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#1529771 - 10/06/10 09:54 PM Lola Astanova  
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Bech Offline
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Check Lola Astanova out on YouTube.

I challenge you to find a more exciting concert pianist.

Get this: I'm talk'in strictly music here.

Bech


Music. One of man's greatest inventions. And...for me, the piano expresses it best.
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#1529782 - 10/06/10 10:19 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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Her arrogance astounds me. I'm fairly sure she created her own wikipedia, and anyone who refers to themselves as a virtuoso in their videos loses a few respect points from me...

Sure she has decent technique, but nothing about her really sets her apart to me.

And I'd say it's quite easy to find a more exciting concert pianist... for example, Argerich: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R68SySQnKX8&feature=related

She takes that insane tempo given by the bassoonist and just runs with it.



Edit: This topic prompted me to look at her youtube channel again.... and, seriously, what the heck is this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXonEVqDG3s&feature=player_embedded#!

Last edited by Butters109; 10/06/10 10:25 PM.
#1529792 - 10/06/10 10:43 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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you know, i came across her clips some time ago, and i thought: ow, this is how young pianists should be promoting themselves. with the advent of social media, know-how on youtube, facebook, twitter etc are absolute-musts for the pianist-entrepreneur.

now obviously on youtube it's much easier if you happen to be an attractive young lady.

it's a bit of a sell-out. but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do to make a name for yourself. at the end of the day, if you're pianist, you're in the entertainment industry and you're supposed to entertain.

pianistically... i feel like they're dime a dozen. but i haven't heard that many of her clips.


#1529793 - 10/06/10 10:46 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Lingyis]  
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I don't see anything in her repertoire that sets her apart from a music major studying piano at a university.

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#1529795 - 10/06/10 10:48 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Lingyis]  
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On the other hand, if she has to use gimmickry to sell her musicianship, perhaps she's not just that good a musician.

Regards,


BruceD
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#1529801 - 10/06/10 11:03 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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well, you know what they say. any publicity is good publicity, gimmicky or not, for classical music in general i suppose.

like when i was a grad student in the sciences i had this egotistic view that science and research is above money and all else. but now i'm working in finance. many of my friends joined me on so-called "SS Sellout".

at my school there are quite a few courses like "entrepreneurship for engineers and scientists" etc, because they know not everybody will end up in academia. and it's necessary to have money recycle back into academia.

so i think that if classical musicians know better to promote themselves and monetize, it's a good thing. somehow the life of a musician is equated with that of hardship and poverty and thus discouraged many aspiring young musicians. so while there are some grotesque self-promoters who i truly, truly can't stand, i do hope that some of the money and public attention they earn draw people into classical music.


back to whether she's that great of a musician... well, i haven't really said anything about her musicianship so there you go.

Last edited by Lingyis; 10/06/10 11:03 PM.
#1529824 - 10/06/10 11:58 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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Sort of reminds me of a quote by Richter saying how Horowitz was a tremendous pianist, but not much of a musician, and how he had a tremendous influence on pianists. I don't completely agree there, but I do see how his influence leads to playing like that of Lang Lang's and Astanova's, exaggeration and contrast all over the place. I listened to part of her Rachmaninoff sonata and wondered why she had to play with her hair and stop playing right at the beginning of a bridge to another section. Her Scriabin op.42 no.5 is also quite "affected", it loses the energy that it should have.


Working on:
Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II

#1529952 - 10/07/10 03:47 AM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Butters109]  
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Originally Posted by Butters109


Edit: This topic prompted me to look at her youtube channel again.... and, seriously, what the heck is this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXonEVqDG3s&feature=player_embedded#!


I expected her to be murdered anytime in that video. It was almost like a 'Saw' scene.


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
#1530125 - 10/07/10 10:37 AM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Butters109]  
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Originally Posted by Butters109
Her arrogance astounds me. I'm fairly sure she created her own wikipedia, and anyone who refers to themselves as a virtuoso in their videos loses a few respect points from me...

Sure she has decent technique, but nothing about her really sets her apart to me.

And I'd say it's quite easy to find a more exciting concert pianist... for example, Argerich: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R68SySQnKX8&feature=related

She takes that insane tempo given by the bassoonist and just runs with it.



Edit: This topic prompted me to look at her youtube channel again.... and, seriously, what the heck is this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXonEVqDG3s&feature=player_embedded#!


Wow, that video of Argerich is amazing. I really wish it went a minute longer - it looked like Argerich was walking over to the bassoonist to make him take a bow or something. I would have loved to see her face there.

As far as the topic concerns Lola, she's nice to look at and nothing special artistically speaking. However, if she wants to start making classical music videos, that would be fine by me. I presume with her flashy image she's already serving as a gateway to classical piano for younger, image conscious people. If she increases her visibility by doing more of these and draws more young people to classical music, I'd be glad. I think her level of public acclaim just about matches her (genetic plus artistic) talents at the moment. So, just as long as she doesn't ride a wave of popularity up to undeserved artistic status like another pianist I could mention whistle all will be right in the world, and her contribution will be appreciated.

#1530188 - 10/07/10 12:34 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: MarkH]  
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Originally Posted by MarkH
As far as the topic concerns Lola, she's nice to look at and nothing special artistically speaking. However, if she wants to start making classical music videos, that would be fine by me. I presume with her flashy image she's already serving as a gateway to classical piano for younger, image conscious people. If she increases her visibility by doing more of these and draws more young people to classical music, I'd be glad. I think her level of public acclaim just about matches her (genetic plus artistic) talents at the moment. So, just as long as she just doesn't ride a wave of popularity up to undeserved artistic status like another pianist I could mention whistle all will be right in the world, and her contribution will be appreciated.


I basically agree. While I found her variations on Jingle Bells (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNMAEn3QUSI) to be a depressing display of mindless virtuosity, I think almost anything she does in the direction of crossing over to a larger public is good for the cause, as tasteless as its artistry might be.

As long as she doesn't cross over into the realm of abomination; for me, that wasteland is represented not by the pianist you referred to (who I actually like), but instead the likes of Maksim Mrvica (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSkh5dgn69U).

-Jason


Beethoven op.110, Chopin op.27/2, Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
#1530193 - 10/07/10 12:42 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: beet31425]  
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Originally Posted by beet31425

As long as she doesn't cross over into the realm of abomination; for me, that wasteland is represented not by the pianist you referred to (who I actually like), but instead the likes of Maksim Mrvica (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSkh5dgn69U).

-Jason


Agreed completely concerning Maksim! sick

#1530210 - 10/07/10 01:14 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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How is Astanova any different from Mrvica in general concept and showmanship?

Some of you seem to be saying : "Classical music at any cost, as long as it brings in new listeners." I am inclined to disagree. The last thing classical music needs is a new crowd of new listeners who expect that classical performance must be accompanied by light shows, percussion, "goth" costumes and makeup (or whatever the next "cool" trend may be) and videos that have nothing to do with the music.

It seems to me that that would be just anther nail in the coffin for "serious" music.

Regards,


BruceD
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#1530219 - 10/07/10 01:30 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: BruceD]  
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Originally Posted by BruceD
How is Astanova any different from Mrvica in general concept and showmanship?

Fair question! The difference is this: Mrvica changes the music itself; Astanova does not. Whether this is an essential or arbitrary distinction will remain a matter of opinion.

But for me, adding an orchestra and drum track to the Revolutionary Etude fundamentally corrupts the essence of the piece. (And then he goes on to play pseudo-classical cr*p like "Exodus", and what new-comer to the classical world will really hear a difference between this and the bastardized Chopin?)

Whereas in the psycho-video discussed above, it's pretty silly, but at least Astanova is really playing the Rachmaninoff prelude. And I think those Jingle Bell variations are awful, but at least they're a display of the real textures and devices from the long tradition of piano virtuosity.

Mind you, I'm not arguing the case for Astanova as great artist. I'm just trying to articulate why I find her extravagances benevolent, and Mrvica's not. Conversely, if he kept the light shows and goth style, but really played the music for real, with respect for its essence, I'd have no problem with him either. I'd say: "Welcome to the cause of showing the Music to the People!"


-Jason


p.s. On your point about people growing to expect this kind of visual nonsense at concerts, that's a good concern to raise. I have mixed feelings-- I don't like this silly visual aesthetic either. But I have an equally difficult time with the stiff, formal concert aesthetic you see now anyway. I'd love to see something more generally relaxed and informal, and the goth stuff isn't exactly that, but... at least it's different.


Beethoven op.110, Chopin op.27/2, Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
#1530237 - 10/07/10 01:41 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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Hadn't heard of her before this thread. Checking out her Wikipedia page, it's obviously written by someone with an interest in promoting her. I've been an editor at Wikipedia for several years, and it never fails to amaze me how those who are the least noteworthy or distinguised have the pages with the most hyperbole - mostly because the articles get less traffic and going over by experienced editors.

It's amazing how far the mildly talented can go on the basis of airbrushed photos, aggressive management, and Internet savvy.


Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell
#1530244 - 10/07/10 01:44 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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Speaking of Maksim.... this video literally made me laugh out loud when the techno track comes in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAgjy8K_Qvs&feature=related

What was he thinking? Seriously?

#1530304 - 10/07/10 02:48 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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Somehow, when a musician's looks take precedent over the music she's playing then something is very wrong. Or maybe I've still got too many hormones running through my system.

Though I find when I am paying attention to the music I start thinking,"Really...No, Really. Well OK then."

2:02 was the moments where such a though came into existence.

[video:youtube]watch?v=iwVp7S59fO0[/video]

#1530324 - 10/07/10 03:19 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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#1530343 - 10/07/10 03:54 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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@MikeN .... BOOOOOOOBS!!!!!


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
#1530346 - 10/07/10 04:06 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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wow Lizstaddict.. Sergio Tiempo is fantastic.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
#1530347 - 10/07/10 04:11 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: apple*]  
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Originally Posted by apple*
wow Lizstaddict.. Sergio Tiempo is fantastic.


Apple - You beat me to it....Sergio is terrific !!!!


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
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#1530378 - 10/07/10 04:58 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Victor25]  
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Originally Posted by Victor25
@MikeN .... BOOOOOOOBS!!!!!

thumb

lol


Conservatory of Music @ Brooklyn College
Piano Performance, Class of 2014
#1530383 - 10/07/10 05:04 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: beet31425]  
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Originally Posted by beet31425
I basically agree. While I found her variations on Jingle Bells (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNMAEn3QUSI) to be a depressing display of mindless virtuosity, I think almost anything she does in the direction of crossing over to a larger public is good for the cause, as tasteless as its artistry might be.

As long as she doesn't cross over into the realm of abomination; for me, that wasteland is represented not by the pianist you referred to (who I actually like), but instead the likes of Maksim Mrvica (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSkh5dgn69U).

-Jason


At least the Jingle Bells variation was pretty funny and still quite pianistic, and just a little practice joke. Maksim is...well...stunning. I had only heard his version of the 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody before, which is actually pretty good and normal, but this is just weird and superfluous.


"Practice makes perfect, but obsession makes better."
#1530395 - 10/07/10 05:19 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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Here, as opposed to there
I would probably (key word there) pay to hear LL before I'd bother with Lola or Maksim, both of whom make me want to hurl.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

#1530420 - 10/07/10 05:59 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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I once showed my teacher some of her performances on You Tube (and I tried to find her at her most tamed and "musical"). He said she should be "banned" (old soviet terminology??) laugh and in the meantime, he will ban all his students from watching that! ("Not a serious musician!")

#1530435 - 10/07/10 06:19 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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Her Liszt is so, weightless.

To big for her.

#1530436 - 10/07/10 06:20 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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Valentina's most viewed video is Rach's Little Red Riding Hood - nearly 1,000,000 views. Her better videos get a fraction of that attention.

Lola's most viewed video is her virtuoso take on a pop song by Rhianna. hmmmm, 700,000 views

Maksim doesn't seem to have his own Youtube channel, but videos uploaded by his fans garner multiple millions of views.

If nothing else, that tells you something about the Youtube audience.

I enjoy them all in different ways, but I think that is only because I've actually listened to them all. How many die hard Maksim fans have actually listened to Valentina's Totentanz? or compared Lola's Ocean Etude to Valentina's? On the other hand, how many classical afficionados have actually listened to Maksim's Hungarian Rhapsody rather than just dismissing it out of hand? The value of cross-over music (beyond making piles of money) is the creation of cross-over audiences. That's the value of Lola and Maksim.

If I'd never heard of Chopin before this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9NrQzJCWW8 - I'd be inclined to search out more. If Lang Lang were my introduction to Chopin, I'd run away. Screaming.


99% of what I produce at the piano is simply noise, but that other 1%? That's music.
#1530443 - 10/07/10 06:23 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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This is a very interesting point ^

I have the moonlight sonata up, very few views, Dr Gradus... a few thousand.

I did an acoustic version of Lady GaGa Pokerface for my friend.

Well over 1,000,000 views!

#1530479 - 10/07/10 06:46 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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The piano sounds terrible as does the recording quality, but she does a good job with the F minor Liszt etude. I love Kissin and Watts in this piece, but I have definately heard more "serious" and respected pianists play this etude no where near as well as Ms Astanova.
Her theatrical movements are not to my taste, but I have seen a lot worse from more respected and more serious pianists.
The most disturbing thing to me was the piano being that out of tune.


Keith D Kerman
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#1530486 - 10/07/10 06:55 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: Bech]  
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I watched her video of Scriabin's Etude Op. 8 No. 12. She certainly played it better than I could but then I'm not a "virtuoso pianist"

I think Victor has it right.


Greg
#1530579 - 10/07/10 09:11 PM Re: Lola Astanova [Re: BB Player]  
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I'm wondering how many of Lola's critics here have ability equal to hers? I see "command of the instrument" when I watch her. Not timidity but in your face command--and, a determination to do it her way. I like that.

If I were a concert pianist I'd play it my way and to heck with the critics. I might stay poor or I might become rich--but I'd be me. I don't see how a person can be and stay real and do otherwise.

Bech


Music. One of man's greatest inventions. And...for me, the piano expresses it best.
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