Ageless Wonder - Ken Rosewall

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

  1. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Oh, the historians! It's amuses me that many of you rank pianists and composers in the same way you rank tennis players (as opposed to just admitting you have a "favorite"), especially since it's even more subjective with music (there are no scorelines here). I think people should just focus on finding the pianist or composer that speaks to him or her the most.

    A poster above, I think in good fun and and not being particularly serious, made some very bold statements about the technique of a particular Canadian pianist in relation to Liszt. Of course, this is absurd since no one on the planet has heard Liszt play and there's no recording we can consult. We can only look at a hyperbolic nineteenth century press. Also, the piano has changed quite a bit from the nineteenth century; so, can you even compare? (The answer is a resounding no). I've also never heard anyone make this particular statement about the Canadian pianist, whom I like a lot and I've heard perform in person (saying his technique is superior to Liszt's). I've heard Argerich play in person and while she's wildly different than Hamelin, it would be foolish to proclaim one as having "better" technique. Technique varies based on the repertoire, which is a way of saying that certain styles lend themselves to some effects and not others. Would Hamelin be able to convey Gould's musical ideas? No. And vice versa. The idea of one pianist having a supreme technique to rule them all is just a story for the press.

    So, I just wanted to point out that many of the statements made by this classical music connoisseur can be made problematic quite easily. They're mainly statements of opinion and preference. This poster has some interesting opinions and is clearly passionate, though, and I think that's great. Again, I don't think he was being particularly serious or dogmatic, but I just wanted to show some of the problems with this thinking, if we were to take it seriously. I think if we want to grow classical music (and the "Greek" reference the poster made is not one I'd make), we need to be supportive of the current wave of pianists, many of whom are amazing musicians who offer many new and interesting ideas, and move away from exclusionary rankings and canonization (and all of the fetishizing involved); these "rankings" (and I mean this word broadly speaking), either on message boards or the more institutionalized form, might have some benefits, but they're also a way for people to uphold their personal values and biases. It can be fun to talk about this stuff, but I'm not one to make sweeping cross-century statements comparing pianists techniques and declaring something "the best." That's why I moved away from the GOAT discussion in tennis, too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  2. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Murray Perahia
     
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  3. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NonP, Thanks for answering me so detailed!

    I asked a Jazz expert and he said that it goes two ways: You can include B-W and ragtime into jazz or you cannot. I still wonder that you don't hear what all my friends hear in opus 111...

    I' m sure that there are experts who rank Fidelio ahead of the Mozart operas. At least I can say that Beethoven was able to move the listener to tears in his extraordinary work while Mozart hardly could. But I come to tears hearing KV 488, second movement...

    Schubert not one of the immortals??? And you blame me for being immature...
    Arthur Schnabel said that Schubert is the closest composer to God...

    Thanks for the Lipatti video. Excellent interpretation but Kissin makes the transition from slow to fast even more delicately.

    I agree that that waltz is Chopin's best.

    Human voice was Beethoven's Achilles heel? Yes, he was not a natural vocal composer but just listen to Fidelio and Missa Solemnis.

    Do you know "Wolfgang" and "Ludwig" personally? Just a question.

    "Plain ugly Grosse Fuge"?? One of the greatest master pieces of all time??

    Schubert would shape his symphonies etc? Do you mean improve? Schubert would probably not have been able to improve his great late works because they were perfect (including the Unfinished!) and at least as good as the greatest other symphony: Beethoven's Ninth!

    I'm sure to be rather often right...

    Pollini cannot compete with Brendel as he mostly plays without deep emotions, just as Horowitz did.

    Show me a pianist who ever was better than Brendel! You hardly will find him (or her)...
     
  4. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    Almost forgot about him (though, in my defense, I did mention his modern benchmark recording of the Schubert-Liszt "Erlkönig" upthread). One might throw in Argerich as well, though I must say most of her defenders don't seem to understand that individuality doesn't necessary mean the wildest mood swings or the most drastic changes of tempo. So now we've got all the top candidates covered in Perahia, Brendel, Pollini and Argerich.

    It's quite fitting that you mention Perahia, because he's usually touted as the alternative favorite by those who find Pollini too cold and Argerich too willful. I can see the criticism about Pollini, but I will add that much of his supposed aloofness is by design rather than shortcoming, and he's nowhere near as detail-obssessed as his teacher Michelangeli (whom he does resemble in many ways, not least of all an immaculate technique and hyper-polished sound).

    Not all of that was in response to you, but no problem.

    One can certainly hear shades of B-W in Op. 111, but it's quite a leap from that to saying Beethoven invented jazz outright. Nearly all new music is born out of many discrete styles and influences, not made or invented by a single individual. It takes decades if not centuries for a new music to emerge as a separate genre.

    Again I prefer Ludwig myself, but Wolfgang definitely wrote superior operas. The only opera composers that you can rank on par with Mozart are Verdi, Wagner and (in my admittedly biased and somewhat contrarian opinion) Handel.

    Also if you think Pollini "plays without deep emotions" you should listen to his performance of your favorite KV 488:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcFDtP8feLw

    You're getting too hung up on words. Of course Schubert is an "immortal," as are Chopin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Schumann, etc. I was talking in terms of "best of the best," and it's hardly controversial to say Bach, Mozart and Beethoven vie for the top spot.

    Exactly, he wasn't a natural in writing for the human voice. That's not to say he didn't write some of the greatest music for the instrument. Even his lesser-known Mass in C major has much to recommend it.

    I just like to use first names for a little levity. You don't want your writing to come across as stuffy, especially when the subject is something as canonical as classical music.

    I can't confirm this, but in my experience many connoisseurs share my opinion of the Grosse Fuge but are just too afraid to admit it for fear of looking like know-nothing philistines. Or maybe I'm just being a contrarian, which you must be a little familiar with. :twisted:

    Schubert's 9th maybe, but I can't second your assessment of the Unfinished. Yes, it's got some of the most sublime melodies ever written, but like many of Schubert's extensive works it repeats itself a little too much without enough thematic development to support the repetition.

    Now if you compared Schubert's last piano sonatas and Beethoven's own I probably would've been more willing to agree.

    Let's see, there was this guy named Franz Liszt who was the talk of the town back in the 19th century. There's also his rival Thalberg, not to mention his buddies Chopin and Alkan whose techinque he declared superior to his own. Busoni reportedly wasn't half bad himself. The kind of stuff written about these guys makes today's virtuosos look like upstart schoolboys, and you can't just dismiss these accounts as historical PR jobs, since you like to cite similar stories about Tilden, Gonzales and other tennis old-timers in your tireless efforts to rank them above Federer.

    And that just covers the pre-recording eras. Apart from the Russians I've already mentioned there are plenty of other piano legends including Hofmann, Friedman, Schnabel, Cortot, Rubinstein, Serkin, Gould, etc. I own or have listened to nearly complete recordings of many of these big names, and I can assure you Brendel's got extremely fierce competition for the GOAT trophy.
     
  5. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    my favourite thread at the moment.
    keep the youtube-links coming, please.
    i enjoy them all, as long as nobody asks me to do a ranking:wink:
     
  6. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    I hope you're referring to the ongoing music discussion, not that of the OP which we've managed to hijack. :twisted:

    Assuming you are, and to bolster my support for Handel in the operatic pantheon, here's another YouTube link you might enjoy, countertenor Philippe Jaroussky's (IMO) reference recording of the mighty "Scherza infida" from Ariodante:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPaDJt9ohAM

    We like to sing the glories of the bygone eras and artistry may well have declined since then, but I'm 99% sure we've never had a finer lot of world-class countertenors than today, at least not since the heyday of Senesino and Farinelli (and probably including even that golden age).
     
  7. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i was referring to your music discussion, long may it last:)
    thank you for that particular link. I wasn´t prepared for the sheer beauty of that piece, it changed my day
     
  8. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    You're quite welcome, but it's no big deal on my part. I could talk about this stuff all day. :)

    And yes, "Scherza infida" is a truly remarkable aria, and it becomes even better when you consider the context in which it is sung. It comes shortly after Ariodante (played by a mezzo castrato) is stopped in his suicide attempt after being set up into thinking his fiancée Ginevra has been cheating on him with his rival. So in this aria Ariodante is belting out his anger, envy and confusion at the same time, with Handel giving the audience a sly wink (not to mention a healthy dose of irony) that will become apparent when the opera reaches its happy conclusion, though one could hardly tell from this supremely mournful aria.

    Also notice how Jaroussky caresses the final intonation of grief ("I will now give myself up to death's embrace") for maximum effect. Singing simply doesn't get any better than this. I never thought I'd see a greater countertenor than Andreas Scholl in a long time, but Jaroussky is well on his way to surpassing him, if he hasn't already. (For one thing his falsetto voice is even more "natural" and beautiful than Scholl's, which is already seen as an improvement over the great Alfred Deller's.)

    As I said earlier Handel usually isn't mentioned alongside Mozart, Wagner, Verdi and even Puccini as one of the truly great operatic composers, largely because his operas have not been as popular as his oratorios to this day, but I expect with time his achievements in the form will be fully recognized. In fact times are already changing now, with new recordings cropping up every now and then.

    Now the lighter side of Handel. "Tornami a vagheggiar" from Alcina (another one of his operatic masterpieces), performed by the incomparable Natalie Dessay:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnb3m90nl-E

    And some Jaroussky fireworks, courtesy of Vivaldi:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0ifquyvCEo
     
  9. Chopin

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    Gentlemen, come now, let's not forget that Glenn Gould once proclaimed Orlando Gibbons the greatest composer of all time.
     
  10. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    To make a break from the musicians here, i want to return to the general question of age and sports (although i must say i love the old Horowitz, because he plays on my heart). Can an advanced age prevent an athlete from an outstanding world class performance under modern circumstances? Convential wisdom says, its impossible in todays game, to match Rosewalls (or Tilden or Gonzalez) longevity, because of the physicality of modern sports and so on and so on. Recently i saw the Finn Selaene (if i write him correctly) doing magnificently at the Olympic Ice Hockey tournament, scoring goals at will. And he was 43 or 44 years of age, a striker not a goalie. Many medal winning cross country ski racers or ice skaters were in their late 30s. In basketball on the highest standard quite many over 35 players are doing well in the NBA, including people like Nowitzki and others. I am not familiar with baseball or cricket, but to my knowledge, quite a few top players are just under 40.In football, names like Pirlo, Romario and others come to mind. In single sports like boxing, which certainly requires a certain physicality, Klitschko, Hopkins and others are well into the 40s and even 50s. In tennis we experience a shift to older guys in the top ten, even physical people like Haas are playing much longer than we ever thought. So in short: Could it be that in realty we live in the age of an prolonged career in top sports, due to better medical treatment and fitness regimen. That we could relive careers like that of Rosewall, which seems so impossible for modern standards.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  11. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    urban, in short: yes.
     
  12. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    I agree with urban that it could be done. A few more examples: Ryan Giggs in football at 40, and of course in womens' tennis, Kimiko Date at 43 (OK, she is not at the top of the game, but is still in the top 100 and a strong competitor against all opponents).

    The odd thing actually is that there is no 'longevity legend' in the men's game at present. Haas at 35 isn't that old by historical longevity standards.
     
  13. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    It's easier to excel at an advanced age in team sports for obvious reasons, but to be the very best (not just nearish the top) at tennis or boxing aged going on 40 is extremely difficult. It's currently being done by Floyd Mayweather Jr. but at the same time we don't get to see every boxer in a weight class fight every possible worthy opponent. What I'm saying here is that despite being in his later 30's, Mayweather Jr. isn't just at the head of his divisions but is seen as pound for pound the greatest boxer and talent in the world, clearly ahead in historical and relative terms to the likes of the Klitschko's who dominate what is seen as a weak division and a weak era for Heavyweight boxing.

    In boxing, skills still triumph over youth and being at the peak of one's physical ability. This is probably less the case in tennis and if boxing still had a 15 round system for championship bouts then somebody like Mayweather might be more vulnerable against a hungry young gun lion with seemingly limitless energy, hunger, drive and fire. Then again, Mayweather's conditioning is truly legendary.

    Advancement in Sports Science is helping to further prolong careers...
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  14. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    You mentioned him: Artur Schnabel.
     
  15. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    The great Händel singer of our era:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5wgVnzlnUQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9Jh7DF1nxY&list=RDq5wgVnzlnUQ

    In other works:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYYY6QGzEJY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9BbWneSWQE&list=RDq5wgVnzlnUQ
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  16. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    off topic but I can't stand Mayweather.

    I wish the Pacquaio fight had happened when both were at their peaks.
     
  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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  18. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Relive? No. Remember/recall/respect? Yes.
     
  19. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    hoodjem, Unfortunately I only heard a bit of Schnabel's playing. Therefore I cannot judge him. Maybe you are right. Did he play similary to Brendel: not focussing on cool virtuosity and brillance as Liszt (probably), Horowitz and partly Rubinstein did, but revealing the emotional and mental depth of the music?
     
  20. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Jah.

    Schnabel was known for his intellectual seriousness as a musician, avoiding pure technical bravura. Among the 20th century's most respected and most important pianists, his playing displayed a vitality, profundity and spirituality in the Austro-German classics, particularly the works of Beethoven und Schubert. His performances of these compositions have often been hailed as models of interpretative penetration, and his best-known recordings are those of the mighty 32 Beethoven piano sonatas. The famous music critic for the NY Times, Harold Schonberg, referred to Schnabel as "the man who invented Beethoven."
     
  21. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Understandable, but his skill and talent cannot be denied.

    It is a shame the fight didn't happen.
     
  22. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Thanks hoodjem for this information.

    By the way: Beethoven is the man who invented Jazz...
     
  23. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    We've heard that before.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  24. Chopin

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    Brendel may be a great pianist, but he's not my cup of tea. His hostility towards Glenn Gould, who I find far more interesting and special than Brendel, marks him as someone I'm not in line with ideologically. In literary studies, scholars have long since moved past looking at the author's "intention" as the primary mode of criticism, and I share a similar sentiment about music. These pieces are malleable in various ways. He's obviously a great pianist, in what he does. No question there.

    I just prefer Mitsuko Uchida's Mozart and more than that, Ingrid Haebler's suburb Denon recordings. If I myself want to consult a recording as I'm learning a sonata, I prefer to listen to Haebler's first, if possible. Rubinstein's concerto recordings are great. I've never heard Brendel playing any Mozart piece and thought to myself: this is the version I'd choose over all others. The same with Angela Hewitt, who I've just never been able to get into. Gould and Hewitt could play the same exact piece and I could be utterly captivated by Gould's playing and almost bored by Hewitt.

    Here are some of my favorite pianists, in no particular order:

    Gould, Argerich, Rubinstein, Horowitz, Hamelin, Perahia, Pollini, Lipatti, Maria Joao Pires, Uchida. As much as it will upset some, I have to say that Van Cliburn's performance of one of Chopin's sonatas and hearing him play his signature Rachmaninoff concerto live are among my favorite classical music experiences.

    In addition, I'd like to mention Yuja Wang (the purists need to get over the outfits--she's a talent and god knows that classical music needs here), Yundi Li, and Daniil Trifonov are young artists I enjoy (though Yundi Li has been around for a bit).

    Of course, there are many others...as you can see from my list, it's full of Romantics and eccentrics.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  25. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    As impressive as Rosewall was, Tilden was even more impressive...he won 3 matches against world number 1 Budge while he was in his late 40s..and pushed world number 1 Riggs to 5 sets when Tilden was in his 50s!
     
  26. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Most interesting. I concur when it comes to Uchida's recordings of the Mozart sonatas. She among all pianists (along with Peter Katin) manages to make Mozart's sonatas sound almost as interesting as Schubert's or Beethoven's sonatas.

    I have mixed feelings about Gould. I really appreciate his 1981 analogue recording of the Goldberg Variations, particularly the rhythmic articulations. Yet I cannot abide his 1955 version.

    When it comes to all of his other Bach recordings, I cannot stand them, particularly the French Suites. In my opinion, he plays like a robot on amphetamines. Yet I do admire his recordings of late Brahms piano pieces, opp. 117, 118, 119. Gould was a strange duck.
     
  27. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    hoodjem, Yes, and it's justified to say it many times because the invention of Jazz (did not you originally, some hours ago, post it was boogie-woogie??) by Beethoven must be considered as one of the greatest moments in history of music and even of cultural achievements generally. Imagine, about 73 years before the "official" birth of Jazz...

    Hope you not only hear my claim but also opus 111 itself with concentration on the 2,3 minutes of Jazz in the second movement... ;-)
     
  28. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    That's like saying Jean Michele Jarre invented invented trance music.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  29. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    No, that was Beethoven also, op. 27 no. 2, mvmt. 1.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  30. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    Like I said BobbyOne was right for once, about Horowitz. (I will never forget encountering on the radio his utterly bloodless performance of Chopin's "Raindrop" Prelude, which is up there with my most disappointing musical discoveries ever.) And speaking as someone who owns and has listened to just about all of his authorized recordings extensively I don't think he mellowed that much with age. Even at those famous late concerts of his (particularly at Carnegie Hall and in Moscow) he was the congenital showman he ever was. Just take a gander at the program for each concert. You can't get much more audience-friendly than that! Not to mention that his penchant for huge dynamics and curious coloristic effects had remained more or less intact. Of course this is what gained him so many admirers in the first place, but it has always left me cold for the most part.

    I will concede, though, that the man was simply peerless in the late Russian Romantics. Perhaps it was their shared national heritage or relative lack of crowd-pleasing pyrotechnics that reined in the storied Horowitzian impulses, but his compatriots always seemed to bring out the best in him. Who can possibly fail to be moved by this volcanic rendition of the uber-dramatic Scriabin warhorse? No one else ever came close to matching the sheer intensity of this emotional acid trip, not even his younger/older self:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N04Y_9bee4

    As for the main topic of your post, I agree with others that it can still be done. Those who say otherwise commit a fallacy of some kind (mostly post hoc), and it's not like there's no evidence to counter them (Agassi and Haas, to name two recent examples).

    She's another good pick, and I'll add Joyce DiDonato from this era (Cleopatra's climactic "Piangerò la sorte mia" from Giulio Cesare, arguably Handel's single greatest opera):

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

    You fancy yourself a Beethoven devotee but remain ignorant of Schnabel's legendary recordings of the complete sonatas? :shock: You should get yourself a copy and start exploring then. They're still the benchmark by which all other Beethoven performances are to be judged. If you're a Brendel fan you should enjoy Schnabel, because they share many of the same strengths and characteristics (yes, always looking for the depth of the music and eschewing the bravura).

    Since you like the Appassionata I point you to this performance by the great man himself:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U15dZSKoLg

    He does push his technique past its breaking point especially in the Presto finale, but I don't care one bit. To me this is the most appassionata account of this most emotionally eloquent of all piano sonatas.

    BTW the aching passion of the Appassionata has probably been matched only by Chopin at his best. One of Beethoven's indisputable masterpieces.

    Uchida's Mozart sonatas deserve their reference status, but her Mozart concertos are surprisingly hit-and-miss. I can only guess that her facial contortions proved too much for the poor conductor during the recording sessions. :twisted:

    A huge Gould bug here (yes, the enthusiastic kind). I've listened to both of his studio Goldbergs too many times to count, and I much prefer the 1955 debut. The 1981 version has its pros, but they're IMO outweighed by the cons (sometimes too contrived, even by his standards, and while he'd resent this observation, he occasionally played too much to the camera).

    And I'm somewhat surprised that you single out Gould's French Suites, because I consider them one of his more straightforward traversals. I can certainly see why his dry-as-a-desert tone and staccato attacks, among other idiosyncrasies (I personally find that infamous humming not too obtrusive), wouldn't sit well with some listeners. My usual response is that nobody has ever delineated Bach's thorny counterpoint as clearly as Gould, and he's also uncanny in his phrasing and rhythm (not tempo, mind you--I know he often chose outlandish tempi), which almost always sound natural. After listening to him even such acknowledged Bach specialists as Schiff, Hewitt and the Priestess herself (Tureck) fall a little short.

    Plus he could produce time-stopping sonority when the music called for it:

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

    Also I agree on Gould's Brahms. Among the Romantics nobody was as fastidious and restrained as the German, and he was far from a Liszt or Paganini concerned with extending the possibilities of his instrument, both of which proved a perfect fit for Gould.

    :lol:
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  31. Chopin

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    I also prefer the 1981 version for the more deliberative tempo choices. The sound quality is also vastly superior. The piano is different, too. Gould recorded that one on a Yamaha! (I sometimes wonder how much the instruments and recording techniques determine our "favorites"). His favorite piano, Steinway 3 1 8 had been damaged by that point.

    You might enjoy this book (I certainly did):
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/14/arts/14iht-idbriefs14A.13690093.html?_r=0

    You know who also plays Bach in an exciting way? Argerich! Check our her recording of Bach's Partita #2.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  32. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Vensai, I must contradict: HTH is one of about 10 to 20 main criteria to judge a player, at least when comparing two GOAT candidates (in case they met several or even many times) with each other.

    Laver has the edge about Rosewall in general confrontation (probably 99:83) while Rosewall leads at big meetings 10:7. Is n't it significant that the underrated Rosewall had the edge against the always (justified, I stress) hailed Grand Slammer? I think that Rosewall's feat almost outweights Laver's general dominance in their encounters.

    I always was impressed by Nadal's strong dominating hth against Federer (in this case in both categories). It's a severe flaw in Roger's record.

    But I'm impressed that you seem to rank Muscles very highly.
     
  33. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NonP, A new nasty joke? (my English is not that good).
     
  34. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    timnz, It's truly difficult to say if Tilden or Rosewall or Gonzalez is the GOAT of longevity.

    You are right that old Tilden did fantastic things as a very old player. By the way, I think it's me who mentioned in a very old thread that Bill beat Budge in 1939 at least three times.

    It's an old but wrong claim that Tilden pushed Riggs to 5 sets. In fact he lead 5:2 in the deciding THIRD set against Riggs in a 1946 pro tournament.
    An awesome feat of 53 years old Big Bill...

    On the other hand, Tilden did not what Rosewall actually did: reaching the finals of the two biggest tournaments of the year at 39 and being ranked (by Tingay)No.2 at age 40.

    Gonzalez was No.6 at 41 (Collins) and won three tournaments at 43/44...
     
  35. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Hood, thanks for taking the time to post this. Always great to have such excerpts on this board.

    Here's the New York Times report on that match:

    Smiling, even applauding, as Ken Rosewall’s stinging backhanders went by him, Vijay Amritraj of India was eliminated yesterday in the quarterfinals of the $227,000 United States Open tennis championships, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3....

    The 19-year-old Amritraj finally met Rosewall, an Olympian of the sport with the distinction of having won at Forest Hills 14 years apart - in 1956 and 1970.

    “I looked forward to playing him for a number of years,” said Amritraj, “just to see how great his backhand was. And as soon as I got on, I wanted to get off.”

    He had applauded Rosewall, he explained, “because I could do nothing but applaud.”

    The young Indian was in awe of Rosewall, who “had me stretching and guessing all the time; I’ve never had balls returned so well on me.”

    Rosewall was hitting back balls at Forest Hills before Amritraj was born. Armritraj grew into a tall, strong athlete. At 6 feet 3 inches, he is 8 inches taller than Rosewall, and has a whistling serve that few players have been able to handle. But Rosewall is one of the best at returning serve, and he handled the Indian’s.​
     
  36. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    I posted that more than 2 weeks ago. A better question is, why are you still reading comments that old?
     
  37. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Well-put.

    I guess height is not such the be-all and end-all of tennis.
     
  38. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I think you nail it here!

    I believe that Hewitt and Schiff delineate the counterpoint eloquently. Gould's pacing (tempi) obscures it, IMO.
     
  39. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Thanks for coming back to tennis after so much Schuberism and Goldsteism
    I would, in case I missed, love to hear some interpretations to the fact Amitraj beat Laver but lost to Rosewall in the very same tourney
     
  40. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    Good to know!

    Hmm... I must disagree here (big surprise, huh?). Even the fiercest Gould detractors (including the venerable but conservative, if not reactionary, and now thankfully defunct Penguin Guide) laud him for this one skill of his, and in fact they often qualify their begruding approval with the caveat that Gould manages to bring out Bach's part-writing despite his breakneck tempo. His 1981 Goldbergs are a case in point (or several--Nos. 20, 23, 26 & particularly 28 to name four):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSaYoBn1IWo

    But I will say this, though: many lesser talents have tried to imitate Gould but failed, especially in the Goldbergs where they adopted copycat speeds and even mannerisms without much of their own to say. And since Gould is without question one of the most influential pianists of the 20th century you could say he did obscure Bach's counterpoint in a way, if almost unwittingly.
     
  41. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    nice one. Thanks for posting. :)
     
  42. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Well after '69 Rosewall did better in the Slams than Laver did so it would have been interesting to see them meet here, if Laver could have squeaked past Vijay and then beaten Stone. It would have been only a quarterfinal meeting but hugely interesting nevertheless.

    They only met in those two RG finals, no other Slam meetings. And I don't think they ever got as close to meeting as they did here, with one exception: at the '69 USO Rosewall lost in straights to Ashe in the quarters and would have met Laver in the next round. Then Laver would have been the favorite.

    Just a shame they didn't meet.
     
  43. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Okay.

    In any case, I find that I desire often to listen to Hewitt or Schiff (or Barenboim in the WTC), but rarely to Gould (der schnelle Roboter).
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  44. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    As Bogart would have put it
    " fortunately we will always have Dallas"
     
  45. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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