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#443407 - 07/06/02 02:23 PM Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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April Offline
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The other thread on favorite recordings made me think of two specific recordings I'd like to find.

First, the Chopin Etudes. Someone mentioned Pollini's recording as good. Are there others you'd recommend?

Second, the Gershwin Preludes. On an older thread someone mentioned that their LEAST favorite music was Gershwin's Preludes played "badly". So, are there specific recordings of the Gershwin Preludes played well?

Thanks for your suggestions,
April
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#443408 - 07/06/02 03:42 PM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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jeffylube Offline
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April, Pollini's etudes are really impressive. He displays superb technical ability in them. Another set that I really like, even a little bit more than Pollini's, is Shura Cherkassky\'s . I think they're more poetic than Pollini's, and some may feel a little bit more "Chopinish". It's an older recording, but the sound is good enough to where it won't bother you.

Another one you could try, is Gyorgy Cziffra\'s . I personally haven't heard them, but alot of people seem to really like them. But they're going to more like like Pollini's, emphasizing technical ability over poetic reading.

Murray Perahia supposedly has an edition of the etudes in the works, and so you may want to keep your eye out for that one.

#443409 - 07/07/02 01:27 PM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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Either Gramophone or International Piano Quarterly did a survey of all the complete recorded versions of the Études they could find, and recommended Juana Zayas' version as outstanding. I have a copy and it is a very fine set. For astonishing technical displays in individual études, I'd have to mention Vadim Rudenko's Op. 10 #2 (on Pavane), and Lazar Berman's octave étude, issued many years ago on a Murray Hill LP, but which I've not been able to locate on CD, alas. If I can figure out how to make an MP3 file available I'll try to post it somewhere.

The Pekinel sisters, Güher and Süher, have a truly sensuous recording of one of the Gershwin préludes arranged for four hands.


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
#443410 - 07/08/02 04:08 AM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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I'll answer regarding the Chopin etudes.
I think most people agree that Pollini has the best overall performance in the Deutsche Grammophon edition recorded in 1972.

However Frederic Chiu (Harmonia Mundi) plays the Op.10 etudes a very different way, with MUCH more emotion. He plays Op.10#2 slightly faster than Pollini, and adds more shading, which is nice for this etude which is usually one of the least musical.

Grigory Sokolov (OPUS 111) has a great recording of Op.25
Lots of coughing and background noise but man, listen to his #11(A minor). While Pollini sounds like a robot to which you assigned the task of hitting the keys one after the other, Sokolov is slightly faster and makes you feel the back and forth movement of the right hand. It really sounds like the Winter Wind here.
The Urtext score indicates that the left hand should be slightly louder and more accented, which is what Pollini does.
However the Sokolov way is too make the right hand complexity stand out, while still insisting on the left hand accompaniement. Listen to it and you'll probably agree it is better laugh

Sokolov is also faster than Pollini on Op25#4 the difficult one with the jumps, and pays the price of hitting a few wrong notes shocked

Also, Sokolov's Op25#3 sounds better because of his very moderate use of the pedal.

Of course I have Pollini's Etudes in my Real Player library and listen to them 200 times a day but I think it's important to be open to others as there can be good surprises. I also heard Murray Perahia is working on the Chopin Etudes.
Can't wait !!!


"War does not determine who is right; only who is left."
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#443411 - 07/08/02 08:21 AM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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has anyone heard Louis Lortie's Etudes? heard they're quite good...

#443412 - 07/08/02 08:43 AM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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i love pollini, he's one of my favorite pianists, but he can sound quite sterile at times, he has a super polished very dry sound that some people dont like, if your looking for a more emotional sound, then i can recomend

ashkenazy, etudes...i dont like a lot of his playing but i have to say he does an excellent job of the etudes, the recording is from the 60's or 70's i think...but very good all around

and Cortot is always extreamly interesting, full of unusual ideas and wonderful playing...be warned though...many wrong notes, and they're very old recordings from the 30's i think but the sound isnt horrible

#443413 - 07/08/02 08:13 PM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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StanSteel Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by magnezium:
has anyone heard Louis Lortie's Etudes? heard they're quite good...
Never heard of them. What kind of music is that?


"War does not determine who is right; only who is left."
#443414 - 07/08/02 09:42 PM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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I think that Pollini does play with emotion in these Etudes, its just that he is a different type of pianist. Just listen to his Op.10,3; a robot can not do that. I had the pleasure of seeing him live, and it is better and more energetic than the recordings, which are expertly crafted with intelligence and emotion.

#443415 - 07/08/02 11:27 PM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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Perahia's set of the Etudes has been indefinitely delayed. They've been in the icebox for almost 2 years now, and I'm beginning to doubt if they'll EVER be released.

Rubinstein tried recording the Etudes in the early 1970s, but gave up after one session. He apparently could not throw aside his caution in the studio, although there are a few live recordings of selected Etudes which are exciting, if not always note perfect.

For all the wrong notes, I love Cortot's etudes, they have a rare sense of narrative sweep. He plays them not as studies, but as music.

Horowitz recorded several Etudes at various points of his career. A few standouts are: Op. 25, No 7 in C-Sharp minor, Op. 10, No. 6 in E-flat minor, and Op. 10, No. 12, all from 1963. Also, Op. 10, Nos 3, 4, and 12 (again) from 1972/3. There's also a very charming Black Key Etude from 1980.


Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
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#443416 - 07/09/02 12:17 AM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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Quote
Originally posted by Hank Drake:
Rubinstein tried recording the Etudes in the early 1970s, but gave up after one session. He apparently could not throw aside his caution in the studio, although there are a few live recordings of selected Etudes which are exciting, if not always note perfect.
I heard Rubinstein play Op. 25#5 in Portland Oregon in 1964 or so. He produced such an amazing legato in the middle section that the audience forgot to applaud at the end of the piece.

I have a disc issued by Musical Heritage of Lortie playing all 27. It's a pretty good performance overall, as I recollect, but what really impressed me were the 3 Nouvelle Études. I don't know if his currently available recording is a reissue of that session, or if it was rerecorded. I believe Andrew G said he was going to a Lortie recital of the études in Davis, CA, this year, and I don't recall his mentioning how it was.


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
#443417 - 07/09/02 12:50 AM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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Quote
Originally posted by StanSteel:
Never heard of them. What kind of music is that?
Louis Lortie is a pianist who regularly plays the Chopin Etudes.

#443418 - 07/09/02 01:01 AM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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laugh I thought magnezium was mentioning a set of etudes composed by Lortie, my bad...


"War does not determine who is right; only who is left."
#443419 - 07/09/02 07:15 AM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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oops sorry... I should be blamed for being so unclear...

#443420 - 07/09/02 10:55 AM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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Ack! So much Chopin to choose from! laugh

Maybe a trip to the public library is in order before I run out and buy a CD! Hopefully they'll have some of the recordings in stock that were mentioned here....

I noticed that there isn't much comment on the Gershwin preludes. Once upon a time I did try to check out a recording of those from my library, but the only versions they had were arranged for various instruments (NOT piano!).

April

#443421 - 07/09/02 01:15 PM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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April, as far as Gershwin goes, I would have to recommend Fazil Say . You get the 3 preludes plus many more great Gershwin pieces for piano solo. If you can't find this CD, then you may want to try Earl Wild . He would be another safe bet to go with. Hope this helps! cool

#443422 - 07/09/02 01:35 PM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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Aha, the Chopin Etudes - a brilliant choice.

I must say that Chopin's etudes do always boil down to personal preference in the end rather then sheer musicality in recordings as so many fabulous interpretations are out there on disc.

For instance there are two Ashkenazy recordings (Decca and Melodiya) but no complete Richter or Argerich sets.

Nikolai Lugansky's (Erato/Warner Classics) recent recording is very good indeed, and I look forward to the day Kissin eventually gets round to recording them too.

Boris Berezovsky provides all-Russian steel in his account, whereas Louis Lortie provides a flash of Parisian wit and elegance missing in a lot of versions (incidentally, I saw Lortie perform the complete 27 Etudes last Christmas and they were truly brilliant).

Pollini provides Italian muscle and dare I say it sexually-charged piano playing, against Agustin Anievas' Latin and super-smooth refinement.

It all eventually comes back to the original point: these are all superb interpretations, with variations of tempo, dynamics and indeed meanings in the actual quality of playing. But all stand alone as brilliant and all deserve merit.

Perhaps you would like to start with Godowsky's 53 Studies on the Chopin Etudes first, by Marc-Andre Hamelin?

#443423 - 07/09/02 02:41 PM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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Interesting thread... I have all of the recordings mentioned so far and would agree with most of what's been said. Two others that could make the list of great performances are John Browning and Wilhelm Backhaus.

#443424 - 07/15/02 12:58 PM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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With regard to the Gershwin preludes, I just came across a Columbia CD (MK42514) of Oscar Levant playing Gershwin, including the preludes. It's mono, but doesn't sound that bad, and the pieces are played with a free insouciance that the music really needs. Levant knew Gershwin personally, and, until he (Levant) self-destructed, worked to keep Gershwin's music before the public. If you're not into highest fidelity sound, I can't think of a better disc for the preludes or for the rhapsodies and the I Got Rhythm variations.


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
#443425 - 07/15/02 03:42 PM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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Quote
Originally posted by April:
First, the Chopin Etudes.
I have a recording of the Chopin Etudes as played by Andrei Gavrilov, an excellent pianist. He brings each one to life like I've never heard. I really wish that I could find some Chopin Etude recordings by Martha Argerich but I couldn't. Did she even make any? I'm sure that she must have. I have her recordings of the Chopin Preludes. Anyway, Andrei Gavrilov for the Chopin Etudes!!!


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#443426 - 07/15/02 03:44 PM Re: Specific question re: recommended recordings  
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Oops, I should have mentioned, the Etude CD that I own is put out by Seraphim Classics, in case you are wondering.


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