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Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) #1833346 01/28/12 12:27 AM
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Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: guybacos] #1833356 01/28/12 12:54 AM
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Guy,

You're quite an interesting musician. Not only are the full Chopin etudes a tremendous technical accomplishment, but I still remember your four-hand and eight-hand compositions you posted a few years back, some of the best stuff I've heard on this site.

If you want constructive feedback... I'll say that for me, there's something missing from these recordings. I'm not yet sure quite what it is. Can you tell us what the recording situation was: what kind of piano did you play, and how was it recorded?

-Jason


Beethoven op.110, Chopin op.27/2, Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: beet31425] #1833371 01/28/12 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
....If you want constructive feedback... I'll say that for me, there's something missing from these recordings. I'm not yet sure quite what it is.....

I'm surprised you're not. smile

Guy: Let me try to say what I think Jason might have been trying to say. grin

Just kidding. But I'll say what I'm hearing. (I didn't listen to everything but skimmed a fair amount of it.)

First of all, to say the obvious: You're an incredible pianist! Your mechanism is wonderful, your accuracy is unbelievable, and you have a good knowledge of musicianship and good sense of what kinds of things can make etudes interesting.

If not that you were SO good, I'd leave it at that. But since you are, we can get into finer points.

Jason mentioned "something missing." There are a couple of things I could put my finger on -- and I'm betting Jason will say, to a fairly great extent, yeah that's it.

-- The nature of your lyricism -- what you do with lines.

-- The nature of your drama -- what you do with dynamics, shaping, and 'surprises.'

And I think those things are somewhat related to each other.

Recognizing that I'm criticizing at a very high level, sort of like how we might quibble and nitpick about world-class pianists....I think you don't seem that comfortable and natural with melodies, and likewise about letting music speak for itself. You know what kinds of things to do, but it doesn't seem to come naturally, or else you don't trust what would just come naturally -- and so you "do stuff." And IMO usually it works! -- very very well, in fact. But after a little while, it becomes predictable and borderline tiresome; it's like, "oh, he's 'doing stuff' again."

I was struck by what sounded to me like a lack of lyricism and line in the openings of 10/3 and 25/1. These are pieces where the melodies are very prominent and very exposed, and to my ear, they sounded very "vertical" -- note, note, note, note; there isn't really a flow, and there isn't enough of a differentiation between melody and accompaniment. I think the reason it doesn't show so much in the other etudes is that there's more going on around the melodies (plus in most cases the melodies aren't as prominent), and so you have more opportunity to do things that make the music work.

I'm aware that what I said about "doing stuff" could be applied to HOROWITZ -- and has been, by his critics. I happen to love Horowitz's way with that, so it's not that I think it's inherently bad or anything. And to a great extent I love yours too! But the reason I found myself beginning to criticize it was that pretty soon it felt a bit unnatural and predictable, and I couldn't help feeling it's related to what I said about the melodic stuff and confidence about letting music speak for itself, and that it's sort of a compensation for those things. Or maybe it's just that you're sort of 'trying too hard,' plus that you've worked mostly on the technical stuff, drama, and surprises, and have been relatively neglecting some other aspects, like melodies.

Obviously, need I say, take this with billions of grains of salt. You're a wonderful pianist. I wish I played half as well. Heck, I wish I played a quarter as well. ha
But perhaps you might find some of what I've said relevant -- and I'll be interested to see if others have any similar reactions.

P.S. I wonder if part of what Jason was referring to, in asking about the recording situation, was the "tinny" sound. I didn't say anything about that because I assume it IS something about the recording situation, but I wonder if to some extent it may also reflect a somewhat-too-aggressive touch.

Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: guybacos] #1833376 01/28/12 02:17 AM
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Comments on the performances later, perhaps. In the meantime I must say that I'm disappointed that a pianist with evident skill, talent and real musicianship would use those ludicrous and often meaningless "nicknames" attached to the majority of those Etudes. Shame!


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Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: BruceD] #1833377 01/28/12 02:19 AM
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I think "shame" is a bit strong.

But I did think they were pretty silly. grin

Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: Mark_C] #1833378 01/28/12 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
I think "shame" is a bit strong.

But I did think they were pretty silly. grin


Think what you like. I said what I thought because I think the use of those nicknames trivializes the Etudes and that, to me, is a shame because they are such great works of musical art!


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Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: BruceD] #1833380 01/28/12 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Mark_C
I think "shame" is a bit strong.

But I did think they were pretty silly. grin


Think what you like. I said what I thought!

Hey, "silly" isn't enough? I thought it was a pretty good compromise! ha

Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: BruceD] #1833381 01/28/12 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Comments on the performances later, perhaps. In the meantime I must say that I'm disappointed that a pianist with evident skill, talent and real musicianship would use those ludicrous and often meaningless "nicknames" attached to the majority of those Etudes. Shame!


What in the world are you talking about?

Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: beet31425] #1833385 01/28/12 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
I'll say that for me, there's something missing from these recordings.


It might be the piano.

Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: BruceD] #1833386 01/28/12 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by BruceD
Shame!
I think "shame" is a bit strong.

But I did think they were pretty silly. grin

Think what you like. I said what I thought!


I know what you mean Bruce... shame that he couldn't think of nicknames for the remaining three! smile


op.10/6: "pseudo-etude"
op.10/9: "appassionata" (it is in F minor)
op.10/10: "the rotationary"

Mark-- I do agree with everything you wrote. I think that what you describe at the end as "tinniness" is at the heart of my feelings though... because I suspect that this was recorded on an electronic keyboard, and I suspect that's a big part of the critical part of my impressions.

-J


Beethoven op.110, Chopin op.27/2, Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: beet31425] #1833387 01/28/12 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by beet31425

Mark-- I do agree with everything you wrote. I think that what you describe at the end as "tinniness" is at the heart of my feelings though... because I suspect that this was recorded on an electronic keyboard, and I suspect that's a big part of the critical part of my impressions.


My initial impression as well - which was confirmed when I visited the pianist's website and discovered that the etudes (at least the recordings currently featured on his website) were recorded on a Vienna Imperial piano.

http://www.vsl.co.at/en/65/71/84/1349.vsl

Of course, Mr. Bacos is an excellent pianist !!!!!


Last edited by carey; 01/28/12 02:40 AM.

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Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: guybacos] #1833389 01/28/12 02:43 AM
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Ah... it does seem like Guy recorded these on a non-acoustic:

http://www.vsl.co.at/en/65/71/2035/1731.vsl

Not to start the old acoustic-vs-electronic debate again, but I will say that I've always felt some "heart" to be missing from the non-acoustics I've heard, even the really impressive ones. And this blind test here (I didn't know the nature of the piano when I felt my dissatisfactions) confirms my feelings.

I don't mean to detract from Guy's outstanding musicianship. As I said, these are very accomplished recordings. And I have tremendous respect for his composing talent.

-Jason

carey: we cross-posted with the same info! smile

Last edited by beet31425; 01/28/12 02:44 AM.

Beethoven op.110, Chopin op.27/2, Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: 1091Piano] #1833390 01/28/12 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by 1091Piano
Originally Posted by BruceD
Comments on the performances later, perhaps. In the meantime I must say that I'm disappointed that a pianist with evident skill, talent and real musicianship would use those ludicrous and often meaningless "nicknames" attached to the majority of those Etudes. Shame!


What in the world are you talking about?


Have to agree. What a bizarre thing to get so upset by.

BruceD, whether they have a nickname or not, the Etudes are not trivialized at all by them. There are lots of nicknames for Beethoven's Sonatas too but nobody gets worked up over them. They are just shorthand. The requirements of the pieces are not influenced by the names they have.

Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: beet31425] #1833391 01/28/12 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
...Mark-- I do agree with everything you wrote....

OK -- I'm ready to quit now. ha

Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: beet31425] #1833392 01/28/12 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by beet31425

Not to start the old acoustic-vs-electronic debate again, but I will say that I've always felt some "heart" to be missing from the non-acoustics I've heard, even the really impressive ones. And this blind test here (I didn't know the nature of the piano when I felt my dissatisfactions) confirms my feelings.


I surmised earlier that the piano might be what was missing from these recordings but I think it might even be more. People have hearts, not so with pianos. Some of these recordings seem to have almost impossible pedalings (or maybe polyphony limits) I wouldn't be surprised if these were sequences.

Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: guybacos] #1833393 01/28/12 02:57 AM
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I thought someone was actually going to be playing here?



"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."

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Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: Damon] #1833394 01/28/12 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Damon
....I wouldn't be surprised if these were sequences.

Please translate for us dumber ones. grin

Do you mean....not actually played, but programmed, sort of like a MIDI?

Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: Mark_C] #1833397 01/28/12 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Damon
....I wouldn't be surprised if these were sequences.

Please translate for us dumber ones. grin

Do you mean....not actually played, but programmed, sort of like a MIDI?


Yes. Not necessarily programmed, midi sequences can be recorded live, but these smack of some heavy editing.


Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: ando] #1833398 01/28/12 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by 1091Piano
Originally Posted by BruceD
Comments on the performances later, perhaps. In the meantime I must say that I'm disappointed that a pianist with evident skill, talent and real musicianship would use those ludicrous and often meaningless "nicknames" attached to the majority of those Etudes. Shame!


What in the world are you talking about?


Have to agree. What a bizarre thing to get so upset by.

BruceD, whether they have a nickname or not, the Etudes are not trivialized at all by them. There are lots of nicknames for Beethoven's Sonatas too but nobody gets worked up over them. They are just shorthand. The requirements of the pieces are not influenced by the names they have.


Bruce didn't say that the etudes are trivialised by the nicks nor that the "requirements of the pieces" are influenced by them. He called the ludicrous, often meaningless nicknames exactly what they are...ludicrous and meaningless. The music itself is of course strong enough to withstand these stupid little labels, but using them certainly does trivialise any performance associated with their usage. What's bizarre is that any serious musician would NOT be irritated by their presence (let alone their existence).



"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."

♪ ≠ $

Re: Chopin's 24 Études (My interpretation) [Re: stores] #1833400 01/28/12 03:13 AM
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Stores: Actually Bruce did say that, in his next post -- but the heck with that; I'm with what you're saying.


Damon: Looks like I got punked. grin
Guy might not think this is a prank, but to us, I think it absolutely is.

If this was "sequenced" (whatever that means) ha rather than played in the usual sense, IMO Guy's post was utterly dishonest.


GUY: You need to speak up.

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