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Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
#2667209 08/09/17 03:01 PM
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0902vpd

Pletnev's long absence from the concert platform as solo pianist seems to be well and truly behind him, and he reminds me in this recent Edinburgh Festival recital why he's long been one of my favorite pianists - in fact, ever since I first heard his first recording on LP just after winning the Tchaikovsky Competition, coupling Prok 7 with his own transcriptions of the Nutcracker and scenes from Shchedrin's Anna Karenina (how many young pianists would be brazen enough to play their own transcriptions in a major competition - and on their debut recording?)

Here, on his own mellow-toned Blüthner, right from the well-known first piece, the C# minor Prelude, his elastic rhythm and tempi grabs one's attention immediately. You just don't know what he's going to do next, other than that he'll sing out the melodies like the greatest bel canto singers and his tone will be sweet, but he won't be wearing his heart on his sleeve - that's not his way. And his acute and witty sense of timing provokes laughter from the audience, especially in the Humoresque...... grin

He finishes with the mighty Sonata No.1, treating it like a massive tone poem for piano.


"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."
Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
bennevis #2667279 08/10/17 12:44 AM
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Music does not have to be understood;
It has to be listened to.
- Hermann Scherchen.
Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
bennevis #2667319 08/10/17 06:30 AM
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How do you know the he played Bluthner or Kawai?

Last edited by Miguel Rey; 08/10/17 06:30 AM.



Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
Miguel Rey #2667381 08/10/17 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Miguel Rey
How do you know the he played Bluthner or Kawai?

Just my intuition wink .

OK, it sounds like a Blüthner, and he's been playing on Blüthner since his last CD recordings (Beethoven concertos), sometimes Shigeru Kawai. The piano doesn't sound like a SK.

P.S. My moles tell me that his piano in Edinburgh was indeed a Shigeru Kawai, not Blüthner......

Last edited by bennevis; 08/10/17 03:29 PM. Reason: correction!

"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."
Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
bennevis #2667735 08/12/17 10:19 AM
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I'll say what I wrote on the Youtube comments: Pletnev is a 19th century musician dropped into the 21st century. He plays with a big personality and takes liberties, but he also produces a great sound and has big charm. He sounds more like Rachmaninoff than Rachmaninoff himself did sometimes.

Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
bennevis #2667821 08/12/17 10:11 PM
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I read that comment on youtube, and I agree. Pletnev is extraordinary, original, seeming spontaneous even as everything is expressly considered and well judged. The same ADGO has also uploaded a Chopin recital from 2006 which the bits I've heard so far are unlike anything I've heard so far.

Now on Rachmaninoff as a pianist, I had a complete box set I had thought to be ruined by the great Nashville flood of 2010, but I found the CD's were good after some cleaning, and I listened to the lot which served as a reminder of just who this guy was. "Greatest pianist in history" and such comparative claims are useless platitudes for art, but with what's been recorded and what I can know based on what I've been exposed to, that binge of listening convinced me that I'd never heard a greater pianist than Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff. And there is nothing of him in the concert stage and the intimacy of an audience...but think he was likely even much better than what we have heard. My two cents. (And tomorrow I'll say something similar about Richter or someone else, ha).


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Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
bennevis #2667848 08/13/17 05:34 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAdHlfX0bO4

This is a similar program to what I heard him play in London a few decades ago - the first time I heard him live. He is even more amazing when seen & heard live, because you hear clearly all the colors and nuances and range of dynamics & articulation he conjures out of the piano (helped by clever use of the pedals), while he sits impassively with just a twitch of his eyebrows when he decides (seemingly on the spur of the moment) to do something unusual.

I'd already heard the likes of Kissin playing the same Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody (hear Pletnev's colorful & brilliant conclusion starting at 29:00) and Grieg Carnival Scene (1:04:18), but Pletnev was in a class of his own, not least in his sense of timing and wit (especially in the Grieg). In his hands, the uproarious conclusion to the Grieg sounds like all the fireworks blowing up prematurely as the inebriated merry-makers' dance becomes ever more frenzied. grin

(This has a video but poorer mono sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATVjNW7upCY )

And don't miss his highly imaginative (or outrageously anarchic, depending on your point of view) and brilliant re-creation of Mussorgsky's Pictures:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMg_A8eYweY

Gnomus sounds like a scene from a horror movie, the Great Gate of Kiev's bell-ringers (27:20) obviously hadn't quite got their timing right.....


"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."
Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
jeffreyjones #2667998 08/14/17 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
I'll say what I wrote on the Youtube comments: Pletnev is a 19th century musician dropped into the 21st century. He plays with a big personality and takes liberties, but he also produces a great sound and has big charm. He sounds more like Rachmaninoff than Rachmaninoff himself did sometimes.

Originally Posted by "D. S. F."
Pletnev is extraordinary, original, seeming spontaneous even as everything is expressly considered and well judged.

I think of 19th century piano performance as taking liberties, certainly with tempo and some flexibility of rhythm and dynamics, and even to the point of adding and removing notes, but generally in the spirit of the compositions. Pletnev seems to play the notes faithfully but ignores and/or makes up a lot of the rest, some of which works but some of which changes or weakens the compositions: really hit and miss to my ears, as if trying to be different/"interesting" just for the sake of it. My instinct tells me that the compositions as written are better than Pletnev realizes, and that he should have more faith in what Rach wrote.

For a couple of examples in Op. 39 No. 7, those brief, mf or f cascades in the outer sections are surely supposed to have an "edge" as well as sadness, whether one feels them as a wail of despair or whatever. Pletnev plays them very quietly: miss. The accented bell-like minor thirds just before the bells die away; striking and interesting: hit. A successful 19th century moment, where he brought something extra but without obliterating another theme/texture in the process. The "pom pom POM" theme of Op. 32 No. 8 is almost absent, along with such a gentle tickling of almost everything in 1/8 notes that a lot of the interesting harmonies and character of the piece are lost. The piece shouldn't sound like a torrent of 1/16 notes without much else going on. Rachmaninoff's piece is like, say, a morning downpour with all kinds of nuances, light and shade and varied colors, and how it would feel to be in it, while Pletnev, to me, gives a mostly gray, non-descript torrent of rain. It isn't awful, it's okay, but it's so much less than it could be. Slowing waaaaaaaay down in the faster middle section of the Elegy (Op. 3 No. 1) just saps a lot of energy out without a reward, because he doesn't build up the speed again into the climax. It also robs the piece of contrast overall. I find the composer's recordings of the Op. 3 pieces far more satisfying.

Along with a different style of playing, 19th century concerts also had different content: more bits and pieces, with contemporary lollipops. If Pletnev played works by a variety of composers interspersed with a paraphrase of a hit Broadway/West End musical, a rhapsody on Scottish airs for the Edinburgh audience, and/or a virtuosic transcription of a famous David Bowie or Prince song, with a brief improvisation between groups of pieces to set up the mood and key, that would be the 19th century dropped into the 21st century!

Sorry if I am coming across as a curmudgeon here. Tastes differ and it's great that Pletnev's playing speaks to so many, and the fact that it does shows that I must be missing something and/or have different preferences or priorities from those many. For a taste of 19th century playing, I like Cortot. He was already more modern in his approach, but some of the romantic/free spirit still comes through.


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Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
bennevis #2668871 08/17/17 10:10 PM
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Well I am happy to say I bought prime tickets for his and Maestro Sokolov Feb /May 2018. these two pianist are the best in the last 20 years of piano since Richter, Horowitz and Gilels passed. Both are very original in every dimension. Their clear, expressional sound is never compromised. Then to add that technically they cannot be surpassed. I hope to record these recitals with a new iPhone 8 with a 256 memory capability. The other wonderful pianist I really respect through his career is Murray Perahia. But he still doesn't always engage me. But his Chopin Etudes and Bach Goldberg are mesmerizing. I read recently he is slowly making headway into Bach's WTC Book 1. That could be very special and a future Grammy for him.


Serge P. Marinkovic, MD

Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
Serge Marinkovic #2668874 08/17/17 10:16 PM
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[quote=Serge Marinkovic][...] I hope to record these recitals with a new iPhone 8 with a 256 memory capability. [...]/quote]

I would consider such action reprehensible, particularly since most concert venues specifically request that recordings not be made.


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Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
BruceD #2669033 08/18/17 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
[quote=Serge Marinkovic][...] I hope to record these recitals with a new iPhone 8 with a 256 memory capability. [...]/quote]

I would consider such action reprehensible, particularly since most concert venues specifically request that recordings not be made.


I'm with Bruce 100% on that. Its disrespectful to the artist, audience (not to mention incredibly annoying for those trying to enjoy the recital sitting near you), and the concert organizations. Buy the artist's recordings if you want it for posterity.


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Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
bennevis #2669075 08/18/17 04:34 PM
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I agree with Bruce and Vid totally. Copy right laws need to be protected instead of abused. Royalties are potentially stolen from artists / venues when their intellectual property is stolen. It works like that in every country.

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Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
bennevis #2669134 08/18/17 09:38 PM
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Dont think it's illegal for personal use. There are a lot of videos posted youtube that are still up and YT is very good about pulling illegal videos. Also a lot of rock videos with rows of concert goers with their camera phones out recording. I think it's up to the individual artist and of course if you see a sign that says no recording then it's probably a good idea not to do so. I know a lot of Pop artists are revolting against them but mainly about disruption and annoyance. Zimmerman got pretty upset over someone recording him. I'm sure had it been illegal he would have done something about it.

Personally I think it would benefit the artist more than harm him. But others make think the opposite.

Zimerman was performing at the Ruhr Piano Festival in Essen, western Germany, where he was said to have spotted a member of the audience filming the concert from the balcony.
"He noticed someone up in the choir seats filming the concert on their smartphone. We think it was probably an iPhone," said festival spokeswoman Anke Demirsoy after the performance.
It is becoming part and parcel of modern music promotion Jasper Hope, Royal Albert Hall
"He asked them to stop, but they didn't. So he interrupted the recital and walked off stage."
Zimerman then apparently told the audience that he had lost recording contracts and projects because of recording company executives telling him: "We're sorry, that has already been on YouTube.

Don't see how anyone could loose a contract of a you tube video from a camera phone.




Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
Miguel Rey #2669234 08/19/17 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Miguel Rey

Zimerman then apparently told the audience that he had lost recording contracts and projects because of recording company executives telling him: "We're sorry, that has already been on YouTube.

Don't see how anyone could loose a contract of a you tube video from a camera phone.

He shouldn't have to explain to the audience why this is wrong.

Plain and simple: recording a concert without the performer's explicit permission is a violation of that performer's rights. Members of this forum should be especially sensitive to that concept.

Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
bennevis #2669254 08/19/17 02:22 PM
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It depends on the venue and individual artist, If they specifically say no recording then yes that should be respected. I


Valentina Lisitsa understands that youtube pretty much made her and doesn't mind her fans recording her concerts. Here is a excerpt from her interview discussing this touchy topic.

"Her liberal attitude to listeners photographing or recording her concerts distinguishes her from many of her colleagues. At pop events, audience members ubiquitously record the music, but the practice is invariably prohibited at formal classical spaces. At Carnegie Hall, ushers zealously race down the aisles to berate any device-toting offenders publicly."

" Classical music needs to evolve more quickly, Ms. Lisitsa said. “There is a long train, and we’re the last car in the train. Pop music is the first car. Now, any new song Lady Gaga does, she puts on YouTube first. And I don’t think she has trouble selling her CDs.”

"Far from destroying classical music, Ms. Lisitsa said, YouTube will create a new audience. “We are perpetually complaining about our audiences being old,” she said."

Lisitsa Jump Starts Her Carreer Online




Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
bennevis #2670522 08/25/17 06:26 PM
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Well I apologize for my premature thoughts. But perhaps just recording it for my own use. But then i do not practice Rachmaninoff at all. But for the Sokolov recital in May 2018 I must likely will be more familiar with his program once announced. I feel to record a performance for your own personal use should be allowed. I look at every recital as a potential learning experience. Neither of these two maestro's of the piano perform in the USA nor teach masterclasses here. I feel they both have something special to say so your opinions leave me in conflict. I really do not do this for a means to make money etc but a means to educate other serious pianists. Especially with the two best classical pianist likely never to again perform here in continental North America. Please see if my new purpose is agreeable to this forum.


Serge P. Marinkovic, MD

Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
Serge Marinkovic #2670629 08/26/17 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Serge Marinkovic
I feel to record a performance for your own personal use should be allowed.....Please see if my new purpose is agreeable to this forum.

This forum member is still not convinced. I can't get around the fact that you plan to record, without permission, the work product of a professional musician who makes his living from music. You say that you are recording it only for your personal use. Anyone who records a concert could say the same thing. But there is no way to prevent them from changing their minds at a later time and selling the recording for a profit, with zero compensation going to the performer.

Moreover, the performer has the absolute right to decide whether or not a recording of a particular performance should be released to the public. Perhaps the performance was flawed by a major memory slip or was otherwise "not ready for prime time." The unauthorized recorder might think it's a fine idea to embarrass the performer (beyond the 2000 or so people who heard the performance live), but this is highly unfair to the performer.

So I still take the side of the professional musician: don't record the concert unless the performer gives his or her explicit permission.

Last edited by Hank M; 08/26/17 08:11 AM.
Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
bennevis #2670733 08/26/17 06:34 PM
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Kinda on this topic about bootleg recordings, an article from an acquaintance and concert pianist James Rhodes about his encounters with Sokolov

excerpt
... And we really are losing out. In the absence of live performances, I’m unbelievable lucky to have accrued about 70 hours of Sokolov bootlegs over the years. The highlights include a Tokyo performance of Stravinsky’s Petrouschka (perhaps the most difficult piano composition ever written), a Chopin 1st piano concerto with Andrew Litton (Sokolov had a fever of 101 on the evening and almost cancelled — thank God he didn’t), four different performances of Rachmaninov’s 3rd piano concerto that simply defy belief (the finest of the four being from the Proms), and a performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations that is the only modern performance I’ve heard that’s on a par with Glenn Gould’s benchmark recordings. Pianophiles are an odd bunch, and collect many hundreds of hours of bootleg recordings. The amount of material available through internet forums and anonymous email addresses is extraordinary. I once made the rather rash announcement on a google groups page devoted to Sokolov that I would be happy to share my secret stash. I sent more than 300 CDs all around the world at my own expense in the following fortnight. A labour of true love.

Greatest living Pianist




Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
bennevis #2671453 08/30/17 03:31 AM
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Well I intend to record this concert since I am buying a ticket and flying from StLouis to see this single concert in Amsterdam. I am using this for my own private learning and will not post or share with others.


Serge P. Marinkovic, MD

Re: Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov
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Charlie Brooker (creator of Black Mirror): "If technology is a drug – and it does feel like a drug – then what, precisely, are the side effects?"

I thought of Black Mirror because of the episode "The Entire History of You", where people in the future have the ability to recall, in vivid detail, every experience as they wish. Whatever happened to savoring an occasion precisely because when it's over, it's over? I thought the whole selling point of live concerts (and shows, theater, cinema, etc.) is that you have to be there in person, at the time? "But it doesn't have to be that way... look, if I press this button on this device..."

Putting aside the issue of accepting terms and conditions and then knowingly and intentionally breaching them (we seem to be living in in an era of entitlement, where if I want something, I feel I should have it, so if necessary I'll re-arrange my ethics to feel comfortable about having it), here are a few questions:

If you record a live event, are you savoring the experience as much as would if recording technology did not exist? Are you listening as openly and intently... are you fully immersed and engaged? Are you sure, and if not, why not? If not, I really think you would be better off turning off your phone.


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