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Re: Schiff

Thank you all for your enlightening comments on Schiff!

It seems like I should listen for something completely different in S's Bach
from GG's.  Since I don't have that recording of Goldbergs anymore, I will try
to appreciate the things Bradley mentioned next time I have a chance.

I do agree his performance is sensitive and elegant, but my complaint is his
lack of tension and focus which I like to find in any Bach recordings for my own
taste.  I didn't have any problem with Turek and S. Richter, for example, but
somehow I immediately disliked Schiff's Goldbergs.  Like John Grant said, I
might change my opinion if I listen to him now since it was a few years ago that
I had this "reaction" to Schiff.

Chisa Sugihara

Bradley Lehman wrote:

> Chisa Sugihara wrote:
> >> I haven't heard Schiff's English Suites yet.  I bought his Goldbergs
> >> just for an experience, and never played it again.  If any of you have a
> >> to say anything good about Schiff's playing other than no humming,
> >> please let me know.  I am very interested to hear.  If this topic was
> >> discussed before, please forgive me.
> ...and Mike Flemmer responded:
> >There is plenty good things to say about Schiff.  He is certainly
> >one of the very best Bach pianist's today.  Especially his live Bach.
> >It's fantastic.  No one should pass up a chance to see Schiff live
> >playing Bach.  I've heard a few of his live Bach performances on the
> >radio and it's spectacular.  (Schiff's Beethoven is not so hot though)
> >
> >Schiff's recordings are a mixed bag.  The English Suites are very
> >good and the high praise from critics is well deserved.  They are
> >worth a listen and worthy of purchase too.  Schiff's Goldberg's are much
> >less desriable.  Schiff takes the opening Aria too fast and compared to
> >Gould, it sounds rushed and not as 'sensitive.'
> Hmm.  I've liked all the Schiff recordings of Bach that I've heard.  As
> Bach's biographer Forkel wrote about the Partitas, anyone who learned to
> play some of these pieces well could make his way in the world, and that's
> exactly what Schiff did in 1984: excellent recording of them.  It was one of
> the first Bach-on-piano CD's I ever bought (already having most of the GG
> LP's).  I listened again to some of it this morning and am impressed with
> his touch: gentle, and sensitive, as if he were playing a clavichord (Rubsam
> also plays this way on piano).  There is an easy flow to his playing, with
> poise and balance.  I don't own copies of his Goldbergs, Inventions, or
> English Suites, but remember them all being similarly excellent, especially
> the gracefulness and flow in the Goldbergs.
> There's a fantastic new Schiff recording of the Busoni "Fantasia
> Contrappuntistica," which is Busoni's elaboration of the unfinished fugue
> from Bach's "Art of Fugue."  He uses the two-piano version, with Peter
> Serkin at the other piano.  I've heard about ten recordings of this piece,
> and would put this one among the very best for dimensionality and
> contrapuntal clarity.  (The reviewers in _Fanfare_ and _American Record
> Guide_ were unfortunately both too unfamiliar with this piece to make any
> substantial comparisons.)  Serkin has recorded this piece before (with
> Richard Goode at Marlboro), and his own solo debut recording many years ago
> was the Goldbergs.  So, he and Schiff both bring excellent background to
> this performance.
> Bradley Lehman, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl
> Dayton VA