in an effort to consolidate my thoughts on the aforementioned thread,
my conclusion, of sorts; hoping to elucidate what few unanswered questions
there may remain.
1. firstly, there was question of a certain beethoven disc mikhail
pletnev recorded. was it the virgin recording? i'll admit, i own all
but very few of his recordings, one of which happens to be the one in
question. the reason i don't own it has also been alluded to.
2. caveat: the following is meant without any political meaning of any
in an allegorical cold war of russian - or ex soviet - versus american
- or any allies - pianists, who would the red side have?
kissin (love him or hate him)
argerich, freire, goode, or schiff notwithstanding, who would the other
side have? my point, my opinion, and from what i've experienced with
any of my russian professors and collaborators, is that most russians
hear sound and understand it and can create it better than most, but not
all, other musicians. nothing is empirical in music.
3. rachmaninov is so appealing in that he is a pianist's composer.
playing rachmaninov necessitates a great understanding of the production
of sound in its infinite range and intricacies. rachmaninov culminated
the art of piano writing that had been begun by liszt, from whom he was
in direct musical lineage. his endlessly enchanting melodic phrasing
and idiomatic sound are his greatness.
4. next, i strongly feel that mr. pletnev is upholding a russian
tradition of musicianship. the pianist, conductor, composer. it's the
musician as a multi faceted whole. whether or not you agree with mr.
pletnev's personal interpretation of a score, it is nonetheless at the
very least an interpretation and more than could be said of most less
contemplative musicians. i also consider him presently to be one of the
most gifted conductors in the manner in which he can obtain such an
incredible sound from an orchestra such as the RNO.
5. as for ms. hahn, i'll but cite one example: the lark ascending.
to me, in recording at least, she lacks any dynamic or emotional range.
i find the recording extremely flat and winded. her bach recording i
find a muddy mess. i applaud her repertoire, and can only hope her live
performance is more inspired.
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