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JoelW Offline OP
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The best living pianist. Who is it?

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What kind of question is that? What makes a pianist good?

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Shall we take nominations and vote?

Set up an electoral college? laugh


WhoDwaldi
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To think that there is only one 'best xxx' is not logical.

Which is the best colour, the best tasting food, the best beer, the best man?

A robot will answer in the singular. I would hope humans will not.

So, which are you?


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The best living pianist, by definition, isn't alive anymore, because he/she is only deemed to be "best" after his/her demise, and his/her posthumous reputation soars into the heavens.

If his/her reputation drops after he/she is no longer around, he/she is not even worth the downloads/CDs he/she has left behind, because they would no longer be available. Or they would be available indefinitely, because nobody wants to buy them. In which case, one could count the number left and deem his/her greatness to be inversely proportional to the number of downloads/CDs left for sale.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Originally Posted by JoelW
The best living pianist. Who is it?


You?

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Originally Posted by bennevis
The best living pianist, by definition, isn't alive anymore, because he/she is only deemed to be "best" after his/her demise, and his/her posthumous reputation soars into the heavens.

If his/her reputation drops after he/she is no longer around, he/she is not even worth the downloads/CDs he/she has left behind, because they would no longer be available. Or they would be available indefinitely, because nobody wants to buy them. In which case, one could count the number left and deem his/her greatness to be inversely proportional to the number of downloads/CDs left for sale.


Kinda like Yogi Berra said-

Interviewer: Are there any great jazz players alive today?

Yogi: No. All the great jazz players alive today are dead. Except for the ones that are still alive. But so many of them are dead, that the ones that are still alive are dying to be like the ones that are dead. Some would kill for it.

https://www.allaboutjazz.com/yogi-berra-explains-jazz-by-aaj-staff.php?width=768



WhoDwaldi
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Grigory Sokolov, Mikhail Pletnev and Murray Perahia. That's a definitive list for those pianists who are living.


Serge P. Marinkovic, MD

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And Andsnes, Zimerman, Pollini . . .


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This rather silly question has been posted many times, but much more interesting and important is "Who is the 17th best pianist?"

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
This rather silly question has been posted many times, but much more interesting and important is "Who is the 17th best pianist?"


Did you get that from the observation that the winner of any competition should have been the one who came in 4th? So, who's in the position of 4^2 + 1? ha

(Only fair to square since there are so many opinions.)


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
This rather silly question has been posted many times, but much more interesting and important is "Who is the 17th best pianist?"

The 17th best living pianist in the world is probably still living, unlike the best living pianist in the world.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
This rather silly question has been posted many times, but much more interesting and important is "Who is the 17th best pianist?"

The 17th best living pianist in the world is probably still living, unlike the best living pianist in the world.


That's where the +1 comes from in the formula. laugh


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Best regards,

Deborah
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Originally Posted by Serge Marinkovic
Grigory Sokolov


Only when he's playing Mozart and Couperin.

He played the final movement of Prokofiev's 7th sonata - something which should be played with utmost abandon - in the most sterile, controlled manner. He took absolutely no risks with the tempo, and yes, the clarity is unbelievable, but it's much too cautious!!

Prokofiev marked the movement "precipitato" - "rushed" - for a good reason. For me, this movement symbolizes him saying "[censored] you" to the soviet regime whilst frantically trying to run from the soviet hounds. It's an escape after an extremely conflicted 1st movement, and a more thoughtful 2nd... a (relative) calm before the storm.

I know I shouldn't be criticizing Sokolov, but this piece is very special for me, and I can't stand the 3rd movement being played in a sterile, calculative manner. Horiwitz's version of this sonata is the greatest, bar none.

Sokolov's Mozart, though, I can't explain... and his Couperin and Rameau... how is it possible to play those ornaments so fast? so much clariy, perfect phrasing throughout shocked

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Originally Posted by Svenno
Based on [Sokolov's] one recording of the third mvt. of prokofiev's sonata no. 7, he should stay away from such repertoire.

He played something which should be played with utmost abandon, in the most sterile, controlled manner. He took absolutely no risks with the tempo, and yes, the clarity is unbelievable, but the fire isn't there.


You're entitled to this opinion, but just so you know, there are many knowledgeable people who have been listing to the 7th sonata their whole lives, who think Sokolov's performance is one of the most exciting and definitive out there. For those of us who love it, the fire is very much there in the last movement.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
This rather silly question has been posted many times, but much more interesting and important is "Who is the 17th best pianist?"

What's so special about 17? You could have just as easily said 18, or 19, or 20, or 21, or 22, or 23, or 24, or 25, or 26, or 27, or 28, or 29, or 30, or 31, or 32, or 32, or 33, or 34.

There is only one winner.

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Originally Posted by JoelW
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
This rather silly question has been posted many times, but much more interesting and important is "Who is the 17th best pianist?"

What's so special about 17?

17 is a prime number.

It is a very special number indeed.......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Originally Posted by beet31425
Originally Posted by Svenno
Based on [Sokolov's] one recording of the third mvt. of prokofiev's sonata no. 7, he should stay away from such repertoire.

He played something which should be played with utmost abandon, in the most sterile, controlled manner. He took absolutely no risks with the tempo, and yes, the clarity is unbelievable, but the fire isn't there.


You're entitled to this opinion, but just so you know, there are many knowledgeable people who have been listing to the 7th sonata their whole lives, who think Sokolov's performance is one of the most exciting and definitive out there. For those of us who love it, the fire is very much there in the last movement.


Ok, yes, I perhaps focused too much on the 3rd movement. I listend to him play the previous two, and they are very exciting, yes. But whatever he built up, I think he ruined with the 3rd movement.

Listen to Horowitz and Katsaris.

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And I had almost forgotten about Sultanov's version:

https://youtu.be/MafjPNmxeCo

Brilliant, unique playing, wonderful slow movement

And THAT is PRECIPITATO.

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