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Re: Which pianist had the largest performing repertoire? [Re: pianoloverus] #2062435 04/10/13 02:27 PM
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Rubinstein never recorded the complete Etudes because he felt there were a few that he could never do justice to. The same thing was true for Horowitz.


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Re: Which pianist had the largest performing repertoire? [Re: pianoloverus] #2062456 04/10/13 03:49 PM
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Most pianists of that era felt that they could not do justice to all of the etudes. Nobody felt they could top Lhevinne for the etude in double thirds, for instance, so they did not program it.

Today there are plenty of pianists who cannot play most of them particularly well musically, but feel obliged to play them all, anyway.


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Re: Which pianist had the largest performing repertoire? [Re: BDB] #2062606 04/10/13 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Most pianists of that era felt that they could not do justice to all of the etudes. Nobody felt they could top Lhevinne for the etude in double thirds, for instance, so they did not program it.

Today there are plenty of pianists who cannot play most of them particularly well musically, but feel obliged to play them all, anyway.


Lhevinne's chromatic third technique is astounding even today. smile


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Polyphonist
Re: Which pianist had the largest performing repertoire? [Re: pianoloverus] #2065800 04/17/13 12:27 AM
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Don't know if it' a definitive answer, but I figure Garrick Ohlsson is worth a mention. I believe he has over 80 concerti in his repertoire. He's also recorded the complete works of Chopin, the entirety of the Beethoven sonatas, the entirety of Weber's sonatas, all the Scriabin etudes, the Goldberg variations, substantial amounts of Liszt and Rachmaninoff, the Debussy etudes, a CD of 20th century composers including Bartok, Webern, and I think a few others, and I'm sure a ton of others that have slipped my memory/I'm simply not aware of. And that's just his recorded stuff - he's recorded a fairly small amount of what he's played (for instance, he regularly programs Schubert but no recordings exist of his Schubert).

Artur Rubinstein's repertoire was also rather expansive, although the lack of baroque and his tendency to gravitate towards more conservative/"safe" 20th century repertoire held him back. He (and Horowitz to an extent as well) did give exposure to some composers whose piano pieces weren't given much attention otherwise, like Villa-Lobos and Poulenc, which is admirable. Also similar to Horowitz, he seemed to be less creative and stick more to the warhorses in his old age.

I'd also say Glenn Gould's repertoire was rather extensive, although he played a lot of it begrudgingly and sarcastically (like his dreadful Mozart and Chopin op. 58 recordings).

Last edited by fledgehog; 04/17/13 12:28 AM.
Re: Which pianist had the largest performing repertoire? [Re: pianoloverus] #2805898 01/24/19 10:25 AM
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It's really about who had the most magnificent memory, isn't it? There are so many wonderful human minds out there. I share something from Wikipedia on Arthur Rubinstein:

Rubinstein, who was fluent in eight languages,[13] held much of the repertoire (and not only that of the piano) in his formidable memory.[13] According to his memoirs, he learned César Franck's Symphonic Variations while on a train en route to the concert, without the benefit of a piano, practicing passages in his lap. Rubinstein described his memory as photographic, to the extent that he would visualize an errant coffee stain while recalling a score.[16]

Rubinstein also had exceptionally developed aural abilities, which allowed him to play whole symphonies in his mind. "At breakfast, I might pass a Brahms symphony in my head," he said. "Then I am called to the phone, and half an hour later I find it's been going on all the time and I'm in the third movement." This ability was often tested by Rubinstein's friends, who would randomly pick extracts from opera and symphonic scores and ask him to play them from memory.

I do not have a good memory, but I seem to recall reading that in one of his "memory" parties that someone asked him to play a piece he played when he was a 7-year-old child, and he did perfectly claiming to have never touched in all the interim years! Now that's a memory! I believe he also claimed he could play anything he had ever learned without review or practice! It sounds impossible.

Re: Which pianist had the largest performing repertoire? [Re: David Goodrich] #2805910 01/24/19 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by David Goodrich
It's really about who had the most magnificent memory, isn't it?
Not really, for two reasons I would say:

1. Repertoire refers to pieces one can play or has played in concert or on recordings. It does not mean all those pieces are in the person's memory at the same instant. If a pianist hasn't played a work for a while they would typically review, probably with the score, before playing it in concert.

2. Some pianists(Richter, who had one of the largest repertoires, for example)played with the score.

Re: Which pianist had the largest performing repertoire? [Re: pianoloverus] #2806113 01/24/19 04:02 PM
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Ohlsson plays over 60 concertos.

Re: Which pianist had the largest performing repertoire? [Re: pianoloverus] #2806640 01/25/19 02:48 PM
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Just read through this thread and very interesting. There are many pianists with wide repertoires but do they play them all well. Richter clearly a major contender. It is my understanding that Cortot also had a huge repertoire and virtually all his recordings are outstanding. (OK, his last recordings I will agree he was way past his prime but still had something to say). Hamelin is up there. Ogdon had a huge repertoire but he was by all accounts and astonishing sight-reader so were many of these on the fly so to speak although he still commands much respect. Wild had a large repertoire and would give even in his later years huge recitals with over three hours of playing. I agree that Barenboim and Arrau obviously belong on this list.

Re: Which pianist had the largest performing repertoire? [Re: Hakki] #2806661 01/25/19 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Originally Posted by pianoloverus

Other candidates?


Biret ?
Good choice. Her recorded rep is humongous although it is unlikely she performed all that rep.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 01/25/19 04:00 PM.
Re: Which pianist had the largest performing repertoire? [Re: Brad Hoehne] #2806664 01/25/19 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Brad Hoehne
Well, off the top of my head here is my guess as to what concertos are "commonly" played:

Mozart ~20 are commonly played
5 Beethoven
2 Chopin
2 Brahms
5 Prokofiev
3 Rachmaninov
2 Liszt
1 Grieg
1 Macdowell
1 Glazunov
1 Schumann
4 or so of the Haydn concertos
~10 J.S. Bach concertos of various sorts
3 C.P.E. Bach
2 Tchaikovsky
1 Lutoslawski
2 Ravel
1 Dvorak
Total: 66
I think there's a lot of extra padding on that list for commonly performed concerti. I would say Mozart more like 12, Bach more like 3, omit Glazunov, CPE Bach, Lutoslawski. That would remove around 20.

Re: Which pianist had the largest performing repertoire? [Re: pianoloverus] #2806819 01/26/19 03:05 AM
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Richter wins this by a mile, I think. In the last ten years of his life (which was when he began playing from the score), he added another 100 pieces to his repertoire alone (including things like the Hindemith Ludus Tonalis, pieces by Berg, Webern, Stravinsky etc,) There may be pianists who played more in the recording studio, but of great artists, none I can think of played so much in public.

Richter had some advantages: his reputation was such that if he wanted to play, someone would find a hall and piano and he would perform. Artists like Barenboim (or Horowitz) just didn't (and couldn't) operate like that. For example, in 1985 Richter was passing through Hungary and decided he wanted to play Hindemith, and lo and behold, the Music Academy opened its small hall to him where he gave a concert on a Sunday afternoon. The performance was also revelatory, I might add (having heard the recording)... Even an artist I admire immensely like Arrau, played a pretty restricted repertoire in later age, but Richter in the only one I can think of who seemed compelled to keep exploring in public.

The issue of memory is a different matter, although no less fascinating. I once spent a week in the company of Zoltán Kocsis and he could sit at the piano and play anything he wanted, be it a Beethoven symphony or a complex modern polyphonic work he had heard. He could listen to an orchestral recording and instantly reproduce it from memory on the piano. He also had things like the entire orchestral score of Schoenberg's Gurrelieder in his head, as well as not just the scores of Bartók's quartets, but also the original manuscripts... John Ogdon was another who would go into a music shop as a student, look at some scores, and come home having memorised them. It is quite scary when you meet people like this.

Re: Which pianist had the largest performing repertoire? [Re: Waxwing] #2806821 01/26/19 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Waxwing

The issue of memory is a different matter, although no less fascinating. I once spent a week in the company of Zoltán Kocsis and he could sit at the piano and play anything he wanted, be it a Beethoven symphony or a complex modern polyphonic work he had heard. He could listen to an orchestral recording and instantly reproduce it from memory on the piano. He also had things like the entire orchestral score of Schoenberg's Gurrelieder in his head, as well as not just the scores of Bartók's quartets, but also the original manuscripts... John Ogdon was another who would go into a music shop as a student, look at some scores, and come home having memorised them. It is quite scary when you meet people like this.


I know a couple of people like that. Typical conversation:

"That was great. When did you learn it?"
"eh... I never played it before."





Last edited by johnstaf; 01/26/19 04:07 AM.
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