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Joined: Nov 2005
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I actually have attended and performed many musical events that require hours of concentration. I personally like it that way. A friend of mine composed a 5 hour electronic piece and gave a small concert for about 15-20 friends. My butt (and ears) did end up hurting then, but he just laughed when I asked him to play it again! laugh


"Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time."

-Albert Camus,

Jim
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Originally Posted by L'echange
I actually have attended and performed many musical events that require hours of concentration. I personally like it that way. A friend of mine composed a 5 hour electronic piece and gave a small concert for about 15-20 friends. My butt (and ears) did end up hurting then, but he just laughed when I asked him to play it again! laugh


5 hours!! Were they still his friends at the end of the perofrmance? smile

Were these mostly/all contemporary music performances? How was your concentration at the end?

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Originally Posted by sophial
Originally Posted by rrb
I can't think of an active pianist who has given so much time and thought to the Beethoven Sonatas. His articulation and attention to detail is quite astonishing.

The final trio are (reputed to be) his personal favorites, so next week should be quite an experience, which I hope you will share with those of us not able to be present.


How about Barenboim and Goode? I'd take either of them over Schiff.


Why choose? They all have something to offer. As do Brautigam, Ohlsson, Paik, Lewis, and who knows how many others who are playing lots of Beethoven these days (as well as many recordings from people no longer with us). I ain't picky; I'll take insights from wherever I can get them.


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Originally Posted by sophial
How about Barenboim and Goode? I'd take either of them over Schiff.


This is what I wrote, and stand by.

Originally Posted by rrb
I can't think of an active pianist who has given so much time and thought to the Beethoven Sonatas.


I did not mean to imply that 'giving time and thought' of itself makes someone the finest 'active' interpreter. We could argue this forever, probably on a Sonata by Sonata basis, and certainly, Barenboim's name would feature prominently in any such debate.

Schiff's 'time and thought' was driven by a desire to reproduce as faithfully as possible on a modern instrument the effects Beethoven wished to create. Personally, I believe this lends his interpretations an integrity and character that is unusual. This does not mean they are either the most appealing, or 'the best'. This will always be a matter of individual taste.

I do find it inspiring, though, that a pianist can hold a large audience through three Sonatas composed almost 200 years ago, and played in succession without a break. This speaks volumes, if not for Schiff, then certainly for Beethoven.

On this we can, perhaps, agree?







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Of course. Schiff has many virtues, among them care and thought. However, I find his interpretations overly fussy and his personality at the piano a bit pedantic, so overall he is a less appealing performer in my book than some of the others mentioned. Kudos to him for what he is accomplishing and perhaps if I heard these recent (and upcoming) concerts I'd change my mind.

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When listening to Schiff, I sometimes feel that I suffer from a bit of oversxposure to his ubiquitous didactic clips. His lectures and masterclasses are easily accessible and quite interesting, informative and sometimes even awe-inspiring. Somehow though, they backfire when I listen to his music. I can never chase his "master" (slightly cranky one too) image out of my mind when I watch or listen to him ("tempo!!", "yum pa pa ..") .. Mind you I do enjoy his concerts.. weird!

I wonder if the not too uncommon "bland" description of his sonatas, despite the rave reviews by critics, has something to do with his "clinical" or analytical approach.. There is no pleasing music fans, I guess..

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I sometimes feel with Schiff, even during the beethoven lectures. That he would talk about how witty something was or humorous, but he would play it very dull.

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