Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz!

Posted by: JoeTownley

Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/19/02 03:31 PM

Has anyone ever heard of this guy? The hype at his site would lead you to believe he was a first class pianist in his day (deceased now - porbably not nice to say negative things about the dead but we're talking about his artistry, not the man) yet judging by the streaming videos of Revolutionary Etude, Carnival (in its entirety, no less) and Mozart Sonata, you'd never guess. www.music-of-teszleri.com/main.html

Check it out and let us know what you think.

[ February 21, 2002: Message edited by: JoeTownley ]
Posted by: JoeTownley

Re: Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/19/02 08:36 PM

No one curious to hear this guy's playing?? Come on, peeps!!
Posted by: JBryan

Re: Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/20/02 12:23 AM

Looks like it was set up as a memorial from his wife and you are inviting me to dump all over it? I think I'll pass.
Posted by: Bernard

Re: Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/20/02 12:56 AM

I think quite of bit of the irregularity is due to the video/audio quality not the performer. It also appears he is not a very young man in the video (I only listened to the Revolutionary).

In general, it's a very nice site; his wife has done a very nice job.

But what really gets me is this: The program notes for Lincoln Center recital in 1964 reads as follows:

Tickets: Loge $4.80, Orchestra, Rows A-Z $4.30; Rows AA-RR $3.50; First Terrace $2.65, Second Terrace $1.55; all prices including tax

Do you have any idea what the Orchestra seats go for these days? Ha. For instance, Richard Goode will be there later this month--$82.00 \:\( .
Posted by: JoeTownley

Re: Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/20/02 12:57 PM

Bernard,
I suggest you just listen to the preamble of the Carnival. That would be sufficient. And, in response to JBryan, let me just say that my header was a little crude, I admit. And it in no way reflects on Zoltan as a person, who I'm sure was a prince of a guy. But on a purely objective level one could not say it was good playing, since we are judging the performance based solely on its merits w/o any reference to the existential circumstances. My point being that it does a person's memory no good to leave a legacy like that behind, despite all the good intentions in the world. Even Horowitz did not have the good sense to quit while he was ahead. We all know that in his final years of concertizing and recording he was riding solely on his reputation. The playing itself was only a shadow of what he used to be able to do. And we're not embarrassed to say that about a giant like Horowitz.
Posted by: Rodion

Re: Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/20/02 06:09 PM

well i do have to stand up for horowitz's official 'last recording', which is excellent. the wagner/liszt is quite intense and the haydn is wonderful too. even with his strange habits he brings out certain things in pieces that you don't hear anyone else doing.
Posted by: Hank Drake

Re: Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/20/02 07:27 PM

I saw Horowitz live on October 19, 1986, when he was 83. The performance was magnificent from first note to last, and as far as accuracy is concerned, he was WAY ahead of a number of younger and middle aged performers.

This is not the rosy-haze of memory either, I was able to obtain a pirate recording of the concert, which confirmed my first impressions.

[ February 21, 2002: Message edited by: Hank Drake ]
Posted by: Eldon

Re: Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/20/02 11:20 PM

Joe,
You are dead wrong about Horowitz "riding solely on his reputation" in later years.
Hank's reply to you wasn't quite as blunt as mine; but I could definitely hear him "biting his lip"........and I'm clear over in Illinois. :p
Posted by: JoeTownley

Re: Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/21/02 02:17 AM

I don't know, guys. Are we talking about the same Horowitz? The one whose performance of the Rach Three live w/ Ormandy in 1978 was so absymal that they actually had to go into the studio to do retakes to patch it up because it was deemed too wrecked to be relased "as is"? Or the Scriabin Etude in D# minor recorded in his return concert in Russia that, by my ears anyway, was a garbled mass of wrong notes? Or a recording of the Liszt Sonata that, again, unless I'm mistaken (which IS possible) had to be withheld until another better performance could be issued?
Posted by: Hank Drake

Re: Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/21/02 08:36 AM

Joe, have you ever been to a real concert? Or do you make your comparisons based soley on recordings?

Yes, Horowitz' 1978 Rachmaninoff Third was touched up. I have a pirate of the 1978 recording, and by comaring the two, I can tell you the touch-ups were very minor--and had as much to do with the ORCHESTRAL performance as any slips of finger Horowitz made. I also have recordings of perfomances that Horowitz gave of that concerto in Philadelphia (not bad) and Ann Arbor (phenomenal) from that year. And I'm aware of a few fumbled passages in the 1986 Moscow concert--but there was so much more that was extraordinary that a few imperfections don't bother me. As for the Liszt Sonata, I've never hear of any recordings being withdrawn or held back--and I know Horowitz' recordings probably better than anyone on this board.

I have seen a number of the world's most respected pianists in concert, and ALL of the ones I've seen--Perahia, Brendel, Schiff, yes, even Pollini--hit a few wrong notes in concert. So what?

As Toscanini said, "For a few wrong notes, no one was ever thrown in jail."

[ February 21, 2002: Message edited by: Hank Drake ]
Posted by: Vid

Re: Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/21/02 12:29 PM

Amen, if you want 100% accuracy watch a perfect touch typist, because a pianist that is all accuracy and no soul is about as much fun to watch.
Posted by: Rick

Re: Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/21/02 01:14 PM

That whole 1986 concert (I have the video) just blows me away, including (or especially) the Scriabin etude (the fast one). I didn't notice wrong notes too much there, but his Chopin polonaise (op. 53) definitely had noticeable wrong notes. But it's still my favorite version. The intensity and feeling, and the dynamic variation, was incredible. Just my opinion but I'm sticking with it.

Rick
Posted by: JoeTownley

Re: Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/21/02 01:41 PM

Well, I concede to the majority. I respect Horowitz's earlier virtuosity but I've never been a fan of his interpretations (with a few exceptions) and I've seen enough videos of him in performance to form some semblance of opinion about the accuracy of his playing in later years. An earlier recording of the Scriabin was exsquizate, exsiquizate----how do you spell exquisite??? He took it at a slower, more lyrical tempo. in the Russia concert it sounded like a mishmash of jumbled notes all blurred together by the excessive speed and excessive pedaling. BTW, has his performance w/ Mehta televised in Los Angeles been released? I have a video that I made w/ one of the first VHS machines to come out. Cost me 900 bucks at the time. That about equivalent to 3,000 in today's dollars. I wonder if it's a historic document or anything.
Posted by: Eldon

Re: Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/21/02 03:00 PM

I will NEVER forget sitting ON STAGE at Orchestra Hall, in Chicago, and hearing Horowitz's Liszt Sonata (just part of a truly amazing recital) Such emotion is hard to describe.
Posted by: Hank Drake

Re: Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/21/02 03:08 PM

The September 1978 Rachmaninoff Third with Mehta is available on VHS, and most online retailers, such as Amazon, carry it.

It has also been released on a Japanese DVD but you'll have to go through E-bay to get it.

Isn't it interesting that a thread about another pianist turns into a debate on Horowitz. Love him or hate him, twelve years after his death he's still very much with us.
Posted by: JoeTownley

Re: Zoltan Teszleri, Pianist? Warning: This turn into a heated debate on Horowitz! - 02/21/02 08:09 PM

Doggonit! And here i thought I had a rare treasure. I should have known if it was televised, sooner or later it'd wind up on video. BTW, there were several terrific broadcasts on KCET of live concerts with Rubinstein, Weissenberg, Argerich, and others. I remember memorable performances of Argerich playing the Tchaikovsky 1st and not believing my eyes or ears on those middle octaves in the first movement. Also i recall a performance w/ Rubinstein and Previn doing the Chopin 2nd and another of Rubinstein doing the Brahms 1st. Whatever became of these? Are they available?