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Topic: Understand Ashkenazy?  (Read 3781 times)

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Understand Ashkenazy?
on: May 16, 2005, 05:29:18 PM
The more I become a musician, the less and less I understand Ashkenazy. I can't figure out why he plays the way he does it just doesn't make sense. I mean I can understand where other pianists come from, I don't always agree, but I can understand, but not Ashkenazy. Does anyone else have this problem with him?

boliver

Offline hodi

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Re: UGGGGHHHHH!!Ashkenazy
Reply #1 on: May 16, 2005, 05:46:45 PM
i don't have a problem with him at all........ a pianist that people should have problem with him is gould.. he plays so.. .weird and incorrect..

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Re: UGGGGHHHHH!!Ashkenazy
Reply #2 on: May 16, 2005, 05:54:05 PM
i don't have a problem with him at all........ a pianist that people should have problem with him is gould.. he plays so.. .weird and incorrect..

i personally enjoy gould. I can relate to him. Ashkenazy i can't at all. I haven't found too much that I like from him at all.

boliver

Offline thracozaag

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Re: UGGGGHHHHH!!Ashkenazy
Reply #3 on: May 16, 2005, 06:00:48 PM
 Ashkenazy's early recordings and live performances (from the 60's-70's) are far superior to his latest offering, imo.  His initial recording of the Chopin Etudes, for example is superb.

koji (STSD)
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Offline JamesS

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Re: UGGGGHHHHH!!Ashkenazy
Reply #4 on: May 16, 2005, 06:11:25 PM
I've never had a problem with Ashkenazy either, and I agree with koji that his early recordings are far superior. He has recorded so much repetoire that there are bound to be some which are not so great.

Quote
don't have a problem with him at all........ a pianist that people should have problem with him is gould.. he plays so.. .weird and incorrect..

Weird yes, incorrect I disagree. What's to say that the way Gould plays is incorrect?! It's different, unique and eccentric but I wouldn't say wrong. It makes sense, if only in a strange way. I personally love Gould's playing, it's so much more interesting than a lot of recording aritists who play the "proper" way. With Gould you don't get what you expect and that in itself is exciting.

J

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: UGGGGHHHHH!!Ashkenazy
Reply #5 on: May 16, 2005, 07:34:51 PM
I don't have a problem with him, but do not care for his recordings of the Rach Concerto's. Earlier recordings much better. I have the 4 Chopin Scherzo's and they are brilliant.
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Offline kghayesh

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #6 on: May 16, 2005, 07:44:55 PM
Askhenazy is the best pianist i've ever listened to.
He is a true virtuoso with marvellous expressionism

Offline musicsdarkangel

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #7 on: May 16, 2005, 10:01:45 PM
Ashkenazy is my favorite pianist, and I love every recording i've heard from him so far (i've never had this happen with a pianist).  His phrasing is excellent, especially in slower passages.


I can understand why maybe you don't like him though.  He focuses more on perfect clarity, and this can cause him to slow down tempo (Rach 3 for example).  However, I believe that he is a musician at heart and he moves me with his playing.

Listen to his Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a theme by Pagannini.... WOW, by far the best recording I've heard of this.

This might get you more into his playing.  You can find it here.... https://classic.manual.ru/ (look in bottom left to see English)

On a sidenote, I agree with the Gould statement...for some reason, his playing sounds alien to me.  I like his Bach and that's it.  Of course, it is a matter of taste.

Offline Glyptodont

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #8 on: May 16, 2005, 11:22:53 PM
Did anyone hear his recording of Moussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition"?

Formidable.

I am not enough of a musician to pontificate on whether he played it right, but he impressed the h___ out of me.

Offline MattL

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #9 on: May 16, 2005, 11:27:05 PM
He is the right up there with Richter and Rachmaninoff as the greatest pianists of the 20th century. I think he plays at best in Russian music.
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Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: UGGGGHHHHH!!Ashkenazy
Reply #10 on: May 17, 2005, 12:12:44 AM

Weird yes, incorrect I disagree. What's to say that the way Gould plays is incorrect?! It's different, unique and eccentric but I wouldn't say wrong. It makes sense, if only in a strange way. I personally love Gould's playing, it's so much more interesting than a lot of recording aritists who play the "proper" way. With Gould you don't get what you expect and that in itself is exciting.

J
Quote

Boy, you are making me try to remember who I loaned those cd's and articles to!  I had cd's of Gould's Mozart sonatas and an interview where he explained that the reason he recorded the sonatas was to show how "bad" they were.  And he was right - they really sounded bad (by him).  The guy was just too weird to be believed.  Why people idolize him when there are so many musicians with class is beyond me. 
So much music, so little time........

Offline tds

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #11 on: May 17, 2005, 06:43:41 AM
the more i live my life, the more i celebrate diversity :D. oh yes, i can relate to ashkenazy, and glould. to me, the former has this strong guarded spirituality quality. just my view. tds
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Offline quantum

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #12 on: May 17, 2005, 08:02:48 AM
I love both Ashkenazy and Goulds recordings.   Gould's recordings may be wierd and eccentric, yes but that's what makes them unique. 

Why else do we search for multiple recordings or performances of any said piece.... to hear it played  *differently*  of course. 

Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline JamesS

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #13 on: May 17, 2005, 10:17:58 AM
Quote
Boy, you are making me try to remember who I loaned those cd's and articles to!  I had cd's of Gould's Mozart sonatas and an interview where he explained that the reason he recorded the sonatas was to show how "bad" they were.  And he was right - they really sounded bad (by him).  The guy was just too weird to be believed.  Why people idolize him when there are so many musicians with class is beyond me. 

I have never heard that interview however from reading his Biography I'm not sure that that is the reason he recorded the sonatas. In fact Gould admired Mozarts early sonatas, but it is true he hated the late sonatas as he saw them as over theatrical. However despite this he spent a period of ten years in recording the complete cycle because he wanted to address what he saw as long standing misconceptions about Mozart, and what he described as the "lavender and lace" and "victorian" approach to performing. It is true that the Mozart recordings are extremely eccentric and some of his tempos are incredibly fast and his dynamics and articulation far from conventional but who cares?! I for one find these recordings extremely interesting and exciting. He didn't play them in this "incorrect" way because he wanted to show how bad they were, he played them like he did because he wanted to say something about what he thought of Mozart, and how he thought Mozart should be played.

The first two recordings I ever heard of the famous Mozart A minor sonata were of Lipatti and Gould, by far I would say I preferred the Gould. This is not because I adolise him, I don't idolise anyone and I think it is wrong to do so, it is because his recording to me is so much more exciting and interesting. Yes of course Lipatti's very beuatiful, perfect articulation and phrasing but at the same time I find it predictable, too nice and too perfect. Of course it's all a matter of taste and there is nothing wrong with playing Mozart like that, and I do appreciate that a lot of Lipatti's expression is a great deal more subtle than Goulds. I was simply saying that however wacky gould's playing is it should never be considered incorrect. It is unconventional without a doubt but his readings always stem from a genuine deep understanding of the music.

J

Offline shasta

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #14 on: May 17, 2005, 11:39:31 AM
Listen to his Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a theme by Pagannini.... WOW, by far the best recording I've heard of this.

Vlad's is the most exquisite by far.  I absolutely agree. 
"self is self"   - i_m_robot

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Re: UGGGGHHHHH!!Ashkenazy
Reply #15 on: May 17, 2005, 01:51:33 PM
Ashkenazy's early recordings and live performances (from the 60's-70's) are far superior to his latest offering, imo.  His initial recording of the Chopin Etudes, for example is superb.

koji (STSD)

maybe that is my problem. I need to listen to earlier stuff. I can hear that he has great technique. THat goes without question. I just don't like his interpretations. and don't know why he chose that way.

Offline hodi

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #16 on: May 17, 2005, 05:21:47 PM
I have never heard that interview however from reading his Biography I'm not sure that that is the reason he recorded the sonatas. In fact Gould admired Mozarts early sonatas, but it is true he hated the late sonatas as he saw them as over theatrical. However despite this he spent a period of ten years in recording the complete cycle because he wanted to address what he saw as long standing misconceptions about Mozart, and what he described as the "lavender and lace" and "victorian" approach to performing. It is true that the Mozart recordings are extremely eccentric and some of his tempos are incredibly fast and his dynamics and articulation far from conventional but who cares?! I for one find these recordings extremely interesting and exciting. He didn't play them in this "incorrect" way because he wanted to show how bad they were, he played them like he did because he wanted to say something about what he thought of Mozart, and how he thought Mozart should be played.

The first two recordings I ever heard of the famous Mozart A minor sonata were of Lipatti and Gould, by far I would say I preferred the Gould. This is not because I adolise him, I don't idolise anyone and I think it is wrong to do so, it is because his recording to me is so much more exciting and interesting. Yes of course Lipatti's very beuatiful, perfect articulation and phrasing but at the same time I find it predictable, too nice and too perfect. Of course it's all a matter of taste and there is nothing wrong with playing Mozart like that, and I do appreciate that a lot of Lipatti's expression is a great deal more subtle than Goulds. I was simply saying that however wacky gould's playing is it should never be considered incorrect. It is unconventional without a doubt but his readings always stem from a genuine deep understanding of the music.

J

i totally disagree
GOULD SUCKS AT PLAYING mozart
he is trying to be "cool" and different, and the result is the worst recording of the mozart sonata's ever.

Offline JamesS

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #17 on: May 17, 2005, 05:31:56 PM
Quote
i totally disagree
GOULD SUCKS AT PLAYING mozart
he is trying to be "cool" and different, and the result is the worst recording of the mozart sonata's ever.

Calm down man! Firstly that is only your opinion, you don't even say what it is you don't like about his playing. Secondly that is not in anyway an argument, what evidence have you got that he was deliberately trying to be "cool" and different?

J

Offline musicsdarkangel

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Re: UGGGGHHHHH!!Ashkenazy
Reply #18 on: May 17, 2005, 07:43:36 PM
maybe that is my problem. I need to listen to earlier stuff. I can hear that he has great technique. THat goes without question. I just don't like his interpretations. and don't know why he chose that way.

Boliver, you know who to contact if you ever want so many mp3s, that you will not know what to do with them.

This includes Ashkenazy

Offline philippe

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #19 on: May 17, 2005, 09:12:52 PM
i totally disagree
GOULD SUCKS AT PLAYING mozart
he is trying to be "cool" and different, and the result is the worst recording of the mozart sonata's ever.

I don't like very much Mozart, but , for me, only with Gould, the pianos sonatas are audible. But, I can understand that who loves Mozart, Gould is horrible. However, a thing that I disagre is to say that Gould "is trying to be different". Gould played always like he feeled music, he didn't care how the others play. You can hate him for his playing, but  a thing that ask respect is his perfect honesty.

Offline philippe

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #20 on: May 17, 2005, 09:24:50 PM
I like very much Ashkenazy, but I find his Mussorgsky's Pictures at Exhibtion surface. He plays this work like a cartoon. Suspects pedal effects, heavy playing,...

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #21 on: May 18, 2005, 12:22:20 AM
Every pianist has their own way. I have atteneded many of Ashkenazy's master classes but I have to say I find how he sees music a little strange. For instance if you listened to him play Rachaminov Prelude op32 no12, you would say, how damn fast! Too fast, you can't really appreciated what has been written, then listen to him play a Scriabin Prelude, Op17no5 for instance which is marked Prestissimo, but he plays it slower.
But then again Richter made heaps of critics shift uncertainly in their seats when they hear how he alters tempo in Beethoven, so I guess there is no right or wrong, only what is traditional and not.

I have to say that his musical memory is encyclopaedic, the amount of music he has recorded and discs to his name is phenomenal, he is very very hard working and dedicated musician and that is what has made him such a big name.
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Offline thierry13

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #22 on: May 18, 2005, 02:20:58 AM
Of what I heard of Ashkenazy, he allways play pieces slower to get the BEST clarity he can get. His left hand part in the prelude op.23no.5(lyrical part), is absolutely FLUID, it's wonderfull. Tough not at the "standard" speed. And his prelude op.23no.9, is really well voiced etc. but still slower. I think will ALLWAYS sacrifice speed to get the BEST interpretation he can get all of any pieces. He sure doesn't like to rush  ;D!

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #23 on: May 18, 2005, 04:33:32 AM
Of what I heard of Ashkenazy, he allways play pieces slower to get the BEST clarity he can get. His left hand part in the prelude op.23no.5(lyrical part), is absolutely FLUID, it's wonderfull. Tough not at the "standard" speed. And his prelude op.23no.9, is really well voiced etc. but still slower. I think will ALLWAYS sacrifice speed to get the BEST interpretation he can get all of any pieces. He sure doesn't like to rush  ;D!

I believe that could be true - I have his version of Chopin's ballades, and his version of the g minor is very slow compared to all the other versions I have.  It's also the ONLY one that has a distinct "pictoral" performance, and the "moods" that he sets are very distinct.  It's my favorite version. 
So much music, so little time........

Offline musicsdarkangel

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #24 on: May 18, 2005, 05:31:14 PM
Bolliver, I'm not sure how to zip files.  ANd I don't think Yahoo would let me send them anyway (because of size).


Do you have aol instant messenger?

Offline JP

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #25 on: May 19, 2005, 04:12:05 AM
I think he is absolutely sublime.  The level of musicality in his recordings are beyond what you find in most other recordings.  I believe the fact that he is a conductor adds to this, the same goes for Pletnev.   

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #26 on: May 19, 2005, 05:38:40 PM
Bolliver, I'm not sure how to zip files.  ANd I don't think Yahoo would let me send them anyway (because of size).


Do you have aol instant messenger?

yeah I do it is called bachinthemaking, but I don't know when I will be online. Don't worry about zipping the files. You can put them in a folder and just attach that folder using www.yousendit.com (they allow attachments up to 1GB). any way you want to do it though just let me know.

boliver

Offline musicsdarkangel

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #27 on: May 20, 2005, 10:29:26 PM
I just got Ashkenazy's Bartok 3rd and Prok 3rd  ;D

YES!

Anyway, I can send some of that to you.

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #28 on: May 21, 2005, 12:56:20 AM
I just got Ashkenazy's Bartok 3rd and Prok 3rd  ;D

YES!

Anyway, I can send some of that to you.

yes send away.

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #29 on: May 21, 2005, 01:04:59 AM
send the bartok. I have him playing the Prokofiev.

Offline will

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #30 on: May 21, 2005, 07:46:11 AM
Did anyone hear his recording of Moussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition"?

Formidable.

I am not enough of a musician to pontificate on whether he played it right, but he impressed the h___ out of me.
You should try and get a hold of this work played by Horowitz. If you call the recording you heard formidable then the Horowitz version is probably like formidale X10.

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #31 on: May 21, 2005, 01:59:18 PM
You should try and get a hold of this work played by Horowitz. If you call the recording you heard formidable then the Horowitz version is probably like formidale X10.

I can't compare the recordings, but Horowitz's recording is unbelievable.

boliver

Offline dave_cane

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #32 on: June 20, 2005, 09:36:41 PM
Ashkenazy is great.  He was due to be conducting at a concert that I just went to this evening, playing:

Liapunov's orchestration of Islamey;
Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 (Yundi Li, piano);
Ashkenazy's orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition.

However, Yundi Li cancelled at the last minute, and so with very short notice, Ashkenazy played Mozart Concerto in D minor whilst conducting.
 :D

It was awesome, his Mozart was brilliant and he really connected with the audience - more conductors should play whilst conducting IMO, it worked really well.

Dave.

P.S. I never realised how little he was... he's just like Bilbo Baggins teehee...

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #33 on: June 21, 2005, 02:48:03 AM
Ashkenazy is great.  He was due to be conducting at a concert that I just went to this evening, playing:

Liapunov's orchestration of Islamey;
Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 (Yundi Li, piano);
Ashkenazy's orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition.

However, Yundi Li cancelled at the last minute, and so with very short notice, Ashkenazy played Mozart Concerto in D minor whilst conducting.
 :D

It was awesome, his Mozart was brilliant and he really connected with the audience - more conductors should play whilst conducting IMO, it worked really well.

Dave.

P.S. I never realised how little he was... he's just like Bilbo Baggins teehee...

I guess that is a perk of having a conductor that is also a great pianist.

boliver

Offline shasta

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #34 on: June 21, 2005, 11:44:02 AM
Ashkenazy is great.  He was due to be conducting at a concert that I just went to this evening, playing:

Liapunov's orchestration of Islamey;
Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 (Yundi Li, piano);
Ashkenazy's orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition.

However, Yundi Li cancelled at the last minute, and so with very short notice, Ashkenazy played Mozart Concerto in D minor whilst conducting.
 :D

It was awesome, his Mozart was brilliant and he really connected with the audience - more conductors should play whilst conducting IMO, it worked really well.

Dave.

P.S. I never realised how little he was... he's just like Bilbo Baggins teehee...

Wow, what a treat to have had Yundi Li cancel  --> Glad you got to hear Ashkenazy!  His Mozart #20 is sublime, in fact I was just playing his CD of it yesterday.
"self is self"   - i_m_robot

Offline 6ft 4

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #35 on: June 22, 2005, 10:45:42 PM
Ashkenazy is great.  He was due to be conducting at a concert that I just went to this evening, playing:

Liapunov's orchestration of Islamey;
Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 (Yundi Li, piano);
Ashkenazy's orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition.

However, Yundi Li cancelled at the last minute, and so with very short notice, Ashkenazy played Mozart Concerto in D minor whilst conducting.
 :D

It was awesome, his Mozart was brilliant and he really connected with the audience - more conductors should play whilst conducting IMO, it worked really well.

Dave.

P.S. I never realised how little he was... he's just like Bilbo Baggins teehee...


HEY dave i went to that aswell!!!!!

I thought the Mozart was superb if a little too quick. His touch is sublime. It was funny how he was nodding to the orchestra while playing some quick runs on the piano!!! He made it look SO easy!!!

The Pictures at an Exhibition was also good but i honestly dont think that piece fits the orchestra. The horns are too harsh and loud, and the violins cant really play the fast passages well imo.
I wish i was what i was when i wanted to be who i am now.

Offline guru_of_time

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #36 on: June 27, 2005, 10:16:23 PM
yeah, he plays all of the right notes, but.....sometimes he plays with no dynamic contrast and plays several concerti TOO DARN SLOW

Offline electrafingers

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #37 on: June 28, 2005, 01:16:37 PM
Boliver, I'm with you. I haven't heard all of Ashkenazy's recordings, of course, but the most of what I remember I really don't understand. Some of his Chopin etudes are nice, especially op. 10 no. 8. Apart from that, he really does things I can't understand why. Most of his recordings of Chopin I really can't tolerate. However, some of his recordings of 20th century music is very good. What bothers me more than anything in his playing is his sound. He sometimes strikes the poor piano so agressively...  >:(
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Offline Etude

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #38 on: June 30, 2005, 12:33:43 AM
Go to classic.manual and listen to his rachmaninov 4th concerto, his rhythm in the opening chords has some problems, but then again, so does just about every recording of it I have heard aside from the composers own.  also, I don't think the tone he uses for the chords is very nice, too 'mashed' for lack of a better word.  His Prokofiev concerti are okay, could be more exciting where it is called for...

Offline ajw400

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #39 on: June 30, 2005, 02:32:00 AM
I'm another one that can't stand most Ashkenazy.....

....BUT there is a recording of the Liszt Mephisto Waltz 1 that is the best I've heard, I think, recorded in the 50's or 60's....unbelievably terrific, really! I do think he used to be a great pianist, but he's turned out to be a rather incompetent conductor imho.

Offline 2xtreme619

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #40 on: June 30, 2005, 03:00:28 AM
hmm i dont know but i dont understand horowitz, the way he plays, he plays to fast, but everyone says hes great, the best, but my opinion horowitz plays to fast! causes him to make some errors too.... :/

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Re: Understand Ashkenazy?
Reply #41 on: July 07, 2005, 03:06:05 PM
hmm i dont know but i dont understand horowitz, the way he plays, he plays to fast, but everyone says hes great, the best, but my opinion horowitz plays to fast! causes him to make some errors too.... :/

I on the other hand love horowitz. I can understand his playing. I don't always agree, but I do understand.
 

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