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Originally Posted by gooddog
Oh no! How could I have forgotten Perahia and Sokolov?

Interesting that no one has mentioned Schiff.

I like Schiffs Mozart, but that's just me I guess.

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Schiff's performance of the Diabelli Variations was one of the most spellbinding performances I've ever witnessed.

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I love Gilels for Beethoven.

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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
I love Gilels for Beethoven.
I love Gilels for almost everything.

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Being that Naxos CDs were among the first I ever bought and a great budget label, Jenö Jandó is a perfect favorite for Mozart Piano Sonatas. His Bechstein sounds lovely and he plays with a certain vitality that I just love and would imagine Mozart played similarly.

That being said, one thing that seems fairly obvious to me is the pianist's playing of a piece the first time one hears it is generally becomes one's favorite interpretation, especially in the realm of tempo, let alone dynamics. But I'll find that sometimes one would hear that same pianist play another piece from the same composer and, because you may have heard it for the first time elsewhere, you actually prefer the other pianist. Does this make sense or is it just me? I just find this kind of thing curious, seeing that it only exists in classical music. As a fan of jazz, that's one thing you don't have to concern yourself about. Though composers in jazz, like Monk, played stuff in different ways (i.e. more than 5 different versions of 'Reflections' etc.

Now of course that's not always the case and when I think of Beethoven Sonatas, I think of Schiff (he more than proved his seriousness in regards to the urtext and research in his incredible Wigmore Hall lecture) and I think of Brendel, as well, and both share a deep love for Schubert.

Arthur Rubinstein when it comes to Chopin. But there are so many Chopin interpreters who are top drawer. Ashkenazy is another.
Grieg is Leif Ove Andsnes, to me.. though I hadn't heard of Arthur De Greef. Thank you, Iaintagreatpianist (Neither am I.. haha)

Pablobear, this really is a good idea for a thread and it's fun to read what's been posted so far with everyone's own personal subjective choices. Though if the point is to discover your own idea of best, my advice to you, honestly, would be to use the vast, vast, and I mean gorgeously vast audio database that is Spotify or Apple Music (what have you) and whenever a piece comes to mind or a collection of pieces, type it in the search bar and then click on album and listen to as many as possible.

Here's an example:

[Linked Image]

You want to listen to Mahler 5. You search and you get 6 different instant results to compare from, with established and high regarded conductors and orchestras, and a nice little modest Polish Orchestra from my beloved Naxos. You might not need to listen to more than these 6 though there are quite a few others to choose from, and so on and so on.

I only say this because it's what I personally do and because it's technically a perfect and logical way to go about discovering, comparing, contrasting and ultimately choosing your own favorite. Keep in mind that maybe most or half of the choices so far have been either first listens or honed through buying countless CDs or vinyl records. Spotify is a godsend for the very concept of this thread.

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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Schiff's performance of the Diabelli Variations was one of the most spellbinding performances I've ever witnessed.

I second this.. Schiff takes Ludwig very seriously, or composer he plays, ftm.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
I love Gilels for Beethoven.
I love Gilels for almost everything.

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Best regards,

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I thought this over, and realized I almost never have preferred composer/performer combos. There is one, though, and that's Zoltan Kocsis for Bartok.

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Originally Posted by wr
....Zoltan Kocsis for Bartok.

I loved his Mozart, and almost said him ahead of Uchida.

I see that he was mentioned for Rachmaninoff too.

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Bach - Angela Hewitt, Richard Goode (partitas)
Beethoven - Emil Gilels, Rudolf Serkin
Schubert - Alfred Brendel, Walter Klien

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Not recommendations, but a resource: non UK-readers may not be aware of the regular BBC Radio 3 programme, Building a Library, which focusses on different recordings of a piece. It is available on the website, and can be fascinating.

Not all episodes are about piano works, but this one for example is on the Hammerklavier. (I haven't listened yet)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000p6yh

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Putting apart harpsichord players; There are many great pianists for each composer.

Bach; Zu Xiao Mei, Anderszewski, Grosvenor, Zahharenkova, Nikolayeva, Schiff
Mozart; Pires, Uchida, Arrau, Haskil, Casadesus, Badura-Skoda (on fortepiano)
Beethoven; Kovachevich, Pollini, Serkin, Kempff, Guilels, Arrau, Ashkenazy, Brendel
Chopin; Rubinstein, Arrau, Ciccolini, Michelangeli, Pollini, Lipatti
Liszt; Nicolas Angerich, Arrau, Berman, Cziffra
Grieg; Hakon Austbo, Andsnes
Schubert; Radu Lipu, Badura-Skoda (on Fortepiano)


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Bach:G.Gould, Jeremy Denk, angela hewitt, Zu Xiao Mei, B.Rana, Y.Avdeeva, Matan Porat,E.Fischer
Beethoven: Gilels, Konstantin Scherbakov,Kempff,Backhaus,Mariya Yudina, G.Gould,Cortot trio
Debussy: Richter, Gieseking, Khatia Buniatishvili
Mozart:Oxana Yablonskaya, Gould,Gieseking
Chopin: Cortot, Rubinstein
Schumann/Schubert: Richter, Y.Avdeeva, Cortot trio
Others: Horowitz,Richter,E.Kissin

Last edited by zonzi; 02/23/21 07:01 AM.

1970s' Petrof 125
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