List & Wild: Who'll take their place???

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Wallingford
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List & Wild: Who'll take their place???

Post by Wallingford » Sun May 06, 2007 10:24 pm

Eugene List & Earl Wild seem to be the last of the "supervirtuosos," the pianists who were the keepers of the flame for the flashy Romanticism displayed by Henri Herz, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, as well as Franz Liszt himself.

With Wild more or less in retirement (and if ANYONE's earned the right to a real rest, it's him) and with List no longer with us, who'll carry on the tradition? Who'll be the next to hold those famous "Monster Concerts," with pianists on as many as ten keyboards flinging their fingers (AND their good sense) away at Sousa transcriptions and the like?

Who'll be the next to exemplify the piano as a way of life as much as anything else?
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

Werner
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Post by Werner » Sun May 06, 2007 11:12 pm

To begin with, there are more and more young pianists with virtuoso fingers, as I've noticed by attending the Young Concert Artists International Auditions for twenty-five years. Just about any of the contestants I've heard had techniques to die for. Of course, that's not the whole story, as I'm sure you know.

But if you're thinking of the current generation of super-virtuosos, you couldn't think of a better name to start with than Marc-Andre Hamelin,
who combines technical finish, an extraordinary repertoire, and impressive musicianship.
Last edited by Werner on Sun May 06, 2007 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Werner Isler

pizza
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Post by pizza » Sun May 06, 2007 11:16 pm

I never thought of Eugene List as a "super virtuoso" pianist. I have several of his Gottschalk recordings, and he plays the music beautifully and with great feeling and panache, but once in a while there are a few finger slips.

Werner
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Post by Werner » Sun May 06, 2007 11:24 pm

Your point is well taken, Pizza. Of course, it's been a long time since any of us have been able to hear Eugene List - who did make at least one Gottschalk LP that I still own, and it's beautiful.

But Earl Wild would be more of a candidate for the super-virtuoso label - one he justified into high old age.
Werner Isler

CharmNewton
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Post by CharmNewton » Sun May 06, 2007 11:40 pm

Werner wrote:Your point is well taken, Pizza. Of course, it's been a long time since any of us have been able to hear Eugene List - who did make at least one Gottschalk LP that I still own, and it's beautiful.

But Earl Wild would be more of a candidate for the super-virtuoso label - one he justified into high old age.
Lang Lang might be a candidate, although I don't believe he would want to be typecast as such. Witness his CD/DVD of Liszt's Don Juan Fantasy, he does have panache in this repertoire.

John

Adolovni Acosta
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Post by Adolovni Acosta » Wed May 09, 2007 10:42 am

I studied with Eugene List in New York City for six years. Although he had a unique sound and interpretation of which some are indeed memorable, he did not have the huge, harmonious sound, the wide range of colors and the big heart that I associate with romantic players of the past.

He and his wife, violinist Carol Glenn, were generous to their students. There were frequent playing classes and pre-recitals at their town house. Ms. Glenn made sure that their dining table brimmed with food.

I participated in those monster concerts. The most unforgettable one was at Carnegie Hall. During those concerts, Mr. List signed himself as “Monster-in-chief.”
Adolovni Acosta

Jppiano
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Euguene List

Post by Jppiano » Wed May 09, 2007 10:50 am

I agree with Adolovni, He was an interesting pianist in terms of repetoire and a good teacher, but not a grand virtuoso the way Wild was....

Joe P.

rasputin
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Post by rasputin » Wed May 09, 2007 2:01 pm

Wild's Phantasy on Porgy and studies on Gershwiin's
themes are extremely difficult pieces , and his own
recording one of the most spectacular I've ever heard.
As far as I know, nobody else has recorded it.

Jppiano
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Recordings of Earl Wild's Gershwin Transcriptions

Post by Jppiano » Wed May 09, 2007 2:42 pm

The Progy and Bess Fantasy has been recorded 3 times by other pianists (in addition to the 2 recordings by Wild himself):

Daniel Berman (Danacord)
Graham Scott (Deux-Elles)
Ralph Votapek (on an LP that I cant find right now!)

As far as the 7 Virtuoso Etudes on Gershwin Songs, other than Wild's 2 recordings, the only other one is Daniel Berman (on an old LP on a label named Pianothek)

Joe P.

rasputin
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Post by rasputin » Wed May 09, 2007 2:43 pm

Thanks for the information.

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Post by Lance » Thu May 10, 2007 12:54 pm

It was good to see this post on super-virtuosos of the keyboard. I had the pleasure of preparing Eugene List's pianos on a several occasions ... it was "List playing Liszt" (the piano concertos). I was fortunate to have a radio interview with him right here in the room from whence I type now. What a warm-hearted gentleman and he loved discussing recordings and pianists of the past. I never had the pleasure of meeting his wife, thought I have recordings of their work together as husband and wife. I believe his daughter married a pianist who studied with him at Eastman ... I think the son-in-law also recorded with List (Vox, my mind wants to say).

The only other pianists that even might consider something like Monster Concerts might be Marc-André Hamelin, but he's so busy with his own solo career, he may never have the time. Demidenko is another possibility. Stephen Hough could be a possibility. I don't see someone like Volodos undertaking these kinds of concerts; it doesn't seem to fit his personality, great virtuoso he is. We may just never see those Monster Concert days again.

It was, too, Eugene List who introduced me to Gottschalk's music on disc so many years ago; I thought them to be extraordinary recordings and still think that. There were two Vanguard LP recordings. All of that material was later issued on Vauguard CDs, first as 4050 and 4051, separate CDs, and then as a two-CD set: 9144. "A Night in the Tropics" was also included in the reissues. I think we can thank Eugene List for the resurgence of interest in Gottschalk's music. I thought him to be a superb pianist. He told me how, after Columbia issued Monster Concert LPs, he worked feverishly to have the material reissued (he owned the tapes, apparently), but there were no takers.

Probably the rarest recording of Eugene List is the Remington LP coupling César Frank's violin sonata with that of Maurice Ravel, Ossy Renardy, violinist. It was an LP I never was able to find. But a kind CMGer made an outstanding transfer of these often poorly-pressed inexpensive recordings. And I know the recording exists in the collection of one very gracious CMGer by the name of Werner Isler!
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Wallingford
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Post by Wallingford » Thu May 10, 2007 10:40 pm

The "Monster Concerts" were indeed legendary.....but finding a original Columbia LP copy of any of them's like the proverbial haystack needle. Located only one of them in the last 21 years.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

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