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Rachmaninoff's interpretation of Chopin?

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Rachmaninoff's interpretation of Chopin?

Postby MI_5 on Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:45 pm

Just wanna ask if it's really good. I know the sound quality is bad but I'm curious if Rachmaninoff is really an excellent Chopin player as well.
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Postby johnmar78 on Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:07 am

not to judging the music that Ramf. plays, but based on his such big hands, I would beleive his touch is a much stronger as compared to Chopin. Regardless of how well they both played. You can not beat the law of physcis. Perhaps, play on the moon with less gravity .. :D

I hope this makes sense, so now its PFJ's turn.
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Postby Goldberg on Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:05 am

Rachmaninoff was an exceptionally brilliant pianist, and I would never dare to question his interpretation of anything. On the other hand, I really do not enjoy listening to his recordings, because his interpretations are rarely what I imagine in a piece. He plays--so it seems to me--everything so sternly and severely, not to mention that it's quite evident that his technical toolkit, so to speak, is derived mostly from a strict regimine of scales, Hanon, and possible Czerny or other such works. Not to say that any of these are entirely bad, but frankly, it tends to show in a performance if one's technique is SO dependent on, or should I say derived from, learning Hanon at a mechanically fast tempo. Judging from the very poor-quality recordings that are available, his playing seems a little too surgical and not imaginative in terms of colors, nor human in terms of rubato. I'm sure that hearing him live, however, would have been a different story altogether. But since that isn't possible, I have to say I personally don't recommend his recordings.

On the other hand, Cortot, whose recordings tend to suffer from even worse quality, has a very unique and colorful voice that shines through the static and distortion. I recommend him much more highly than Rachmaninoff. Artur Rubinstein is another ideal interpreter, for he has a rather serious, aristocratic approach to playing Chopin, with a certain attention to details which aren't purely technical; as such, his playing is honest and his rubato, human. It's all purely subjective as you can tell...
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Postby PJF on Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:51 am

I like to imagine Rach's playing as one notch more classical than Horowitz's, with all of his profundity. Rach liked Horowitz's playing; he claimed to prefer Horowitz's rendition of his own D minor concerto.

Fortunately, Rachmaninoff recorded all of his concertos; unfortunately, few people actually listen to them. It's a shame the early recordings were so scratchy.

His Chopin interpretations are in a word, classical. (as far as I can tell from the crappy recordings that exist)

BTW, the digital recreations of his piano roll recordings are stunning. Do they accurately resurrect S.R.'s playing? I don't know; but until we invent the time machine, they're the best we've got.
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