Ageless Wonder - Ken Rosewall

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by McEnroeisanartist, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. NonP

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    Look, we've been through this already. For the umpteenth time, jazziness doesn't not equal jazz! You're talking to a guy who almost majored in piano for Pete's sake, and I'm one of the handful that have studied both classical and jazz seriously. It really speaks volumes that you're holding up boogie-woogie as a "sort" of jazz. That's like saying ragtime is a form of jazz when it is in fact a precursor.

    Just so you know I'm a great admirer of Beethoven's Op. 111 myself. To me it's the single greatest piano sonata ever written, and it's otherworldly music like this that makes one think Ludwig might have been the greatest of 'em all although he wasn't as versatile as J.S. or Wolfgang.

    I'm fine with any of the usual candidates, really. I can also see Budge, Vines, Kramer, Lendl and the like up there.

    Again you're really betraying your (lack of) knowledge when you call Haydn the musical equivalent of Emerson. On the contrary Joseph tends to get underrated, because his ingenuity isn't so immediately obvious to dilettantes like you (and me for that matter) unlike Mozart's or (the more accessible) Beethoven's. For one thing no other composer has exploited silence to such a humorous effect as Haydn, which naturally is missed by most listeners who tend to pay attention to the notes or melodies rather than their absence, and how many or how fast or slow they're played. There's a reason why Haydn has been called the most inventive professional composer ever (Beethoven was the most innovative and influential).

    And it's rather ironic that you mention Bach, because by your own standard he'd fall clearly behind Haydn. J.S. was relatively conservative and didn't set out to invent new forms of music. He just took the existing forms and perfected them, granted probably better than anyone could within the limits of human faculty.
     
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  2. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    ha ha. That was classic ! :)
     
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  3. NonP

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    Not to tease our dear friend Bobby (OK, maybe a little), but I really miss Limpinhitter. The geezer could laugh at himself on occasion. Plus he actually knew his tennis, though he did make his share of mistakes.
     
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  4. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    pc1,

    My post was tongue-in-cheek

    I'm quite aware of all of that.

    My point to Bobbyone ( & in general ) was the same applies to the fedal rivalry - outside of clay ....federer was clearly leading outside of clay at his prime as you'd expect him to and nadal equalized after that when he had the advantage of being at his prime and federer declined sharply .

    Of course federer always had problems vs nadal on clay ... who wouldn't ?

    I would penalize fed for not winning one of the 2 - wim 08 & AO 09 and one of the 4 RG matches - 05,06,07 & 11. But nothing much more than that tbh.

    but the lopsidedness of the h2h as it stands now has many reasons and its grossly unfair to take it at 'face value'
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
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  5. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    agreed ... :)
     
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  6. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    You are welcome to your opinion of Haydn.

    I share it completely . . . about Mozart.

    (We've been over this before.)
     
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  7. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
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  8. NonP

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    #58
  9. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Here is Bernstein conducting the Symphony no. 88.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3O3vst-ESY

    In the encore he conducts with is face only.
     
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  10. NonP

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    I share your sentiment about Mozart. Most of his oeuvre leaves me cold, too polite. But when you listen to the sublime closing pages of Figaro, Sarastro's high arias in The Magic Flute, or the simply awe-inspiring Requiem (surely the most frightening music ever written) you can see you're dealing with a truly rare talent who might well have been the greatest of them all.

    BTW I take it that you've been over many things with BobbyOne. :lol:
     
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  11. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Penderecki's Threnody is probably more frightening. Suitably horrific and terrifying music, given the macabre and diabolical subject matter.

    My current fave piece by Mozart:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HbMzu1aQW8
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
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  12. NonP

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    Frankly the Penderecki piece is just a pedestrian exercise in tone clusters that would've remained where it belongs if not for the Hiroshima reference. This schtick has been going on in the classical industry for years, though thankfully the trend seems to have been reversed of late.

    Since hoodjem mentioned the redoubtable Bernstein I'll say he's the guy in this symphony (with the Vienna Philharmonic).
     
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  13. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Well that's a different point of discussion. It goes almost without saying that I think Requiem is a far superior individual work than Threnody, which wouldn't rank in the top 50, probably, of Penderecki's work, but Threnody struck me as a very obvious choice as a piece that is more frightening, among other things, to listen to. I can probably say the same for some of Ligeti's work, and also his own Requiem.

    I'm not going to get into many debates on what music is superior to other music though, given that I'm a person who listens to basically everything from every genre and doesn't believe that the classical era is superior to the romantic era or that post-rock music must be inferior to house music, where as 99.999% have much stricter regulations on their taste.

    So I let people get on with it.
     
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  14. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    I'd also add Messiaen, regarding some of his organ work (Apparition de l'église éternelle is the first piece that comes to mind).
     
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  15. NonP

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    Trust me, I have a very catholic taste in music myself. I just like good music and hate the opposite. Penderecki's so-called threnody doesn't begin to send a single one of the chills down my spine that Mozart's Requiem does every time.

    I can tell you that most piano students probably find Ligeti more frightening than Mozart.
     
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  16. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Being involved in performances of Mozart's Requiem certainly never failed to incite some overwhelming frisson.

    I would get the same intense emotions also when performing Der Erlkönig by Schubert, which is such an exhausting work to sing (and even more exhausting for the pianist, who these days are expected to create the necessary drama and tempi now on significantly heavier keys).
     
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  17. NonP

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    Even Beethoven reportedly found the Mozart Requiem too "wild and terrible" and attempted to tone it down in his own performances (or his own setting, can't recall for sure).

    And yes, Schubert's demands on the pianist in "Der Erlkönig" are pretty unforgiving, Liszt's even more so:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QCqkGfMwpY

    (BTW Kissin wins the Speed Demon Award with his ridiculously fast octaves in his own studio recording, which I can't find on YouTube.)
     
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  18. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    I've heard it before in the past, it's a 'frightening' performance. ;)
     
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  19. NonP

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    The guy is just dauntless. Nothing seems too difficult for him, though his fingers outpace his brain all too often.

    (I suppose we're talking about Kissin, not Perahia. Not that Murray doesn't have a technique to burn himself.)
     
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  20. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    We are talking about Evgeny, indeed. Those Russian virtuosos of the era seem to have otherworldly technical prowess... supreme dexterity, but not quite of the mind and for interpretation (think Maxim Vengerov). Nonetheless, it's all still largely very enjoyable. One can sometimes only marvel at Kissin and the supreme technique that he displays for his instrument. It's a bit like watching Federer's footwork, or well, his whole game (and perhaps he parallels regarding his ability to maintain an ideal level of emotional stability and 'clutchiness' in his tennis matches).
     
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  21. NonP

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    Well, it wasn't too long ago we had Richter, Horowitz, Gilels, Lhevinne and of course Rachmaninoff himself from Russia. Kissin used to make good music but ever since his Carnegie debut his recordings have been hit-and-miss to say the least.

    BTW the last word in technical prowess belongs to Hamelin. I've seen him play the Chopin-Godowsky etudes in live recitals, and I can assure any doubters that people aren't exaggerating when they say he plays these monstrosities with more ease than most pros play the Chopin originals.
     
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  22. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Oooohh! I'm a fan of Messaien, particularly the organ music.
     
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  23. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NonP, Even you are the know it all of music, I wonder that you don't hear the PURE jazz in your most admired sonata. That's an astounding ability!!!!!!!!

    Of course boogie-woogie and ragtime are sort of tennis. Ask a jazz musician!

    Beethoven not as versatile as Bach and Mozart? Ask a classic expert! Beethoven the great composer of instrumental music was able to make an opera even greater than the Mozart operas...

    If you appreciate the humour of Haydn as much as the emotional deepness in really great music, I just can't help you. Have you ever had tears when listening to Haydn's works as I have tears when hearing Schubert songs or Beethoven string quartetts?

    Budge, Vines, Kramer and Lendl are hardly GOAT candidates...
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
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  24. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NonP, I'm not your dear friend. I rather prefer more serious posters...

    It does not speak for yourself that you miss Limpinhitter. That poster was probably so much furious that he was banned after he had insulted me in an obnoxious way that he refused to post anymore...
     
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  25. BobbyOne

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    abmk, At least I'm relieved that You don't think that I would able to stab the current No. 1 woman player with a knife. At least you never posted that kind of trash...
     
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  26. BobbyOne

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    hoodjem, Mozart is like Rosewall, Haydn is like Emerson or Stolle or Fraser...
     
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  27. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    #77
  28. BobbyOne

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    NonP, If Mozart's music (with some exceptions) leaves you cold then I wonder why you don't feel Haydn's music as being at Kelvin Zero!!

    I'm lucky that my English is not good enough to understand your malicious remarks about me to hoodjem...
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
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  29. BobbyOne

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    Nathaniel, I have heard about 4000 works of the so called Earnest music. Please believe me: No other composer comes close to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert in the four's best works. I'm most impressed and moved by Schubert and Beethoven...

    Also in tennis I dare to rank four GOATS: Tilden, Gonzalez, Rosewall and Laver...
     
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  30. BobbyOne

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    Nathaniel, I admire Kissin's interpretation of the moving Waltz opus 64/2 of Chopin. Just perfect.
     
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  31. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, Schubert's no. 21 is very great.

    And Wilhelm Kempff's performance is the best of all.
     
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  32. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Dear BobbyOne, while I respect your passion and strength of conviction in your beliefs on various topics, I am afraid I cannot believe you, as I would personally not be able to limit it to just those four.

    What I will say is that I have great experience in listening to and also performing works from these greats and I agree entirely that they must be considered to be the highest of grand masters for there craft alongside some others.

    I have very special respect for Bach and Beethoven, though I have performed more Schubert than either. My appreciation for Mozart came much later than with the others, and I dismissed him up to the age of about 21/22 other than a few pieces. Now I often find myself wondering if Mozart might be the greatest of them all, as in his serious works his balance of form, intent and expression goes beyond mere mastery. Beethoven in comparison is a little less pristine and technically a little less how to say.. 'textbook'.. but was probably the greater visionary and wrote pieces of incredible profundity. I still remember the awe with which I first listened to the Eroica, and as you pointed out earlier, his late string quartets are among the greatest master-works of all time in any art form.

    A point on Mozart though: had he been more fortunate as to have lived longer, I do wonder what (perhaps equally with Beethoven) ground-breaking and legendary works he might have produced. The same goes for to degree to Schubert.

    Recently, I have been listening to many of the Haydn symphonies and have been enjoying many of them. But, I do not consider him to be one of the true Grand Masters, as blasphemous as that may sound to some.
     
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  33. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    A super post, NonP. Indeed, they were brilliant pure 'musicians' -- I spoke only really for the era or maybe I should have used the word generation of the likes of Kissin and Vengerov.

    Your knowledge of music is clearly very formidable and to be highly respected.

    It's good that we have a few of us here who can discuss this because, let's be honest, the merits of classical music are rather lost on the general public.

    Hamelin is virtually faultless though in his faultlessness one can argue that his interpretative nature is too transparent. But as you say, regarding technical prowess, he must be near or at the very top, even historically speaking.
     
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  34. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Hi hoodjem,

    I'm glad you appreciate his organ work, much of which I find to be invigorating and sort of heighten my state of consciousness. His music opens gates to tenuous realms and one can become easily engulfed by his paradigm, but I find this to be especially true of his organ works. I am not terribly thrilled with his Turangalila Symphony, for example, which has a level of pantomime bombast which doesn't quite sit right with me, though I still find much interest in the music.
     
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  35. kiki

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    Rosewall´s Bh was a perfect symphony opener and ender
     
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  36. BobbyOne

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    hoodjem, I don't know his performance. Generally spoken I believe that Brendel is the best Schubert player or even best player at all, matched only by Gulda and Kissin.
     
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  37. BobbyOne

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    Nathaniel, Beethoven's greatness is also that he worked on many works rather long (made many sketches and so on) but the final product always sounds very natural.

    Beethoven's music goes mostly deeper in emotions than Mozart's.

    But the true master of emotions is Schubert who died at only 31...

    His best works (Great C Major symphony, Unfinished S., Winterreise, String Quintett, G Major Quartett and so on) at least match the best Beethoven works both in technical perfection and emotional deepness.

    I don't bother to hear many Haydn symphonies because all are about the same ones and without much depth. Ephraim Kishon would say:" If you know one you know all" It would maybe have been better for Papa Haydn to concentrate to say nine symphonies. But even then I'm sure he would not have been able to write as great symphonies as Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler, Dvorak, Tschaikowsky and Sibelius have composed....
     
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  38. BobbyOne

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    kiki, Yes, and it was not unfinished as Schubert's famous composition...
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
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  39. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    It could be something to do with the fact that Laver is a 4-time Wimbledon champion and Rosewall lost 4 times in the final there. (If we consider the Wimbledon Pro, it becomes 5 victories for Laver, and 5 final defeats for Rosewall).

    Constantly losing in the biggest tournament in tennis does Rosewall's case as potential GOAT no good at all...
     
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  40. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Of course Clifford Curzon also is magisterial in D. 960.
     
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  41. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    #91
  42. Rosewall

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    Probably deserving of its own thread, but what sets Rosewall's slice backhand apart were all the nuances. In today's game, you see two flavors of the slice backhand. What I call the "dig" where a player cuts across the ball low to the ground to send it floating deep toward the opposing baseline where it will stop and hop sideways. It is a defensive shot that is tough to be aggressive with because of the spin and lack of pace. Nadal uses this a lot. The other is taking the ball above the waste and keeping the racquet on the same plane and sending a flat, hard slice -- usually cross court over the lowest part of the net -- that does not bounce up. Both shots are very mechanical.

    There was nothing mechanical about Rosewall's backhand. It was fluid artistry. A subtle rotation of the wrist one way or another could texture the ball around his opponent to whichever side he pleased. And I have never seen a better down-the-line backhand slice. The only guy I have seen with hands like Rosewall is McEnroe. Pure elegance.
     
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  43. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    My favorite Messiaen organ piece:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0uSiIy84Rg
     
    #93
  44. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Young Phoenix, Constantly coming to the same wrong conclusion about Rosewall's "failure" does your reputation no good at all...
     
    #94
  45. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    #95
  46. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    You have unique tastes.
     
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  47. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    hoodjem, Thanks. I'm proud of them.That's also the reason why I rank Rosewall at least equal to Laver... ;-)
     
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  48. NonP

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    First of all, most pro musicians don't really care much what category their music falls under. Second, you'll be hard-pressed to find a single musicologist who says boogie-woogie and ragtime are "sorts" of jazz. Boogie-woogie is in fact a subgenre of blues, whose characteristic form and the syncopation of ragtime eventually led to what we now call jazz. Blues, ragtime and jazz may have common roots and influences, but they are three separate genres.

    Beethoven wasn't as natural as those two (and your boy Schubert, I might add) in vocal music. And again you'll be hard-pressed to find a single "expert" who would rank Fidelio above Don Giovanni, Figaro, The Magic Flute or Così fan tutte for that matter, and I say this as someone who prefers Beethoven to Mozart.

    As I told you before Haydn isn't one of my favorites, nor do I consider him one of the immortals (Bach, Mozart and Beethoven). That doesn't make me go around posting nonsense like Haydn being the Emerson of music. I'd explain how laughable that is on multiple levels if I didn't know it'd be a complete waste of time.

    You and Limpin can be pretty immature, but at least he had a self-deprecating sense of humor and actually knew his tennis. I'll grant that you probably have more tennis trivia at your disposal.

    I still consider you one of my online buddies. :twisted:

    Nah, perfection is what you call Dinu Lipatti's classic recording of this greatest of all Chopin waltzes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK6lVqclnJs

    It's got that special quality that can be attributed to the very greatest performance: you really can't imagine the piece being played better.

    While the human voice was his Achilles' heel, it's Ludwig's late piano sonatas and string quartets (save the plain ugly Grosse Fuge) that put him in the holy trinity alongside J.S. and Wolfgang. They're perhaps the only music you can describe as being not from the heavens but to the heavens. Nobody--and I include Bach at his most impenetrable--ever surpassed him in this most otherworldly and introspective of all music.

    Mozart may well have been the most naturally gifted and versatile of them all (though I usually take pains to point out that Bach's lack of theatrical works was due to circumstances rather than talent). I will say, though, that even Wolfgang found Bach's counterpoint difficult, and I rather doubt his sunny temperament would've prompted him to fully embrace the Sturm und Drang of the Romantic Age which he did briefly explore in his youth. In other words had Mozart lived longer he most likely would've left us with more immortal works on par with Don Giovanni and the Requiem, but not quite shaken up the entire foundation a la Beethoven.

    The biggest "What if?" is Schubert, who was finally starting to show mastery of long forms near the end of his life. Just imagine how the greatest tunesmith in history would have used his newfound craftsmanship to shape his symphonies, string quartets, piano sonatas and the rest.

    But to me there's Bach and then there's everyone else. :) Quite possibly the most perfect synthesis of emotion and intellect in music.

    Haydn is a composer's composer, one whose merits aren't so obvious to all but the most initiated cognescenti. And of course there's the fact that he's known as the Father (of fill-in-the-blank) with good reason. But I agree with you that he's a place below the rarefied heights of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.

    Thanks. I probably own over 1000 albums of piano music alone, not to mention stacks of sheet music. You know, one of those piano nerds that can gab about the tiniest differences between 50 recordings of the :) or the Appassionata, which pianist has the best octaves, etc. :)

    And you're right, most classical music is Greek to the general public. But as I always point out this isn't anything new. There might have been times when the likes of Caruso and Toscanini could boast sales comparable to those of today's rock stars, but that's because there simply wasn't a great variety of music readily accessible back then. One of the great innovations of capitalism has been the birth and flowering of rock 'n' roll, and today's audiences are all the better for it, as the many styles of music allow them to pick and enjoy their true favorites, a handful of which will turn out to be tomorrow's folk songs and classics.

    I'm pretty sure he's at the very top. There are a few who might have been better in a certain area (Hamelin himself acknowledges that he doesn't have the greatest trills), but his techinique is as perfect as humanly possible. Can't see even Liszt matching him in pure mechanism. (In fact Alkan is probably a better comparison, as Liszt himself said the Frenchman had the best technique he had ever known.)

    It's true he can be perfect and well behaved to a fault. After his recitals (where I heard one or two wrong notes in total, if at all) I expressed my semi-disappointment that he didn't play any Liszt, and he'd respond, "Maybe next time." Now I did want to see him play Liszt live, but that was not to relish the usual hell-raising fireworks that are required of top-drawer Liszt showpieces, but rather to witness the most developed central nervous system ever nail those piles of notes with freakish accuracy. Hamelin is best in more serious repertoire that does call for the most refined technique but does not require you to throw caution to the wind or leave your personal imprints, hence his acclaimed Alkan and Medtner cycles.

    You're right for once, about Horowitz.

    Brendel may be the best living pianist right now (though Pollini does have a strong case), but all time? Probably doesn't crack the top 10, let alone top 3.
     
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  49. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    Just as an addition, I had the very good fortune to talk to a guy who had played against Rosewall in an exhibition back in the day. The exhibition was held yearly for a few years at a farmer's house, he had a tennis court, about 3 hours outside of Memphis. :) No kidding here either.

    Anyway, the fellow I was talking to said that Rosewall's backhand really didn't have that much slice, it was heavy and it was flat. He also said Rosewall's serve was very deceptive. And, he added that Ken Rosewall was one of the nicest people he'd ever met. Rosewall took time to talk with this guy's son, hit with him, etc.

    The guy I was talking to was a D1 player back in the 65-ish era. He is originally from Chile. The team he was on made the nationals 2 or three years. He said he was one match away (they had match point and lost) from playing another college team, one Stan Smith/Robert Lutz. :) One of the other guys on the team did really well but fell to a guy named Ashe.
     
    #99
  50. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
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    Location:
    St. John, USVI
    I really like the Lipatti recording (particularly his playing of the C# Minor Waltz), but don't you find it hard to take a recording made in 1950 in which the sound quality just isn't very good by today's standards (in fact, it's quite bad by today's standards), and declare the recording perfect? We really can't hear how he weights certain chords and more than that, the recording is colored by the recording equipment of the time. It's a great recording, but there are certainly other great ones; Lipatti himself vowed to record the waltzes better in the future. I like a lot of old piano recordings, but I think people also elevate them because they like the old "aura" of them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014

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