Great classical pianists

Alexandra Dovgan is the pianist of her generation.


In the last century there was Richter. Today Trifonov. Now a new phenom. What is it in the Russian water that produces such giants of the keyboard?

We enjoy all great pianists. Rubinstein, Pollini, Argerich, Backhaus, Kempf, Michelangeli, Schnabel, Pogorelic, Gilels. Please add your favorite to this embarrassment of pianistic riches. But there is primus inter pares. 



Fabulous, I can only imagine how wonderful to be there in Dallas. You have inspired me to check; she will play in London in May the Bach / Busoni Chaconne and more, in the very same hall I heard Lang Lang play --like a well oiled machine-- last May !  Beauty and judgement will reign next May.

My favorites are:

Paderewsky, Cortot, Rachmaninov, Schnabel, Gould, Yudina, Horowitz, Richter.

When I was a young record collector my pianistic god was Arrau who couldn't put a finger wrong for me. When it came to the eighties though he just became slow and cumbersome and a lot of the recordings during that period should never have been released. For instance, he recorded Bach's Partitas and they were released a long time after his death "big mistake" the tempi were all over the place and a very poor copy of what was once the greatest pianist on the planet "for me".  Today I favour some of the Russian pianists, Sokolov, Trifonov, Buniatishvili and my personal favourite of them Arkady Volodos who is undeniably a technical wizard without comparison. In a class of her own though is Martha Argerich who is still giving spellbinding performances in her eighties. I have heard Pletnev live a few times in Edinburgh and when on form he is incomparable. His was the most electrifying Bach/Busoni Chaconne I have ever heard live or recorded and thank goodness he is recording piano again. I think we are all in an age now of so many specialists that it is difficult to say who is best but it should now be " who plays this or that composer best". 

Over the past year, I’ve discovered another “classical” pianist, who does excellent “interpretive” work, as he prided himself on being a jazz pianist who played classical music: Samson Francois. Some of his Chopin interpretations are unparalleled, but he is definitely unconventional.  I think he prided himself over never playing the same piece the same way twice, which should appeal to some of those who think that classical music has become too formulaic.