Who do you consider to be the GOAT amongst classical music composers?

NonP

Hall of Fame
Schumann had the rare gift of depicting the world of children, understanding the perspectives of youth.

Here is Schumann's "Kinderszenen", child scenes.

You really need to let go of your grandpa crush, cuz that may well be the least charming Kinderszenen I've ever heard from a hotshot. I kid you not, give me a few months to get back into shape and I guarantee you I'd deliver a far superior version.

Any of Cortot's traversals dwarfs Son's jumble of mannerisms, but this one is his best (and possibly the best by anyone):


Notice how from the get-go he molds each phrase into an individual scene whereas his out-of-depth successor is content to carry it with way-too-obvious accents, and just when you're beginning to think she may respect the score too much she shoots down your expectations further with a jarringly hurried (and jagged) "Hasche-Mann." And that's just in the first three movements! Son sure could've used Cortot's masterclass from the same year:


That's the voice of a true master. Your crush is nowhere there yet.

Available for 9 more days on BBC3, this classic performance by Son of the Mozart Piano Concerto 24, given with the Slovenia Symphony Orchestra just before the universal shutdown, and all the more important for that.

Starts at the 2:33:00 point.

I'll do you a favor and post a real classic, performed by the same (main) band from Berlin:


One of the many obscure gems I discovered in college, still have the album in my CD collection. Completely floored an old bud who's a casual classical buff at best, and it's easy to see why.

You're welcome.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
You really need to let go of your grandpa crush, cuz that may well be the least charming Kinderszenen I've ever heard from a hotshot. I kid you not, give me a few months to get back into shape and I guarantee you I'd deliver a far superior version.
No response to the Mozart 24? Well, I am not surprised, it is a stunning performance.

What makes you think I have a "crush"? I would get crushed by my better half if that were the case.

Cortot, in case you do not know, was my teacher's teacher, I am familiar with his working methods...a true genius interpreter.
 
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Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
You really need to let go of your grandpa crush, cuz that may well be the least charming Kinderszenen I've ever heard from a hotshot. I kid you not, give me a few months to get back into shape and I guarantee you I'd deliver a far superior version.
The Kreisleriana? Sounds very impressive to me. I understand that you do not like the first three minutes of Kinderszenen, but that is really just the beginning of the work. Try not to be distracted by the beautiful concert dress, it seems to bother you.

https:www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxu-K7iBVTM
 
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Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
It's gone, the Mozart 24 performance for the ages....ah, well.

This being Beethoven's 250th Birthday Celebration, here are the Birthday Variations by Russian virtuoso Denis Matsuev. Matsuev has composed one of them, as did Rachmaninoff in his Paganini variations, in the style of jazz piano great Art Tatum (actually, this sounds more like the Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson). There is a final variation here in the style of Horowitz.

This is how it should be played, in a performance made just 7 hours ago, and the Yamaha grand here sounds more responsive than the one which I owned. Perhaps the pianist is better than I am?

https:www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARAwp28jxoQ
 
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Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Another recent performance of a Beethoven opus is from Israel, the Triple Concerto with a fine cello contribution in the slow movement from Amanda Forsyth.
Her husband Pinchas Zukerman is on the violin, and Yefim Bronfman at the piano.

https:www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkXGtE8_cig
 
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Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
11:30 - 19:30 . . ain't no buggalooin' to that - deadsville
The second movement has a strong striding beat, of course on the slow side, perhaps a funeral march. The other three movements....power unleashed. Some ballet companies have even tried to choreograph this symphony.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
And, of course, no review of historic Beethoven performances would be complete without the classic 1942 Beethoven Ninth from Furtwangler.

This conductor understood the contents of this symphony, and here was the meaning of the work displayed in a time of apocalypse for Germany, played in Berlin.

The Ninth Symphony is an offshoot of the Missa Solemnis, a sacred work.
The first movement is a Dies Irae (the wrath of God poured out on the creation). The first movement themes telescope and collapse, culminating in a terrifying funeral march.
The second movement is also an apocalyptic vision, a cavalry charge, or rather the appearance of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, interrupted by drunken celebrations, which are in turn abruptly and harshly silenced. More terror.
The third movement is a turn to supplication to heaven, and rises to communion with the Divine, shown in the climactic presentation fanfares.
The fourth movement is a celebration of the sovereignty of God, and his reign over the earth.

https:www.youtube.com/watch?v=HniiCqMCDpY
 
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Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
The great violin professor at Western U during my years at that university was Steven Staryk, who began his fame as concertmaster of several prominent orchestras , the Royal Philharmonic, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Chicago Symphony, and the Toronto Symphony.
Here he is performing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Concertgebouw orchestra, Haitink conducting.

 

Nadalgaenger

G.O.A.T.
Beethoven is probably GOAT. Mozart wrote most of his symphonies in a weak era!

My personal favorite is Brahms. Amazing music, and unlike Beethoven, never wrote anything subpar.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
You really need to let go of your grandpa crush, cuz that may well be the least charming Kinderszenen I've ever heard from a hotshot. I kid you not, give me a few months to get back into shape and I guarantee you I'd deliver a far superior version.

Any of Cortot's traversals dwarfs Son's jumble of mannerisms, but this one is his best (and possibly the best by anyone):



Notice how from the get-go he molds each phrase into an individual scene whereas his out-of-depth successor is content to carry it with way-too-obvious accents, and just when you're beginning to think she may respect the score too much she shoots down your expectations further with a jarringly hurried (and jagged) "Hasche-Mann." And that's just in the first three movements! Son sure could've used Cortot's masterclass from the same year:


That's the voice of a true master. Your crush is nowhere there yet.



I'll do you a favor and post a real classic, performed by the same (main) band from Berlin:

One of the many obscure gems I discovered in college, still have the album in my CD collection. Completely floored an old bud who's a casual classical buff at best, and it's easy to see why.

You're welcome.
Now, for something of real significance, I am waiting for your response to that mind blowing Ninth Symphony performance of Furtwangler above on this page, and the accompanying explanatory notes from yours truly.

Now was that not a life-altering experience? Well, I guess the answer is obvious. Beethoven's claim to GOAT status hinges primarily on his Eroica and Ninth symphonies. And how they are to be understood.
 
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Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Some later composers were stimulated by the Beethoven Ninth Symphony to attempt similar apocalyptic masterpieces, perhaps the most notable was the Bruckner Eighth Symphony, which developed the nickname "The Apocalyptic".

Again, Furtwangler was the master of this music, his 1944 performance with the Vienna Philharmonic setting the bar for all later attempts.

Bruckner follows a similar plan to the Beethoven epic, an ominous first movement, followed by an awe-instilling scherzo, then with the adagio movement, an ascent to the heavens with an ecstatic encounter with the Almighty, and finally the climactic parousia or final accounting in the finale.

https:www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiCoYgG7vaQ
 
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Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Beethoven is probably GOAT. Mozart wrote most of his symphonies in a weak era!

My personal favorite is Brahms. Amazing music, and unlike Beethoven, never wrote anything subpar.
Here is perhaps the most physically exciting performance of Brahms 2nd piano concerto, from 1960 with the Chicago Symphony under Leinsdorf, and Richter doing miracles at the keyboard.

 

Nadalgaenger

G.O.A.T.
Some later composers were stimulated by the Beethoven Ninth Symphony to attempt similar apocalyptic masterpieces, perhaps the most notable was the Bruckner Eighth Symphony, which developed the nickname "The Apocalyptic".

Again, Furtwangler was the master of this music, his 1944 performance with the Vienna Philharmonic setting the bar for all later attempts.

Bruckner follows a similar plan to the Beethoven epic, an ominous first movement, followed by an awe-instilling scherzo, then with the adagio movement, an ascent to the heavens with an ecstatic encounter with the Almighty, and finally the climactic parousia or final accounting in the finale.

https:www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiCoYgG7vaQ
Great post. Have the Karajan recording:)
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Here is perhaps the most physically exciting performance of Brahms 2nd piano concerto, from 1960 with the Chicago Symphony under Leinsdorf, and Richter doing miracles at the keyboard.

Richter and Rubinstein are the two performers who most impressed me with this monster concerto. I could almost flip a coin. If you don't play piano you don't realize how difficult Brahms' writing is for keyboard players.
 
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Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Richter and Rubinstein are the two performers who most impressed me with this monster concerto. I could almost flip a coin. If you don't play piano you don't realize how difficult Brahms' writing is for keyboard players.
My former fellow student Arthur Rowe, who possesses an awesome technique, told me that it is "extremely difficult", and Arthur has played the Brahms 2 several times. I believe him.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
My former fellow student Arthur Rowe, who possesses an awesome technique, told me that it is "extremely difficult", and Arthur has played the Brahms 2 several times. I believe him.
It's a monster. If you have the time, compare the development section of the 1st movement. Check out Zimerman, who is perhaps the most technically accurate pianist I've heard. He hits every note, but that section to my ear also drags. It lacks courage. You simply can't play that section much faster without dropping notes, and therein lies the problem. Both Rubinstein and Richter fudge some notes, but you HAVE to at the tempos they choose, and for my taste you just have to do that to make the music intense. That's why both Richter and Rubinstein to me are the best because both threw caution to the wind and just "went for it".

I loathe playing Brahms. It's just nasty, nasty stuff, unpianistic and frustrating. Even polite people get close to cursing at the problems, but for those with supreme talent it's possible to mask the difficulties enough to convince non-pianists that it's all personally fine. And the music itself has such weight and nobility that for those supremely talented players it's all worth it. Meanwhile the orchestration is pure genius, so the total package is amazing.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
It's a monster. If you have the time, compare the development section of the 1st movement. Check out Zimerman, who is perhaps the most technically accurate pianist I've heard. He hits every note, but that section to my ear also drags. It lacks courage. You simply can't play that section much faster without dropping notes, and therein lies the problem. Both Rubinstein and Richter fudge some notes, but you HAVE to at the tempos they choose, and for my taste you just have to do that to make the music intense. That's why both Richter and Rubinstein to me are the best because both threw caution to the wind and just "went for it".

I loathe playing Brahms. It's just nasty, nasty stuff, unpianistic and frustrating. Even polite people get close to cursing at the problems, but for those with supreme talent it's possible to mask the difficulties enough to convince non-pianists that it's all personally fine. And the music itself has such weight and nobility that for those supremely talented players it's all worth it. Meanwhile the orchestration is pure genius, so the total package is amazing.
I heard my friend Arthur perform the three Brahms violin/piano sonatas in one recital, together with the then concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, 12 years ago, and Arthur had a perfect grasp of the Brahms style. But it looks like the second concerto is at the summit of tough Brahms.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
It's a monster. If you have the time, compare the development section of the 1st movement. Check out Zimerman, who is perhaps the most technically accurate pianist I've heard. He hits every note, but that section to my ear also drags. It lacks courage. You simply can't play that section much faster without dropping notes, and therein lies the problem. Both Rubinstein and Richter fudge some notes, but you HAVE to at the tempos they choose, and for my taste you just have to do that to make the music intense. That's why both Richter and Rubinstein to me are the best because both threw caution to the wind and just "went for it".

I loathe playing Brahms. It's just nasty, nasty stuff, unpianistic and frustrating. Even polite people get close to cursing at the problems, but for those with supreme talent it's possible to mask the difficulties enough to convince non-pianists that it's all personally fine. And the music itself has such weight and nobility that for those supremely talented players it's all worth it. Meanwhile the orchestration is pure genius, so the total package is amazing.
You could say the same thing about Beethoven's piano writing, too. Maybe the pupil emulated the master a tad too much? :happydevil:

P.S. For sheer technical accuracy Hamelin (I've been fortunate to watch him dispatch those Chopin-Godowsky monstrosities in person), Michelangeli and Pollini have Zimerman beat. And of course you've got yuge technicians like Hofmann, Friedman, Lhevinne, Cziffra and Horowitz who like most old-timers didn't care much about the wrong notes and often had to do without editing!

P.P.S. Dvorak is another one (in)famous for his unidiomatic piano music... but who gives a crap when it sounds like this:


That 6th Humoresque has been one of my desert islanders ever since I discovered it back in high school. Just drop-dead gorgeous, and infused with "unpretentious beauty" by Firkušný, too (that quote is from the great man himself - still have his edition of the bulk of Dvorak's piano output).

I heard my friend Arthur perform the three Brahms violin/piano sonatas in one recital, together with the then concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, 12 years ago, and Arthur had a perfect grasp of the Brahms style. But it looks like the second concerto is at the summit of tough Brahms.
I'm convinced by your nonstop name-dropping that you're telling the truth for once when you say you had formal instruction in piano, but you apparently spent more time sucking up to the big shots than studying the scores cuz it's hardly a secret that "the summit of tough Brahms" is the Paganini Variations.

Which of course gives me a good excuse to post this, probably Michelangeli's single greatest technical feat (yes even more so than his justly celebrated Gaspard):


That's live, and knowing him most likely unedited. :eek: I can't help but question the wisdom of practicing 8-10 hours a day even for obsessive pros like him, but nobody can say he didn't get the result he wanted.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
You could say the same thing about Beethoven's piano writing, too. Maybe the pupil emulated the master a tad too much? :happydevil:

P.S. For sheer technical accuracy Hamelin (I've been fortunate to watch him dispatch those Chopin-Godowsky monstrosities in person), Michelangeli and Pollini have Zimerman beat. And of course you've got yuge technicians like Hofmann, Friedman, Lhevinne, Cziffra and Horowitz who like most old-timers didn't care much about the wrong notes and often had to do without editing!

P.P.S. Dvorak is another one (in)famous for his unidiomatic piano music... but who gives a crap when it sounds like this:


That 6th Humoresque has been one of my desert islanders ever since I discovered it back in high school. Just drop-dead gorgeous, and infused with "unpretentious beauty" by Firkušný, too (that quote is from the great man himself - still have his edition of the bulk of Dvorak's piano output).



I'm convinced by your nonstop name-dropping that you're telling the truth for once when you say you had formal instruction in piano, but you apparently spent more time sucking up to the big shots than studying the scores cuz it's hardly a secret that "the summit of tough Brahms" is the Paganini Variations.

Which of course gives me a good excuse to post this, probably Michelangeli's single greatest technical feat (yes even more so than his justly celebrated Gaspard):


That's live, and knowing him most likely unedited. :eek: I can't help but question the wisdom of practicing 8-10 hours a day even for obsessive pros like him, but nobody can say he didn't get the result he wanted.
"Sucking up"? You really do invent your own language. What do you mean by "fanboy/girling"? A true original.

Well, it's that season again......why don't you give us your best "Bah, humbug!!" to kick off the celebrations?
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Here is one of the great musicians from whom I have benefited as a student at Western in the early 1970's, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi.


This week I received two CD's as a gift, one CD contains a performance from 1970 of Tsutsumi playing the Bartok Rhapsody No. 1 with my own piano professor at the piano.

I was actually present at that concert and remember well the excitement, clear from this CD.

Also on the CD's is a radio broadcast from WAMU-FM 88.5 Washington, D.C. of April 22, 1968, of my piano professor playing in the Phillips Collection series (I was already a student of hers at that time), a mixture of Liszt and Bartok compositions, showing the similarity of Liszt's late works to Bartok. Great program.

The Washington Post review by Charles Crowder, stated "One of the most exciting and stimulating piano programs in a long time....the kind of program that both enlightens and edifies the listener....Intensity and imagination mark her playing in every tone." Agreed.
Here is one of my former music professors from Western U, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, last month with the Vienna Philharmonic and Gergiev, with Tchaikovsky's work for cello and orchestra.
Tchaikovsky is one of the Mr. Christmas figures in classical music.



 
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