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|A question for Mayberry Pancakes and any other classical music lovers: |
Lauritz Melchior 02/04/09, 00:12
|What are you're favorite performances of pieces? Any, really, that you think are superlative.|
I'm always on the look out for new performances of pieces that I love, but am not too versed in the artists of orchestral and chamber music.
So: if you've got favorite recordings of any of these pieces or any favorites that you just want to mention, please let me know! My passions are mostly for Romantic and early 20th century, but I'll take whatever advice you offer.
Works which I'm interested in hearing new performances of:
Any recommendations for:
Beethoven's 3rd Symphony? I've only heard Toscanini
Beethoven's 9th Symphony? I prefer Toscanini to Furtwaengler, but haven't heard any others
Bizet's "The Pearl Fishers"? If there's a full recording with Jussi Bjorling and Robert Merrill, I've not been able to find it =(
Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto? I like my Brendel recording, but it's also my favorite of his concerti, so I'd be interested in hearing other performances.
Brahms' Symphonies? I've only heard Herbert von Karajan.
Rachmaninoff Symphonies: I'm not familiar with any
Prokofiev: Anything. I've been wanting to listen to his stuff for a while, but I'm only familiar with a few piano-related works
Shostakovich: Same deal as with Prokofiev, but I'm hardly familiar with anything of his.
Bartok: anything that you'd recommend. I've got Geza Anda playing the concerti, but that's about it, and I'd like to become more familiar with him.
Brahms' Violin Concerto
Khachaturian: I've got a recording by Stanley Black of a number of his suites, but would love to become familiar with more.
Kabalevsky: Any orchestral music that you'd recommend?
Glazunov: I'm not familiar with anything but desperately want to be.
Mussorgsky: Anything? I've got Sviatoslav Richter playing Pictures at an Exhibition, but I've got nothing in terms of his orchestral works.
Berlioz' Symphony Fantastique?
Berlioz' anything else. I'm only familiar with the Symphony Fantastique.
Wagner: Tannhauser. I've got a recording by Konwitschny.
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde. I've got two recordings: Carlos Kleiber and Beecham (still my favorite even though the sound quality is terrible. It's got Lauritz Melchior and Kirsten Flagstad)
Wagner: Ring Cycle. I've got the CD set of Pierre Boulez and the DVD of James Levine
Puccini: my tendency is to just look for complete performances with Jussi Bjorling in them, but if you've got any other recommendations, I'll take it. As far as Turandot goes, I've got a recording with Pavarotti but am not sure who the conductor is thanks to iTunes' unique labeling habits.
Strauss: any recommendations?
Brahms: any of his non-piano works that you'd recommend? I've got Robert Shaw and von Karajan for "Ein Deutsches Requiem" and Robert Shaw for a CD of choral works including the "Schicksalslied".
Ravel: any orchestral works that you'd recommend.
Any composers whom you'd recommend?
Any Beethoven Overtures?
Anything by Grieg that you'd recommend?
Anything by Medtner? I've had such a hard time finding recordings of his works, but I've got a bunch of performances by Geoffrey Tozer and Marc-Andre Hamelin.
Beethoven String Quartets: I've got the Smetana Quartet for all of them and the Takacs Quartet for the Late ones.
Beethoven Chamber Music: I'm horribly unfamiliar with his non SQ chamber music
CHAMBER MUSIC IN GENERAL: PREFERABLY ROMANTIC. Any recommendations for Brahms? Schubert? Schumann? Any others that I should know about?
My recommendations (mostly piano related stuff)
Brahms' 2nd piano concerto: Leon Fleisher and George Szell. I also highly recommend Emil Gilels with Berliner Philharmoniker under Eugen Jochum.
Beethoven piano sonatas (as a whole): Alfred Brendel. There's not a single performance that I don't like. Many of them are my all-time favorites, and this includes ALL 5 LATE PIANO SONATAS!
Beethoven piano sonatas (early and middle periods): Wilhelm Backhaus. Listening to his performances of Beethoven's early works (and middle works to a lesser degree) was like hearing them for the first time again! These performances are so fresh.
Chopin's 4th Ballade, op. 52: Artur Rubinstein. I've probably heard 10+ performances of this piece and play it myself. Rubinstein's is hands down my favorite.
Chopin in general: you can't go wrong with Rubinstein. I own the 11-disc "Chopin Collection" of his and there's not a single performance that I don't like and many are my favorites.
Chopin Preludes, op. 28: Alfred Cortot.
Grieg "Lyric Pieces" (assortment, not complete): Emil Gilels
Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto: Artur Rubinstein with NBC Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Golschmann, recorded May 27, 1946. (I think that this is the performance. It's at a fairly fast pace (9-something minutes per movement) but is my favorite performance.
Liszt's piano concerto #1: Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (the very beginning of the first movement is missing, but the rest of the performance is so electrifying as to make is negligible. Sadly, I don't know the orchestra or conductor as I don't have the CD on me and can't find references to it on amazon.com and the like (I bought it in Vienna).
Bach-Busoni: Chaconne: Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
Brahms' various late piano works: Radu Lupu. Utterly perfect.
Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition: Sviatoslav Richter - The Sofia Recital 1958. Terrible sound quality but an incredible performance
Chopin's Polonaise-Fantasy: Artur Rubinstein (whenever I refer to Rubinstein playing Chopin, I'm referring to the performances recorded on "The Chopin Collection" which can also be purchased as individual CDs. Rubinstein rerecording most pieces in his repertoire whenever new developments in recording technology emerged.
Kabalevsky's 3rd piano sonata: Benno Moiseiwitsch (I actually recommend him for any performances of solo piano work. There's something magical about his playing. As far as orchestral stuff, I frequently don't like what the conductors decided to do. Apparently England had a bunch of really crappy conductors in the first half of the 20th century (Beecham being the exception)
Medtner's 3rd piano sonata: Benno Moiseiwitsch.
Schumann's "Kinderszenen" (scenes from childhood): Martha Argerich. I've been trying to find a cortot recording. I suspect that I would love it, but I haven't found it yet.
Schumann's "Carnival": Alfred Cortot (Cortot's performances are idiosyncratic to say the least with tons of wrong notes, but, in spite of all of his wrong notes, it's the best performance that I've heard so far (subjectively speaking, of course).
Schumann's Fantasy in C, op. 17: Supposedly not many non-pianists are familiar with this work, but it's one of my all-time favorites. I have to recommend Murray Perahia, though I also really like Claudio Arrau's and Sviatoslav Richter's performances.
Liszt's Sonata in B: My favorite performance is by Claudio Arrau.
Liszt's Transcendental Etude #12 "Chasse-Neige": Boris Berezovsky (there are upped videos on youtube of him performing this live. This is what inspired me to learn to the piece and remains my favorite performance. I don't know if that particular performance is available on CD, but it is available on DVD.
Schubert's D960 piano sonata: Murray Perahia
Schumann's "Frauenlieben und -leben": Arleen Auger (can't find the pianist's name). Every single one of the 20 pieces recorded on this CD is a gem. Except for no. 11, "Die Soldatenbraut". I just can't stand that piece. In addition to the Frauenlieben und -leben, it's also got his Mignon lieder!
Schumann's "Dichterliebe": Fritz Wunderlich Hubert Giesen.
Puccini's "La Boheme": Sir Thomas Beecham, Victoria de los Angeles and Jussi Bjorling
Puccini's "Tosca": Leinsdorf/Milanov/Bjorling/Warren (Leonard Warren died onstage during a performance of "the force of destiny". He is rumored to have been singing about death).
Rachmaninoff's 3rd piano Concerto: Vladimir Horowitz (I don't know conductor or date of recording, unfortunately. This is another CD from Vienna which I don't have with me. The first movement is 14:30; II = 8:06; III = 11:14. There's also a very good performance by Martha Argerich with Ricardo Chailly
Scriabin's 9th piano sonata: Vladimir Horowitz Studio recording
Scriabin's 5th piano sonata: Vladimir Ashkenazy studio recording
Scriabin's Etudes opp 8/12 and 42/5: Vladimir Horowitz. Both live recordings. I apologize that I cannot find the date of the op/12 recording, but the op42/5 can be found on this CD.
Scriabin: Vers La Flamme: youtube performance is actually my favorite. Next to that I would put the performance of Vladimir Sofronitsky which can be found on the Great Pianists of the 20th Century.
Alkan's Concerto for Solo Piano: John Ogdon's performance. Hands down.
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde - A *really* old recording conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham and starring Lauritz Melchior and Kirsten Flagstad. The sound quality is terrible, but I've not heard better vocal performances by *anybody*. If you aren't bothered by old vinyl transfers, then I highly recommend this performance. It's put out by Archipel records.
I'm sure that there are tons other favorite recordings which I'm neglecting. If any come to mind, I'll let you know.
Also, I'd be interested in hearing your recommendations for piano literature as well.
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