Chopaninoff, you're talking about Berezovsky like he's only performed the Liszt etudes once. He has made several different programs using them, and from my understanding, rarely just plays the etudes. For instance, I link a review of a concert (I ordered a cd of this particular concert) of his where he played Crumb's Makrokosmos and Ravel's Sonatine in the first half, and then after a brief intermission/break played through all of the Liszt etudes. And even if he did just include the Liszt etudes as his only program, which he does not, performing all 12 of them without flaw is still a herculean achievement. They are longer and more difficult than most of Chopin's, as I'm sure you are aware. My point was that the kind of bravado of former pianists like Cortot does still exist today, and that it's incorrect to say that it's non-existent.
If what you're saying about Pollini is true (Just going to 12, out of thousands, of his concerts doesn't necessarily mean he NEVER performed both books of the etudes) then I suppose I should apologize for the large assumption that I made. But there are pianists that play through both books of etudes, which is less impressive in light of some of the other things Concert pianists play live. Your mentioning of the Godowsky etudes was strange, because you said "even those.." as if they're easier than the Chopin etudes. I don't know, maybe it was just a misunderstanding (as I seem to mistake the intention of your posts). But works by Alkan, MacDowell, Prokofiev, Hindemith and even more modern composers are horrendously difficult and on a completely different scale than the Chopin etudes, but are also performed in public. Not to go off topic, and I apologize if I was a bit abrasive or misunderstood your meaning.
Why are we discussing difficulty of etudes? Its not the point...And I am not saying it is wrong to perform those etudes...I just personally never heard or saw anyone play it. When I mentioned the Godowsky I was showing you an example that Berezosky didn't play all of them...He played some of the more technically challenging ones such as op 10 no 4, op 10 no 12, op 25 no 12...etc
This matter does not pertain to Hoffman...But I was merely siding with the other person because I as well never heard of any other pianist other than Cortot play both books.
As for Hoffman, I have mentioned earlier...This pianist does not shock me. Yes he is good without doubt, or even better than some. But he does not stand out in my mind. Richter for example does. He is a pianist that never played scales or etudes...yet is considered to have a "virtuoso technique"
Anyway...Hoffman took great risks in his piano playing. But just because he took great risks doesn't mean they succeeded and worked for his advantage. His ballade no 1 from Chopin...Just horrible. How he adds those low notes it just an offense to Chopin! They block out the melodic notes..And the coda he played extremely fast...It does say Presto Con Fuoco...But it doesn't mean to be rushed through and play random notes staccato. It all has to do with a matter of taste. For example, I think Horowitz does a fine job. He is able to play all the little notes or "not so important" notes quietly, while leading the main melody notes.
I listened to his Chopin Nocturne op 27 no 2 and the left hand which is marked Sempre Legato and Dolce....He does the opposite. With his random accents and unnecessary staccato...Ruins the whole flow of the "nocturne" I will list some times for you...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cw1Yqja ... re=related
I am following that link....
staccoto when marked with a legato and crescendo
:45-:46- makes a minor change in the score and adds an extra note(s) in the right hand
1:01- Another slip/ or change in the score
1:22-1:24- more staccato when marked legato
2:07-2:10: that WHOLE bar is played detached when Chopin marks a Leggierissimo ( very light) and several legato marks
2:40-2:57: misses out the WHOLE crescendo....Misses out on 4 Sforzando and then when Chopin marks a FFF (rare for a nocturne) he plays it piano...
there are just few examples. YES I AM EXTREMELY PICKY I am aware. I do not think he is a bad pianist....but I do not see the need to emphasis on something that he does not have. A wonderful rendition of this nocturne would be from Pollini, Rubinstein, or even Lugansky. Once again, I am not saying he plays this nocturne bad...But I have been noticing so many patterns in his playing that really do not go well with the pieces. I play this nocturne myself and yes I understand that it is sometimes OK to stray from the score and put a little of your character in, but not as much as Hoffman does. Hope no one took offense to my criticism just felt like throwing some examples out.