On Apr 9, 11:15 pm, Steve Emerson <***@n-n-n-nospamsonic.net>
> In article
> jpjones <***@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Apr 9, 8:49 pm, Steve Emerson <***@n-n-n-nospamsonic.net> wrote:
> > > In article
> > > <email@example.com>,
> > > JohnGavin <***@comcast.net> wrote:
> > > > On Apr 8, 3:54 pm, Steve Emerson <***@n-n-n-nospamsonic.net> wrote:
> > > > > In article
> > > > > <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
> > > > > JohnGavin <***@comcast.net> wrote:
> > > > > > I'm fast becoming a Zimerman fan. The recordings of his that I have
> > > > > > so far are a real treat to listen to - even if one might interpret
> > > > > > things differently, Zimerman always convinces me by his mastery and
> > > > > > toughfulness.
> > > > > > A while back Nic Hodges criticized Zimerman's Chopin Ballade #3.
> > > > > > While it is very different (he adopts very broad tempos) IMO he
> > > > > > carries his conception off to perfection by the power of his
> > > > > > refinement and mastery.
> > > > > I was very put off by his Ballades. Conceptually I didn't mind them, but
> > > > > the playing felt stiff, careful, cramped, and that made the
> > > > > interpretations themselves appear fussy. "Feeling of spontaneity" would
> > > > > be the last term one would use.
> > > > I can understand this recording, or Zimerman in general not being to
> > > > everyone's liking. For me his Ballades are carefully distilled, but I
> > > > would not say they are stiff or even fussy. I find his playing
> > > > generally straightforward, even if the tempi are broader than usual.
> > > > The pleasure of this recording for me lies in savoring the beautiful
> > > > piano sonority without a hint of clunkyness or percussiveness
> > > > (something that mars so many modern piano recordings IMO) -
> > > > beautifully transparent details of touch and texture - there is
> > > > something quintessentially Chopinesque in Zs playing - the bel canto,
> > > > the rubato etc.
> > > I wouldn't compare his rubato to the uncanny magic you get from the ones
> > > loosed by Sofronitsky, Cortot, and Rosenthal in Chopin playing. Z's is a
> > > whole different kind, and much more straightforward.
> > > > In an effort to thin out my collection, I compared Zs Ballade #2 with
> > > > Pollini's, and decided that Pollini had to go - comparatively clumsy
> > > > phrasing.
> > > (In my book, neither of these guys is the last word in Ballades....)
> > > > But, you're right - Zimerman is not a free-wheeling, heat-of-the-
> > > > moment spontaneous player.
> > > Sure, there's that -- but then neither was ABM, and as noted I never
> > > once was put off in an ABM recording the way I am by the Z Ballades
> > > (just did some listening via Youtube to studio video sessions as well;
> > > or are those the same).
> > > ABM, as Arri rightly points out in a recent post, was not lacking in
> > > drama. And to me, at least, he never *came across* as overly fastidious
> > > and held-in-check, the way Z does in the Ballades.
> > Zimerman is somewhat enigmatic. He should be paired with Fauré's piano
> > music, to see if one enigmatic guy can unlock the other... What
> > happens to me with Zimerman, whom I admire, is that when I try to
> > recall his performances, how he does a particular piece, I come up
> > with a blank.
> This makes sense.
> > This happens to me with certain writers. Somehow he
> > resists analysis and does not give the game away. Moravec is a bit
> > like that, not to the same degree.
> There are moments in Moravec's nocturnes and his preludes that are
> unforgettable for me. He also has an unforgettable sound.
> Here's a Zimerman performance that might well prove to be memorable -- I
> was very taken with it:
> His rubato in these old mazurka tapes is more interesting to me than in
> the DG Chopin. Another one here:
> In both, he's more "natural seeming" and certainly seems freer.
> The guy is, what, early 50s at the most? He may change again.
Thanks. Those old recordings are interesting, if not so burnished in
Early fifties, yes. I think one thing that has happened since his
young days is that he has become very obsessive about pianos and
sound. He doesn't let anybody touch them, he spends a lot of time
making them sound the way he wants, even for a particular composer. He
is apparently a very highly skilled technician. I heard an interview
where this question of pianos and sound and tuning was most of what he
talked about, as well as recorded sound... He may be trying to reach
for an idealized sound he hears in his head. In any case, a different
path from many famous pianists.