Author Topic: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires  (Read 926 times)

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Online Baron Scapia

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2020, 07:34:34 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.

The Mozart is superb.

Offline Florestan

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2020, 08:49:36 AM »
The Mozart is superb.

So is the Chopin. So is the Schumann. So is the Beethoven.

And then there is his chamber music side: Beethoven, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, all excellent.

Actually, I have yet to hear a dud from him.

An outstanding musician, an iconic figure of the second half of 20th century and early 21st. I hope he'll be enjoying his retirement for a long time.

EDIT: This box might be the best place to start exploring his musicianship, both as a performer and conductor:



« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 08:52:05 AM by Florestan »
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Offline amw

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2020, 02:51:27 PM »
Top recommendation here is


(the recordings are different to the ones in the Schumann piano box)

If you for some reason have never heard any of Schumann's piano music and don't know where to start, this double decca is probably the best place. If you already know and like Schumann's piano music it also can't hurt.

Offline Florestan

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2020, 03:05:41 PM »
Top recommendation here is


(the recordings are different to the ones in the Schumann piano box)

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

Offline amw

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2020, 03:17:08 PM »
Details please, thank you.
These were recorded 1965 (Fantasy & Symphonic Etudes) and 1972 (Kreisleriana & Humoreske), the recordings in the beige cover box are from the 1980s. As far as I know this is the only CD issue. These particular recordings have significantly more subtlety, depth and colour (at least in my opinion) compared to the later ones, which are not bad but somewhat bland by comparison. In particular the recordings of the Humoreske and Fantasy in C here are among the most emotionally affecting I know of.

Offline Florestan

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2020, 03:24:33 PM »
These were recorded 1965 (Fantasy & Symphonic Etudes) and 1972 (Kreisleriana & Humoreske), the recordings in the beige cover box are from the 1980s. As far as I know this is the only CD issue. These particular recordings have significantly more subtlety, depth and colour (at least in my opinion) compared to the later ones, which are not bad but somewhat bland by comparison. In particular the recordings of the Humoreske and Fantasy in C here are among the most emotionally affecting I know of.

Thanks. Now I really need that recording.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Offline Daverz

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2020, 09:56:06 PM »
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.

Fake!  His Brahms concerto recordings were actually made by an elderly English lady in a shed in her garden.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2020, 12:23:07 AM »
While I have heard only one or two discs with some of the best known "late" concertos, I don't think the Mozart concerti from the 1980s with himself conducting is up there with the best. Unless one obsessively collects the pieces, I'd go for different stuff, both for the best Mozart and the best of Ashkenazy.
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 Brian

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2020, 07:06:29 AM »
These were recorded 1965 (Fantasy & Symphonic Etudes) and 1972 (Kreisleriana & Humoreske), the recordings in the beige cover box are from the 1980s. As far as I know this is the only CD issue. These particular recordings have significantly more subtlety, depth and colour (at least in my opinion) compared to the later ones, which are not bad but somewhat bland by comparison. In particular the recordings of the Humoreske and Fantasy in C here are among the most emotionally affecting I know of.
I think some of these might have wound up in an "Artist Choice" 50-60 CD box which he curated.

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

Offline Jo498

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2020, 08:37:05 AM »
Combined as pianist and conductor maybe Barenboim comes certainly close in quantity although the latter has been considered more relevant as a conductor since quite some time ago, I think.
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 j winter

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2020, 10:49:43 AM »
It's likely an open question as far as overall number of recordings, but in my experience Barenboim and especially Brendel focus much more on the core Austrian/German rep than does Ashkenazy.  I think Ashkenazy's recordings cover a much broader range -- he's recorded so much that the others either miss or only highlight; lots of Russian music obviously, but also pretty much everything by Chopin, plenty of Sibelius, etc.   

We can definitely argue about his relative merits in the various composers he plays (and we may have done so in another thread for all I know), but IMO he's pretty darn consistent... I wish him a long a happy retirement!
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 vers la flamme

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2020, 02:05:24 PM »
Fake!  His Brahms concerto recordings were actually made by an elderly English lady in a shed in her garden.

Correct me if I'm wrong but is this a playful reference to Joyce Hatto who plagiarized at least one of Ashkenazy's Brahms concerto recordings? An extremely bold move on her part, taking such a famous recording as one of Ashkenazy's, and I think that was part of how she got exposed.  :laugh:

Top recommendation here is


(the recordings are different to the ones in the Schumann piano box)

If you for some reason have never heard any of Schumann's piano music and don't know where to start, this double decca is probably the best place. If you already know and like Schumann's piano music it also can't hurt.

This looks excellent. I'm already a big, big fan of Schumann's piano music, of course, but I do not have any of Ashkenazy's Schumann recordings. I also do not have the Humoreske op.20 in my library. I'm going to track this down.

Online Baron Scapia

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2020, 02:40:35 PM »
While I have heard only one or two discs with some of the best known "late" concertos, I don't think the Mozart concerti from the 1980s with himself conducting is up there with the best. Unless one obsessively collects the pieces, I'd go for different stuff, both for the best Mozart and the best of Ashkenazy.

I like that set as much as anybody’s. His piano part is delightful incisive. Sometimes the orchestral part is not quite a match for it.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2020, 02:49:49 PM »
I think some of these might have wound up in an "Artist Choice" 50-60 CD box which he curated.
Jeno Jando, Alfred Brendel?

Jandó, yes. A fine pianist, too. I would like to hear more of his recordings. Brendel I think keeps it closer to the "core" Germanic repertoire than does Ashkenazy, no? That being said, he has recorded the Beethoven sonatas in completion at least three times, so that has to say something.

Online Baron Scapia

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2020, 02:59:41 PM »
Jandó, yes. A fine pianist, too. I would like to hear more of his recordings. Brendel I think keeps it closer to the "core" Germanic repertoire than does Ashkenazy, no? That being said, he has recorded the Beethoven sonatas in completion at least three times, so that has to say something.

Brendel became more focused on the core in the second half of his recording career. The box/vanguard era was more diverse.

Ciccolini also has a large and diverse legacy of recordings.

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2020, 11:33:32 PM »

EDIT: This box might be the best place to start exploring his musicianship, both as a performer and conductor:



   That box is extra sweet because the disks are topped off with other great performances, so it really is chock full of goodies.
It's all good...