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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » P » Piatigorsky, Gregor



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Gregor Piatigorsky (01/01/1903 - 01/01/1976)

Gregor Piatigorsky was one of the most important US-based cellists of the mid-twentieth century and the most prominent Russian exponent of the cello before Rostropovich. As a stylist he was recognisably modern: even his earliest records use portamento quite sparingly and there is a clarity and precision in his tone that integrates well with a relatively narrow vibrato. His playing is characterised overall by an appealing, immaculate quality, with an especially vibrant A-string tone, an ‘easy’ delivery and a very flexible bow wrist. Arguably, this kind of precision may have taken precedence over risk-taking and he was perhaps not the most insightful of interpreters—Casals’s playing, for example, evoking a profounder musicianship—but his approach has an almost inevitable technical security to it, inviting comparison with Heifetz, his near contemporary.

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