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#3021405 09/04/20 10:17 PM
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After 40 years of not playing, I’ve returned, purchased a grand and am playing again. I’ve also been listening to classical pianists and have and a few.....questions. I really like Arrau, but finding CD’s is impossible...at a reasonable price. Radio Lupu I also really like. Lang Lang has some GREAT stuff, so I bought two CD’s and am disappointed. Any suggestions on who to look at......

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Grigory Sokolov. I think he's extraordinary.

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Agree on Sokolov. A non exhaustive of my other favourites

Richter
Mikhail Pletnev
Shura Cherkassky
Vladimir Sofronitzky (if you can tolerate bad recorded sound and out of tune pianos)
Jorge Bolet.


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Tamás Vásáry, György Cziffra


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Murray Perahia,
Radu Lupu,
Artur Rubinstein,
Vladmir Horowitz,
Krystian Zimerman,
Vladimir Ashkenazy,
Alicia de Larrocha,
Richard Goode,
Mitsuko Uchida
Alfred Brendel,
Andras Schiff,
Marta Argerich,
Daniel Barenboim
Maurizio Pollini
Maria Joao Pires
Yuja Wang
Stephen Hough
Daniil Trifonov
Benjamin Grosvenor


... shall I stop now, or ...

Regards,

Last edited by BruceD; 09/05/20 01:25 AM.

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You can also do a Google search for "Great Classical Pianists" or "Modern Classical Pianists" or any similar title, and some sites will give brief bios of the pianists and some reasons (maybe biased, to some degree) why they name certain pianists on their lists.

Regards,


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I guess the pianist will depend on what kind of music you want to listen to.

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Originally Posted by 3B43
After 40 years of not playing, I’ve returned, purchased a grand and am playing again. I’ve also been listening to classical pianists and have and a few.....questions. I really like Arrau, but finding CD’s is impossible...at a reasonable price. Radio Lupu I also really like. Lang Lang has some GREAT stuff, so I bought two CD’s and am disappointed. Any suggestions on who to look at......
Every (seasoned, experienced, long-in-the-tooth) pianist will have their own likes & dislikes, not just with composers and/or styles, but also with concerts pianists.

Personally, I find Arrau labored, heavy and deliberate in his mature recordings - including his Liszt and Brahms, let alone Mozart and Chopin (his very early ones on 78s are much better - like the Chopin Etudes), so I imagine my own preferences would be the polar opposite of yours smirk.

Grigory Sokolov would probably be the closest 'contemporary' equivalent to Arrau (and he does have the great technical reserves to lighten up occasionally when he chooses), so I suggest you start with him......though he's not recorded much on CD. With Sokolov's Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms and Prokofiev, and Lupu's Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and Brahms, you have some of the important rep covered. Jorge Bolet's later recordings might plug a few gaps (Liszt, Rachmaninov). You could also try some of Emil Gilels's and Sviatoslav Richter's later recordings (of which there are lots).

But stay clear of the likes of Argerich and Pletnev (as well as Lang Lang, of course) whistle.


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Vikingur Olafsson is a young rising star, really good

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It seems to me that the repertoire itself should trump the pianist. You are not going to feel unfulfilled listening to a Beethoven or Schubert sonata, regardless of the performer. Or a Bach Prelude and Fugue.

OK, Annie Fischer. Wilhelm Kempff. Are dead pianists ok?

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Thanks. I’ve listened to my favorite Beethoven pieces, by various folks, and some pianists are playing the notes perfectly, but are totally missing emotion/feeling of the music. I realize that may be some what subjective, but......

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Sign up for Apple Music or Spotify or IDAGIO (it’s a dedicated classical music service). You can listen without limits to all the music on earth for a fixed monthly price. And choose your own preferred pianists because, you know, we’re all different and have differing tastes smile And then you can still purchase what you like on CD-s if you are so much about CD-s (although the streaming services offer the same quality).


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I think a better approach would be when you are learning a piece, find a variety of artists who have recorded it and compare their interpretations. I have found this very helpful in my learning process. And you may be surprised about the breadth of what is available on YouTube and elsewhere that you don't have to purchase.

Ok, there are some pianists that I especially admire ...

Sir Andras Schiff (Bach)
Martha Argerich & Hélène Grimaud (almost anything they play)
Mitsuko Uchida
Oscar Levant & Earl Wild (Gershwin)
Leon Fleischer (Mozart, Brahms)
Keith Jarrett (did an amazing CD of Handel's Suites for Keyboard)

And so far, nobody has mentioned Glenn Gould!

Last edited by Pianosearcher; 09/05/20 11:12 AM.

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Originally Posted by 3B43
Thanks. I’ve listened to my favorite Beethoven pieces, by various folks, and some pianists are playing the notes perfectly, but are totally missing emotion/feeling of the music. I realize that may be some what subjective, but......

Oh, you're not wrong at all. We all have our favorite pianists, and we all think our favorite pianists get us closer to the music than the ones who leave us cold. If we think they get us closer, they probably do - at least for us.

There's no right and wrong in this game. The goal for you perhaps is to find Arrau recordings at a cheaper price. Or to cut back on something else in your life and pay top dollar for Arrau recordings.

If you want cheap and capable, stick with Jeno Jando, the Hungarian house pianist for Naxos Records. He has recorded more of the piano repertoire than I ever knew one person could record. I don't know when he has time to practice.

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I still have the complete set of Beethoven sonatas and the 5 concertos by Arrau on LPs (Philips). I have no idea what it is worth.

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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
If you want cheap and capable, stick with Jeno Jando, the Hungarian house pianist for Naxos Records. He has recorded more of the piano repertoire than I ever knew one person could record. I don't know when he has time to practice.
Actually, I think Vladimir Ashkenazy might trump Jandó in the comprehensiveness stakes.

He's recorded the complete Chopin (more complete than anyone else), and almost all of Beethoven and Schumann. Probably all of Rachmaninov and Scriabin too. And almost all the Mozart piano concertos. And let's not forget Bach, Brahms, Bartók, Schubert, Ravel, Shostakovich.

Personally, I think his Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, Shostakovich and Mussorgsky epitomises the "Russian soul" more than any other pianist.

Just about the only major keyboard composer he hasn't recorded is Scarlatti. He discarded Liszt very early on (after winning the Tchaikovsky Competition, in fact).

His big boxes of Decca CDs are still generally available quite cheaply.

And best of all, he isn't 'cheap & cheerful' - a lot of his recordings have stood the test of time, even against young upstarts with flashy fingers.


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Picking a pianist before a composer is a little backwards. I find certain pianists excel at some repertoire but not at others, even then there are better recordings of different types of music from the same composer but from different pianists e.g. Sokolov for the Chopin preludes, Joao Pires for the Nocturnes and Perahia for the Ballades are my favourite.

Others I like are Chamayou for the Saint-Saens piano concertos, Lugansky's Rachmaninov preludes, Yuja Wang's Gershwin Concerto and Levit's Beethoven sonatas.

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Definitely recommend Idagio for classical music. I have the HD subscription which streams at CD quality whereas the quality is less good on Apple or Spotify, only really noticeable when playing through high-quality headphones or speakers.

It's fantastic for sorting pieces by composer/artist and finding mutliple recordings of the same piece. Though it still doesn't have everything recorded e.g. Chopin Mazurkas by Kolesnikov which is highly recommended by Gramophone but I'm yet to hear.

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I join you as a great fan of Idagio. All my Cd's are now in storage, and kept only in case of an internet meltdown. But IMHO the key to Idagio is the BlueSound node 2i streaming black box, not crappy Bluetooth speakers.

https://www.whathifi.com/reviews/bluesound-node-2i

This device will resurrect that old hifi set-up that you had practically given up on, and that you will from now on pilot entirely from your tablet or smart phone.

Last edited by Vikendios; 09/09/20 07:10 AM.

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Originally Posted by Vikendios
I join you as a great fan of Idagio. All my Cd's are now in storage, and kept only in case of an internet meltdown.

I am still in the pre CD period !

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