The point I'm getting at Matthew is that the music is more important than the performance/recording. If the Rubinstein never existed, you'd still have plenty of very good recordings to choose from as you have just said.
Yes, and I do agree. However, I think certain performers stand out above others and tell us something new about a work and it wouldn't do to be without those recordings. Our knowledge of the music would be all the poorer for it.
Giuliano Carmignola has made some fantastic classical performances which IMO usually sound better than other recordings of the same pieces of music by other people. Both the performance and the recording/mastering of his music is always of impeccable quality. The way he plays seems to add a certain 'sparkle' to the music which makes other recordings sound a bit duller by comparison.
Check him out on Spotify. He mostly does Vivaldi but there is some other stuff there too.
PC > AVI Neutron Five 2.1
Sony NWZ-A847 64GB Walkman > Westone UM3x
yes, agree there. I have his Mozart concertos with Abbado, pieces that I had never found totally inspiring, but his are radiant!
Agree with all MP's faves too.
Hi-Fi: Krell KAV-300cd, Michell TecnoDec/RB250/Grado Prestige Black1, KAV-300i amp, Transparent balanced interconnects and bi-wire to Sonus faber Concerto grand piano speakers, Nakamichi ZX-7 cassette deck, Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Hitachi FT-5500 and Sony S570ES tuners, BCD Engineering stand, RA Powerlink, Chord powerchord, Grado SR60i cans.
AV: Sony Bravia KDL-32EX503 telly, BDP-S370 player with QED HDMI. Currently unused: Denon AVR-1705, DVD-1710, KEF KHT1005.2
Wagner's Ring des Niebelungen - Sir Georg Solti / Wiener Phillarmoniker (Decca)
Apple Airport Express > Beresford Bushmaster DAC > Rega Brio-R > Rega RS3
Some Handel & Chopin - The Messiah, Water music and Royal Fireworks, Oboe Concertos 1-3, Concerti Grossi and Chopin's Nocturnes and Impromptus etc
HiFi- Cambridge Audio 340C- Pioneer A30- Dali Lektor 2 speakers. Denon FM/AM. Pure DAB.
Marantz CD6004 - Beyerdynamic DT250
Lutoslawski's 3rd Symphony - Salonen/LA Philharmonic
Richard Strauss/An Alpine Symphony - Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra
Bartok's String Quartets - Keller Quartet
Mahler's 1st, 3rd, 5th & 9th Symphonies - Gary Bertini/various orchestras
Bartok's Concerto For Orchestra - Solti/Chicago SO
Roksan Caspian Pre amp, Caspian Mono Power amp x 2, NAD M51 DAC, B&W 805 Signature, Roksan Radius turntable, Denon-1713UD, MF phono & headphone amps, PS3, Mac/AE/Apple TV
I've just picked 6 but some of them are sets so you get more for your money:
1) Bartok - Piano Concertos etc Geza Anda, Fricsay - Actually this is my Desert Island disc, the one I would save from the waves. It's an old recording (I've owned it twice on vinyl and twice on CD) but Anda's playing is simply sublime.
2) Beethoven - Piano Concertos, Wilhelm Kempff, Leitner - Another old recording but Kempff tells me more about this music than any other player.
3) Bellini - I Capuleti E I Montecchi, Netrebko, Garancha, etc - Not well know repertoire but simply the most beautiful bel conto singing I have ever heard.
4) Dvorak - Symphonies, Kertesz, LSO - I'm told there are better modern performances but I've known these for over 40 years and I love them.
5) Shostakovich - Strong Quartets, Emerson Quartet - Not easy music but ....
6) Victoria - Sacred Works, Ensemble Plus Ultra - One of the most beautiful collections of polyphony ever recorded.
Ah, this is my favourite recording of the Bartok Concertos. Very few pianists and conductors have made sense of these works in the way that Anda and Fricsay did. Anda's playing is beautifully nuanced, rhythmically and dynamically.
Another choice I agree with completely and one of a handful of truly great Beethoven Concerto cycles.
Rega RP3/Elys2 - Marantz CD63SE - Exposure 1010 - Dynaudio DM2/6
PC/Qobuz Hi-Fi - NAD C521BEE - Musical Fidelity V90HPA - Sennheiser HD595/Beyer Dynamic DT770PRO
Three spring immediately to mind:
Brahms: Symphony no. 2 (Berlin Phil/Keilberth) Telefunken - unfortunately quite a lot of hiss on the recording, from 1962, but a wonderful, lyrical performance.
Bach: Goldberg Variations (András Schiff) - listening to it at the moment.
Schubert: String Quintet (Alban Berg Quartet/Heinrich Schiff) EMI
I also have two 7" EPs from the early 60s of Louis Kentner playing a selection of Chopin's etudes. Have never heard them sound as good - they are lifted above mere technical exercises to become stirring, emotive pieces. Would love to find an LP/CD of him performing the whole set, but have never managed to do so in spite of much searching.
Also love Fretwork for Tudor/Restoration era chamber music, and The Sixteen and Tallis Scholars for polyphony.
That said, I must play Spem in Alium to test out my new hi-fi set-up.
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