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Poll

Who was the greatest Italian pianist?

Arturo Michelangeli
26 (51%)
Sergio Fiorentino
4 (7.8%)
Maurizio Pollini
9 (17.6%)
Aldo Ciccolini
0 (0%)
Francesco Libetta
2 (3.9%)
Feruccio Busoni
8 (15.7%)
Dino Ciani
1 (2%)
Carlo Grante
1 (2%)

Total Members Voted: 51

Topic: Greatest Italian Pianist?  (Read 3303 times)

Offline countchocula

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Greatest Italian Pianist?
on: February 21, 2006, 05:49:25 AM
Who was (is) the greatest Italian pianist ever?

Offline cloches_de_geneve

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #1 on: February 21, 2006, 08:12:00 AM
My favourite would be Dino Ciani -- and, shamefully, he is not on the list!?
"It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it." -- Glenn Gould

Offline mikey6

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #2 on: February 21, 2006, 08:33:50 AM
Sortta hard to judge Busoni on the rolls compared to the others.
Bruno Canino is another distingiushed Italian pianist (although more chamber).
Never look at the trombones. You'll only encourage them.
Richard Strauss

Offline kreso

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #3 on: February 21, 2006, 08:36:34 AM
Sortta hard to judge Busoni on the rolls compared to the others.

I agree. I canot say that he is the greates, because I just heard fey things, but I admire him very much as composer.
I voted for Michelangelli.

Offline alessandro

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #4 on: February 21, 2006, 10:03:49 AM
I like pizza margharita but I never heard one 'great' Italian pianist. I don't like sugar, cold nor show. :-\

Offline g_s_223

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #5 on: February 21, 2006, 11:06:30 AM
Fazioli.

 :D

Offline stevie

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #6 on: February 21, 2006, 01:29:03 PM
pure technique - libetta

allround - fiorentino

Offline iumonito

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #7 on: February 21, 2006, 02:13:08 PM
Enrica Cavallo-Gulli.

...and what about the young ones?  Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Fausto Bidini, Roberto Plano, Alessandra Amara, Benedetto Lupo, Giuseppe Andaloro, Maurizio Baglini.

hmm, I think I like the young Italians better than anyone else?
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Offline cherub_rocker1979

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #8 on: February 21, 2006, 02:14:24 PM
Carlo Grante needs to be on the list.

Offline brahmsian

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #9 on: February 21, 2006, 03:45:23 PM
pure technique - libetta

Have you heard Busoni's roll of the Norma Fantasy? The l.h. octs are insane. He finishes a full 5 minutes faster than the other rec I have.

I have to agree with Florentino though.
Chuck Norris didn't lose his virginity- he systematically tracked it down and destroyed it.

Offline arensky

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #10 on: February 21, 2006, 04:00:32 PM
Michelangeli. I can't consider Busoni, not enough sound recordings...

=  o        o  =
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Offline stevie

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #11 on: February 21, 2006, 04:45:29 PM
Have you heard Busoni's roll of the Norma Fantasy? The l.h. octs are insane. He finishes a full 5 minutes faster than the other rec I have.

I have to agree with Florentino though.

yes i have heard it, and alot of the speeds in his rolls have been tampered with and/or are unknown, so its hard to know what he was really capable of.

Offline brahmsian

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #12 on: February 21, 2006, 04:53:10 PM
yes i have heard it, and alot of the speeds in his rolls have been tampered with and/or are unknown, so its hard to know what he was really capable of.

Gotcha.

That's kinda too bad... it would be interesting to see what he could do.
Chuck Norris didn't lose his virginity- he systematically tracked it down and destroyed it.

Offline donjuan

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #13 on: February 22, 2006, 12:53:48 AM
I voted for Busoni, based on what he wrote and the effects we see in his pupils.  cmon now, the man revolutionized the piano technique.  He took off right where Liszt left off.

Offline mikey6

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #14 on: February 22, 2006, 01:00:08 AM
I voted for Busoni, based on what he wrote and the effects we see in his pupils.  cmon now, the man revolutionized the piano technique.  He took off right where Liszt left off.

I thought 'Budha' Godowsky pushed piano technique the furthest? (after Liszt)
Never look at the trombones. You'll only encourage them.
Richard Strauss

Offline anschlag

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #15 on: February 22, 2006, 12:59:09 PM
Agree with comments that it is hard to rate Busoni.

So I go with ABM: greatest recorded legacy of any of the above; tone and tone colour to die for.

Offline arensky

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #16 on: February 22, 2006, 03:40:03 PM
Gotcha.

That's kinda too bad... it would be interesting to see what he could do.

For an idea, check out his recording (cut down to about 4-5 minutes) of Liszt's 13th Rhapsody.
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Offline cherub_rocker1979

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #17 on: February 22, 2006, 06:05:08 PM
Carlo Grante should at least be on the list I insist.

Offline cloches_de_geneve

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #18 on: February 22, 2006, 09:11:59 PM
I can only concur; this list is seriously incomplete, which invalidates the outcome a priori.
"It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it." -- Glenn Gould

Offline westley

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #19 on: February 22, 2006, 10:08:11 PM
Including Busoni on a poll about best pianists ever is not that different from including Liszt, i.e. it is totally ridiculous as a) we really can't know based on the recordings we have, and b) he was a far greater figure than any of the others, much more influential, a great composer and musical thinker etc. 

So he shouldnt be on the list . . . but since he is I can't see how anyone could vote for anyone else.  :)

Offline countchocula

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #20 on: February 23, 2006, 05:31:21 AM
Carlo Grante should at least be on the list I insist.
OK -
No one should "at least" be on the list.  No one wins anything for being nominated.  This poll is not about who is "among" the best Italian pianists, it is about who is the very best Italian pianist, period.  So please don't insist on my "including" anyone unless you would definitely vote for him as being the very best.  If you really feel that Carlo Grante or Benedetto Lupo or Antonio Pompa-Baldi are better than Michelangeli or Fiorentino or Busoni, then say so, and I will certainly change the list to include them.
I know that there are many other fine Italian pianists, but I wanted to keep it small.  I didn't want to include a bunch of people as "honorable mentions".
BTW my vote is Fiorentino   :)

Offline countchocula

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #21 on: February 23, 2006, 05:38:32 AM
Including Busoni on a poll about best pianists ever is not that different from including Liszt, i.e. it is totally ridiculous as a) we really can't know based on the recordings we have, and b) he was a far greater figure than any of the others, much more influential, a great composer and musical thinker etc. 

So he shouldnt be on the list . . . but since he is I can't see how anyone could vote for anyone else.  :)
I have never in my life heard a better 13th Rhapsody of Liszt than played by Busoni - I consider it not one of the great Liszt recordings, but one of the greatest piano recordings of all time.  That is why I included him.
But maybe you're right.

Offline countchocula

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #22 on: February 23, 2006, 05:43:39 AM
I can only concur; this list is seriously incomplete, which invalidates the outcome a priori.
The point of this list was not to include every Italian pianist in the world.  The point was to list the few that might be considered as the single greatest Italian pianist ever.  So again, if you really feel that Carlo Grante or Antonio Pompa-Baldi are better pianists than Michelangeli and Fiorentino, and you would definitely vote for one of them as the single greatest Italian pianist ever, then I will certainly change the list to include them.
As it stands though, I don't think this list would invalidate the outcome.

Offline cloches_de_geneve

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #23 on: February 23, 2006, 09:17:08 AM
You have a point; but I insist that you cannot leave out Dino Ciani from such a list -- not only because he would probably have come up third in the poll (or better), but also because of his tragic destiny that eliminated at age 33 a pianist who - as practically everybody agrees -- was on the same level as ABM and Pollini. We should not forget him.
Another omission is Carlo Zecchi, not only because he was generally considered to be the best italian pianist in the 1950-1960, but especially because he was a direct pupil of the great Busoni himself about whom such much has been said in this thread.
The Zecchi omission is a bit more understandable because, unfortunately, Zecchi did not leave a lot of recordings.
"It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it." -- Glenn Gould

Offline etudes

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #24 on: February 23, 2006, 10:19:05 AM
nobody mentioned Enrico Pace with his Don Juan fantasy?
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My life = piano

Offline countchocula

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #25 on: February 23, 2006, 06:51:33 PM
You have a point; but I insist that you cannot leave out Dino Ciani from such a list -- not only because he would probably have come up third in the poll (or better), but also because of his tragic destiny that eliminated at age 33 a pianist who - as practically everybody agrees -- was on the same level as ABM and Pollini. We should not forget him.

done

Offline iumonito

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #26 on: February 24, 2006, 12:29:36 AM
The point of this list was not to include every Italian pianist in the world.  The point was to list the few that might be considered as the single greatest Italian pianist ever.  So again, if you really feel that Carlo Grante or Antonio Pompa-Baldi are better pianists than Michelangeli and Fiorentino, and you would definitely vote for one of them as the single greatest Italian pianist ever, then I will certainly change the list to include them.
As it stands though, I don't think this list would invalidate the outcome.

I don't care what you do with the list, but following that logic, if you put Enrica Cavallo-Gulli on the list, I would be happy to vote for her again.

...and I do think Pompa-Baldi is better than Michellangeli, even though I am sure Antonio himself would find that the most absurd statement ever.   ;D  Never heard Fiorentino, which obviously I should correct.  Thanks for getting this started.  As a group, I find Italian pianists much better than any other nationality, including Russian (even counting the Ukranians usually lumped in that group).
Money does not make happiness, but it can buy you a piano.  :)

Offline m

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #27 on: February 24, 2006, 01:20:23 AM
  As a group, I find Italian pianists much better than any other nationality, including Russian (even counting the Ukranians usually lumped in that group).

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

I can imagine as a group of Russian pianists, including Rachmaninov, Horowitz,  Lhevinne, Barrere,  Richter, Gilels, Sofronitsky, Ginsburg, Yudina, Novitskaya, and many many others (including those who studied in Russia), would look at this post and say:

EXCUUUUUUUUUUUSE ME!!!

Offline stevie

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #28 on: February 24, 2006, 01:47:26 AM
indeed, russia seems to breed more great pianists than other countries, but they do have apopulation advantage, possibly.

britain seems sorely lacking in great pianists, although i feel this may change in the next few years 8).

incidentally my no1 pianist is hungarian, and his nationality and style has alot to do with why i like him, but i cant think of any other hungarian pianists that are even similar, jando is bland in comparison.

Offline cloches_de_geneve

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #29 on: February 24, 2006, 09:12:14 AM
Ok, we don't want to enter in a "competition of pianistic nationalities" here. Yet, there is something special, or to put it in more neutral terms, characteristic of Italien pianists. What is it?

In contrast to the stereotypical image we sometimes have of Italians, it seems to be a certain lack of spontaneity combined with an obsession for perfection.
"It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it." -- Glenn Gould

Offline iumonito

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #30 on: February 24, 2006, 01:36:52 PM
britain seems sorely lacking in great pianists, although i feel this may change in the next few years 8).

Anyone said Hough, Donohoe, Lill, Kempff, Douglas, our very own Jonathan Powell?  If you want to go back Hess, Solomon...

I agree this discussion is senseless.  :)
Money does not make happiness, but it can buy you a piano.  :)

Offline countchocula

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #31 on: February 26, 2006, 04:51:23 AM

In contrast to the stereotypical image we sometimes have of Italians, it seems to be a certain lack of spontaneity combined with an obsession for perfection.

Somehow that seems accurate

Offline countchocula

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #32 on: February 26, 2006, 04:59:01 AM
Anyone said Hough, Donohoe, Lill, Kempff, Douglas, our very own Jonathan Powell?  If you want to go back Hess, Solomon...

I agree this discussion is senseless.  :)

I disagree - I find this discussion important, and quite interesting
It is a relevant matter for pianists to discuss the typical kind of great pianist from certain parts of the world, and how abundantly they are produced there.

Offline m

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #33 on: February 26, 2006, 07:40:11 AM
indeed, russia seems to breed more great pianists than other countries, but they do have apopulation advantage, possibly.

britain seems sorely lacking in great pianists, although i feel this may change in the next few years 8).


Besides Dame Myra Hess, Solomon, and Donohoe, Brits gave to the world Julius Katchen, Sir Clifford Kurzon, phenomenal virtuoso Terens Judd. And don't forget colossal John Ogdon. And how many we just don't know.

Offline cloches_de_geneve

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #34 on: February 26, 2006, 09:10:13 AM
As for British pianists: Yesterday I happened to hear two recordings by Myra Hess. I was just totally amazed, stunned, and touched by the incredibly beautiful sound this women was able to produce. And then I thought of Benedetti Michelangeli who was a master of sound in his own right. But in such a  completely different way. Hess' sound seems somehow infused with "joie de vivre" (in a way comparable to Rubinstein's); while nothing of the sort could certainly be said of grumpy ABM whose peerless sound calibrations and manupulations are inhumane.
"It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it." -- Glenn Gould

Offline musicsdarkangel

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #35 on: February 26, 2006, 10:14:36 PM
best Italian pianist is John Ogden






















just kidding.

Offline mikey6

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #36 on: February 27, 2006, 12:24:13 AM
while nothing of the sort could certainly be said of grumpy ABM whose peerless sound calibrations and manupulations are inhumane.

I got the Lucerne DVD of him playing Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms and some of the faces he pulls at the camera man are scary!
Never look at the trombones. You'll only encourage them.
Richard Strauss

Offline pianowelsh

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Re: Greatest Italian Pianist?
Reply #37 on: March 10, 2006, 11:44:15 PM
Eh!! There are tons of great British pianists!  And look at the tiny population we have!! we also dont have the same approach to preschool education that the russian elite have.  In Britain the educationalists stress a more holistic route as opposed to force feeding 6 year olds Chopin etudes and Beethoven sonatas.  As far as italians goes there are scores. Michelangeli has to be up there (for stage presence if not perfection - must have given the fewest wrong notes of any pianist!) Fiorentino is a joy to listen too - always! Presently Pollini is a legend and deservedly so his Chopin recordings (ok exception etudes) are amazing and his work in contemporary music is most credit worthy.  He must be one of the worlds best sightreaders too!
 

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