Beethoven Hammerklavier 4th Mov Pt 2 Ohlsson Rec 1998


Regarding the final movement of Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata Op 106, Hans von Bulow wrote," The times are happily past wherein this Finale was deemed a "non plus ultra'' of technical difficulty and "classical' piano-virtuosi could win ephemeral fame by performing it in concerts. Nevertheless, the task before the player --to give an interpretation of plastic beauty,i.e., first of all a perfectly intelligible one-- is no mere "play" despite all the technical acquirements which have now facilitated it." In this performance, Garrick Ohlsson provides us with that "perfectly intelligible" interpretation. Garrick Ohlsson is a member of a rare breed of pianists whose recitals are remembered long after they have been performed. He has a big technique but so do countless other pianists before the public today. I hear them every season as they present their robotic recitals--pianists in their forties and fifties still playing just as they did years earlier when performing before a competition jury. They exhibit no growth or maturity at all. Many still play as though they were students, not masters. The playing is tentative and constrained exhibiting no imagination. Not Garrick Ohlsson. He shares with other historically important pianists the ability to bring the music he plays to life. Such playing enfolds an audience.into the music. It is communicated to them. One remembers such experiences far more than a flashy technique or balletic poses and posturing. (This includes jumping up and down on the piano bench and looking up toward heaven where hopefully the composer resides.) Pianists, such as Ohlsson,do not need to resort to such antics. In 1970, Garrick Ohlsson became the first American to win first prize in the International Chopin Competition held in Warsaw. Prior to that, he had won first prizes in both the 1966 Busoni Competition in Italy, and the 1968 Montreal Competition. His teachers included Claudio Arrau, Sascha Gorodnitzki and Rosina Lhevinne

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