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Grieg playing

Discussion in 'Pianists' started by techneut, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Not sure if this was maybe posted before here, but on this page http://nlib.org.ua/gb/mp3/all/2008 you find Grieg playing some of his own works.
    The digital remasterings sound incredibly good, as if they were recorded yesterday. Quite strange hearing a romantic composer play.
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I love hearing composers play their own music!!

    I used to have this one site where I could listen to several composers (Granados, Mompou, Paderewski...) playing their music all for free except you could only listen to about 25 pieces in a month...something like that. Now that site has gone totally to a 'pay' site. :x Anyway, I just listened to Wedding Day at Troldhaugen - he forgot the middle part! Still, he sure played the rest of it very fast! Too bad the sound quality is so bad on this one. You can hardly hear it.
     
  3. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    It's always fascinating to hear these old recordings. Not Grieg, but this might be of interest: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008 ... ATURE.html There's also a fair amount of Ravel, Debussy, Scriabin and others playing their own music floating around on youtube.

    The opening music is from 1895; the pianist-composer Paul Pabst playing an extract from his Sleeping Beauty paraphrase (a composition I adore).
     
  4. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    I listened to all of Grieg playing his own music. The surface noise of the old recordings didn't bother me at all. When I was a kid there were many old 78 rpm records lying around with snaps, crackles, pops, and even scratches on them too. Back then pianists could quickly filter that stuff out and the music would then shine through. Luckily I haven't lost the knack! Anyway, one can only conclude that Grieg had a pianism that was refined, cultured and accomplished to say the very least. Of course, he was a touring concert pianist before he settled into composing full time. He invariably played with great artistry in these recordings, setting the standards for how his music was meant to sound. And the few pieces toward the end of the list that benefited from modern sound engineering emphasize that point all the more. Absolutely beautiful!

    This has not always been the case with composers playing their own works. One time I heard Dohnanyi, a virtuoso (and in my teaching heritage too, so I can't be too critical here), playing his own "Preludium". I came away with the impression that he didn't understand the potential of the piece. I've also heard Rachmaninoff (my all-time favorite) play a couple of his own pieces in a perfunctory manner. One of the best in this regard though in my opinion, was Prokofiev. Most people today automatically recognize his stature as a composer, and some recall that he conducted too. But it seems that few know he was first an incredible virtuoso pianist. Apart from Rachmaninoff, Hofmann and Moisewitsch, he could show just about any other pianist how to play the instrument. He set the bar for the "Suggestion diabolique" for instance. Nowadays few know that he chose himself to premier his own Piano Concerto No. 3.

    Getting back to Grieg, he had a lifelong love affair with the character piece, and these recordings indicate that he put as much care into performing each one as he did in creating it.

    David
     

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