View Poll Results: Who was the greatest pianist?

Voters
98. You may not vote on this poll
  • Vladimir Horowitz

    9 9.18%
  • Sviatoslav Richter

    29 29.59%
  • Emil Gilels

    7 7.14%
  • Artur Rubinstein

    5 5.10%
  • Artur Schnabel

    1 1.02%
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff

    8 8.16%
  • Claudio Arrau

    6 6.12%
  • Glenn Gould

    6 6.12%
  • Alfred Brendel

    3 3.06%
  • Edwin Fischer

    0 0%
  • Josef Hofmann

    0 0%
  • Alfred Cortot

    2 2.04%
  • Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

    4 4.08%
  • Martha Argerich

    7 7.14%
  • Other

    11 11.22%
Page 9 of 13 FirstFirst ... 5678910111213 LastLast
Results 121 to 135 of 187

Thread: Greatest pianist?

  1. #121
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    9,077
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    All the Hungaroton recordings made in Paris are worth hearing, I’m quite keen on his Beethoven (Appassionata) and Brahms (Paganini Variations.) This is an outstanding one from Cziffra I think, and normally it’s not my sort of music


    B479A9B4-1089-470D-9162-AA01CEAB761B.jpeg
    Last edited by Mandryka; Jul-17-2020 at 22:35.

  2. #122
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    the Deep South
    Posts
    6,784
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post
    I listened to Richter’s infamously slow 1972 Prague account of Schubert D959 the other day. At first it really does seem ridiculously, illogical slow. I’m not at all convinced that the sonata should be played that way (I’m working on learning it myself right now). But somehow it just casts a spell. No one besides Richter could probably make it work the way he did. Everything about his playing is hypnotizing, almost addictive. I can’t put my finger on what exactly it is, but he possessed this unique ability of fierce concentration, mixed with stunning technique, that I haven’t heard from any other pianist. At first I didn’t understand why he is so revered, but he definitely rewards repeated listening.

    D960, you mean. I've been looking in vain for a Richter recording of D959—did he ever play it?

  3. #123
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,305
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    ^Sorry got my numbers mixed up. And no, unfortunately (and surprisingly) there is no recording of Richter doing 959 - I’ve checked and as far as I know it’s just inexplicably one of those works he wasn’t interested in.

    On a somewhat unrelated note, a few weeks ago I mentioned in a thread on D960 that I thought it was somewhat overrated. Having listened to it quite extensively since then and doing some casual sightreading of the score, I now conclude that it is a masterpiece. The first movement seems like a repository of bottomless pathos, and the last few bars of the Andante are just breathtaking in their poignancy. The finale’s a ton of fun too.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art is an attempt to transport into a limited quantity of matter, modeled by man, an image of the infinite beauty of the entire universe." - Simone Weil

    "Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." - Johann Sebastian Bach

  4. #124
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    the Deep South
    Posts
    6,784
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post
    ^Sorry got my numbers mixed up. And no, unfortunately (and surprisingly) there is no recording of Richter doing 959 - I’ve checked and as far as I know it’s just inexplicably one of those works he wasn’t interested in.

    On a somewhat unrelated note, a few weeks ago I mentioned in a thread on D960 that I thought it was somewhat overrated. Having listened to it quite extensively since then and doing some casual sightreading of the score, I now conclude that it is a masterpiece. The first movement seems like a repository of bottomless pathos, and the last few bars of the Andante are just breathtaking in their poignancy. The finale’s a ton of fun too.
    Glad you've seen the light. If anything, D960 is underrated.

  5. #125
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    676
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    Glad you've seen the light. If anything, D960 is underrated.
    The B-flat minor is generally considered the greatest work of Schubert's sonatas. It's the string quintet of Schubert's chamber work and it is profound. Richter's famous rendition is truly extraordinary, a transformative experience.

    My only gripe with this piece is that the last movement is a bit light and does not match up with the immensity of the first two movements.

    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    All the Hungaroton recordings made in Paris are worth hearing, I’m quite keen on his Beethoven (Appassionata) and Brahms (Paganini Variations.) This is an outstanding one from Cziffra I think, and normally it’s not my sort of music.
    Cziffra is a tremendous virtuoso, no doubt. But one always goes back to Arrau's Liszt after the excitements and spectacles die down. In my humble opinion, Bolet is a much better musician than Cziffra, both of them are Titans of piano techniques.
    Last edited by UniversalTuringMachine; Jul-17-2020 at 23:39.

  6. #126
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,305
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by UniversalTuringMachine View Post
    Cziffra is a tremendous virtuoso, no doubt. But one always goes back to Arrau's Liszt after the excitements and spectacles die down. In my humble opinion, Bolet is a much better musician than Cziffra, both of them are Titans of piano techniques.
    It definitely depends on whether you see Liszt as just trashy, empty virtuosity (which is definitely how some people see him) or whether it has profound musical value. Cziffra gives us boatloads of pyrotechnic thrills but I do agree that Bolet and Arrau ultimately find more poetry nestled within the sheer virtuosity, and would be more likely to convince Liszt skeptics that it is great music. Bolet’s Decca set of Liszt is certainly one of my desert island piano albums.
    Last edited by Allegro Con Brio; Jul-17-2020 at 23:51.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art is an attempt to transport into a limited quantity of matter, modeled by man, an image of the infinite beauty of the entire universe." - Simone Weil

    "Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." - Johann Sebastian Bach

  7. #127
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    676
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post
    It definitely depends on whether you see Liszt as just trashy, empty virtuosity (which is definitely how some people see him) or whether it has profound musical value. Cziffra gives us boatloads of pyrotechnic thrills but I do agree that Bolet and Arrau ultimately find more poetry nestled within the sheer virtuosity, and would be more likely to convince Liszt skeptics that it is great music. Bolet’s Decca set of Liszt is certainly one of my desert island piano albums.
    Another great Liszt player (French school) that flys under the radar is Jean Doyen, his La leggierezza is pristine, elegant, silky, and exquisite. You just don't hear this type of jeu perle playing anymore. The Russian school has became dominant to take advantage of huge sonority produced by the grand concert piano.

  8. Likes Cortot liked this post
  9. #128
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,305
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by UniversalTuringMachine View Post
    Another great Liszt player (French school) that flys under the radar is Jean Doyen, his La leggierezza is pristine, elegant, silky, and exquisite. You just don't hear this type of jeu perle playing anymore. The Russian school has became dominant to take advantage of huge sonority produced by the grand concert piano.
    Never heard of him; will have to check him out. Thanks!
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art is an attempt to transport into a limited quantity of matter, modeled by man, an image of the infinite beauty of the entire universe." - Simone Weil

    "Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." - Johann Sebastian Bach

  10. #129
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    the Deep South
    Posts
    6,784
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Any love for Aldo Ciccolini's Liszt? One of many things he did that might put him in this conversation...

  11. #130
    Senior Member Dimace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Berlin - Deutschland
    Posts
    2,666
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post
    And then there is Gyorgy Cziffra, whose absence from this poll could simply be another victim of lack of extensive discography but my jaw drops open almost every time I hear him. His complete set of Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies is unearthly in its virtuosity, and these Chopin Etudes are uniquely special if over the top:

    We could make a list with 100 names, and no one could tell us with evidences who is really the best pianist. Do you know someone who played the Hungarian Dances better then Gyorgy? Nope! (and the Etüdes are from other planet) Do you know someone who played better Liszt than Jorge and Aldo? Nope! And what about the Nocturnes with Engerer and Smeterling? Is better Ravel out there, but Arturo? And who has better touch and is more prolific than Jorge Luis Prats? And what about Roberto (Czidon)? Is he with Wladimir Wladimirovicz the best with Scriabin? Yes they are! And the devine Earl, who demolished with his dexterity every concert hall in his carrier? Isn't the most prolific interpreter of the western world? Yes, together with the mythos Cliburn, who put USA in the pianistic map! And don't forget the best Beethoven interperter, the GREAT Daniel, who is playing ALONE with the Greatest, the GIANT Paul Badura-Skoda, who made the modern Austrian piano school, the Bach legend Andras, the UNIQUE Chopin Master, Cyprien, and the Polish Piano machine, the gigantic Zimerman. AAAA! Where is the Sokolov? etc,etc,... Let us forget about greatness... ALL are GREAT! (under my Master, the one and only Ferenc Liszt).
    „Es gibt drei Arten von Pianisten: jüdische Pianisten, homosexuelle Pianisten -- und schlechte Pianisten.“ V. Horowitz

  12. #131
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    33,732
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Where is Andras Schiff a Bach legend?

  13. Likes Josquin13 liked this post
  14. #132
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    314
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    (Cziffra) - Excellent post and EXPOSITION of this man's talents - thanks! Well, you also mentioned the "best Beethoven interpreter", and is this (no doubt) Daniel Barenboim? ... Well, I've already put my vote in ... and it's the ONLY one (that I've seen in the poll results) for a man of the past - Schnabel. If you'd ever want to argue/debate that Barenboim is "better" than Schnabel, well, you'll find a rebuttal, from me.

  15. #133
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    676
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimace View Post
    We could make a list with 100 names, and no one could tell us with evidences who is really the best pianist. Do you know someone who played the Hungarian Dances better then Gyorgy? Nope! (and the Etüdes are from other planet) Do you know someone who played better Liszt than Jorge and Aldo? Nope! And what about the Nocturnes with Engerer and Smeterling? Is better Ravel out there, but Arturo? And who has better touch and is more prolific than Jorge Luis Prats? And what about Roberto (Czidon)? Is he with Wladimir Wladimirovicz the best with Scriabin? Yes they are! And the devine Earl, who demolished with his dexterity every concert hall in his carrier? Isn't the most prolific interpreter of the western world? Yes, together with the mythos Cliburn, who put USA in the pianistic map! And don't forget the best Beethoven interperter, the GREAT Daniel, who is playing ALONE with the Greatest, the GIANT Paul Badura-Skoda, who made the modern Austrian piano school, the Bach legend Andras, the UNIQUE Chopin Master, Cyprien, and the Polish Piano machine, the gigantic Zimerman. AAAA! Where is the Sokolov? etc,etc,... Let us forget about greatness... ALL are GREAT! (under my Master, the one and only Ferenc Liszt).
    Cziffra's approach Chopin etudes is turning them into Hungarian rhapsody. But you can't fault him for his vulgarity because his virtuosity is too extraordinary. I still think it's best not to apply such monstrous virtuosity to such delicate work (he is not producing great sound in many of these etudes).
    Last edited by UniversalTuringMachine; Jul-18-2020 at 01:31.

  16. Likes Cortot, Dimace liked this post
  17. #134
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    10
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Not pretending of course to reply the original question -I find it impossible to mention only one name without taking into account different eras, recording techniques, (especially) repertoires, etc- I would like to add two IMHO absolutely outstanding pianists not yet mentioned in this thread: JUANA ZAYAS and IVAN MORAVEC. Great masters, and both have the added bonus of modern recording technique, that allow us to listen all the nuances in their playing. Also I find them very consistent (even if Zayas recorded output maybe a bit thin). Sorry for my poor English writing….

  18. #135
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    35
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by UniversalTuringMachine View Post
    Another great Liszt player (French school) that flys under the radar is Jean Doyen, his La leggierezza is pristine, elegant, silky, and exquisite. You just don't hear this type of jeu perle playing anymore. The Russian school has became dominant to take advantage of huge sonority produced by the grand concert piano.
    I agree Doyen is a really good pianist, his Faure and Chopin recordings are also successful. He was actually a teacher, maybe that's why it's not known much. There are very good pianists and teacher from the French school that are not spoken today: Edouard Risler, Marguerite Long, Marcel Ciampi, Yvonne Lefebure, Lazare-Levy, Thierry de Brunhoff etc...

    Especially Risler is one of the biggest but few and poor quality record legacy. At the same time, he was Cortot's favorite and inspired pianist. Marguerite Long was very close to names like Ravel, Faure and Debussy. She was the most important piano teacher with Cortot in France. Her Ravel, Debussy, Chopin, Faure and Mozart recordings are wonderful, Ravel concerto recording dedicated to her should be especially listened to. Jean Doyen is also her student.
    Last edited by Cortot; Jul-18-2020 at 09:17.

Page 9 of 13 FirstFirst ... 5678910111213 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •