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Thread: Rank the finest pianist for each composer...

  1. #1
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    Default Rank the finest pianist for each composer...

    Based on comments from this forum I've ranked "the best" (or favorite) pianists for each composer. As a newcomer I'd like your help in discovering the greatest pianists and their recordings. Let's have some fun!

    Copy my list, then modify it as you see fit. Enter as few or as many pianists and composers as you wish. Rank them (1 is best) beneath the composer name. Use 1 thru 9 only. Re-use numbers if you run out of digits and/or to indicate a tie. Skip numbers to indicate the superiority of one or more artists over others.

    Here's my initial list...

    1. de Larrocha

    1. Gould
    2. Richter
    3. Schiff
    4. Perahia
    5. Turreck
    6. Hewitt
    7. Feinberg
    7. Fischer
    7. Gulda

    1. Gilels
    2. Kempff
    3. Arrau
    3. Schnabel
    4. Brendel
    5. Fischer
    5. Richter
    5. Serkin
    6. Barenboim
    6. Goode
    7. Pollini
    8. Kovacevich
    8. Schiff
    8. Solomon
    9. Gould

    1. Gilels
    2. Serkin
    3. Richter
    4. Lupu
    5. Rubinstein
    6. Katchen
    7. Curzon
    8. Arrau
    8. Ax
    9. Fleisher

    1. Rubinstein
    2. Argerich
    2. Zimmerman
    3. Horowitz
    4. Pollini
    5. Cortot
    6. Ashkenazy

    1. Michelangeli
    2. Gieseking

    1. Gilels

    1. Brendel

    1. Horowitz
    2. Arrau
    2. Bolet
    4. Argerich
    5. Richter

    1. Uchida
    3. Brendel
    4. Perahia
    5. Horowitz

    1. Richter

    1. Rachmaninov
    2. Horowitz
    4. Richter
    5. Ashkenazy

    1. Argerich
    3. Thibaudet

    1. Ciccolini

    1. Ciccolini
    2. Queffelec

    1. Horowitz
    3. Michelangeli
    3. Pletnev

    1. Pollini

    1. Brendel
    2. Richter
    3. Kempff
    5. Lupu
    5. Perahia

    1. Richter
    2. Argerich
    3. Horowitz
    4. Cortot
    7. Arrau
    8. Lupu

    1. Horowitz

    1. Van Cliburn
    2. Argerich
    Last edited by PianoDano; Jul-03-2014 at 21:49.

  2. #2
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    What? No Schönberg?
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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    What? Ashkenazy on Chopin Liszt?

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    Senior Member Headphone Hermit's Avatar
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    what, no Yudina?


    she ain't happy!
    "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." Berlioz, 1856

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    Okay. I've waited long enough.

    Schönberg, Uchida.
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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  9. #6
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    For now, I'll just do Bach:

    1. Tureck
    2. Gould
    3. Sheppard
    4. Vieru
    5. Woodward
    6. Schepkin
    7. Richter
    8. Fellner
    9. Schiff
    10. Nikolayeva
    11. Propper
    12. Crossland
    13. Feinberg

  10. #7
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    The initial list is a starting point (it's my first post to the forum). I began this thread with only a love of piano and classical music and little real knowledge of specific pianists and composers. I'm on a journey of discovery and I imagined this might be a way to let other's guide me on how to best direct my listening time and money. I compiled the initial list not from personal taste but from perusing the forums, creating a spreadsheet and placing a tick mark at the intersection of each pianist and composer I found mentioned in a post as a favorite. I counted the tick marks to create the initial ranking but it is by no means scientific or definitive. With your contribution my education will grow. Thanks!
    Last edited by PianoDano; Jul-03-2014 at 21:46.

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    So that list is not your opinion, just what you gathered from reading the boards?
    If that's the case I'll just list some classic recordings (and some favourites) from each of the composers you mentioned.

    Albeniz - De Larrocha Iberia
    Bach - Gould Goldberg Vars, Fischer WTC
    Beethoven - Brendel/Kempff/Solomon Sonatas
    Brahms - Katchen solo works, Michelangeli Paganini etudes
    Chopin - Lipatti 3rd Sonata, Pires Nocturnes
    Debussy - Zimerman Preludes
    Grieg - Gilels Lyris Pieces, Andsnes Concerto
    Haydn - Andsnes Concerti
    Liszt - Solomon Hungarian Fantasy
    Mozart - Perahia Concerti
    Prokofiev - Gavrilov Sonatas
    Rachmaninov - Kocsis has an awesome second Sonata from memory though I'm not overly fond of the piece
    Ravel - Zimerman Concerti, Michelangeli Gaspard
    Saint Saens - Hough Concerti
    Satie - no idea, I think Roge has recorded a disc
    Scarlatti - Pletnev
    Schoenberg - Uchida or Peter Hill has gotten good reviews
    Schubert - Lupu/Perahia Fantasy 4 hands
    Schumann - Lipatti Concerto
    Scriabin - Leonskaja 2nd sonata
    Tchaikovsky - Pletnev op.72 18 pieces

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  13. #9
    Senior Member Varick's Avatar
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    How Fleisher does not get #1 on Brahms (at LEAST in the top three) is beyond me. #9????? Are you people DEAF??????

    Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

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    Senior Member Haydn man's Avatar
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    Mozart Concerti equals Perahia no further discussion required

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  17. #11
    Senior Member Novelette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpowders View Post
    Okay. I've waited long enough.

    Schönberg, Uchida.
    For a good number of years, Brendel was my favorite pianist for Schumann's Piano Concerto.

    Then, in March, I heard Uchida perform it live.

    Since then, Brendel's out; Uchida's in.

    I'm not usually so easily swayed either, especially when it comes to Schumann!

  18. #12
    Senior Member ArtMusic's Avatar
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    Rachmaninoff and Lang-Lang
    "You must have no dependence on your own genius. If you have great talents, industry will improve them; if you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiency." Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA, FRS, FRSA (1723 - 1792)

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    Senior Member Piwikiwi's Avatar
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    Ravel and Debussy - Samson Franscoi
    Fauré - Jean Philippe Collard
    Poulenc - Pascal Rogé
    Prokofiev - Anne-Marie McDermott
    Messiaen - Pierre-Laurent Aimard
    Last edited by Piwikiwi; Jul-05-2014 at 11:41.

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    Senior Member dgee's Avatar
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    Aimard can also get Ligeti as far as I'm concerned!
    I'm not terribly fond of Uchida so can I have Pollini for Schoenberg?
    I'll also nominate Alexis Weissenberg for his balls to the wall Rachmaninov
    Nic Hodges for Birtwistle and Furrer
    Ian Pace for Finnissy

    Malcolm Bilson is my sentimental choice for Mozart
    Last edited by dgee; Jul-05-2014 at 11:59.

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  22. #15
    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
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    I agree with Rogé for Poulenc. More interesting and varied, than say Tacchino, IMO.

    Albeniz: Hear the re-issue on Brilliant with Esteban Sanchez. Fluent and lively, mysterious and varied, IMO.
    Bach: Feinberg, S. Richter, Argerich, Pogorelich English Suites, Gavrilov French Suites, Yudina, Gould.
    CPE Bach: Pletnev.
    Bartok: Kocsis
    Beethoven: Concerti: Serkin/Ormandy mono; Fleisher/Szell; 1-2: Gould; 2: Argerich; 3 Brendel/Haitink; 4: Rubinstein/Mitropoulos (extremely poor sound); 5: Kempff/Leitner
    Beethoven: Sonatas: Yudina, Richter, Gould, Schnabel, Gilels, B.Webster, Levy, Hungerford, Kuerti; probably Robert Goodyear too.
    Brahms: Concerti: 1 Horowitz/Walter (cut), Woodward/Masur, Mantz/Mandeal; 2: Horowitz/Toscanini, Mantz/Mandeal. Solo works: Yudina, Kempff/decca
    Chopin: Earliest Rubinstein; Argerich, Horowitz, Pogorelich, Moravec.
    Debussy: Copeland, Zimerman, Rev, Fergus-Thomson, T´song, Ericourt, Demus.
    Feinberg: Samaltanos
    Franck: Crossley/Sony, Demus.
    Grieg: Gilels; Richter/Kondrashin and Zimerman/Karajan for the concerto (two very different approaches)
    Ligeti: Etudes/Aimard
    Liszt:Concerti: Richter/Kondrashin, Rubinstein/Dorati & Arrau/Cantelli, Horowitz, Gilels, Hung. Rapsodies/Cziffra, Lugubre Gondola/Devoyon.
    Lutoslawski: Concerto: Zimerman
    Medtner: Concerto 1: Zhukov; Concerto 2: Demidenko; Concerto 3: Ponti/Cao (faster than average). Solo works Milne, Gilels, Ginsburg, Richter.
    Messiaen: Loriod, Loriod/Constant for "Des Canyons ..."; Aimard; Oiseaux..:Mourao, Ugorski.
    Mozart Concerti: Overall probably Anda. Sonatas: haven´t found a really satisfying whole set yet.
    Mussorgsky: Richter/Sofia, Yudina.
    Nielsen: Overall, McCabe. Lots of interesting recordings of say the Chaconne, though.
    Prokofiev: Concerti: Krainev,Kitayenko,MoscowSO (not Frankfurt); Argerich/Chailly in no.3. Yundi Li/DG in no.2
    Rachmaninov: Horowitz, Richter, Argerich; Corelli-var./Berman.
    Ravel: lots of interesting competition, but Argerich, Zimerman & Collard/Maazel for the concerti, Alborada/Lipatti, Gaspard/Argerich EMI, Miroirs/Richter Ermitage, etc.
    S-Saens: Ciccolini, earliest Rubinstein for Concerto 2, Jacquinot/Fistoulari and Richter also for alternative Cto.5s.
    Satie: De Leeuw, Ciccolini (two extremely different approaches. De Leeuw isn´t "real" Satie)
    Schubert: Yudina, Horowitz, Gilels, Zacharias, Richter, Brendel, Kuerti, Schnabel, Impromptus.
    Schumann: Concerto: Argerich/Harnoncourt. Argerich, Horowitz, Ugorski/Davidsbündler, Webster/Noveletten, Kissin & Kerer/Symphonic Etudes.
    Schoenberg: Bucquet, Gould, Hill
    Scriabin: Concerto: Bashkirov; solo works: Sofronitsky, Horowitz, Feinberg, Bashkirov, Sonata 1/Szidon, Ashkenazy.
    Shostakovich concerti: List/Kondrashin, and the composer himself; solo works: the composer
    Sorabji:Not enough compettion; those available.
    Tchaikovsky: Concerti: 1: Horowitz/Szell; Argerich/Kondrashin 2: Farnadi/Scherchen; solo works: Ponti.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Jul-05-2014 at 20:17.

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