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Topic: Recordings to avoid  (Read 7441 times)

Offline eddie92099

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Recordings to avoid
on: October 10, 2003, 07:57:34 PM
Who's recordings of certain pieces must be avoided at all costs? My initial suggestion will be Mikhail Pletnev's Liszt B minor Sonata,
Ed

Offline la_carrenio2003

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #1 on: October 12, 2003, 07:41:08 AM
Bach's Partitas by Claudio Arrau, Scriabin's 3rd sonata by Glenn Gould.
"Soli Deo Gloria".
     J.S. Bach

Offline chromatickler

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #2 on: October 12, 2003, 12:18:22 PM
Biret's Complete Chopin etudes.

JohnOgdon

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #3 on: October 12, 2003, 02:35:23 PM
where shall I begin?
All of Claudio Arrau,
John Ogdon's 2 pianos discs
cziffras chopin etudes
Giesekings rachmaninoff 3
Horowitz's Beethoven (all of it) and chopin ballade no.1
Brendel's Schumann recordings
NOT glenn goulds scriabin
Schnabel's hammerklavier (or rough approximation thereof)
Richter's schubert last sonata
plenty more awful recordings in my collection, but cant remember


Offline allchopin

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #4 on: October 12, 2003, 05:22:57 PM
Quote
All of Claudio Arrau


What the...
Well there goes all of your credibility.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline la_carrenio2003

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #5 on: October 13, 2003, 03:26:26 AM
Quote
where shall I begin?
Giesekings rachmaninoff 3


Does such a thing exist? ??? ??? ???
"Soli Deo Gloria".
     J.S. Bach

JohnOgdon

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #6 on: October 13, 2003, 12:22:36 PM
Yes, there is a gieseking rachmaninoff 3, 2 versions:one with mengelberg and 1 with barbirolli. I have only heard the barbirolli, but it is absolutely disastrous. Availableon music and arts label. And, Allchopin, you obviously have some sort of affection for mr arrau, what do you enjoy?

Offline Rach3

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #7 on: October 14, 2003, 04:57:54 AM
Quote
All of Claudio Arrau  


Most objectionable.

I nominate most recordings with the London Symphony under Maazel (listen to their abdominable Tchaik 1 with Ashkenazy if you're skeptical). Also avoid Ozawa's Mahler 2.
"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."
--Richard Wagner

Offline allchopin

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #8 on: October 14, 2003, 07:06:11 AM
Well how can Arrau go wrong- he was as good as Rubenstein, if not better, technically, and, I believe, musically.  Listen to his Liszt Transcendental etudes, as well has Beethoven emperor concerto.

Rach3: did you mean Arrau is good or bad?
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

JohnOgdon

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #9 on: October 14, 2003, 12:02:57 PM
how can you POSSIBLY compare Arrau to Rubinstein?!!!
First of all, if you are reffereing to mechanical accuracy in your definition of "technique", Arrau is better than Rubinstein (who is far more splashy), but Rubinstein makes a far more beautiful sound than arrau, and his control of the quiet tonal spectrum is far superior. If technical cleanliness is your main criteria for judging a pianist, I pity you. How can you make a remark like "if not better, technically, and, I believe, musically"? These things go hand in hand. I find arrau's recordings (especially the Emperor) sluggish and heavy in their interpretation. I have been taught by an Arrau pupil for the past 4 years, and I know that if you play (physically) like he does, you cannot get away from this heavy sounding playing. Rubinsteins playing is as natural as breathing, it is absolutely divine (beethoven 4 on dvd). It is thoroughly ridiculous to make such a gross generalization as "Arrau is better than Rubinstein".  This page asked "what recordings should one avoid", I offered a suggestion.

Offline Noah

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #10 on: October 14, 2003, 05:45:13 PM
For some reason I hate Pollini's Brahms 1st concerto.
I heard it only twice but I found it horrible both times (especially the third movement)

'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #11 on: October 14, 2003, 07:09:56 PM
Quote
How can you make a remark like "if not better, technically, and, I believe, musically"? These things go hand in hand.


Are you saying that if someone is good technically they are also always good musically and vice versa??
Ed

JohnOgdon

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #12 on: October 14, 2003, 07:27:46 PM
What i am saying is I do not understand this division of technique and musicality. for me, technique is a term which embraces all aspects of piano playing. If you wish to make a division between mechanics (hitting the right buttons) and musicality, that is more acceptable. If ones ability to play the piano is not up to scratch, one will not be able to express the music in the best way possible - and if one has nothing to express, the finer points of piano playing (touch, tone etc.) will never be developed because they will not be necessary (if one does not feel an inflection in a phrase, one will not experiment with what nuances to color it with, so these aspects of pianism will not develop as they would in one who is sensitive to this sort of thing).

Offline allchopin

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #13 on: October 15, 2003, 06:46:34 AM
What I meant when I explicitly wrote technically and musically was accuracy and style.  In all 12 of Arrau's Transcendental recordings, I cant pick out ONE wrong note- this alone is amazing, something that Rubenstein (as well as many other pianists) could not do, even on a good day.  And he knew this, too.
Musically, I find that Arrau is extremely gifted at bringing out the dynamics how they were meant to be played.  Rubinstein seems to refuse dynamics and places in hes own pianissimo's where he wants.  Listen to his Grande Valse Brillante- it is almost pathetic; lifeless is an ideal adjective.  If you want to learn how to play the etudes correctly, listen to Arrau.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline ahmedito

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #14 on: October 16, 2003, 12:22:44 AM
Amen!
For a good laugh, check out my posts in the audition room, and tell me exactly how terrible they are :)

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #15 on: October 16, 2003, 01:38:43 AM
Quote
Rubenstein seems to refuse dynamics and places in hes own pianissimo's where he wants.


Anton Rubenstein, Artur Rubinstein,
Ed

Offline ravel

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #16 on: October 16, 2003, 05:38:36 PM
but anton and artur are different haha

Offline ravel

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #17 on: October 16, 2003, 05:41:51 PM
cziffra is so known for lizst, but i heard one of his recordings of hungarian rhapsodies, some of them were good, but some seemed quite messed up,

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #18 on: October 16, 2003, 06:14:46 PM
Listen to his Grand Galope Chromatique - it is on the Art of Piano DVD and is stunning,
Ed

Offline thracozaag

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #19 on: October 16, 2003, 07:47:28 PM
Quote
Listen to his Grand Galope Chromatique - it is on the Art of Piano DVD and is stunning,
Ed


 Amen to that.  I have a live one from Tokyo, 1964 that's even better!!
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline Hmoll

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #20 on: October 16, 2003, 11:03:16 PM
I'm surprised no one mentioned Glenn Gould's recordings of Mozart.
One of Gould's most famous quotes about Mozart is "he died too late rather than too soon."
Gould's disdain for that composer seems to carry over into his interpretations of his music.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #21 on: October 17, 2003, 07:33:57 PM
Quote
I'm surprised no one mentioned Glenn Gould's recordings of Mozart.
One of Gould's most famous quotes about Mozart is "he died too late rather than too soon."
Gould's disdain for that composer seems to carry over into his interpretations of his music.


His Beethoven is equally dreadful,
Ed

Offline Noah

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #22 on: October 17, 2003, 08:51:40 PM
What do you think of Gould's Brahms First Concerto with Bernstein ?
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline cziffra

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #23 on: October 19, 2003, 01:39:51 PM
someone before mentioned to avoid cziffras chopin etudes

i have encountered this comment a lot and i'm a ssuming the reason is becuase they're so unconventional.

to me, however, that means they are a must have ...anything that strays from the norm should definitely be something to hear, for what can we learn if we only ever hear something played the one way?  
how infinitely boring.  "I'll listen to ashkenazy play the etudes now...he plays them correctly, and that's the only acceptable way.  afterwards i might arrange lima beans in mathematical rows."

i actually do think that the musical aspect of some of cziffra's recordings are a bit dubious...however, he played them his way.  there was no other way he could have expressed himself.  and for that, they are something people should hear.

What it all comes down to is that one does not play the piano with one’s fingers; one plays the piano with one’s mind.-  Glenn Gould

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #24 on: October 19, 2003, 02:32:34 PM
Quote
someone before mentioned to avoid cziffras chopin etudes

i have encountered this comment a lot and i'm a ssuming the reason is becuase they're so unconventional.

to me, however, that means they are a must have ...anything that strays from the norm should definitely be something to hear, for what can we learn if we only ever hear something played the one way?  
how infinitely boring.  "I'll listen to ashkenazy play the etudes now...he plays them correctly, and that's the only acceptable way.  afterwards i might arrange lima beans in mathematical rows."

i actually do think that the musical aspect of some of cziffra's recordings are a bit dubious...however, he played them his way.  there was no other way he could have expressed himself.  and for that, they are something people should hear.



I couldn't agree more,
Ed

Offline arcadi

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #25 on: October 26, 2003, 01:52:50 AM
by a long way the worst recording in my collection is horowitz's 1978 rach 3 from carnegie hall, complete with harpsichord sounding piano and massive cuts. the only piano cd in my entire collection which i regret buying.

Offline ravel

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #26 on: October 26, 2003, 07:46:16 PM
yup, cziffra s chopin etudes  are played rather differently than any other pianist, and i like them a lot,
but i cant help getting disspointed at some of his lizst s hungarian rhapsody
and ed , yup i have seen his grand galop chromatique , and i know its very crazy, just out of the world .!!!!
wonder how he did that.
its more like supernatural

Offline thracozaag

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #27 on: October 27, 2003, 08:02:09 PM
Quote
yup, cziffra s chopin etudes  are played rather differently than any other pianist, and i like them a lot,
but i cant help getting disspointed at some of his lizst s hungarian rhapsody
and ed , yup i have seen his grand galop chromatique , and i know its very crazy, just out of the world .!!!!
wonder how he did that.
its more like supernatural


 The live performances of the Hungarian Rhapsodies (#9 and 13 in particular) are far better than his studio renditions.  His live Spanish Rhapsody is unbelievable.
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline ravel

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #28 on: October 28, 2003, 12:10:08 AM
i heard giesekings ravel, and some of them were again quite messed up, weird, since again, gieseking is known for debussy and ravel, i guess its due to the recording quality itsself, but at some places it just shows that he didnt seem that well prepared for the piece,
however the recording also has his high points, for example i dont think any recording of une barque sur la ocean maches giesekings,   its like not only fast, but its just his pedal work, its magic

Offline dj

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #29 on: October 28, 2003, 06:21:18 AM
Code: [Select]
by a long way the worst recording in my collection is horowitz's 1978 rach 3 from carnegie hall, complete with harpsichord sounding piano and massive cuts. the only piano cd in my entire collection which i regret buying.

i've actually heard a much worse recording of the rach 3. it's from david helfgott (the guy from the movie "shine") after all his health problems and such
rach on!

Offline erik-

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #30 on: October 28, 2003, 12:03:53 PM
What I just read about Claudio Arrau is completely insane. His recordings are not to be avoided, on the
contrary, they are a must have.
Claudio Array was an amazing interpret of Beethoven, but also of Schumann, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt and Debussy.
His interpretations were always very profound, especially in Beethoven. Some may prefer a more down to earth version of Beethoven's piano sonata, but it doesn't mean Arrau's one is to be avoided.
His Chopin's noctures are a reference. He has this very distinct sound of his own.
I love his Bach's partitia, his Liszt Transcendental Etudes, his Liszt piano concertos, Schumann's carnaval  ...
When I listen to Claudio Arrau, I always envision something great, something majestic and mystical that you cannot quite grasp.
I read about Arrau that he was very serious about his art, and because of that he was not as popular as he deserved : for example in concerts, he didn't play encores just to please the audience.


Offline eddie92099

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #31 on: October 28, 2003, 02:28:44 PM
Quote
What I just read about Claudio Arrau is completely insane. His recordings are not to be avoided, on the
contrary, they are a must have.
Claudio Array was an amazing interpret of Beethoven, but also of Schumann, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt and Debussy.
His interpretations were always very profound, especially in Beethoven. Some may prefer a more down to earth version of Beethoven's piano sonata, but it doesn't mean Arrau's one is not to be avoided.
His Chopin's noctures are a reference. He has this very distinct sound of his own.
I love his Bach's partitia, his Liszt Transcendental Etudes, his Liszt piano concertos, Schumann's carnaval  ...
When I listen to Claudio Arrau, I always envision something great, something majestic and mystical that you cannot quite grasp.
I read about Arrau that he was very serious about his art, and because of that he was not as popular as he deserved : for example in concerts, he didn't play encores just to please the audience.


Have you read Joseph Horowitz's "Conversations with Arrau"? I think it might interest you,
Ed

Offline erik-

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #32 on: October 28, 2003, 03:47:08 PM
No I haven't read it :( but it's on my wish list :)

Offline TartanePlayer

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #33 on: October 29, 2003, 12:06:34 PM
first post !

About Gould and Mozart.

It is true he said that Mozart should have died before, and maybe that influenced his way of playing it, but i think gould should be considered apart. I have his complete Mozart sonatas and sometimes i find he plays stacatto very long passages, very quick andantes and stuff, but all i can tell, is that more i listen to them, more i like them. He is very special. I have Maria Joao Pires playing Mozart sonatas too. Two different ways of understanding the Mozart works, but it sounds fantastic no matter who plays. Maybe that's why Mozart is so great ! :D

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #34 on: October 29, 2003, 06:42:36 PM
Quote
Two different ways of understanding the Mozart works, but it sounds fantastic no matter who plays. Maybe that's why Mozart is so great ! :D


Maybe you would revise your thoughts having listened to some of the people I've had to sit through!
Ed

Offline TartanePlayer

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #35 on: October 30, 2003, 09:22:49 PM
Quote


Maybe you would revise your thoughts having listened to some of the people I've had to sit through!
Ed



i cannot understand what you are saying. I think it is a vocabulary problem. Could you please be more explicit? i don't even know if i am writing with the right spell. In any case, please excuse me.

Offline ahmedito

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #36 on: October 30, 2003, 10:53:22 PM
Listen to Gould's Chopin...

of course, if you really want to avoid some recordings you can do much worse than Gould, Czifra or Arrau... n matter what they're playing. There are tons of BAD recordings out there, and not by great artists at that.

For a good laugh, check out my posts in the audition room, and tell me exactly how terrible they are :)

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #37 on: October 30, 2003, 11:50:49 PM
Quote

i cannot understand what you are saying. I think it is a vocabulary problem. Could you please be more explicit? i don't even know if i am writing with the right spell. In any case, please excuse me.


You said that Mozart was so great because he sounds wonderful no matter who plays it. However, I have heard some very amateur performances of Mozart which did not sound wonderful!
Ed

Offline allchopin

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #38 on: October 31, 2003, 01:22:37 AM
Haha Gould plays Chopin? That's crazy- Id like to hear that (or maybe I wouldnt)
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline frederic

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #39 on: November 01, 2003, 04:16:26 AM
Ashkenazy's Chopin Etudes...
and er....and some of his rachmaninoff preludes too...
Argerich's Rach3...I know this sounds a bit nutty as it is quite and unbelievable recording....just...it might scare the young ones...lol
"The concert is me" - Franz Liszt

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #40 on: November 01, 2003, 04:12:35 PM
Quote
Ashkenazy's Chopin Etudes...
and er....and some of his rachmaninoff preludes too...
Argerich's Rach3...I know this sounds a bit nutty as it is quite and unbelievable recording....just...it might scare the young ones...lol


:o That won't gain you much credibility!!
Ed

Offline inkiepoo

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #41 on: November 02, 2003, 11:15:58 PM
I'm new to this board but this subject I find very interesting. I agree that there are many "professional" recordings not worth listening to. One beautiful piece that is often played incorrectly is Beethoven's Adagio sostenuto from "Moonlight" Sonata. I've heard too many cd's where the pianist plays like a mechanical wooden doll! Very little expression and even speeding up in the piece. Horrors!!I have heard only one recording of this song that will move me to tears and it is performed by Dubravka Tomsic.  

Offline bitus

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #42 on: November 13, 2003, 08:41:11 PM
I consider this the worst classical CD ever recorded:

The Complete Piano Music of Maurice Ravel
Artists:
Maurice Ravel (!)
Eugene Ormandy
Robert Casadesus
Gaby Casadesus (especialy this one!!!)
Zino Francescatti

I was in the library listening to this particular CD, and i found myself laughing out loud when i listened to Gaby Casadesus playing the Toccata.
Also, Ravel himself has some pittifull recordings.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.

Offline bitus

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #43 on: November 13, 2003, 08:53:16 PM
John Ogdon...
Regarding your post that included most of the greatest pianists (on oct 12). Quite dissapointed, i have to admit...
I saw a video with Rubinstein recording some small schumann piece. He took over 14 takes, because he wasn't satisfied with details that most pianists couldn't observe.
My point is that if pianists like him, or Horowitz, recorded something, they recorded it to their best understanding of it. Now, if you don't like the interpretation, then it's not their fault... You didn't hear Mozart playing his sonatas... you heard other pianists playing them, and from that perspective you judge all recordings that you listen after the first one.
Horowitz was completly against listening to recordings... he believed each pianist should find his own way of playing Chopin (for example), and not copy Rubinstein's recordings. That's what makes a good pianist... the ability to play original!
Bitus.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.

Offline willster

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #44 on: November 16, 2003, 10:09:56 PM
I don't understand why everyones giving john Ogden a hard time! He was mererly arguing against Allchopins insistant ignorant generalistations.

May I also suggest that using Liszts Transcendental Etudes as an example of musicality is a touch NaiveAll chopin.

Bad Recordings:
Rachmaninoffs 1st Piano concerto - Ashkenazy
Prokovieffs 2nd piano concerto - Ashkenazy
Ravel - Francois-joel Thiollier
Brahms -1st piano concerto 0p15 - Emil Gilels (although the 2nd is superb)

Terrible recordings:
Mussourgsky pictures at an exhibition - Lazar Berman
Tchaikovsky piano concerto 1 - Lam Lam (I don't know if hes recorded this but I saw him play it at the first night of the proms and thought it was terrible).

Listening to Artur Rubinsteins Chopin Pollonaises as I type - Beautiful!

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #45 on: November 17, 2003, 12:52:25 AM
Quote

Bad Recordings:
Prokovieffs 2nd piano concerto - Ashkenazy


Ashkenazy's Prokofiev 2 is not the best but it is by no means the worst!

Quote

Terrible recordings:
Tchaikovsky piano concerto 1 - Lam Lam (I don't know if hes recorded this but I saw him play it at the first night of the proms and thought it was terrible).


I think you mean Lang Lang! He has just recorded it with Barenboim and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It is not great but it is coupled with a more impressive Mendelssohn G minor,
Ed

Offline willster

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #46 on: November 17, 2003, 04:00:07 AM
yeah I did mean Lang Lang! - I find it severely sentimental and too ponderous. For me the Horowitz/toscanini recordings are the definitive, but I suppose could be criticized for their excessive flamboyancy!

but I didn't say that Ashkenazy's version was the worst - I said it was bad - which it is!!!

Offline allchopin

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #47 on: November 17, 2003, 06:54:27 AM
Quote
He was mererly arguing against Allchopins insistant ignorant generalistations.


What generalisations would these be?  I dont think that enjoying Arrau's recordings of the Transcendental Etudes is being ignorant.  And in my statement, I declared Arrau's competency in both musicality AND techincality, via his Emporer Concerto and his Transcendental Etudes RESPECTIVELY.  
And Etudes have musicalty too, Willster.  Perhaps you have been playing yours wrong this whole time?
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #48 on: November 17, 2003, 02:00:31 PM
Quote

but I didn't say that Ashkenazy's version was the worst - I said it was bad - which it is!!!


Who's recording do you prefer? I have Ashkenazy, Guttierez, Cherkassky (live), Dagmar Baloghova and Kun Woo Paik and Vladimir Krainev,
Ed

Offline willster

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Re: Recordings to avoid
Reply #49 on: November 17, 2003, 10:21:28 PM
Hi ed,

I don't have as many recordings as that! I listened to the Guiterriz/Jarvi recording with my tutor and really enjoyed it-I keep on meaning to buy it but am in dire straits at the moment....aah the joys of student life!! I had a Beroff recording of it which I loved (wonderful first movement) but my housemate borrowed it and then *kindly* lost it!

It's such a great piece, I try and see it performed whenever my budget allows, I went to see Arcadi Volodos at the rfh but- didn't show but we did get a fantastic pianist anyway -Yevgeny Svetlanov-good performance-more so in the outer 3 movements than in the first. The best performances of it I have heard have been by a young german pianist called Severin Von Eckardstein. I watched him play in the final of the leeds and was blown away and then went to see him in the bwh Manchester were he was equally fantastic but had changed his interpretation (much slower in the third movement). bbc 3 had it on their radio website for a while-I don't know if its still there but its well worth a listen if it is.

Don't you think the piano is out of tune in the Ashkenazy?!

regards Willster
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