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The Music Room => General Classical Music Discussion => Topic started by: Maestro267 on January 18, 2020, 04:09:08 AM

Title: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Maestro267 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/ (https://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/news/vladimir-ashkenazy-retires/)
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 18, 2020, 06:15:06 AM
Well earned!
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: j winter 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...
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: ChopinBroccoli 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. 
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: vers la flamme 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Daverz 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).

Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Mirror Image on January 18, 2020, 08:01:27 PM
One of the great pianists for sure.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Brian 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Biffo 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
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Jo498 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.)
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Mookalafalas 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. 

     
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Florestan 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Ratliff 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Ras 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.

Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: vers la flamme 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?

Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Ratliff 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Daverz 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:

Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Jo498 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Florestan 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?

(https://cdn.dc5.ro/img-prod/40193-0.jpeg)(https://www.deccaclassics.com/imgs/s300x300/4437232.jpg)(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51kSGKBmMqL._SX355_.jpg)(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71FAYZaaYyL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: vers la flamme on January 23, 2020, 06:13:39 AM
(https://cdn.dc5.ro/img-prod/40193-0.jpeg)(https://www.deccaclassics.com/imgs/s300x300/4437232.jpg)(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51kSGKBmMqL._SX355_.jpg)(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71FAYZaaYyL._SS500_.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Ratliff 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Florestan 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:

(https://s12emagst.akamaized.net/products/9483/9482589/images/res_9589bf76d9dfd8103ae46682711fe7b2_450x450_g9p0.jpg)

Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: amw 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Florestan 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: amw 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Florestan 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Daverz 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Jo498 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Brian 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?
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Jo498 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: j winter 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!
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: vers la flamme 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Ratliff 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: vers la flamme 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Ratliff 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.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Mookalafalas 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:

(https://s12emagst.akamaized.net/products/9483/9482589/images/res_9589bf76d9dfd8103ae46682711fe7b2_450x450_g9p0.jpg)

   That box is extra sweet because the disks are topped off with other great performances, so it really is chock full of goodies.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Mookalafalas on October 14, 2021, 05:17:42 PM
? Pretty busy for retired....  I had guessed he must be in severely failing health, but, happily, that does not seem to be the case.



Artist: Vladimir Ashkenazy
Title: Bach: English Suites 1-3
Year Of Release: 2021
Label: Decca Music Group Ltd.

Legendary conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy releases Johann Sebastian Bach's `English Suites 1 - 3'. This stunning, brand-new recording sits alongside a remastering of his first-ever Bach recording, the D Minor Concerto, recorded in 1965 in a must-have 2CD collection. Amassing over 850M streams with a vast catalogue, Ashkenazy is amongst the foremost musical figures of our time and this release is a must-have for any classical music fan.
Title: Re: Vladimir Ashkenazy retires
Post by: Holden on October 14, 2021, 07:06:58 PM
When asked to recommend a box set of Chopin to a relative beginner, Ashkenazy immediately springs to mind.