Discussion:
The ultimate Rachmaninov Third
(too old to reply)
malcolm
2006-01-10 20:14:10 UTC
Permalink
I recently heard a live performance of the Rachmaninov 3rd that is,
hands down, the best performance I have ever heard. The surprise is
that the pianist is Alicia De Larrocha, from a 1972 live performance at
Carnegie Hall (Andre Previn leading the LSO).

For those that are only familiar with her studio account (which is
wonderful, but a bit subdued), this one is infinitely better. Frankly,
as great an admirer of this pianist as I am, even I was a bit surpised
that she had it in her to deliver a performance that is so
interpretively and technically on target as this one. From a purely
technical perspective, it is easily the equal of Argerich's much
praised account, but more controlled. And interpretively, it surpasses
it (as well as just about any other recording I've ever heard). (I had
much the same reaction to a live performance by her of #2, but the
sound on that one was pretty bad).

In theory it may seem impossible for a woman as tiny as she is to be
capable of such playing, but hearing is believing.

Malcolm
JohnGavin
2006-01-10 21:11:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by malcolm
I recently heard a live performance of the Rachmaninov 3rd that is,
hands down, the best performance I have ever heard. The surprise is
that the pianist is Alicia De Larrocha, from a 1972 live performance at
Carnegie Hall (Andre Previn leading the LSO).
For those that are only familiar with her studio account (which is
wonderful, but a bit subdued), this one is infinitely better. Frankly,
as great an admirer of this pianist as I am, even I was a bit surpised
that she had it in her to deliver a performance that is so
interpretively and technically on target as this one. From a purely
technical perspective, it is easily the equal of Argerich's much
praised account, but more controlled. And interpretively, it surpasses
it (as well as just about any other recording I've ever heard). (I had
much the same reaction to a live performance by her of #2, but the
sound on that one was pretty bad).
In theory it may seem impossible for a woman as tiny as she is to be
capable of such playing, but hearing is believing.
Malcolm
I remember that a pianist-friend who attended that performance said
that there were TEN curtain calls for the soloist. Where did you hear
this recording?
Josep Vilanova
2006-01-10 21:18:40 UTC
Permalink
On 10/1/06 21:11, in article
Post by JohnGavin
Where did you hear
this recording?
And even more, can anyone supply a link of a place where I could buy it?


j
tomdeacon
2006-01-10 22:01:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Josep Vilanova
On 10/1/06 21:11, in article
Post by JohnGavin
Where did you hear
this recording?
And even more, can anyone supply a link of a place where I could buy it?
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of
Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.

Her performance of the piece was recorded by Decca with Andre Previn
and the LSO in 1975 and has been reissued on CD, albeit in the vile
series entitled Belart (461348-2) in a coupling with Peter Katin's
reading of Rachmaninoff's Pico # 1 with Sir Adrian Boult.

TD
malcolm
2006-01-10 22:14:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Josep Vilanova
On 10/1/06 21:11, in article
Post by JohnGavin
Where did you hear
this recording?
And even more, can anyone supply a link of a place where I could buy it?
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of

Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.

Her performance of the piece was recorded by Decca with Andre Previn
and the LSO in 1975 and has been reissued on CD, albeit in the vile
series entitled Belart (461348-2) in a coupling with Peter Katin's
reading of Rachmaninoff's Pico # 1 with Sir Adrian Boult.


TD

Again, the performance I'm referring to is a live recording, not the
studio account (although the conductor
and orchestra are the same). So there is not the issue of editing out
the mistakes. The performance is that good.

And if she had to leave out notes from the chordal passages to
accommodate her hands, I certainly couldn't tell.
In fact, one of the things I've always appreciated about her playing is
the fullness of her chordal playing
Frank Berger
2006-01-10 22:17:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Josep Vilanova
On 10/1/06 21:11, in article
Post by JohnGavin
Where did you hear
this recording?
And even more, can anyone supply a link of a place where I could buy it?
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of
Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.
Her performance of the piece was recorded by Decca with Andre Previn
and the LSO in 1975 and has been reissued on CD, albeit in the vile
series entitled Belart (461348-2) in a coupling with Peter Katin's
reading of Rachmaninoff's Pico # 1 with Sir Adrian Boult.
TD
The recording in question is a supposed live recording from 1972 at Carnegie
Hall, not the one you have uselessly cited.
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 00:33:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frank Berger
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Josep Vilanova
On 10/1/06 21:11, in article
Post by JohnGavin
Where did you hear
this recording?
And even more, can anyone supply a link of a place where I could buy it?
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of
Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.
Her performance of the piece was recorded by Decca with Andre Previn
and the LSO in 1975 and has been reissued on CD, albeit in the vile
series entitled Belart (461348-2) in a coupling with Peter Katin's
reading of Rachmaninoff's Pico # 1 with Sir Adrian Boult.
TD
The recording in question is a supposed live recording from 1972 at Carnegie
Hall, not the one you have uselessly cited.
Of course it is, stupid.

A fool could have told that.

Apparently you had to do some research to come up with that statement
of the obvious.

TD
Frank Berger
2006-01-11 02:15:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Frank Berger
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Josep Vilanova
On 10/1/06 21:11, in article
Post by JohnGavin
Where did you hear
this recording?
And even more, can anyone supply a link of a place where I could buy it?
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of
Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.
Her performance of the piece was recorded by Decca with Andre Previn
and the LSO in 1975 and has been reissued on CD, albeit in the vile
series entitled Belart (461348-2) in a coupling with Peter Katin's
reading of Rachmaninoff's Pico # 1 with Sir Adrian Boult.
TD
The recording in question is a supposed live recording from 1972 at Carnegie
Hall, not the one you have uselessly cited.
Of course it is, stupid.
A fool could have told that.
Apparently you had to do some research to come up with that statement
of the obvious.
TD
Ha ha.
El Klauso
2006-01-11 02:58:28 UTC
Permalink
I was under the impression that the ultimate Rachmaninoff Third was the
one that featured Rachmaninoff.
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-01-11 03:28:29 UTC
Permalink
"El Klauso" <***@twcny.rr.com> appears to have caused the following
letters to be typed in news:1136948308.017356.231560
Post by El Klauso
I was under the impression that the ultimate Rachmaninoff Third was the
one that featured Rachmaninoff.
And was conducted by Mahler.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Peter Lemken
2006-01-11 11:31:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
letters to be typed in news:1136948308.017356.231560
Post by El Klauso
I was under the impression that the ultimate Rachmaninoff Third was the
one that featured Rachmaninoff.
And was conducted by Mahler.
No, Furtwängler.

Peter Lemken
Berlin
--
Paul Lincke ist dem Zille sein Milhaud.

(Harry Rowohlt)
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-01-11 15:48:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
letters to be typed in news:1136948308.017356.231560
Post by El Klauso
I was under the impression that the ultimate Rachmaninoff Third was
the one that featured Rachmaninoff.
And was conducted by Mahler.
No, Furtwängler.
I was talking about a performance which actually took place, in New York,
on 16 January 1910.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Richard Schultz
2006-01-11 15:52:45 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@207.217.125.201>, Matthew B. Tepper <oy?@earthlink.net> wrote:
: ***@buerotiger.de (Peter Lemken) appears to have caused the
: following letters to be typed in news:***@individual.net:
:> Matthew B. Tepper <oy?@earthlink.net> wrote:
:>> "El Klauso" <***@twcny.rr.com> appears to have caused the following
:>> letters to be typed in news:1136948308.017356.231560
:>> @z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:

:>> > I was under the impression that the ultimate Rachmaninoff Third was
:>> > the one that featured Rachmaninoff.

:>> And was conducted by Mahler.

:> No, Furtw?ngler.

: I was talking about a performance which actually took place, in New York,
: on 16 January 1910.

I read somewhere Rachmaninov's description of a rehearsal for that concert.
After spending three hours with the orchestra, he made his exit, and as
he was leaving, he heard Mahler saying to the orchestra, "Now we start
again from the beginning. . ."

-----
Richard Schultz ***@mail.biu.ac.il
Department of Chemistry, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
Opinions expressed are mine alone, and not those of Bar-Ilan University
-----
It's a bird, it's a plane -- no, it's Mozart. . .
Peter Lemken
2006-01-11 17:07:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
letters to be typed in news:1136948308.017356.231560
Post by El Klauso
I was under the impression that the ultimate Rachmaninoff Third was
the one that featured Rachmaninoff.
And was conducted by Mahler.
No, Furtwängler.
I was talking about a performance which actually took place, in New York,
on 16 January 1910.
And I was talking about a performance that actually took place in Berlin in
February 1928.

Peter Lemken
Berlin
--
Paul Lincke ist dem Zille sein Milhaud.

(Harry Rowohlt)
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-01-11 20:46:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Peter Lemken
following letters to be typed in news:1136948308.017356.231560
Post by El Klauso
I was under the impression that the ultimate Rachmaninoff Third
was the one that featured Rachmaninoff.
And was conducted by Mahler.
No, Furtwängler.
I was talking about a performance which actually took place, in New
York, on 16 January 1910.
And I was talking about a performance that actually took place in Berlin
in February 1928.
Great, so do you know anybody who was at both performances, apart from the
pianist?
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Paul Goldstein
2006-01-11 21:10:00 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@207.217.125.201>, Matthew B. Tepper
says...
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Peter Lemken
following letters to be typed in news:1136948308.017356.231560
Post by El Klauso
I was under the impression that the ultimate Rachmaninoff Third
was the one that featured Rachmaninoff.
And was conducted by Mahler.
No, Furtwängler.
I was talking about a performance which actually took place, in New
York, on 16 January 1910.
And I was talking about a performance that actually took place in Berlin
in February 1928.
Great, so do you know anybody who was at both performances, apart from the
pianist?
Zelig?
Peter Lemken
2006-01-11 22:18:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Peter Lemken
following letters to be typed in news:1136948308.017356.231560
Post by El Klauso
I was under the impression that the ultimate Rachmaninoff Third
was the one that featured Rachmaninoff.
And was conducted by Mahler.
No, Furtwängler.
I was talking about a performance which actually took place, in New
York, on 16 January 1910.
And I was talking about a performance that actually took place in Berlin
in February 1928.
Great, so do you know anybody who was at both performances, apart from the
pianist?
Kilroy.

Peter Lemken
Berlin
--
Paul Lincke ist dem Zille sein Milhaud.

(Harry Rowohlt)
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-01-11 23:51:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
following letters to be typed in news:1136948308.017356.231560
Post by El Klauso
I was under the impression that the ultimate Rachmaninoff Third
was the one that featured Rachmaninoff.
And was conducted by Mahler.
No, FurtwÀngler.
I was talking about a performance which actually took place, in New
York, on 16 January 1910.
And I was talking about a performance that actually took place in
Berlin in February 1928.
Great, so do you know anybody who was at both performances, apart from
the pianist?
Kilroy.
A certain character from an H.G. Wells book, who never reveals his name?
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Sol L. Siegel
2006-01-11 06:00:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by El Klauso
I was under the impression that the ultimate Rachmaninoff Third was the
one that featured Rachmaninoff.
Not so, if for no other reason than that the score is cut to ribbons -
major excisions in all three movements. Others I know of that resort to
this wholesale butchery are Horowitz/Coates, Malcuzynski/Rowicki and
Watts/Bernstein.
--
- Sol L. Siegel
Philadelphia, PA USA

"My reputation has nothing to do with me." - Terry Gilliam
Dan Koren
2006-01-11 06:57:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by El Klauso
I was under the impression that the ultimate
Rachmaninoff Third was the one that featured
Rachmaninoff.
While this may sound counter-intuitive to you,
it isn't.

Do you understand the difference between the
playwright, the stage director and the actor?



dk
JohnGavin
2006-01-11 15:56:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
Post by El Klauso
I was under the impression that the ultimate
Rachmaninoff Third was the one that featured
Rachmaninoff.
While this may sound counter-intuitive to you,
it isn't.
Do you understand the difference between the
playwright, the stage director and the actor?
dk
In this case however, the playwright was also a brilliant stage
director and a superlative actor.
JohnGavin
2006-01-10 22:18:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Josep Vilanova
On 10/1/06 21:11, in article
Post by JohnGavin
Where did you hear
this recording?
And even more, can anyone supply a link of a place where I could buy it?
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of
Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.
I'm sure the rewriting part is true - what she often did also was to
redistribute notes as well. DeLarrocha said that through excercises
she was able to span a 10th which is really not that small. I would
bet that Argerich (from watching her DVDs) had the same span. In fact,
seeing Pletnev on DVD recently made me think that he also has pretty
average sized hands.
Peter Lemken
2006-01-10 22:27:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of
Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.
Really?

Please name a few passages, both from Iberia and the Rachmaninoff 3rd.

I assume you have the score at hand.

Peter Lemken
Berlin
--
Paul Lincke ist dem Zille sein Milhaud.

(Harry Rowohlt)
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 00:34:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by tomdeacon
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of
Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.
Really?
Please name a few passages, both from Iberia and the Rachmaninoff 3rd.
No need.

She told me so herself.

I simply took her word for it. Why would she lie?

TD
Dan Koren
2006-01-11 00:46:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by tomdeacon
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of
Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.
Really?
Please name a few passages, both from Iberia and the Rachmaninoff 3rd.
No need.
She told me so herself.
I simply took her word for it. Why would she lie?
You seem to have forgotten the second link in the chain.

But why would *you* lie ?!?



dk
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 11:11:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by tomdeacon
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of
Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.
Really?
Please name a few passages, both from Iberia and the Rachmaninoff 3rd.
No need.
She told me so herself.
I simply took her word for it. Why would she lie?
You seem to have forgotten the second link in the chain.
But why would *you* lie ?!?
Good question.

Have you the answer?

TD
Dan Koren
2006-01-11 12:48:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Dan Koren
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by tomdeacon
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of
Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.
Really?
Please name a few passages, both from Iberia and the Rachmaninoff 3rd.
No need.
She told me so herself.
I simply took her word for it. Why would she lie?
You seem to have forgotten the second link in the chain.
But why would *you* lie ?!?
Good question.
Have you the answer?
I do not read people's minds.



dk
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 16:02:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Dan Koren
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by tomdeacon
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of
Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.
Really?
Please name a few passages, both from Iberia and the Rachmaninoff 3rd.
No need.
She told me so herself.
I simply took her word for it. Why would she lie?
You seem to have forgotten the second link in the chain.
But why would *you* lie ?!?
Good question.
Have you the answer?
I do not read people's minds.
That's hardly how I would characterize your mind-set.

TD
Dan Koren
2006-01-11 06:58:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by tomdeacon
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of
Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.
Really?
Please name a few passages, both from Iberia and the Rachmaninoff 3rd.
No need.
She told me so herself.
I simply took her word for it. Why would she lie?
Are you taking confessions from Catholics ?!?



dk
David Fox
2006-01-11 16:41:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by tomdeacon
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of
Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.
Really?
Please name a few passages, both from Iberia and the Rachmaninoff 3rd.
No need.
She told me so herself.
I simply took her word for it. Why would she lie?
TD
I'm afraid I'm going to have to corroborate TD's word on this. Ms. de
Larrocha lived down the hall from me in New York City for several
years. I found it amazing that virtually no one in the building knew
who she really was. She'd be waiting in the lobby for a limo to pick
her up to take her to play a concert with the NY Phil, and she looked
just like any little old lady waiting for her driver to take her to
dinner. OTOH, there were a few soap opera stars who lived in the
building and they'd be recognized and gushed over like royalty.

I eventually developed the nerve to say hello, and then we'd have short
conversations whenever we ran into each other. One day after a
particularly amazing Carnegie recital featuring some Albeniz in the
second half, I asked her how she managed to pull it off with such power
and panache given her small hands. She gave me a conspiratory smile
and whispered, "I CHEAT!"

During the period when I heard most of her New York recitals (roughly
1987-99), I found her to be two entirely different pianists. When she
played the standard rep (Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin,
Schumann), she sounded exactly as she did on her contemporaneous RCA
recordings of that repetoire: small-scale. In the second halves she
usually played Spanish music and it was another story entirely. There
was power and sweep, along with infinite nuance and idiomatic lilt, the
likes of which only Rubinstein, in his all-too-few recordings of this
repetoire, could touch. Incidentally, Rubinstein brags that he cheated
too. Perhaps this is the best way to approach this music. Actually,
Sanchez gets the balance right too, but I'm not going to open that can
of worms again.

There are several pianists who get the notes right, but for all their
heroic effort to do so, they sound like they're hanging on for dear
life. Invariably the music gets lost. I was looking forward to
Hamelin's interpretation as I knew he'd be more than up to the
challenge technically. I heard him perform books I & II of Iberia
live, and the performance was note-perfect but cautious. His studio
recording was much better, but it still didn't have the swing of any of
the deLarrocha performances - live or studio - that I've heard.

DF
JohnGavin
2006-01-12 02:56:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Fox
I'm afraid I'm going to have to corroborate TD's word on this. Ms. de
Larrocha lived down the hall from me in New York City for several
years. I found it amazing that virtually no one in the building knew
who she really was.
I remember a lengthy article in the New York Times about how concert
pianists with Manhattan apartments manage to practice. In Alicia's
case she had the underside of the piano lid lined with a thick felt
material and always practiced with the lid down. One can't help but
wonder if this was in response to some unknowing neighbor knocking on
the door and saying "Dear, do you think you can keep the music down a
bit"?

Dan Koren
2006-01-11 00:48:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by tomdeacon
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of
Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.
Really?
Please name a few passages, both from Iberia and the Rachmaninoff 3rd.
I assume you have the score at hand.
He does indeed.

Unfortunately, he cannot find his glasses.

They were eaten by the moose (meese?).



dk
malcolm
2006-01-10 22:29:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Josep Vilanova
On 10/1/06 21:11, in article
Post by JohnGavin
Where did you hear
this recording?
And even more, can anyone supply a link of a place where I could buy it?
Larrocha was obliged, on account of her tiny hands, to rewrite a lot of

Rachmaninoff's chordal passages, as she did with Iberia, in fact. In
the end she has to leave out notes, of course.

Her performance of the piece was recorded by Decca with Andre Previn
and the LSO in 1975 and has been reissued on CD, albeit in the vile
series entitled Belart (461348-2) in a coupling with Peter Katin's
reading of Rachmaninoff's Pico # 1 with Sir Adrian Boult.


TD


Again, the performance I'm referring to was recorded live (it's not the
studio account with Previn). And being a live performance
there was not the opportunity to edit out the mistakes. It's that good.

And if she has to leave notes out to accommodate her hands, I certainly
couldn't tell. I heard it at the University of Maryland's piano
archives - they have virtual treasure trove of her early live
recordings (including a really spectacular Schuman Carnaval, among many

other others). At her best, she's a far more spontaneous and tougher
artist in live performance than she comes across on her recordings,
which can come across as being a bit 'dainty' (especially the RCA
ones). The Schuman Carnval (as well as the two Scarlatti Sonatas that
preceded it on that recital from the early 1970's), are easily the best
I've heard.

Malcolm
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 00:37:18 UTC
Permalink
malcolm wrote:
At her best, she's a far more spontaneous and tougher
Post by malcolm
artist in live performance than she comes across on her recordings,
which can come across as being a bit 'dainty' (especially the RCA
ones).
In her repertoire - the Spanish classics - she is every bit as good on
CD or records as she is in public. I heard her Iberia complete three
times. Not a single mistake anywhere and just as she performed it on
her recordings. Ditto for the Goyescas.

TD
malcolm
2006-01-11 05:30:36 UTC
Permalink
malcolm wrote:


At her best, she's a far more spontaneous and tougher
Post by malcolm
artist in live performance than she comes across on her recordings,
which can come across as being a bit 'dainty' (especially the RCA
ones).
<In her repertoire - the Spanish classics - she is every bit as good on

CD or records as she is in public. I heard her Iberia complete three
times. Not a single mistake anywhere and just as she performed it on
her recordings. Ditto for the Goyescas.>

Agreed (well, until she re-recorded them for RCA - all of them are
disappointing).
But I was talking about her performances of pieces like the Schuman
Carnval,
the Rachmaninov 2 and 3 concertos, the Schuman Concerto, etc.

In all of these, the live performances have a certain drive that is
missing from her recorded
accounts of the same works.

Malcolm
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 11:28:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by malcolm
<In her repertoire - the Spanish classics - she is every bit as good on
CD or records as she is in public. I heard her Iberia complete three
times. Not a single mistake anywhere and just as she performed it on
her recordings. Ditto for the Goyescas.>
Agreed (well, until she re-recorded them for RCA - all of them are
disappointing).
But I was talking about her performances of pieces like the Schuman
Carnval,
the Rachmaninov 2 and 3 concertos, the Schuman Concerto, etc.
In all of these, the live performances have a certain drive that is
missing from her recorded
accounts of the same works.
I find "drive" an overrated characteristic of live performances.
Usually it stems from a case of nerves.

TD
Citizen
2006-01-10 23:02:59 UTC
Permalink
In response to the title, I have to say that I believe that there is no
"ultimate Rachmaninoff Third." Each great performance brings out
different things in the music. Just compare Cliburn and Argerich, or
Rachmaninoff himself and Horowitz, for instance.

I have heard both the Larrocha live and recorded versions, but I place
them both below my favorite four performances (Cliburn/Kondrashin live
at Carnegie, Argerich/Abaddo live IIRC in Berlin, Rachmaninoff himself
with IIRC Ormandy, and the Horowitz one where the piano drowns out the
orchestra). I prefer the live one, but would place it at the same
level, in my opinion, as the Earl Wild.

The sonics on the live Larrocha, IMO, are better than all of the
recordings I listed other than the Argerich live one.

I would definitely say that both Larrocha versions are worth a listen,
though.
Vaneyes
2006-01-10 23:33:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Citizen
In response to the title, I have to say that I believe that there is no
"ultimate Rachmaninoff Third." Each great performance brings out
different things in the music. Just compare Cliburn and Argerich, or
Rachmaninoff himself and Horowitz, for instance.
I have heard both the Larrocha live and recorded versions, but I place
them both below my favorite four performances (Cliburn/Kondrashin live
at Carnegie, Argerich/Abaddo live IIRC in Berlin, Rachmaninoff himself
with IIRC Ormandy, and the Horowitz one where the piano drowns out the
orchestra). I prefer the live one, but would place it at the same
level, in my opinion, as the Earl Wild.
The sonics on the live Larrocha, IMO, are better than all of the
recordings I listed other than the Argerich live one.
I would definitely say that both Larrocha versions are worth a listen,
though.
Argerich w. Chailly...exciting performance with bad sound.

Regards
malcolm
2006-01-11 00:11:55 UTC
Permalink
<From: "Citizen" <***@gmail.com> - Find messages by this
author
Date: 10 Jan 2006 15:02:59 -0800
Local: Tues, Jan 10 2006 6:02 pm
Subject: Re: The ultimate Rachmaninov Third

In response to the title, I have to say that I believe that there is no

"ultimate Rachmaninoff Third." Each great performance brings out
different things in the music. Just compare Cliburn and Argerich, or
Rachmaninoff himself and Horowitz, for instance.


I have heard both the Larrocha live and recorded versions, but I place
them both below my favorite four performances (Cliburn/Kondrashin live
at Carnegie, Argerich/Abaddo live IIRC in Berlin, Rachmaninoff himself
with IIRC Ormandy, and the Horowitz one where the piano drowns out the
orchestra). I prefer the live one, but would place it at the same
level, in my opinion, as the Earl Wild.


The sonics on the live Larrocha, IMO, are better than all of the
recordings I listed other than the Argerich live one.


I would definitely say that both Larrocha versions are worth a listen,
though.>

I too take with grain of salt anything that's labeled as being
"ultimate". So excuse that bit of
hyperbole. All I meant to say that it's a truly outstanding performance
and is so far beyond
what even I thought she was capable of.

I do really believe that at least interpretively, it surpasses all of
the performances you mentioned above.
I guess it's all a matter of taste.

But I wonder if you're referring to the same performance I heard. The
sonics are the one thing that is deficient
in the performance. Since it's not widely available, where did you hear
it?


Malcolm

Malcolm
Citizen
2006-01-11 02:57:55 UTC
Permalink
"But I wonder if you're referring to the same performance I heard. The
sonics are the one thing that is deficient
in the performance. Since it's not widely available, where did you hear
it?"

The sonics may have been deficient, but they were better than the
Cliburn, Horowitz, and Rachmaninoff ones. The orchestra can barely be
heard in the Horowitz version that I wrote of (he recorded three,
IIRC), and the Rachmaninoff sounds as all recordings from that era do.
That's why I said the sonics were not as good as that of Argerich's
live performance. As another poster already noted, the sonics on the
Argerich aren't all that great either.

In fact, I too heard it while exploring the UM piano archives. I once
visited relatives who lived in Baltimore for about two weeks, and on
two of those days I escaped hours of confinement with boring relatives
by going down to UM. Incidentally, there is a whole treasure trove of
recordings there. The early piano rolls are extremely intriguing.
g***@cox.net
2006-01-10 23:57:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by malcolm
In theory it may seem impossible for a woman as tiny as she is to be
capable of such playing, but hearing is believing.
Size has nothing to do with how well one plays or does not play the
piano. Heft has mistakenly been used to 'account' for a "big sound" (a
la Berman, Bolet) but Horowitz was a little man (as de Larrocha is a
little woman) and no one produced bigger, better sound than he did.
[I've noted some realllly big men with little high-pitched voices and
vice versa.]

Gerrie C
Dan Koren
2006-01-11 01:03:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by g***@cox.net
Post by malcolm
In theory it may seem impossible for a woman as tiny as she is to be
capable of such playing, but hearing is believing.
Size has nothing to do with how well one plays or does not play the
piano. Heft has mistakenly been used to 'account' for a "big sound" (a
la Berman, Bolet) but Horowitz was a little man (as de Larrocha is a
little woman) and no one produced bigger, better sound than he did.
This is a highly debatable statement.

Large, flexible hands can in fact contribute to a big
sound, if used correctly of course (e.g. Richter, Van
Cliburn, Lhevinne, Michelangeli, Sokolov, Lugansky,
Barere). They can also result in the most painful
banging (e.g. Kissin, Gavrilov, Berezovsky). It is
a matter of how the hands are used.

Horowitz did not have the very largest hands (neither do
Pletnev, Martha Argerich or Naida Cole), however good
technique and plenty of practice can make up for that.

The advantage large hands buy more than anything else
is not so much power as it is endurance.



dk
g***@cox.net
2006-01-11 01:49:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
Post by g***@cox.net
Post by malcolm
In theory it may seem impossible for a woman as tiny as she is to be
capable of such playing, but hearing is believing.
Size has nothing to do with how well one plays or does not play the
piano. Heft has mistakenly been used to 'account' for a "big sound" (a
la Berman, Bolet) but Horowitz was a little man (as de Larrocha is a
little woman) and no one produced bigger, better sound than he did.
This is a highly debatable statement.
What you say in the following seems to misinterpret what I meant to
convey, i.e., not that large hands have nothing to do with sound at the
piano but that a large (overall) body does not.
Post by Dan Koren
Large, flexible hands can in fact contribute to a big
sound, if used correctly of course (e.g. Richter, Van
Cliburn, Lhevinne, Michelangeli, Sokolov, Lugansky,
Barere).
Ah, there's the rub.
Post by Dan Koren
They can also result in the most painful
banging (e.g. Kissin, Gavrilov, Berezovsky). It is
a matter of how the hands are used.
More importantly, how the **arms** are used in conjunction with them
Ever heard of arm weight, arm *touch*?
Post by Dan Koren
Horowitz did not have the very largest hands (neither do
Pletnev, Martha Argerich or Naida Cole), however good
technique and plenty of practice can make up for that.
Foregone conclusion.
Post by Dan Koren
The advantage large hands buy more than anything else
is not so much power as it is endurance.
Again, I was talking about a large **body**. I've seen very big men
and women who can't muster a good sonorous ff at the piano and their
opposites (Slenczynska, about 4'10"or 11", and again, Horowitz) blow
the lid off.

Gerrie C
Dan Koren
2006-01-11 07:01:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by g***@cox.net
Post by Dan Koren
Post by g***@cox.net
Post by malcolm
In theory it may seem impossible for a woman as tiny as she is to be
capable of such playing, but hearing is believing.
Size has nothing to do with how well one plays or does not play the
piano. Heft has mistakenly been used to 'account' for a "big sound" (a
la Berman, Bolet) but Horowitz was a little man (as de Larrocha is a
little woman) and no one produced bigger, better sound than he did.
This is a highly debatable statement.
What you say in the following seems to misinterpret what I meant to
convey, i.e., not that large hands have nothing to do with sound at the
piano but that a large (overall) body does not.
Post by Dan Koren
Large, flexible hands can in fact contribute to a big
sound, if used correctly of course (e.g. Richter, Van
Cliburn, Lhevinne, Michelangeli, Sokolov, Lugansky,
Barere).
Ah, there's the rub.
Post by Dan Koren
They can also result in the most painful
banging (e.g. Kissin, Gavrilov, Berezovsky).
It is a matter of how the hands are used.
More importantly, how the **arms** are used in
conjunction with them Ever heard of arm weight,
arm *touch*?
Yes, indeed, but these are far above the level of
this audience. I tried to keep things simple ;-)
Post by g***@cox.net
Post by Dan Koren
Horowitz did not have the very largest hands (neither do
Pletnev, Martha Argerich or Naida Cole), however good
technique and plenty of practice can make up for that.
Foregone conclusion.
Post by Dan Koren
The advantage large hands buy more than anything else
is not so much power as it is endurance.
Again, I was talking about a large **body**. I've seen
very big men and women who can't muster a good sonorous
ff at the piano and their opposites (Slenczynska, about
4'10"or 11", and again, Horowitz) blow the lid off.
You should hear Igor Zhukov!



dk
unknown
2006-01-11 09:53:39 UTC
Permalink
<...>
Post by Dan Koren
Post by g***@cox.net
Again, I was talking about a large **body**. I've seen
very big men and women who can't muster a good sonorous
ff at the piano and their opposites (Slenczynska, about
4'10"or 11", and again, Horowitz) blow the lid off.
You should hear Igor Zhukov!
Is he a little guy?

BTW, while it is obvious that some (not all) physically small pianists
regularly create a sound as sonorous or more so than some (not all)
physically mid-sized to large to XX-large pianists, physically larger
pianists do have a basic *potential* advantage just in raw terms of
energy expended to run the thing in ratio to body mass (as long as that
body mass is in reasonably good shape, of course). Not to mention
possible subjective aspects of having the instrument itself simply be
less large relative to the size of the performer. Probably none of
this matters hugely when personality and artistry get factored in,
though.

wr
Martin Altschwager
2006-01-11 11:19:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by unknown
BTW, while it is obvious that some (not all) physically small pianists
regularly create a sound as sonorous or more so than some (not all)
physically mid-sized to large to XX-large pianists, physically larger
pianists do have a basic *potential* advantage just in raw terms of
energy expended to run the thing in ratio to body mass (as long as that
body mass is in reasonably good shape, of course). Not to mention
possible subjective aspects of having the instrument itself simply be
less large relative to the size of the performer. Probably none of
this matters hugely when personality and artistry get factored in,
though.
Emil Gilels comes to mind...

M.A.
JohnGavin
2006-01-11 16:35:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Martin Altschwager
Post by unknown
BTW, while it is obvious that some (not all) physically small pianists
regularly create a sound as sonorous or more so than some (not all)
physically mid-sized to large to XX-large pianists, physically larger
pianists do have a basic *potential* advantage just in raw terms of
energy expended to run the thing in ratio to body mass (as long as that
body mass is in reasonably good shape, of course). Not to mention
possible subjective aspects of having the instrument itself simply be
less large relative to the size of the performer. Probably none of
this matters hugely when personality and artistry get factored in,
though.
Emil Gilels comes to mind...
M.A.
In terms of the sound, I think body type or frame is the most
determinative factor. Heavier arms are an advantage in producing a big
full sound. Gilels, although short, was also stocky. Horowitz on the
other hand had a sort of wiry physique. Alicia De Larrocha, although
very short, was always a bit weighty in the arm, and she used this to
full advantage.
Dan Koren
2006-01-11 12:49:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by unknown
<...>
Post by Dan Koren
Post by g***@cox.net
Again, I was talking about a large **body**. I've seen
very big men and women who can't muster a good sonorous
ff at the piano and their opposites (Slenczynska, about
4'10"or 11", and again, Horowitz) blow the lid off.
You should hear Igor Zhukov!
Is he a little guy?
I'd say 5'4" to 5'6", slim frame.


dk
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 16:04:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
Post by unknown
Post by Dan Koren
You should hear Igor Zhukov!
Is he a little guy?
I'd say 5'4" to 5'6", slim frame.
Sounds the way he looks.

Slim.

TD
Peter Lemken
2006-01-11 17:10:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Dan Koren
Post by unknown
Post by Dan Koren
You should hear Igor Zhukov!
Is he a little guy?
I'd say 5'4" to 5'6", slim frame.
Sounds the way he looks.
Slim.
Says someone who has never heard Zhukov live.

Sheesh.

Peter Lemken
Berlin
--
Paul Lincke ist dem Zille sein Milhaud.

(Harry Rowohlt)
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 18:13:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Dan Koren
Post by unknown
Post by Dan Koren
You should hear Igor Zhukov!
Is he a little guy?
I'd say 5'4" to 5'6", slim frame.
Sounds the way he looks.
Slim.
Says someone who has never heard Zhukov live.
Having never had the misfortune of actually meeting Herr Peter Lemken
or had any association with him whatsoever other than rather passively
reading the nonsense he spews on this newsgroup, I have to say that I
remain amazed that he has knowledge of my life experiences to the
extent he suggests. His post on this subject, as on most of the other
subjects he addresses, is pure garbage.

Frankly, I disregard his posts, until the temptation to tweak his beak
over Zhukov, a pianist who he claims to have "represented" as a concert
manager, as far as I understand. Then I find it impossible to resist.
Naughty me! Consider my wrist slapped!

That said, pity is the only feeling I can muster. That and a conviction
that he lacks judgment. Surely he could have found a better Russian to
represent than Igor "I try to bang above my weight" Zhukov.

TD
Peter Lemken
2006-01-11 22:19:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Dan Koren
Post by unknown
Post by Dan Koren
You should hear Igor Zhukov!
Is he a little guy?
I'd say 5'4" to 5'6", slim frame.
Sounds the way he looks.
Slim.
Says someone who has never heard Zhukov live.
Having never had the misfortune of actually meeting Herr Peter Lemken
and Mr. Zhukov.

Get a life.

Peter Lemken
Berlin
--
Paul Lincke ist dem Zille sein Milhaud.

(Harry Rowohlt)
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 22:30:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Dan Koren
Post by unknown
Post by Dan Koren
You should hear Igor Zhukov!
Is he a little guy?
I'd say 5'4" to 5'6", slim frame.
Sounds the way he looks.
Slim.
Says someone who has never heard Zhukov live.
Having never had the misfortune of actually meeting Herr Peter Lemken
and Mr. Zhukov.
Get a life.
I have one, and thank God am still able to enjoy it.

You seem not to have. And I understand that. Being chained to a
mediocre pianist whom you have to flog from one city to another is
something of a curse. Of course, you inflicted this upon yourself.

Perhaps YOU should "get a life". You might find you had wasted most of
the one God gave you.

TD
Steve Emerson
2006-01-11 21:06:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
Post by unknown
<...>
Post by Dan Koren
Post by g***@cox.net
Again, I was talking about a large **body**. I've seen
very big men and women who can't muster a good sonorous
ff at the piano and their opposites (Slenczynska, about
4'10"or 11", and again, Horowitz) blow the lid off.
You should hear Igor Zhukov!
Is he a little guy?
I'd say 5'4" to 5'6", slim frame.
And how tall was Gilels ("the Little Giant")?

SE.
unknown
2006-01-11 21:39:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
Post by unknown
<...>
Post by Dan Koren
Post by g***@cox.net
Again, I was talking about a large **body**. I've seen
very big men and women who can't muster a good sonorous
ff at the piano and their opposites (Slenczynska, about
4'10"or 11", and again, Horowitz) blow the lid off.
You should hear Igor Zhukov!
Is he a little guy?
I'd say 5'4" to 5'6", slim frame.
Thanks. That's pretty small, alright. I'm reminded of when I first
saw Ashkenasy live and was totally surprised at how small he was.

wr
Tony - sidoze
2006-01-12 00:49:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
I'd say 5'4" to 5'6", slim frame.
dk
Surprise surprise. Given my need to turn the volume down whenever a
Zhukov recording is on, I wouldn't have guessed less than 6'. Last
night I had the pleasure of listening through two Chopin 3rds by him,
the one from Wigmore Hall and the one Peter so kindly made available
here. Very different performances if you ask me. The London performance
has an exceptionally bleak first movement, a Largo that is too intense
for words, and a finale that, comparatively, I found not entirely
successful. Overall I prefer the Ann Arbor performance which to me is
something of an expressionistic view of this work. His huge sound is
surely demonstrated in the finale's celebratory octaves (which, to put
it mildly, dominate the sound stage). I wish I could have attended the
London performance, but then I was still driving around America at the
time, not even bothering with Russian pianists. If he returns, however,
you can bet I'll be there.

It's amusing how someone of his height and body size can make the piano
swell to such an extent, whereas someone who has all the physical
features of a born pianist--I'm thinking of Garrick Ohlsson--has
comparatively little to shout or whisper about even if he could do
either.

Thinking of pianists today who are, physically speaking, everything
you'd want for a complete pianist, and who have actually reached their
potential, I have trouble coming up with more than two: Sokolov and
Pogorelich. Given the former's sheer dedication to piano playing and
his inborn musical talent, I'd surmise that his rich and voluminous
sound would remain about as it is even if he were considerably shorter
and slimmer. The latter is a bit more intractable. I recall last
September when I had a drink with him after his benefit concert how
genuinely surprised I was to see he is about my height but with hands
that just don't seem to come to an end. Talking about muscles in the
hands takes on a new meaning in such a context. Between this, upright
posture and a canny application of arm weight, a strong, indeed granite
sound is created that I feel fairly certain has no equal today in terms
of power, even if it is applied oddly most of the time. Not that I
would be able to use my ears to make a further comparison anyway, after
having sat through the final pages of his Rach 2 sonata.
unknown
2006-01-12 02:17:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony - sidoze
Post by Dan Koren
I'd say 5'4" to 5'6", slim frame.
dk
Surprise surprise. Given my need to turn the volume down whenever a
Zhukov recording is on, I wouldn't have guessed less than 6'. Last
night I had the pleasure of listening through two Chopin 3rds by him,
the one from Wigmore Hall and the one Peter so kindly made available
here. Very different performances if you ask me. The London performance
has an exceptionally bleak first movement, a Largo that is too intense
for words, and a finale that, comparatively, I found not entirely
successful. Overall I prefer the Ann Arbor performance which to me is
something of an expressionistic view of this work. His huge sound is
surely demonstrated in the finale's celebratory octaves (which, to put
it mildly, dominate the sound stage). I wish I could have attended the
London performance, but then I was still driving around America at the
time, not even bothering with Russian pianists. If he returns, however,
you can bet I'll be there.
It's amusing how someone of his height and body size can make the piano
swell to such an extent, whereas someone who has all the physical
features of a born pianist--I'm thinking of Garrick Ohlsson--has
comparatively little to shout or whisper about even if he could do
either.
Gratuitously mean, and wrong, to boot. Ohlsson, live, has given some
of the most memorably great performances of anything I've ever heard.
For example, a Liszt sonata I heard him do has never been bettered in
my experience, and only rarely have I heard any that are in the same
rarefied league. The live broadcast he did with the Cleveland and
Dohnanyi before making the recording of the Busoni concerto was flat
out staggering both musically and technically, and unfortunately only
the smallest hints of what he (and his partners in the effort) did live
are retained in the recording. However, I've also heard him do some
pretty dull live stuff too - a Brahms 2nd concerto that stayed almost
totally dead in the water, for example. On disc, OTOH, there's
practically nothing of Ohlsson's that I've heard that is very
compelling - I don't know why he doesn't record well. But
nevertheless, he can and has used those physical assets to full
advantage at times, and when he does, it is as good as anything any
other pianist alive has to offer these days, I think.

wr
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 11:30:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
You should hear Igor Zhukov!
What are you, Koren? A sadist?

TD
Tony - sidoze
2006-01-11 09:45:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by g***@cox.net
(Slenczynska, about 4'10"or 11"
Gerrie C
Whatever her skill at producing a large sound, her Chopin 3rd sonata
must be among the crassest and most flesh-creeping ones on record.
Martin Altschwager
2006-01-11 11:23:49 UTC
Permalink
Whatever her [Alicia de Larrocha's] skill at producing a large
sound, her Chopin 3rd sonata must be among the crassest and
most flesh-creeping ones on record.
I've trouble identifying the recording you mention. Is this OOP? Or part of
the Decca "Art of Alicia de Larrocha" box set?

Can this box set be recommended? I'm not too familiar with AdL, except her
Albéniz and Granados recordings. I've yet to listen to her in more
mainstream repertoire.

M.A.
Tony - sidoze
2006-01-11 11:40:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Martin Altschwager
Whatever her [Alicia de Larrocha's] skill at producing a large
sound, her Chopin 3rd sonata must be among the crassest and
most flesh-creeping ones on record.
I've trouble identifying the recording you mention. Is this OOP? Or part of
the Decca "Art of Alicia de Larrocha" box set?
Can this box set be recommended? I'm not too familiar with AdL, except her
Albéniz and Granados recordings. I've yet to listen to her in more
mainstream repertoire.
M.A.
I haven't heard that Art of box and probably never will--it does
contain some Chopin but AFAIK she didn't record the 3rd sonata. My
comments were directed towards Slenczynska's live Chopin 3rd on Ivory,
which I recommend all and sundry to avoid.
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 11:57:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony - sidoze
I haven't heard that Art of box and probably never will--it does
contain some Chopin but AFAIK she didn't record the 3rd sonata. My
comments were directed towards Slenczynska's live Chopin 3rd on Ivory,
which I recommend all and sundry to avoid.
Bad advice, I would suggest.

Ruth Slenczynska is, perhaps, no longer the pianist who so impressed
Rachmaninoff when she was brought to him as a very young girl. But it
is always interesting to follow someone like her through her career,
one which is now, inevitably, drawing to a close.

Stop thinking "I have to own the best recordings of every piece of
music" and start thinking "I have to hear as many different
interpretations of the music I love". You'll find you are less
frustrated by individual interpretations which don't fit one particular
mold.

TD
Tony - sidoze
2006-01-11 12:45:58 UTC
Permalink
But it is always interesting to follow someone like her through her career...
From a distance, perhaps.
Stop thinking "I have to own the best recordings of every piece of
music" and start thinking "I have to hear as many different
interpretations of the music I love".
TD
You are right -- but you express yourself so poorly. Why this "stop
thinking" part? Do you think it's even possible to own the best
recordings, as you call them, before searching and searching? Of course
this does not mean that I need to keep all of the ones which I find
less than convincing. Slenczynska stays only because no one is willing
to buy her -- something I find quite right, frankly.
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 16:01:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony - sidoze
But it is always interesting to follow someone like her through her career...
From a distance, perhaps.
Stop thinking "I have to own the best recordings of every piece of
music" and start thinking "I have to hear as many different
interpretations of the music I love".
TD
You are right -- but you express yourself so poorly.
I think you got my meaning, which is all that words can really do.

Why this "stop thinking" part? Do you think it's even possible to own
the best
Post by Tony - sidoze
recordings, as you call them, before searching and searching?
The chief mistake comes with the use of the word "best".

There IS no best, that is the point. The longer you labour under that
illusion, the more discs you will flog on ebay or wherever in the
fruitless search for the holy grail of this or that piece of music.

This is sheer idiocy.


Of course this does not mean that I need to keep all of the ones which
I find
Post by Tony - sidoze
less than convincing.
Nobody suggested that you keep "all of the ones" which you find "less
than convincing", or even the ones you think are crass or worse. You
can throw those out or give them to charity.
Post by Tony - sidoze
Slenczynska stays only because no one is willing to buy her -- something I find quite right, frankly.
It will, perhaps, remain as an example of your fruitless search for
something you will never find.

And as you say, that is quite right, frankly.

TD
Tony - sidoze
2006-01-11 16:16:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
This is sheer idiocy.
TD
I think you're on to something. We could say, then, that all recordings
are created equal, but some are more equal than others, no?
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 16:24:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony - sidoze
Post by tomdeacon
This is sheer idiocy.
TD
I think you're on to something. We could say, then, that all recordings
are created equal, but some are more equal than others, no?
We can't even go that far.

We can just say they're different and make our choices.

I am hardly shy about stating my preferences. But so far, at least, I
have never sold a single LP or CD I have ever purchased. There's always
another day, different ears, better mood, or just historical interest.

I can understand if you can't "afford" to keep them all. Frankly I
would simply suggest you not buy them in the first place unless you
have heard them and liked what you hear.

TD
JohnGavin
2006-01-11 11:29:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony - sidoze
Post by g***@cox.net
(Slenczynska, about 4'10"or 11"
Gerrie C
Whatever her skill at producing a large sound, her Chopin 3rd sonata
must be among the crassest and most flesh-creeping ones on record.
I'm a big De Larrocha fan and I'm not aware of any recording of the
Chopin B Minor Sonata. Can you give the label and number?
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 11:35:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by JohnGavin
Post by Tony - sidoze
Post by g***@cox.net
(Slenczynska, about 4'10"or 11"
Gerrie C
Whatever her skill at producing a large sound, her Chopin 3rd sonata
must be among the crassest and most flesh-creeping ones on record.
I'm a big De Larrocha fan and I'm not aware of any recording of the
Chopin B Minor Sonata. Can you give the label and number?
I think if you check back you will find that he is referring to Ruth
Slenczinska(sp?), who is one of the tinest pianists who ever had a
major career. At that she could produce thunderous sounds when called
upon to do so.

TD
JohnGavin
2006-01-11 16:29:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by JohnGavin
Post by Tony - sidoze
Post by g***@cox.net
(Slenczynska, about 4'10"or 11"
Gerrie C
Whatever her skill at producing a large sound, her Chopin 3rd sonata
must be among the crassest and most flesh-creeping ones on record.
I'm a big De Larrocha fan and I'm not aware of any recording of the
Chopin B Minor Sonata. Can you give the label and number?
I think if you check back you will find that he is referring to Ruth
Slenczinska(sp?), who is one of the tinest pianists who ever had a
major career. At that she could produce thunderous sounds when called
upon to do so.
TD
OK - I was going by post 51
Post by tomdeacon
Whatever her [Alicia de Larrocha's] skill at producing a large
sound, her Chopin 3rd sonata must be among the crassest and
most flesh-creeping ones on record.
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-01-11 15:48:57 UTC
Permalink
"Tony - sidoze" <***@gmail.com> appears to have caused the following
letters to be typed in news:1136972706.889296.97720
Post by Tony - sidoze
Post by g***@cox.net
(Slenczynska, about 4'10"or 11"
Whatever her skill at producing a large sound, her Chopin 3rd sonata
must be among the crassest and most flesh-creeping ones on record.
Gould's recording of that is a mechanical monstrosity.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
JohnGavin
2006-01-11 01:33:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by g***@cox.net
Post by malcolm
In theory it may seem impossible for a woman as tiny as she is to be
capable of such playing, but hearing is believing.
Size has nothing to do with how well one plays or does not play the
piano. Heft has mistakenly been used to 'account' for a "big sound" (a
la Berman, Bolet) but Horowitz was a little man (as de Larrocha is a
little woman) and no one produced bigger, better sound than he did.
[I've noted some realllly big men with little high-pitched voices and
vice versa.]
Gerrie C
No one produced a bigger or BETTER sound than Horowitz? Huh? I don't
think so. For one thing, Horowitz's playing was largely dependent on
an ultra light action with hammers voiced to an extreme brightness. He
would have sounded miserable on Rubinstein's heavier weighted Steinway.
If anything Rubinstein played with more weight and produced a bigger
sound - if you consider that a big sound entails the full range of
overtones - not just thundering.
Steve Emerson
2006-01-11 04:09:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by JohnGavin
Post by g***@cox.net
Size has nothing to do with how well one plays or does not play the
piano. Heft has mistakenly been used to 'account' for a "big sound" (a
la Berman, Bolet) but Horowitz was a little man (as de Larrocha is a
little woman) and no one produced bigger, better sound than he did.
[I've noted some realllly big men with little high-pitched voices and
vice versa.]
Gerrie C
No one produced a bigger or BETTER sound than Horowitz? Huh? I don't
think so. For one thing, Horowitz's playing was largely dependent on
an ultra light action with hammers voiced to an extreme brightness. He
would have sounded miserable on Rubinstein's heavier weighted Steinway.
If anything Rubinstein played with more weight and produced a bigger
sound - if you consider that a big sound entails the full range of
overtones - not just thundering.
Right. Horowitz would not be on any list I'd make of pianists with a
great sound, and largely for the reasons you depict.

If anything that's part of what comes to mind when one considers the,
AFAIC, inflated reputation he enjoys among many audiences.

SE.
Peter Lemken
2006-01-11 11:30:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by JohnGavin
No one produced a bigger or BETTER sound than Horowitz? Huh? I don't
think so. For one thing, Horowitz's playing was largely dependent on
an ultra light action with hammers voiced to an extreme brightness.
Did you play his piano?

I did and have to tell you that your statement is incorrect on both
accounts. Neither was his action ultralight, nor were the hammers voiced to an
extreme brightness.

The latter one may have been true for the 1978 Rachmaninoff 3rd sessions,
but certainly not for other solo appearances after that.

Peter Lemken
Berlin
--
Paul Lincke ist dem Zille sein Milhaud.

(Harry Rowohlt)
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 11:39:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by JohnGavin
No one produced a bigger or BETTER sound than Horowitz? Huh? I don't
think so. For one thing, Horowitz's playing was largely dependent on
an ultra light action with hammers voiced to an extreme brightness.
Did you play his piano?
I did and have to tell you that your statement is incorrect on both
accounts. Neither was his action ultralight, nor were the hammers voiced to an
extreme brightness.
The latter one may have been true for the 1978 Rachmaninoff 3rd sessions,
but certainly not for other solo appearances after that.
This is the kind of silly comment we have come to expect from this
source.

I wonder if Mr. Lemken tested each and every piano Horowitz played upon
after 1978. Or before that?

Somehow I doubt it.

Garrick Ohlsson DID play his piano(s) and went on the record that they
were a bit like trying to run on ICE!!!!

Light. Glassy sound. Hammers filed to an edge. And so on.

Lemken should stick to Zhukov.

I can understand that he didn't, but he should have. Just out of
sympathy.

TD
Peter Lemken
2006-01-11 17:20:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by JohnGavin
No one produced a bigger or BETTER sound than Horowitz? Huh? I don't
think so. For one thing, Horowitz's playing was largely dependent on
an ultra light action with hammers voiced to an extreme brightness.
Did you play his piano?
I did and have to tell you that your statement is incorrect on both
accounts. Neither was his action ultralight, nor were the hammers voiced to an
extreme brightness.
The latter one may have been true for the 1978 Rachmaninoff 3rd sessions,
but certainly not for other solo appearances after that.
This is the kind of silly comment we have come to expect from this
source.
When did you play the Horowitz piano?

Peter Lemken
Berlin
--
Paul Lincke ist dem Zille sein Milhaud.

(Harry Rowohlt)
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 18:17:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by JohnGavin
No one produced a bigger or BETTER sound than Horowitz? Huh? I don't
think so. For one thing, Horowitz's playing was largely dependent on
an ultra light action with hammers voiced to an extreme brightness.
Did you play his piano?
I did and have to tell you that your statement is incorrect on both
accounts. Neither was his action ultralight, nor were the hammers voiced to an
extreme brightness.
The latter one may have been true for the 1978 Rachmaninoff 3rd sessions,
but certainly not for other solo appearances after that.
This is the kind of silly comment we have come to expect from this
source.
When did you play the Horowitz piano?
Lemken should know that NOBODY "plays" the Horowitz piano.

They only "touch" it, and even that is not usually allowed.

I had the opportunity to do so at Massey Hall in Toronto in the mid
1970s.

Garrick Ohlsson, on the other hand, had multiple opportunities to
actually play the Horowitz piano. His account was from personal
experience and it was retold on network television throughout America.

The Horowitz piano was, for all intents and purposes, a "prepared"
piano.

TD
Steve Emerson
2006-01-11 20:57:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Lemken should know that NOBODY "plays" the Horowitz piano.
[...]
Post by tomdeacon
Garrick Ohlsson, on the other hand, had multiple opportunities to
actually play the Horowitz piano.
Tom, you've got a mind like a steel trap.

SE.
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 22:32:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Emerson
Post by tomdeacon
Lemken should know that NOBODY "plays" the Horowitz piano.
[...]
Post by tomdeacon
Garrick Ohlsson, on the other hand, had multiple opportunities to
actually play the Horowitz piano.
Tom, you've got a mind like a steel trap.
Gee, Steve. I thought you got the point.

Lemken IS nobody.

TD
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-01-11 23:51:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Emerson
Post by tomdeacon
Lemken should know that NOBODY "plays" the Horowitz piano.
[...]
Post by tomdeacon
Garrick Ohlsson, on the other hand, had multiple opportunities to
actually play the Horowitz piano.
Tom, you've got a mind like a steel trap.
Do steel traps ever rust into immobility?
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
JohnGavin
2006-01-11 16:07:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by JohnGavin
No one produced a bigger or BETTER sound than Horowitz? Huh? I don't
think so. For one thing, Horowitz's playing was largely dependent on
an ultra light action with hammers voiced to an extreme brightness.
Did you play his piano?
Yes, sort of....Horowitz' Steinway circulated after his death and made
a visit to Steinert & Sons. I tinkered with it, and the action was
indeed very light. Just watching Horowitz videos reveals that he
didn't play in the conventional "arm weight" Russian School way. His
wrists were usually low, with flat fingered hands. Nothing wrong with
this, of course, because, after all, it worked and gave Horowitz a
unique sound and style, but there is no doubt for me that this way of
playing depends on a relatively easy action.
Post by Peter Lemken
I did and have to tell you that your statement is incorrect on both
accounts. Neither was his action ultralight, nor were the hammers voiced to an
extreme brightness.
The latter one may have been true for the 1978 Rachmaninoff 3rd sessions,
but certainly not for other solo appearances after that.
Horowitz's technician, (I think his name was Fritz Mohr??) wrote a book
and spoke extensively about Horowitz' demands. He demanded
increasingly bright voicing, often against the advice of Mohr. The '78
was an extreme example of this, but it was a regular demand of Horowitz
for decades. Listen for example to the MET recital.
unknown
2006-01-11 21:49:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by JohnGavin
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by JohnGavin
No one produced a bigger or BETTER sound than Horowitz? Huh? I don't
think so. For one thing, Horowitz's playing was largely dependent on
an ultra light action with hammers voiced to an extreme brightness.
Did you play his piano?
Yes, sort of....Horowitz' Steinway circulated after his death and made
a visit to Steinert & Sons. I tinkered with it, and the action was
indeed very light. Just watching Horowitz videos reveals that he
didn't play in the conventional "arm weight" Russian School way. His
wrists were usually low, with flat fingered hands. Nothing wrong with
this, of course, because, after all, it worked and gave Horowitz a
unique sound and style, but there is no doubt for me that this way of
playing depends on a relatively easy action.
But surely in the early days of his career he didn't have the
wherewithal to haul personal pianos around with him, did he? I mean,
wouldn't he most likely have developed his way of playing before he was
able to have the pianos customized to match?
Post by JohnGavin
Post by Peter Lemken
I did and have to tell you that your statement is incorrect on both
accounts. Neither was his action ultralight, nor were the hammers voiced to an
extreme brightness.
The latter one may have been true for the 1978 Rachmaninoff 3rd sessions,
but certainly not for other solo appearances after that.
Horowitz's technician, (I think his name was Fritz Mohr??) wrote a book
and spoke extensively about Horowitz' demands. He demanded
increasingly bright voicing, often against the advice of Mohr. The '78
was an extreme example of this, but it was a regular demand of Horowitz
for decades. Listen for example to the MET recital.
It's a funny thought, but in a way, Horowitz was moving towards HIPness
with that piano modification. It's as if he were trying to turn a
Steinway into an mid-19th century Erard or something.

wr
JohnGavin
2006-01-11 22:51:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by unknown
Post by JohnGavin
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by JohnGavin
No one produced a bigger or BETTER sound than Horowitz? Huh? I don't
think so. For one thing, Horowitz's playing was largely dependent on
an ultra light action with hammers voiced to an extreme brightness.
Did you play his piano?
Yes, sort of....Horowitz' Steinway circulated after his death and made
a visit to Steinert & Sons. I tinkered with it, and the action was
indeed very light. Just watching Horowitz videos reveals that he
didn't play in the conventional "arm weight" Russian School way. His
wrists were usually low, with flat fingered hands. Nothing wrong with
this, of course, because, after all, it worked and gave Horowitz a
unique sound and style, but there is no doubt for me that this way of
playing depends on a relatively easy action.
But surely in the early days of his career he didn't have the
wherewithal to haul personal pianos around with him, did he? I mean,
wouldn't he most likely have developed his way of playing before he was
able to have the pianos customized to match?
One thing I can say along these lines - it was explained to me by a
piano tech that in the earlier days,(1920-1940s) the average Steinway
was voiced much much less brightly. I think you can hear this in
Lhevinne's and Rachmaninoff's recordings. What began to happen as time
went on is that audiences became so acclimated to the sound of
recordings, with it's close miking and more pointed brilliance that the
demand to try to match that sound on stage led to the increased
brightness in voicing as time went on. This often entails using a
chemical agent on the felts of the hammers to harden them.

I don't know the circumstances of Horowitz' early days - e.g. when he
toured only with his own piano, but I would imagine he at least was
able to choose light-action instruments - or else maybe his chops in
the early days were more adaptable to variations.
Post by unknown
It's a funny thought, but in a way, Horowitz was moving towards HIPness
with that piano modification. It's as if he were trying to turn a
Steinway into an mid-19th century Erard or something.
That's attributing a kind of musical virtue that I'm not sure Horowitz
possessed. I think rather he chose those modifications to maximize his
pianistic strengths to the hilt.
unknown
2006-01-12 02:34:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by JohnGavin
Post by unknown
Post by JohnGavin
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by JohnGavin
No one produced a bigger or BETTER sound than Horowitz? Huh? I don't
think so. For one thing, Horowitz's playing was largely dependent on
an ultra light action with hammers voiced to an extreme brightness.
Did you play his piano?
Yes, sort of....Horowitz' Steinway circulated after his death and made
a visit to Steinert & Sons. I tinkered with it, and the action was
indeed very light. Just watching Horowitz videos reveals that he
didn't play in the conventional "arm weight" Russian School way. His
wrists were usually low, with flat fingered hands. Nothing wrong with
this, of course, because, after all, it worked and gave Horowitz a
unique sound and style, but there is no doubt for me that this way of
playing depends on a relatively easy action.
But surely in the early days of his career he didn't have the
wherewithal to haul personal pianos around with him, did he? I mean,
wouldn't he most likely have developed his way of playing before he was
able to have the pianos customized to match?
One thing I can say along these lines - it was explained to me by a
piano tech that in the earlier days,(1920-1940s) the average Steinway
was voiced much much less brightly. I think you can hear this in
Lhevinne's and Rachmaninoff's recordings. What began to happen as time
went on is that audiences became so acclimated to the sound of
recordings, with it's close miking and more pointed brilliance that the
demand to try to match that sound on stage led to the increased
brightness in voicing as time went on. This often entails using a
chemical agent on the felts of the hammers to harden them.
That's interesting - I didn't realize the voicing had changed over time
in that way. It is a bit like orchestral pitch going ever higher as
the strings tried to out-bright everyone (at least, that's the
explanation I've heard for the phenomenon). I did know that sometimes
techs and owners have used hypodermic needles to inject varnish, or
other liquids that harden, into the piano hammer felt in order to
brighten the sound. Unfortunately, it's something that cannot readily
be undone, and as the hammer continues to harden on its own with age
and use, that treatment can end up being pretty detrimental to the
sound, in the long run.
Post by JohnGavin
I don't know the circumstances of Horowitz' early days - e.g. when he
toured only with his own piano, but I would imagine he at least was
able to choose light-action instruments - or else maybe his chops in
the early days were more adaptable to variations.
Seems like it would have had to have been the latter - I can't imagine
that most places would have exceptionally light-actioned instruments
available to choose from, if indeed there was a choice at all.
Post by JohnGavin
Post by unknown
It's a funny thought, but in a way, Horowitz was moving towards HIPness
with that piano modification. It's as if he were trying to turn a
Steinway into an mid-19th century Erard or something.
That's attributing a kind of musical virtue that I'm not sure Horowitz
possessed. I think rather he chose those modifications to maximize his
pianistic strengths to the hilt.
Sorry - I should have explained that I meant that *unconsciously* he
was sort of moving towards a 19th century HIPness.

wr
David Fox
2006-01-11 16:14:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by JohnGavin
No one produced a bigger or BETTER sound than Horowitz? Huh? I don't
think so. For one thing, Horowitz's playing was largely dependent on
an ultra light action with hammers voiced to an extreme brightness.
Did you play his piano?
I did and have to tell you that your statement is incorrect on both
accounts. Neither was his action ultralight, nor were the hammers voiced to an
extreme brightness.
The latter one may have been true for the 1978 Rachmaninoff 3rd sessions,
but certainly not for other solo appearances after that.
Peter Lemken
Berlin
--
I played one of Horowtiz' pianos. It was on display in Steinway Hall
in the early 90's and accessible by appointment. It was not
excessively bright, but the action was indeed ultralight. That's not
to say that all of his pianos were prepared that way at all times, but
the one I played on that particular day was.

DF
Peter Lemken
2006-01-11 17:19:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Fox
Post by Peter Lemken
Post by JohnGavin
No one produced a bigger or BETTER sound than Horowitz? Huh? I don't
think so. For one thing, Horowitz's playing was largely dependent on
an ultra light action with hammers voiced to an extreme brightness.
Did you play his piano?
I did and have to tell you that your statement is incorrect on both
accounts. Neither was his action ultralight, nor were the hammers voiced to an
extreme brightness.
The latter one may have been true for the 1978 Rachmaninoff 3rd sessions,
but certainly not for other solo appearances after that.
I played one of Horowtiz' pianos. It was on display in Steinway Hall
in the early 90's and accessible by appointment. It was not
excessively bright, but the action was indeed ultralight. That's not
to say that all of his pianos were prepared that way at all times, but
the one I played on that particular day was.
If it was in the 90s, it can't possibly have been prepared for one of
Horowitz' concerts. The occasion I played Horowitz' piano was in Berlin in
1986, one day before his second recital at the Philharmonic hall and it was
Franz Mohr himself who let me play the piano for a couple of minutes. It
certainly was not ultralight, just very precise in its action, as a matter
of fact, a lot more precise than any of the other New York Steinway Ds I
played at Steinway hall later on.

Contrary to your previous statement, the hammers were not voiced to an
extreme brightness, in fact, the sound is rather mellow. You can hear the
sound of the piano on his DGG recordings and I am sure you will concur that
the sound is a far cry from the ultrashrill intonation of his 1978
performances. The instrument received a complete set of new hammers after
the orchestra appearance of his Jubilee year.

Peter Lemken
Berlin
--
Paul Lincke ist dem Zille sein Milhaud.

(Harry Rowohlt)
Dan Koren
2006-01-11 01:29:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by malcolm
I recently heard a live performance of the Rachmaninov 3rd that is,
hands down, the best performance I have ever heard. The surprise is
that the pianist is Alicia De Larrocha, from a 1972 live performance at
Carnegie Hall (Andre Previn leading the LSO).
For those that are only familiar with her studio account (which is
wonderful, but a bit subdued), this one is infinitely better. Frankly,
as great an admirer of this pianist as I am, even I was a bit surpised
that she had it in her to deliver a performance that is so
interpretively and technically on target as this one. From a purely
technical perspective, it is easily the equal of Argerich's much
praised account, but more controlled. And interpretively, it surpasses
it (as well as just about any other recording I've ever heard). (I had
much the same reaction to a live performance by her of #2, but the
sound on that one was pretty bad).
In theory it may seem impossible for a woman as tiny as she is to be
capable of such playing, but hearing is believing.
With all due respect to De Larrocha (and Van Cliburn, Gilels,
Flier, Mogilevsky, Sokolov, Janis, Kapell, Kissin, Volodos,
Anievas, Graffman, Gutierrez, Rodriguez, Argerich, etc...)
the ultimate Rachmaninov 3rd is without question Pletnev's
with Rostropovich conducting. It is so far above the others
that it almost becomes a different work altogether. In my
opinion it surpasses even the composer's interpretation.
No other performance succeeds to bring out every strand
and articulate every phrase so clearly while keeping a
sense of inexorable movement from beginning to end.



dk
David Wake
2006-01-11 01:49:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
With all due respect to De Larrocha (and Van Cliburn, Gilels,
Flier, Mogilevsky, Sokolov, Janis, Kapell, Kissin, Volodos,
Anievas, Graffman, Gutierrez, Rodriguez, Argerich, etc...)
the ultimate Rachmaninov 3rd is without question Pletnev's
with Rostropovich conducting. It is so far above the others
that it almost becomes a different work altogether. In my
opinion it surpasses even the composer's interpretation.
No other performance succeeds to bring out every strand
and articulate every phrase so clearly while keeping a
sense of inexorable movement from beginning to end.
But how does it compare to Gieseking/Mengelberg?

David
Dan Koren
2006-01-11 07:03:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Wake
Post by Dan Koren
With all due respect to De Larrocha (and Van Cliburn, Gilels,
Flier, Mogilevsky, Sokolov, Janis, Kapell, Kissin, Volodos,
Anievas, Graffman, Gutierrez, Rodriguez, Argerich, etc...)
the ultimate Rachmaninov 3rd is without question Pletnev's
with Rostropovich conducting. It is so far above the others
that it almost becomes a different work altogether. In my
opinion it surpasses even the composer's interpretation.
No other performance succeeds to bring out every strand
and articulate every phrase so clearly while keeping a
sense of inexorable movement from beginning to end.
But how does it compare to Gieseking/Mengelberg?
I hold the Gieseking/Mengelberg a laughable urban
legend. It is not very good technically, and it is
utterly unidiomatic. If anyone thinks this is how
*RUSSIAN* music should be phrased, they'd better
spend their record money on the Beattles and the
Rolling Stones.



dk
Tony - sidoze
2006-01-11 10:01:16 UTC
Permalink
I hold the Gieseking/Mengelberg a laughable urban legend.
dk
But surely that is Mengelberg's fault. Try Gieseking / Barbirolli ;)

With all due respect to Maestro Pletnev and his magical mind and
fingers, to me he seems something of a fish when compared to Sokolov in
this concerto. The latter's '98 performance with Ollila just comes
short of establishing world peace.
Dan Koren
2006-01-11 12:51:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony - sidoze
I hold the Gieseking/Mengelberg a laughable urban legend.
dk
But surely that is Mengelberg's fault. Try Gieseking / Barbirolli ;)
With all due respect to Maestro Pletnev and his magical mind and
fingers, to me he seems something of a fish when compared to Sokolov in
this concerto. The latter's '98 performance with Ollila just comes
short of establishing world peace.
Perhaps.

Is it available commercially?

Otherwise I am in no position
to evaluate it.


dk
Tony - sidoze
2006-01-11 13:47:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
Post by Tony - sidoze
I hold the Gieseking/Mengelberg a laughable urban legend.
dk
But surely that is Mengelberg's fault. Try Gieseking / Barbirolli ;)
With all due respect to Maestro Pletnev and his magical mind and
fingers, to me he seems something of a fish when compared to Sokolov in
this concerto. The latter's '98 performance with Ollila just comes
short of establishing world peace.
Perhaps.
Is it available commercially?
Otherwise I am in no position
to evaluate it.
dk
No, it's not available commercially (as you know most of his [best]
performances are not). I could always make a copy, however.
fha.jonkers
2006-01-11 10:29:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
Post by David Wake
Post by Dan Koren
With all due respect to De Larrocha (and Van Cliburn, Gilels,
Flier, Mogilevsky, Sokolov, Janis, Kapell, Kissin, Volodos,
Anievas, Graffman, Gutierrez, Rodriguez, Argerich, etc...)
the ultimate Rachmaninov 3rd is without question Pletnev's
with Rostropovich conducting. It is so far above the others
that it almost becomes a different work altogether. In my
opinion it surpasses even the composer's interpretation.
No other performance succeeds to bring out every strand
and articulate every phrase so clearly while keeping a
sense of inexorable movement from beginning to end.
But how does it compare to Gieseking/Mengelberg?
I hold the Gieseking/Mengelberg a laughable urban
legend. It is not very good technically, and it is
utterly unidiomatic. If anyone thinks this is how
*RUSSIAN* music should be phrased, they'd better
spend their record money on the Beattles and the
Rolling Stones.
dk
You can't be serious. Gieseking could give your beloved Pletnev a few
lessons in sounding "Russian". Pletnev messes up just about every
phrase with some of the ugliest mannerisms I've heard in this concerto
(only Horowitz/Ormandy competes). It becomes a different work indeed!
Do you call that idiomatic? Gieseking, by comparison, sounds utterly
natural and effortless. Too bad about the wrong notes, but I can take
that.
Dan Koren
2006-01-11 12:55:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by fha.jonkers
Post by Dan Koren
Post by David Wake
Post by Dan Koren
With all due respect to De Larrocha (and Van Cliburn, Gilels,
Flier, Mogilevsky, Sokolov, Janis, Kapell, Kissin, Volodos,
Anievas, Graffman, Gutierrez, Rodriguez, Argerich, etc...)
the ultimate Rachmaninov 3rd is without question Pletnev's
with Rostropovich conducting. It is so far above the others
that it almost becomes a different work altogether. In my
opinion it surpasses even the composer's interpretation.
No other performance succeeds to bring out every strand
and articulate every phrase so clearly while keeping a
sense of inexorable movement from beginning to end.
But how does it compare to Gieseking/Mengelberg?
I hold the Gieseking/Mengelberg a laughable urban
legend. It is not very good technically, and it is
utterly unidiomatic. If anyone thinks this is how
*RUSSIAN* music should be phrased, they'd better
spend their record money on the Beattles and the
Rolling Stones.
You can't be serious. Gieseking could give your beloved Pletnev a few
lessons in sounding "Russian". Pletnev messes up just about every
phrase with some of the ugliest mannerisms I've heard in this concerto
(only Horowitz/Ormandy competes). It becomes a different work indeed!
Do you call that idiomatic? Gieseking, by comparison, sounds utterly
natural and effortless. Too bad about the wrong notes, but I can take
that.
What sounds "natural" and "effortless" to
your ears may not sound so to Russian ears.

Have you thought of that? Are you Russian
by any chance? We should perhaps ask the
opinions of Russian readers/listeners on
r.m.c.r.

Yo Russians here! Who do you think sounds
more Russian in the Rachmaninov 3rd piano
concerto: Pletnev or Gieseking?

You keep track of the answers now!


dk
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 16:08:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
What sounds "natural" and "effortless" to
your ears may not sound so to Russian ears.
Have you thought of that? Are you Russian
by any chance? We should perhaps ask the
opinions of Russian readers/listeners on
r.m.c.r.
Yo Russians here! Who do you think sounds
more Russian in the Rachmaninov 3rd piano
concerto: Pletnev or Gieseking?
You keep track of the answers now!
Silly argument.

Rachmaninoff's music is simply a bunch of notes on the page. They can
be played in lots of ways, but it is usually preferable to follow the
composer's instructions.

Beyond that, any discussions of its "Russian-ness" or Gieseking's lack
of "Russian-ness" is just a bunch of hooey!

Ditto the "Frenchness" of Debussy and Ravel or the "German-ness" of
Beethoven or the "Austrian-ness" of Mozart or the "Americanness" of
Carter or the Italian-ness" of Busoni.

Talk to me about national characteristics in music and I will point out
to you a third-rate composer.

TD
fha.jonkers
2006-01-11 17:44:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
What sounds "natural" and "effortless" to
your ears may not sound so to Russian ears.
Have you thought of that? Are you Russian
by any chance? We should perhaps ask the
opinions of Russian readers/listeners on
r.m.c.r.
No Dan, I am not Russian, though I'm not sure if it matters all that
much. But I do know of at least *one* Russian who is said to have been
very impressed with Gieseking's performances of this concerto. His name
was Sergei Rachmaninov.

Too bad we can't ask him about Pletnev.
Post by Dan Koren
Yo Russians here! Who do you think sounds
more Russian in the Rachmaninov 3rd piano
concerto: Pletnev or Gieseking?
You keep track of the answers now!
dk
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 18:20:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by fha.jonkers
Post by Dan Koren
What sounds "natural" and "effortless" to
your ears may not sound so to Russian ears.
Have you thought of that? Are you Russian
by any chance? We should perhaps ask the
opinions of Russian readers/listeners on
r.m.c.r.
No Dan, I am not Russian, though I'm not sure if it matters all that
much. But I do know of at least *one* Russian who is said to have been
very impressed with Gieseking's performances of this concerto. His name
was Sergei Rachmaninov.
Too bad we can't ask him about Pletnev.
The only response now available to Mr. Koren is "Rachmaninoff didn't
know fuck-all about what it is to be Russian", or, better still,
"Rachmaninoff didn't know fuck-all about playing his music".

Both would do Koren credit.

He is, you know, the "court jester".

TD
Steve Emerson
2006-01-11 20:51:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by fha.jonkers
No Dan, I am not Russian, though I'm not sure if it matters all that
much. But I do know of at least *one* Russian who is said to have been
very impressed with Gieseking's performances of this concerto. His name
was Sergei Rachmaninov.
But we should maybe not give him the very last word in the matter. After
all, his own recording of the work isn't very interesting.
Post by fha.jonkers
Too bad we can't ask him about Pletnev.
SE.
unknown
2006-01-11 22:02:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Emerson
Post by fha.jonkers
No Dan, I am not Russian, though I'm not sure if it matters all that
much. But I do know of at least *one* Russian who is said to have been
very impressed with Gieseking's performances of this concerto. His name
was Sergei Rachmaninov.
But we should maybe not give him the very last word in the matter. After
all, his own recording of the work isn't very interesting.
I've had a theory for a while that Rachmaninov was too reserved and/or
insecure about his own music to play it as well in public as he could
play the music of others, particularly in the sense of revealing what
he felt were his innermost and private thoughts and feelings as a human
in front of a big crowd of not necessarily very sensitive concert-
goers, or in a recording studio. And that often resulted in rather
composerly, somewhat detached recordings.

wr
tomdeacon
2006-01-11 11:21:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
With all due respect to De Larrocha (and Van Cliburn, Gilels,
Flier, Mogilevsky, Sokolov, Janis, Kapell, Kissin, Volodos,
Anievas, Graffman, Gutierrez, Rodriguez, Argerich, etc...)
the ultimate Rachmaninov 3rd is without question Pletnev's
with Rostropovich conducting. It is so far above the others
that it almost becomes a different work altogether.
And that is precisely the problem.

Pletnev can, of course, play all the notes and play them brilliantly.

But the fly in this particular brand of ointment is that he doesn't
leave things there. He "plays" with the music in an arbitrary fashion
which I, for one, don't really much care for. It IS an interpretation,
of course, which is a step up from the faceless accuracy of Volodos.
But it is one I don't care for. Just my own view, of course, as Koren's
is his. There are no absolutes herem which is why I deleted the rest of
Koren's "how far can I go out on this particular limb without someone
sawing it off" comments.

Incidentally, I never heard Graffman perform Rachmaninoff 3. Is there
evidence of this interpretation?

Of the other names mentioned, all of which have given us brilliant
interpretations of the work, surely Van Cliburn's stands out for its
leisurely, luxuriant, and almost Protestantly honest interpretation of
the score. In his hands even the long cadenza seems to fit perfectly
rather than appear a bit like an elephant which just entered the score.

Martha remains untouchable for the vivacity of her interpretation.

And nobody seems to mention Gieseking's interpretation which so
impressed the composer when he first heard it. Arbitrary, like
Pletnev's, but certainly much more spontaneously exciting, if at the
same time unsuited for repeated listening.

TD
JohnGavin
2006-01-11 14:37:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Dan Koren
With all due respect to De Larrocha (and Van Cliburn, Gilels,
Flier, Mogilevsky, Sokolov, Janis, Kapell, Kissin, Volodos,
Anievas, Graffman, Gutierrez, Rodriguez, Argerich, etc...)
the ultimate Rachmaninov 3rd is without question Pletnev's
with Rostropovich conducting. It is so far above the others
that it almost becomes a different work altogether.
And that is precisely the problem.
Pletnev can, of course, play all the notes and play them brilliantly.
But the fly in this particular brand of ointment is that he doesn't
leave things there. He "plays" with the music in an arbitrary fashion
which I, for one, don't really much care for.
This has been my feeling about Pletnev too. He'll play marvelously and
then suddenly an annoying, seemingly irrelevant mannerism pops up that
mars the performance. Then again those mannerisms can, be absent, as
in a Rachmaninoff Rhapsody with Abbado on a BPO DVD.
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