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#402451 - 11/02/08 01:19 PM Great performances on CD or DVD-Audio  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 76
portmanteau Offline
Full Member
portmanteau  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 76
I'm starting a collection of piano performances and would like some
pointers to high quality recordings, live or otherwise. Right now
I'm looking for Horowitz, Rubinstein, Hofmann, and maybe Cortot. Any
recommendations would be helpful. I don't have a turntable anymore so
I cannot accommodate vinyl.

Thanks in advance

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#402452 - 11/02/08 02:24 PM Re: Great performances on CD or DVD-Audio  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 556
Journee Oubliee Offline
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Journee Oubliee  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 556
Orlando
Horowitz plays Scriabin - (both cds, there are 2 releases with same title), you cannot go wrong with these CDs ..

Martha Argerich plays Rachmaninov 3rd Piano Concerto .. also very decent recording..

Cortot plays Chopin Etudes - the most musical ones I have yet to find , ignore the wrong notes, as he did not care for them..

Rubenstein- perhaps his Rachmaninov 2nd Piano Concerto is ok ...

Hofmann- I would suggest his live recordings from 1937 which includes his amazing performance of Moszkowski's Caprice Espagnol, Chopin's Ballade in G minor, Rachmaninov's G minor Prelude, and his own amazing composition Chromaticon.. thumb

if you like Chopin, there's no way on earth you can ignore Marc-Andre Hamelin's complete recording of the Chopin/Godowsky etudes which have been recorded with a technique that surpasses that of anyone that has ever attempted these works.

Sviatoslav Richter also left us 2 gems! Prokofiev's 2nd Piano Sonata and the angelic Scriabin White Mass Sonata recorded very late in his career..

enjoy MR! laugh

#402453 - 11/02/08 09:12 PM Re: Great performances on CD or DVD-Audio  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 76
portmanteau Offline
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portmanteau  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 76
Thanks for the list, I found everything except Rubenstein. Although I did order a promising DVD of his.

#402454 - 11/03/08 10:38 AM Re: Great performances on CD or DVD-Audio  
Joined: Jul 2008
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Ridicolosamente Offline
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Ridicolosamente  Offline
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Albany, NY, USA
The classic Rubinstein recording of Rachmaninov's 2nd is with Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony. Many different options available. There are about a zillion re-releases. Take your pick!

If you're a Rubinstein fan, his Grieg concerto is also a classic. There's a disc that has the Grieg recorded with Antal Dorati and RCA Victor, as wells as an excellent recording of the Brahms Bb, with the Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony. Both very aggressive performances, I love them!


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#402455 - 11/03/08 01:59 PM Re: Great performances on CD or DVD-Audio  
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portmanteau Offline
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portmanteau  Offline
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I found them both, thanks again

#402456 - 11/06/08 11:05 PM Re: Great performances on CD or DVD-Audio  
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,917
Palindrome Offline
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Palindrome  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,917
Chicago, IL USA
Quote
Originally posted by devnull:
I'm starting a collection of piano performances and would like some
pointers to high quality recordings, live or otherwise. Right now
I'm looking for Horowitz, Rubinstein, Hofmann, and maybe Cortot. Any
recommendations would be helpful. I don't have a turntable anymore so
I cannot accommodate vinyl.

Thanks in advance
I wouldn't think there are many videos of Hofmann. There is definitely one, however. The Smithsonian Institution's exhibit on the 300th year of the piano had a video of Hofmann playing the Liszt 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody, intercut with one of Harpo Marx doing the same piece! First, you'd see a passage with Hofmann's face, looking dyspeptic, and then Marx, looking totally manic. It was hilarious!

I don't know if Harpo was actually playing, however.

I think Ward Marston has reissued virtually all of Hofmann's recordings on about 7 CDs or CD albums.

One truly impressive video is of Myra Hess's first movement of the Appassionata. It's in an anthology. I'm hoping the rest of the performance is also available and will be released some day.


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
#402457 - 11/07/08 08:48 AM Re: Great performances on CD or DVD-Audio  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 959
pianovirus Offline
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pianovirus  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 959
Basel, Switzerland
You might also want to look at anthologies:

Naxos' Great Pianists from A-Z is a really nice (and very fairly priced) 4-CD anthology with a "booklet" of 500 pages or so...

Then there's the big "Great pianists of the 20th century" anthology. It comes in 100 volumes with two CDs each (I just saw that the volumes also seem to be available separately). Several pianists are covered in two volumes, and Horowitz in three. All names you mentioned have at least one volume, of course. Besides, there are many many more pianists to discover. Specialists will probably prefer the original albums, but I find it a great way to get an impression of different pianists' playing, without devoting a bulk of my time to searching for "representative" recordings. Unfortunately, this anthology as a whole is very expensive.


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