Author Topic: "Golden Age Pianists":Cortot, Moiseiwitsch,Sofronitsky,Ney,Michelangeli etc  (Read 51164 times)

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Offline Verena

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Re: Golden Age Pianists: Cortot, Moiseiwitsch, Sofronitsky etc.
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2010, 05:40:46 AM »
Quote
Listening to the Preludes on this one. Great, poetic performance! The piano tone is gorgeous. I may have found a new favorite!

I love that recording!

George

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Re: Golden Age Pianists: Cortot, Moiseiwitsch, Sofronitsky etc.
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2010, 02:50:58 AM »
I like Gieseking a lot in Brahms.

I need to hear his Brahms at some point. Is the Arbiter release the best?

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Golden Age Pianists: Cortot, Moiseiwitsch, Sofronitsky etc.
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2010, 05:57:08 AM »
I need to hear his Brahms at some point. Is the Arbiter release the best?

This is the one I have and like

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Brahms-Piano-Works-Walter-Gieseking/dp/B0001UL4UO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1283957651&sr=8-3

The Arbiter has the sonata, which I'm not very keen on.
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George

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Re: Golden Age Pianists: Cortot, Moiseiwitsch, Sofronitsky etc.
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2010, 07:26:57 AM »
This is the one I have and like

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Brahms-Piano-Works-Walter-Gieseking/dp/B0001UL4UO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1283957651&sr=8-3

The Arbiter has the sonata, which I'm not very keen on.

Thanks.

Usually stuff on Archipel has been available before on CD. I wonder where Archipel got these recordings from?

Another pirate label has even more of his solo Brahms: http://www.amazon.com/Walter-Gieseking-Plays-Brahms-Johannes/dp/samples/B000Y0ZVQE/ref=dp_tracks_all_1#disc_1

I wonder if these are the same performances as the Archipel?

Also, I found a Gieseking discography - http://fischer.hosting.paran.com/music/Gieseking/discography-gieseking.htm#brahms-solo

Anyone know where I can find one of these?  CD ; Toshiba TOCE 8131~36(6 set) / TOCE-11064~69(6 set)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 07:44:00 AM by George »

Offline ccar

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Re: Golden Age Pianists: Cortot, Moiseiwitsch, Sofronitsky etc.
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2010, 03:18:11 PM »

Another pirate label has even more of his solo Brahms: http://www.amazon.com/Walter-Gieseking-Plays-Brahms-Johannes/dp/samples/B000Y0ZVQE/ref=dp_tracks_all_1#disc_1

I wonder if these are the same performances as the Archipel?

Anyone know where I can find one of these?  CD ; Toshiba TOCE 8131~36(6 set) / TOCE-11064~69(6 set)

Yes - the Brahms pieces are the same - 20-23 Jun 1951, Zurich Kongresshalle. Originally Columbia 78's and latter issued as Columbia, EMI, Pathé, Electrola  LP's. AFAIK these were issued  in CD for the first time in Japan - the OOP Toshiba-EMI CD sets you mention.


I need to hear his Brahms at some point. Is the Arbiter release the best?

The Arbiter release includes some wonderful Brahms solo recordings - Sonata Op.5 (Frankfurt, 1948), Op.76/2 (Washington, 1956), Op.76/3-4, Op.116/4, Op. 118/6, Op.119/2 (New York, 1939). The Capriccio Op.76/2 has probably one of the best sound Brahms piano solo by Gieseking and the reading is magical.

Other Brahms piano solo recordings by Gieseking on CD were issued by Pearl - Op.79/2 (Berlin, 1924), Op. 76/3,4,8 (Frankfurt, 1949), Op. 116/6 (Frankfurt, 1949), Op. 118/5 (Frankfurt, 1949), Op.76/1 (1956) - and Music & Arts - Op.76/1-8 (Berlin, 1955), Op. 118/2,5 (Berlin, 1933), Op. 119/3 (Berlin, 1933).

Unfortunately, in most of these Gieseking recordings (even in the studio) the sound is not the best for its age. But in some the beautiful tone of his playing was still captured. And the freedom and inventiveness of the phrasing is always surprising.   
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 03:55:10 PM by ccar »

Offline Verena

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Re: Golden Age Pianists: Cortot, Moiseiwitsch, Sofronitsky etc.
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2010, 04:04:59 PM »
The Arbiter release includes some wonderful Brahms solo recordings - Sonata Op.5 (Frankfurt, 1948), Op.76/2 (Washington, 1956), Op.76/3-4, Op.116/4, Op. 118/6, Op.119/2 (New York, 1939). The Capriccio Op.76/2 has probably one of the best sound Brahms piano solo by Gieseking and the reading is magical.


This sounds like a must buy to me. I'm glad that the sound is good, often it is really atrocious with Arbiter reccordings.

Offline ccar

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Re: Golden Age Pianists: Cortot, Moiseiwitsch, Sofronitsky etc.
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2010, 04:20:36 PM »
This sounds like a must buy to me. I'm glad that the sound is good, often it is really atrocious with Arbiter reccordings.

By "best sound" in the Capriccio I mean comparing to the "worse sound" in most of the other recorded pieces. The Op. 76/2 Capriccio is a live recording where you still have crackles and hiss - but the tone and dynamic details are more clear than in the earlier recordings.

As I said you can't expect "good" sound in any of the Gieseking Brahms solo I Know. The studio 1951 have less background noise but the CD sound is too "compacted" and the colors are even less defined.           

Offline Verena

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Re: Golden Age Pianists: Cortot, Moiseiwitsch, Sofronitsky etc.
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2010, 04:28:31 PM »
By "best sound" in the Capriccio I mean comparing to the "worse sound" in most of the other recorded pieces. The Op. 76/2 Capriccio is a live recording where you still have crackles and hiss - but the tone and dynamic details are more clear than in the earlier recordings.

As I said you can't expect "good" sound in any of the Gieseking Brahms solo I Know. The studio 1951 have less background noise but the CD sound is too "compacted" and the colors are even less defined.           
Hm, had overlooked that part. I find Gieseking recordings in general have rather bad sound, at least those I know (some Beethoven, Bach, some Schubert, Debussy, Mendelssohn) - all in less than stellar sound even for their age IMO.

Offline Mandryka

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Quote from: dirkronk link=topic=3279.msg502137#msg502137 date=1301587896,  Mozart's Piano Concertos


Re Elly Ney. Thanks for the link: I'll try to check it out this weekend. I have her with Strub  doing some Reger, but not the Trout. Oddly enough, while I have several discs of prewar performances, it's her late recordings that I find intriguing. There are some instances of phrasing in her mid/late '50s Waldstein that are so beautifully and delicately done (and she's not really known for the delicacy thing) that they literally make me catch my breath. OTOH, as I mentioned, this Waldstein is just too fragmented to hold together as an entirety. Pity.
Have you ever listened to her Wanderer Fantasy (the late one, not the 1941 version)? That one DOES hold together, and in an exceptional way.

Cheers,

Dirk

Yes that's very good indeed. I didn't realise there were such treasures among the late recordings. I've been disappointed when I've dipped my toes there in the past. The Op 111 seems a shadow of her pre war Op 111. And the Brahms Intermezzi seemed really unsuccessful.

What else have you enjoyed from the post war recordings?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 02:08:03 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline dirkronk

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Yes that's very good indeed. I didn't realise there were such treasures among the late recordings. I've been disappointed when I've dipped my toes there in the past. The Op 111 seems a shadow of her pre war Op 111. And the Brahms Intermezzi seemed really unsuccessful.

What else have you enjoyed from the post war recordings?

Can't say I'm really surprised that you've been disappointed. The late recordings are frustrating, because they have moments of sheer genius, and occasionally entire movements of great power or subtler emotional impact, but very few works that you can point to and say, THAT'S a performance to put ahead of anyone else's, totally satisfying all the way through. The Wanderer Fantasy qualifies (for me anyway); she plays it unlike almost anyone else I've heard, and it really works. On the other hand, I'd be hard put to give you other unqualified examples. It takes infinite patience to go through and find these moments, but when you find one, you don't forget it. Remember, Ney is pretty darn ancient here, which is a major reason (I think) that so few of the big pieces hold together as a whole. But she has also imbibed the notes, the runs, the language of the works for a lifetime; so you're hearing her play the same basic notes of a Beethoven sonata you've heard a million times by a thousand different pianists...and out of the blue, she adjusts a phrase ever so slightly and BAM! She's made your jaw drop. She's made you catch your breath. She's wrenched a tear, even a sob from you with no warning. It's like hearing a veteran actor recite a line of poetry or scripture that you've heard over and over, but the WAY he says it suddenly makes you see a depth or difference of meaning that you'd never attributed to it. If it were just me, I'd say that this kind of reaction was an aberration. But I was informed of this phenomenon years ago and remained a naysayer myself until I experienced it FOR myself. My friend Ron Moore is the one who first told me about this. He ordered the original Colosseum LPs for my favorite local record store back in the early or mid 1980s, and he literally couldn't keep them on the shelves. As soon as an order came in, every one would be sold. The buyers were mostly pianists themselves or long-time piano specialist collectors. It's not like they needed another Waldstein or Appassionata or you name the piece. They were simply out to discover and soak in those special moments. So that's the way I've always looked at Ney's late stuff: these are adjunct performances to whatever mainstream versions you prefer. But the longer I live with them, the greater the importance I see in having them available. That's why, although I still own a few particular Colosseum LPs, I searched out and purchased the box set of Colosseum CDs from Europe. Even though I dip into them infrequently, I can't see being without them. All this has made me kinda curious to hear Ney some more. So maybe I'll do some box diving and some more concerted listening next week. If this results in my discovering something more specific to recommend, I surely will chime back in.

Cheers,

Dirk

Offline Mandryka

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Quote from: dirkronk link=topic=15838.msg502452#msg502452 date=1301681767, Mozart's Piano Concertos
So maybe I'll do some box diving and some more concerted listening next week. If this results in my discovering something more specific to recommend, I surely will chime back in.

Cheers,

Dirk

I'll do the same. How you describe her is spot on -- the music fits her like a glove.

Quote from: dirkronk link=topic=3279.msg502137#msg502137 date=1301587896, Mozart's Piano Concertos

Re Elly Ney. Thanks for the link: I'll try to check it out this weekend. I have her with Strub  doing some Reger, but not the Trout

The pre war recording with Strub I love the most is The Ghost Trio. Really -- she makes he hold my breath for about 15 minutes in the central movement. You don't happen to have Strub's performance of the Schubert G major Quartet do you?

Quote from: dirkronk link=topic=3279.msg502137#msg502137 date=1301587896, Mozart's Piano Concertos

There are some instances of phrasing in her mid/late '50s Waldstein that are so beautifully and delicately done (and she's not really known for the delicacy thing) that they literally make me catch my breath. OTOH, as I mentioned, this Waldstein is just too fragmented to hold together as an entirety. Pity.
Have you ever listened to her Wanderer Fantasy (the late one, not the 1941 version)? That one DOES hold together, and in an exceptional way.

Cheers,

Dirk

Accentuate the positive. That is one hell of a Waldstein. Astonishing. Full of little surprises. Just how I like it -- poetic and relatively contemplative. That makes two Waldsteins I love -- Arrau (Philips) and Ney. And two Wanderers -- Arrau (EMI) and Ney  ;)

« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 01:06:35 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline George

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Re: Golden Age Pianists: Cortot, Moiseiwitsch, Sofronitsky etc.
« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2011, 10:44:23 AM »
This sounds like a must buy to me. I'm glad that the sound is good, often it is really atrocious with Arbiter reccordings.

Hi Verena! :)

If you get it, let me know?
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline Mandryka

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All this has made me kinda curious to hear Ney some more. So maybe I'll do some box diving and some more concerted listening next week. If this results in my discovering something more specific to recommend, I surely will chime back in.


Try the Beethoven Concertos with Hoogstraten.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 11:21:26 AM by Mandryka »
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Scarpia

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I must say I find the thread title confusing since it seems to obvious to me that the golden age of pianists is now.

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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    probably something somebody somewhere is snickering at...wait, Schoenberg! Definitely Schoenberg! (And, let's see, does he have a disciple or two...)...
I must say I find the thread title confusing since it seems to obvious to me that the golden age of pianists is now.

 ;D

Well, I tend to think of it as a continuing narrative, starting from well before recordings were ever made. Great pianists (performers) populate every era and by now it's obvious this isn't some kind of anomaly. It's NATURAL! And it'll never end.

So is it really fair to point to that one small epoch at the dawn of the recording age and say "That's the one-and-only time anyone really knew how to play the piano!"?

Balderdash.

I like to pick and choose pianists (performers) from EVERY era - the picking is ripe so why limit myself?

 
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Mandryka

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Another Elly Ney Colosseum find -- the adagio of the Hammerklavier. I also liked the Op 36 variations on the same CD, but it's the adagio  which is really unusual I think. I'll try to listen to some of the Mozart next.
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Scarpia

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;D

Well, I tend to think of it as a continuing narrative, starting from well before recordings were ever made. Great pianists (performers) populate every era and by now it's obvious this isn't some kind of anomaly. It's NATURAL! And it'll never end.

So is it really fair to point to that one small epoch at the dawn of the recording age and say "That's the one-and-only time anyone really knew how to play the piano!"?

Balderdash.

I like to pick and choose pianists (performers) from EVERY era - the picking is ripe so why limit myself?

Agreed, I don't think there is anything magical about the current era either.  However, I think it is clear that, in terms of pure numbers, there are more fine pianists performing now than at any time in the past, and we certainly have the technology to record them better.  I certainly find it interesting to listen to the old records and listen to the way pianists played at other times, but I'd rather listen to the modern pianists who are influenced by those same recordings or traditions.  For instance, I have the Nat set of Beethoven Sonatas, but isn't it more pleasant to listen to splendid digital recordings of Lortie?
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 11:53:24 AM by Il Barone Scarpia »

Offline Florestan

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I think it is clear that, in terms of pure numbers, there are more fine pianists performing now than at any time in the past,

This is a rather extravagant claim, isn't it? The only way to compare is by listening to the recordings --- an exercise that works for a comparison between, say, 2011 and 1951, or even 1921. I'm very curious, though, about what 1851 or 1821 recordings you own or have heard.  ???

"Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part."
 --- Claude Debussy

Offline Josquin des Prez

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I must say I find the thread title confusing since it seems to obvious to me that the golden age of pianists is now.

Strange. Most modern pianists i've tried sucked. Horribly. Perhaps you'd like to expand on your claim?

Offline dirkronk

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That makes two Waldsteins I love -- Arrau (Philips) and Ney. And two Wanderers -- Arrau (EMI) and Ney  ;)

Gosh. I may be slow on the uptake...but I sorta see a pattern emerging here...

Hmmm.

Dirk