Author Topic: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires  (Read 957 times)

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Offline Maestro267

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Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« on: January 18, 2020, 04:09:08 AM »
Conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy has announced his retirement from public performance, at the age of 82.

https://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/news/vladimir-ashkenazy-retires/

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2020, 06:15:06 AM »
Well earned!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
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nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline j winter

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2020, 10:15:12 AM »
Yes, indeed.  It's hard to think of anyone else who has covered so much of the piano and orchestral repertoire, and at such a consistently high level.  Looking over the shelves, I've got him in everything from Chopin to Mozart to Sibelius to Rachmaninov to Bach, and all of it very good...
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 ChopinBroccoli

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2020, 12:36:06 PM »
There’s not a lot he did that’s an absolute favorite for me but on the flip side I’ve never heard a recording of his as a pianist or a conductor that wasn’t at the very least “good” ... he was always a musician with good taste and his technical competence in both disciplines was without a shred of doubt.  He was also prolific. 
"If it ain't Baroque, don't fix it!"
- Handel

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2020, 03:45:51 PM »
Congratulations to him for an illustrious and rewarding career. Vladimir Ashkenazy was a damn fine pianist, quite a skilled conductor, and an extremely prolific recording artist. I want to echo what j winter has said, that not everything Ashkenazy has recorded is a personal favorite of mine, but that damn near everything he has recorded is worthy of a listen at the very least.

My favorite recordings of his include his Chopin Polonaises, his Scriabin Sonatas, and anything Rachmaninoff: the Preludes, the Concertos, the orchestral music. He's also a damn fine Sibelian conductor in my book.

This is saddening news to me, as I'm a new fan of his over this past year and never got to see him perform.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2020, 05:24:17 PM »
I'm not that familiar with his work as a soloist, but the Bartok he did with Solti and the Prokofiev with Previn were important introductions for me.  Among his recordings as a conductor, the ones that stand out for me are some of the ones he did for Decca: Prokofiev Symphonies and Cinderella, Rachmaninoff Symphonies, and Shostakovich Symphony No. 10.  (I'm not familiar with the Sibelius).

« Last Edit: January 18, 2020, 09:27:34 PM by Daverz »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2020, 08:01:27 PM »
One of the great pianists for sure.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Brian

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2020, 06:51:06 AM »
I got to see Ashkenazy live in 2010 as a conductor, not pianist, leading a very talented London student orchestra in repertoire most of us probably do not associate with Ashkenazy at all: Elgar Introduction and Allegro, Vaughan Williams 5. What I remember was his enthusiasm and joy, the unbridled happiness on his face while conducting and afterwards. The guy just loves music.

Offline Biffo

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2020, 07:28:16 AM »
I saw Ashkenazy quite a few times in London in the 1970s & 80s. Three memorable occasions -

Beethoven Piano Concerto No 4 with Haitink and the LPO
Ashkenzy conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra in Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony - heart rending

Most remarkable of all - Ashkenazy played both Brahms concertos in one concert with the BBC SO conducted by Andre Previn

Offline Jo498

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2020, 10:40:36 AM »
I don't have many recordings with Ashkenazy, but the first ever CD I bought in fall 1988 was Beethoven's concerti 3+4 with Solti conducting, so this will always remain special. I hope this announcement is not due to severely failing health and that he will enjoy years of retirement. (Unfortunately, with artists the former is very often the case.)
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2020, 07:00:48 AM »
This is sad news.  I really envy you guys who saw him live.  I got two of his box sets in 2019, and listed them as my purchases of the year. There is a special quality to his recordings that really lights up the music.  Unfortunately, when a guy this devoted and prolific suddenly retires, it often does not bode well.
God bless you, Vladimir!  You have brought me many hours of joy. I hope you are happy and comfortable. You certainly deserve it. 

     
It's all good...

Offline Florestan

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2020, 07:15:18 AM »
This is sad news... There is a special quality to his recordings that really lights up the music.  Unfortunately, when a guy this devoted and prolific suddenly retires, it often does not bode well.
God bless you, Vladimir!  You have brought me many hours of joy. I hope you are happy and comfortable. You certainly deserve it. 

+ 1.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Offline Baron Scapia

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2020, 06:17:29 PM »
Yes, indeed.  It's hard to think of anyone else who has covered so much of the piano and orchestral repertoire, and at such a consistently high level.  Looking over the shelves, I've got him in everything from Chopin to Mozart to Sibelius to Rachmaninov to Bach, and all of it very good...

Agree entirely, except perhaps for the Bach, which didn't do it for me. I have especially enjoyed his recordings of Chopin, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich.

Offline Ras

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2020, 07:37:14 AM »
At least Ashkenazy is just retiring - not dying (like Peter Schreier, Jaap Schröder, B. Tuckwell and Mariss Janssons who all died in the past four weeks or so). 

One of my favorite Tchaikovsky cds is from Decca with Ashkenazy playing the 1st piano concerto and conducting the 4th symphony.

"Music is life and, like it, inextinguishable." - Carl Nielsen

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2020, 02:23:45 PM »
I'm picking up as much Ashkenazy as I can in celebration of his amazing career. So far I've gotten a couple discs of his Rachmaninov (the complete concertos with Previn, Concerto No.1 and Paganini Rhapsody with Haitink, and I may get his earlier Decca disc with Concertos 2 and 3 under Fistoulari), and I've just ordered Ashkenazy playing the A minor and "little" A major Schubert sonatas. Any more recommendations?


Offline Baron Scapia

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2020, 02:42:52 PM »
I like his Prokofiev concerts with Previn, and the Scriabin sonatas. His Shostakovich preludes and fugues are also top notch.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2020, 06:36:46 PM »
I like his Prokofiev concerts with Previn, and the Scriabin sonatas. His Shostakovich preludes and fugues are also top notch.

Another fantastic Shostakovich recording:


Offline Jo498

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2020, 01:04:16 AM »
I'm picking up as much Ashkenazy as I can in celebration of his amazing career. So far I've gotten a couple discs of his Rachmaninov (the complete concertos with Previn, Concerto No.1 and Paganini Rhapsody with Haitink, and I may get his earlier Decca disc with Concertos 2 and 3 under Fistoulari), and I've just ordered Ashkenazy playing the A minor and "little" A major Schubert sonatas. Any more recommendations?
That Schubert disc is very good, an old favorite of mine I had almost forgotten about. Another "early" Ashkenazy (but good 60s Decca sound) are Bach's d minor and Chopin's f minor concerti (with a Mozart filler on CD).
I am not familiar with them as his only work as a conductor I know are Sibelius symphonies (very good but probably not among the greatest or most idiomatic) but his Rachmaninoff orchestral works are also highly regarded.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Florestan

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2020, 01:14:46 AM »
I'm picking up as much Ashkenazy as I can in celebration of his amazing career. So far I've gotten a couple discs of his Rachmaninov (the complete concertos with Previn, Concerto No.1 and Paganini Rhapsody with Haitink, and I may get his earlier Decca disc with Concertos 2 and 3 under Fistoulari), and I've just ordered Ashkenazy playing the A minor and "little" A major Schubert sonatas. Any more recommendations?

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

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2020, 06:13:39 AM »


Wow. That is a ton of music, all major repertoire, too. Somehow, I am not sure that his skill set would be suited to Mozart, but I must check out some of it to confirm or deny that. You're far from the only person to recommend it.

Seriously, how many other pianists have left behind such a vast recorded legendary? Not many, I'm sure. Idil Biret comes to mind.