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#402451 - 11/02/08 12:19 PM Great performances on CD or DVD-Audio
portmanteau Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 76
I'm starting a collection of piano performances and would like some
pointers to high quality recordings, live or otherwise. Right now
I'm looking for Horowitz, Rubinstein, Hofmann, and maybe Cortot. Any
recommendations would be helpful. I don't have a turntable anymore so
I cannot accommodate vinyl.

Thanks in advance

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#402452 - 11/02/08 01:24 PM Re: Great performances on CD or DVD-Audio
William A.P.M. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/09/08
Posts: 554
Loc: Ecuador
Horowitz plays Scriabin - (both cds, there are 2 releases with same title), you cannot go wrong with these CDs ..

Martha Argerich plays Rachmaninov 3rd Piano Concerto .. also very decent recording..

Cortot plays Chopin Etudes - the most musical ones I have yet to find , ignore the wrong notes, as he did not care for them..

Rubenstein- perhaps his Rachmaninov 2nd Piano Concerto is ok ...

Hofmann- I would suggest his live recordings from 1937 which includes his amazing performance of Moszkowski's Caprice Espagnol, Chopin's Ballade in G minor, Rachmaninov's G minor Prelude, and his own amazing composition Chromaticon..

if you like Chopin, there's no way on earth you can ignore Marc-Andre Hamelin's complete recording of the Chopin/Godowsky etudes which have been recorded with a technique that surpasses that of anyone that has ever attempted these works.

Sviatoslav Richter also left us 2 gems! Prokofiev's 2nd Piano Sonata and the angelic Scriabin White Mass Sonata recorded very late in his career..

enjoy MR! \:D

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#402453 - 11/02/08 08:12 PM Re: Great performances on CD or DVD-Audio
portmanteau Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 76
Thanks for the list, I found everything except Rubenstein. Although I did order a promising DVD of his.

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#402454 - 11/03/08 09:38 AM Re: Great performances on CD or DVD-Audio
Ridicolosamente Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 1467
Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
The classic Rubinstein recording of Rachmaninov's 2nd is with Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony. Many different options available. There are about a zillion re-releases. Take your pick!

If you're a Rubinstein fan, his Grieg concerto is also a classic. There's a disc that has the Grieg recorded with Antal Dorati and RCA Victor, as wells as an excellent recording of the Brahms Bb, with the Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony. Both very aggressive performances, I love them!
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#402455 - 11/03/08 12:59 PM Re: Great performances on CD or DVD-Audio
portmanteau Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 76
I found them both, thanks again

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#402456 - 11/06/08 10:05 PM Re: Great performances on CD or DVD-Audio
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3915
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by devnull:
I'm starting a collection of piano performances and would like some
pointers to high quality recordings, live or otherwise. Right now
I'm looking for Horowitz, Rubinstein, Hofmann, and maybe Cortot. Any
recommendations would be helpful. I don't have a turntable anymore so
I cannot accommodate vinyl.

Thanks in advance [/b]
I wouldn't think there are many videos of Hofmann. There is definitely one, however. The Smithsonian Institution's exhibit on the 300th year of the piano had a video of Hofmann playing the Liszt 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody, intercut with one of Harpo Marx doing the same piece! First, you'd see a passage with Hofmann's face, looking dyspeptic, and then Marx, looking totally manic. It was hilarious!

I don't know if Harpo was actually playing, however.

I think Ward Marston has reissued virtually all of Hofmann's recordings on about 7 CDs or CD albums.

One truly impressive video is of Myra Hess's first movement of the Appassionata. It's in an anthology. I'm hoping the rest of the performance is also available and will be released some day.
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There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#402457 - 11/07/08 07:48 AM Re: Great performances on CD or DVD-Audio
pianovirus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 952
Loc: Basel, Switzerland
You might also want to look at anthologies:

Naxos' Great Pianists from A-Z is a really nice (and very fairly priced) 4-CD anthology with a "booklet" of 500 pages or so...

Then there's the big "Great pianists of the 20th century" anthology. It comes in 100 volumes with two CDs each (I just saw that the volumes also seem to be available separately). Several pianists are covered in two volumes, and Horowitz in three. All names you mentioned have at least one volume, of course. Besides, there are many many more pianists to discover. Specialists will probably prefer the original albums, but I find it a great way to get an impression of different pianists' playing, without devoting a bulk of my time to searching for "representative" recordings. Unfortunately, this anthology as a whole is very expensive.
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youtube.com/user/pianovirus

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