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  Wikipedia: Vladimir Ashkenazy

Wikipedia: Vladimir Ashkenazy
Vladimir Ashkenazy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Vladimir Ashkenazy (sometimes transliterated Ashkenazi) (born July 6, 1937), conductor and pianist.

Graduate of the Moscow Conservatoire; he won the prestigious Chopin competition in Warsaw in 1955 and shared first prize in the 1962 Tchaikovsky International Competition.

He is noted for his interpretation as a pianist.

In 1998 he became Principal Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.


Before he turned to conducting, Ashkenazy recorded much of the standard repertoire. The high point is his early Chopin etudes (BMG/Melodiya 33215). This is perhaps the most successful set of this music on record, integrating flawless technique with understanding and emotional depth. His later complete Chopin piano music is consistently good but rarely reaches the same heights of inspiration (Decca 421185). He has also recorded sets of Beethoven sonatas (Decca 425590) and Mozart piano concertos; these are solid but not exceptional (Decca 425557).

Although Ashkenazy now rarely records solo piano music, two recent items are worth hearing. Brahms's Sonata 3 is serious and unsentimental (Decca 430771, with Handel Variations). By contrast, he makes Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues, Opus 87, a late-2 0th-century work, sound almost Romantic, smoothing out the difficult parts. He is the first to have taken this approach to this music, and it is very successful (Decca 466066, 2CD).

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
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