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recital should be devoted to.

Of course, each person's list of great composers can be different. Composers that quite frequently have an entire recital devoted to them include Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and Liszt. Others that I think would work include Brahms, Schumann, Prokofiev, Debussy, and maybe Ravel.

Great composers who I don't think would work are Scarlatti(half a recital is fine and I've heard that done but an entire recital would be around 24 Sonatas which is too much for me), Rachmaninov(I did hear one all Rachmaninov recital devoted to all 24 Preludes but I don't think Rach is quite great enough for an entire recital), and Scriabin(his music is too intense for me for an entire recital although half a recital would be fine and I've heard that done. I think Garrick Ohlsson did actually play an all Scriabin recital)
I don't think an entire recital of Albéniz is a good idea (too much Spanishness and too many strenuous notes), but Alicia de Larrocha proved me wrong, playing the complete Iberia in one sitting (though she did get up once wink ). I'm sure she had been working out in the gym for months beforehand.

The complete Goyescas is slightly less Spanish and less strenuous, but again, I don't think a whole recital of Granados is a good idea (though I'm sure someone will tell me that Larrocha has done that too, and proved me wrong......).

So, I'll stick my neck out and say that Debussy doesn't work - and I know, because even Zimerman couldn't fill a hall in London with the complete Préludes (when he normally sells out every concert here, even when he plays Szymanowski). Too much impressionism is detrimental to one's health........
Live performance of Goyescas performance by de Larrocha

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
recital should be devoted to.

Of course, each person's list of great composers can be different. Composers that quite frequently have an entire recital devoted to them include Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and Liszt. Others that I think would work include Brahms, Schumann, Prokofiev, Debussy, and maybe Ravel.

Great composers who I don't think would work are Scarlatti(half a recital is fine and I've heard that done but an entire recital would be around 24 Sonatas which is too much for me), Rachmaninov(I did hear one all Rachmaninov recital devoted to all 24 Preludes but I don't think Rach is quite great enough for an entire recital), and Scriabin(his music is too intense for me for an entire recital although half a recital would be fine and I've heard that done. I think Garrick Ohlsson did actually play an all Scriabin recital)

For Rachmaninoff, I think there should be enough material for an entire recital. There are the elegie and prelude from op 3, one could take varied selections from the op 23 and 32 preludes and etudes-tableaux, then there are the Corelli variations, the second sonata, and even some transcriptions, like the Kreisler transcriptions or the Mendelssohn scherzo.

I think Mendelssohn would only merit half a recital.
Originally Posted by Rachtoven
For Rachmaninoff, I think there should be enough material for an entire recital. There are the elegie and prelude from op 3, one could take varied selections from the op 23 and 32 preludes and etudes-tableaux, then there are the Corelli variations, the second sonata, and even some transcriptions, like the Kreisler transcriptions or the Mendelssohn scherzo.
I agree - Rachmaninov's piano oeuvre has plenty of variety as well as quality, and can easily fill a complete recital.

Quote
I think Mendelssohn would only merit half a recital.
The problem is that Mendelssohn's best piano music are short pieces - his piano sonatas aren't among his best.
I expected that Scriabin would be said for this!

I think that considering the variety of style from early to late, all-Scriabin could give great programs.

Here's one (maybe I'll do it someday): grin


Some early-ish Preludes

Sonata #2 (about 13 minutes)

Sonata #5 (12 minutes)

Vers la flamme (6 minutes)

---intermission---

Sonata #10 (12 minutes)

Sonata #9 (10 minutes)

Two or three Etudes

---------------------------

encore: Impromptu a la Mazur, Op. 2 no. 3
and whatever else the crowd demands smile
Originally Posted by bennevis
....Mendelssohn's best piano music are short pieces - his piano sonatas aren't among his best.

The Fantasy in F# minor is a pretty large work, and I think it's, well, fantastic.

I'm not sure it enables an all-Mendelssohn program, but it could.
Originally Posted by Mark_C
The Fantasy in F# minor is a pretty large work, and I think it's, well, fantastic.
.
I agree about its quality, but it's only ten minutes long (when I play it wink ).

Thinking about devising an all-Mendelssohn program is interesting, but eventually, one is going to have to put in a fair number of Lieder ohne Worte, after the Variations sérieuses, the Scottish Fantasy, Rondo capriccioso, Prelude & Fugue in E minor, maybe the Fantasy on The Last Rose of Summer, maybe the Sonata in E.......
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Rachtoven
For Rachmaninoff, I think there should be enough material for an entire recital. There are the elegie and prelude from op 3, one could take varied selections from the op 23 and 32 preludes and etudes-tableaux, then there are the Corelli variations, the second sonata, and even some transcriptions, like the Kreisler transcriptions or the Mendelssohn scherzo.
I agree - Rachmaninov's piano oeuvre has plenty of variety as well as quality, and can easily fill a complete recital.

I almost forgot this fabulous all-Rach recital which I attended in Edinburgh a few years ago:
Originally Posted by dogperson
Live performance of Goyescas performance by de Larrocha
Thanks for that.

I'll let you know whether she has proved me wrong after I've listened to the whole concert in one sitting....... whistle
Originally Posted by Rachtoven
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
recital should be devoted to.

Of course, each person's list of great composers can be different. Composers that quite frequently have an entire recital devoted to them include Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and Liszt. Others that I think would work include Brahms, Schumann, Prokofiev, Debussy, and maybe Ravel.

Great composers who I don't think would work are Scarlatti(half a recital is fine and I've heard that done but an entire recital would be around 24 Sonatas which is too much for me), Rachmaninov(I did hear one all Rachmaninov recital devoted to all 24 Preludes but I don't think Rach is quite great enough for an entire recital), and Scriabin(his music is too intense for me for an entire recital although half a recital would be fine and I've heard that done. I think Garrick Ohlsson did actually play an all Scriabin recital)

For Rachmaninoff, I think there should be enough material for an entire recital. There are the elegie and prelude from op 3, one could take varied selections from the op 23 and 32 preludes and etudes-tableaux, then there are the Corelli variations, the second sonata, and even some transcriptions, like the Kreisler transcriptions or the Mendelssohn scherzo.

I think Mendelssohn would only merit half a recital.

Agreed. While one might not have a preference for Rachmaninoff’s work, I definitely think enough people do and that his work is varied enough that there’s enough to select for a recital.

Soft & sweet or reflective & meditative works:
Prelude Op. 32, No. 12
Elegie, Op 3, No. 1
Prelude, Opus 32, No. 5
Etude Tableau, Opus 39, No. 2
Etude Tableau, Opus 39, No. 8

Beautiful, but dramatic & emotional:
Prelude Op. 32, No. 10
Etude Tableau, Opus 39, No. 5
Prelude Op 23, No 5.

Large scale closer:
Sonata No. 2

Encore
Prelude, Op. 3, No. 2

Most of these pieces have been championed by Horowitz, Ashkenazy, and many others, so I think it could work.
Originally Posted by Rachtoven
For Rachmaninoff, I think there should be enough material for an entire recital.
There's clearly more than enough material but I don't think that's the only criterion. For me, an entire recital devoted to Rachmaninov would get a bit tedious although recognize others will feel differently. Similarly, there's enough Grieg and Mendelssohn for many full length recitals but I wouldn't want to hear an entire recital of their music although I would probably rank them among the top 20 composers for piano.

Has anyone every been to or heard of an all Rachmaninov recital other than the one I mentioned(a performance by Vladimir Shakin of all 24 Preludes at the Mannes Keyboard Festival 10+ years ago)?
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Has anyone every been to or heard of an all Rachmaninov recital other than the one I mentioned(a performance by Vladimir Shakin of all 24 Preludes at the Mannes Keyboard Festival 10+ years ago)?
Er......yes. confused

This is my post again from yesterday:
Originally Posted by bennevis
I almost forgot this fabulous all-Rach recital which I attended in Edinburgh a few years ago:
BTW, he took the same program around the world.
Google searches for...

pianist plays "all-Rachmaninov recital"
pianist plays "all-Rachmaninoff recital"

yield several findings, including names such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Olga Kern, the aforementioned Pletnev, among others. It's not the most common thing, but I don't think anyone here said it is.
I'm surprised no-one has mentioned Tchaikovsky yet. guess the poor guy's solo piano music gets so little love, people don't even think of him.

I think the list of composers to not built a solo recital on would be quite long, it might be easier to ask which ones one can.

I think many of those (sometimes very skilled and in some ways highly respected) Russian composers such as Arensky, Liadov etc. comes to mind in the first category as well.
Also Poulenc, Kapustin (I can only listen to Jazz in small doses). But then again, I don't think it would even occur to someone to do that...

I will make all the Medtner fanboys and -girls happy by saying I think one can have a Medtner only recital. Also I think Stravinsky (if a pianist feels up to it).

Guess it has to do with personal taste, but some sounds do get tiresome after a certain period of time.
Originally Posted by ChristoVanRensburg
I'm surprised no-one has mentioned Tchaikovsky yet. guess the poor guy's solo piano music gets so little love, people don't even think of him.
Tchaikovsky's The Seasons never lost their popularity in Russia (Richter and Ashkenazy recorded them, among others), but Westerners tended to be rather sniffy about them as 'salon music' for amateurs.

Though they are starting to gain more popularity in recent years, and have been performed in their entirety by several pianists, though not as all-Tchaikovsky recitals, as far as I know. His Op.72 contains very fine piano music, but very few pianists play it. As for his Piano Sonata No.2 in G (again recorded by Richter, and - even more impressively - by Pletnev), most non-Russians still don't think much of it.

Incidentally, I once attended an all-Alkan concert by Hamelin (which was sold out)......but I can't think of anyone else who would play such a program - at least, not in a major concert hall.
Originally Posted by bennevis
Incidentally, I once attended an all-Alkan concert by Hamelin (which was sold out)......but I can't think of anyone else who would play such a program - at least, not in a major concert hall.

I dont know what else she played after that. All Alkan ?

I could like a 1/2 (but not an entire)recital devoted to Tchaikovsky although I would not rank as a great composer for piano as per my original question. I think a complete performance of The Seasons is reasonably common.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I could like a 1/2 (but not an entire)recital devoted to Tchaikovsky although I would not rank as a great composer for piano as per my original question. I think a complete performance of The Seasons is reasonably common.


I agree. I quite like the six pieces Op. 21 and the variations from Op. 19. And I can live with The Seasons.

Personally if I have to talk about the great composers that you've mentioned I would like a program dedicated to any one of them including Rachmaninov, but for me the program would have include at least one major set of variations/sonata.

I tend to like extended forms over short pieces, although I like both. But I need the drama, structure, unity and whatever else comes with something like a Sonata. With Brahms for example a recital which includes either of the first two Sonatas (I'm not such a fan of the third) would be great with whatever other Brahms fillers, but a whole recital with for instance Op. 117, 118 and 119 would drive me mad.
Couperin, Haydn, Grieg, Webern
Originally Posted by ChristoVanRensburg
Personally if I have to talk about the great composers that you've mentioned I would like a program dedicated to any one of them including Rachmaninov, but for me the program would have include at least one major set of variations/sonata.

I tend to like extended forms over short pieces, although I like both. But I need the drama, structure, unity and whatever else comes with something like a Sonata. With Brahms for example a recital which includes either of the first two Sonatas (I'm not such a fan of the third) would be great with whatever other Brahms fillers, but a whole recital with for instance Op. 117, 118 and 119 would drive me mad.
Yes. I also don't like a recital with a long string of only shorter pieces and most pianists don't plan a program like that. Perhaps that's why I enjoyed but was not thrilled by the performance of all 24 Rach Preludes. The pianist was terrific but not quite as good/interesting as Pletnev.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Couperin, Haydn, Grieg, Webern
I think few would consider any of these, with the possible exception of Haydn, great composers for the piano. Excellent perhaps but IMO not great.

An all Haydn program might be OK as long as it was not composed only of sonatas. But since Haydn is considered somewhat easier than most other great composers I doubt any major pianist would program an entire recital of his works.
Well, Grieg was a great miniaturist, which would be tiresome for long stretches of programming.

Late Haydn sonatas are wonderful, along with the Variations in F Minor and the Fantasy in C Major. Again, hard to consider a whole recital.

Really, I don't like the entire All-So&So programming gimmick. I'd rather hear more variety. The All-This-or-That album seems to sell, though. Like all the Chopin Etudes, all the Beethoven Sonatas, etc.
For some composers, doing a piano trio or lieder on the same program as solo piano works would be nice, but marshaling such forces beyond certain festivals or concert series would be difficult, and there's the ego thing. grin
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Really, I don't like the entire All-So&So programming gimmick. I'd rather hear more variety. The All-This-or-That album seems to sell, though. Like all the Chopin Etudes, all the Beethoven Sonatas, etc.
Actually, the "concept album" CD seems to be all the rage now (never knew of classical musicians flying into a rage, but there it is.......).

They contain a bit of this and a bit of that: often just a movement of a suite or sonata, followed by another movement from something else, followed by something else from 400 years later and so on. Ligeti rubbing shoulders with Couperin, Carreño with Kaprálová, Adés with Chopin, Piazzolla with Scarlatti, ending with a Bach/Busoni chorale prelude. Etc. Sometimes, there's a 'theme', but usually not. Like 20 composers on one CD, meant to be listened to from beginning to end without a break, and you wake up a better person. Or not.

In fact, the pianists even program exactly the same sequence in the concert hall as on their concept CD - check out Jeremy Denk, Vikíngur Ólafsson, among several others.

At least, if you find you don't like a piece - say, Webern's Op.27 wink - you only have to wait a few minutes to hear something you do like (like Aeolian Harp).........
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Couperin, Haydn, Grieg, Webern
I think few would consider any of these, with the possible exception of Haydn, great composers for the piano. Excellent perhaps but IMO not great.

An all Haydn program might be OK as long as it was not composed only of sonatas. But since Haydn is considered somewhat easier than most other great composers I doubt any major pianist would program an entire recital of his works.

Of course Haydn is a great composer for the piano. He seems to have considerable popularity in London at the moment. I find an all-Haydn programme immensely attractive.

Earlier this year Sir Andras Schiff held a "Haydn Festival" at the Wigmore Hall. Six concerts on six successive evenings, Monday to Saturday. All Haydn - principally sonatas and piano trios, plus the F-minor variations, and some of the English Canzonettas. All on period instruments. This was one of my highlights of the musical year. The concerts were well attended.

Then on 9 July the pianist Roman Rabinovich will play three all-Haydn concerts, again at the Wigmore. Morning - a sonata, a quartet and a piano trio. Afternoon - English Canzonettas. Evening - recital with five sonatas. And two days previously he will play an all-Haydn recital at the Cobbe Collection.
I’ve said it here before, and I’ll say again: All-Scarlatti recitals can work. I page-turned for Lee Luvisi a few years back when he did an all-Scarlatti recital. It was a bit on the short side, but recitals don’t need to be an hour and a half, especially when they’re free admission. It was a total of 14 sonatas.

I’ll need to go to the University of Louisville music library and see if I can dig up the specific program, because I don’t remember it, but he said he has done all-Scarlatti programs before, and the most common comment he’d get afterward was “I never expected to enjoy an all-Scarlatti recital, but that was incredible!”

As much as I am an Alkan fan, as I get older, I have a harder and harder time constructing an all-Alkan program that would be really effective.

Imagine an all-Felix Mendelssohn program… I don’t think I would enjoy that.
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
I’ve said it here before, and I’ll say again: All-Scarlatti recitals can work. I page-turned for Lee Luvisi a few years back when he did an all-Scarlatti recital. It was a bit on the short side, but recitals don’t need to be an hour and a half, especially when they’re free admission. It was a total of 14 sonatas.
I heard Maria Tipo play 12 Scarlatti Sonatas as the second half of a recital. The first half was the four Chopin Ballades(which I don't like grouped together). I don't know how long Luvisi's recital was but unless he played a lot of the slower sonatas, my guess is was around one hour. So for me that's more like a 3/4 recital. I do think I could love 14 Scarlatti Sonatas but I don't think I want to hear closer to 20 although I may have listened to some of the very long Scarlatti Youtube marathon recordings(not recitals) there like this one:


Here is the link to the Tipo recital. I can't believe this was 31 years ago. I see that the 12 Sonatas took around 50 minutes, so my earlier estimate of 24 sonatas seems too high as that would be around 100 minutes...much longer than most recitals these days.
Posted By: BDB Re: Great composers you don't think an entire... - 05/21/22 01:27 AM
I was looking through my collection of recitals that I attended, and one of them was an entire concert of Soler sonatas played by Joaquin Nin-Culmell.

Of course, the big questions are: how long is the recital, and much did the composer write? I could definitely sit through a recital of the complete piano work of Alban Berg, for instance. (The recital where I did hear it also had Prokofiev and Hindemith, but that was a long time ago, and there may have been other music as well. I have attended a lot of recitals before and since.)
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
For some composers, doing a piano trio or lieder on the same program as solo piano works would be nice, but marshaling such forces beyond certain festivals or concert series would be difficult, and there's the ego thing. grin

You're talking my language. Although it's happened to a degree, I wish we could more often see a return to the 19 Century model of variety programs especially with a mix like you are suggesting.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
For some composers, doing a piano trio or lieder on the same program as solo piano works would be nice...
Nice, but that would be different from an all solo piano recital that is the thread topic. But I do think that some composers that might not work so well in an all solo piano recital could work well by introducing other genres by the same composer.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
For some composers, doing a piano trio or lieder on the same program as solo piano works would be nice...
Nice, but that would be different from an all solo piano recital that is the thread topic. But I do think that some composers that might not work so well in an all solo piano recital could work well by introducing other genres by the same composer.
Mendelssohn works very well like this.

In fact, that's the most likely way one would hear a concert pianist play some of his Songs without Words, in the context of a Mendelssohn program including his chamber music (especially the wonderful Piano Trio No.1) and songs. And not a lot of people know that there's a beautiful lonesome Lied ohne Worte for cello & piano:

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