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#565473 - 07/03/02 02:57 PM Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
jeffylube Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/02
Posts: 716
Loc: Weatherford, Texas
Being an advid classical CD collector (mostly piano solo and piano concerti) I would like to know if anyone has some albums to highly recommend. I do my fair share of checking reviews, but I always run into music that I haven't seen or just overlooked. I have some that I would like to recommend:

Ivan Moravec[/b] - Chopin Nocturnes (Complete)
Ivan Moravec[/b] - Live in Prague
Sviatoslav Richter[/b] - Brahms Concert #2 / Beethoven Appassionata
Sviatoslav Richter[/b] - Chopin 4 Scherzi / Schumann Bunte Blatter
Maurizio Pollini[/b] - Stravinsky / Prokofiev / Webern
Maurizio Pollini[/b] - Beethoven Last 5 Sonatas
Martha Argerich[/b] - Prokofiev Concertos 1 & 3 / Bartok Concerto 3
Michel Beroff[/b] - Prokofiev 5 Piano Concertos
Krystian Zimerman[/b] - Liszt Piano Concerto 1 & 2 / Totentanz
Stephen Hough[/b] - Liebermann Piano Concertos
Mikhail Pletnev[/b] - "Pathetique" Symphony / The Seasons
John Ogdon[/b] - Busoni Piano Concerto

And of course I'll add more later when I have time

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#565474 - 07/03/02 03:58 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
sandman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 605
Loc: toronto
I listen to and have tons of classical piano cd's as well...but my list is going to be a lot shorter than yours...

There are many fine performances and many fine recordings but for something to be definitive it has to surpass even that i would say and enter the realm of trascendant playing of a higher level of genius than has ever been shown in that work...

to that end...

Glenn Gould: I would say the majority of his Bach falls into tht category...some is a little too quirky...he overplays his eccentricities in some, but when he is on, he's ON!!..and he transforms the playing of bach on the piano to something unheard of before....the most brilliant rethinking of music in the entire history of performance...
his most definative album i would say is his second recording of the Goldberg Variations.

Maurizio Pollini... last five beethoven sonatas...
- i've never heard beethoven performed better, its increadible playing

There is a box set of Horowitz containing all is recordings for columbia from around the 1960's - 1970's.....there are many many very good recodings in that set....nobody plays with as much energy as horowitz, everyone else sounds almost dull by comparison

Thats it for definative...

i would classify everyone else as a level below these...still very very good in some cases...but lacking that genius to entirely rethink how the music should be presented, to present the music in a way thats never been heard like that before...

Hmmm....looking at this post im feeling a bit rediculous claiming there are only three cd's in the history of recorded piano music that i would call definative...but i honestly have to say that these are a cut above the rest, they have something entirely special...

#565475 - 07/03/02 04:13 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
jeffylube Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/02
Posts: 716
Loc: Weatherford, Texas
Sandman, I listed albums as "Definitive" and "Must Haves", not the same but 2 different categories. Some of the albums that I listed I would call definitive and others I would call must haves, my own opinion of course. The bottom line is, I highly recommend these albums and I have more to add.

I know there's dozens of, say, Chopin Nocturne sets out there but the one that sticks out to me is Ivan Morevec's. I'm in no position to say these are the absolute best out there. But to me, these are the best and the definitive set of the ones I've heard.

Personally I hate the term definitive, because it only comes from peoples opinion. We don't know if they're close to the interpretation that the composer wanted or if another version is. Really it seems definitive gets applied to an album when a large number of people all agree that that interpretation is the best. But that doesn't mean that it's necessarily right.

I guess I should've called this topic "Albums I recommend" instead, as that would avoid unessecary debate over a subject that is all personal opinion.

#565476 - 07/03/02 05:26 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
JS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/14/01
Posts: 306
Loc: Lubbock, TX
A couple of my favorites:

Lupu's Schubert
Gould's Goldbergs (like both of 'em)
Egorov's Schumann (Kreisleriana, Toccata, etc...)
Cliburn's Rachmaninoff
Fleisher's Brahms Concerti
Larrocha's Albeniz

Fischer-Dieskau/Brendel - Dichterliebe
Furtwangler's Beethoven
Pinnock's Haydn Symphonies
The King's College Choir at Cambridge - Durufle and Faure Requiems
Tallis Scholars - Palestrina (Pope Marcellus Mass...)

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#565477 - 07/03/02 07:00 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
StanSteel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 646
Loc: Los Angeles
If you are going to do a piano and piano concerto list. I would like to add the following.

Murray Perahia:
Chopin Impromptus, Fantaisie, Barcarolle, Berceuse.[/b] (BEST RECORDING EVER OF THOSE WORKS!)

Maurizio Pollini: Chopin Etudes, Polonaises[/b]
(He gets all of them pretty nice and equal, although he is not the best on some particular etudes: e.g. Op10#2 and Op25#11)
(His Polonaises are better than Rubinstein's, sorry )

Vladimir Ashkenazy (LSO / Andre Previn) : Prokofiev Concertos[/b], because the piano is much clearer[/b] in this one. The orchestra may be better in the Beroff / Masur recording which is why it is more famous.

Claudio Arrau: Liszt Transcental etudes[/b]
"War does not determine who is right; only who is left."

#565478 - 07/03/02 10:31 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
johnmoonlight Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 2384
Loc: Lancaster, pa
I'd like to add:
Beethoven's triple concerto--YoYo Ma, Berenboim, Ax
Chopin-polonaise F minor --Brendel Sony Great Pianists of the 20th Century
While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he's in.

#565479 - 07/05/02 02:32 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
Tavner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 376
Loc: San Diego
Here are some of my favorite "must-haves":
1. Pollini's Chopin Etudes, Preludes, Polonaises
2. Michelangeli's Rachmaninoff Concerto No.4
3. Stephen Hough's Piano Albums 1 & 2
4. Hamelin's Godowsky Chopin Etudes & his "Kaleidoscope" album (just heard it recently and found it breathtaking)
5. Bolet's Carnegie Hall recital (Chopin Preludes, various transcriptions, et al.)
I have so many other favorite pianists and performances, but this is what would make up a "short list".

#565480 - 07/05/02 04:37 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
jeffylube Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/02
Posts: 716
Loc: Weatherford, Texas
Ahh...Bolet's Carnegie Hall recital. That is a very nice one. Also Pollini's Etudes, both of these could be added to my list as well. I haven't heard the Hough and Hamelin albums, but I'll have to check those out.

#565481 - 07/05/02 04:47 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
the artist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 757
Loc: Tulsa, OK
I had not heard of Stephen Hough until reading of him on an earlier thread on this message board.

I was very surprised to find a used cd of his (Favorite Things & Virtuoso Encores) when traveling through Dallas about 3 weeks ago! I figured at $3.99 it was worth a try. I was VERY impressed -- great, fun recording of a lot of lesser known pieces. (I understand that's his 'trademark').


#565482 - 07/05/02 05:11 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
jeffylube Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/02
Posts: 716
Loc: Weatherford, Texas
Yes I'm a big fan of Stephen Hough's, even though I only have 1 of his records. (I'm working on that, but hyperion is a pricey label ). I saw Mr Hough perform Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and I was blown away by his touch. I've never heard anyone with as good of Pianissimo's as him. His dynamic range was insanely good.

I just purchased the Hummel piano concertos by him and I would highly recommend them, they're very good and not really well known at all. Kinda sound like a cross between Mozart and Chopin.

#565483 - 07/06/02 02:11 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
German Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 107
Loc: Argentina
i think there are lot of excellent recordings, but IMO, there are two that are really MUST HAVES. They are: Chopin Nocturnes by Arthur Rubinstein and The Koln Concert by Keith Jarrett (jazz).

#565484 - 07/06/02 03:32 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
jeffylube Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/02
Posts: 716
Loc: Weatherford, Texas
German, have you tried the Nocturnes by Ivan Moravec?

#565485 - 07/06/02 04:33 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4111
A type of recording that greatly interests me are the old recordings of past pianists. Sure, a lot of their personality might get lost due to a decrease in sound quality, but a lot of time one can get the big picture of their playing. I like Busoni's playing of his Chaconne transcription (along with the Chopin Preludes), old piano roll Horowitz recordings are also interesting. The students of Liszt also play imaginatively well, it is not as polished as our modern performers, but it is very entertaining on the whole.

#565486 - 07/07/02 10:04 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
The Hands of Rabalthazar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/02
Posts: 22
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I know this is more about classical recordings, but...

a must-have recording (or set of recordings) is the Jaques Loussier Trio's interpretation of Bach.

This is jazz trio (piano, bass and drums) playing interpretations of all sorts of classical music in a jazz style. Absolutely beautiful. If you haven't heard any of these recordings I would strongly recommend that you do. Even if you are not into jazz, the hybrid style of jazz and classical, and the fact that the pieces are pieces that you already know, may appeal to you.
Some of you might not remember us, but we sure do!- Joel Grind (of Joel Grind and the Broken Teeth)

#565487 - 07/08/02 05:52 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
Ted Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 1576
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Complete piano music of John Ireland
John Lenehan - Naxos (2 CDs)

Complete piano music of Frank Bridge
Peter Jacobs - Continuum (3 CDs)
"It is inadvisable to decline a dinner invitation from a plump woman." - Fred Hollows

#565488 - 07/08/02 11:17 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
Hank Drake Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1708
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Some composers were marvelous performers. In terms of pianists, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev spring to mind. So, I recommend:

Rahcmaninoff: The complete recordings, 10CD set on RCA, includes the composer as soloist in his four piano concertos and Paganini Rhapsody, Third Symphony with the composer conducting, numerous of his own solo works, Schumann's Carnaval, Chopin's Second Sonata, and many others. There are also two CDs of superbly transferred piano rolls on Telarc.

Prokofiev plays Prokofiev, on Naxos. Includes the Third Piano Concerto, and solo works. (there is another disc with the same title on Amazon, from Laserlight, Beware, it's a badly transferred set of piano rolls.
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

#565489 - 07/09/02 01:00 AM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
Brendan Offline

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5548
Loc: McAllen, TX
Speaking of Steven Hough, I just picked up his recently released Brahms concerti. Wonderful, as I expected. The rondo of the d minor concerto tends to push a little bit, but is otherwise heavy and intense throughout.

Also check out the following by Hough:

Franck, Piano Works
Liszt, Piano Works (2 albums traversing the major works)
Saint-Saens, Concerti
"My Favorite Things." (delightful)
Brahms, op. 5 Sonata and op. 10 Ballades

Messiaen, Quartet for the End of time (Yvone Loriod, pianist)
von Karajan, Tchaikovsky Symphonies 4-6

Don't strangle me for saying this, but I like Gilbert Kaplan's Mahler #2 (he is a publisher who hired a conductor to teach him how to conduct this piece)

JS, I heartily second your recommendation of Fischer-Dieskau's Dichterliebe. The first release is simply exquisite, yet his second traversal sounds like he just phoned it in.

#565490 - 07/09/02 02:19 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
German Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 107
Loc: Argentina
Jeffylube, I haven't tried the Nocturnes by Ivan Moravec yet, but I will. Thanks for the information.

#565491 - 07/09/02 10:37 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
Aaron Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/01
Posts: 53
Loc: Oklahoma City
The only recording that I just can't keep from recommending is Gary Graffman playing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto no. 1 (With the Cleveland Symphony, Szell conducting. It also has Piano Concerto no. 1 and Sonata in A minor on it. Haven't heard the Prokofiev playing Prokofiev CD yet, though. I guess I'll have to since I LOVE the third concerto)

I LOVE the Koln Concert. Especially, I believe track three, the quick part where he plays that same note over and over and over and over again. Great stuff!! None of them have names, just "Koln: Part I" so I don't remember which one it is. \:\)
Aaron (PianistforJesus@aol.com)

#565492 - 07/10/02 01:46 AM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
jeffylube Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/02
Posts: 716
Loc: Weatherford, Texas
Aaron, I second the Graffman/Prokofiev disc. I just bought it a couple of days ago and was really impressed. I especially like his performance of the 3rd sonata that's included. Plus, it's a "Nice Price" CD, running under $12, and the sound is excellent.

I have the Prokofiev playing Prokofiev disc and it is incredible. It's cheap and the sound isn't really all that bad. A well known recording technician did the transferring and cleaning up and he really got it to sound good considering when it was recorded.

#565493 - 07/10/02 11:44 AM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I concur fully with the Stephen Hough comments... I came across him because of earlier comments on this board and he is now entrenched at or near the top of my favorites list.

I find his playing to be technically impressive, of course, but his interpretations are just so, well, musical ...! Just wonderful to listen to.

So thanks, forum members!


#565494 - 07/10/02 02:30 PM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
German Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 107
Loc: Argentina
Aaron, I think the Koln Concert is a "must have" because it's a standard as a piano improvisation and, of course, it's beautifull.
Ok, perhaps you are right, he plays the same note over and over again, but listen the other notes and I'm shure you are going to find it beautifull.

#565495 - 07/13/02 12:29 AM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
Aaron Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/01
Posts: 53
Loc: Oklahoma City
I meant that I LIKED the one where he plays the same note. (Middle C, is it?) I was listening to it today, because I haven't in such a long time. It's wonderful. \:\)
Aaron (PianistforJesus@aol.com)

#565496 - 07/14/02 03:25 AM Re: Definitive Albums and "Must Haves"
B. Alden Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/02
Posts: 69


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