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The Declines of Pianists (Read 1410 times)

Offline schumaniac

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The Declines of Pianists
« on: August 19, 2015, 10:01:55 PM »
What do you think are some of the biggest "pianistic declines" in history? - declines in people's technique, attention to detail, playing in general...

I'll share some to start it off.

Here is one that you probably don't know about, since he's fallen into relative obscurity. I don't mean to ridicule him; his decline is more sad than funny. Pierre-Alain Volondat; this is from when he won the Queen Elizabeth competition in 1983:

but within a few years...

(those of you who are familiar with this etude will find this performance especially appalling. I concede that it's rather emotional and passionate on the whole, but the sloppiness and the sudden "explosions" of sound are both inexcusably bad!)

The most "famous" is undoubtedly Pogorelich, who was once a great:

and now is more of an eccentric than anything:


Offline schumaniac

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Re: The Declines of Pianists
«Reply #1 on: August 20, 2015, 02:21:48 AM »
AH FRICK I CAN'T EDIT MY OWN POST ANYMORE
What do you think are some of the biggest "pianistic declines" in history? - declines in people's technique, attention to detail, playing in general...

EDIT: and WHY do you think they happen? A lot of the times, they are sad, and often they happen to pianists who seemed to be destined for greatness...


I'll share some to start it off.

Here is one that you probably don't know about, since he's fallen into relative obscurity. I don't mean to ridicule him; his decline is more sad than funny. Pierre-Alain Volondat; this is from when he won the Queen Elizabeth competition in 1983:

but within a few years...

(those of you who are familiar with this etude will find this performance especially appalling. I concede that it's rather emotional and passionate on the whole, but the sloppiness and the sudden "explosions" of sound are both inexcusably bad!)

The most "famous" is undoubtedly Pogorelich, who was once a great:

and now is more of an eccentric than anything:



Offline josh93248

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Re: The Declines of Pianists
«Reply #2 on: August 20, 2015, 05:11:30 AM »
I would agree about Pogorelich as he truly was once brilliant. Now I just don't feel the spark anymore and there are other issues.

Some have alleged that there was a decline with Horowitz but I wouldn't know as I don't really listen to him, not my style I guess.
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Offline schumaniac

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Re: The Declines of Pianists
«Reply #3 on: August 20, 2015, 03:26:25 PM »
I have one more: Yundi Li. Most people who aren't Chinese wonder "Where is he now?" Well, he's still giving concerts, though mainly in China, and he is going to judge the 2015 Chopin Competition. But his playing has deteriorated quite a bit; he rushes his musical phrases a lot, and in some concerts he doesn't even try:


Offline schumaniac

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Re: The Declines of Pianists
«Reply #4 on: August 20, 2015, 05:14:07 PM »
I would agree about Pogorelich as he truly was once brilliant. Now I just don't feel the spark anymore and there are other issues.

Some have alleged that there was a decline with Horowitz but I wouldn't know as I don't really listen to him, not my style I guess.

Like my (failed) edit says, I also wonder HOW and WHY that happened to him, and if he really could have had the foresight to prevent the deterioration of his own playing/tastes. In his case, it was really unfortunate and rather infurating to some his fans.