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Just for fun, I figured I'd see what would happen if I googled the phrase 'top pianists 20th century' (without quotes).

Besides the usual kinds of google matches (which included this old thread from here), I got one of those pictorial rows of images and names at the top of the page, with the heading "Music artists frequently mentioned on the web."

Here's who appeared (in this order):

Horowitz
Rachmaninoff
Richter
Rubinstein
Gilels
Argerich
Cortot
Arrau
Gould
Haskil
Schnabel
Barenboim
Michelangelil
Hess
Ashkenazy
Zimerman
Prokofiev
Kissin
Edwin Fischer
Gieseking
Pollini
Perahia
Uchida
Bolet
Guida
Backhaus
Schiff
Ogdon
Cherkassky
Tureck
Cliburn
Rudolf Serkin
Bartok
Moravec
Kapell
Katchen
Gavrilov
Anda
Pires
Francois
Pletnev
Previn
Curzon
Eschenbach
Haebler
Weissenberg
Tatum
Lupu
Kocsis
Wild
Stravinsky

.....and by the way, the order apparently isn't constant, as I learned by accident. My laptop battery ran out while I was in the middle of copying the list, and when I got back online a couple of minutes later, the order changed a little.

I don't think I need to say that there are a few surprises and funny things there....
What surprised you?
Originally Posted by MRC
What surprised you?

I thought for sure Liberace would be #1. grin
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by MRC
What surprised you?

I thought for sure Liberace would be #1. grin


You might get that result (or Richard Clayderman) if you hit "I'm feeling lucky".
For the elderly and grizzled amongst us cry, Philips brought out a gigantic 200-CD box set of "Great Pianists of the 20th Century" in 1999, featuring 72 pianists, and sponsored by Steinway (though some pianists played Bechstein, Bösendorfer, Yamaha and Baldwin grin). Each pianist was represented by a 2-CD set, but a few had two, or even three CD sets to their names. Some of the pianists' CDs are still around on Amazon.

There were one or two surprises on the list, like André Previn, but otherwise, it does feature all the suspects that we'd expect (if they had enough recordings to their name, that is). But good ol' Igor is most definitely not on that list. Nor Shostakovich. Not even Bartók or Prokofiev or Britten (all virtuosi as well as composers). And, of course, no jazz pianists thumb.
When I googled it, this guy showed up
http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/boa...o-t_wil1-photopack-red_ruffing_-281926_r
Some surprising H names--Haskil, Hess, Haebler, rather connoisseur pianists. I'm surprised googlers know them.

Where's Joyce Hatto? She sounded like everybody! 😀

Previn is probably known most amongst the youngsters for being associated with Anne-Sophie Mutter and Daniel Müller-Schott, who are very glamorous in string-playing circles.
Where's Kempff? Yudina?
And where's Sokolov? And Stravinsky - was he much of a concert pianist?
No Cziffra?

Who is Anda? Come to think of it, I might have a CD of him playing something double or triple with Janos Starker and/or some fiddler.
Originally Posted by KlinkKlonk

Hey, how about that! ha

BTW, that's actually a pic of the old baseball player Red Ruffing. I use it because it actually looks more like me than him.
Or I should say how I once looked. grin

If any regular people look down the collection of google image matches for that phrase, they'll really wonder how the heck Red Ruffing gets matched to 'top pianists 20th century'.....
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
.....Previn is probably known most amongst the youngsters for being associated wiith Anne-Sophie Mutter and Daniel Müller-Schott, who are very glamorous in string-playing circles.

I most know him from being associated with Mia Farrow.
(Really!)

I know him second-most from having seen his LP's constantly listed among the several dozen in those ads back in the '60's for Columbia Record Club (or whatever it was; I think that was the name), where you could pick something like 6 or 10 LP's for about 5 bucks if you signed away your life. grin

Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Who is Anda?

I think he gets on there because (maybe you need to be an old-timer to think that this matters) ha .....because it was his playing of "the Elvira Madigan" concerto that was used in the movie. I had heard of him before that (from always seeing LP's of his in the racks at record stores), but the movie made him much more well known.

BTW, I've never seen the movie.
No love for Dino? smile

http://youtu.be/bDQS6Y3APZI
Ginzburg should also be there...

And i'm shocked as well, that the list didn't include the giants Cziffra and Sokolov.
Where are Hofmann, Godowsky, Lhevinne, et al?
I see Alfred Brendel did not make the list. Pity.

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
.....Previn is probably known most amongst the youngsters for being associated wiith Anne-Sophie Mutter and Daniel Müller-Schott, who are very glamorous in string-playing circles.

I most know him from being associated with Mia Farrow.
(Really!)

I know him second-most from having seen his LP's constantly listed among the several dozen in those ads back in the '60's for Columbia Record Club (or whatever it was; I think that was the name), where you could pick something like 6 or 10 LP's for about 5 bucks if you signed away your life. grin


And if by "associated with" you mean "married to", well, except for Daniel Müller-Schott.

I know him second-most from going to a concert where he was conducting the BSO (and conducted a Mozart concerto from the piano). My wife was looking throught the program before the concert and was wondering why they could not get a better picture of him to put in the program. After he walked out on stage my wife remarked, "Wow, that is a really good picture of him." What did she expect? The guy was pushing 80 at the time.

Originally Posted by the nosy ape
I see Alfred Brendel did not make the list.....

Y'know.....I think he did, and somehow I just didn't type his name. I think it was a casualty of the thing I mentioned about losing the computer connection in the middle of what I was doing, and re-booting, and the new order being a little different. I think he just slipped through the cracks.

I tried now to get it back, to see if he's on there -- but for some reason, now the search isn't giving that strip of images at the top of the page.
.....I checked again to see if I'd have better luck -- and this time I did get that image strip at the top of the page.

And the verdict is: No, he really isn't there!!!

However, now....
Originally Posted by Hank Drake
Richard Clayderman
is there.
Between Ivan Moravec and Andrei Gavrilov (who I don't think I heard of before this).
And of course - Victor Borge, heh laugh
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by KlinkKlonk

Hey, how about that! ha

BTW, that's actually a pic of the old baseball player Red Ruffing. I use it because it actually looks more like me than him.
Or I should say how I once looked. grin

If any regular people look down the collection of google image matches for that phrase, they'll really wonder how the heck Red Ruffing gets matched to 'top pianists 20th century'.....


It was squeezed in between shots from the Great pianist of the 20th century Philips series. I won't pretend I know how google works but that pic must be related to your search somehow.


VOTE FOR BEST PIANISTS IN THE WORLD
Originally Posted by KlinkKlonk
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by KlinkKlonk

....that's actually a pic of the old baseball player Red Ruffing. I use it because it actually looks more like me than him.....

If any regular people look down the collection of google image matches for that phrase, they'll really wonder how the heck Red Ruffing gets matched to 'top pianists 20th century'.....

It was squeezed in between shots from the Great pianist of the 20th century Philips series. I won't pretend I know how google works but that pic must be related to your search somehow.

I'm sure it's just because of my doing this thread, with a title that has the exact search term in it.

Plus of course because Piano World, to its credit, is a site that comes up very readily on searches! thumb
What no LL or VL? [Linked Image]
Originally Posted by gooddog
What no LL or VL? [Linked Image]


I guess he'll be first on the XXI century list, mostly comprised of mandarin...
Originally Posted by gooddog
What no LL or VL? [Linked Image]

Lang Lang's first recording was in the 21st century (2001, when he was 18), so he couldn't be in the list.

And Lisitsa's first YT recording was also this century, I believe.
I thought Claudio Arrau was ranked a little too high (maybe second ten), and Maurizio Pollini too high up. My biggest surprise was that Dinu Lipatti was missing. I think he should have been in the top ten. Short career, but fantastic pianist.
I like that Art is in there. laugh
Lazar Berman should rate at the very least in the top 5. As it is, he doesn't even make the list? Did he fall out of favor?
This thread's title is misleadung because the original list is about how often a pianist is mentioned on the web. It's not a list(and there are of course many lists of various quality)of the best pianists. So all the arguing about who should or should not be on the list is not very relevant.

A British music magazine published a list maybe 5 years ago where the voting was done by around 100 of the top living pianists. Maybe someone can find it. It certainly makes more sense to discuss something like that list. Rachmaninov was #1 with Horowitz, Rubinstein, Richter, and Gilels in the top 10.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
A British music magazine published a list maybe 5 years ago where the voting was done by around 100 of the top living pianists. Maybe someone can find it. It certainly makes more sense to discuss something like that list. Rachmaninov was #1 with Horowitz, Rubinstein, Richter, and Gilels in the top 10.

It was BBC Music Magazine in 2010 - top 20, voted for entirely by 100 leading pianists from Andsnes, Ashkenazy and Badura-Skoda via Kovacevich, Lang Lang and Ohlsson to Pletnev, Rosen and Wang. Each was asked to name their top three, and the results were then tallied:

Rachmaninov, Rubinstein, Horowitz, Richter, Cortot, Lipatti, Schnabel, Gilels, Argerich, Michelangeli, Zimerman, Friedman, Lupu, Fischer, Kempff, Perahia, Gould, Gieseking, Hoffmann, Arrau.

In that order. thumb
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
This thread's title is misleadung because the original list is about how often a pianist is mentioned on the web. It's not a list(and there are of course many lists of various quality)of the best pianists. So all the arguing about who should or should not be on the list is not very relevant.

A British music magazine published a list maybe 5 years ago where the voting was done by around 100 of the top living pianists. Maybe someone can find it. It certainly makes more sense to discuss something like that list. Rachmaninov was #1 with Horowitz, Rubinstein, Richter, and Gilels in the top 10.


If you say so.
Guys, we have enough of a quorum here to sideline this list. Let's make our own list, which after some to-and-fro-ing will be much more authoritative then the computer-generated list above.
We start from filling the list from above and then we quarrel. Here is my opening gambit: Hamelin.
(and let's not do only 20th century: all times).
Originally Posted by Frankni
Here is my opening gambit: Hamelin.
(and let's not do only 20th century: all times).

Since the earliest records we have date from the 1890s, it would be rather hard to assess pianists from before then.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
This thread's title is misleading....

Yes, sort of. The list was nothing but a list of who came up when I googled that phrase.

Quote
....because the original list is about how often a pianist is mentioned on the web....

Just a minor correction, sort of for the record (what record, I don't know). grin
It's not exactly that. I don't know exactly what it is; it's whatever is Google's algorithm for the order in which those images are shown. I think we can be pretty sure that if it were what you said, the membership and order wouldn't have kept changing a bit every time I re-googled it. I'd guess it's based on frequency of searches for each name, with strong weighting of most recent searches. I'd guess further that the results are quite close to what it would be for what you said.
Originally Posted by Mark_C
.....I checked again to see if I'd have better luck -- and this time I did get that image strip at the top of the page.

And the verdict is: No, he really isn't there!!!

However, now....
Originally Posted by Hank Drake
Richard Clayderman
is there.
Between Ivan Moravec and Andrei Gavrilov (who I don't think I heard of before this).
You hadn't heard of Gavrilov? Or Moravec (who I haven't heard of)? Or both? Gavrilov won Tchaikovsky in 1974 and his early performances/recordings were hailed, correctly in my view, as some of the greatest of (then) modern times. He definitely belongs on the list, as, of course, does the divine Dick C.
Originally Posted by SiFi
He definitely belongs on the list, as, of course, does the divine Dick C.

Dick is more than divine: he's the greatest pianist ever - past, present or future.

According to the Goddness Book of World Records. wink
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Just for fun, I figured I'd see what would happen if I googled the phrase 'top pianists 20th century' (without quotes).

...

I don't think I need to say that there are a few surprises and funny things there....


I agree, Mark. Why i am not in that shortlist is beyond me as well.
I'm a huge fan of Robert-Alexander Bohnke, similar to Lipatti--few recordings and "died" (by entering academia).

http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Bio/Bohnke-Robert.htm

Perhaps we should start a thread of the greatest obscure pianists?
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi


Perhaps we should start a thread of the greatest obscure pianists?


How obscure do you allow them to be? There may be a best ever pianist out there who has never played a concert, never made a recording, but otherwise the best anybody has never heard.
I'm shocked that I'm not on the list.
Originally Posted by SiFi
You hadn't heard of Gavrilov?

right

Quote
Or Moravec

I heard of him plenty.

Quote
(who I haven't heard of)?

You gotta be kidding me! grin

Quote
Gavrilov won Tchaikovsky in 1974....

I was busy at the time changing the world and so I wasn't paying attention. ha
Andrei Gavrilov's early recording of Rach 3 with Lazarev conducting the USSR SO is still the best around - and it's now on YouTube. It's never been issued on CD, unfortunately, so there are crackles & pops.

But his Prok 1, Ravel LH Piano Concerto (with Simon Rattle), Gaspard, Islamey etc - all early recordings - are all very brilliant & high-powered. Maybe too high-powered for some, but I'd put his Prok 1 in the same category of 'best of the best' as his Rach 3.
Geza Anda is an amazing pianist. You should check out his recording of Mozart's 20th Concerto, he wrote a beautiful cadenza for the first movement. smile
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