Originally posted by Marye:
Is his playing comparable to Perrahia or Rubinstein's Chopin?
I'm not familiar with much of Murray Perahia's interpretations. Those I've heard indicate a gift for understatement and subtlety that is perhaps not as apparent in Rubinstein's renditions. Not that he wasn't subtle, it's just that in IMO Rubinstein didn't lose anything when the dynamics changed, I guess his range of emotions throughout the pieces is greater. It's important to say I 'cut my teeth' on Rubinstein and for many of us, first will always be best.
I don't have a recording of Perahia doing Chopin's Grande Polonaise and that is a piece I like to use when comparing pianists' interpretations of Chopin. I know of 3 recordings by Rubinstein, one from the 30's that is full of sound and fury, a 50's version and a later work that is my personal favorite. Technicians may quibble with Rubinstein's playing here, it lacks the crystalline purity, speed and humor of a brilliant Horowitz rendition (so incredibly fast! Marye, the 4 versions I speak of vary the length of the piece by more than 1 minute between the fastest one and the slowest!)but there can be no doubt that the music has possessed Rubinstein and shakes him like a terrier with a rat.
Mr.Olejniczak can be heard playing that piece, as well as many others by Chopin in the film and soundtrack for the picture 'The Pianist'. I prefer listening to the Polonaise without the orchestra but there is no doubting the artist's skill and IMO he is closer to Rubinstein. Perhaps someone can tell me of a recording by Perahia of the Grande Polonaise and I can give a better educated opinion?
One of the wonderful things about enjoying popular pieces/composers is there are so many interpretations and many different voices to enjoy (or not). Kissin and Grafman get high marks from many, I'll have to see. There is also a recording of the work of W. Szpilman (the pianist the film 'The Pianist' is about)on Amazon you may sample.
"I adore art...when I am alone with my notes, my heart pounds and the tears stream from my eyes, and my emotion and my joys are too much to bear"-Giuseppe Verdi