Favourite pianists? - Who are your favourite pianists?

All topics musical, not specifically piano-related

Postby Beckywy » Fri Jul 29, 2005 8:24 pm

Who are your favourite pianists? From Jazz to classical to new age to pop/rock?

My favourites are Art Tatum because he was a leader of his time. I love playing his transcriptions. Others are Glenn Gould for his Bach interpretations and Jim Brickman for the modern new age music.
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Sat Jul 30, 2005 10:48 am

Art Tatum for sure! Did you know Horowitz was a fan of his, and went to hear him when he could? Horowitz once went up to Tatum during a break following one of Tatum's fantastic improvisations and said, "How long did it take you to learn that?" Tatum looked at him and said, "I just made it up." Horowitz was flabbergasted! This is a true story from Harold Schonberg's biography of Horowitz--Schonberg knew him quite well.

You can get a complete collection of Tatum on CD now.

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Postby Beckywy » Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:57 pm

Another jazz great - Oscar Peterson. He lives in my city - yet extremely inaccessible. It would be a dream to meet him and pick his brains. :;):
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Postby montana » Fri Aug 05, 2005 2:40 pm

I think teachers should listen to the Rock and Blues players. I think students would enjoy learning to play like:Elton John, Billy Joel, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Dr. John, Billy Preston(player on Beatles records) and all the good Blues players. This type of material would add a whole new repitore to your teaching material.
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Postby Beckywy » Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:52 am

It would require classically trained teachers to learn to get use to syncopated rhythms, swing rhythms, and different modes and scales.
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Postby Stretto » Tue Aug 09, 2005 3:47 pm

:D

I'm sorry I can not be of more help with this topic. For some reason I have never really paid too much attention to names of pianists. This may sound like a question for "dummies" but how does one even familarize yourself with who the famous pianists are? I just grab a CD, etc. based on whether I want some music by a particular composer and/or work and don't even look at the name of the recording artist. Is this a bad idea? I do like to listen to just about anyone and everyone play the piano from beginner to amateur to professional - it's all exciting.

I do love the Linus and Lucy - Vince Guaraldi music by George Winston! / I have a CD called Passion By Micah Noyes - solo piano that is really nice - he was in my mom's Sunday school class when he was only 2 yrs. old. :) / Also professor's of piano are my music heros because they teach, play the piano wonderfully, travel around the country and world performing, give workshops and lectures, have their own recordings, etc., etc., etc. - and still don't seem too busy to help students and answer the "litte man" questions - I really enjoy listening to them play the piano and going to their local performances although I rarely get a chance.




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Postby Beckywy » Thu Aug 11, 2005 3:34 pm

You can start by finding CDs of original recordings of composers you admire - Rachmaninoff, Bartok,

And, then try legendary pianists - Horowitz, Rubenstein, Glenn Gould

It is okay to grab any CD based on if the music is by a particular composer or of a piece to have an idea of what it may sound like - but it is better to have a CD of a musician who is known for their interpretation of a certain composer.

Research with Sonyclassical. Lots of info there.




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Postby Beckywy » Sun Oct 02, 2005 9:21 pm

I just listened to a great CD of Art Tatum - called Art Tatum 20th century piano genius. It was recorded in the home of Ray Heindorf in 1955. You can hear the talk between Art Tatum and the guests at the home during the performance. What struck me was in the improvisation of these jazz standards, you can hear snippits of light classics (classical music). The runs were incredible and his technique was phenomenal.
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Mon Oct 03, 2005 9:38 am

Becky, I have the "Complete Pablo Solo masterpieces"--four CDs of Tatum--is that the same thing?

Vladimir Horowitz was a great Tatum fan and went to hear him when he could. Once he listened to one of Tatum's fabulous improvisations, then went up to him at the break and said, "How long did it take you to learn that?" Tatum looked at him like he was crazy and said, "I just made it up, Man!" Horowitz was flabbergasted.

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Postby Beckywy » Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:22 pm

The Cds I have is produced by Verve Records and most of them were from the albums 20th century piano discoveries. The Pablo series was recorded in a studio. The one I have was recorded 2 years later. Ray Heindorf was a musical director for Warner Brothers, and he had a grand piano and state of the art recording equipment for recording performances that occur in his home. It's very informal with some interruptions during the performance, the clinking of glasses and the tapping of Art Tatum's rings on the piano keys.
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:15 am

Beckywy wrote:Who are your favourite pianists? From Jazz to classical to new age to pop/rock?

My favourites are Art Tatum because he was a leader of his time. I love playing his transcriptions. Others are Glenn Gould for his Bach interpretations and Jim Brickman for the modern new age music.

I like lots of different pianists for different things, although I must admit to an inordinate fondness for the work of the late Sviatoslav Richter. His performances are never ho-hum or predictable. He also recorded only live in his later years, so his recordings have the energy of the live performance.

Becky, do you teach incorporate jazz piano in your lessons, and if so, how and what do you teach?
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Postby Beckywy » Wed Oct 05, 2005 12:58 pm

Not really - only 1 students has asked me. I give it as an option to the advance students - because to really learn jazz, the student really needs the extensive background in eartraining...meaning being able to hear and identify chord progressions by ear, intervals, melody playback of the melody and harmony, as well, by that stage, they would have been exposed to modes and the 20th century scales and be able to read chord symbols. Jazz is extremely creative, and what's great about it is that there is no one way to play any one song.

The younger students will encounter some jazz pieces in their repertoire, and I will show them how the piece could be played by swinging it, but I don't encourage it because if they are to play it for a festival or exam, most likely, the examiner or adjudicator is not a jazz pianist, and would not understand.
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Postby Beckywy » Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:06 pm

Sviatoslav Richter was a Russian, and self-taught wasn't he? He was a prodigy.
"The real purpose of studying music-to unite ourselves with our special gifts in such a way that one would add strength to the other" Seymour Bernstein
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Wed Oct 05, 2005 4:41 pm

Yes, a Russian; yes, a prodigy; no, not self-taught; he studied with the great teacher Neuhaus.

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Postby Beckywy » Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:28 pm

I asked my old teacher about Richter - if he knew him since he also studied at the Moscow conservatory. This is what he emailed me.
"When I was a student at University he has played for us and he asked recital hall administrators for free seats right on the stage just for students. I was seating and breathing right to his back. He was the most inspirational pianist for me. His sight reading skills were just amazing. People who did the pages for him were confused not knowing when to turn the page, because he just gave a quick glance look at the page and played the whole page without looking at the music. It was really amazing experience to see him playing Rachmaninoff’s Trio right away with new people without any preparation. The slow movements of sonatas and concertos he played even slower than everybody and it was breathtaking expression in phrasing. His teacher was Henrick Neyhaus – the same teacher who taught professor I took lessons from at the University. He is still among the best pianists I have ever heard. "
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