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Thursday, December 26, 2013

On this episode of Reflections from the Keyboard, David Dubal features a light and refreshing mix of pieces from the vast piano literature.

The mix includes Antonio Soler's Piano Sonata in D beautifully rendered by Alicia de Laroccha, as well as Bach Prelude and Fugue played by the incredible Samuel Feinberg.

Two comparative performances hit the spot. The Diabolical Suggestion by Sergei Prokofiev played quite differently by Benno Moiseiwitsch and Alexis Weisenberg. And Schumann's Kreisleriana Op. 16 No. 1 in a duel between Nathan Brand and Shura Cherkassky.  All bring their talents to the keys on this reinvigorating and entertaining edition.

Program playlist:
Song without Words No. 32
Felix Mendelssohn
Jakob Gimpel
Cambria Master Recordings

Prélude, Aria et Final - 3. Final
César Franck
Alfred Cortot; Orchestre Philharmonique de Londres; Sir Landon Ronald
Dante Productions

Suggestion diabolique, Op. 4 No. 4
Sergei Prokofiev
Benno Moiseiwitsch

Suggestion diabolique, Op. 4 No. 4
Sergei Prokofiev
Alexis Weissenberg

No.1 in C Major, BWV 870 - Wohltemperierte Klavier I & II
J.S. Bach
Samuel Feinberg

Sonata for Violin and Piano no 3 in A minor, Op. 25 - Vivace con brio
George Enescu
Dinu Lipatti

Sonata in G Major K.13 L.486 - Presto
Domenico Scarlatti
Alexis Weissenberg
Deutsche Grammophon

Kreisleriana, Op. 16 No. 1
Robert Schumann
Nathan Brand
BNL Productions

Kreisleriana, Op. 16 No. 1
Robert Schumann
Shura Cherkassky

Piano Sonata in D
Antonio Soler
Alicia de Larrocha

Etude, Op. 65, No. 3
Alexander Scriabin
Vladimir Horowitz
Sony Classical

Hungarian Rhapsody No. 10
Franz Liszt
Artur Rubinstein
BMG Classics

Transcendental Etude for Piano, S 139: No 1, Preludio
Franz Liszt
György Cziffra

Comments [4]

Bill from 29680

Love the program! When's the next one?

Jan. 08 2015 08:51 PM
Bob Tonucci from Odenton, MD

Jakob Gimpel's pianism was also heard in the potboiler movie 'The Mephisto Waltz', which featured Curt Jurgens as a diabolical pianist whose soul takes over the body of Alan Alda.

Oct. 27 2014 05:47 AM
David K from 29680

What happened to Reflections from the Keyboard?

Jan. 05 2014 01:02 PM
Silversalty from Brooklyn

I think we hear different things in piano playing. You're the 'student' of technique, where the physical and spiritual approach combine to achieve a hopefully spiritual output. But from my view there's a bit in you of that computer program that can "listen to" (process) an old recording, determine all the inputs that went into the playing, timing, intensity, etc., and then generate a modern output on a piano next to you - as Horowitz did for you once a week, long ago.

I don't have that processing ability and so when I hear a recording that seems lacking in the higher tones, then to me it's lacking in the higher tones.

The Cortot piece sounded muffled in the higher mid tones. It may well have been perceived as supreme playing but the sound was less than supreme to me.

Ironically in a later comparative piece you described one player's interpretation as having "bite." To me that bite is the ringing in the higher mid tones - the tones where the piano sings. The tones you get consistently from Horowitz playing almost anything that doesn't involve pounding the keys. Mitsuko Uchida, Maria João Pires, etc., get it with their Mozart playing. Gould got it with almost anything he chose in his limited repertoire.

Alicia de Larrocha had it in a later piece you played. The ringing that has sustain and also clarity. In fact even better clarity. What's that phrase? "Clear as a bell."

You played the Bach Prelude and fugue (WTC) and though the player had more rubato (variation in timing within a piece?) than Gould uses there were times where the secondary voice (more bass) became lost - mumbling. I don't have to imagine a Gould playing to know that never happened with Gould playing Bach.

Another superb program, again, of course. Thanks.

P.S. In checking spelling I happened on this, not that old, news item -

Pianist horrified after orchestra plays wrong concerto during live performance

Renowned Portuguese pianist Mario Joao Pires realized the Mozart concerto she’d prepared was completely different from the one the Amsterdam Concertgebouw was playing. But her recovery after the initial shock is astonishing.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 5:46 PM


Oh. Happy New Year.

Dec. 26 2013 10:03 PM

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