Admirers of Janet Baker would do well to read this article/interview (The Guardian, 13th July) which includes four video clips.
Some notable quotes:
“To me it was torture … that 10 yards from the wings to the centre of the stage is a terrifying journey.”
“I was wary of those people for whom the performer came before the music …”
“If you overstepped the mark with Ben [Britten] you were finished with him …”
“He [Britten] did like to come first. He thought if he wanted you at Aldeburgh then you should down tools anywhere else …”
“Fischer Dieskau was a great colleague … but I never forgot I was singing with DFD — he was a very great man …”
Limelight magazine in Australia has just published one of those dreaded Ten Best articles, but this time it’s of interest to us and the list has been arrived at not by the general public but by people who should know what they’re talking about.
The article in question is The 10 Greatest Pianists of All Time and has the tagline “The most influential legendary pianists, as voted by modern-day masters of the instrument”. The list of modern-day masters definitely gives added credibility: included are Jonathan Biss, Cyprien Katsaris, Paul Lewis, Pascal Rogé, Stephen Hough, Cédric Tiberghien, Roger Woodward (?), Barry Douglas, Ingold Wunder (again, ?) and Leslie Howard (also involved in the nomination process were András Schiff, Ronald Brautigam, Garrick Ohlsson, Michael Endres, David Fray, Eldar Nebolsin Steven Osborne, Imogen Cooper, Till Fellner, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Fazil Say, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Alfred Brendel, Benjamin Grosvenor, Stanislav Ioudenitch, Alice Sara Ott, Olli Mustonen, Lars Vogt, Simon Trpceski, Jayson Gillham, Margaret Fingerhut, Howard Shelley, Anna Goldsworthy, Piotr Anderszewski, Freddy Kempf, Gerard Willems, Konstantin Scherbakov, Stephen Kovacevich, Denis Matsuev and Alexey Yemtsov — so there can be no quibble with the credentials of the ‘panel’.
The 10 Greatest list is interesting, with few surprises. All I’ll say is that I am quite surprised at which pianist gets the top spot.
Anyone need a hint or two? How about some photos, would that help?
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