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Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life (Read 1875 times)

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
« on: November 25, 2018, 02:28:29 PM »
If you can only hear the recordings, attend the performances, of 1 pianist (living, no chopin no liszt here), who would it be?

I would pick Marc-Andre Hamelin, in my opinion, He's not only the best interpretor of more contemporary piano music, he's also plays the best Mozart, Schubert, Liszt, etc. Although he mainly records composers like Alkan, Scriabin, which i really love, too.

I love his own 14 Variations on a theme by Paganini, it's genius!

Offline visitor

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #1 on: November 25, 2018, 06:42:18 PM »
yeol eum son

Offline klavieronin

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #2 on: November 25, 2018, 09:58:34 PM »
Maybe an unusual choice but I would choose Jenő Jandů. I think he is a wonderful pianist but I would choose him mainly because he has recorded so much - around 60 albums.

Offline tinyhands

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #3 on: November 25, 2018, 11:51:23 PM »
Gotta be Martha...The Queen !




Offline brogers70

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #4 on: November 26, 2018, 11:09:55 AM »
Helene Grimaud

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #5 on: November 27, 2018, 01:20:14 AM »
Myself since that is who I listen to mostly every day.  I couldn't imagine practicing the piano without being able to hear myself.
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Online ted

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #6 on: November 27, 2018, 04:04:39 AM »
Myself since that is who I listen to mostly every day.  I couldn't imagine practicing the piano without being able to hear myself.

Same here. I didnít post lest I be thought solipsistic or morbidly introspective but now you have said it I shall too. If the worst happens and I become decrepit and unable to play, I shall hopefully have amassed around a thousand hours of recorded improvisation to brighten my last days; I am halfway there now.
"When I was young they said, 'Ah, wait until you are old, then you'll see.' Well, now I am old, and I have seen nothing." - Erik Satie

Offline georgey

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #7 on: November 27, 2018, 05:26:59 AM »
Same here. I didnít post lest I be thought solipsistic or morbidly introspective but now you have said it I shall too. If the worst happens and I become decrepit and unable to play, I shall hopefully have amassed around a thousand hours of recorded improvisation to brighten my last days; I am halfway there now.

Iím not saying this doesnít work for you or many others.  I am decrepit and unable to play and have amassed zero hours of recorded piano playing.  Even if I did amass, the last person I would want to hear is myself.  To brighten my day, I listen to great classical music performed by the best.

1 pianist to hear?  Maybe Ashkenazy?  Not sure.  1 composer only?  Easy: Beethoven.  Or Bach?  Maybe not so easy to answer.

Offline mjames

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #8 on: November 27, 2018, 06:42:04 AM »
lang lang, the greatest pianist of our generation
Composing/improvising

Chopin's 4th ballade and 3rd sonata.
Scriabin Op. 42 no. 1, 2, and 3.
Bach Partita No.4

Offline thirtytwo2020

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #9 on: November 27, 2018, 11:28:24 AM »
Myself since that is who I listen to mostly every day.  I couldn't imagine practicing the piano without being able to hear myself.

I tend to agree with this, but I think the OP might allow us to keep practicing ourselves while listening to and attending the performances of one other pianist. For me, it would have to be someone whose interpretations are not too subjective but who still plays exquisitely and interestingly, with emotion but without exaggeration; otherwise, I would tire too quickly. I don't know if I can choose straightaway, but Murray Perahia would definitely be on my shortlist.

Offline vmishka

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #10 on: November 27, 2018, 07:26:31 PM »
Grigory Sokolov. I plan my trips to Europe around his performances.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #11 on: November 28, 2018, 07:31:57 PM »
A toss up between Katsaris and Volodos for me.

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Offline stevensk

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #12 on: November 28, 2018, 11:18:35 PM »
Yeol eum son!

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #13 on: November 29, 2018, 01:26:59 AM »
1 pianist to hear?  Maybe Ashkenazy?

Ashkenazy has recorded so many music from so many different composers, he's literally a one-man music library!

On the contrary, I'm shocked how one of my favorite pianist, Krystian Zimmerman, recorded so little comparing to Ashkenazy, or Argerich.

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #14 on: November 29, 2018, 01:33:29 AM »
I don't know if I can choose straightaway, but Murray Perahia would definitely be on my shortlist.

I love Perahia too! His record of the Goldberg Variations, is the best interpretation of this magnificent work I've ever heard! (I don't like Glenn, no no for me.) but personnally, I feel his tempo a tid bit too fast, if Perahia slow down a bit with the variations, it would be more elegant.

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #15 on: November 29, 2018, 01:35:50 AM »
Yeol eum son!

We have 2 votes for Yeol eum son, all other pianists only got one vote each, so far.
I'd never listened to any of her record, but one of my friends says she dislike Yeol's look...

Offline soultrap

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #16 on: December 13, 2018, 11:02:09 PM »
If you can only hear the recordings, attend the performances, of 1 pianist (living, no chopin no liszt here), who would it be?

I would pick Marc-Andre Hamelin, in my opinion, He's not only the best interpretor of more contemporary piano music, he's also plays the best Mozart, Schubert, Liszt, etc. Although he mainly records composers like Alkan, Scriabin, which i really love, too.

I love his own 14 Variations on a theme by Paganini, it's genius!

Hamelin's my choice, as well.

It's not common for such a heavyweight performer (not literally, but figuratively) to be able to compose such pieces.
He's also from Canada (like me), so part of it's pride for being Canadian.  ;D
Pieces I'm working on:
Beethoven op. 109
Chopin Etudes op.10
Tchaikovsky Seasons June & October
Tchaikovsky Russian scherzo op. 1 no. 1
Tchaikovsky concerto 1
Mozart K 488
Rachmaninoff sonata 2

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #17 on: December 13, 2018, 11:57:07 PM »
I feel so happy right now after seeing your post!

I love hamelin's playing, beyond words! Have you listened to his Godowsky's Studies on Chopin Etudes? Alkan's Etude Op. 39, No. 12? and his Debussy Images?'

I know I can play the piano, but I know I can never play piano like Hamelin, it's just impossible, I have nothing but praise for the man, I watched his interviews, unlike most pianists, he truly has a vast knowledge of music, and knows exactly what he's talking about, like the interviews of conductors, rattle, ozawa.

I just found out Hamelin's recording of Kapustin's works, words can't describe how awesome it is.

In China we have 3 major music streaming sites, qq music, kugou, and xiami, with these sites one can listens to almost all recording of classical music there is, for free, on xiami, there're 60 free hamelin recordings! Thank China!

on the orherhand, the only piano CDs I cam find in Music stores here in china, are Maksim Mrvica, Lang Lang, and Richard Clayderman ones  :'( :'( :'(

I'm planning on buying loads of my favorite pianists's recordings, on my next trip to Boston and London, show my appreciation  ;D

Offline soultrap

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #18 on: December 14, 2018, 03:43:05 AM »
I feel so happy right now after seeing your post!

I love hamelin's playing, beyond words! Have you listened to his Godowsky's Studies on Chopin Etudes? Alkan's Etude Op. 39, No. 12? and his Debussy Images?'

I know I can play the piano, but I know I can never play piano like Hamelin, it's just impossible, I have nothing but praise for the man, I watched his interviews, unlike most pianists, he truly has a vast knowledge of music, and knows exactly what he's talking about, like the interviews of conductors, rattle, ozawa.

I just found out Hamelin's recording of Kapustin's works, words can't describe how awesome it is.

In China we have 3 major music streaming sites, qq music, kugou, and xiami, with these sites one can listens to almost all recording of classical music there is, for free, on xiami, there're 60 free hamelin recordings! Thank China!

on the orherhand, the only piano CDs I cam find in Music stores here in china, are Maksim Mrvica, Lang Lang, and Richard Clayderman ones  :'( :'( :'(

I'm planning on buying loads of my favorite pianists's recordings, on my next trip to Boston and London, show my appreciation  ;D

Oh wow... China sure displays an interest in Hamelin!

I've listened to a few of the images... there isn't a complete recording on YouTube, I believe. Can't find it anywhere else either.

60 recordings... That's impressive.

No, I haven't listened to his Alkan etudes (if memory serves, they're all in minor keys, right?), but I did find a selection of his brilliant Godowsky's studies. It's a shame that I don't have the CD, but I'll take a look at the streaming sites you mentioned. To be honest, the biggest video streaming sites here in Canada has too small a focus on classical music.

P.S. I've visited China a few years ago, and I noticed similar things with the CDs available. There's a large focus on Chinese pianists (Most commonly Yuja and Lang Lang), and personally not enough of great pianists such as Hamelin.
Pieces I'm working on:
Beethoven op. 109
Chopin Etudes op.10
Tchaikovsky Seasons June & October
Tchaikovsky Russian scherzo op. 1 no. 1
Tchaikovsky concerto 1
Mozart K 488
Rachmaninoff sonata 2

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #19 on: December 14, 2018, 09:08:48 AM »
Here in China people only know our country's pianists, Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, and Yundi Li (Chopin Competition Gold Medalist, Chinese are proud of him!), and Maksim Mrvica, Richard Clayderman, I taught a friend of mine how to play piano, and all she want is to play clayderman pieces.

It's very strange, Pop songs on qq music, kugou, and xiami are all cost money, but classical music are free, perhaps my country wish its citizens to listen to more classical music, haha! I don't know if chinese music streaming services are available abroad, but theoretically, if you use VPN to connect to China, it should be.

I read somewhere, I can't remember exactly, that the US iTunes store is supposed to have all of Hamelin's recordings, don't know about the pricing though.

You're from Canada?  ;D, I'm preparing for college right now, and I really want to study in either Vancouver or Calgary!

Offline soultrap

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #20 on: December 14, 2018, 03:27:08 PM »
Here in China people only know our country's pianists, Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, and Yundi Li (Chopin Competition Gold Medalist, Chinese are proud of him!), and Maksim Mrvica, Richard Clayderman, I taught a friend of mine how to play piano, and all she want is to play clayderman pieces.

It's very strange, Pop songs on qq music, kugou, and xiami are all cost money, but classical music are free, perhaps my country wish its citizens to listen to more classical music, haha! I don't know if chinese music streaming services are available abroad, but theoretically, if you use VPN to connect to China, it should be.

I read somewhere, I can't remember exactly, that the US iTunes store is supposed to have all of Hamelin's recordings, don't know about the pricing though.

You're from Canada?  ;D, I'm preparing for college right now, and I really want to study in either Vancouver or Calgary!

Indeed, I am from Canada! Vancouver, in fact. I suppose you want to get into piano at UBC?
Lots of great professors there.

The iTunes store does have all of his recordings, as you mentioned. It's very cheap, considering the price that is sold in CDs, and simply the quality of playing. Most of it are 10.99$ CAD, I believe. His Godowsky studies on Chopin are twice the amount (I bought it anyway :P), and so are a few others like Haydn sonatas, Busoni etc.

It is only natural for people to appreciate famous piano figures with their own nationality. Since we mentioned it, how are you able to attain such a high level of English, in China? Normally, this kind of English is only demonstrated by people who have lived for an extended period of time in a foreign country!
Pieces I'm working on:
Beethoven op. 109
Chopin Etudes op.10
Tchaikovsky Seasons June & October
Tchaikovsky Russian scherzo op. 1 no. 1
Tchaikovsky concerto 1
Mozart K 488
Rachmaninoff sonata 2

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #21 on: December 15, 2018, 07:35:06 AM »
Do I have good english skills? haha, my grammar isn't very good, but I'm good with spelling, I once visited a bookstore/coffee shop, I asked for the wi-fi password, the owner answered "Shakespeare" he was quite shocked to find out I spelled it out without asking for his help (he's british), another time I was at a library in hong kong, and I asked the librarian for biographies of Tchaikovsky, I actually have to spell it for her and help her find it,  ;D.

I watch a lot of english movies and tv shows, I read a lot of novels, and I use a ton of english websites, wikipedia, quora, and pianostreet, obviously, haha.

I wish to learn French and German, and if possible, Russian, hope watching movies and reading novels in these 3 languages can help me as much as it did with english ones.

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #22 on: December 15, 2018, 02:21:23 PM »
xiami's website doesn't support english, but xiami's app does, it's available on both android and iOS, very good for classical music. All of angela hewitt's records are free on xiami too (hewitt signed with hyperion records, same as hamelin, xiami is owned by jack ma, perhaps he likes hyperion? haha!), I love her interpretation of bach's fugues, she plays each voice with very different characters, and it melt together perfectly  ;D

Offline keypeg

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #23 on: December 15, 2018, 05:31:56 PM »
If I was only allowed to listen to only one performer, I would probably opt for listening to none.

Offline soultrap

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #24 on: December 15, 2018, 10:25:42 PM »
If I was only allowed to listen to only one performer, I would probably opt for listening to none.

Certainly an interesting choice.
Pieces I'm working on:
Beethoven op. 109
Chopin Etudes op.10
Tchaikovsky Seasons June & October
Tchaikovsky Russian scherzo op. 1 no. 1
Tchaikovsky concerto 1
Mozart K 488
Rachmaninoff sonata 2

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #25 on: December 15, 2018, 11:42:52 PM »
If I was only allowed to listen to only one performer, I would probably opt for listening to none.

What about listening to only 3 pianists, who would be in your top 3?

Offline outin

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #26 on: December 16, 2018, 07:50:45 AM »
What about listening to only 3 pianists, who would be in your top 3?
The problem is, my favorite pianists didn't necessarily record my favorite music enough. So am I allowed to decide what they play as well?

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #27 on: December 16, 2018, 09:09:28 AM »
I guess so, Hamelin hasn't recorded all of my favorite works, he rarely plays bach or chopin, rarely plays any piano concerto, sigh... but I would still pick him if he's the only one I can listen to.

Offline outin

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #28 on: December 16, 2018, 12:17:23 PM »
Then let me think...I might regret this of course if actually happened...
Michelangeli for his touch and tone and for playing Scarlatti for me
Sviatoslav Richter for his interpretations
Vladimir Ashkenazy for playing all sorts of stuff very competently

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #29 on: December 17, 2018, 01:15:01 AM »
I love Richter too, but for me there's one problem with his recordings, they were recorded a long time ago and so the sound quality isn't as clear as I would want them to be, same goes for Argerich, Horowitz and Rubinstein, all Grand Masters of the Piano, but every time I hear a muddled up passage because of the lack of sound recording technology, it largely diminishes my love for the recording, do you guys ever feel this way?

Ashkenazy made a recording of Chopin's 24 Etudes in the 70s, one can tell the playing was magnificent, but I would much rather listen to a recording of the same repertoire, made this year.

Offline outin

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #30 on: December 17, 2018, 05:13:05 AM »
I love Richter too, but for me there's one problem with his recordings, they were recorded a long time ago and so the sound quality isn't as clear as I would want them to be, same goes for Argerich, Horowitz and Rubinstein, all Grand Masters of the Piano, but every time I hear a muddled up passage because of the lack of sound recording technology, it largely diminishes my love for the recording, do you guys ever feel this way?

Ashkenazy made a recording of Chopin's 24 Etudes in the 70s, one can tell the playing was magnificent, but I would much rather listen to a recording of the same repertoire, made this year.

I actually like historical recordings, as long as there's not too much noise. The amount of editing done today makes recordings a bit clinical...

Offline latrobe

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #31 on: January 24, 2019, 07:42:15 PM »
I'm not at all sure that Lang Lang could perform Chopin like this Italian pianist


or Beethoven so atmospherically



Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar BSc ARCS
Promoting keyboard heritage http://www.organmatters.co.uk and performers in Unequal Temperament http://www.hammerwood.mistral.co.uk/concerts.htm

Offline dogperson

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #32 on: January 25, 2019, 02:03:23 AM »
Latrobe
Iím a little confused.,,, it appears from YouTube that you might be the pianist for all of these, but then that doesnít fit with your statement at the top ĎIím not sure Lang Lang could perform Chopin like this Italian pianistí as this is not normally someone would make about his own playing.

Online ted

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #33 on: January 25, 2019, 04:29:10 AM »
What about listening to only 3 pianists, who would be in your top 3?

Three aside from myself ? That makes it a bit easier than one but still tricky.

Keith Jarrett, but only his solo improvisation, not his jazz or his classical.
David Thomas Roberts playing his own works.
One of the good ragtimers, but the choice is very difficult, possibly Brian Keenan.
"When I was young they said, 'Ah, wait until you are old, then you'll see.' Well, now I am old, and I have seen nothing." - Erik Satie

Offline latrobe

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Re: Listening to only 1 pianist for the rest of your life
«Reply #34 on: January 26, 2019, 01:52:05 AM »
Latrobe
Iím a little confused.,,, it appears from YouTube that you might be the pianist for all of these, but then that doesnít fit with your statement at the top ĎIím not sure Lang Lang could perform Chopin like this Italian pianistí as this is not normally someone would make about his own playing.

No. I'm not the pianist, only the tuner. I'm sorry to say that my playing's very inferior and amateur, but hopefully good enough to recognise when I hear a performance that's really special.

For me much of modern performance doesn't hit the mark. People play the instrument as a percussion instrument rather than one that can sing, one that can express the orchestra. This Italian pianist in recording The Tempest recently enlightened me about the passage where the piano imititates the timpani of the orchestra, and in a passage in
=917
he explained how he was giving focus to a section at around 15:00 which orchestrally would have been played by the 'cellos.

Modern dynamics have suffered as musicians have listened to music compressed through the radio to bring the quiet passages up above the noise of car engines, and I know a cruise pianist who can't play softly for the life of him on account of ensuring his concerts can be heard above the noise of the ship's engines.

My Italian friend explains how phrasing is so important with the piano, such that one note must not be allowed to interrupt the decay of the previous note. These ideas are rarely taught.


is shocking but one of my favourite recordings.

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar BSc ARCS
Promoting keyboard heritage http://www.organmatters.co.uk and performers in Unequal Temperament http://www.hammerwood.mistral.co.uk/concerts.htm