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Stuart Isacoff's "Impersonation Instead of Interpretation"
#2348529 11/11/14 10:57 AM
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Today's Wall Street Journal has a short article ("Impersonation Instead of Interpretation") by Stuart Isacoff on the impact of recording technology, for good and for bad, on piano playing. If you don't have easy access to a paper copy, you can click here to read it on-line.

If for no other reason, read it for Sir Thomas Beecham's quip about doing Beethoven with Alfred Cortot.

Larry.

Re: Stuart Isacoff's "Impersonation Instead of Interpretation"
iLaw #2348556 11/11/14 11:38 AM
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I agree with a lot of what he is saying, but he goes too far in the end IMO. "But urtext merely sanitizes, removing traces of humanity." Puh-lease.
I agree that recordings hindered our conception of what's a performance... I struggled a lot with the concept of performance for most of my life, largely because of the recording industry (youtube, in my case).
But I see a shift in the other direction nowadays. I think most musicians, and a lot of concert-goers, are aware of this phenomenon and its implications, and are reacting to that. There are a lot of good iniciatives, and very interesting artists are starting to appear...
I hope I'm correct laugh We'll see.

Re: Stuart Isacoff's "Impersonation Instead of Interpretation"
iLaw #2348580 11/11/14 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by iLaw
If for no other reason, read it for Sir Thomas Beecham's quip about doing Beethoven with Alfred Cortot.

Larry.

That's not usual, to have interlopers intrude into concertos. I'd love to hear Beethoven morph into Prokofiev, for example. wink

I heard a Haydn concerto played by Alexandre Tharaud on a CD Review program last week - Papa's good pal Wolfie suddenly popped his head in (during the cadenza). And why not? - one good turn deserves another.

But I agree that the good ol' days when pianists were strong personalities are largely gone, when within a few seconds, you could tell if Cortot or Koczalski or Horowitz was playing. These days, only a few brave ones like Mikhail Pletnev dare to be different (and even he doesn't always get away with it) - just witness the stick that Lang Lang gets, not just in PW but from critics, when he indulges in fancy rubati or refinements of tone (which are as nothing compared to what the older generation got up to).


"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: Stuart Isacoff's "Impersonation Instead of Interpretation"
iLaw #2348604 11/11/14 01:23 PM
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It is an interesting article.


Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

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