Piano Greats

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Monday, January 10, 2011

piano keys piano keyboard (jennifercrane/flickr)

Symphony Hall is celebrating our Powerhouse Piano month with a look at great works for the piano.

Comments [2]


Esa-Pekka Salonen's Piano Concerto should be added to your list of greats, certainly as performed by Yefim Bronfman. It is destined to become of the major pieces in the repertoire, and, I'm betting, obligatory at piano competitions.

Jan. 13 2011 10:08 PM
Michael Meltzer

The repertoire for the piano is so vast, that this can be a really interesting and extensive pursuit and fun to watch. The trick is to stick to excellence in inspiration, architecture and exploring the sonorities of the instrument, not to get bogged down in "most difficult."
There are a few works that serve both ends, Gaspard de la Nuit and the Goldberg Variations coming immediately to mind, and those two works have been showcased pretty well on WQXR already. The Strauss/Schulz-Evler "Blue Danube" is an interesting novelty, but there isn't enough content to stand up under repeated play, and the Balakirev: Islamey gets downright annoying in a hurry, even before it's over.
There are many works of genius or near-genius that are technically challenging enough to require an accomplished pianist with artistry, like the Liszt, Barber and Griffes Sonatas, Pictures at an Exhibition, Carnaval & op.17 Fantasy of Schumann, Schubert B-flat Sonata, the Chopin Ballades, Brahms Paganini Variations, a lot of Beethoven, and many, many more without even mentioning concertos.
Lets hope that all the suggestions get to see air time.

Jan. 10 2011 01:20 PM

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