Tape Project Albums > Nojima Plays Liszt

TP-019 First Impressions



I've only had a chance to listen to Nojima Plays Liszt a couple of times now but from what I've heard, it should be high on my list favorites.
I have to admit that I'd never heard this album before but some of my favorite lp's are solo piano. I have one of the Mark Levinson records that was always my standard for getting "real" piano sound on my system. It pales in comparison. That and the performance is in a totally different league.

The dynamics and weight are often what folks say are missing from most piano recordings and that's certainly true, but among the best of the best, it's really the inner timbre and the sustain of the ringing of the long strings that separate the "men from the boys" IMHO.
This tape just has it all!
Maybe it's partly due to microphone placement and choice but my guess is that these are subtleties that are lost in processing and generational losses. Even in live performances where the piano is fed through the PA system (such as most jazz piano concerts), there is little "shine" or shape to the decay that conveys the attack of the the keys (I always "feel" for the performer who's worked so hard to get these things exactly as they want it, only to have it lost somewhere between the stage and the ears of the listeners).

This tape really does justice to the composer, the performer and the constructors of the instrument.
Fantastic choice,.. again!
Thanks guys.


Pardon me being slight OT here :)

If you want a "real" reference for piano on LP, pick up a copy of Ivan Moravec doing Chopin, Debussy or Beethoven on Connoisseur Society (earliest pressing is cream and gold). These recordings will blow you mind -- for both sound and performance! CS also did a few releases, sometimes frought with Q/C issues, 45 rpm releases of some of their recordings. When they're right--such as the Ali Akbar Khan Master Musician of India--it's pure magic!!!

Alan Silver and David Jones (I think he's the same person who did the on location recording for did Waltz for Debby--and unfortunately left music and last I heard was a post office worker in TN; perhaps Paul knows more) used highly modded electronics and mikes for all their recordings. Moravec is a genius and he plays a Bosendorfer that goes an octave lower than most pianos. BTW, no one I've heard coaxes more out of piano than Moravec. Plus you'll hear a piano that is rarely heard in concert (in fact when heard Moravec a few years ago, I mentioned to him wish he had played a Bosendorfer. He replied that they're impossible to get to play in concert :(  )

Thanks Myles,

I'll certainly take your suggestions and pick those up.
A million years ago, when I was studying music in college, we used to have a piano ensemble (mostly faculty) that did a performance every year. They had to rent a few pianos (9' grands) and one was always a Bosendorfer. During the 3 or 4 days that it was on the stage, every pianist in the area would stop by to play it for a while.
I also used help moving some of the pianos around the department. I'd imagine that Moravec's is a "mutha" to get through a doorway!

Ivan Moravec doing Chopin is my favorite!


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