The pianist: Mozart as virtuoso performer Mozart, the all-round genius, gives piano recitals, music lessons and composes – but only at the last minute. What he produces, however, pleases the Emperor. On Christmas Eve 1781 Emperor Joseph II summoned Mozart to a piano contest with the Italian composer Muzio Clementi.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical period. Born in Salzburg , in the Holy Roman Empire , Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood.
Aug 13, 2020 · Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a musician capable of playing multiple instruments who started playing in public at the age of 6.
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- He composed masterfully in every musical format. Operas, choral works, concertos, symphonies, chamber music, solo songs, sonatas… Mozart was one of the few composers in history to compose masterworks in every conceivable musical genre.
- He was a master of dramatic timing. Mozart’s operas are timeless works, featuring perfect dramatic pacing, lifelike characters, and humanistic themes that make them seem fresh and relevant even in the modern era.
- He was a melodic genius. Mozart had a knack for churning out memorable melodies nonstop. Check out the performance of the Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat above – how many sing-able melodies do you hear in the space of just the first five minutes?
- He was writing symphonies when you were playing with stuffed animals. Mozart’s first compositions were short keyboard works produced at the tender age of five years old.
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- Leif Ove Andsnes
- Martha Argerich
- Claudio Arrau
- Vladimir Ashkenazy
- Daniel Barenboim
- Ludwig Van Beethoven
- Alfred Brendel
- Frédéric Chopin
- Glenn Gould
- Myra Hess
- Vladimir Horowitz
- Stephen Hough
- Lang Lang
- Franz Liszt
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- John Ogdon
- Murray Perahia
- Maria Joao Pires
- Maurizio Pollini
- Sergei Rachmaninov
- Sviatoslav Richter
- Arthur Rubinstein
- Jean-Yves Thibaudet
- Mitsuko Uchida
The brilliant Norwegian pianist has made a name for himself as one of the greatest musicians working today, not least with his recordings of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos with The Mahler Chamber Orchestra. A critic for Gramophone magazine called the series “an extraordinary achievement.”
The world woke up to the phenomenal talent of the Argentinian pianist Martha Argerich in 1964 when she won the International Chopin Piano Competition at the age of 24. She is now arguably the greatest living pianist and can sell out concerts in minutes.
It’s said that this great Chilean pianist could read music before he could read words. It wasn’t long before he was playing works like the virtuosic Transcendental Etudes by Liszt. He’s perhaps best-known for his interpretations of the music of Beethoven. The legendary conductor Colin Davis said of Arrau: “His sound is amazing, and it is entirely his own… His devotion to Liszt is extraordinary. He ennobles that music in a way no one else in the world can.”
Ashkenazy is one of the heavyweights of the classical music world. Having been born in Russia he now holds both Icelandic and Swiss citizenship and is still performing as a pianist and conductor around the world. In 1962 he was a joint winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition (with John Ogdon, see below) and the following year he left the USSR to live in London. We recently asked the great pianist (and now conductor!) to share his advice for pianists. His vast catalogue of recordin...
In 2012, Ban Ki-moon, Haile Gebrselassie and Doreen Lawrence were joined by the Israeli-Argentinian conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim as they carried the Olympic flag into the London stadium. Barenboim's international fame is now partly down to his work with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra – which he founded with Edward Said and is made up of musicians from across the Middle East. But he has also produced some of the best recordings ever made and is assured a place in the history books.
“Beethoven's playing differs so greatly from the usual method of treating the piano, that it seems as if he had struck out an entirely new path for himself.” Those are the words of one of Beethoven's contemporaries, Carl Ludwig Junker. We may not have any recordings of Beethoven performing, but we have the virtuosic and inventive music he wrote for the piano and accounts from people who heard him play. The man who is now better known as a composer was much admired for his use of legato and th...
“If I belong to a tradition it is a tradition that makes the masterpiece tell the performer what he should do and not the performer telling the piece what it should be like.” Those are the words of the brilliant Mr Brendel himself. He can turn his hand to music from any period but is particularly respected for his interpretations of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Liszt.
Poland’s most famous composer was also one of the great piano virtuosos of his day. The vast majority of his work was for solo piano and though there are no recordings of him playing (the earliest sound recordings are from the 1860s), one contemporary said: “One may say that Chopin is the creator of a school of piano and a school of composition. In truth, nothing equals the lightness, the sweetness with which the composer preludes on the piano; moreover nothing may be compared to his works fu...
If there were ever a pianist who divided classical music fans, Glenn Gould is it. The Canadian pianist is best-known for his performances of the music of J.S. Bach, and particularly The Goldberg Variations. But he's also famous for humming along while he played, performing on a tiny chair which he took to all his concerts and his exacting demands for recording and performing conditions.
Dame Myra Hess, as she eventually became, is famous not so much for winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music at the age of 12, nor of performing with the legendary conductor Sir Thomas Beecham when she was 17 – but for the series of concerts she gave at the National Gallery during WWII. During the war, London’s music venues were closed to avoid mass casualties if any were hit by bombs. Hess had the idea of using the Gallery to host lunchtime concerts. The series ran for six and a h...
There's a strong case to be made for Vladimir Horowitz to be crowned the greatest pianist of all time. He made his debut in 1920 in a solo recital in Kharkiv. In 1925 his fame had grown substantially and he crossed into the West, saying he wished to study with Artur Schnabel in Berlin – but he'd decided to leave for good and had stuffed American and British money into his shoes. He gave his debut in the US in 1928 at Carnegie Hall and he went on to become an American citizen. He is best known...
British pianist Stephen Hough is a consummate soloist and chamber musician, as comfortable playing the showcase-Romantic concertos as a piano quintet or a miniature by Massenet or Ravel. “Hough is one of those keyboard polymaths who’s at home in whatever music he chooses to play,” wrote one critic. Oh and did we mention he also composes and paints? A true Renaissance man.
Lang Lang changed the classical music world forever with his inimitable panache both on and off stage. Thousands of children in China took up the piano in what has become know as ‘the Lang-Lang effect’. So, like his style or not, there’s no denying the impact Lang Lang has had on the classical scene.
Vying with Chopin for the crown of greatest 19th-century-virtuoso was Franz Liszt, the Hungarian composer, teacher and pianist. Among his best known works are his fiendishly difficult Années de pèlerinage, the Piano Sonata in B minor and his Mephisto Waltz. And as a performer his fame was legendary – there was even a word coined for the frenzy he inspired: Lisztomania.
Again, this is not a pianist anyone alive today has had the privilege to hear, but by all accounts – and judging by the piano music he wrote – he could give anyone in this list a run for their money. Just listen to his Piano Concerto No.21 for an idea of what the most famous composer of them all might have sounded like…
Ogdon was part of a new generation of musicians when he studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester in the 1950s, alongside Harrison Birtwistle, Peter Maxwell Davies and Alexander Goehr. He could play almost anything from sight and famously had an astonishing memory for music. In 1962 he jointly won the International Tchaikovsky Competition with Vladimir Ashkenazy and recorded a huge amount of music by Rachmaninov.
Perahia may have started playing the plano when he was just four but it wasn't until the age of 15 that, he says, he became seriously interested in music. In 1972 he became the first North American to win the Leeds Piano Competition and the following year he worked with Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears at the Aldeburgh Festival. In 1992 a bone abnormality caused his hand to swell and forced him to take some time off from performing. It was during this time that he found solace in the music of...
A Portuguese pianist admired for her interpretations of Chopin, Schubert and Mozart, among many others. A critic in The Times said “she makes you listen to Schubert’s genius with fresh ears.”She also, clearly has an amazing memory – remember the time she'd prepared the wrong concerto for a concert and just played the right one anyway?
When Pollini won the International Chopin Piano Competition in 1960, Arthur Rubinstein apparently said: “that boy can play the piano better than any of us.” Ever since, Pollini has been steadily building his reputation as one of today's greatest pianists having performed with the likes of conductor Claudio Abbado and the Vienna Philharmonic. In 2010-11 London's Southbank Centre programmed 'the Pollini Project', a series of five concerts of music ranging from Bach to Stockhausen.
Famously, Rachmaninov could comfortably stretch a 13th on the piano (five more notes than an octave) and even a cursory glance at the Etudes and Concertos he wrote makes a convincing case for that fact being true. Happily, recordings survive of this brilliant pianist in action. Arthur Rubinstein said of Rachmaninov: “He had the golden, living tone which comes from the heart.”
One of the many greats battling for the title of best 20th-century pianist, Richter is part of a handful of mighty Russian pianists who emerged in the mid-20th century. He wasn’t a big fan of the recording process, however, so his best albums are recordings of his live performances including those in Amsterdam in 1986, in New York in 1960 and in Leipzig in 1963.
This Polish American pianist is often quoted as the best Chopin performer of all time. He was found to have perfect pitch at the age of two and he made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic when he was just 13. He was taught by a pianist called Karl Heinrich Barth, who had been a pupil of Liszt, meaning that Rubinstein was part of a formidable pianistic tradition.
The great pianist Vladimir Horowitz once said he’d heard Thibaudet’s fingers do things his own couldn’t in Liszt’s Faust Waltz. And Horowitz was indisputably one of the greats…
The Japanese-British pianist Mitsuko Uchida was recently made a Dame – demonstrating her vital importance to the music world. She studied in Vienna and gave her first recital in the town when she was just 14. Best known for her performances of Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin she's also made world-class recordings of works by Schubert and, more recently, Schumann.
Actually I believe he played viola too, even later in life when he played in a string quartet with Joseph Haydn. He would have been the pianist at most if not all premieres of his piano concertos and sonatas throughout his career. In fact, the idea of a “composer” entirely separate from the idea of “performer” didn’t exist in his day.
Apr 02, 2020 · That said, Mozart was one of the absolute great pianists of his era, whereas Beethoven just wasn't. Click to see full answer People also ask, who is better Mozart or Beethoven? Mozart was great at writing for the voice, and opera theater.
- Franz Liszt. All eye-witness accounts of Liszt’s playing put him in the very first rank of classical pianists. Over an eight-year period of touring Europe in the early 1840s, he is estimated to have given over 1,000 performances.
- Sergei Rachmaninoff. Rachmaninoff’s style was perhaps in contradiction to the time in which he lived, as he sought to maintain the romanticism of the 19th century well in to the 20th.
- Arthur Rubinstein. Rubinstein’s talent in combining elements of romanticism with the more modern-day technical aspects of a piece helped turn him in to one of the best pianists of his day.
- Clara Haskil. Haskil stood out as a remarkable natural talent, able to reproduce Mozart and Beethoven as a child before she had taken music lessons. Her international career was delayed by poor health and world war, but she went on to make a name for herself with her performances of Mozart, which were described by one reviewer as “for the gods.”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote 23 original concertos for piano and orchestra. These works, many of which Mozart composed for himself to play in the Vienna concert series of 1784–86, held special importance for him. For a long time relatively neglected, they are recognised as among his greatest achievements.
I know you people are going to cream me for this, but I feel that much of the Mozart solo piano work is quite inferior to his symphonies, concerti, early and middle period chamber works, and, of course, the operas, which are titanic masterpieces. Don't you find it interesting that so many great pianists fail to pull off these sonatas?
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