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Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
-Frycek #2213900 01/13/14 09:58 AM
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Hi, everyone! laugh

I have read this whole thread with great interest. There were many times I wanted to press the "quote" button and write a reply after each post, but somehow I managed to keep my clicker finger still until I had read everything up to wouter79's post. So, which quote to use as a springboard???

Hmmm. I think this one:

Originally Posted by -Frycek
What cassinitaly said. thumb

Gandalf, one of the beauties of ABF is the EVERYONE is welcome to participate. That includes old foxes with bigger pieces. Please stay.


In Pianist Corner, everyone is welcome to participate, too, though there has been the occasional and unfortunate discouraging comment made by one or two members who are somewhat challenged in the sensitivity department... smile

As some of you know, I am a lapsed pianists who discovered after a 30 year hiatus that I had been missing something very important in my life. That realization happened after my second mid-life crisis. My wife shakes her head and says, "Well, at least its not a Ferrari..." I joined Piano World four (!) years ago when I stumbled on it searching the Internet for information about how to improve my home recordings.

Pianist Corner (and the Tuner/Tech forum) caught my attention immediately. I *saw* the ABF forum, but I did not consider myself a beginner. I *saw* the Piano Forum, but it was too general for my liking. Plus, the way my third mid-life crisis was going, I was identifying with what some might call a "peer aspiration group"--conservatory students, accomplished amateurs, and people who make a living playing the piano. I knew just enough to be dangerous to myself and others, and I was hungry for more of that kind of knowledge, and thought that Pianist Corner might help me make up for the lost time I felt I had missed when I made some bad decisions long ago at the time when most young people are getting their feet firmly on their forward path.

Deluded though I may have been in my third-mid-life-crisis-induced decision-making, I dove in at Pianist Corner.

And!, shortly after I joined Piano World, Pianist Corner opened a new sub-forum called Member Recordings. And!, I was just happily clueless enough about my own abilities to be one of the first people to post a recording at that developing raucous piano party.

Well, I'm glad I did. And I'm glad I continued to post there. I decided early on that I was going adopt an attitude such that if anyone learned anything from any of the discussion that ensued based on a recording that I offered up, it would count for good. I will say that I continue to be a day student at The School of Hard Knocks, and a night student at Piano World University. It's not for everybody--the cost is sometimes high--but the tuition is cheap.

Because there is the Member Recordings sub-forum, the "need" for e-citals in Pianist Corner is different. For the record, e-citals have been going on there for a while, but they are infrequent. Gerg was good enough to help us with a Beethoven Sonata e-cital, and then, there were three "Unsung Heroes" e-citals, and lately, OSK arranged an Alkan e-cital, and Poly and Derulux did the Mazurka e-cital. I think I'm missing one or two others...

In the thread that -Frycek referenced, I wrote something about the difference between recitals and competitions. This is an idea that has been hashed out several times in Member Recordings, too. The etiquette and purpose of each is different. The way I look at it, recitals are celebrations of accomplishment. Competitions are exercises in critique. Personally, I would argue very hard against grading recital performances. I would also not welcome the idea of an e-cital competition. I am concerned about what it might do to the already tenuous collegiality in Pianist Corner, and in ABF, it would certainly introduce a vibe that goes against the kind of encouraging atmosphere that the ABF community has worked so well to create. If anyone wants unvarnished criticism, he/she can post a recording anywhere on Piano World (including in the ABF) and ask for it. Better yet, post a recording in Member Recordings and ask for it, specifically. You'll get it. Some of it will be thoughtful and helpful. Some of it will be rude and snotty. But that comes with life in that particular sand-box, I think, and since all people are wired differently, if you are primed to take offense at *anything* *anyone* might say, well, you'll get what you're ready for, too, no matter how carefully the critique is presented! grin We've had several discussions in Member Recordings regarding how listeners can read clues in the Original Post that might tell the listener whether or not critical comments might be welcomed by the performer. If that detail is in question, several members have adopted the practice of asking before criticizing, "Are you open to critiques?" To me, that is a nice development. Also, to me, it seems like the Member Recordings sub-forum is used sometimes to showcase an accomplishment (recital-style), and sometimes as a masterclass (seeking critique). And, that's the cool thing about it! smile

Well, I hope you don't mind those few paragraphs from the perspective of an ABF lurker. I like the e-citals. I like listening to them and I like participating in them. The more the better, I say!

*Yawn*. Wow, Mr. Super-Hunky! All that writing made me tired. I think I shall take a nap, now. grin

--Andy

Last edited by Cinnamonbear; 01/13/14 10:06 AM. Reason: added a thought

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Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
-Frycek #2213926 01/13/14 10:39 AM
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(Just for the record, if there's anyone in the Pianists Corner that I'd like to play more like (they're mostly classical and I don't play classical) it's Cinnamonbear. Wowzer smile )

I would also like to say - hurrah! for the 29-second submission! I love those pieces.

And it sounds like the Member Recordings in the PC are perhaps not all "this is going to be released on CD" performances, and might yet let Ganddalf do some things there - there's a place for many different kinds of things on PW. The ABF quarterly recitals are but one.

Cathy



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Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
-Frycek #2213938 01/13/14 11:20 AM
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Cinnamonbear, stop lurking. We need old bears as much as old foxes.


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Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
-Frycek #2213965 01/13/14 12:09 PM
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LOL! Your's and Cathy's comments just made my heart grow three sizes... I will dip my toe cautiously into these waters... grin


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Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
-Frycek #2213980 01/13/14 01:04 PM
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Cinnamonbear, loved your post. You will be loved on this side of the house too (if not already). I can totally relate to what you said. I do have a couple of friends there but PC had been a scary place for me for a long time. Because after all I am a developing pianist (like those countries). Initially I thought some kind of auditions were required to be a member of the PC. Everything changed lately after posted my piece to Mazurka recital. Just like ABF, people gave us overwhelmingly warm and useful feedback to the participants from ABF. I started paying attention to what's going on more and came to like even "completely opinionated" opinions if it makes any English sense to you. Some people are giving really honest feedback too. Of course, they tend to give those honest feedbacks to those who can take it and must have it. Vast majority of the people there are as sensitive like us here in ABF. It's completely my twisted personal opinion but, to my surprise I found those honest feedbacks to be refreshing. How many time I hear honest comments I need to hear in piano performance? I love ABF too. There are so many people like me here. Working full time / raising family and trying make this little time to practice. Everyone feels each other's pain here. Where else can I find thread like "how you practice when you are on business trip?" ? Love the flexibility of the forum to let us go to both forums.

Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
-Frycek #2214076 01/13/14 04:51 PM
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Sam, thanks for the fascinating view into our recitals!

Cinnamonbear (Andy), I hope you'll start hanging out in ABF more, even if you are well beyond the beginner stage. I loved reading about your experience in PC. I've generally found the discussions in there whizzing around well above my head and so I don't feel capable of contributing -- but one of these days I hope to get enough theory and technique under my belt to at least do some useful lurking. wink

Last edited by piano_deb; 01/14/14 12:35 AM. Reason: whoops! typo

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Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
-Frycek #2214079 01/13/14 04:56 PM
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I think quite a few of us post both under the PC and the ABF. In my case it has been perhaps 70% ABF and 30% PC. To begin with I was a bit frustrated because I'm absolutely not a beginner ( even if I sometimes feel I play like one) and the PC seemed to be dominated by advanced students and professionals who spent most of the time discussing Chopin etudes and ballades. I missed an "amateur pianist" forum, but eventually I found that lurking and sometimes posting under both forums was right for me.

I'm absolutely not interested in creating any conflict between the forums, and I don't really feel that it will be any problem if I arrange a "long piece recital" under the PC. I'll continue to contribute to the ABF quarterly and also themed recitals under this forum.

I second FarmGirl's post. The feedback given for instance under the Chopin Mazurka recital was generally positive.

If I have expressed myself in a way that has hurt somebody I apologise for this. Also keep in mind that for those of us being non-native English speakers and not living in an Englsh speaking country there is always a risk that we say things we actually don't mean.

Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
-Frycek #2214134 01/13/14 06:23 PM
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I realize that this will seem nonsensical to many but others will completely understand it.

It's possible that there is an underlying reason why the ABF and the Pianist Corner get compared so often. At original onset, it may appear that something is missing. But in reality, it is not. You just have to understand the unique, happy little internet town called Pianoworld.


You see, the Pianoworld forums are set up like a local school system with three basic levels for three groups of people.

. Elementary School for the new, beginning kids
. Middle School(junior high) for bigger/intermediate kids.
. High School for the older kids.

Right off the bat though, something is different in this town. For some reason, the town doesn't have a middle school so the middle school/junior high kids continue to go to their old elementary school.

And here's the kicker,.....that's the way the people in this town want it. They've said so many, Many, MANY times!

So, for the most part, the little town of Pianoworld is a nice, quite, peaceful town in where everyone pretty much gets along. The only unusual thing is the fact that the townspeople have chosen to continue having their kids stay on in elementary school until such time that they are able to comfortably function at the high school level on an ongoing basis.

If you're wondering 'why not just open up the middle school as a transition between elementary and high school?', the answer is because that's how the people in this town want it.

This may better explain why you will hear more advanced playing/pieces at times in the ABF quarterly recitals, and why some members are a bit hesitant to jump into the Pianist Corner events.

Personally, I like having 2nd gear between 1st and 3rd but as I've said, the tribe has spoken on this many times.

I'm not trying to open up another can of worms because I'm not allowed to due to a self imposed gag order, but what I am trying to do is possibly explain why the comparisons between the ABF and the PC keep coming up.


Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
-Frycek #2214161 01/13/14 07:16 PM
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For me there's more to it than just - I'm not at the level of the PC.

The PC is heavily classically oriented.

The ABF has a much wider range of styles - from old pop like I play, to new age, to jazz, to whatever.

For whatever reason the "non-classical" forum has never quite taken off in the same way the ABF has. There are some regular posters there, and some of the more involved jazz folks are over there (but even at that there's an active advanced jazz thread here in the ABF).

So to me, the overall focus of the ABF is - learning. How to play, some things about theory, whatever comes up we might have questions about.

The PC has always seemed to me not only more focused on classical (99.99%?) but less focused on the process of playing piano and all the associated topics. I can't imagine an AOTW thread there laugh

And the process is an integral part of playing piano for me. So the discussions here are more to my taste.

There's no comparison, for me, between levels of playing in the ABF and the PC. There's just a difference in focus.

Cathy


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Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
-Frycek #2214188 01/13/14 09:02 PM
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I haven't commented in this thread yet, although I've been following most of it. Count me with the group who think that an e-cital in the PC forum is not likely to influence how recitals are done here in the ABF. Also, I guess I should be put into Mr S-H's middle school, because as I have written here before, I began as an adult beginner, so I still consider myself an "adult beginner" even though I am no longer playing beginning-level pieces. I don't have the same background as someone who's played since childhood, so I don't have the same concerns either.

And like Cathy, my interests musically don't seem to fit well with the PC, either.

Quote
For whatever reason the "non-classical" forum has never quite taken off in the same way the ABF has.


Yeah, I've always wondered about that. It's weird, but there's just not as much traffic there, whereas in the ABF, there seem to be more people who post regularly who are interested in non-classical music, so that's another reason why I visit the ABF more than any other forum here at PW.


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Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
Sam S #2214200 01/13/14 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam S
Top ten longest pieces:
09:15 : Grieg - Wedding Day
09:41 : Chopin Ballade #1
09:54 : Peyton - original
10:11 : Satie - Gnossienne 3,4,5
10:30 : Mozart - K545
10:31 : Schumann Arabesque
11:04 : Mozart - Fantasie
12:12 : Haydn - Sonata 11
13:31 : Mozart - Ah Vous Dirai-je Maman
15:50 : Mozart - K457

Those are your statistics for today!
K457 was me. blush It should have been shorter.

Oh my gosh. I just noticed. The Haydn was me too. laugh

... and the Satie! How embarrassing.

Ganddalf, please, please submit several long pieces and knock mine down a bit on the list!


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Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
-Frycek #2214230 01/13/14 10:28 PM
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From what I have seen I think that in general e-citals in the Pianist Corner are friendlier than for example certain comments in the Members Recordings section (a sub-forum of the Pianist Corner). E-citals seem to have always been nice and encouraging. smile



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Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
-Frycek #2215528 01/16/14 02:57 AM
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I have started a "Suite" e-cital under "Pianist Corner". The intention is not to drain any interest from other e-citals, and what I have seen so far is that many people who never participated in e-citals before (neither under ABF nor PC) show interest in the suite recital.

Anyone who mainly post under the ABF forum are welcome to participate. It is possible for two or more persons to join forces and "share" a suite, and as for now none of Bach's French Suites are taken. In addition there are several short ones by Händel to choose from. I expect encouraging and constructive commenting when we get as far as the presentation of the pieces.

Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
-Frycek #2216273 01/17/14 03:11 PM
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LOL I'm in the top 10 smile that Mozart KV545 was mine. I think I kept a decent tempo ... And I already left the third part out :-p



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Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
Cinnamonbear #2217193 01/19/14 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
Hi, everyone! laugh

I have read this whole thread with great interest. There were many times I wanted to press the "quote" button and write a reply after each post, but somehow I managed to keep my clicker finger still until I had read everything ...


Wow, Andy, what a great post. I too was tempted to hit the "quote" button several times but held off.

When I was a beginner and intermediate, I stayed with the piano because my passion was encouraged and supported. Posting an advanced recording here seems to be me to be counter to that spirit so I don't. I pop into ABF occasionally but usually refrain from posting unless I have something helpful to offer.

PC can indeed be a nasty place but I learn a lot there. ABF is very friendly but I don't feel comfortable discussing or posting advanced music here. I guess what I am saying is, I'm not fully comfortable in either place so I tread lightly and carefully in both.

As far as recitals are concerned, I don't think there is any harm in PC having more. Just realize, posting in a PC recital may open you to more criticism and some of it may not be friendly. Posting in a ABF recital seems to be more about sharing the joy of music.



Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
gooddog #2217229 01/19/14 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by gooddog
....snip......
When I was a beginner and intermediate, I stayed with the piano because my passion was encouraged and supported. Posting an advanced recording here seems to be me to be counter to that spirit so I don't. I pop into ABF occasionally but usually refrain from posting unless I have something helpful to offer.

PC can indeed be a nasty place but I learn a lot there. ABF is very friendly but I don't feel comfortable discussing or posting advanced music here. I guess what I am saying is, I'm not fully comfortable in either place so I tread lightly and carefully in both.

As far as recitals are concerned, I don't think there is any harm in PC having more. Just realize, posting in a PC recital may open you to more criticism and some of it may not be friendly. Posting in a ABF recital seems to be more about sharing the joy of music.


Underlining mine. Goodog, this is one of the most succinct statements of the difference between PC and ABF I've read. IMO, there's a place for both and obviously an audience for both. People seem to sort out for themselves which serves them best (and a lucky few move easily between the two).


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Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
Stubbie #2217333 01/19/14 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Originally Posted by gooddog
...As far as recitals are concerned, I don't think there is any harm in PC having more. Just realize, posting in a PC recital may open you to more criticism and some of it may not be friendly. Posting in a ABF recital seems to be more about sharing the joy of music.


Underlining mine. Goodog, this is one of the most succinct statements of the difference between PC and ABF I've read. IMO, there's a place for both and obviously an audience for both. People seem to sort out for themselves which serves them best (and a lucky few move easily between the two).


Well, people in PC are quite passionate about the music and find great joy in it but if you don't play it very, very well they won't hesitate to tell you so. Most of the time, it's done kindly and constructively. Occasionally...well, let's put it this way, PC has some people with very strong opinions, a few who enjoy being contrary and a some who are, uh, for lack of a better word, mean. frown But most are really well educated and quite nice. Just choose your words carefully and put on your thick skin. There's a lot to be gained there.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
-Frycek #2217379 01/19/14 08:56 PM
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And now, I think I've made my decision not to post in either place. I posted the 28/24 in defiance of my best friend (a very well trained pianist) who thought it too flashy for ABF and not well played enough to be posted at all. I felt a certain heady achievement at the time but nothing but misgivings since. Everyone who commented on my piece was kindness itself but I hesitate to strain the general good nature a second time. Thanks to you all and good luck.


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Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
piano_deb #2217428 01/19/14 11:41 PM
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After reading the current batch of posts, I had a few more thoughts to share, with piano_deb's comment as a springboard this time:

Originally Posted by piano_deb
[...] I've generally found the discussions in there [Pianist Corner] whizzing around well above my head and so I don't feel capable of contributing -- but one of these days I hope to get enough theory and technique under my belt to at least do some useful lurking. wink


Remember when you were first learning how to play softball in grade school? Didn't it seem like every time you went to bat, or every time you ran the bases, or every time you took the field, there was some new rule you'd never heard before that suddenly came into play? "You have to tag up!" "What?" "TAG UP!!!" "What's that?" LOL! laugh This is how I look at Pianist Corner. I mean, in the recent Mazurka recital thread, I learned a new word. It is "fioritura." I have been happily playing fioritura for years, but I never new it had a name! grin Now, I can say, fioritura instead of dipsy doodle! (Although I reserve the right to say "dipsy doodle," especially in Pianist Corner, and most expressly on purpose, to cut through fuddeeduddiness.) I cannot tell you, piano_deb, how many things I have learned by reading threads in Pianist Corner, things that my swiss cheese education did not give me. And, I've cut some teeth chewing on ideas in certain threads I felt compelled to respond to (or start!), and I've been embarrassed a few times at things that I wrote (and recordings I've posted!). But I wouldn't take it back for the world. I was embarrassed when I threw to 3rd when I should have thrown to 2nd, too, that one day... So, piano_deb, lurk to your heart's content! Lurk and learn to play the game! wink

Anyway, regarding comments to recordings in Pianist Corner, here are some observations that goodog's post prompted me to think about.

1) Comments made in e-cital threads tend to be very convivial.

2) Comments made in Member Recordings (or in original recordings posted on the main board (an etiquette no-no, apparently, although generally gracefully welcomed, especially by the occasional newbie who doesn't know about Member Recordings) tend to elicit a wide range of responses, thus:

2a) Some responses tend to judge the performance against some kind of an ideal, no matter how new or advanced the performer seems to be. Perfection, observation of tradition, evidence of musical understanding, and good taste are the standards. Pretty high standards. Often, these responses include a YouTube link to a virtuoso performance or two or three. Nothing like rubbing it in! LOL!

2b) Some responses tend to acknowledge a sliding scale of development by listening carefully to what can be heard of the performer's technique. Thoughtful help often follows, with a catalog of strengths and suggestions for things to address and ways to address them. Sometimes that help includes a YouTube link to a virtuoso performance. LOL! But context and presentation of the critique makes a tremendous difference, and some people can share this kind of thing without making it seem like they are rubbing your nose in anything. crazy

2c) Some responses tend to serve to bolster the ego of the critic, showcasing their knowledge about a certain subject or piece. That is not to say that there aren't some very knowledgeable people who share very freely some very fine points, and share well-developed reasons for those points, too. Those kinds of posts are wonderful when they happen. The "look how much I know" posts are different, though. You know them when you see them.

2d) Some responses are soapboxes for the critic to espouse some kind of artistic philosophy.

2e) Sometimes, a bar fight from another thread on the main board will spill into a recording thread.

Some threads are a mix of all of these, especially ones with the word "Chopin" in the title. wink Plus, there is always drive-by inanity. (Done my share of that, too! wink blush )

From the point of view of receiving criticism, I get the sense from reading in Pianist Corner (and a very rich PM correspondence with several Piano World online friends) that at some point, or at some level, learning to give and receive specific criticism is a very important part of the musical endeavor. And when you get to the point of public performance, receiving criticism simply comes with the territory. And always, you can take it or leave it! cool

Seriously, if you have never poked around in Pianist Corner-Member Recordings, I'd encourage you to take some time to do so. There are some very interesting discussions and some very wonderful recordings in there. There's lots to listen to, and many things that are very inspirational from a learning standpoint. I hope this little "Field Guide To The Comments" might help you enjoy your time exploring Member Recordings and making sense of it if you've never been in there before. smile

Lastly, -Frycek, I hope you'll reconsider about sharing or not. I certainly understand where you are coming from. I feel like it's our loss, though. Authentic performances are precious and rare.

Kindest regards, everyone!
--Andy


Last edited by Cinnamonbear; 01/19/14 11:48 PM.

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Re: Possibly Disturbing Ecital Trend Needs Discussion
-Frycek #2217508 01/20/14 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by -Frycek
And now, I think I've made my decision not to post in either place. I posted the 28/24 in defiance of my best friend (a very well trained pianist) who thought it too flashy for ABF and not well played enough to be posted at all. I felt a certain heady achievement at the time but nothing but misgivings since. Everyone who commented on my piece was kindness itself but I hesitate to strain the general good nature a second time. Thanks to you all and good luck.


If you want to share your music, then you only hurt yourself by not participating. There is no more supportive and accepting online recital than the ABF quarterly recital.
Sam

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