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#430531 - 03/07/04 01:42 PM The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
TS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/04
Posts: 869
Loc: Canada
I just bought my first recordings of the beethoven sonatas, and by none else then Glen Gould? Now, that I think about it I think I shoulf have bought recordings of some of the, how should I say this, "traditional" interpretations. Although I am not very knowledgeable on the subject, Glen Gould apparently has some very "interesting" interpretations on the sonatas, quite frequently going against the technicalities that Beethoven himself specified. On the other hand Glen Gould is....well....amazing.

However, I haven't heard any other recognized pianists play any beethoven sonatas, and I'm wondering who you think is the "best".

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#430532 - 03/07/04 01:48 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
Beaver Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/09/04
Posts: 257
 Quote:
The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
Alfred Brendel.

Also check out:

Richard Goode
Claudio Arrau
Rudolf Serkin
Wilhelm Backhaus
Arthur Schnabel
Wilhelm Kempff

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#430533 - 03/07/04 04:49 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
benedict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 2519
Loc: European Union
Alfred Brendel, of course.
_________________________
Benedict

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#430534 - 03/07/04 04:49 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19097
Loc: New York City
Best? But I would have to say Gould is one of the worst for Beethoven.

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#430535 - 03/07/04 06:03 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
Some comments on the listed pianists:

Brendel is blatently modern school. Some like this and some hate it. Same with Polini. Great pianists, both of them, but not my cup of tea (any more). Bachkaus can be great, but isn't completely even (some of his were recorded in his last years). Schnabel has great ideas and horrible execution. Arrau plays everything so SLOW and pedantically, even when he is trying to sound romantic. Serkin has some really interesting ideas about how Beethoven should be played - his playing seems to be more instinctive than intellectual. It can sound rough around the edges, but I am entertained by his performances. Goode is a fantastic pianist. Don't overlook the Ashkenazy cycle, I like a lot of what he did.

Ryan

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#430536 - 03/07/04 06:22 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
iamcanadian Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1893
Loc: Canada
Anton Kuerti

::I have heard over 15 sets and kuerti is the one I always go back to. It is also brilliantly well recorded. I have never heard a recording with this kind of sound quality.
_________________________
♪♫♪♫

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#430537 - 03/07/04 06:38 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
Goldberg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 1229
Loc: U.S.
I also love Anton Kuerti for Beethoven! Though I haven't listened to any of his Beethoven CD's, I've seen him twice in concert (once for 4 sonatas, and another for Beethoven's 3rd concerto) and he's really quite amazing. For the set, I own Goode and a few parts of O'Conor. While I like both of them, Goode is definitely my preference.

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#430538 - 03/07/04 11:23 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
Steve O. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/02
Posts: 337
Loc: Atlanta
I don't have many for comparison, but I have some of the O'Connor sets and, while the sound is great, I prefer the Wilhelm Kempff. I have the later Kempff recording and the sound is exceptional and the playing relatively unmannered and well executed (to my ears, anyway).

Best,

Steve O.

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#430539 - 03/08/04 06:59 AM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
pqbd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/04
Posts: 47
 Quote:
Alfred Brendel, of course.
Ditto. The man recorded the cycle three times, for goodness sakes! I have the first recording (from the 60's), and for some reason, I keep going back to it.

I also have the Goode recording, which I think is a fine one. I've also listened to some of the later Kempff and wasn't impressed.


pqbd

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#430540 - 03/08/04 02:21 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
junirrollo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/12/02
Posts: 72
Loc: Argentina
Daneil Barenboim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
extremly good beethoven player
went to his complete piano sonatas recitel last year

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#430541 - 03/08/04 02:21 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
junirrollo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/12/02
Posts: 72
Loc: Argentina
Daneil Barenboim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
extremly good beethoven player
went to his complete piano sonatas recitel last year.
he is from Argentina

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#430542 - 03/09/04 06:02 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
I have all of the recordings mentioned above and a few others...Bernard Roberts, Nat, Fischer, etc.

Were the house on fire, my ordering might be...
Goode
Kovacavich
Kempff I
Barenboim I
Russel Sherman
Annie Fischer
Kuerti
Kempff II
Brendel I
Schnabel
Roberts
Nat
O'Connor

Not recommended - Gulda

I'm still listening to the new Kovacavech. It is excellent. I think all of the above are superb -- and wouldn't argue with anyone's taking any of the above as a first choice. I'm not as wild about Gulda and later Brendels.

Ken

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#430543 - 03/10/04 04:25 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
Gflat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/03
Posts: 114
Loc: Wiltshire . UK
Kempff plays beautifully

Baremboim, the younger version, are good too
_________________________
" You want to play the what !?!"

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#430544 - 03/10/04 04:37 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3910
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gflat:
Kempff plays beautifully

Baremboim, the younger version, are good too [/b]
Kempff does play beautifully, but to my ear is a bit too "soft," lacking a touch of astringency or "bite" that I think the music needs at times.
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#430545 - 03/10/04 05:42 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
Spock Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 93
Another one that hasn't been mentioned (suprisingly) is Maurizio Pollini. Not to everyone's tastes (but no-one is), though definitely worth checking out.

He's a more 'masculine' pianist, than, say, Brendel, who is very "cerebral" and subtle, which is not everyone's cup of tea.

\:\)

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#430546 - 03/10/04 06:29 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
starmender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 461
Loc: Australia
Brendel. If he doesn't suit you, you could try God, who may perhaps be a little better, but I doubt it.

Also Kristian Zachariah, who is miraculously musical, and lyrical, and the only one in my view who might inherit the great man's mantle.

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#430547 - 03/11/04 07:20 AM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Has Claude Frank been mentioned yet?

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#430548 - 03/11/04 10:15 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
Hank Drake Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1652
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Claude Frank's is one of the better sets out there, and IIRC, it's at budget price.

There's a 5-CD set with Rudolf Serkin on Sony, playing just over half of them. For large scale, architectonic Beethoven playing, I'd recommend Serkin.

I'd second the recommendation from Kempff, and if you're not looking for a complete set, you might want to try Perahia. I find his Beethoven refreshing--direct, bracing, and with immaculate technique. He's done most of the more popular ones, and rumor hath it, there's more coming.
_________________________
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

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#430549 - 03/12/04 02:05 AM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
I love Kempff's Beethoven; you can hear his love for the composer in his performances...

How about Annie Fisher for some wonderful Beethoven sonatas.

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#430550 - 03/12/04 12:39 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
Spock Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 93
 Quote:
Originally posted by Hank Drake:
Claude Frank's is one of the better sets out there, and IIRC, it's at budget price.

There's a 5-CD set with Rudolf Serkin on Sony, playing just over half of them. For large scale, architectonic Beethoven playing, I'd recommend Serkin.

I'd second the recommendation from Kempff, and if you're not looking for a complete set, you might want to try Perahia. I find his Beethoven refreshing--direct, bracing, and with immaculate technique. He's done most of the more popular ones, and rumor hath it, there's more coming. [/b]
Murray Perahia is probably my favourite pianist. A complete set by him could be amazing.

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#430551 - 03/12/04 01:25 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
I've always liked Perahia's Beethoven. I would be first in line if a complete set became available.

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#430552 - 03/12/04 02:24 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
decibel101 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/01
Posts: 272
Loc: new york
two words

ALFRED BRENDEL!!!!

the man is my hero, you just can't get any more tasteful, accurate, and true to the text. He also add's a great intellect

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#430553 - 03/12/04 02:56 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
phykell Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 697
Loc: UK
The American Daniel Chorzempa, primarily an organist but also my favourite pianist without doubt.

Listen to his exploratory and still unsurpassed playing of the Moonlight's 1st movement (the 3rd movement is also played perfectly) and his fantastic version of the Pathetique and Appassionata.
_________________________
If you vote me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

========

Evil cannot be conquered in the world. It can only be resisted within oneself.

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#430554 - 03/14/04 08:52 AM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
plays88skeys Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/04
Posts: 3091
Loc: Richmond, VA
Kempff! Enough said.
_________________________
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. - Beverly Sills

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#430555 - 03/18/04 11:11 AM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
pianobleu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/03
Posts: 75
Loc: France
I'm agree with decibel 101 aand pqbd
Alfred Brendel !

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#430556 - 03/18/04 11:13 AM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
pianobleu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/03
Posts: 75
Loc: France
But ... on pianoforte I'll notice you Trudelies Leonhardt (the Gustav's sister )see her website
http://www.homepages.hetnet.nl/%7Eleonhardt/

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#430557 - 03/18/04 11:03 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
Renauda Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 5066
Buchbinder, Pollini, Gilels and Argerich in no particular order.
_________________________
"The older the fiddle, the sweeter the music"~ Augustus McCrae

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#430558 - 03/19/04 05:39 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
Hyperion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 59
Richard Goode, in my opinion. Although he's not totally perfect either technically or musically all of the time, he's the closest I've heard. ;\)

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#430559 - 03/19/04 11:01 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1301
Loc: Maine, U.S.
Wilhelm Backhaus' old Beethoven recordings are hard to beat--fidelity to the scores, clean lines, and supremely even articulation throughout. Beethoven, like Schubert, was a transitional pre-romantic composer, standing between the Vienese Classic and the Romantic styles. Backhaus eschewed the temptation to infuse Beethoven with romantic flare. He kept it all pure, yet without being dry in his renditions.

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#430560 - 03/20/04 07:01 PM Re: The best beethoven pianist?.....in your opinion.
EHpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/27/03
Posts: 1703
Loc: NY-Madrid-Newfoundland (rhymes...
Undoubtedly for me it is Arrau. Yes, he plays things slower and slower the older he gets but he makes more music in one note than any modern pianist does in 20 CD's. His renditions on Op.109-111 and his 4th Piano Concerto are the most exquisite pianism and musicianship I have ever heard.

John O'Conor (and I should make the disclaimer that he is my former teacher) is also fantastic. His was the first CD I ever owned and to this day continues to be one of my favorites. There is fresh, insightful approach to the Sonatas with him.

Elena
http://www.pianofourhands.com
_________________________
Schnabel's advie to Horowitz: "When a piece gets difficult, make faces."

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