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Re: [furt-l] Chopin Piano Concertos

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  • Felix Delbruck
    Hofmann on VAI s The Complete Josef Hofmann vol 1 is generally wonderful in the 2nd, especially in the last two movements, with a few lapses in the details
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 6, 1999
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      Hofmann on VAI's The Complete Josef Hofmann vol 1 is generally wonderful in
      the 2nd, especially in the last two movements, with a few lapses in the
      details which one can attribute to the amount of leeway he allowed himself
      in live performance. In my view he does even better - indeed I have seldom
      heard such directly eloquent and yet classically poised, such Mozartian
      Chopin playing - in a small excerpt of the 1st from 1935 in execrable sound.
      His complete recording of the 1st from 1938, on the other hand, shows him in
      deep decline: the playing has lost its balance and frequently sounds
      flippant and uninvolved, although there are some very eloquent moments in
      the 2nd movt.

      Felix Delbrück

      > From: "Ponzetto" <ponzetto@...>
      > Reply-To: furt-l@...
      > Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1999 23:54:00 +0100
      > To: <furt-l@...>
      > Subject: [furt-l] Chopin Piano Concertos
      >
      > While we are speaking about Rubinstein's Chopin, I would like to ask which
      > performances of his piano concertos you would recommend.
      > I like Rubinstein's 1st (with Skrowaczewski) but I am not convinced by his
      > 2nd (with Wallenstein) which I find somewhat too soft, almost spineless. I
      > am not enthused by Arrau's 1st, so I am not rushing to buy his 2nd, and I do
      > not like at all Zimmermann - Giulini, in spite of the high critical ratings
      > it got. Perhaps Rubinstein - Barbirolli would be a good idea ?
      >
      > Thank you very much,
      >
      > Giacomo
      >
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    • Mark Berry
      ... For the second, I would certainly recommend Rubinstein-Barbirolli, but also Ashkenazy-Zinman. If I remember correctly, it comes with the Bach D minor, and
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 6, 1999
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        On Fri, 5 Nov 1999, Ponzetto wrote:

        > While we are speaking about Rubinstein's Chopin, I would like to ask which
        > performances of his piano concertos you would recommend.
        > I like Rubinstein's 1st (with Skrowaczewski) but I am not convinced by his
        > 2nd (with Wallenstein) which I find somewhat too soft, almost spineless. I
        > am not enthused by Arrau's 1st, so I am not rushing to buy his 2nd, and I do
        > not like at all Zimmermann - Giulini, in spite of the high critical ratings
        > it got. Perhaps Rubinstein - Barbirolli would be a good idea ?
        >
        > Thank you very much,
        >
        > Giacomo
        >
        For the second, I would certainly recommend Rubinstein-Barbirolli, but
        also Ashkenazy-Zinman. If I remember correctly, it comes with the Bach D
        minor, and Mozart No.7, all of which are mightily impressive.

        With best wishes,

        Mark Berry.

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      • samir ghiocel golescu
        ... I heartily second this, adding that for the Second Concerto I know of no better performance, beyond the lousy orchestra and the noisy live recording,
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 6, 1999
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          On Sat, 6 Nov 1999, Felix Delbruck wrote:

          > Hofmann on VAI's The Complete Josef Hofmann vol 1 is generally wonderful in
          > the 2nd, especially in the last two movements, with a few lapses in the
          > details which one can attribute to the amount of leeway he allowed himself
          > in live performance. In my view he does even better - indeed I have seldom
          > heard such directly eloquent and yet classically poised, such Mozartian
          > Chopin playing - in a small excerpt of the 1st from 1935 in execrable sound.
          > His complete recording of the 1st from 1938, on the other hand, shows him in
          > deep decline: the playing has lost its balance and frequently sounds
          > flippant and uninvolved, although there are some very eloquent moments in
          > the 2nd movt.

          I heartily second this, adding that for the Second Concerto I know of no
          better performance, beyond the lousy orchestra and the noisy live
          recording, Hofmann's playing is simply divine, unifying and surpassing the
          simplicity and fluency of a Haskil, and the expressivity of a Cortot
          whose 2nd Cto, (exciting in its own, zig-zagated way) presents the
          peculiarity of an added Coda in the first mvt. and of noticeable
          orchestration changes, not for the better IMHO).

          For the first Cto I'd suggest:
          Heinrich Neuhaus (yes, the old professor!)
          Emil Ghilels (I usually don't recommend his recordings, invariably
          excellent, but seldom extraordinary--his Chopin 1st *is* extraordinary,
          and you can hear the beneficial influence of Neuhaus's conception!)

          Hofmann (coupled with the 2nd, on VAI)
          Rosenthal (newly re-published on Biddulph)

          Both recordings have flaws but also extraordinary insights, especially in
          the slow mvts.

          regards,
          SG

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        • Morrstock@aol.com
          In a message dated 11/6/99 5:52:23 AM Pacific Standard Time, mkb1002@hermes.cam.ac.uk writes:
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 6, 1999
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            In a message dated 11/6/99 5:52:23 AM Pacific Standard Time,
            mkb1002@... writes:

            <<
            > While we are speaking about Rubinstein's Chopin, I would like to ask which
            > performances of his piano concertos you would recommend.
            > I like Rubinstein's 1st (with Skrowaczewski) but I am not convinced by his
            > 2nd (with Wallenstein) >>
            I grew up with that 1st concerto and thought of it as the gold standard. Now
            I like a live 1964 Naples concert performance with Rubinstein on some
            offbeat pirate label.
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          • Thomas Christopher Schnauber
            All, Just throwing in my two cents: I absolutley adore Hofmann and would agree with those recommendations (although I must say, for myself, I find the Chopin
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 8, 1999
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              All,

              Just throwing in my two cents: I absolutley adore Hofmann and would agree
              with those recommendations (although I must say, for myself, I find the
              Chopin piano concerti much less satisfying than his solo piano music).
              Cortot would be my other thought.

              Someone mentioned Gilels: I just heard a recording from that Philips
              Great Pianists series of him playing a Clementi sonata. Wonderful!
              Clementi was a really good composer, somewhat underated, I think, and
              Gilels' performance was electric. Check it out!

              Tom


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