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documentary-The Art of Piano - Great Pianists of 20th Century (Read 9815 times)

Offline 49410enrique

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might be fun to discuss or comment.


The Art of the Piano is a feature-length, 106-minute documentary that presents in refreshingly straightforward fashion a portrait of 20th-century piano playing. The format is simple: short segments on virtually all of the great pianists who have ever been captured on film, augmented by extracts from interviews, sometimes with the pianists themselves, or with later conductors and musicians of international stature, including specially filmed contributions from Daniel Barenboim, Sir Colin Davis, Evgeny Kissin, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, and Tamás Vásáry. The narration by John Tusa offers an overview of piano music through the century, though the heart of the film is the great quantity of rare archive historic footage, with extracts from performances by Gould, Horowitz, Paderwski, Rachmaninoff, Richter, Rubinstein, and many others. The interviews are short, but offer considerable insight, while the film of so many revered pianists brought together is a literal eye-opener, especially for those who have previously only known these masters from LP and CD. This is, like the companion program The Art of Singing, as close to definitive as a single film can get, even going so far as to include footage from the "silent" era with sound from corresponding recordings.

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i've not yet watched this but plan on doing so here over the next few days hopefully. for folks that werent' aware of this, just a friendly fyi that the linked video appears to be the full film.

Offline j_menz

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Re: documentary-The Art of Piano - Great Pianists of 20th Century
«Reply #1 on: July 20, 2012, 12:43:37 AM »
Thanks for posting enrique. Now on order (hate docos on youtube).
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline outin

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Re: documentary-The Art of Piano - Great Pianists of 20th Century
«Reply #2 on: July 20, 2012, 07:07:26 AM »
I have the DVD, I have probably watched it about 5 times. I wish there was more footage of some pianists, but I guess it may not exist... Rachmaninoff on the other hand was given a lot of screen time...

BTW. I had never seen Paderewski play before, now I understand why it is said he didn't have correct technique :)

Offline ted

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Re: documentary-The Art of Piano - Great Pianists of 20th Century
«Reply #3 on: July 20, 2012, 09:21:33 AM »
I have the film and watch it every now and then. While it is indeed excellent, it is a long way short of covering the art of piano in any complete sense. It is restricted to formal concert pianists and classical music. For example, apparently such playing as ragtime, jazz and related improvised idioms of the twentieth century are not art and such amazing creators and executants as Morton, Waller, Tatum, Joplin, Gershwin do not qualify as great pianists of the twentieth century.

I think it important to note this limitation for those intending to buy it. It is very good, but it does only cover classical concert playing and a pretty small number of players within that domain.
"We're all bums when the wagon comes." - Waller

Offline 49410enrique

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Re: documentary-The Art of Piano - Great Pianists of 20th Century
«Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 11:38:35 AM »
I have the film and watch it every now and then. While it is indeed excellent, it is a long way short of covering the art of piano in any complete sense. It is restricted to formal concert pianists and classical music. For example, apparently such playing as ragtime, jazz and related improvised idioms of the twentieth century are not art and such amazing creators and executants as Morton, Waller, Tatum, Joplin, Gershwin do not qualify as great pianists of the twentieth century.

I think it important to note this limitation for those intending to buy it. It is very good, but it does only cover classical concert playing and a pretty small number of players within that domain.

super great point!
perhaps we should supplement the 'scope' and perspective a bit?

Art Tatum - The Art Of Jazz Piano

though it focuses on a single pianist, it is def a great pianist, but yeah would be nice to have a 'companion' documnetary by the same folks with perhaps several pianists in this genre
i plan on watching this immediately after the previous