Who is the best piano player you know of with recordings available

Hi,

Looking for good piano players to listen to. Who are the best piano players and composers of piano music you know of who have recordings of their musical performances available for purchase on Amazon?

Thank you for sharing any names, and God bless you all.
Joshua

Oscar Peterson. :slight_smile:

I watched a movie recently about a young prodigy André Mathieu (1929-1968). You might want to check him out.

If you’re looking for classical piano music and classical pianists…

I can help :smiley:

Classical pianists and music would be a great blessing to know of, any you can share with me. Of course if there are others I wouldn’t mind being familiar with who they are, but I generally think of Classical piano music. From what I understand Pope Benedict is an excellent piano player, and his favorite composer is Mozart. I always make the suggestion that we pray that he makes recordings of his performances of Mozart’s piano sonatas, and distribute them under the title along the lines of “This is Real Rock Music!”

Hi JoshRP,

It would depend on your taste in classical music as well. Do you enjoy the crisp, staccato sounds of Mozart, or do you like the more dramatic concerto styles of Beethoven? If you like a lot of crescendo, combination of background instruments and drama, I would suggest Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakoff (Scheherezade is a good one) or most other Russian composers.

I used to play classical piano in my pre-teen and teen years. Hands down, my absolute favorite composer was Claude Debussy. You may have heard snippets of “Claire de Lune” before in movies - I know it played at the end of Ocean’s Eleven when they were standing at the fountain.

His music has a very sweet, whimsical, dreamy quality to it - just beautiful. I guess he would be classified under the Romantic period. I suggest Claire de Lune, 1st Arabesque, En Bateau, and L’Apres Midi D’un Faune, which I probably spelled incorrectly. :slight_smile:

One little - between après and midi, and you’re good to go!

Grrrr, there’s always that *one *nit picker in the bunch…;):smiley:

hi Josh,
a quick list of some of my classical favorites for you. imho of course

Wilhelm Kempff, Claudio Arrau, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Alfred Brendel, Murray Perahia, Angella Hewitt, Andres Schiff, Mitsuko Uchida, Artur Rubenstein, Garrick Ohlsson, Emil Gilels, Maurizio Pollini, Maria Joao Pires, Ingrid Haebler, Geza Anda

just some that come to mind, each one excels in different areas, but are all great artists.

the first 3 are probably my favorites.

oops, sorry for the double post

for Jazz I would say Bill Evans is my favorite pianist…

for a more Classical approach you can’t go wrong with Earl Wild… when he plays Gershwin… ah, it’s Gershwin

honorable mention belongs to Freddy Cole, Thelonious Monk, and others!

(a Google search for ‘Catholic pianists’ yielded some interesting results as well!)

To this I would add Ivo Pogorelich, Vladimir Horowitz, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Glenn Gould (particularly his recordings of J.S. Bach) Daniel Barenboim, and Martha Argerich, but any pianist you hear on a recording is sure to be great.

I will try to give you a little guide to some musical eras and their styles:

BAROQUE (1600-1750)

Very formal music, it is perhaps the least “gushy” music, but certainly doesn’t lack emotion. It can range from highly ornamented to very clean and logical.

You will likely find albums called “Keyboard works”, or “Harpsichord works”, since during the Baroque era the piano was only in its infancy, but you can find many recordings where the pieces are played on piano.

Some composers are Domenico Scarlatti, Francois Couperin, George Frideric Handel, and one of the most genius of all composers, J.S. Bach (his fugues, or pieces built around a single musical idea, are fascinating to listen to, and I highly recommend them.)

CLASSICAL (1750-1820)

(While all three of these eras are indeed part of classical music, this period is specifically called the Classical Era)

Piano music of the classical era is often light and pleasant, still with an element of formality and sophistication but markedly freer than baroque music. It’s mostly charming and playful, but at times - especially in the music of Beethoven - can be strikingly dark.

Some composers are Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Muzio Clementi, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert - though it should be noted that the styles of the last two straddle the end of the Classical era and the beginning of the Romantic Era.

ROMANTIC (1820-1910)

Highly emotional music, works from this era typically show much more passion than the music of the previous two eras. It can range from very tender and sentimental to raging and furious, and everything in between. The piano pieces are typically quite virtuosic, with a lot of flash and bang to them.

Some composers are Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, and Felix Mendelssohn. Late Romantic composers include Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, and Sergei Rachmaninov.

I hope this helps! :thumbsup:

Wow, so many composers listed here I haven’t heard of. Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

josh,

start with the Mozart piano sonatas in a modern recording by Uchida or Pires and you’ll be fine.

ROMANTIC (1820-1910)

Highly emotional music, works from this era typically show much more passion than the music of the previous two eras. It can range from very tender and sentimental to raging and furious, and everything in between. The piano pieces are typically quite virtuosic, with a lot of flash and bang to them.

Some composers are Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, and Felix Mendelssohn. Late Romantic composers include Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, and Sergei Rachmaninov.

I hope this helps! :thumbsup:

For the romantic period, how could you miss Piotr I Tchaikovsky and Anton Rubinstein?

Ah, I didn’t realize how much piano music Tchaikovsky wrote, and Rubinstein I forgot!

What can I say–Tchaikovsky is my favorite composer of all (piano works, ballets, symphonies, and all other categories).

Keith Jarrett. He is considered to be a jazz musician but fuses some classical with his playing. He does a lot of solo concerts and has a trio (Jack DeJohnette & Gary Peacock), too. His most famous recording is “The Koln Concert.”

As others have mentioned, it depends on your tastes as well as the composers. Some pianists connect better and interpret certain compositions better than others. I particularly love Ivan Morevic for Chopin. He has a certain sensitivity and gentleness with his interpretation which I love for Chopin. I saw him perform live a few years ago and it was beautiful. He’s not a “personality”. It’s just purely the music. My husband and I own his complete works of Chopin nocturnes.

youtube.com/watch?v=hOUiT6SAtRY
youtube.com/watch?v=zOUB-C32WW8

Have to get back to the kiddies. Will post more pianists later.

Although I appreciate and have some classical, I still enjoy the much later Floyd Cramer, Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino, perhaps too much time on elevators when they had music.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.