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#563392 - 03/05/06 03:35 AM PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Heretic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 150
I thought it might be fun to have PW's ranking/poll of the 10 greatest pianists of the 20th century just to see how pianoworld differs or is similar to popular conceptions of the best pianists of the 20th century.

So everyone list your top 5-10 favorite/greatest pianists of the 20th century [/b] and we'll then tally them up using a system of inverse points so that a pianist ranked #1 gets 10 points, #2 gets 9 points, and a pianist ranked #10 gets 1 point, etc, so that we can sort them out by highest points so that a pianist who ranks consistently in the top 3 or 5 with many people will then probably have the most points and will be ranked #1 and will be the champion.

Keep in mind this is just for fun and to honor those pianists which we love so let's not bicker!

I will start it off with my list:

1.Sviatoslav Richter
2.Vladimir Horowitz
3.Sergei Rachmaninoff
4.Emil Gilels
5.Artur Schnabel
6.Josef Hoffman
7.Vladimir Ashkenazy
8.Alfred Brendel
9.Arturo Benedetti Michelangelli
10.Glenn Gould

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#563393 - 03/05/06 03:48 AM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
CarlosKleiberist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 220
Loc: Southern California
I can't rank 'em... it just doesn't work that way for me... bah... I'm going to rank them in the order I like them best, not necessarily the "greatest"...

1. Sviatoslav Richter
2. Vladimir Horowitz
3. Arthur Rubinstein
4. Martha Argerich
5. Alfred Brendel
6. Glenn Gould
7. Jorge Bolet
8. Ivan Moravec
9. Emil Gilels
10. Alexis Weissenberg

yea... I really can't rank them from greatest to worst... I like 'em all.

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#563394 - 03/05/06 04:42 AM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5281
Loc: Philadelphia
I know nobody else will probably put this name in their top-ten, but he's my favorite, so he gets the top spot. ;\)

1. Victor Borge
2. Vladimir Horowitz
3. Sergei Rachmaninoff
4. Evgeny Kissin*
5. Martha Argerich

The rest all tend to blend together for me...can't really say who's above who. So, I've got a "top five". ;\)


*Most of career thus far has been in the 20th (with his international debut in the 80's), and not the 21st century...so I give him this spot...we'll see what he does with it now that we've transitioned to a new century. (My guess is he'll move up the list.)
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#563395 - 03/05/06 04:51 AM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
David Ramezani Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 226
Loc: Sweden
1. Paderewski
2. Glenn Gould
3. de Pachmann
4. Horowitz
5. Busoni
6. Schnabel
7. Rachmaninoff
8. Josef Hofmann
9. Victor Borge (yeah, I like him too)
10. Moritz Rosenthal
_________________________
Best regards,

David Ramezani

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#563396 - 03/05/06 06:18 AM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5281
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
Originally posted by David Ramezani:
1. Paderewski
2. Glenn Gould
3. de Pachmann
4. Horowitz
5. Busoni
6. Schnabel
7. Rachmaninoff
8. Josef Hofmann
9. Victor Borge (yeah, I like him too)
10. Moritz Rosenthal [/b]
I'm jealous. I've never heard Paderewski play. \:\(

Same could be said for de Pachmann and Busoni...though I'd probably consider them 19th century pianists...especially Busoni, who lived most of his life in the 19th century.

Man, you really like your "turn of the 20th century" pianists, of whom there are very very few recordings (and almost none of good quality). But I have heard Rosenthal. Ha, so there. :p ;\)


I found this interesting. Averaging the birthdate of your "top ten", you come up with the year: 1880

Only five of the pianists on your list live past 1945, two of whom die by 1953. (The three who "survived" were Gould, Horowitz and Borge, who died in that order.) Borge came closest to seeing the 21st century, having died just a few days prior to the turn.

In order to have seen most of your "top ten" in concert, you would have to have been born prior to 1943. To remember it, you would arguably have to have been born prior to 1938. (Most people can recall memories from when they were five, but not too much younger.) To truly appreciate the memory, you would probably have to have been born prior to 1928, to at least put you in your mid-teens near the performer's death.

That, to me, is disconcerting...not because I think pianists today are "worse" or "better" than [insert pianist's name who was popular prior to 1950], but because the community hasn't seemed to be able to move on. (And then the community wonders why it is dwindling....) ;\)


EDIT: My average was 1920, which, at least, put my pianists firmly in the 20th century. I wanted to include Volodos on the list, but he really didn't "step it up" until the 1990's, so his career is kind of a half-n-half in the 20th and 21st centuries. That would've put my average birthdate in 1939, and then only two of my top five would be dead...and all the rest are still performing.


I'm still waiting for someone to say, "Liszt, duh." <---That's my favorite response. It makes my day that much easier to laugh at. Reason: Nobody alive has ever heard Liszt play, or even stood a chance at hearing Liszt play. They'd have to be 119 years old to be born before Liszt died, and almost 150 to hear Liszt while he was still performing. ;\)
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#563397 - 03/05/06 07:14 AM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
David Ramezani Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 226
Loc: Sweden
Oh, you're so right. These aren't 20th century pianists. I guess I have been listening too much to those old recordings. I love their performances because they are so alive; their playing sounds like improvisation, and that makes it much more interesting to me.

The average listener today would probably say that these pianists had no technique and that they, because of that, were poor pianists.

I have never liked the playing of modern pianists. The reason is that almost all of them follows the score to such a degree that it kills the music. It becomes like a painting: static.

But I am aware of the fact that this is a totally subjective matter and that most people don't agree with me.

About the Liszt thing I think it's very tempting to mention him. It is true that I've never heard him play, but I have heard his students play and I have read thousands of explanations of his playing, and I think that that would compensate (slightly) for not having heard him. Although he would have made the birth average even lower.
_________________________
Best regards,

David Ramezani

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#563398 - 03/05/06 07:20 AM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
jon-nyc Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/05
Posts: 2022
Loc: the left bank -- of the east r...
its hard for me to order them. i'll try.

1 Kristian Zimerman
2 Gyorgy Cziffra
3 Sviatoslav Richter
4 Claudio Arrau
5 Arthur Rubinstein
6 Glenn Gould
7 Sergei Rachmaninov
8 Vladimir Horowitz
9 Ivo Pogorelich
10 Leopold Godowsky
_________________________
If you don't talk to your children about equal temperment, who will?

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#563399 - 03/05/06 07:42 AM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
lol_nl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/06
Posts: 918
Loc: Ede, Netherlands
I'd say:

1. Horowitz
2. Richter
3. Gould
4. Argerich
5. Brendel
6. Zimmerman
7. Pires
8. Bolet
9. Pollini
10.Giles
_________________________
Yiteng

"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is never enough for music."
-Sergei Rachmaninoff.

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#563400 - 03/05/06 09:35 AM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
If the pianist played for a significant portion of the 20th century, then I feel they should be counted. Like David Ramezani, I feel that Paderewski, Rosenthal, Hofmann, Gabrilowitsch, and others should be in the upper rank. No pianist today has the reputation that Paderewski had in his day. And Novaes is probably the greatest woman pianist of the 20th century along with Myra Hess.

The sterile, pounding performances of today can't equal the musicality of some of the great artists of the first half plus of the 20th century--at least IMHO. Equaling Hofmann's or Rosenthal's technical ability would be difficult for most of today's performers.

Anyway, it all boils down to training and preferences rather than hard and fast classification, or so it would seem to me.

That's what makes artistic areas interesting is the variety of tastes that are prevalent.

\:\)

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#563401 - 03/05/06 09:58 AM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
In the order I would have liked to hear them in concert (based on their recordings, and some other stuff):

1. Horowitz
2. Arrau
3. Cortot
4. Brendel
5. Gilels
6. Gould
7. Mustonen \:\)
8. Richter
9. Michelangeli
10. Rubinstein

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#563402 - 03/05/06 11:52 AM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Heretic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 150
Well here's the results in the running so far boys and girls!

1. Horowitz - 57 [/b]
2. Richter - 40[/b]
3. Gould - 33[/b]
4. Rachmaninoff - 24[/b]
5. Brendel - 22[/b]
6. Argerich - 20[/b]
7. Arrau and Gilels - 16[/b]
8. Zimmerman - 15[/b]
9. Borge - 12[/b]
10. Schnabel - 11[/b]


Looks like Horowitz expectedly pulls ahead of the pack! Any surprises so far? Seems like a decent list so far to me but I'm surprised Michelangelli and a few other giants didn't make the running yet!

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#563403 - 03/05/06 12:03 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Skriabin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/05
Posts: 551
Loc: li, new york
1. Sviatoslav Richter
2. Vladimir Horowitz
3. Glen Gould
4. Claudio Arrau
5. Emille Gilels
6. Sergie Rachmaninoff
7. Ivan Moravec
8. Alexander Scriabin
9. Martha Argerich
10. Joesph Hoffmann

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#563404 - 03/05/06 12:14 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Heretic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 150
 Quote:


1. Horowitz - 66 [/b]
2. Richter - 50[/b]
3. Gould - 41[/b]
4. Rachmaninoff - 29[/b]
5. Arrau - 23[/b]
7. Argerich, Brendel, Gilels - 22[/b]
8. Rubinstein - 16[/b]
9. Zimmerman - 15[/b]
10. Borge - 12[/b]

Updated!


[/b]

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#563405 - 03/05/06 12:27 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
iamcanadian Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1893
Loc: Canada
1. Richter
2. Gilels
3. Rachmaninoff
4. Weissenberg
5. Horowitz
6. Sokolov
7. Fiorentino
8. Annie Fischer
9. Kapell
10.Wild
_________________________
♪♫♪♫

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#563406 - 03/05/06 12:38 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Heretic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 150
 Quote:
Originally posted by Heretic:
 Quote:


1. Horowitz - 72 [/b]
2. Richter - 60[/b]
3. Gould - 41[/b]
4. Rachmaninoff - 37[/b]
5. Gilels - 31[/b]
6. Arrau - 23[/b]
7. Argerich, Brendel - 22[/b]
8. Rubinstein - 16[/b]
9. Zimmerman - 15[/b]
10. Borge - 12[/b]

Updated!


[/b]
[/b]

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#563407 - 03/05/06 12:40 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Heretic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 150
where the heck's michelangelli??? No one likes him?

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#563408 - 03/05/06 12:46 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3443
Loc: US
1. Horowitz
2. Rubenstein
2. Gould
4. Rachmaninoff
5. Richter
6. Gilels
7. Hofmann
8 .Michelangeli
9. Serkin
10. Ashkenazy

Sophia (not on the list )

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#563409 - 03/05/06 01:01 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
lol_nl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/06
Posts: 918
Loc: Ede, Netherlands

1. Horowitz - 82
2. Richter - 67
3. Rachmaninoff - 45
4. Gould - 41
5. Gilels - 36
8. Rubinstein - 25
6. Arrau - 23
7. Argerich, Brendel - 22
9. Zimmerman - 15
10. Hoffman - 13
[/b]

Updated \:D
_________________________
Yiteng

"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is never enough for music."
-Sergei Rachmaninoff.

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#563410 - 03/05/06 01:05 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
1. Sviatoslav Richter
2. Grigory Sokolov
3. Glenn Gould
4. Vladimir Horowitz
5. Georges Cziffra
6. Horatio Gutierrez
7. Byron Janis
8. Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
9. Rudolf Serkin
10. Emil Gilels
_________________________
Sam

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#563411 - 03/05/06 01:34 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
jazzyd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/01
Posts: 1861
Loc: United Kingdom
Very difficult. I've stuck to the ones I find myself listening to most, rather than try to ascribe "greatness":

1. Feinberg
2. Richter
3. Fiorentino
4. Sokolov
5. Korolev
6. Egorov
7. Vieru
8. Solomon
9. Sofronitsky
10. Meyer
_________________________
"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley

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#563412 - 03/05/06 02:07 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
TS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/04
Posts: 869
Loc: Canada
1. Richter
2. Gilels
3. Sokolov
4. Gould
5. Horowitz
6. Michelangeli
7. Zimerman
8. Solomon
9. Argerich
10. Ashkenazy/Brendel (I can't decide!...)

Hehe, should be interesting to see how this Richter vs. Horowitz plays out.

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#563413 - 03/05/06 02:27 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
konstantin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/05
Posts: 123
GODOWSKY (because of his "chopin" from carnaval !)
arrau
backhaus
rachmaninoff
fischer
kempf
richter
cziffra
lhevinne, j.
serkin

edit: whoo, i forgot horovitz... hmm, between richter and cziffra

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#563414 - 03/05/06 02:29 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Heretic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 150
1. Horowitz - 95 [/b]
2. Richter - 92[/b]
3. Gould - 64[/b]
4. Gilels - 46[/b]
5. Rachmaninoff - 44[/b]
6. Sokolov - 29[/b]
7. Argerich, Rubinstein - 24[/b]
8. Arrau, Brendel- 23 [/b]
9. Zimmerman - 19[/b]
10. Michelangelli, Cziffra - 15[/b]


Updated! Many neck and neck! The giants are starting to pull away!

Interesting to note so far Gilels and Richter both top 4, both students of Heinrich Neuhaus who was student of Godowsky and possibly Arrau or Cortot I've heard..I forget.. maybe I am wrong though.

Richter and Horowitz neck and neck though!

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#563415 - 03/05/06 02:45 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Dubious Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/04
Posts: 78
This is an imposible task, but here we go...

1. Gilels
2. Michelangeli
3. Lipatti
4. Kapell
5. Sokolov
6. Rubinstein
7. Cortot
8. Argerich
9. Moravec
10. Tureck

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#563416 - 03/05/06 03:18 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5281
Loc: Philadelphia
About the Liszt thing I think it's very tempting to mention him. It is true that I've never heard him play[/b]
How can you mention someone you never heard play and say that he's "your favorite"?

No pianist today has the reputation that Paderewski had in his day.[/b]
I would argue that there are two reasons for this. The first is that the community clings to a past it can never recover, constantly professing the quality of [those who are dead] and refusing to hail [those who are alive]. The second is that the community has dwindled to a great degree (at least partly due to the first reason). So, it would be impossible to garner that kind of fame today, even if someone were a better pianist than "Paderewski" (to use your example).

The sterile, pounding performances of today can't equal the musicality of some of the great artists of the first half plus of the 20th century--at least IMHO. Equaling Hofmann's or Rosenthal's technical ability would be difficult for most of today's performers.
[/b]
Varcon, when were you born? I won't say what I want to say until after you tell me...just in case you are over 65.

The giants are starting to pull away![/b]
Not really...in his day, Rachmaninoff was every bit a giant as Horowitz, and he's not "pulling away" from anything. ;\)

At least Victor Borge made the list for a time. "[Laughter,] that's my only reward. The rest goes to the government." --Borge
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#563417 - 03/05/06 03:26 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Heretic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 150
1. Horowitz - 98 [/b]
2. Richter - 96[/b]
3. Gould - 64[/b]
4. Gilels - 56[/b]
5. Rachmaninoff - 51[/b]
6. Sokolov - 35[/b]
7. Arrau - 32[/b]
8. Rubinstein - 29[/b]
9. Argerich - 27[/b]
10. Michelangelli - 24[/b]



Updated! Wow, Brendel's been kicked out

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#563418 - 03/05/06 03:43 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Heretic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 150
There ar ea few that are stil in the running that could come back with another vote or two such as Borge, Fiorentino, Zimmerman, Moravec, Paderewski, Cortot, Hoffman, Schnabel, Godowsky, etc most of them all have over 10 points and with a few votes can make it into the bottom somewhere, Borge and Hoffman actually lead those under achievers.

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#563419 - 03/05/06 03:53 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
TS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/04
Posts: 869
Loc: Canada
Heh, don't mean to be picky, but the numbers are a little off. I think some of the updates by other members might have been off a little if you've been refering to them for the count.

(and yes I'm too lazy to go count them all myself ;\) ..sorry )

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#563420 - 03/05/06 03:53 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
This is probably going to be a very controversial list of favourites but here we go.

Vladimir Horowitz
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Valentina Lisitsa
Evgeny Kissin
Sviatoslav Richter
Vladimir Askenazy
Grigory Sokolov
Alexander Scriabin
Claudio Arrau
Glen Gould

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#563421 - 03/05/06 04:00 PM Re: PW's 10 Greatest Pianists of 20th Century
Heretic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 150
 Quote:
Originally posted by TS:
Heh, don't mean to be picky, but the numbers are a little off. I think some of the updates by other members might have been off a little if you've been refering to them for the count.

(and yes I'm too lazy to go count them all myself ;\) ..sorry ) [/b]
nonono they are all right \:D

I meticulously checked and double checked them, someone posted an update before that had one or two slightly off calculations that you might be referring to but I didn't use their update after having realized that.
Plus a few updates back I miscounted Rubinstein and so one update didn't have him on the list then the next update he magically appeared but like I said I corrected that so the rest should be perfect.

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