01-18-2001, 06:19 AM
Originally posted by Peter:
I doubt Rod would agree - the improvements would infuriate B because he would have to rewrite the whole damn lot! Sorry Rod, I couldn't resist it.


When 5.5 octave pianos became more numerous in B's day I believe he considered 'upgrading' his earlier sonatas (pre Waldstein) to make use of the extended keyboard, but then he rightly thought better of the idea. I think the best compromise piano between old an new worlds were the early iron framed Viennese pianos with English action yet with small (by todays standards) leather-covered (as opposed to felt) hammers. I believe the 1854 Streicher I heard was of this nature, the sound was reminicent of the late fp style, but much 'bigger' - better suited to a larger concert venue (the action was very heavy however in this example). Viennese actioned pianos continued to be made up to the end of the C19th but I haven't heard one of these late instruments, they died out because due the simple mechanics, the increase in hammer weight necessary to agitate heavier stringing could not be effectively counterbalanced to allow easy finger-work on the keys.

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Mako
01-18-2001, 08:13 AM
Peter,

I take Rod's answer as a firm yes to Beethoven approval!

Rod,
Are Bosendorfers not made in Vienna? I have been to the head office there.

Rod
01-18-2001, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by Mako:

Rod,
Are Bosendorfers not made in Vienna? I have been to the head office there.

I believe you are correct. I have a marginal preference for this brand over Steinway (from what I've heard). Not that either are particularly ideal for Beethoven. I have seen photographs of circa late C19th Bosendorfers with Viennese-looking actions. I'd like to hear one of these instruments, but I don't think anyone bothers to play this genre of piano.

Rod


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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Mako
01-18-2001, 12:19 PM
Rod,

You know you can buy your own Bosendorfer c.1850 for around $15,000 U.S.?

[This message has been edited by Mako (edited 01-18-2001).]

Rod
01-18-2001, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by Mako:
Rod,

You know you can buy your own Bosendorfer c.1850 for around $15,000 U.S.?

[This message has been edited by Mako (edited 01-18-2001).]

That would be a good deal for an original model in good working order. Pity I haven't got $15,000 for what would be a speculative venture (haveing not heard this type before). If you could find an original Graf circa 1820-30 for the same cash I would buy it tomorrow!


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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Mako
01-19-2001, 08:15 AM
Good luck finding one of those! http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/smile.gif Though you can get a c.1830 Streicher unrestored for that. I believe Streicher was Graf's main competitor in Germany at the time.

Rod
01-23-2001, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by Mako:
Good luck finding one of those! http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/smile.gif Though you can get a c.1830 Streicher unrestored for that. I believe Streicher was Graf's main competitor in Germany at the time.

I don't know about Germany, but definitely in Vienna the two were great rivals. I believe Streicher himself was a bit put out when B got his novel quadrupple stung Graf. S said the quality of stringing on his conventional tripple strung instruments rendered such novelties unnecessary! Today there seem to be far fewer working Streicher fp's in existance than Grafs, judging from recordings.

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Serge
01-24-2001, 02:08 AM
I haven't looked over this thread in a little while, so I was surprised to see your reply to my comment about Perahia's Goldberg, Rod. I wonder sometimes if anything that's not out on Nimbus or played on a fp meets your standard! Could you describe how that harpsichord recording you mention displays the 'cumbersome' playing of P.? Perahia's playing is articulate, concise, and clear. Many people consider Gould to be the standardbearer in this work, but Perahia certainly gets close. Do you like Gould, by the way, Rod? He never played the fp or h as far as I know, so you know...

Rod
01-24-2001, 06:01 AM
Originally posted by Serge:
I haven't looked over this thread in a little while, so I was surprised to see your reply to my comment about Perahia's Goldberg, Rod. I wonder sometimes if anything that's not out on Nimbus or played on a fp meets your standard! Could you describe how that harpsichord recording you mention displays the 'cumbersome' playing of P.? Perahia's playing is articulate, concise, and clear. Many people consider Gould to be the standardbearer in this work, but Perahia certainly gets close. Do you like Gould, by the way, Rod? He never played the fp or h as far as I know, so you know...

Didn't I mention it?...I'm Communications Manager for Nimbus! Regarding the Goldberg Variations, I seriously cannot believe that anyone would say that this music works better on a Steinway than a harpsicord. The pf's unsuitability is apparent from the first few bars! I have a dislike for Perahia's taste for playing harp music on the piano (he's done a few such recordings) and then getting awards for it! Harp music by its very nature tends to sound cumbersome on the piano. I posessed a CD of B variations by Gould, some moments were good, others rather trite, the sound quality was the worst I've heard, but not as bad as Gould's singing that was also prominent in this recording!!

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Chris
01-24-2001, 05:00 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
I seriously cannot believe that anyone would say that this music works better on a Steinway than a harpsicord.


Actually, I don't even understand why someone would want to do that. Harpsichord music sucks on the piano. It seems like a lot of effort to go through to record something like that and not have it even sound like it makes any sense.

Serge
01-24-2001, 09:39 PM
Yeah, Rod, but you still haven't told me HOW Perahia's playing on a piano is cumbersome. You maintain that it IS, but I already know that. I need to know the how. Is it the piano action? The tone? The performer?

Your seemingly flat-out refusal to consider any performance not done "authentically" has finally urged to me to also ask you to list your preferred period performances and artists. I have not listened to a period rec. for a fair while now, but I'm going to see how much more true they are.

chrisg
01-24-2001, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by Rod:

I seriously cannot believe that anyone would say that this music works better on a Steinway than a harpsicord.

and this from Chris the Administrator:

Actually, I don't even understand why someone would want to do that. Harpsichord
music sucks on the piano.

More closed minded nonsense from management. Guys, the people that read and post here didn't just fall off the turnip truck. Intelligent people with good taste don't mind ,and indeed welcome, differences in opinion. What we do mind is being told that there is only one way to approach music, and that we are wrong or ignorant for thinking otherwise.
Serge, I know of some people who believe that harpsichord works sound just fine on a modern grand. To name a few: Tureck, Nikolayeva, Brendel, Schiff, Hewitt, Pogorelich, Argerich, Gavrilov, Gould, Kempff, Pletnev, Gilels, Horowitz, Rosen, Gulda, and Richter (as in Sviatoslav). Add me to the list, but what the hell do I know.

cg

[This message has been edited by chrisg (edited 01-24-2001).]

amadeus
01-24-2001, 10:11 PM
I simply judge a pianist by the sound he or she produces.

And in my opinion Perahia produces a sound as good as any I've ever heard.

I too would like to hear Rod's list of preferred period performances and artists.

Serge
01-25-2001, 03:13 AM
Thank you, chrisg and amadeus.

Rod, Chris, you now have your waiting audience. Time to prove to us why your values supercede ours. Dazzle us with your peerless list of artists and performances. I'm sure there are a LOT of interested people now...

Rod
01-26-2001, 06:05 AM
Originally posted by Serge:
Thank you, chrisg and amadeus.

Rod, Chris, you now have your waiting audience. Time to prove to us why your values supercede ours. Dazzle us with your peerless list of artists and performances. I'm sure there are a LOT of interested people now...

Regarding our earlier discussion regarding P, it's not particularly his manner of playing the variations that is the problem, but rather the cumbersomeness comes from the piano when playing harp music on it, the extremely thick tone of the piano is totally unsuitable for harp music of any quality and can never be compensated by playing of even the highest quality. Perhaps you have not heard the Goldberg played on the Harpsichord? I have heard no pianist that is beyong critisism, but I have mentioned various fp players here before, I'm surprised you can't recall them, namely Paul Badura-Skoda, Jos van Immerseel, Malcolm Bilson, Melvyn Tan and Paul Komen, but I have lots of others on CD I can't even remember myself at this moment.

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Serge
01-27-2001, 04:33 AM
Your views are personal, Rod, but you insist on enforcing upon them on us like they were natural laws. Sometimes some of us here (me, notably) become impatient with your persistent attitude that it's against God's will or something unless you sanctify it. But I rant.

The artists you mention are now conveniently listed for future reference. I will certainly hunt them out and give their take on c.m. an honest try.

Rod
01-27-2001, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by Serge:
Your views are personal, Rod, but you insist on enforcing upon them on us like they were natural laws. Sometimes some of us here (me, notably) become impatient with your persistent attitude that it's against God's will or something unless you sanctify it. But I rant.

The artists you mention are now conveniently listed for future reference. I will certainly hunt them out and give their take on c.m. an honest try.

Those who live in cages deserve to have them rattled. My observations are reasonable and relevent to this forum. The names I mentioned are not whole hearted recommendations, some of their recordings are excellent, some good, some average, some rubbish. Let me know which piece you are interested in and I will give you the best option available.

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

LVB1770
02-23-2007, 09:30 PM
This is a very personal thing and not everyone hears the same way.
I own Askenazy, Brendel, Schnabel and Bernard Roberts.
Bernard Roberts has become my favorite for overall for interpretations, dynamic range, tone color, excitement, originality and the recordings are really good and affordable, the whole box set is only $34! You can preview on Amazon.com.
The room is perfect for his playing and his piano. I love Bernard Roberts Bach’s WTC, also. He really shines in Bach.

You can read more about Bernard Roberts below.

http://freespace.virgin.net/caroline.ireland/biog.html

cosplusisin
03-09-2007, 09:44 PM
i just found the complete set by Ashkenazy for $30 CAD (about $26 USD) on amazon.ca. wow. i ordered it. previously i had only the Schnabel set, and a double CD of Ashkenazy "favourite piano sonatas". I really like Ashkenazy's versions, and this complete set for only $30. awesome. I didn't even know it existed. can't wait to get it.

David1770
04-05-2007, 04:18 PM
By coincidence I listened to Perahia's cd in Borders recently, alongside another rendition of the variations played by someone else on the harpsicord. The latter served to highlight the cumbersome treatment of the score by the former.

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

I have to agree with your post Rod, there is no questioning Perahia`s wonderful sound but for me he is a little too neat. I own Perahia`s Goldberg Variations disc, also the English suites and Keyboard concertos. Dont get me wrong , I rate him very highly, especially his Liszt, but compared with the set by Wanda Landowska or Glenn Gould in his 1981 set, I personally believe they are in a different league entirely and create wonderful poetry on their respected choice of instrument.Gavrilovs set is also a gem I have recently discovered.

With regards to the complete Beethoven cycle, Solomon or Gilels of the 1970`s are sets I rate very highly, particuarly the Solomon no nonsense performances. The mystic Wilhelm Backhaus also has a fine set a real visionary but much tamer than his contemporaries, Sviatoslav Richter or Maurizio Pollini for example.