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actually, Mozart's K332 is my favourite sonata, ever since my teacher played it in a recital. its final movement is so stormy and sounds difficult to play as well, which would crash any incompetent pianist, and Perahia would show a lot from playing such a sonata.

just about 2 months ago, i heard Perahia playing Beethoven 4th concerto with Berlin Phihamonic (at their digital concert hall), which was pretty good, and my teacher watched it as well and emailed me about it saying he liked it. i was never really crazy about Perahia, but i do like his playing sometimes.

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I have always felt the job of a critic to be a wholly useless and, frankly, grotesque thing. As if the audience, no matter how experienced, needs someone to tell them how the performance went.


"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,

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The reviewer misses an extremely obvious point:

Having an adventurous and dynamic field does not mean that every practitioner need be adventurous and dynamic. In fact, quite the opposite.

Venues make money on stuff people are most likely to see. The standard, money-making performances of standards often helps organizations afford the latest Jennifer Higdon premiere. The publication of new works by Chen Yi or Lowell Liebermann is at least in part subsidized by their publishers' releasing Yet Another Anthology of Chopin that everyone will buy.

Besides, complaining about a performance in New York City being unadventurous is kind of like throwing a fit because the McDonald's in Midtown Manhattan doesn't have Bagels and Lox on the menu.

The funny thing is, most university music departments I've been involved in have more concerts that include Barber, Ewazen, and Hindemith than Mozart. Go figure.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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The piano recital programs at Mannes' summer piano festival are usually more adventurous than the programs at Carnegie Hall. That plus the amazing but lesser known performers, inexpensive seats($20/recital but only half that if you buy a pass for the two weeks)and intimate setting where the furthest away you can sit would be like the 10th row in Carnegie Hall, all make for a great two weeks.

Here's the programs for the upcoming series:
http://www.ikif.org/schedule.aspx

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For anyone who is interested in how music is performed (and received) and who sees its infinite potential for interpretation, it is clear that op. 57 did not lose any value by getting performed so often over two centuries -- in fact it is just the contrary. Any performance of op. 57 is certainly loaded with many more associations and reminiscences of cultural, performance and reception history (and many peoples' personal memories) than (to take Jason's example) op. 7 (not to even mention any really "adventurous" repertoire).

I think it should be made clear that there is nothing which makes the so-called "adventurous" repertoire choices inherently superior to a classical Perahia/Brendel&co. program. In fact, by programming obscure repertoire you can appear adventurous with the added bonus of not having to compare against some of the giants of pianism.

There's more than enough place for both "adventurous" and "mainstream" repertoires in our culture and there is neither a need nor a basis for weighing one against the other.

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I bet the critic would love to know we are talking about what he wrote either way.. ha

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Why would the critic care that a couple of people are discussing his review? He probably writes many each week and they're read by thousands of people.

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Putting aside for the moment the education and cultural values - or lack thereof - of the work of modern music critics, I would think that a critic might be quite happy that someone is discussing his review. Yes, he hopes that all will read his reviews, but if he learns that a review is actually being discussed it might signify to him that his review evoked points worth discussing and thus gives the reviewer - if not his review - some kind of affirmation of his role.

Regards,


BruceD
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Originally Posted by pianovirus

There's more than enough place for both "adventurous" and "mainstream" repertoires in our culture and there is neither a need nor a basis for weighing one against the other.

A good point, no doubt. If Perahia wishes to program a recital of familiar compositions, and can fill a hall in the process, well then good on him. Per my first post in the thread, it's just not a program that particularly interests me. As fond as I am of Perahia, compared to several other pianists currently performing, he's not that big of a drawing card.

I feel the same way about symphony concerts and organ recitals. And if I had to choose between a Messiah or Franz Schmidt's Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln, then no contest.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Why would the critic care that a couple of people are discussing his review? He probably writes many each week and they're read by thousands of people.


Would you like to know your being read?? Just a thought.

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Originally Posted by jdhampton924
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Why would the critic care that a couple of people are discussing his review? He probably writes many each week and they're read by thousands of people.


Would you like to know your being read?? Just a thought.


Well he already knows he's being read by 1000's of NY Times readers. And he probably wouldn't like many of the comments posted about his review so far.

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Ethel Merman said it best. "Today's paper wraps tomorrow's fish."

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I think this program is Perahia at his best. He has recently been recording the Bach Partitas, recording and editing the Henle version of the Beethoven Sonatas, and is well known for his life's work with Mozart Concertos. The program was published well in advance. I traveled to Michigan to hear this program several days earlier, and thought it was performed extremely well. Why would he not perform the reportoire that he has been devoting himself to?

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Originally Posted by jtattoo
Ethel Merman said it best. "Today's paper wraps tomorrow's fish."

Not 'Anything you can do, I can do better'?


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Originally Posted by Friday Harbor
Why would he not perform the reportoire that he has been devoting himself to?


That isn't really the question. The reviewer is questioning the reasons why he isn't "devoting" himself to at least some music written during his own lifetime. Or even the fifty years before he was born. There's no reason why a reviewer shouldn't comment on repertoire choices.





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Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Friday Harbor
Why would he not perform the reportoire that he has been devoting himself to?


That isn't really the question. The reviewer is questioning the reasons why he isn't "devoting" himself to at least some music written during his own lifetime. Or even the fifty years before he was born. There's no reason why a reviewer shouldn't comment on repertoire choices.







That's true, but I can't see that, as a result of reading this criticism, Perahia will be shamed enough to rush off and add all he can find by Xenakis to his repertoire, so what's the point?

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Originally Posted by jtattoo
Ethel Merman said it best. "Today's paper wraps tomorrow's fish."


Good old Ethel! Toscanini said of her singing "It is not the voice of a human being."

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Originally Posted by Wood-demon
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Friday Harbor
Why would he not perform the reportoire that he has been devoting himself to?


That isn't really the question. The reviewer is questioning the reasons why he isn't "devoting" himself to at least some music written during his own lifetime. Or even the fifty years before he was born. There's no reason why a reviewer shouldn't comment on repertoire choices.







That's true, but I can't see that, as a result of reading this criticism, Perahia will be shamed enough to rush off and add all he can find by Xenakis to his repertoire, so what's the point?


Well I doubt the reviewer mentioned Perahia's repertoire expecting that to happen, and I'm quite sure he wasn't talking about composers like Xenakis. As I previously mentioned, Perahia's repertoire is very limited when it comes to ANY music written after 1900. I could only find one recoreded work(Bartok's Out of Doors)at his website. He may have performed more Bartok works and I know he has played some Rachmaninov in concert but not very many. And as far as I know virtually nothing by four other great twentieth century composers- Prokofiev, Scriabin, Ravel, Debussy.

I certainly think Perahia is a very great pianist. I see nothing wrong with him sticking to whatever repertoire he wants for whatever reasons he wants(based on an interview he gave, I think it has something to do with the composers he considers the "greatest"). I also don't see anything wrong with the reviewer bringing Perahia's rep up in the review.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Wood-demon
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Friday Harbor
Why would he not perform the reportoire that he has been devoting himself to?


That isn't really the question. The reviewer is questioning the reasons why he isn't "devoting" himself to at least some music written during his own lifetime. Or even the fifty years before he was born. There's no reason why a reviewer shouldn't comment on repertoire choices.







That's true, but I can't see that, as a result of reading this criticism, Perahia will be shamed enough to rush off and add all he can find by Xenakis to his repertoire, so what's the point?


Well I doubt the reviewer mentioned Perahia's repertoire expecting that to happen, and I'm quite sure he wasn't talking about composers like Xenakis. As I previously mentioned, Perahia's repertoire is very limited when it comes to ANY music written after 1900. I could only find one recoreded work(Bartok's Out of Doors)at his website. He may have performed more Bartok works and I know he has played some Rachmaninov in concert but not very many. And as far as I know virtually nothing by four other great twentieth century composers- Prokofiev, Scriabin, Ravel, Debussy.

I certainly think Perahia is a very great pianist. I see nothing wrong with him sticking to whatever repertoire he wants for whatever reasons he wants(based on an interview he gave, I think it has something to do with the composers he considers the "greatest"). I also don't see anything wrong with the reviewer bringing Perahia's rep up in the review.


There's nothing "wrong" in it but as I said earlier "What's the point?" Perahia is unlikely to change the habits of his lifetime as a performing artist and readers of the review and concert-goers probably know all about the nature of Perahia's programmes already. It seems to me that this particular reviewer hasn't really got much in his mind that's worth repeating anyway, judging from this piece alone. Anything to pad out the article, relevant or not, I suppose.

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Originally Posted by Wood-demon
There's nothing "wrong" in it but as I said earlier "What's the point?" Perahia is unlikely to change the habits of his lifetime as a performing artist and readers of the review and concert-goers probably know all about the nature of Perahia's programmes already. It seems to me that this particular reviewer hasn't really got much in his mind that's worth repeating anyway, judging from this piece alone. Anything to pad out the article, relevant or not, I suppose.


The "point" is to express the reviewer's opinion not to get Perahis to change his rep. Why does it have to have anymore point than that? Some readers know about Perahis's rep and some don't. Some would call it padding and some would call it interesting.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/04/09 11:46 AM.
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