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Alfred Cortot (Read 1699 times)

Offline mjames

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Alfred Cortot
« on: March 24, 2016, 02:47:57 AM »
Okay, I was always skeptical about this guy. Everyone called him "great" but all I could hear was
WRONG WRONG WRONG NOTES

allll the timesss

So i concluded that it was just another one of those "glorify dead guys" trend in classical piano, but man recently..
I listened to one recording a few weeks back and BOOM, I think I understand why people call this guy great. Just listen to this:



It may be rough, not clear and sometimes disoriented when you compare them to modern pianists but JESUS CHRIST
The singing LINES
the way this dude
SINGS
WOWWW
These are the type of pianists I've grown to love (sofrotnisky, cortot). Yeah wrong notes sure, doesnt follow the score..sure...but I want to be able to sing like this...

Offline diomedes

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Re: Alfred Cortot
«Reply #1 on: March 24, 2016, 03:13:04 AM »
I too was highly scepical about him as his reputation precedes him heavily.

My main dislike of him was his pedagogy and exercises which I generally disagreed with strongly.

But as a musical presence he's often absolutely incredible.
Ravel, Alborada del Gracioso
Schumann, Kreisleriana
Scriabin, Sonata nr.3
Liszt, Don Juan

Offline ajlongspiano

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Re: Alfred Cortot
«Reply #2 on: March 24, 2016, 04:18:27 AM »
Brilliant brilliant brilliant musician. He was a gift to the world of piano :). I find his writing to be boring though haha. Yesterday I read his book called " The Piano Music of Claude Debussy " and didn't get much out of it. Love this recording! Such a beautiful style.


Best,
AJ

Offline mjames

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Re: Alfred Cortot
«Reply #3 on: March 24, 2016, 01:27:21 PM »
how to play like cortot

Offline visitor

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Re: Alfred Cortot
«Reply #4 on: March 24, 2016, 01:38:43 PM »
how to play like cortot
yep. Al knew what was up. I believe their secret was in part due to their command of the piano's sound like a natural language they learned while growing up, it's so seemless they can say just about anything they wanted!

 i tend to consider him -> Fred Chopin like Arrau to Beethoven. one of a select few that give us a benchmark standard to appreciate.

I'd throw from the  'golden age' that Levitszki would have reached some of the highest acclaim had he not died so young. He was on to something, really in a seemless manner getting everything that was great about the 'old gaurd' while hinting at some of the newer greatness the middle of the century would bring us.



Offline mjames

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Re: Alfred Cortot
«Reply #5 on: March 24, 2016, 02:03:17 PM »
IVE HEARD OF HIM BEFORE
Playing his own pieces.
Or was it another levitzki?

But man the way he plays the bridge right before the middle section...sooooo goood. Man making jealous ;(

Offline visitor

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Re: Alfred Cortot
«Reply #6 on: March 24, 2016, 02:09:19 PM »
IVE HEARD OF HIM BEFORE
Playing his own pieces.
Or was it another levitzki?

But man the way he plays the bridge right before the middle section...sooooo goood. Man making jealous ;(
\
yep. same guy. i posted his own works a bunch in the past but he was quite famous in the short time his career was taking off as performer first, his compositions are on the lighter, side, pretty and fun, but his treatment of Chopin and Liszt are top notch. effortless excellence.

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: Alfred Cortot
«Reply #7 on: April 01, 2016, 05:14:40 PM »
Please keep in mind the context of the performance of any famous or any pianist or musician. Performances can vary depending on their age, stage in professional career, health condition, which part of the performance (beginning? at end? encore performance?) , specialization during career, recording equipment, preservation of recorded performance, etc
Work in progress:

Rondo Alla Turca

Offline pianoplayer002

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Re: Alfred Cortot
«Reply #8 on: April 01, 2016, 09:35:05 PM »
Cortot is known to have had both Parkinson's disease and poor eyesight in the last part of his life. The majority of his recordings were made starting in his early fifties up through his sixties, so it's not unlikely those things might've already started affecting him by then. In addition to being a very busy man with a giant repertoire (and thus not having time to polish every piece to perfection) it's not surprising that his records contain occasional errors. You listen to Cortot for imagination, colour, inspiration, spontenaety, elan, expert rhythmic control, and beauty of tone, not for note perfection.

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Alfred Cortot
«Reply #9 on: April 01, 2016, 10:24:37 PM »
Okay, I was always skeptical about this guy. Everyone called him "great" but all I could hear was
WRONG WRONG WRONG NOTES

allll the timesss

So i concluded that it was just another one of those "glorify dead guys" trend in classical piano, but man recently..
I listened to one recording a few weeks back and BOOM, I think I understand why people call this guy great. Just listen to this:



It may be rough, not clear and sometimes disoriented when you compare them to modern pianists but JESUS CHRIST
The singing LINES
the way this dude
SINGS
WOWWW
These are the type of pianists I've grown to love (sofrotnisky, cortot). Yeah wrong notes sure, doesnt follow the score..sure...but I want to be able to sing like this...
First, I list this link to Cortot playing the A Flat Major Ballade:


Please take note of the original performance style Cortot utilized (referenced in my video), which includes rolled chords, the playing of the bass note slightly ahead of the soprano (in order to accentuate the melody), and also tempo modification.


Additionally, when these early recordings were made there was not the editing capacity that is available today.  Therefore, when you hear the prior listed recording, there are wrong notes, just as there are in Cortot's live recordings.

Horowitz had a recording studio in his apartment which was built by Columbia Records, and his recordings were edited extensively.

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: Alfred Cortot
«Reply #10 on: April 01, 2016, 11:16:49 PM »
This one is probably my favorite recording of his, period.


Cortot is IMO the most musical recorded pianist to have lived. Hugely subjective, of course, but just listen to that B minor sonata.

He's one of my favorite musicians of all time, tied for first with Krystian Zimerman.
Jazz Ambassador 8)

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Alfred Cortot
«Reply #11 on: April 01, 2016, 11:19:56 PM »
Cortot is known to have had both Parkinson's disease and poor eyesight in the last part of his life. The majority of his recordings were made starting in his early fifties up through his sixties, so it's not unlikely those things might've already started affecting him by then. In addition to being a very busy man with a giant repertoire (and thus not having time to polish every piece to perfection) it's not surprising that his records contain occasional errors. You listen to Cortot for imagination, colour, inspiration, spontenaety, elan, expert rhythmic control, and beauty of tone, not for note perfection.
And his medication had consequences for his memory. At his best, a very spiritually-affecting and subtle communicator.