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Bright Moments

Composers who play their own works

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So i am currently enjoying this one:

41DG5YX887L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

(with Oistrakh on violin)

I enjoy hearing Shostakovich playing his pieces as he intended them to be played. I would appreciate recommendations of other albums featuring well known composers playing their own works.

:tophat:

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So i am currently enjoying this one:

41DG5YX887L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

(with Oistrakh on violin)

I enjoy hearing Shostakovich playing his pieces as he intended them to be played. I would appreciate recommendations of other albums featuring well known composers playing their own works.

:tophat:

The Shostakovich recordings of selections from his own Preludes and Fugues and the Op 34 Preludes are also worth tracking down. As to others: Rachmaninov: Definitive recordings of his own concerti, but sadly not enough of his solo works. If they sound very different from most modern performances could it be because modern performers are not getting it quite right? Prokofiev: a good CD's worth of his own music, including the third concerto. Bartok: Definitive performances of the 2nd violin sonata and first Rhapsody with Szigeti (Library of Congress, late 1930's), plus some very fine commercial discs (Suite op 14, Allegro Barbaro, part of the Improvisations Op 20, 6 Romanian Dances, many, many pieces from Mikrokosmos, the first recording of Contrasts with Szigeti and Benny Goodman). For anoraks, there are excerpts from the 2nd concerto in poor sound, but very interesting indeed. A very classy pianist with a more flexible and even "romantic" style than you might imagine: extraordinary playing. I enjoy Stravinsky's recordings of his own piano works, but he is more of a "composer's" pianist, ditto the Duo Concertant with Szigeti... Bear in mind that not all composers are virtuoso performers, and their own performances are perhaps not always what they would have produced if they were better executants, but there is always something to learn. Charles Ives' recordings are fascinating, and the excerpts from the Concord Sonata give you a sense of his improvisatory freedom. Medtner's recordings of his own music(issued by APR) are very fine indeed. Britten and Rostropovich playing Britten's Cello Sonata. Probably lots of others that I can't remember at the moment. Ah, Poulenc, both solo pieces and song accompaniments to Pierre Bernac. Lots of pedal and some faking, but full of character. Piano rolls can be interesting and Appian in Texas have produced some very nice CDs of Skryabin, Debussy and Mahler, ie composers who left no disc recordings (there are many other remasterings of this material, but these are the best I've heard). There are enormous limitations in the medium but they are very useful with regards to tempi, rubato, etc. Debussy's doubling of the tempo on page 2 of La Cathedrale Engloutie is a famous example (the piano roll makes it clear that this is the way he wanted it, and for some reason left out the doppio movimento marking that would have indicated this). Composers CONDUCTING their own music is another big topic! Just remembered, there's a wonderful Marston CD of Grieg and Saint-Saens playing their own short pieces. Really wonderful, although the sound is rather primitive... Don't bother with earlier remasterings, they have unlistenable wow, which has been corrected in this CD from a few years back. I hope this gives you something to get started on!

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Messiaen playing his own organ music. Rather approximate rhythmically compared to most modern interpreters, but full of atmosphere. The Visions de l'amen with Measiaen and Yvonne Loriod is also fine. Frederic Rzewski is a masterful performer of his own virtuoso piano music. Philip Glass with his ensemble.

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I used to have a nice Telefunken LP called 'Great composers own performances' by Debussy & Ravel. As I recollect, both sides were made from piano rolls, not just the Debussy.

MG

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114305378.jpg

Heard Berio conduct this (in the '60s). Still have the LP... somewhere...

Edited by brownie

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Stravinskij recorded a truckload of his own works, Bartok, Hindemith ... Hindemith's are great, I have a few. There was a Bartok box on Hungaraton which I cannot find right now. Here are two by Hindemith I can recommend:

51NT24-Qw-L._SS500_.jpg51WMvLBMpRL._SS500_.jpg

Both Ravel and Debussy recorded for piano rolls - highly recommended!

41TMVQ52JVL._SL500_.jpg619SHMF3TDL._SL500_.gif

Some have criticized Ravel for not being technically adept enough to play his own music properly, but I have never heard a more hearfelt rendiiton of his Pavane pour une infante defunte ...

Edited by mikeweil

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Wow Mark!!! you have given me a lot to track down!!!! :excited: and thanks to the rest above for their contributions!!! :rlol

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51dpnPwxKgL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Elgar was fascinated by the new recording medium.

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Stravinskij recorded a truckload of his own works, Bartok, Hindemith ... Hindemith's are great, I have a few. There was a Bartok box on Hungaraton which I cannot find right now. Here are two by Hindemith I can recommend:

51NT24-Qw-L._SS500_.jpg51WMvLBMpRL._SS500_.jpg

Both Ravel and Debussy recorded for piano rolls - highly recommended!

41TMVQ52JVL._SL500_.jpg619SHMF3TDL._SL500_.gif

Some have criticized Ravel for not being technically adept enough to play his own music properly, but I have never heard a more hearfelt rendiiton of his Pavane pour une infante defunte ...

I'd forgotten about the EMI composer plays.... Sets. There's a Poulenc one as well, and an integral set with number of different composers. Thanks for the DG Hindemith recommendation: that one passed me by.

51dpnPwxKgL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Elgar was fascinated by the new recording medium.

Yes, great recordings, although I know the later electrical recordings better. The violin concerto with Menuhin is fabulous, as is the cello concerto with Beatrice Harrison (very different from many modern approaches), and a fine 1st Symphony. It takes a few minutes to get used to the style of orchestral playing (lots of portamenti and very noticeable shifts of positions in the strings), but once your ears adapt, they have a lot to offer.

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There are also countless recordings of Britten playing his own music (lots of Tippett too). Not to mention Stravinsky.

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Ives playes Ives is a real eyeear-opener. :blink:

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519Do%2Bexr9L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

The version of La Creation Du Monde on this CD is just fabulous. I'm too lazy to get up and look at my copy, but I think it's from 1932. I've often wondered if Marcel Mule was playing the saxophone part.

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Ives playes Ives is a real eyeear-opener. :blink:

touché!

519Do%2Bexr9L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

The version of La Creation Du Monde on this CD is just fabulous. I'm too lazy to get up and look at my copy, but I think it's from 1932. I've often wondered if Marcel Mule was playing the saxophone part.

I don't know this set! Thanks for mentioning it.

Ives playes Ives is a real eyeear-opener. :blink:

TOUCHÉ

519Do%2Bexr9L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

The version of La Creation Du Monde on this CD is just fabulous. I'm too lazy to get up and look at my copy, but I think it's from 1932. I've often wondered if Marcel Mule was playing the saxophone part.

I don't know this set! Thanks for mentioning it.

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So i am currently enjoying this one:

41DG5YX887L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

(with Oistrakh on violin)

I enjoy hearing Shostakovich playing his pieces as he intended them to be played. I would appreciate recommendations of other albums featuring well known composers playing their own works.

:tophat:

The Shostakovich recordings of selections from his own Preludes and Fugues and the Op 34 Preludes are also worth tracking down. As to others: Rachmaninov: Definitive recordings of his own concerti, but sadly not enough of his solo works. If they sound very different from most modern performances could it be because modern performers are not getting it quite right? Prokofiev: a good CD's worth of his own music, including the third concerto. Bartok: Definitive performances of the 2nd violin sonata and first Rhapsody with Szigeti (Library of Congress, late 1930's), plus some very fine commercial discs (Suite op 14, Allegro Barbaro, part of the Improvisations Op 20, 6 Romanian Dances, many, many pieces from Mikrokosmos, the first recording of Contrasts with Szigeti and Benny Goodman). For anoraks, there are excerpts from the 2nd concerto in poor sound, but very interesting indeed. A very classy pianist with a more flexible and even "romantic" style than you might imagine: extraordinary playing. I enjoy Stravinsky's recordings of his own piano works, but he is more of a "composer's" pianist, ditto the Duo Concertant with Szigeti... Bear in mind that not all composers are virtuoso performers, and their own performances are perhaps not always what they would have produced if they were better executants, but there is always something to learn. Charles Ives' recordings are fascinating, and the excerpts from the Concord Sonata give you a sense of his improvisatory freedom. Medtner's recordings of his own music(issued by APR) are very fine indeed. Britten and Rostropovich playing Britten's Cello Sonata. Probably lots of others that I can't remember at the moment. Ah, Poulenc, both solo pieces and song accompaniments to Pierre Bernac. Lots of pedal and some faking, but full of character. Piano rolls can be interesting and Appian in Texas have produced some very nice CDs of Skryabin, Debussy and Mahler, ie composers who left no disc recordings (there are many other remasterings of this material, but these are the best I've heard). There are enormous limitations in the medium but they are very useful with regards to tempi, rubato, etc. Debussy's doubling of the tempo on page 2 of La Cathedrale Engloutie is a famous example (the piano roll makes it clear that this is the way he wanted it, and for some reason left out the doppio movimento marking that would have indicated this). Composers CONDUCTING their own music is another big topic! Just remembered, there's a wonderful Marston CD of Grieg and Saint-Saens playing their own short pieces. Really wonderful, although the sound is rather primitive... Don't bother with earlier remasterings, they have unlistenable wow, which has been corrected in this CD from a few years back. I hope this gives you something to get started on!

About Rachmaninov playing his own music, I pretty much agree with this from piano maven Dan Koren:

"i'm definitely in the minority here, but i'll

say this anyway: rachmaninov's interpretations

of his own music are perfect examples of how

*not* to play rachmaninov. they're calculated,

cold and mannered -- and they do not project

or suggest in any manner that he lives the

music, as opposed to just performing it."

Koren adds (and I agree) that Richter is the standard (along with a few others, e.g. , Gilels, Cliburn, Michelangeli) in the Rachmaninov works that Richter and they have recorded.

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There are several Milhaud recordings of his own works on CD, the EMI above is indeed great - I love the Suite Provencal on it. It was recorded during his time in California, with excellent studio pros and in good sound.

Edited by mikeweil

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Partch.

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About Rachmaninov playing his own music, I pretty much agree with this from piano maven Dan Koren:

"i'm definitely in the minority here, but i'll

say this anyway: rachmaninov's interpretations

of his own music are perfect examples of how

*not* to play rachmaninov. they're calculated,

cold and mannered -- and they do not project

or suggest in any manner that he lives the

music, as opposed to just performing it."

Koren adds (and I agree) that Richter is the standard (along with a few others, e.g. , Gilels, Cliburn, Michelangeli) in the Rachmaninov works that Richter and they have recorded.

That reminds me of Ravel's oft-quoted remark, along the lines of: 'I wish people would not interpret my work; it suffices merely to play it', which I like very much.

MG

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About Rachmaninov playing his own music, I pretty much agree with this from piano maven Dan Koren:

"i'm definitely in the minority here, but i'll

say this anyway: rachmaninov's interpretations

of his own music are perfect examples of how

*not* to play rachmaninov. they're calculated,

cold and mannered -- and they do not project

or suggest in any manner that he lives the

music, as opposed to just performing it."

Koren adds (and I agree) that Richter is the standard (along with a few others, e.g. , Gilels, Cliburn, Michelangeli) in the Rachmaninov works that Richter and they have recorded.

That reminds me of Ravel's oft-quoted remark, along the lines of: 'I wish people would not interpret my work; it suffices merely to play it', which I like very much.

MG

Yes, but Ravel's music bears little resemblance to Rachmaninoff's when it comes to the need/desirability of projecting emotion. Also, IIRC, Rach the pianist's own way with his concerti in particular changed considerably over the course of time; only in his late recordings of them did he adopt the approach that some feel is "calculated, cold and mannered."

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About Rachmaninov playing his own music, I pretty much agree with this from piano maven Dan Koren:

"i'm definitely in the minority here, but i'll

say this anyway: rachmaninov's interpretations

of his own music are perfect examples of how

*not* to play rachmaninov. they're calculated,

cold and mannered -- and they do not project

or suggest in any manner that he lives the

music, as opposed to just performing it."

Koren adds (and I agree) that Richter is the standard (along with a few others, e.g. , Gilels, Cliburn, Michelangeli) in the Rachmaninov works that Richter and they have recorded.

That reminds me of Ravel's oft-quoted remark, along the lines of: 'I wish people would not interpret my work; it suffices merely to play it', which I like very much.

MG

Yes, but Ravel's music bears little resemblance to Rachmaninoff's when it comes to the need/desirability of projecting emotion. Also, IIRC, Rach the pianist's own way with his concerti in particular changed considerably over the course of time; only in his late recordings of them did he adopt the approach that some feel is "calculated, cold and mannered."

I expect you're right; I tend to go for French music and don't know many (perhaps not any) of Rachmaninov's works.

MG

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