Author Topic: Recordings That You Are Considering  (Read 2049655 times)

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Offline Madiel

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15640 on: January 24, 2020, 04:25:02 AM »
You're talking about the ECM, right?

No, the Decca.
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15641 on: January 24, 2020, 04:53:12 AM »
What are these choices? Would you agree with Madiel about being too mellow?

I am not very familiar with his style, so I should add him to my list of performers to explore.
The choices every pianist makes when they play a piece. His Beethoven I know from memory (because I spent more time analyzing), but like even less. I use op 109 as my guide here and I just think that measure after measure he doesn't bring the music out to it fullest. In the opening of 109, for example, he has these pauses that seem more like hesitations than rubato. His notes (when he has runs) seems cut off from each other and that causes flow issues. It all comes down to opinion in the end. Others may love it and fall over themselves to hear it.

Compare these (for a minute or two) and tell me what you think.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/WM8jstSc_VA" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/WM8jstSc_VA</a>
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/oPQmWKd3xnE" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/oPQmWKd3xnE</a>


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Offline Brian

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15642 on: January 24, 2020, 04:57:23 AM »
Madiel, I think you make a good point about the 1980s and early 90s Decca sound. I don't like Schiff recordings on Decca for the same reason I don't like Dutoit recordings on Decca - distant, unvivid, unlikely to do justice to the artist's live presence.

As far as Schiff playing on those recordings - I do like it a lot. And his Dohnanyi and Dvorak chamber recordings, and of course Mozart concertos, from that era are among my favorites.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15643 on: January 24, 2020, 09:12:40 AM »
The choices every pianist makes when they play a piece. His Beethoven I know from memory (because I spent more time analyzing), but like even less. I use op 109 as my guide here and I just think that measure after measure he doesn't bring the music out to it fullest. In the opening of 109, for example, he has these pauses that seem more like hesitations than rubato. His notes (when he has runs) seems cut off from each other and that causes flow issues. It all comes down to opinion in the end. Others may love it and fall over themselves to hear it.


Ha. I just listened to 109 and I thought the pauses were subtle and organic. I suppose this is all totally subjective and depends to some extent on what you’re used to, what your expectations are. I’ve had enough modern piano for today, having also listened to some Fazil Say, so I’ll save the Schubert for another time.
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Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15644 on: January 24, 2020, 02:00:13 PM »
How do we feel about Mitsuko Uchida's Schubert?



Views seem to vary widely.


I love it. I don't care what anyone says. Kempff is pretty good, too: https://www.classicstoday.com/review/kempffs-schubert-in-blu-ray-pure-audio-a-reference-revisited/
(Insider content -- but the sound samples compare Uchida, Kempff and Pollini and Kempff.)

I also have Endres, Badura Skoda I, plenty Lewis and Schiff (ECM)... and for all the praise Endres gets, I'm a sucker for Uchida.


Online Mandryka

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15645 on: January 24, 2020, 02:52:57 PM »
The choices every pianist makes when they play a piece. His Beethoven I know from memory (because I spent more time analyzing), but like even less. I use op 109 as my guide here and I just think that measure after measure he doesn't bring the music out to it fullest. In the opening of 109, for example, he has these pauses that seem more like hesitations than rubato. His notes (when he has runs) seems cut off from each other and that causes flow issues. It all comes down to opinion in the end. Others may love it and fall over themselves to hear it.

Compare these (for a minute or two) and tell me what you think.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/WM8jstSc_VA" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/WM8jstSc_VA</a>
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/oPQmWKd3xnE" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/oPQmWKd3xnE</a>

I prefer the Schiff, on the basis of two minutes max of each. I prefer the phrasing and the more bass up sound.

By the way, re Schiff 109, you're right to say that his pauses are more like hesitations than rubato. This is something that people use all the time in the music I enjoy most, so why not in Beethoven? It's a valuable way to a way of drawing the listener's attention to the notes after the pause, and in doing so the musician also succeeds in breaking the flow, which can otherwise become boring because it's incessant.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 02:57:45 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline JBS

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15646 on: January 24, 2020, 06:03:48 PM »
I have not heard but read criticism that these recordings were too late for Goldberg. The violin/piano masterpiece is the C major Fantasy, the 4 sonatas are charming pieces but not essential for me. Faust/Melnikov has a very good disc with the most important pieces. Kremer (DG) also played all of them, including the 3 early ones, maybe a bit too weighty for the music. It's been a while that I heard it but Laredo has also a complete 2-disc-set (Brilliant, originally Dorian?) that I liked well enough.





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Offline Florestan

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15647 on: January 25, 2020, 06:14:44 AM »
Compare these (for a minute or two) and tell me what you think.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/WM8jstSc_VA" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/WM8jstSc_VA</a>
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/oPQmWKd3xnE" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/oPQmWKd3xnE</a>

First minute: Schiff is relaxed and nonchalant, Kempff is passionate and serious. Schiff's flow is smoother than Kempff's. Given it's a very early sonata, I'd say Schiff's approach is better suited to the music. They are both very good, though, in their own way. Kempff has a much better sound.

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Online Mandryka

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15648 on: January 26, 2020, 02:07:40 AM »
Sounds like you're looking for Sviatoslav Richter or maybe Vladimir Feltsman.

And there’s this challenging one, no booklet online so I can’t see if he has anything to say.



Semerjian has a lot of Mozart, and initial dipping in suggests it could be worth exploring. It makes me see how taking advantage of a modern piano’s dynamic contrasts really changes, disfigures,  the music.

Oppitz also worth hearing though the piano is a big modern concert hall instrument, also no booklet.


And then I found this, which includes music for the 3rd and 4th movements of 840 by Michael Finnissy no less! Substantial and creative pieces of music by Finnissy.  Well worth checking out!




There’s too much music, too many things to explore.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 05:06:46 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15649 on: January 27, 2020, 05:12:04 AM »
First minute: Schiff is relaxed and nonchalant, Kempff is passionate and serious. Schiff's flow is smoother than Kempff's. Given it's a very early sonata, I'd say Schiff's approach is better suited to the music. They are both very good, though, in their own way. Kempff has a much better sound.


See? Who cares what we think! :)
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15650 on: January 27, 2020, 05:23:28 AM »
See? Who cares what we think! :)

I, for one, care about ypur thoughts --- more than once they led me to great new (to me) recordings and music.  8)
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15651 on: January 27, 2020, 05:42:15 AM »
I, for one, care about ypur thoughts --- more than once they led me to great new (to me) recordings and music.  8)
Aw, shucks. That's very kind of you to say. Group hug!
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15652 on: January 27, 2020, 07:32:56 AM »
I, for one, care about ypur thoughts --- more than once they led me to great new (to me) recordings and music.  8)

I agree. Of the repertoire that he likes, Neal knows A LOT and is always a reliable resource for recommendations.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15653 on: February 05, 2020, 06:02:06 PM »
I've noticed that I do not have any complete set of Debussy's piano music from any one pianist. To say nothing to discredit the many great single and double discs of Debussy in my library from a variety of pianists including Ivan Moravec, Claudio Arrau, Mitsuko Uchida and Werner Haas, I feel the need to invest in a complete set by one pianist in order to get to know the music better.

Here are some of the ones I'm considering:

- Walter Gieseking, on EMI/Warner: this is THE classic Debussy piano set. I love what I've heard, which is essentially all of it; Gieseking is to Debussy what Schnabel was to Beethoven, or Cortot to Chopin.

- Noriko Ogawa, on BIS. Love what I've heard. Great digital sound, with nice, highly impressionistic playing. Need to sample more of it first.

- Aldo Ciccolini, on Erato/EMI. I have not heard much of this, but based on his great recordings of Satie and Liszt, Ciccolini appears to be just the man for the job.

- Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, on Chandos. Again, I have not heard much, but it's been recommended to me on several occasions.

- Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, on DG. OK, fine, it's not complete, at all. But what I've heard of it is quite incredible, especially les Images—I've never heard anyone play them like that. I was slightly less impressed with the Preludes; equally great, virtuosic playing, but less to offer in terms of interpretative uniqueness.

- Werner Haas, on Philips. I have half of it, so it would be a matter of just tracking down the other 2CD. Not quite sure how I feel about it.

- François-Joël Thiollier, on Naxos. I always see 3 or 4 of these CDs at my favorite record store, but I haven't heard any of it—any good?

Does anyone here have a favorite complete Debussy piano set? Are we better off with individual CDs, or is there a pianist out there who has nailed the whole catalog?

Offline amw

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15654 on: February 05, 2020, 06:19:48 PM »
Does anyone here have a favorite complete Debussy piano set? Are we better off with individual CDs, or is there a pianist out there who has nailed the whole catalog?
Noriko Ogawa or Jean-Efflam Bavouzet both nail pretty much the whole catalog in my experience. I ended up with the Ogawa set plus Bavouzet's disc of the ballets (Khamma & Jeux) which Ogawa did not record, and which is essential in itself even if you go with a different integral. If you want something interpretively a little more... non-mainstream?, try Alexei Lubimov's Preludes on ECM or possibly Momo Kodama's Etudes also on ECM (although I'm not as fond of the Hosokawa Etudes on the same album).

Offline j winter

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15655 on: February 05, 2020, 06:28:18 PM »
I actually just ordered the Ciccolini set, so I hope it gets a lot of votes  ;D  I have and love his Satie.

Seriously, I don't have enough expertise here to offer a sound recommendation for a complete set.  FWIW, for sets I have Samson Francois, which is excellent though I don't know if it's complete, and Gordon Fergus-Thompson, which I bought years ago based on the famous Penguin Rosette, which is fine but has never really made a huge impression if I'm honest.  And I have a couple of discs worth of Gieseking's set, which won't do for a first choice IMO due to the sound, you miss a lot of the nuance there. 


That said, I'll be curious to see what folks recommend....
« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 06:29:58 PM by j winter »
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline Daverz

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15656 on: February 05, 2020, 06:44:46 PM »
I don't think there's a compelling need to pick up a whole Debussy set from one player.  For one thing, both Ogawa and Bavouzet are available as single discs, so you can pick up their individual discs to supplement the usual suspects in the Preludes, Etudes and Images.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15657 on: February 05, 2020, 06:50:16 PM »
I've noticed that I do not have any complete set of Debussy's piano music from any one pianist. To say nothing to discredit the many great single and double discs of Debussy in my library from a variety of pianists including Ivan Moravec, Claudio Arrau, Mitsuko Uchida and Werner Haas, I feel the need to invest in a complete set by one pianist in order to get to know the music better.

Here are some of the ones I'm considering:

- Walter Gieseking, on EMI/Warner: this is THE classic Debussy piano set. I love what I've heard, which is essentially all of it; Gieseking is to Debussy what Schnabel was to Beethoven, or Cortot to Chopin.

- Noriko Ogawa, on BIS. Love what I've heard. Great digital sound, with nice, highly impressionistic playing. Need to sample more of it first.

- Aldo Ciccolini, on Erato/EMI. I have not heard much of this, but based on his great recordings of Satie and Liszt, Ciccolini appears to be just the man for the job.

- Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, on Chandos. Again, I have not heard much, but it's been recommended to me on several occasions.

- Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, on DG. OK, fine, it's not complete, at all. But what I've heard of it is quite incredible, especially les Images—I've never heard anyone play them like that. I was slightly less impressed with the Preludes; equally great, virtuosic playing, but less to offer in terms of interpretative uniqueness.

- Werner Haas, on Philips. I have half of it, so it would be a matter of just tracking down the other 2CD. Not quite sure how I feel about it.

- François-Joël Thiollier, on Naxos. I always see 3 or 4 of these CDs at my favorite record store, but I haven't heard any of it—any good?

Does anyone here have a favorite complete Debussy piano set? Are we better off with individual CDs, or is there a pianist out there who has nailed the whole catalog?

I’d avoid complete sets as most of the complete sets I own don’t ever get played. As I’ve mentioned on the ‘Listening’ thread, see if you can’t track down either Paul Jacobs’ or Kocsis’ recordings. If you believe you have to have a set, then Ciccolini is difficult to beat. I never have been impressed with Bavouzet and much of this stems from what I perceive to be that his interpretations are of no great individuality. The same applies to Ogawa --- her tempi drive me nuts and the way she ends certain musical passages and just her phrasing doesn’t really do much for me.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 06:51:48 PM by Mirror Image »
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Online Mandryka

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15658 on: February 05, 2020, 09:06:30 PM »
I've noticed that I do not have any complete set of Debussy's piano music from any one pianist. To say nothing to discredit the many great single and double discs of Debussy in my library from a variety of pianists including Ivan Moravec, Claudio Arrau, Mitsuko Uchida and Werner Haas, I feel the need to invest in a complete set by one pianist in order to get to know the music better.

Here are some of the ones I'm considering:

- Walter Gieseking, on EMI/Warner: this is THE classic Debussy piano set. I love what I've heard, which is essentially all of it; Gieseking is to Debussy what Schnabel was to Beethoven, or Cortot to Chopin.

- Noriko Ogawa, on BIS. Love what I've heard. Great digital sound, with nice, highly impressionistic playing. Need to sample more of it first.

- Aldo Ciccolini, on Erato/EMI. I have not heard much of this, but based on his great recordings of Satie and Liszt, Ciccolini appears to be just the man for the job.

- Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, on Chandos. Again, I have not heard much, but it's been recommended to me on several occasions.

- Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, on DG. OK, fine, it's not complete, at all. But what I've heard of it is quite incredible, especially les Images—I've never heard anyone play them like that. I was slightly less impressed with the Preludes; equally great, virtuosic playing, but less to offer in terms of interpretative uniqueness.

- Werner Haas, on Philips. I have half of it, so it would be a matter of just tracking down the other 2CD. Not quite sure how I feel about it.

- François-Joël Thiollier, on Naxos. I always see 3 or 4 of these CDs at my favorite record store, but I haven't heard any of it—any good?

Does anyone here have a favorite complete Debussy piano set? Are we better off with individual CDs, or is there a pianist out there who has nailed the whole catalog?

Daniel Ericourt. Monique Haas. Albert Ferber. Michel Beroff (Denon) Dino Ciani.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 09:33:53 PM by Mandryka »
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Online Baron Scapia

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #15659 on: February 06, 2020, 12:53:19 AM »
I've noticed that I do not have any complete set of Debussy's piano music from any one pianist. To say nothing to discredit the many great single and double discs of Debussy in my library from a variety of pianists including Ivan Moravec, Claudio Arrau, Mitsuko Uchida and Werner Haas, I feel the need to invest in a complete set by one pianist in order to get to know the music better.

Here are some of the ones I'm considering:

- Walter Gieseking, on EMI/Warner: this is THE classic Debussy piano set. I love what I've heard, which is essentially all of it; Gieseking is to Debussy what Schnabel was to Beethoven, or Cortot to Chopin.

- Noriko Ogawa, on BIS. Love what I've heard. Great digital sound, with nice, highly impressionistic playing. Need to sample more of it first.

- Aldo Ciccolini, on Erato/EMI. I have not heard much of this, but based on his great recordings of Satie and Liszt, Ciccolini appears to be just the man for the job.

- Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, on Chandos. Again, I have not heard much, but it's been recommended to me on several occasions.

- Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, on DG. OK, fine, it's not complete, at all. But what I've heard of it is quite incredible, especially les Images—I've never heard anyone play them like that. I was slightly less impressed with the Preludes; equally great, virtuosic playing, but less to offer in terms of interpretative uniqueness.

- Werner Haas, on Philips. I have half of it, so it would be a matter of just tracking down the other 2CD. Not quite sure how I feel about it.

- François-Joël Thiollier, on Naxos. I always see 3 or 4 of these CDs at my favorite record store, but I haven't heard any of it—any good?

Does anyone here have a favorite complete Debussy piano set? Are we better off with individual CDs, or is there a pianist out there who has nailed the whole catalog?

I like Bavouzet and Ciccolini a lot. I think Thibaudet’s set on Decca is outstanding. I also like Fergus-Thompson, originally on ASV, reissued recently by Decca.