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The Versatile Pianist (Read 1306 times)

Offline irrational

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The Versatile Pianist
« on: August 24, 2015, 01:27:47 PM »
My teacher asked me which single pianist I would listen to across periods from Baroque to Modern. (As I listen to a fairly vast amount of piano music)

I couldn't easily think of a single pianist that could cover all the periods at top level.
My generally favoured pianists are Perahia, Gilels, Pollini and Schiff, but of course there are so many. I do not know the modern repertoire that well and I have never exhaustively listened to all the discographies of the pianists I like, so I dont even know if they recorded 20th century compositions, being more a Baroque to Early Romanticism admirer.

I would consider Horowitz pretty accomplished accross the many periods.
I love Perahia's Bach to Brahms, but I don't know if he recorded more modern.
I enjoy Schiff's Bach to Beethoven and I am fairly sure more modern is not his forte
I love Pollini's Beethoven and Chopin etc. but don't know much of his repertoire
Gilels has long been a favourite and he recorded wonderful Mozart to many modern russian pieces. But baroque?
Ashkenazy and Richter both have wide repertoires, but I am not consistently in love with their work.

But who can play Bach and is also a top interpreter of Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev, Bartok, Rachmaninof and Scriabin?

I feel the interpretations and techniques are too widely varied to master in 1 lifetime.

Any ideas from more accomplished listeners about who could fit this bill?



Offline roncesvalles

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Re: The Versatile Pianist
«Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 01:41:26 PM »
Pollini has played a wide repertoire, from Bach to contemporary composers like Boulez and Sciarrino.

A name that comes to mind is Feinberg.  I am unsure of whether he played Debussy or Ravel, but he was a unique, sensitive interpreter of Bach (from a recording that was made, I believe, in his seventies), as well as being, in his time, the interpreter in Russia of the contrasting modern styles of both Scriabin and Prokofiev.   Consummate technique combined with superlative intelligence, I would listen to anything he chose to play, from Frescobaldi to his own compositions.   Unfortunately for us, his recorded legacy is so slight (in number of things recorded, not quality).

Offline coda_colossale

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Re: The Versatile Pianist
«Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 04:04:12 PM »
Idil Biret has an extensive repertoire and a vast discography, even though she didn't record that many Baroque and Classical works.

Offline diomedes

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Re: The Versatile Pianist
«Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 05:45:05 PM »
You'll find very many who do everything very well, Richter Pollini and Gilels are just the top of the list, and there for a particular reason.

I don't think one should try to find someone who does everything, it defeats the purpose. If you are to broaden your horizons you should listen to everything and then find your inclinations. That will take some time, but you'll be learning every step of the way
way.

Oh and Schiff is a Bartok specialist too, and did numerous other surprising things like a very fine recording of the Dvorak concerto.
Beethoven-Alkan, concerto 3
Faure barcarolle 10
Mozart-Stradal, symphony 40

Offline visitor

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Re: The Versatile Pianist
«Reply #4 on: August 24, 2015, 06:08:35 PM »
factoring common practice period standards, then including other's transcriptions, his own compositions, his own transcriptions, modern lit, and the jazz idiom.

Earl Wild.
Yeol Eum Son.

my top two picks for pretty much everything/anything.

Offline irrational

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Re: The Versatile Pianist
«Reply #5 on: August 25, 2015, 09:57:33 AM »
Thank you so much for the answers!

I have read up a bit more after the answers and it is interesting to discover the less known recordings of the pianists. Both Perahia and Pollini has recorded more than I thought.

I would love to get my hands on Schiff's Dvorak and Bartok! I noticed there is a youtube video.

As for the purpose of the question to answer diomedes.

This is a rather academical exercise for interest. And it has proven pretty interesting.
I have more admiration for the pianists I enjoy now.
I will, of course, prefer specific pianists in specific periods and even specific composers.
But like many here, I do not always listen to the same pianist's interpretations.
I thoroughly enjoy discovering new and different interpretations and up and coming pianists alongside older artists.
I have long ago realised that it is to one's own detriment to get too religious about anything and limit your horizons. Its too easy to judge in a biased way. It does not do to stunt the passion and excitement of discovery.

Offline diomedes

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Re: The Versatile Pianist
«Reply #6 on: August 25, 2015, 03:31:26 PM »
Quote
I have long ago realised that it is to one's own detriment to get too religious about anything and limit your horizons. Its too easy to judge in a biased way. It does not do to stunt the passion and excitement of discovery.

In that case, then you're doing fine with that mind set and looking for a do all pianist as an exercise in awareness.

I think building an awareness of everything is so important, how else are you to find what sincerely means something to you. For me, broadening my mindset has completely upset my personal universe: I've had an daily need to spend the evenings listening to CPE Bach, JS Bach, Froberger, etc on original keyboard instruments. About 3 weeks ago i started o listen to the cello suites and violin sonatas & partitas. It's virtually the only thing i listen to every night.

In any case, always be learning.
Beethoven-Alkan, concerto 3
Faure barcarolle 10
Mozart-Stradal, symphony 40