"Kreisleriana"

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Belle
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"Kreisleriana"

Post by Belle » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:20 am

Listening this afternoon to a number of versions from U-Tube of selected sections of "Kreisleriana" and there are some, er, surprises. This is knotty music and requires panache and elan.

Here's the first one: Argerich. Just the opening section....rushed, indistinct, scrambled; can't make any sense of the ideas or melody. My long complaint about this pianist!! Rushing has its costs and I was deterred after the start, but the slower sections improved the situation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S91cK2Z3z2I

Pollini. The opening just as rushed and almost as incoherent as Argerich, IMO: absolutely put me off! Where is the balance between harmony and melody? He always manages to achieve a hard edge in most of his playing, I find:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S91cK2Z3z2I

Horowitz, 1969; much better. You can hear the melody and its harmony! Much poetry here too. I loved part 7; wonderful!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L16yD3HbBZI

Trifonov: just the 5th section is all I could find. I found it charming and lyrical but, boy, his posture leaves a lot to be desired. Problems ahead?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yM_YJqB ... BtAhc#t=16

Lastly, Arrau. Now we're getting warm!! Lovely intonation and good balance. Loved the last movement the most:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5o9PFk0uGo

Thoughts? Versions?

arepo
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by arepo » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:26 pm

The best performance of this work by Schumann I believe to be by Murray Perahia on Sony.
Another fine Kreisleriana is By Radu Lupu on London.
This is a really difficult work to master.
cliftwood

John F
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by John F » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:41 pm

I've always found it a difficult work to like. :mrgreen:
John Francis

Belle
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by Belle » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:32 pm

John F wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:41 pm
I've always found it a difficult work to like. :mrgreen:
Why?

John F
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by John F » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:07 am

Who can say? That's just how it is. (I have friends who don't like any of Schumann's music; I like most of it but not all.)
John Francis

maestrob
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by maestrob » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:10 am

Perahia is good for me as well. Perahia is, IMHO, a vastly under-appreciated artist in general, yet I find that, no matter the repertoire, he satisfies me with a well-thought-out interpretation. I have his complete set on Sony,and not one disc is a disappointment, whether it's Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann or even Rachmaninoff or Liszt.

If he had been Russian, who knows how much praise would have been heaped on Perahia's shoulders! :mrgreen:

It couldn't have been more different, Belle, but I loved the Horowitz also.

Belle
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by Belle » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:06 pm

maestrob wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:10 am
Perahia is good for me as well. Perahia is, IMHO, a vastly under-appreciated artist in general, yet I find that, no matter the repertoire, he satisfies me with a well-thought-out interpretation. I have his complete set on Sony,and not one disc is a disappointment, whether it's Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann or even Rachmaninoff or Liszt.

If he had been Russian, who knows how much praise would have been heaped on Perahia's shoulders! :mrgreen:

It couldn't have been more different, Belle, but I loved the Horowitz also.
The tumultuous opening of the Horowitz is just fabulous, and you really get an articulated sense of the upward thrust of that movement. (His 1985 version was dreadful.) Argerich and Pollini, as heard here, are both bowls of spaghetti in that section!!

Agree about Perahia being under-rated. I have quite a few of his CDs, though sometimes I feel they are a little on the tame/conservative side.

Change of topic, but not everybody will like the romantic sound-world of this Scarlatti sonata. I have this CD and I absolutely love it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKQ0bf2XoYM

Especially when compared to this!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FiZc7kbrWw

And how about this stylized and highly cinematic production of the same piece by the same artist!! Fellini must have been in that room:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ow08K5l7iA

arepo
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by arepo » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:21 pm

maestro..
Your knowledge of music and your excellent taste in performances has always been admirable. :D
cliftwood

maestrob
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by maestrob » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:23 pm

arepo wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:21 pm
maestro..
Your knowledge of music and your excellent taste in performances has always been admirable. :D
cliftwood
Many thanks for the vote of confidence, sir! :D

barney
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by barney » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:43 am

Yes, one of the things I really want in late baroque is clarity of articulation. Michelangeli seems to think he is playing Liszt.
I can't remember whether I have posted this before, but it is a real and oft-visited favourite: 2.5 minutes of Sokolov playing Couperin with a wonderful clarity and affection.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r5kecJfS2I

Belle
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by Belle » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:54 am

Absolutely brilliant!! Thanks so much Barney. How did he do it? Staggering virtuosity, wonderful clarity.

I'm sending it off to number 1 son who absolutely loves the baroque keyboard and plays this music in his winery and laboratory during the day.

Ricordanza
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by Ricordanza » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:36 am

barney wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:43 am

I can't remember whether I have posted this before, but it is a real and oft-visited favourite: 2.5 minutes of Sokolov playing Couperin with a wonderful clarity and affection.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r5kecJfS2I
Perfection!

maestrob
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by maestrob » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:11 pm

barney wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:43 am
Yes, one of the things I really want in late baroque is clarity of articulation. Michelangeli seems to think he is playing Liszt.
I can't remember whether I have posted this before, but it is a real and oft-visited favourite: 2.5 minutes of Sokolov playing Couperin with a wonderful clarity and affection.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r5kecJfS2I
Sokolov is a wonder, isn't he? Thanks for that :D.

barney
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by barney » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:11 am

Yes, when I hear playing like that I wonder not only at the technical proficiency but the musical intelligence that sees the lines so clearly. When Sokolov plays, it seems that it must be this way, but few other performances on YouTube come close
To choose a more controversial example, I often marvelled at the musical lines Glenn Gould chose, especially in Bach. Sometimes I didn't like them, or think them the best, but the clarity he achieved was stupendous.

maestrob
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by maestrob » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:16 pm

Yes, BUT Gould had the advantage of the recording studio and all its resources, while Sokolov does it live.

I'm just saying....... :)

Belle
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by Belle » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:53 pm

barney wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:11 am
Yes, when I hear playing like that I wonder not only at the technical proficiency but the musical intelligence that sees the lines so clearly. When Sokolov plays, it seems that it must be this way, but few other performances on YouTube come close
Absolutely agree. To achieve that 'line' (which was essentially the Kleiber aesthetic) is difficult and one of the formidable challenges for me when playing Bach. Many separate musical ideas occur simultaneously; which one is the primary idea, if any, and how can it be highlighted? My own failures showed me the best way forward when teaching this kind of music; in a session for music appreciation a couple of years ago I highlighted with four different colours each musical line in a Bach fugue to show their discrete properties. This was in a discussion about polyphony, and counterpoint more generally. I think each 'line' needs to be played independently and understood as melody way before attempting to integrate the lines into a musical whole. I was never taught this way and never understood linearity in Bach when learning to play it on the piano. Ergo, I thought harmonically rather than melodically.

Sokolov's Couperin also demonstrates the treacherous complexity of trying to separate lines when one of the melodies is deeply embedded in the ostinato.

barney
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by barney » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:23 pm

Very interesting point. I think the way you were taught is probably the most common, although my mother (a concert pianist and teacher) used to get us to play left hand and right hand separately before putting them together. (But that was probably at the very junior level I achieved. I stopped piano when I was about 8, and traipsed through a couple of instruments before settling on the French horn.) That is both harmony and line - unless the line shifts staves.

Lance
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by Lance » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:43 pm

This is one of my favourite pieces by Schumann. I have about 75 recordings of the piece. I, too, loved the Horowitz, have a lot of respect for Rubinstein's and many others, but a name in pianists that I never see too much on these boards or anywhere else is that of Benno Moiseiwitsch, who, with his studies with Theodor Leschetizky, played Schumann perhaps more exquisitely than any other pianist. That recording was reissued on the Testament label (origins by HMV/EMI). I also knew, personally, Ethel Newcomb, who wrote the book, "Leschetizky As I Knew Him", who was from my home area and was an assistant to Leschetizky (as was Schirmer editor Edwin Hughes, whom I also knew and sat in on his many classes). When Newcomb played Schumann -- which I heard live so long ago -- it was to be among my most memorable musical memories. Any of the Leschetizky pupils, including Clifford Curzon (Artur Schnabel didn't record much Schumann except a live performance of the piano concerto and commercially, the Piano Quintet and Kinderscenen, but they are special as well.) Due to the true complexity of Schumann's music, it takes certain kinds of pianists who delve into what is behind the notes on the page; Moiseiwitsch was one of these pianists who did it superbly well.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
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Belle
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by Belle » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:02 pm

Loved reading those anecdotes and all about your considerable recorded music collection. A (deceased) friend of mine was an enthusiast for pianists of the past and (long) before he retired he was a broadcaster with our national FM network. Whilst in London visiting his mother a couple of decades ago he recorded a series for radio about pianists from the past, interviewing relatives and survivors in a really very interesting series of programs. One or two of those names you mentioned turned up on his programs. Eileen Joyce, the Australian, was one name I do remember. Anyway, my friend John had a huge collection of records and CDs and he'd often record performances for me when he was in the studio broadcasting performances from tapes which were not released commercially. I had Roger Norrington's Beethoven #6 long before it was commercially available. He accompanied the Bach Pilgrimage in 2000 for a little while in Europe with the English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner and I used to get recordings and photographs from that. An erstwhile girlfriend was a soprano in the Monteverdi Choir!!

And I've often wondered what happened to my friend's huge collection of recorded music!!

Lance
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by Lance » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:42 pm

Ah yes, Eileen Joyce. I have probably most of what she recorded from 78s and on LPs and into the few CD transfers made. She was an outstanding pianist. Very nice comeback on this thread! Thank you. You are wondering about your friend's huge record collection and you know what? I'm wondering where all mine will end up, too. In the meantime, enjoy everything you have for as long as you can. Music for me and many is the supreme medicine of all time! I am thinking of doing a radio tribute to you out there in Australia - and I will be doing one for our John Francis. I'm way behind on radio productions but will get there eventually.
Belle wrote:
Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:02 pm
Loved reading those anecdotes and all about your considerable recorded music collection. A (deceased) friend of mine was an enthusiast for pianists of the past and (long) before he retired he was a broadcaster with our national FM network. Whilst in London visiting his mother a couple of decades ago he recorded a series for radio about pianists from the past, interviewing relatives and survivors in a really very interesting series of programs. One or two of those names you mentioned turned up on his programs. Eileen Joyce, the Australian, was one name I do remember. Anyway, my friend John had a huge collection of records and CDs and he'd often record performances for me when he was in the studio broadcasting performances from tapes which were not released commercially. I had Roger Norrington's Beethoven #6 long before it was commercially available. He accompanied the Bach Pilgrimage in 2000 for a little while in Europe with the English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner and I used to get recordings and photographs from that. An erstwhile girlfriend was a soprano in the Monteverdi Choir!!

And I've often wondered what happened to my friend's huge collection of recorded music!!
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Lance
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Re: "Kreisleriana"

Post by Lance » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:46 pm

One thing is for certain: none of us will be taking our collections along with us at the end of the line! What a shame!!!
Belle wrote:
Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:02 pm
Loved reading those anecdotes and all about your considerable recorded music collection. A (deceased) friend of mine was an enthusiast for pianists of the past and (long) before he retired he was a broadcaster with our national FM network. Whilst in London visiting his mother a couple of decades ago he recorded a series for radio about pianists from the past, interviewing relatives and survivors in a really very interesting series of programs. One or two of those names you mentioned turned up on his programs. Eileen Joyce, the Australian, was one name I do remember. Anyway, my friend John had a huge collection of records and CDs and he'd often record performances for me when he was in the studio broadcasting performances from tapes which were not released commercially. I had Roger Norrington's Beethoven #6 long before it was commercially available. He accompanied the Bach Pilgrimage in 2000 for a little while in Europe with the English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner and I used to get recordings and photographs from that. An erstwhile girlfriend was a soprano in the Monteverdi Choir!!

And I've often wondered what happened to my friend's huge collection of recorded music!!
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

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