Many thanks to Trottar for this audiophile genius
Twenty eight years since his death, the story of John Ogdon’s life in music has just been told in his first full-length biography entitled Piano Man. Charles Beauclerk, a friend of the Ogdon family, gives what I think is a fascinating, unflinching, and honest account of Ogdon’s astonishing virtuosity, his victory at the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1962, and his friendship with the other firebrands of New Music Manchester – Elgar Howarth, Alexander Goehr, Harrison Birtwistle, and Peter Maxwell Davies….
Audiophile factor & artistic factor: very high!
Composer: Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann
Performer: Brenda Lucas, John Ogdon
Number of discs: 1
DR-Analysis: DR 16
Size: 1.83 GB
….In what may seriously be one of the most amazing feats of musical brilliance of all time, Peter Maxwell Davies found a copy of Kaikhosru Sorabji’s titanic four-hour behemoth, his Opus Clavicembalisticum, in a second-hand shop, and Ogdon promptly played the whole thing, some of the most mind-bendingly, finger-destroyingly demanding music ever conceived for piano, at sight. There’s also an account of Ogdon’s marriage to Brenda Lucas and their life of outward glamour and inner turmoil, as Ogdon’s mental illnesses and obsessions became ever-more present in their life together, and the tragedy of his death in 1989, aged just 52. This tragedy came from the bouts of violence that would explode from Ogdon, the cocktail of drugs he was taking to attempt to deal with his psychiatric problems.
But there are moments of humour too; like the time he turned up to play Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto in Essex and was momentarily and understandably astonished to find a collection of Peugeot cars on the stage as well as the orchestra (Peugeot were sponsoring the concert). When he made it to the piano, he fell asleep during the long orchestral exposition and had to be prodded awake to play his next entry.
Above all, though, there was the transcendence of his playing when he was on form and his unpredictability when he wasn’t. There were his performances that inspired and changed the lives of audiences and musicians who heard him – like the pianists Leslie Howard, who told me for this week’s Music Matters for Radio 3 how Ogdon’s playing remains a talisman for him, and Peter Donohoe, who gives a tribute recital you can hear on Radio 3 next Wednesday, including some of Ogdon’s own music. There’s a whole ocean of Ogdoniana out there on YouTube; among the highlights I’ve found, are these concerts that he gave in Russia in the 1960s and 70s, which preserve him at the heights of his inspiration, intensity, and technical capability. In the Liszt Sonata or Busoni’s arrangement of the Chaconne from Bach’s D minor solo violin partita, Ogdon makes you feel the music is being composed in real time, such is the ferocious vitality of his playing. That’s what still makes Ogdon a unique figure in the pantheon of 20th-century pianists.
|A||Concerto Pathétique In E Minor
|B1||Andante And Variations Op. 46
|B2||Six Canonic Studies Op. 56
Analyzed Folder: /192k Liszt-Schumann – Concerto Pathetique, Andante And Variations – Ogdon, Lucas_dr.txt
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR13 -0.45 dB -16.94 dB A1 Liszt- Concerto Pathetique in E minor – 1. Allegro.flac
DR17 -6.36 dB -30.20 dB A2 Liszt- Concerto Pathetique in E minor – 2. Andante sostenuto.flac
DR13 -0.51 dB -17.49 dB A3 Liszt- Concerto Pathetique in E minor – 3. Allegro.flac
DR16 -0.20 dB -21.20 dB B1 Schumann – Andante And Variations Op. 46.flac
DR15 -0.77 dB -21.56 dB B2 Schumann – Six Canonic Studies Op. 56 (Arr. Debussy).flac
Number of Files: 13
Official DR Value: DR16
- Engineer – Stanley Goodall
- Liner Notes – Deryck Cooke
- Photography By – Anthony Crickmay
- Piano – Brenda Lucas, John Ogdon
- Producer – Michael Bremner
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
- Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
Cartridge: ZYX 50R Bloom
- Phono amp: Audio Research SP15 own tube phono section.
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
A few words about the way i’ve been cleaning vinyl records and post-processing rips, since summer 2017: After washing and recording the vinyl, I use a kind of mixed cleaning of the rip, which consists of mostly manual rather than automatic de-clicking, (the latter only on unimportant passages, such as end of the groove, beginning and end of the songs, applause, speaking). I often leave the rips almost rough, de-clicking only the silences between the tracks. Never de-noising or/and EQ, as unfortunately some do. I prefer to hear a bit of quiet noises of the clean groove, that contain something of the music, rather than generate clinically clean files that may, eventually, sound a bit dead. If you do not agree, do not download my rips and buy instead digital files or CDs.
When I listen to music I “don’t hear” any noise: I enjoy the music 😀
I do not make rips for headphones!
- Software: iZotope RX 5 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.18
- Very careful de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removed, never de-noising
- Wave 32/192(32/384) —> Flac 24/96 & 24/192: Twisted Wave 1.18
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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