Parnassus Blog

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Grand Piano Podcast 002 - Composers at the Piano

Some of the most insightful piano interpretations come from the very composers who wrote the pieces. In this episode we listen to several of the 20th Century's most famous composer playing their own music. Several short interviews with the pianists accompany the music.

Bela Bartok - brief comments on Mikrokosmos
Bela Bartok - Mikrokosmos - Notturno #97
Aaron Copland - excerpt from interview, 1981
Aaron Copland - Piano Variations
Dmitri Shostakovich - Trio #2 - with David Oistrakh, violin; Milos Sadlo, 'cello.
George Gershwin - comments on the variations of "I Got Rhythm"
George Gershwin - Variations on "I Got Rhythm" - Radio boadcast April 30, 1934. Louis Kaplan, conductor.

Download The Grand Piano Podcast 002 - Composers at the Piano - 49Mb - 53 minutes - 128k mp3

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Grand Piano Podcast 001 - History of Piano in Sound

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Free Sample - Richter / Hindemith

When I was a teenager, I first got to hear parts of Paul Hindemith's
piano suite entitled "1922." Three movements were included in a
fascinating piano recital by the composer-pianist Leo Smit called
"The Masters Write Jazz." I thought this was some of Hindemith's best
music, but Smit's performance didn't seem powerful enough, especially
in the final movement. I thought the intent of this movement was
forceful to the point of being downright apocalyptic, something that
did not come across in Smit's playing.

It didn't come across in any of the subsequent recordings that I
kept checking out, always hoping for something I didn't get to hear.
Then along came a recording by Sviatoslav Richter. Not for the first
time, Richter played a piece of music the way I wanted to hear it. In
his playing the fearsome implications of this music, a depiction of
the chaos of post World War I Germany and perhaps even a threatening
prediction of the horrors to follow, are fully realized.

It's a pity that this particular Richter recital was available so
briefly. It's not the best recorded Richter ever (although supposedly
digital, it sounds as though it might have been made on a portable
recorder). But the repertoire is fascinating, the sound is good
enough, and these are mostly the only Richter recordings of the music.

PCCD 20089/90 is available as item CD0311 in Parnassus Select Catalog P344

Sviatoslav Richter Suite "1922" : Ragtime (3 minutes - High quality VBR mp3 - 5.08 mb)

Sviatoslav Richter Suite "1922" : Ragtime (3 minutes - 128 bit mp3 - 2.79mb)

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