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#2052139 - 03/21/13 08:46 PM I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday...  
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HamiltonBaldwinPia Offline
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Hi Guys, I'm new here and want to share the Sunday Recital from Sokolov in the Concertgebouw...

I wanted to record the Hammerklavier that he did, but was not able to record it. Neither the Schuberts Impromtus & Klavierstucke because it turned out that I more or less was sitting on stage with the pianist himself...
There were some 30 chairs placed around, behind, the podium. So I sat 1 foot above the podium and 25 feet from the piano, all was visible for the whole ConcertGebouw audience...
So I didn't dare to do it.
It was a remarkable night though, I was able to sneak in one hour ahead of the start of the recital and heard and saw him play for 15 minutes before I was send away by staff. Wonderful to see him play the piano by himself in a dark and empty main Hall, very special indeed. He played on by himself until 20 minutes before the start of the concert and than he asked for the piano tuner to fix the pitch of the upper part of the keyboard, but I still think it was on the low side, though I'm no expert;-)

The Schubert made me a little sleepy, so I wasn't totally focused on the Hammerklavier Sonate too. I thought he finished the 3rd part, but it was the finale, so I must have missed one of the 4 parts ;-)
He played it with very much dynamics, with very subtle parts immediately followed by enormous & violent outbursts, appeared to be very confident of himself on such a crowded stage!
I heard only the first of the Rameau encores because I had to catch the train ;-( but he played these parts too!:

Rameau:
Les Tourbillons
Les Cyclopes
Les Sauvages
La Follette
Les tendres plaintes

Brahms:
Intermezzo op. 117 nr. 2

Last year's concert was with following program which I liked a lot too, in the end even more:

Rameau - Suite in d
Mozart - Sonate in a KV310
Brahms - Händelvariaties opus 24
Brahms - Intermezzi opus 117

Next Masterpianist in this Series in two weeks is Nelson Freire, oh no, Nelson Goerner. Freire is ill? I wish him well!

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#2052151 - 03/21/13 09:25 PM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: HamiltonBaldwinPia]  
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Thanks for sharing and welcome to PW! A wonderful first post smile

I wish I could see him live. He is such a great pianist. You are very fortunate to have seen him, and even more so having seen him more than once!!

#2052163 - 03/21/13 10:10 PM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: HamiltonBaldwinPia]  
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pianovirus Offline
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Yes, thanks for sharing your experience and welcome!!

I saw Sokolov once before (so far, the most memorable recital I have ever attended in my life), and will see him with the same program that you saw in April!

I'm sure the Schubert won't make me sleepy at all, as the op. 90 Impromptus are among my very favorite pieces of all, and also the 3 Klavierstücke.

I think it's a great combination to couple this with a big Beethoven sonata, and what better choice than the Hammerklavier! I couldn't resist curiosity and listened (just 1st movement so far) to a recital someone recorded and shared on Youtube. I was mainly curious because the first and last movements of Hammerklavier are often taken at extreme tempi (people trying to be faithful to Beethoven's marks). Sokolov takes the 1st movement quite slower than many (at least in that recital) but oh with so much more nuance than others (e.g. Gulda studio recording).

I'm thrilled and can't wait for the recital!

P.S. Lucky you that you could sneak in and hear him play before the actual recital! Quite a magical experience, I'm sure...

#2052174 - 03/21/13 11:01 PM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: HamiltonBaldwinPia]  
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BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted by HamiltonBaldwinPia
Hi Guys, I'm new here and want to share the Sunday Recital from Sokolov in the Concertgebouw...

I wanted to record the Hammerklavier that he did, but was not able to record it. Neither the Schuberts Impromtus & Klavierstucke because it turned out that I more or less was sitting on stage with the pianist himself...
There were some 30 chairs placed around, behind, the podium. So I sat 1 foot above the podium and 25 feet from the piano, all was visible for the whole ConcertGebouw audience...
So I didn't dare to do it.
[...]


So, you are saying that you would have recorded portions of the concert had you not been in such a visible position on stage? In spite of the fact that - I presume - recording is strictly prohibited by the venue.

I guess with the ubiquity of cell phones, because it's so easy to do, and because "everyone does it" it's acceptable?

Oh well, welcome to the Pianist Corner.


BruceD
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Estonia 190
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#2052229 - 03/22/13 01:26 AM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: HamiltonBaldwinPia]  
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It is strictly forbidden.

However, unlike the Germans, the Dutch make a sport of circumventing every rule or law on the books. The attitude among many is " rules are for the other guy, not for me." There has always been a lively business in pirate recordings here, whether from the Concertgebouw or the pop temple Paradiso.

Welcome to PW, HamiltonBaldwinpia. You might have been sitting in the extra chairs that had been added at the last week before the concert due to extreme demand.

I had to miss Sokolov this time, unfortunately. He is a living legend and we are lucky that Riaskoff has been able to secure him to play in the meesterpianistenserie for the past five years. My favorite concert was in 2010 when he played Bach, Brahms and Schumann with encores of Chopin and Scriabin. This is an artist with a vision!

#2052662 - 03/22/13 06:29 PM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: BruceD]  
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HamiltonBaldwinPia Offline
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Hi Bruce,

I do not record concerts because it is not allowed ;-), but you are right about the anti-social behaviour of recording a recital in general, BUT in special cases such as when the artist doesn't bring out the records for sale, or the event being rather unique, I will try to record it for the rest of the world ;-)
Especially Sokolov, who doesn't go to the States, is a good subject to record as a service to a lot of others who fysically cannot go to these concerts.
When I thought of maybe recording Krystian Zimerman's piano recital I was at in Holland, it was called that it is fined with 1500 euros and removal and banning for life if one found out about it, so I just enjoyed his Debussy Preludes (but didn't like them that much) and his Szymanowski piece(I liked a lot).
In the end there was not a lot missed in not recording the Zimerman's concert, ( not that nice and he travels around the world), but in the Sokolov case I think there is.
I see you live in Victoria: I had a great time there recovering from walking the West Coast Trail back in the 90's ;-)

Greetings from Hans in Holland

Last edited by HamiltonBaldwinPia; 03/22/13 07:38 PM.
#2052676 - 03/22/13 07:00 PM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: HamiltonBaldwinPia]  
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gooddog Offline
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Originally Posted by HamiltonBaldwinPia
Hi Guys, I'm new here and want to share the Sunday Recital from Sokolov in the Concertgebouw...
I am insanely jealous![Linked Image]


Best regards,

Deborah
#2052680 - 03/22/13 07:05 PM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: HamiltonBaldwinPia]  
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Vid Online content
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Me too! Wouldn't Sokolov make buckets of money if he toured North America???


Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D
#2052692 - 03/22/13 07:44 PM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: Vid]  
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HamiltonBaldwinPia Offline
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You should have heard the Rameau harpsichord pieces Sokolov played last year, they were something!

By the way, next week I would have gone to Nelson Freire's recital, but he is said to be quite ill and now Nelson Goerner takes over.

Does someone know what illness Freire got and if I should YouTube Goerner first ;-)

#2052705 - 03/22/13 08:23 PM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: HamiltonBaldwinPia]  
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gooddog Offline
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Here's a one of my favorite Youtube recordings. Notice Sokolov takes the tempo of the Precipitato somewhat slower than most but, IMO, it sounds crystal clear and he magically makes it anticipatory and sexual. I sometimes think other pianists sacrifice musicality in favor of speed. The man is a master.



Best regards,

Deborah
#2052755 - 03/22/13 11:35 PM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: HamiltonBaldwinPia]  
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My wife and I need to see when he next performs in Spain and make arrangements to experience his playing.


Serge P. Marinkovic, MD

#2052880 - 03/23/13 10:11 AM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: HamiltonBaldwinPia]  
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I went there as well, and was so overwhelmed by the way he was playing. I liked the 3 klavierstucke a lot. He made it so interesting ( offcourse the impromptus were played perfect as well). But the hammerklavier was amazing. He was really constructing the music at the moment he played it, as if he was composing and building his own masterpiece right on stage. The final fugue was just otherworldly. It was so extremely clear (even though it was fast), you could hear every single line played. There was so much to listen to. He definitely suggested what to listen for, but he left everything open to explore it yourself as well. And well 6 encores, we were so spoiled!! It was such an insoiring evening. One of those concerts you'll never forget.


Studying: Corelli Variations - Rachmaninoff (for months now). Starting Mozart K284 Sonata in D Major.
#2053218 - 03/23/13 11:31 PM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: martijnathome]  
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Sokolov's interpretations of the Op. 8 Scriabin etudes are the best I've ever heard. Even my beloved Horowitz recordings don't get played as often!


Beethoven - Op.49 No.1 (sonata 19)
Czerny - Op.299 Nos. 5,7 (School of Velocity)
Liszt - S.172 No.2 (Consolation No.2)

Dream piece:
Rachmaninoff - Sonata 2, movement 2 in E minor
#2053816 - 03/25/13 06:01 AM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: HamiltonBaldwinPia]  
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I prefer last year s programme to this year's- Still, he is head and shoulders above anyone else i 've seen. Worth a trip to Europe.

#2054047 - 03/25/13 02:18 PM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: gooddog]  
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Vid Online content
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Hey Deborah,

I've listened to that YouTube recording dozens of times myself! I agree with you 100%.

Last edited by Vid; 03/25/13 02:18 PM.

Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D
#2054050 - 03/25/13 02:32 PM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: Vid]  
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Originally Posted by Vid
Hey Deborah,

I've listened to that YouTube recording dozens of times myself! I agree with you 100%.
smile


Best regards,

Deborah
#2054747 - 03/26/13 06:53 PM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: HamiltonBaldwinPia]  
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I was there too and I was overwhelmed by the fugue, not so much though by the adagio (imo the highlight of the sonata) it was too earthbound, his Schubert wasn't that special I think, but just that final crazy fugue was/is unforgettable.


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
#2054924 - 03/27/13 01:33 AM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: HamiltonBaldwinPia]  
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I'm waiting for the moment that I realize Sokolov's genius, because for now his playing just isn't for me...


Working on:
Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II

#2054964 - 03/27/13 06:02 AM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: HamiltonBaldwinPia]  
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Originally Posted by HamiltonBaldwinPia
(...) BUT in special cases such as when the artist doesn't bring out the records for sale, or the event being rather unique, I will try to record it for the rest of the world ;-)


After artists because of piracy are not willing to anymore earn their money by recordings, they again prefer to earn it by recitals. Meanwhile piracy swaps to bring the recitals to youtube, and susbequently visiting a recital becomes of less interest to many people and thus there will be less money to earn by organizing recitals. Where will this all end up?

#2054971 - 03/27/13 07:06 AM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: Wuffski]  
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Originally Posted by Marco M
Originally Posted by HamiltonBaldwinPia
(...) BUT in special cases such as when the artist doesn't bring out the records for sale, or the event being rather unique, I will try to record it for the rest of the world ;-)


After artists because of piracy are not willing to anymore earn their money by recordings, they again prefer to earn it by recitals. Meanwhile piracy swaps to bring the recitals to youtube, and susbequently visiting a recital becomes of less interest to many people and thus there will be less money to earn by organizing recitals. Where will this all end up?


I don't think that availability of pirate recordings by an artist on YouTube are necessarily a deterrent to going to a recital by that artist. In fact, it could just as easily be argued that in many cases they stimulate attendance.




#2055012 - 03/27/13 09:10 AM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: Wuffski]  
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Originally Posted by Marco M
Where will this all end up?


To a situation where no one can earn a living anymore as a professional musician.

Perhaps it would be better if music were no longer increasingly the exclusive domain of a tiny caste of high priests of professional performers against passive consumers. Perhaps we should return music to the rightful place it had since the beginning of mankind where everyone was a musician and no one was a musician but most all actively participated in making music together and where music served to strenghten community ties, regulate emotions and elevate us spiritually.

#2055014 - 03/27/13 09:12 AM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: Wuffski]  
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pianovirus Offline
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Originally Posted by Marco M
Originally Posted by HamiltonBaldwinPia
(...) BUT in special cases such as when the artist doesn't bring out the records for sale, or the event being rather unique, I will try to record it for the rest of the world ;-)


After artists because of piracy are not willing to anymore earn their money by recordings, they again prefer to earn it by recitals.


This causality may be true for some artists, but certainly not for Sokolov. He has mentioned clearly that he is not doing any studio recordings, because he dislikes the studio atmosphere and because he thinks (and for what it's worth I fully agree) that the process of editing recordings takes out the life and soul and turns the recording into a "product" (in the negative sense).

Regarding live recordings, all of his programmes have been taped multiple times by his label Opus 111. But Sokolov mentioned in interview that he would need to take time and listen to these recordings to select which ones to authorize for release (again, without editing) -- time which he does not have right now. But I guess some time in the future we will get a lot of wonderful, unedited live recordings authorized by Sokolov.

Still, the question remains regarding the ethics of audience members taking recordings without giving the artist any chance for approval...this can be a looong topic for discussion; I'm not going into this right now smile

Quote
Meanwhile piracy swaps to bring the recitals to youtube, and susbequently visiting a recital becomes of less interest to many people and thus there will be less money to earn by organizing recitals. Where will this all end up?


I agree with wr above on this one: I think that if anything, such bootlegs would draw more, rather than less, people to recitals. With recordings having become such a commodity these days, live recitals will ever and ever increase in attractiveness. And for music, the shift in emphasis back from recordings to live events is (IMO) a good thing because it's putting again the focus where it should be: on the human and not on skillful technics and editing.

#2055049 - 03/27/13 11:10 AM Re: I saw Sokolov play in Amsterdam, last Sunday... [Re: pianovirus]  
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Sokolov made several live broadcast recordings for the BBC in the 1980s and 1990s, including some of Rach 3 which are among the finest I've ever heard. And most of them were flawless, even with the big cadenza. If the BBC ever obtained permission from him, we'd have a treasure trove of CD releases on the BBC Legends label (which has already released priceless live recordings of Michelangeli, Richter, Gilels, Curzon, Cherkassky et al) - better than most already on the Opus 111 label.

Personally, I find some of Sokolov's recent performances a bit of a trial on one's patience - he does invest a lot of slow music with excessive significance (e.g. in Chopin's slower Préludes and Etudes). Richter also sometimes did the same, but he had a compensatory lightness of touch which elude Sokolov. Not all slow music is a life-or-death struggle......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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