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Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
ScriabinAddict #1932948 07/27/12 02:19 AM
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Music is mostly subjective.. but if something is obviously out of place, it's easy to spot.

Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
beet31425 #1932949 07/27/12 02:20 AM
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What I see very much of is when people do not like a particular performance or rendition, they say, "It was performed poorly." This blames the artist for screwing up instead of blaming the listener for not liking it. It is very passive-aggressive.. laugh

What I don't like hearing is this:
"The artist clearly did not know how to interpret the score."
"The artist did not understand the piece at all."

This leads one to believe that there actually is a correct way to interpret the score, and that everyone should interpret it that way in order to be "correct".

However, it is a well-known legend (I hesitate to call it fact), that Liszt would completely ignore dynamics in a particular score if he felt it in a different way. We say this is "acceptable" because it is the ultimately infallible Franz Liszt who did it. And after all, who can argue with the master of masters? But if anyone else were to do the exact same thing--if someone alive were to actually manage to interpret a score in the exact same way Liszt might have--there still would be those who say the person did not understand the piece because they could not interpret the score "correctly". And this train of thought is very damaging to the imaginative originality and interpretive nature of the music.

In the beginning of composition, the composers did not mark up their music very much, because it was understood that the performer would interpret the music. This is much like script writing. When someone writes a script, they don't write the thoughts and feelings of the character into the script. They don't even write how an actor is supposed to deliver a line. They simply write the line. Then, the actor is left to determine how it should be said.

But somewhere along the way, classical music lost this subtle art. The composers were ever more demanding in their desire to have the music played a particular way, and that "academic" way has won out over the art. And now people are so entrenched in a particular way of performing a piece that an artist has two choices: to play it "poorly"/"incorrectly", or to play it the way everyone else interprets it.



For better or worse, here is an example of vastly different performances of La Campanella:
Kissin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0U73NRSIkw
Lang Lang: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6NEmyjLqA4
(to ignore the theatrics, skip to 0:26)

These, however, are considered today's "masters", and can enjoy a little freedom in their playing. More people are willing to accept a famous person's interpretation of a piece as "correct" specifically because they are famous. Regardless of one's personal feelings about either performer, one has to admit that both performers are highly successful, well-known, and respected by at least a majority of the classical music community if not by everyone.

So, which interpretation is "correct" and which is "a poor understanding of the composer's intent"? If you can, or even attempt, to answer this question with one of those two answers, do you also submit that you believe there is only one correct interpretation, and that individualism and creativity should submit to the standardization of that singular interpretation? wink


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
beet31425 #1932950 07/27/12 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
Originally Posted by Kuanpiano
Does anybody have any performances they want to share that they feel to be homogenous? Or a collection of performances? There are far too many assumptions on the "existence of the urtext boring standard performer" to make this even worth discussing.


But I know where the OP is coming from. Here's a rough imprecise picture. On the one hand, we think of: Horowitz, Rachmaninoff, Rubinstein, Gould, Richter, Perahia, Cziffra, Argerich, Ashkenazy, Schiff, Lipati, Brendel... just to name a handful. Each artist is so individualized that we can often identify him or her immediately.

On the other hand, we have the experience, through youtube and event streaming, of seeing lots and lots of brilliantly talented pianists in their teens and 20's. Some of them I particularly like. But one has the feeling, whether this is fair or not, that there is little to distinguish one excellent performer from another. They may make different interpretive decisions, but, one can ask, where are the demonstrative differences of overall artistic vision, the kind that separated Horowitz from Richter? One feels that these performances are, to use the OP's term, standardized.

I'm just giving an overall picture that informs my sympathies with the original question. This picture might very well be inaccurate. But even then, there's an interesting question: why do so many of us have this impression that things have changed? One answer might be that we are unfairly comparing the "full set" of modern young pianists to just the legends of the past. We might do better to wait 50 years to see how today's future legends compare to the past's.

-J


I'll start by saying that I totally agree with everything you've said. I totally agree where you're coming from, but should we expect a teen or one in their early 20s to have the artistic maturity of these recorded artists that have only really been captured at their musical prime and in late age? I mean, we might have a recording of Horowitz playing the Liszt sonata from when he was in his late twenties, but how many young artists floating around the competition stage even break through at that age to get a career?

Another factor - if we're only given a chance to hear young pianists in competitions, on the same pianos (that old Steinway D), in front of the same judges, do we really expect them to be that risky? I mean, we've never heard Horowitz, Richter, Gilels, or even Cliburn play at a competition where their future career was at stake. I mean, aside from Horowitz, they've done it before, but can we say that how they played then an accurate picture of the true artist within them? (we can't, it's not recorded...but imagine anyways).

Here's more, adding to the age issue. If we're only hearing pianists playing at this age, they're probably still studying or fresh out of a conservatory, where they've been subjected to teachers, other students, etc. They've yet to find time to run free and grow. Again, an unfair comparison with past greats.

Marshall McLuhan famously said that "the medium is the message". If you're watching a competition and are bombarded by many fabulous pianists (whom you're not familiar with at all), playing the same pieces to the same judges, all day long, is it possible for you to really get a good feel of each performer? Are the performances standardized, or is your brain just normalizing all of them because you've heard so many performances in such a short time? I'm pretty sure people would react differently if each pianist performed a full recital, one pianist per week.

Finally, the hypocrisy is clearly present in this forum because we have many excellent pianists with their own individual voices, who have worked through the conservatory system, and post fabulous recordings on this website. We have Koji, who brings a romantic yet athletic approach to transcriptions, obscure virtuoso pieces, and late Scriabin. We have Brendan who has a muscular, driving, yet colourful style when playing works by Liszt and Prokofiev, but executes modern works with great precision. We have Pogorelich. who brings a personal, singing interpretation to all of her works that really brings the music alive under her fingers. Or OSK, who takes a conductors approach to Brahm's 1st concerto, brings a calm rendition of an Alkan nocturne, or an exciting, virtuosic take on Chopin's 2nd ballade or Ravel's Toccata. All of these performers are well appreciated here and are very successful pianists in real life. But they're "young pianists who have participated on competitions, been worked through conservatories, and in some cases, are still developing their artistic voices". But there's no way in helll you can say their playing sounds homogenous.

Maybe another anecdote - Yundi Li was a phenomenal pianist when he won the Chopin Competition in 2000, but his interpretations were pretty by-the-book. Lots of energy and virtuosity though. Now, he's stopped studying with a teacher, found his own voice, plays whatever he wants to play (=chopin only), and is he ever a terrible pianist now. His so-called "new individuality" has just lead to dreadful interpretations.


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

Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
Derulux #1932951 07/27/12 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Derulux
What I see very much of is when people do not like a particular performance or rendition, they say, "It was performed poorly." This blames the artist for screwing up instead of blaming the listener for not liking it. It is very passive-aggressive.. laugh

What I don't like hearing is this:
"The artist clearly did not know how to interpret the score."
"The artist did not understand the piece at all."

This leads one to believe that there actually is a correct way to interpret the score, and that everyone should interpret it that way in order to be "correct".

However, it is a well-known legend (I hesitate to call it fact), that Liszt would completely ignore dynamics in a particular score if he felt it in a different way. We say this is "acceptable" because it is the ultimately infallible Franz Liszt who did it. And after all, who can argue with the master of masters? But if anyone else were to do the exact same thing--if someone alive were to actually manage to interpret a score in the exact same way Liszt might have--there still would be those who say the person did not understand the piece because they could not interpret the score "correctly". And this train of thought is very damaging to the imaginative originality and interpretive nature of the music.

In the beginning of composition, the composers did not mark up their music very much, because it was understood that the performer would interpret the music. This is much like script writing. When someone writes a script, they don't write the thoughts and feelings of the character into the script. They don't even write how an actor is supposed to deliver a line. They simply write the line. Then, the actor is left to determine how it should be said.

But somewhere along the way, classical music lost this subtle art. The composers were ever more demanding in their desire to have the music played a particular way, and that "academic" way has won out over the art. And now people are so entrenched in a particular way of performing a piece that an artist has two choices: to play it "poorly"/"incorrectly", or to play it the way everyone else interprets it.



For better or worse, here is an example of vastly different performances of La Campanella:
Kissin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0U73NRSIkw
Lang Lang: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6NEmyjLqA4
(to ignore the theatrics, skip to 0:26)

These, however, are considered today's "masters", and can enjoy a little freedom in their playing. More people are willing to accept a famous person's interpretation of a piece as "correct" specifically because they are famous. Regardless of one's personal feelings about either performer, one has to admit that both performers are highly successful, well-known, and respected by at least a majority of the classical music community if not by everyone.

So, which interpretation is "correct" and which is "a poor understanding of the composer's intent"? If you can, or even attempt, to answer this question with one of those two answers, do you also submit that you believe there is only one correct interpretation, and that individualism and creativity should submit to the standardization of that singular interpretation? wink

I think a lot is lost when people aren't communicating things precisely. For example, this is pretty common:

"Wow, Volodos is a terrible performer because he plays the Dante Sonata so unconvincingly, that it becomes a circus show. I suggest he read the score (hint - he changed the score)"

I would be more precise with my cricism:

"Wow, Volodos gave a horrible performance of the Dante Sonata. He made alterations to the 2nd "heaven" theme, like chromatic swirls, that destroyed the tenderness of the intended moment. In addition, he made several ommissions of important passages which signify a rise to heaven. My overall impression was that he totally miscommunicated the meaning of the piece - I was left thinking that "apres une lecture de Dante", Liszt was inspired to write a showpiece that emphasized the sound of tritones, while exploring the lowest octave of the piano and melodies with chromatic scales as accompaniments."



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

Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
beet31425 #1932952 07/27/12 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
But even then, there's an interesting question: why do so many of us have this impression that things have changed?


You know.. I've been thinking about this a lot recently. Maybe technology and the quality of recording has changed our views. Picture this.. what if a "bland" pianist of today went back in time to the 40's and played the same exact way, the only difference being the sound quality in the recording. Would we view them as masters just like the rest of the golden age pianists? Or what if Cortot jumped from the golden age to 2012 and recorded an album with Duestche Grammophon. Would we suddenly be biased against his playing, as if it were bland -- just because of the pristine sound quality?

I guess what I'm trying to say is, does vintage sound create an illusion of better interpretation?

Last edited by scherzojoe; 07/27/12 02:34 AM.
Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
Derulux #1932956 07/27/12 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Derulux

These, however, are considered today's "masters", and can enjoy a little freedom in their playing.


By whom? Certainly not by most people I've encountered. They are, of course, more recognized, but both of these performers (one more so than the other) are criticized rather harshly in the musical realm. While they surely aren't "mediocre" pianists, I couldn't even compare them to Katsaris, Lupu, Rose, etc.

Last edited by ScriabinAddict; 07/27/12 02:46 AM.
Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
JoelW #1932961 07/27/12 02:59 AM
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I've seen a lot of crap on these boards but this one by far exceeds everything else -- saying everyone played poorly in the last Chopin competition.

Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
Kuanpiano #1932967 07/27/12 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Kuanpiano
Originally Posted by Derulux
What I see very much of is when people do not like a particular performance or rendition, they say, "It was performed poorly." This blames the artist for screwing up instead of blaming the listener for not liking it. It is very passive-aggressive.. laugh

What I don't like hearing is this:
"The artist clearly did not know how to interpret the score."
"The artist did not understand the piece at all."

This leads one to believe that there actually is a correct way to interpret the score, and that everyone should interpret it that way in order to be "correct".

However, it is a well-known legend (I hesitate to call it fact), that Liszt would completely ignore dynamics in a particular score if he felt it in a different way. We say this is "acceptable" because it is the ultimately infallible Franz Liszt who did it. And after all, who can argue with the master of masters? But if anyone else were to do the exact same thing--if someone alive were to actually manage to interpret a score in the exact same way Liszt might have--there still would be those who say the person did not understand the piece because they could not interpret the score "correctly". And this train of thought is very damaging to the imaginative originality and interpretive nature of the music.

In the beginning of composition, the composers did not mark up their music very much, because it was understood that the performer would interpret the music. This is much like script writing. When someone writes a script, they don't write the thoughts and feelings of the character into the script. They don't even write how an actor is supposed to deliver a line. They simply write the line. Then, the actor is left to determine how it should be said.

But somewhere along the way, classical music lost this subtle art. The composers were ever more demanding in their desire to have the music played a particular way, and that "academic" way has won out over the art. And now people are so entrenched in a particular way of performing a piece that an artist has two choices: to play it "poorly"/"incorrectly", or to play it the way everyone else interprets it.



For better or worse, here is an example of vastly different performances of La Campanella:
Kissin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0U73NRSIkw
Lang Lang: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6NEmyjLqA4
(to ignore the theatrics, skip to 0:26)

These, however, are considered today's "masters", and can enjoy a little freedom in their playing. More people are willing to accept a famous person's interpretation of a piece as "correct" specifically because they are famous. Regardless of one's personal feelings about either performer, one has to admit that both performers are highly successful, well-known, and respected by at least a majority of the classical music community if not by everyone.

So, which interpretation is "correct" and which is "a poor understanding of the composer's intent"? If you can, or even attempt, to answer this question with one of those two answers, do you also submit that you believe there is only one correct interpretation, and that individualism and creativity should submit to the standardization of that singular interpretation? wink

I think a lot is lost when people aren't communicating things precisely. For example, this is pretty common:

"Wow, Volodos is a terrible performer because he plays the Dante Sonata so unconvincingly, that it becomes a circus show. I suggest he read the score (hint - he changed the score)"

I would be more precise with my cricism:

"Wow, Volodos gave a horrible performance of the Dante Sonata. He made alterations to the 2nd "heaven" theme, like chromatic swirls, that destroyed the tenderness of the intended moment. In addition, he made several ommissions of important passages which signify a rise to heaven. My overall impression was that he totally miscommunicated the meaning of the piece - I was left thinking that "apres une lecture de Dante", Liszt was inspired to write a showpiece that emphasized the sound of tritones, while exploring the lowest octave of the piano and melodies with chromatic scales as accompaniments."


And this, I think I would find to be a fair, objective assessment of how you felt about the piece. But I still have a weird nuance about saying the performer performed horribly (and yet, I do this myself.. I'm such a hypocrite). Let me see if I can explain better what I mean to say. smile

I've been very conscious lately in my own criticisms of performances to be sure and state that it was I who did not like or appreciate the performance, rather than the performer who did something wrong/poorly. I find that it may not be to my particular taste, but it was not necessarily done wrong/poorly (especially at the professional level and "famous" level).

To use an example: Yuja Wang plays Rachmaninoff's 3rd Piano Concerto. I have not listened to the performance in its entirety yet, but I very much liked the way she attacks the beginning of the third movement. However, when I jumped to the end to see if she closed it out in a large, romantic style, I was disappointed.

Still, I do my best not to say that she screwed it up, but merely that I did not enjoy it as much as other performances. The reason I try to say this is because she didn't actually screw anything up.. she played nearly every note at nearly the right dynamic and in nearly the right tempo. I just did not appreciate her pauses in the middle of a sweeping line. Others may enjoy that, but it is not for me to say that she screwed something up, or didn't understand Rachmaninoff, or played poorly. To do so, I feel is very arrogant because it presumes the individual listening is more of an expert than the artist, so I can only say that I did not enjoy it.


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
JoelW #1932968 07/27/12 03:18 AM
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I'll have to go with the second comment and the people who say individuality for its own sake is meaningless. A lot of playing isn't bland, it's just plain bad. Sometimes you hear this piece played textbook perfect, but it sounds convincing and wonderful. At that point, I could care less whether or not they're being "creative". Adding "individuality" is only a good thing if it makes your playing more convincing.

Last edited by trigalg693; 07/27/12 03:19 AM.
Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
pianoloverus #1932976 07/27/12 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If the composer wrties p and you play f this would be an example of just not following the score."





And if you play "p" where the composer has written "f" then you're simply wrong.



"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: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
JoelW #1932977 07/27/12 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by scherzojoe
I think Tyson was a better candidate for the 1st prize winner than Avdeeva FOR SURE.

And maybe you're right. -- perhaps I am confusing unoriginality with lack of musical intelligence. The 2010 ICC was severely lacking of convincing performances. I hope 2015 is much better.

One piece that never fails to make me facepalm when performed is the first ballade. People just don't know how to play it. The absolute unmatched version is Horowitz's, Carnegie Hall 1968 IMO. Not even Horowitz played it that well ever again. I think Zimerman does a pretty good job, but there are a couple passages where he doesn't seem to understand fully. -- as for the ICC competitors and 99% of everyone else (mostly young people) just fail miserably with the musicality aspect. Technically perfect but that of course is half the battle.


You make a good point with the gminor ballade. I have always said that it is the most difficult to pull off successfully. I don't like the Horowitz performance you mention at all, actually. I heard Andre Watts with the gminor a few years back and it was THE best first ballade I've heard yet.



"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: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
Skorpius #1932980 07/27/12 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Skorpius
Pressure from competitions. You also have to realize that there are way more concert pianists nowadays than ever before.


It was interesting that, right after the winners of the Sydney competition were announced, the guy on the broadcast doing commentary basically said the winner won because he was the safest choice. I think the word he used was "consistent".

But that's the nature of competitions, as they exist today. What else could the winner be except the most middle-of-the-road pianist? It's built right into the system.

The most recent Tchaikovsky competition took deliberate steps to attempt to avoid that kind of outcome, which means that at they least recognize the problem. I'm not so sure they have the solution.

Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
stores #1932986 07/27/12 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If the composer wrties p and you play f this would be an example of just not following the score."





And if you play "p" where the composer has written "f" then you're simply wrong.


I would agree that if you play "p" where the composer has written "f" (or vice versa), you are not following what the composer wrote in the score. But there are documented cases of composers not following their own tempo and dynamic markings within the same piece, so we cannot say for certain that they are not following what the composer intended. (Or else we would have to hold at fault many composers who did not follow what they, themselves, intended.) So, can we necessarily say the performance is "wrong" if even the composers were prone to vastly different interpretations of their own works?

So, in that light, a few questions if I may smile -- what is more important? A performance that strictly follows the score, or a performance that is enjoyable?

And do we say that we "forgive" mistakes, as if the mistake were ours to forgive? Or do we simply enjoy the performance? Do we "forgive" the mistakes because we enjoyed the performance, but "hold accountable" any mistakes in the performances we don't like? Do we dislike performances with mistakes? Or does one have to commit "too many" mistakes? How many is too many?

I could go on, but I will pause there.. smile


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
Kuanpiano #1932987 07/27/12 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Kuanpiano
I find that while people constantly say that today's pianists are "homogeneous", "bland", "nothing compared to the greats", the same people praise today's great pianists (Zimerman, Pollini, Sokolov, Volodos, Kissin, Aimard, Argerich, etc) to the skies and frequently mention incredible live performances.


One puts up with what is available.

I don't think there is any discrepancy between appreciating what is currently on the boards, and still wondering why a certain something that seems to be present in some old recordings has vanished.

Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
beet31425 #1932999 07/27/12 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by beet31425

I'm just giving an overall picture that informs my sympathies with the original question. This picture might very well be inaccurate. But even then, there's an interesting question: why do so many of us have this impression that things have changed? One answer might be that we are unfairly comparing the "full set" of modern young pianists to just the legends of the past. We might do better to wait 50 years to see how today's future legends compare to the past's.



I actually do know why I have the impression that things have changed, but I don't know how to articulate that knowledge here. Or, to some extent, I may be afraid to do so. And that, in fact, is part of the issue.

[I just deleted three follow-up paragraphs where I was trying to explain this further, but then I chickened out...]

Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
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Post them.

Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
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This whole discussion has seemed, to me, almost an exercise in futility; you have some on one side discussing one thing and the opposition quite another laugh I mean, disregarding how loose some of the terminology is (um...what *is* good? What essence does it have, what discernible, corporeal qualities does it have? Clearly there are *no* corporeal components of goodness; those qualities are in and of themselves metaphysical components and metaphysical alone, leaving nothing more than shadows which we try to fumble around finding an excuse for within this plane. As such, the only "good" {or, for that matter, "bad"} we can hope to comprehend is relative to the notions and opinions held by ourselves and those we can communicate with. It's...you see, just as you have scherzojoe saying that Horowitz's recording of the Ballade is the best {and thus containing the most goodness} you have Stores referring to Watts in the same capacity. So does one or the other have a better ability to distinguish what is good or not? Are some of the goodnesses more subtle to understand and comprehend and, as such, are only accessible to those with great enough ability to hear music for all its values? I would rush to say of course not! laugh I mean, um, I'm sure some of you fine chaps and chappettes listen to and enjoy rap music, but for the most part I would tend to guess not; are those who do, who find the "good" in it and who have never had a musical education, simply more musically endowed? It's a matter of taste {and what that is would take all day to get halfway saying laugh }, not discriminatory prowess), you'll have some who are interpreting the interpretations relative to the effect, the atmosphere...um...the big picture, if you will, and others who naturally interpret interpretations in an atomic way, noting whether there is faithfulness to the score, analysing and picking apart segments and seeing how they fit together before then reassembling it. Um...neither approach is "good" or "bad" of course laugh they're merely quite hard to cohere. The latter style is easier to justify within this more scientifically leaning age we live in (being able to say someone is playing something "wrong", like a dynamic marking difference), but the former is easier to justify artistically, which by being leant to art is hard to say *anything* is "wrong". Um...I see this word "convincing"...is this meant to be convincing to the performer or the listener? Because I personally find this performance very convincing, despite its clear...shall we say, dissociation from the score? Certainly the performer is very confident in taking on a work several grades out of their reach... laugh
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no64G1O55rw
Anyway, um, sorry, I've waxed overlong as it is, I more meant to just put a quote by Beethoven and leave it at that laugh I can't recall it exactly...gosh, I hope it *is* Beethoven laugh Anywho, um, it's along the lines of (*very* loosely) "A pianist can miss as many notes as they like, make as many mistakes as they like, the *only* bad pianist is one that plays without emotion, for emotion *is* the only true purpose of music". Now...it might not be Beethoven, it might not have ever been any quote at all laugh but that is the standard by which I set my own playing and the playing of others. I trust you all to be well...oh, and if I offended anyone, I really didn't mean to; nobody's preferences or observational patterns are more or less valid (or invalid wink ) than another's...so...yes, I'll leave it at that laugh
Xxx


Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3
Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
JoelW #1933012 07/27/12 06:04 AM
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Let's at least be consistent. There're people here saying that substituting their own dynamics etc in place of the composer's indications is tantamount to heresy, yet have no problem when someone like Horowitz does just that (just listen to that Chopin G minor Ballade in his recordings). Is it because it's Horowitz and not, say, Lang Lang or Volodos? In other words, are we being seduced by the name - it's OK if so-and-so does that, because he's so-and-so?

Personally, I have no problem with a pianist doing stuff at variance with what's on the Urtext score, as long as it sounds convincing - to me. Whether it sounds convincing to anyone else makes no difference - I'm the sole judge of what I hear, which isn't to say that I've got superior musical insights to anyone else (though some people's statements here comes close to that assumption, especially with regards to a certain competition....). I just like what I like, even if it might not be my own preferred way of playing.

In fact, I don't play anything like some of the pianists I most admire, and not simply because I don't have (quite) their technical capabilities.... grin


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
bennevis #1933015 07/27/12 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
it's OK if so-and-so does that, because he's so-and-so?

I think, perhaps, what people (most people that is...there *are* a few fanatical purists {not that that's a bad thing O.O} ) mean by saying that not following the score is "bad" or "wrong", is to say that for the majority it is; I mean, the composer knew what they were doing. But, um, I think most are willing to accept differences if the overall effect is *exceptional*, at least to them. It's no longer Chopin's Ballade, but Zimmerman's Chopin's Ballade, say...


Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3
Re: The Standardization of Modern Pianists
FSO #1933019 07/27/12 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by FSO
It's no longer Chopin's Ballade, but Zimmerman's Chopin's Ballade, say...


The only way to get to Chopin's Ballade is by looking at the score, rather than listening to a performance. The score is Chopin's, a performance is the performer's.

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