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#2084506 - 05/18/13 01:02 AM Your most essential piano recordings?  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 31
Curtis Hansen Offline
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Curtis Hansen  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 31
ON, Canada
Hello guys,

Another novice question for you all. I have very little piano music in my library at the moment. I'm curious what you guys consider your top five or ten recordings, as far as playing quality and important pieces go. Hopefully there will be just enough of an overlap to lead me to a few specific CDs. Thanks!


Church music director and freelance pianist in ON, Canada.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
-Ernest Hemingway
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#2084514 - 05/18/13 01:29 AM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: Curtis Hansen]  
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beethoven986 Offline
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#2084525 - 05/18/13 02:06 AM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: beethoven986]  
Joined: Mar 2013
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Curtis Hansen Offline
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Curtis Hansen  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 31
ON, Canada
Thanks beethoven! I'm pleasantly surprised to say that I actually have the Kissin Mozart/Schumann, and the Brendel (save for D970) thanks to this set. I haven't listened to them in quite some time - sounds like it's time to put them back on my iPod!

I look forward to hearing from more of you on this. smile

EDIT: Oh yes, and I meant to specifically thank you for linking all the albums, that's very helpful!

Last edited by Curtis Hansen; 05/18/13 02:08 AM.

Church music director and freelance pianist in ON, Canada.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
-Ernest Hemingway
#2084597 - 05/18/13 07:06 AM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: Curtis Hansen]  
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 220
vers la flan Offline
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vers la flan  Offline
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Posts: 220
Hi Curtis, how are you?

Here are some of mine:

Sviatoslav Richter: The Sofia Recital from 1958
Richter: Anything of Schumann, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev or Schubert
Chopin Nocturnes: Rubinstein and Moravec
Gould: Goldbergs (both recordings), Bach Keyboard Concerti, English Suites
Gilels: Beethoven Sonatas, Brahms Concerti, Grieg Lyric Pieces
Gieseking: Everything Debussy
Michelangeli: Ravel & Rachmaninov Concertos
Schubert Impromptus: Perahia
Scriabin: Horowitz and Sudbin, Sofronitsky if you can find it or don't mind paying up the nose. The Maria Lettberg Box Set is a fine and inexpensive reference for all of the works with opus numbers, especially superb with the preludes.
Lupu: Brahms Rhapsodies and late Intermezzi

A bit more than ten, sorry. It's hard to whittle it down. But well worth the embarrassment of riches, imo. Happy shopping, whatever you end up getting smile

Oh... can't help myself. One more.

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#2084908 - 05/18/13 08:06 PM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: vers la flan]  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 31
Curtis Hansen Offline
Full Member
Curtis Hansen  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 31
ON, Canada
Originally Posted by vers la flan
Hi Curtis, how are you?

Here are some of mine:

Sviatoslav Richter: The Sofia Recital from 1958
Richter: Anything of Schumann, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev or Schubert
Chopin Nocturnes: Rubinstein and Moravec
Gould: Goldbergs (both recordings), Bach Keyboard Concerti, English Suites
Gilels: Beethoven Sonatas, Brahms Concerti, Grieg Lyric Pieces
Gieseking: Everything Debussy
Michelangeli: Ravel & Rachmaninov Concertos
Schubert Impromptus: Perahia
Scriabin: Horowitz and Sudbin, Sofronitsky if you can find it or don't mind paying up the nose. The Maria Lettberg Box Set is a fine and inexpensive reference for all of the works with opus numbers, especially superb with the preludes.
Lupu: Brahms Rhapsodies and late Intermezzi

A bit more than ten, sorry. It's hard to whittle it down. But well worth the embarrassment of riches, imo. Happy shopping, whatever you end up getting smile

Oh... can't help myself. One more.


Haha...thanks flan! Not a problem, I don't mind the "embarrassment of riches" at all. I'm glad you mentioned both Goldbergs, as I just recently picked up the 1981 performance. Still want to hear the 1955 version. I also recently downloaded the Sofia Recital - it's waiting to be run through the cue splitter and retagged. I am a bit familiar with Hamelin - my ex-roommate had a few of his albums - so I know his recording will be worth a listen. I look forward to hearing some of these!


Church music director and freelance pianist in ON, Canada.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
-Ernest Hemingway
#2084995 - 05/19/13 12:11 AM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: Curtis Hansen]  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 38
maestro57 Offline
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maestro57  Offline
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Canada
Hello, fellow Canadian smile

Ashkenazy: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
Uchida: Mozart's Piano Sonatas
Gould: Bach's Goldberg Variations (1981 version) on the modern piano
Van Asperen OR Leonhardt: Bach's WTC I/II on harpsichord
Richter: Rachminoff's Preludes Op. 23 and 32
Yundi Li: Chopin's Nocturnes
Arrau: Debussy's Preludes Livre 1 et 2
Bolet: Any of his Liszt recordings
R. Serkin: Schubert's Impromptus Op. 90 and Op. posth. 142
Rubinstein: Schumann's Fantasiestuecke Op. 12
Gavrilov: Scriabin's Preludes Op. 11

Edit: Dang, that was 11... I can't count. Sorry, I broke the rules of the thread!

Last edited by maestro57; 05/19/13 12:14 AM.
#2085002 - 05/19/13 12:48 AM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: maestro57]  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 31
Curtis Hansen Offline
Full Member
Curtis Hansen  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 31
ON, Canada
Originally Posted by maestro57
Hello, fellow Canadian smile

Ashkenazy: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
Uchida: Mozart's Piano Sonatas
Gould: Bach's Goldberg Variations (1981 version) on the modern piano
Van Asperen OR Leonhardt: Bach's WTC I/II on harpsichord
Richter: Rachminoff's Preludes Op. 23 and 32
Yundi Li: Chopin's Nocturnes
Arrau: Debussy's Preludes Livre 1 et 2
Bolet: Any of his Liszt recordings
R. Serkin: Schubert's Impromptus Op. 90 and Op. posth. 142
Rubinstein: Schumann's Fantasiestuecke Op. 12
Gavrilov: Scriabin's Preludes Op. 11

Edit: Dang, that was 11... I can't count. Sorry, I broke the rules of the thread!


It's okay, the punishment is only castration. Thanks for your input, eh? wink


Church music director and freelance pianist in ON, Canada.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
-Ernest Hemingway
#2085047 - 05/19/13 04:26 AM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: Curtis Hansen]  
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 9,629
bennevis Online content
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bennevis  Online Content
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As a lover of the off-beat as well as the virtuosic repertoire, let me recommend:

Beethoven/Liszt: Symphonies No.1-9/Cyprien Katsaris - stunning performances which uncannily bring out the orchestral colours (including all the important inner lines, even in the densest textures, as in Ode to Joy), plus true Beethovenian vehemence which puts many orchestral recordings to shame.

Scharwenka's 1st Piano Concerto & Paderewski's Piano Concerto/Earl Wild - a famous recording of unfamiliar repertoire, despatched with coruscating brilliance. And the music itself is a lot more than mere note-spinning. And also Earl Wild's "The Art of the Transcription - Live from Carnegie Hall".

And more mainstream repertoire given fresh insights by pianists who aren't afraid to show their individuality as well as their virtuosity (if you've got it, flaunt it...):

Chopin's Piano Concertos/Krystian Zimerman with the Polish Festival Orchestra: a labor of love for Zimerman, who formed his orchestra specifically to play these concertos. Some find these performances too mannered - his rubato can sound extreme, but IMO, he is so attuned to the music that any reservations get swept away by all the insights he bring (including showing us how Chopin's orchestration is far more than mere support for the pianist).

Liszt: Piano Sonata etc/Zimerman - the best performance of this warhorse, IMO.

Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit and Prokofiev's Sonata no.6/Ivo Pogorelich - another famous recording. This music suits the young Pogorelich, whose brilliance and range of color and articulation brings out all the menace inherent in the pieces.

Scarlatti: Sonatas/Mikhail Pletnev - yet another recording that shows how transcendental virtuosity allied to true individuality can bring out wonderful colors and new insights in familiar music that other pianists don't begin to approach. And also his brilliant recording of all the Tchaikovsky piano concertos, and some of the (unjustly neglected) piano music.

Stravinsky's Petrushka, Prokofiev's Sonata No.7, Boulez's 2nd Sonata and Webern's Op.27/Maurizio Pollini - a landmark recording by the younger Pollini: truly breathtaking! (Even the knotty Boulez sounds logical as well as virtuosic in his hands....).

Mozart: Sonata for 2 pianos, K448 & Schubert's Fantasia in F minor for piano duet/Murray Perahia & Radu Lupu: unmissable accounts of some of the most lyrical piano music around. Two pianists that strike sparks off each other, bringing out the loveliest cantabile lines one could ever hope to hear.


"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."
#2085232 - 05/19/13 02:00 PM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: bennevis]  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 31
Curtis Hansen Offline
Full Member
Curtis Hansen  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 31
ON, Canada
Originally Posted by bennevis
As a lover of the off-beat as well as the virtuosic repertoire, let me recommend:

Beethoven/Liszt: Symphonies No.1-9/Cyprien Katsaris - stunning performances which uncannily bring out the orchestral colours (including all the important inner lines, even in the densest textures, as in Ode to Joy), plus true Beethovenian vehemence which puts many orchestral recordings to shame.

Scharwenka's 1st Piano Concerto & Paderewski's Piano Concerto/Earl Wild - a famous recording of unfamiliar repertoire, despatched with coruscating brilliance. And the music itself is a lot more than mere note-spinning. And also Earl Wild's "The Art of the Transcription - Live from Carnegie Hall"

And more mainstream repertoire given fresh insights by pianists who aren't afraid to show their individuality as well as their virtuosity (if you've got it, flaunt it...):

Chopin's Piano Concertos/Krystian Zimerman with the Polish Festival Orchestra: a labor of love for Zimerman, who formed his orchestra specifically to play these concertos. Some find these performances too mannered - his rubato can sound extreme, but IMO, he is so attuned to the music that any reservations get swept away by all the insights he bring (including showing us how Chopin's orchestration is far more than mere support for the pianist).

Liszt: Piano Sonata etc/Zimerman - the best performance of this warhorse, IMO.

Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit and Prokofiev's Sonata no.6/Ivo Pogorelich - another famous recording. This music suits the young Pogorelich, whose brilliance and range of color and articulation brings out all the menace inherent in the pieces.

Scarlatti: Sonatas/Mikhail Pletnev - yet another recording that shows how transcendental virtuosity allied to true individuality can bring out colors and insights into familiar music that other pianists don't begin to approach. And also his recording of all the Tchaikovsky piano concertos, and some of the piano music.

Stravinsky's Petrushka, Prokofiev's Sonata No.7, Boulez's 2nd Sonata and Webern's Op.27/Maurizio Pollini - a landmark recording by the younger Pollini: truly breathtaking!

Mozart: Sonata for 2 pianos, K448 & Schubert's Fantasia in F minor for piano duet/Murray Perahia & Radu Lupu: unmissable accounts of some of the most lyrical piano music around. Two pianists that strike sparks off each other, bringing out the loveliest singing lines one could ever hope to hear.


Thanks for those recommendations bennevis! I am a big fan of both Ravel and Prokofiev (and have made preliminary efforts with all three of their works in your list) as well as the Petrushka movements, so the Pollini and Pogorelich in particular have my attention. I love to explore off the beaten track too, so I will keep all of these in mind for the future. smile


Church music director and freelance pianist in ON, Canada.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
-Ernest Hemingway
#2085342 - 05/19/13 05:20 PM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: Curtis Hansen]  
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 646
Jean Claude Offline
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Jean Claude  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 646
France

I realise that this may not be exactly what you had in mind but there is one recording that, forty years or so ago, changed my life - I can`t say for better or worse but irrevocably. It is `Oscar Peterson plays Jerome Kern` (issued in Europe as EMI/MFP 5212) I cannot say how many hours I spent trying to work out what Peterson was doing but it was plenty....I even managed to convince myself at one time that he was probably born with three hands. Or maybe four.

J-C.


Last edited by Jean Claude; 05/19/13 05:21 PM.
#2085432 - 05/19/13 10:00 PM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: Curtis Hansen]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,604
Dave B Offline
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Dave B  Offline
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Posts: 2,604
Philadelphia area
There is a player who's technique and musicianship always impressed me. Went by the name Sergei Rachmaninoff. Does anybody listen to his recordings anymore?


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
#2085507 - 05/20/13 12:34 AM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: Curtis Hansen]  
Joined: Jan 2013
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Philm35 Offline
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Philm35  Offline
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Posts: 47
Cincinnati, OH
Not too many jazz fans here, I guess...

Here a a few faves of mine:

1. Keith Jarrett "Personal Mountains", "Whisper Not" and "The Koln Concert"
2. Thelonious Monk "The Composer"
3. Art Lande "Desert Marauders"
4. Chick Corea & Gary Burton "Crystal Silence"
5. Tord Gustavsen Trio "The Ground"


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#2086296 - 05/21/13 02:33 PM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: Curtis Hansen]  
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laguna_greg Offline
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guess where in CA and WA
Hi Curtis,

To add a couple of specialty items to your growing list of really good recordings:

1- Myra Hess, Beethoven Op. 109. As far as I'm concerned, she's the only person who ever really understood this sonata; the performance is both titanic and poetic. The original recording has been re-issued on Columbia.
2- Mitsuko Uchida, Debussy etudes. Just a great recording of these pieces.
3- Martha Argerich, the 1965 EMI Chopin album, absolutely unbelievably effortless and spontaneous, most of it done in one take.
4- Dinu Lipatti, Chopin Barcarolle on EMI. I think it's the only really good recording of this piece ever.
5- And for something really specialized, Live at Carnegie Hall presents Vladimir Horowitz, the Private Collection. He was at his most unencumbered in these live recordings. The Liszt B-minor sonata is simply unbelievable. I don't know what kept the audience from tearing the house down when he finished. The Mussorgsky is equally interesting and absorbing.

Cheers!

Last edited by laguna_greg; 05/24/13 12:38 AM. Reason: oops!

Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
#2086347 - 05/21/13 03:59 PM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: Dave B]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,654
pianoloverus Online content
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pianoloverus  Online Content
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New York City
Originally Posted by Dave B
There is a player who's technique and musicianship always impressed me. Went by the name Sergei Rachmaninoff. Does anybody listen to his recordings anymore?
In a poll of great present day pianists in a British music magazine around five years ago Rachmaninov was voted the greatest pianist of the 20th century.

#2086371 - 05/21/13 04:54 PM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: Curtis Hansen]  
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A recording that I really enjoy is "Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff." It is from the Zenph Re-Performance series. It's quite incredible. It includes different recording techniques for listening through speakers or with a headset.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2086542 - 05/22/13 12:55 AM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: Curtis Hansen]  
Joined: Mar 2013
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Curtis Hansen Offline
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Curtis Hansen  Offline
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ON, Canada
This is all great guys, thanks! I'll be sure to pop on to the appropriate forum and give my thoughts on some of these. smile


Church music director and freelance pianist in ON, Canada.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
-Ernest Hemingway
#2086810 - 05/22/13 01:14 PM Re: Your most essential piano recordings? [Re: Curtis Hansen]  
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Entheo Offline
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my 'desert island' recording:

my favorite brahms, by van cliburn.


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