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Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
#2886741 09/04/19 03:40 AM
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OK, here goes. ha

This is in the hope that someone here not only happened to be at Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli's Carnegie Hall recital in November 1968, but also remembers this thing about a piece he played.

What are the odds on that..... grin

Actually I think I know the answer about the piece -- but it would be a pretty odd thing.

His first piece was a Clementi sonata. I liked it. I had a book of Clementi sonatas but it wasn't in there, at least from what I could tell. I spent the next 20-30 years sort of looking for it, intermittently at random intervals, and never got close.

More recently, what with the internet and everything, I realized that it might be more possible to find it now. And I think I did -- I'm pretty sure of it -- but here's the thing.

If it's what I think it is, it means that the program listed the sonata completely wrong -- wrong key, wrong opus -- and the New York Times reviewer (Harold Schonberg), who knew the piano literature as well as most anyone (I didn't say absolutely anyone) ha didn't pick it up, and in fact reiterated the wrong information in the text of the review.

The program listed it as "Sonata in C major, Opus 7." Schonberg repeated that. But, the details that he mentioned about the piece, admittedly limited, fit with the piece that I think it was, which is the Sonata in B-flat major, Op. 12 No. 1 (which was, after all, in that Clementi volume that I had).

There was only one musical detail about the piece that I remembered, and I remembered it pretty vividly: Both parts of the 1st movement ended with several measures of an alternating tonic and dominant arpeggiated figure in the right hand, over a pedal point in the left hand.

I spent those 20-30 years (not every second of it) ha looking for a Clementi sonata in C major that had such a feature. I didn't make much of the opus number -- I figured that for a composer like Clementi there could well be various numbering systems -- but I absolutely assumed "C major," so I didn't much check anything if it wasn't in that key. Eventually I just gave up.

Recently the friend that came with me to that concert happened to e-mail me about some other concerts from that time, and it reminded me of that Clementi. With my having learned from internet experience that stuff is often wrong ha .....plus of course that we can check stuff more easily, I realized that there was another way to go about it:

-- Forget about "C major," no matter what the program said, and
-- Just look around on youtube or wherever for any Clementi pieces played by Michelangeli.

It's actually pretty much a "d'oh," although really it was hard for me to imagine that the program would have had it wrong AND that Harold Schonberg didn't notice that Michelangeli was playing B-flat major, not C major; that's a pretty big thing not to notice.

I'm pretty sure it was indeed this B-flat major Sonata.

So, what I'm hoping is, first of all, that maybe one of y'all happened to be there too -- in fact, I would BET that at least one or two of our other old timers were there, because this Michelangeli recital was a very big thing at the time, not as big as a Horowitz concert but only a notch or two below -- so that part of it is probably somewhat easy.....

.....and, that someone who was there will be able to say YES, THAT'S THE PIECE THAT HE STARTED WITH!
And maybe even, knew that it was listed wrong on the program.

Here's that piece:



Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
Mark_C #2886760 09/04/19 05:51 AM
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You are probably right.

But ABM also delved into Galuppi sonatas, which no other big-name pianist plays. If you heard something that sounds early classical with lots of Alberti bass but somewhat simplistic, it could be him.....


"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: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
Mark_C #2886862 09/04/19 10:38 AM
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Mark,

I have two seemingly contradictory responses to your question:

1. I may have attended that Michelangeli recital; and

2. I can't help you with your question.

With regard to No. 1, I do recall attending a Michelangeli recital around that time period. You are exactly right; it was a big deal among piano fans, for good reason. Michelangeli was right up there with Horowitz, Richter and a few others who were considered living legends of the keyboard. Michelangeli was also famous (or infamous) for cancelling concerts, so it was really a big deal that he went ahead with this recital.

But that gets us to No. 2. Sadly, I did not retain the program for this recital, nor did I write anything about it, nor do I remember the program. I do remember Michelangeli's incredible pianism, and I do remember that he played five or six encores, including one encore AFTER the house lights had been turned on. I remember thinking at the time: if this pianist supposedly has contempt for the audience by cancelling concerts, he certainly didn't show it tonight by offering encore after encore.

Bottom line, I can't help you find out which Clementi sonata he played, but I thank you for sparking my (limited) memory of that event.

Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
Mark_C #2886873 09/04/19 11:10 AM
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Just checked the Carnegie Hall archives. The piece they list is Clementi's Sonata in C Major, Op. 7, No. 2. Here's a performance on YouTube of the first movement:
Clementi Sonata in C Major
Was it the sonata he played? I can't tell you one way or the other, but with an artist as eccentric as Michelangeli, I wouldn't put it past him to decide at the last minute to play a piece not listed on the printed program. In any case, it's a gorgeous piece.

Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
Mark_C #2886906 09/04/19 12:25 PM
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Another clue would be what was in print back then, although I'm sure Michelangeli would have had the "inside scoop" as for scores.

Isn't the order or numbering really messed up in the Peters/Ruthardt ed., which probably confused ol' Harold C.? 😁


WhoDwaldi
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Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
Hank M #2886912 09/04/19 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Hank M
....I do remember that he played five or six encores, including one encore AFTER the house lights had been turned on. I remember thinking at the time: if this pianist supposedly has contempt for the audience by cancelling concerts, he certainly didn't show it tonight by offering encore after encore.

Well, that clinches it: It wasn't the same recital!

One of the other specifics I remember about the one I went to is that he didn't play any encores. Besides that it's confirmed by the NY Times review mentioning it, I remember a conversation I had about it shortly thereafter with a teacher, in which we talked about it. His name came up and I said a little about the concert, including that he (as I put it) "refused to play any encores." The teacher said, "Well usually he refuses to play the whole recital" -- which was where I learned that he often canceled. I hadn't known.

Thanks for the reply in any event. I enjoyed it, no matter that it didn't give me my answer!

Quote
Just checked the Carnegie Hall archives. The piece they list is Clementi's Sonata in C Major, Op. 7, No. 2. Here's a performance on YouTube of the first movement:
Clementi Sonata in C Major
Was it the sonata he played? I can't tell you one way or the other, but with an artist as eccentric as Michelangeli, I wouldn't put it past him to decide at the last minute to play a piece not listed on the printed program....

That's not it -- it doesn't have anything like the feature that I do remember, but thanks for finding it!
I hadn't found ANY sonata in "C major" from an "opus 7" by Clementi! (For some reason, even that recording doesn't turn up for me on youtube, even with searches contrived to find it.)

How did you find it?

BTW: I was at another recital where a different piece was played than what was listed -- and, far more indefensibly, the reviewer didn't realize it.

I went to one of David Helfgott's New York recitals, during his big splash (1997), and BTW I thought he played better than most 'experts' did. Anyway: The program showed Liszt's 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody, but the one that he actually played was the 6th. The review in the New York Post (the only one I saw; I don't think the Times reviewed it; if they did, I'd love to see if they made the same mistake) ....the review in the NY Post talked about his playing of the 2nd, as though he had played it.

P.S. I see that the Times did review a recital of his, earlier that season, in Boston. The reviewer, one of their major people (still active) and fairly knowledgeable, also talked about Helfgott's having played the 2nd, saying that Helfgott couldn't at all handle it. I'm guessing that Helfgott did play it in Boston, maybe elsewhere too, and that the New York program books were printed well in advance, so that if he changed what he was going to play because of how it had gone, which is what I'm guessing happened (most assuredly he did play #6 and not #2 in New York), they wouldn't have been able or wouldn't have bothered to reprint it. I would have thought that in such a situation there would at least be an announcement about a change in the program.

Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
WhoDwaldi #2886914 09/04/19 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Another clue would be what was in print back then, although I'm sure Michelangeli would have had the "inside scoop" as for scores.

Isn't the order or numbering really messed up in the Peters/Ruthardt ed., which probably confused ol' Harold C.? 😁

More would have been involved than that. ha

(I would have expected that from where he would sit at such concerts, which, as far as I knew, was always reasonably close, it would strike him boldly that the pianist was playing in a key other than C major.)

Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
Mark_C #2886926 09/04/19 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Another clue would be what was in print back then, although I'm sure Michelangeli would have had the "inside scoop" as for scores.

Isn't the order or numbering really messed up in the Peters/Ruthardt ed., which probably confused ol' Harold C.? 😁

More would have been involved than that. ha

(I would have expected that from where he would sit at such concerts, which, as far as I knew, was always reasonably close, it would strike him boldly that the pianist was playing in a key other than C major.)


One of my stories (insert groan here):

I was once turning pages for a friend accompanying a voice jury. The singer kept losing voice and stopping. The faculty started humming pitches and said, "Isn't that the high version?" My friend looked at the score and exclaimed, "It says, 'medium version.'" So, two faculty members walk up to look at the music as she played and said, "Oh, you're seeing the medium version, but playing in the high key, instead--you must play it mostly in that key for classes!"

Of course, I should have noticed this, but I had been intent on turning pages and wasn't watching her hands. 😆

(The singer barely knew the song, having learned it at the last minuet, and was too nervous to notice the wrong key.)


WhoDwaldi
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Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
Mark_C #2886951 09/04/19 02:28 PM
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I like the idea of a singer learning a song at the last minuet! smile


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Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
BDB #2886978 09/04/19 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
I like the idea of a singer learning a song at the last minuet! smile


A singer's false step, if ever there was one! Should have been a tango, right?

Cheers!


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Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
BruceD #2886990 09/04/19 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by BDB
I like the idea of a singer learning a song at the last minuet! smile


A singer's false step, if ever there was one! Should have been a tango, right?

Cheers!


And the news of what happened during that jury spread all over the music building within about three minutes. I can't imagine who was responsible for starting the gossip. AHEM!!


WhoDwaldi
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Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
BruceD #2886996 09/04/19 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by BDB
I like the idea of a singer learning a song at the last minuet! smile


A singer's false step, if ever there was one! Should have been a tango, right?

Cheers!


Minuet.

Oh, brother! Well, I did post on another thread about going more farsighted. ha

Back to Mark_C's conundrum, I would be willing to speculate that ABM used the old Peters ed. of Clementi's Sonatas, and this at least narrows down the possibilities, as that is not the complete set of them, only a selection.


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Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
Mark_C #2887066 09/05/19 12:32 AM
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thete are 2 CD set for this recital

https://photos.app.goo.gl/A4eShpotC2qhGLn47

I'm not sure if this the one you are looking for

Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
Kenny Cheng #2887069 09/05/19 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Kenny Cheng
thete are 2 CD set for this recital

https://photos.app.goo.gl/A4eShpotC2qhGLn47

I'm not sure if this the one you are looking for

YES!!

That's the recital!!
Or at least, the date shown on there was exactly the date of this recital. As long as what's on there is really the recording of that recital -- and I gotta think it is!! -- that's it.

THANK YOU!!! thumb

And HEY!!! -- I just found the answer.
Without even trying to get hold of that LP (or CD; can't tell), which I was in the process of doing.

Because, along the way, I found this webpage -- which lists the contents:

Product Description
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Vol. I (Carnegie Hall) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-284)
P1182. ARTURO BENEDETTI MICHELANGELI: Valses nobles et sentimentales; Gaspard de la nuit (both Ravel); Sonata in B-flat, Op.12, #1 (Clementi); Faschingsswank aus Wien (Schumann). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-284, Live Performance, 26 Nov., 1968, Carnegie Hall - [stunning sound in the Carnegie Hall acoustic, recorded on an Uher recorder with Sennheiser mike from a choice location in the Hall, far from audience members. It has an absolutely glorious resonant acoustic, virtually unmarred by audience noise! Never previously issued.] Transfers by Yves St Laurent.

CRITIC REVIEWS:

“Although there are many live-performance ‘pirate’ recordings of concerts given by Michelangeli, this is a major discovery: a first release of his dazzling 1968 Carnegie Hall recital. I have never seen this material elsewhere. Even more impressive is the excellent, if slightly distant, monaural sound. This is not the work of some amateur sitting in the balcony with an Uher under his coat.....



SO:
IT WAS INDEED THE ONE IN B-FLAT MAJOR.

The program had it wrong. The New York Times review went along with what it said in the program, not what he played.

Last edited by Mark_C; 09/05/19 01:03 AM.
Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
Mark_C #2887186 09/05/19 09:57 AM
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Hi Mark,

I'm glad you found the answer.

Looking at the back of the CD, it seems the CD also had the incorrect program printed:

https://sep.yimg.com/ay/yhst-566766...geli-2-st-laurent-studio-ysl-t-284-3.jpg


BTW, I found the following recording:


Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
Kenny Cheng #2887194 09/05/19 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Kenny Cheng
Hi Mark, I'm glad you found the answer.

Looking at the back of the CD, it seems the CD also had the incorrect program printed:

https://sep.yimg.com/ay/yhst-566766...geli-2-st-laurent-studio-ysl-t-284-3.jpg


BTW, I found the following recording:


Thanks for this Kenny. Interestingly, the program listing on the video gets both the Opus #'s of the Clementi (7 instead of 12) and Schumann (22 instead of 26) wrong. Oh well….. smile


Last edited by Carey; 09/05/19 10:35 AM.

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Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
Mark_C #2887225 09/05/19 12:02 PM
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I'm glad you got to the bottom of this after 50 years, Mark! That's truly amazing.

Speaking of opus number miscues, the Monterey Symphony announced earlier this year that an upcoming concert would include Beethoven's Symphony No 5, Opus 6. Quite impressive for such an early work!

Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
Kenny Cheng #2887257 09/05/19 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Kenny Cheng
I'm glad you found the answer.

No, you did! smile


Originally Posted by Carey
....Interestingly, the program listing on the video gets both the Opus #'s of the Clementi (7 instead of 12) and Schumann (22 instead of 26) wrong. Oh well….. smile

Yeah. grin
They got the wrong Clementi opus number from the printed program of the concert (although they didn't copy the wrong key).
Who knows where they got the 22 from....


Originally Posted by MathGuy
....Speaking of opus number miscues, the Monterey Symphony announced earlier this year that an upcoming concert would include Beethoven's Symphony No 5, Opus 6. Quite impressive for such an early work!

Yes, very very impressive! ha

Anyway, I have to admit, I don't know what the actual opus number is....

Well, they were half right! They just left off the second digit. grin
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Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
Mark_C #2887396 09/05/19 09:48 PM
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Cool thread!


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Re: Impossible Q - for anyone else at Michelangeli recital, 1968
Mark_C #2887487 09/06/19 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C

I hadn't found ANY sonata in "C major" from an "opus 7" by Clementi! (For some reason, even that recording doesn't turn up for me on youtube, even with searches contrived to find it.)

How did you find it?

I believe I searched with these words: Clementi Sonata Op. 7 No. 2

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