Post by David Wake Post by James Lockhead
Just thought I'd put the cat among the pigeons by suggesting another
of these 'top ten' lists! Who would you say are the ten greatest
technical virtuosos of the piano? Not greatest pianists, finest
musicians, just those with the best chops! (I know how anoraky this
is, but just feel like being that way today!). Here's my 'starter for
Sviatoslav Richter (on a good day)
Marc-Andre Hamelin (I'm waiting for the responses! :) )
How do you measure "chops"?
I was being a touch facetious! :)
Post by David Wake
Pure prestidigitation without regard to tonal production? (I'm
guessing this by your inclusion of Barere). Then surely Glenn Gould
should be included (as well as jazz pianists like Tatum).
That's not a fair comment on Barere, I think. Gould could do
brilliant things, but there were also big limitations (see what Rosen
has to say in 'Piano Notes' about when Gould tried to play the octaves
in the Beethoven-Liszt Fifth Symphony. Tatum - absolutely, of course,
and numerous others, but have to limit this selection to the quaint
category of 'classical'!
Post by David Wake
Minute control of tone color? Then Michelangeli, Gilels,
Moiseiwitsch, Moravec and many others should be there.
Either way, Sergei Rachmaninov is the most stunning absence from your list.
Rachmaninov is one perhaps at least should have been included in the
nearly-rans, at least - simply I think the very nervous quality of
those recordings I know perhaps preclude me from putting him in my own
pantheon. Moiseiwitch - OK, fair enough. I don't really know
Moravec's playing. Gilels I'm not so convinced by in general.
Michelangeli could produce the most refined, perfected, playing of
almost anyone, but I get the feeling that it was only achieved with a
huge amount of concentrated work, leaving less room for spontaneity or
impulsiveness than the others I mentioned. Maybe I should have put
Horowitz in, though!
Overall, I'm looking for those who's spectacular pianistic facility
enabled them to achieve near anything they might wish to (whether you
like the things they wished to do is another matter!).