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#474384 - 12/17/01 06:53 PM Ignaz Friedman/ Julius Katchen
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 21704
Loc: New York City
Has anyone heard any of his recordings? I just got his volume in Great Pianists of the 20th Century series from the Lincoln Center Library and found it fascinating although somewhat of a mixed bag. I best liked his Liszt/Busoni/Friedman La Campanella, the Mendelssohn Songs without Words and E minor Scherzo, Chopin Nocturne Op. 55, but only liked some of the Chopin Mazurkas and some of the Chopin Etudes. I liked least his Chopin Berceuse which is played so fast it sounds like an etude and where he often plays the left hand louder than the right! I also did not care for his A-flat Ballade too much.

I also got the Julius Katchen volume in the Great Pianists series. I found it uniformly sensational. His Islamey and Brahms Hungarian Dances were amazing both technically and musically. His Brahms Sonata No.3 and Frank Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue were ravishing!

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#474385 - 12/18/01 02:15 PM Re: Ignaz Friedman/ Julius Katchen
Rick Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/01
Posts: 559
Loc: Chicago
I agree with you on the mazurkas - even though he was Polish and all that, I don't like the way he plays them. His etudes I can take or leave as well. But I love his ballade (opus 47). I love his nocturne (op. 55-2) and the polonaise (op. 71??) as well.

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#474386 - 12/18/01 08:19 PM Re: Ignaz Friedman/ Julius Katchen
yok Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/01
Posts: 497
Loc: New Zealand
Like Rick I particularly like Friedman's A flat Ballade, but I agree his Chopin generally is an acquired taste. The pianists of that generation sure pulled the music about a lot more than we're used to these days and it can take some getting used to.

As for Katchen, I have most of his Brahms cycle for Decca and cherish it. His 3rd Sonata was, I think, the first ever long-playing record, but it is historic for the quality of the playing too. The other recording of his I really like is the Emperor Concerto with the LSO under Pierino Gamba. I would like to hear all 5 one day. Katchen's playing to me is muscular and has a kind of heroic quality without ever being merely bombastic or showy.

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#474387 - 12/18/01 08:22 PM Re: Ignaz Friedman/ Julius Katchen
Brendan Offline


Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5539
Loc: McAllen, TX
Amen on Katchen, yok. Do you own his Hungarian Dances?
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#474388 - 12/19/01 11:22 AM Re: Ignaz Friedman/ Julius Katchen
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 21704
Loc: New York City
I also listened to part of the Paderewski performances on the Great Pianists series. I was incredibly shocked at what seems, to me at least,to be a lack of technical control. Anyone else get that same impression?? I cannot see why he was one of the most popular pianists of all time (although I have read many positive descriptions of his playing that were not apparent to me as I listened to the Great Pianists CD). I wasn't even too excited by his performance of his own Minuet in G!

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#474389 - 12/19/01 04:59 PM Re: Ignaz Friedman/ Julius Katchen
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
As I understand it, Paderewski was not known for his technical accuracy, but he was a heart-throb. Apparently, women used to swoon like crazy for him.

I have a CD of him playing and he can also be said to be quite free in taking liberties with the music. However, I think that was quite common in his time.
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