Alexander Hawkins

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About Alexander Hawkins

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    Master of the Groove!
  • Birthday 05/03/1981

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  1. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Astonishing piano playing IMHO. Of course there are many, many versions of these late sonatas I love, but if I had to save one from the flames, it'd be Pollini for me...
  2. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Larry - I vaguely remember us having this conversation somewhere before! This Rosen passage is interesting, and I appreciate you sharing it, because although I've read various bits of Rosen, I'd forgotten this...I admire his playing greatly, and indeed - anyone who has listened/played through Bach's keyboard music notices the clever disguise of various entrances of the fugue subject (if that's not too contradictory!). But anyone with even a passing familiarity can't fail to notice also the instances in which he sets up those entrances, and makes them very obvious. This is what puzzles me about Rosen's argument...you can't miss either instance of fugal craft (disguise or highlight). Which shouldn't be surprising, given that Bach has so much fun with that form/technique... I also think the observation that the player's enjoyment is central is key. Of course it's totally fine for people not to enjoy Gould's interpretation, but he's doing 'his thing' with the dots on the page, and I can't help but feel that this is totally in the spirit. I forget - is it in the inscription to the partitas where Bach says something along the lines of them being 'for music lovers to refresh their spirits' or some such? That seems fairly permissive to me!
  3. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Oh yes - this one is great! (And strange, even by the standards of Gould...) On it being more than the notes: sure! And I guess this is where it all gets subjective; certainly there are various 'name' players doing Bach (etc.) who I don't really connect with either. For me this is part of the fascination of the stuff - that people can hear the same notes, and have these differing reactions.
  4. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    One of the things I love to listen for in Gould (at least with Bach) is his almost frightening ability to voice every single part independently within the texture...something which very few people can do to this level (Lipatti leans this way, but given there is so little of his Bach on record, it's a little tricky to hear e.g. in the Partita)...so maybe actually the 2-part Inventions in some ways aren't the best way in to what makes him so uncanny with Bach IMHO...I personally might go to the fugues of the WTC to hear Gould at his most amazing, pianistically... Again - just my view...by the same token, no problem with people who aren't into Gould!
  5. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Have you seen this incredible Luc Ferrari documentary featuring footage of Scherchen rehearsing the 'Art of Fugue'? Amazing document, as are the other Ferrari films in the series!
  6. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Well, we each have our personal favourites...but for me, this is one of the greatest performances in the history of recorded sound
  7. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Yes (I was inadvertently ambiguous!)...he seemed to play that early C major one so much that I guess that might be the single piece I have him playing the most...but off the top of my head, I'm struggling to think of many others. There are opp. 22 and 26 on this broadcast, however:
  8. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Yes, agree! Shame he didn't record more of the Beethoven sonatas...totally sui generis interpretation of 111 here...
  9. Beethoven piano sonatas - Pienaar?

    I'm afraid I haven't heard Pienaar play Beethoven...the only one of his recordings that I can bring to mind at the moment is of Gibbons, which I recall liking a great deal! For 'modern', I guess approach/sound quality/date of recording could all diverge. For sure, I'd second Larry's recommendation of Kovacevich (the concerti/Diabellis/Bagatelles are also masterful). For me personally, my desert island Beethoven sonatas set is Pollini, so I'd also recommend that (as well as his recordings of the Diabellis and concerti; too bad he's never recorded any bagatelles, although I've heard him play a number as encores).
  10. Jazz musicians that played chess.

    There's a lovely photo somewhere of Braxton playing chess with Misha Mengelberg at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam. I believe Michael Vatcher plays very well too...
  11. Many of the Nancarrow player piano studies would fit the bill, I guess: some amazing canonic writing! ...and I'm not sure if I'm always a fan, but some of Sorabji's fugal writing is pretty remarkable, I guess..: A student of mine has just worked on a prelude and fugue by Rodion Schchedrin as well...super austere Soviet writing, but really crafted stuff...
  12. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    ...including one of the most singular and brilliant Gaspards I've ever heard...