Re: Barenboim's Beethoven For All on Decca
- From: JohnGavin <dagdern@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2012 15:21:08 -0700 (PDT)
On Jun 3, 3:16 pm, "HvT" <hvtuijl- SPAM- @xs4all.nl> wrote:
On Jun 3, 11:12 am, "HvT" <hvtuijl- SPAM- @xs4all.nl> wrote:
On Thu, 31 May 2012 23:44:08 +1000, Thornhill wrote
On May 31, 9:23 am, "Gerard" <ghendriks-nospam...@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Randy Lane <randy.l...@xxxxxxxxx> typed:
"one of the greatest Beethoven interpreters of our time."? I
Who do you think are the greatest Beethoven interpreters of our
While I doubt there's going to be much agreement on that, I doubt
many people will defend that statement about Barenboim. I've never
see his recordings of the sonatas or symphonies recommended.
I think you'll scratch around for a very long time before you can
come up with a name better than Barenboim's, for the title "greatest
Beethoven interpreter of our time". Admittedly, it's a pretty silly
title to try to assign. But I would say that nobody currently alive
has been able to cast his net as widely, and at a standard so high,
as Barenboim has done in the Beethoven repertoire.
I've never understood Barenboim's popularity as a pianist. I vote for
Brendel as the 'greatest' - if I have to pick someone who has
recorded the Beethoven sonatas more than once and is still alive.
You have some kind of bone to pick with DB, Henk. Always have had.
Maybe it's his friendship with the late Edward Said? Political
considerations have a tendency to sour other faculties in human
beings, however they claim to be immune from such considerations.
Brendel doesn't play anymore, so I think he's out of the running at
I admire Barenboim for his refusal to close his eyes for the situation of
the Palestinians and Said's Orientalism made a fascinating read a few
decades ago. Political considerations have nothing to do with my
appreciation for Barenboim's interpretations as a pianist.
I admit that it's quite an achievement to play at 70 and to have recorded
the Beethoven sonatas at least twice. It would have been a noteworthy
achievement if his interpretations hadn't been middle of the road.
It's not so much a middle of the road quality that I find numbing in
Barenboim's pianism, as a lack of compelling magnetism of any sort.
Time and time again, as soon as his hands touch the keys I get the
feeling of a flatline in his communicative abilities. Nothing happens
for me, and this goes not only for his recordings but Barenboim live
It's one of those inexplicable phenomena - I'm sure his musicianship
is solid from an intellectual point of view, yet it all adds up to a
sort of utilitarian musical discourse. I'm afraid Dan Koren's name
for him "Boringboim" is an understandable one.
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