Time to Refresh

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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.



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 [3]

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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