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Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd] #1928843
07/19/12 01:43 AM
07/19/12 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by SirHuddlestonFudd
When Brahms was touring with the violinist (I forget the name), he was supposed to play the Waldstein sonata, which is in C major. The piano in the hall was found to be a semitone flat, so Brahms shrugged and played the thing in C# major instead, from memory.

Hmmmm... but anecdotes such as that are hard to pin down. Brahms toured with Joachim, and the story I read was that they were to play the Kruetzer Sonata, but the piano was a semitone flat so Brahms transposed it up. Yet Gerald Moore (no stranger to accompanying or transposing on the run) in his fascinating book 'Am I Too Loud?' skeptically inquired: 'but did he play all the notes?'

OTH, I've also read that Beethoven played his C major concerto up a semitone to accommodate a wrongly tuned piano. Either or both could have done it, who knows? crazy


Jason
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Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: argerichfan] #1928881
07/19/12 04:52 AM
07/19/12 04:52 AM
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Wow, funny to see this thread resurrected. I'm the OP and I'm still here, just lurking about.

I have read many books about Liszt since my original question, and the best one if you want a looong chapter on his playing techniques and sight-reading feats from accurate sources, is "The Great Pianists" by Harold C. Schonberg. It's full of stories about all the famous pianists (even reports on J.S. Bach, though he didnt play an actual piano for more than like 10 minutes). Highly recomended, just get it, any fan of piano will have no regrets!

Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: babama] #1928883
07/19/12 04:55 AM
07/19/12 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by babama
...

Even if you can read music that fast, how do your hands "know" all the moves? How can you make quick, precise jumps etc. if you haven't gone through these moves before? I just don't get it... not that I don't believe any of it, but it's just mind boggling to me.



Because you have done most of these moves before - tons of times. I was lucky enough to be coached, when in a youth orchestra, by William Pleeth (the go to cellist for quintets for the Amadeus Quartet). When any of us had problems leaping to high notes he would say it's exactly where it was the last time - simple.

Practising sight-reading isn't the same as doing sight-reading for a collaborator or an audience. There is no reason at all why a slower tempo couldn't be taken. I would recommend sight-reading for accuracy in one's practising and taking a speed where that's possible.

John


Vasa inania multum strepunt.
Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: drumour] #1928889
07/19/12 05:21 AM
07/19/12 05:21 AM
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I get the feeling that Liszt, having composed many of history's most difficult piano pieces, was pretty familiar with almost anything that could appear in a score. Certainly he would not easily be taken by surprise. Afterall, you recognize patterns easier after extended exposure.

The more disturbing part are the numerous reliable witness accounts from composers who said that Liszt could sight read whole orchestra scores at the piano, simultaneously transcribing it perfectly for piano plus adding some improvements.

Actually, it has been said that Liszt what at his perfomance-best during his first sightreading of pieces, because if he was made to play it a second time, he would get bored by the lack of challenge and start adding his own techniques and ideas into the piece to make it more flashy.

It's a real shame that there are no recordings of Liszt, but since he was challenged by pianists all over Europe during his lifetime and seem to have risen above them all, it's probably safe to say that he was indeed the best ever. At least what I like to think smile

Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: davaofthekeys] #1928890
07/19/12 05:30 AM
07/19/12 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by davaofthekeys


The more disturbing part are the numerous reliable witness accounts from composers who said that Liszt could sight read whole orchestra scores at the piano, simultaneously transcribing it perfectly for piano plus adding some improvements.



I've heard of other pianists and conductors who could read from orchestral scores and produce an instant transcription, too. It's not a unique ability that Liszt alone had.


Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: wr] #1928894
07/19/12 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by davaofthekeys


The more disturbing part are the numerous reliable witness accounts from composers who said that Liszt could sight read whole orchestra scores at the piano, simultaneously transcribing it perfectly for piano plus adding some improvements.



I've heard of other pianists and conductors who could read from orchestral scores and produce an instant transcription, too. It's not a unique ability that Liszt alone had.



But Liszt was doing it before it became cool.

Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: davaofthekeys] #1928898
07/19/12 06:06 AM
07/19/12 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by davaofthekeys
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by davaofthekeys


The more disturbing part are the numerous reliable witness accounts from composers who said that Liszt could sight read whole orchestra scores at the piano, simultaneously transcribing it perfectly for piano plus adding some improvements.



I've heard of other pianists and conductors who could read from orchestral scores and produce an instant transcription, too. It's not a unique ability that Liszt alone had.



But Liszt was doing it before it became cool.


Yeah, probably - he did have this knack of being ahead of the pack in a lot of ways.

Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: davaofthekeys] #2016711
01/18/13 01:45 PM
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From what I've read, he didn't envy his interpretations, because Liszt included some of his own fireworks ( which would render them no longer Chopin). Liszt' sight reading skills were legendary, however. Edward Grieg (I played for his nephew Storm once) said that Liszt sight read his concerto. My piano teacher sight read the Liszt E-flat for me when I was pestering her to learn it. She didn't like it, and after I learned it, I didn't either (I think it's just a long étude with accompaniment.). Yes, I believe he sight read all of them.

Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: jdott] #2016736
01/18/13 02:34 PM
01/18/13 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jdott
From what I've read, he didn't envy his interpretations, because Liszt included some of his own fireworks ( which would render them no longer Chopin). Liszt' sight reading skills were legendary, however. Edward Grieg (I played for his nephew Storm once) said that Liszt sight read his concerto. My piano teacher sight read the Liszt E-flat for me when I was pestering her to learn it. She didn't like it, and after I learned it, I didn't either (I think it's just a long étude with accompaniment.). Yes, I believe he sight read all of them.


A very famous (in a letter in his hand, and thus authentic) quote of Chopin is (speaking of Liszt) "I am writing without knowing what my pen is scribbling, because at this moment Liszt is playing my études and putting honest thoughts out of my head. I should like to rob him of the way he plays my études." That sounds fairly laudatory as well. There is an apocryphal anecdote of Liszt adding notes to the Db Nocturne at a salon and is confronted by Chopin and asks him not to add any notes, but this is unverifiable (unlike the letter).

They certainly had ups and downs in their musical friendship, but I don't believe that Liszt added notes to the études.

By the way, jdott, you really shouldn't post on old threads. It is impolite to the people who are currently engaged with active threads and oftentimes old threads have posts by users no longer involved with these forums. I mean no rudeness, you have something to contribute, but please post on living threads instead of resurrecting the dead!

Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: AldenH] #2016758
01/18/13 03:21 PM
01/18/13 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by AldenH
....By the way, jdott, you really shouldn't post on old threads. It is impolite to the people who are currently engaged with active threads and oftentimes old threads have posts by users no longer involved with these forums. I mean no rudeness, you have something to contribute, but please post on living threads instead of resurrecting the dead!

Funny -- I was going to do a post saying "Nice job finding these old threads!" and then I saw your post. ha

I know that your view is shared by some. I don't agree with it at all, and for what it's worth I don't think most others do. In fact, to me it's one of the more interesting things on the site -- seeing which old things are of such interest to new members, and seeing a bit of the site's archeology. smile

Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: Mark_C] #2016797
01/18/13 05:12 PM
01/18/13 05:12 PM
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It would be cool if thread titles and entries that were over, say, six months old appeared differently, maybe shaded differently. So you'd know instantly when you look at the forum list that someone is responding to an old thread.

Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: RealPlayer] #2016802
01/18/13 05:21 PM
01/18/13 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by RealPlayer
It would be cool if thread titles and entries that were over, say, six months old appeared differently, maybe shaded differently. So you'd know instantly when you look at the forum list that someone is responding to an old thread.

Brilliant idea. It would satisfy the archeologically-minded Mark_C's, as well as the rest of us (the majority I think, sorry Mark) who resent the confusion between living and historical conversations.

-J


Beethoven op.110, Chopin op.27/2, Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: AldenH] #2016804
01/18/13 05:26 PM
01/18/13 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by AldenH
By the way, jdott, you really shouldn't post on old threads. It is impolite to the people who are currently engaged with active threads and oftentimes old threads have posts by users no longer involved with these forums. I mean no rudeness, you have something to contribute, but please post on living threads instead of resurrecting the dead!
Don't agree, think it's impolite to those engaged in active threads, and don't think it matters if the old posts were started by users no longer active. There are very few threads that are only of interest or relevance to the person who originally started the thread.

Posting on an old thread is no different, I think, from opening up an old magazine or book one has saved. If the thread has interesting material and is worthwhile, then it remains interesting and worthwhile forever. In fact, many threads are really just repeats of earlier threads, so what's the difference?

The only exceptions for me are when someone decides to open a huge number of old threads simultaneously, opens up an old thread with a meaningless post, or opens up an old flame war thread.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 01/18/13 05:29 PM.
Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: davaofthekeys] #2016809
01/18/13 05:43 PM
01/18/13 05:43 PM
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RealPlayer's idea would satisfy all parties, and would give even more variety to the forum page!

On the subject of repeated topics in threads - doesn't Frank get tax refunds based on how many threads the forum gains annually? ha

Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: beet31425] #2016826
01/18/13 06:30 PM
01/18/13 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
...who resent the confusion between living and historical conversations.

At what point does a thread become 'historical'? The Franz Liszt Appreciation Thread was dormant from 3 December to 9 January, and long off the first page of topics. But I wouldn't think it qualified for historical status, thus inviting someone to start a new topic.

I admit to mixed feelings about this. Ancient threads can be fun to read for the archival value, but I don't think they should be bumped up with new posts. OTH, threads less than a year old are fair game, particularly if a good portion of the contributors are still active here. Just my 2 pence.



Jason
Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: Mark_C] #2016844
01/18/13 07:19 PM
01/18/13 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by AldenH
....By the way, jdott, you really shouldn't post on old threads. It is impolite to the people who are currently engaged with active threads and oftentimes old threads have posts by users no longer involved with these forums. I mean no rudeness, you have something to contribute, but please post on living threads instead of resurrecting the dead!

Funny -- I was going to do a post saying "Nice job finding these old threads!" and then I saw your post. ha

I know that your view is shared by some. I don't agree with it at all, and for what it's worth I don't think most others do. In fact, to me it's one of the more interesting things on the site -- seeing which old things are of such interest to new members, and seeing a bit of the site's archeology. smile


I'm with you Mark. This was one of the more entertaining threads I've read here in a while. The assumption that newer members are unable to understand the concept of "date stamps" on old threads is a bit odd to say the least. Or that because older members may no longer be around to respond no one can pick up the ball for further play.


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Piano is hard work from beginning to forever. Accept this as truth or risk a quick exit with tail between legs.


Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: AldenH] #2016857
01/18/13 07:54 PM
01/18/13 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by AldenH
By the way, jdott, you really shouldn't post on old threads. It is impolite to the people who are currently engaged with active threads and oftentimes old threads have posts by users no longer involved with these forums. I mean no rudeness, you have something to contribute, but please post on living threads instead of resurrecting the dead!

Thanks for raising this subject, AldenH, because it's always been a puzzler to me. Some, such as yourself, believe that old threads should not be resurrected, and yet I've seen new OPs chewed out for raising subjects that have already been hashed and rehashed a "million times before".

Which is it, folks? I think most newcomers strive to follow the etiquette of the particular forum they are joining, but in this situation, one can be damned either way. Personally, I agree wholeheartedly with Mark and pianoloverus. Why should it matter that the original participants are no longer active? If a topic is worthy of reconsideration, why not raise an old thread, and let it compete with the current ones? I think an old thread can provide an interesting history of other opinions on the topic, and that will enrich the current discussion far more than opening a new thread.

Actually I started a thread soliciting opinions on the "best" box sets of Beethoven sonatas last year. I knew this would most likely be a worn-out topic, but I wasn't about to waste time tracking down old threads. Surprisingly, no one complained, and people were very willing to state (or restate) their opinions. OTOH, I've also found many interesting old topics (yes, a few somewhat contentious) that I would love to revive, but didn't feel like taking the incoming fire.

If I were the etiquette czar, I'd declare all threads welcome, old or new. And I believe the proper etiquette should be to simply comment on the topic at hand, and not criticize the age of the thread, one way or the other.

Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: AldenH] #2016880
01/18/13 08:38 PM
01/18/13 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by AldenH

By the way, jdott, you really shouldn't post on old threads. It is impolite to the people who are currently engaged


No it isn't.

Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: Coolkid70] #2016885
01/18/13 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Coolkid70
Quote
Originally posted by Age_of_Anxiety:
I also heard he sightread Grieg's concerto for the composer and played some of the orchestra part as well.
I also read that Liszt was commenting on the score during that time, as well.


I also read somewhere that he was simultaneously balancing a plate on stick with his chin. That Liszt sure was something!

Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: AldenH] #2016891
01/18/13 08:53 PM
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My apologies if I breached some etiquette of this site. Yes, Chopin did write that he envied Liszt's skills, but he was ill and weakened from TB probably the last ten years of his life. I've read several accounts of his formidable concertizing skills in his youth.

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