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Vespasiano

The Art of Piano: Great Pianists of the 20th Century

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The 1999 film by Donald Sturrock entitled, The Art of Piano: Great Pianists of the 20th Century, has been uploaded in its entirety (and, amazingly, in 1, single clip) to YouTube.

Here is a link to this upload. I highly recommend the film as a brief introduction to the many great artists of the instrument.

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The 1999 film by Donald Sturrock entitled, The Art of Piano: Great Pianists of the 20th Century, has been uploaded in its entirety (and, amazingly, in 1, single clip) to YouTube.

Here is a link to this upload. I highly recommend the film as a brief introduction to the many great artists of the instrument.

Fascinating! I look forward to watching it. Thanks for posting.

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The 1999 film by Donald Sturrock entitled, The Art of Piano: Great Pianists of the 20th Century, has been uploaded in its entirety (and, amazingly, in 1, single clip) to YouTube.

Here is a link to this upload. I highly recommend the film as a brief introduction to the many great artists of the instrument.

Fascinating! I look forward to watching it. Thanks for posting.

Enjoy!

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Thanks for posting this! A lot of new names there for me, and it was interesting to learn more about the great pianists I already knew about.

My favorite clip in the whole film was Benno Moiseitwitsch playing Rachmaninov's Prelude in B minor. Not only is it a wonderfull piece, that he plays wonderfully well, but the whole setting as well; simple stage, simple lighting, at first you don't see much more than the silhuette of him and the piano. I get the impression of an intense focus, flowing unrestrained to the piano, filling the room with the vivid images that the music creates.

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I'm glad you enjoyed that, Red. Of course there are many, still active, pianists who were not included in this 20th Century overview. I hope a second installment profiling today's greats is forthcoming soon.

As for Benno Moiseiwitsch, Rachmaninoff thought Moiseiwitsch played his music better than he, himself, did. That was certainly high praise.

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Indeed, that must truly be high praise. One word comes to mind when I see/hear him play; elegance. There's that effortless quality that almost makes it look easy.

Didn't Rachmaninov say something similar about Horowitz aswell? There's a really fun video of him on youtube that I found delightful. It's an interview of him, in his home I think, where you get the sense of a bit of a shy and nervous energy to him. The reporter pushes him to play something and at first he protests; "Oh, I couldn't, I haven't played that for so many years!". Still, he gets to the piano, tentative at first as if thinking; "now, how did this song go...?". Then he starts playing away, laughing occasionally as in triumph and delight. I got the sense of a really good natured humor and how he just loved playing music. That's something i've found inherent in all the performances i've heard of him.

Do you have any favorites among the still active pianists today?

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Horowitz and Rachmaninoff were "thick as thieves" . . . they were the best of friends and often played together. Rachmaninoff admired Horowitz' mercurial and unique spirit, as well as his formidable bravura technique.

As for today's pianists, my top three would have to be: Martha Argerich, Krystian Zimerman and Ivo Pogorelich.

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I just learned a new word, thanks! Mercurial... seems to describe him well. ;)

I'll have to check out the works of those pianists. I'm only a little bit familiar with Martha Argerich. She's been with me for a while on my morning Spotify-playlist, with Rach's 2;nd concerto. I like her interpretation a lot, though I must say it's a bit by default as it was one of the first I heard, and it has just stuck with me for a while now.

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