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Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2399519
03/17/15 11:12 PM
03/17/15 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by fnork


Quote
I think it takes a certain type of advanced music intellect to appreciate the kind of music that Volans and Rzewski write--one that the vast majority of the population will not and cannot ever come to possess. And I think that the few who possess this intellect--who may be sick to death of the diatonic-ism of Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky--have had to redefine the definition of "success" to mean a new piano concerto that doesn't necessarily have to "survive" past the premiere to be considered a success. If it has said something unusual or unexpected then it is a success.

The belief that certain music requires 'advanced music intellect' to be appreciated baffles me. But you'd be surprised to hear that Bach's contemporaries used to say such things about his music. People complained that Mozart's music was too complex. And so forth. Functioning ears and an open mind is all that is required to appreciate music.


I totally agree. The kind of music simple enough for me to understand intellectually is not the kind of music I necessarily appreciate. Predictability is not that enjoyable. The best experiences with music come when the sound world can penetrate the rationality barrier in my mind and go directly to the more primitive parts of my brain.

I also don't seem to have the kind of mind Hakki has, because "beauty" isn't so important for me. Or maybe I just see beauty in "ugliness".

Anyway, you cannot find many of the more recent concertos in YT and there's not many opportunities to hear them live. So unless one is willing to buy recordings it might be difficult to hear them. My latest purchase is the recording of Kalevi Aho's concerto nr 2. Compared to some other modern works it's almost too traditional smile

I guess for me it really goes too far when they include human voice...I really don't want to to hear sopranos in piano concertos...

Heiniö concerto nr 6



Last edited by outo; 03/17/15 11:47 PM.
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Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2399942
03/19/15 01:10 AM
03/19/15 01:10 AM
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Here's a link to Kyle Gann's page of audio files on his website.

http://www.kylegann.com/Gannaudio.html

At the top of the page are links a recording of the two movements of his Sunken City (Concerto for Piano and Winds In Memoriam New Orleans) from 2007, plus program notes, and even a pdf of the score.

It's written in something close to a populist style, very much influenced by the sound of New Orleans jazz, but with subtle rhythmic and harmonic dislocations and extensions that may reflect the influence of Ives and Nancarrow on Gann, I think. I find the long and mostly slow second movement to be delicately poignant in overall effect, and the first is mostly just plain fun until things get a bit darker towards the end.

Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2399983
03/19/15 04:18 AM
03/19/15 04:18 AM
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I believe the natural impulse is towards beauty. Many years ago I was working as an art critic in Bombay. The State Gallery was one of the few airconditioned public buildings at that time and during the swelteringly hot mid day hours, the rickshaw pullers and tiffin carriers .... the poorest of all laborers ... used to come into the gallery to excape the heat. They would quietly walk around trying not to attract attention so they could enjoy the cool respite. One day I decided to ask one of them which of the paintings on display he liked best. He gave it considerable thought and then after a long time came over to tell me which one he'd chosen. I was astounded that he'd chosen one of the two or three best in the show. So I asked another man a few days later ... the same result. I must have asked this question of dozens of uneducated laborers over a span of several months ... with the same results .... They invariably picked the best pieces. Skipping over the "popular" gaudy mythological and film poster styles and zeroing in on beautiful landscapes and portraits and the best of the abstracts.

Years later, teaching young piano students I tried the same experiment ... giving them a choice of a simple Mozart or a contemporary "children's piece" from their primers. Without naming the composer. Both pieces of the same difficulty. Mozart of Haydn won out nearly all the time.

Tonight I was playing a suite by Zipoli ... An Italian cleric who lived in the 1700's. I love his music so much that I come back to it repeatedly. So does my cat .... who regularly climbs onto the keys to enjoy the notes or possibly the vibrations. Tonight she carefully lifted herself onto the keys and then strolled over to sprawl over my hands, purring loudly. I tried to explain she couldn't crawl INTO the piano but she remained unconvinced.

I do not think I will subject her .... or myself to any more of the Volans Concerto. It is abrasive and after less than three or four minutes my teeth ached with the dissonances. It is ugly and jarring. No food for the soul. Simply cacophony.

Yes I will be slammed for my unsophisticated taste ... there will be defenders of Volans who insist it is "beautiful". I cannot find it. All I know is that ordinary people invariably like those Indian laborers, veer towards what is beautiful and harmonious. Concert halls fill up for a Chopin recital or the ever favorite Rachmaninoff or Tchaikovsky .... but the only way those seats are occupied for contemporary classical works is if they are somehow wedged into the "season"s tickers" programs. And if a city symphony schedules too many of these unpopular concerts their ticket sales will plummet.

We nearly lost our Honolulu Symphone a few years back when a new conductor decided to foist the 20th century composers onto us. People didn't like it and stopped buying season ticket. Sales slipped and the symphony nearly went bankrupt until the organizers woke up. And restored the music the people preferred. Yep .... not Volans ... Beethoven, Chopin and .... Tchaikovsky.

Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: TheHappyPianoMuse] #2399988
03/19/15 04:27 AM
03/19/15 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by TheHappyPianoMuse
We nearly lost our Honolulu Symphone a few years back when a new conductor decided to foist the 20th century composers onto us. People didn't like it and stopped buying season ticket. Sales slipped and the symphony nearly went bankrupt until the organizers woke up. And restored the music the people preferred. Yep .... not Volans ... Beethoven, Chopin and .... Tchaikovsky.
Which means that there's no need for new composers to exist, especially if they can't live as composers.

Let them rot in heck I say! wink Chopin and Beethoven is enough. frown

Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: Nikolas] #2400008
03/19/15 06:30 AM
03/19/15 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
Originally Posted by TheHappyPianoMuse
We nearly lost our Honolulu Symphone a few years back when a new conductor decided to foist the 20th century composers onto us. People didn't like it and stopped buying season ticket. Sales slipped and the symphony nearly went bankrupt until the organizers woke up. And restored the music the people preferred. Yep .... not Volans ... Beethoven, Chopin and .... Tchaikovsky.
Which means that there's no need for new composers to exist, especially if they can't live as composers.

Let them rot in heck I say! wink Chopin and Beethoven is enough. frown


I have to admit .... somewhat wryly ... if they persist in foisting "chicken feet" on us, then let 'em rot frown bah ( I'm referring here to an exhibition I covered at the Honolulu Academy a number of years ago, There were 49 pairs of chicken feet stapled to the gallery wall ... definitely a political statement, but hardly an artistic one. Considerably dismayed, I said to the Director " Good grief ... how will I ever cover this?" He shrugged and replied, " You think you have problems ... I have to have the entire gallery wall replastered and painted when this is taken down ..."

If composers ( and artists) would stop trying so desperately to be "trendy" and consider the artistic value of their creations, the natural progression and growth of artistic ideas would take hold and flourish. But the ease of making noise with electronic equipment combined with laziness and insufficient practical training leads these contemporary "composers" to believe that pages of impossble arpeggios and enormous unwieldy chords are great music. Obviously the result is that few people want to actually listen to their compositions.

Hey, I've heard your compositions on YouTube and a wonderful collection of electronic short clips on your own site and you are a perfect example of a serious trained musician who is beautifully bridging that gap ... letting new ideas flow naturally out of an obviously classical background. And it works. Very very well. And I suspect there are quite a few people playing Sideris pieces right now ... and am pretty sure they'll be playing them in the future. laugh


Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2400013
03/19/15 06:41 AM
03/19/15 06:41 AM
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HappyPianoMuse, we've had this chat about beauty in music before and I know we are agreed on that subject. About modern music though, I wonder if you may be painting it with too broad a brush. Some modern music is meant to be abrasive. Some (especially early modern like Stravinsky) is meant to be an acerbic antidote to the lush schmaltzy stuff that was mainstream music at the time. Some is meant to be clever and show off the ingenuity of the composer. Some is meant to push the limits of what can be done with sound in the first place. And some is meant just to be beautiful.

Not to mention the modern period is now 100 years long depending how you count, making it one of the longer musical periods and thus filled with an enormous variety of music. If you don't like something you are sure to like something else.


Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

Working on:
Cabaret (whole show)
12+ variations from classical ballets
Verdi: Stabat Mater
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Tangos and other fun music for piano duo

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: Hakki] #2400030
03/19/15 07:21 AM
03/19/15 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
This type of music (well not really music, but I am supposed to call these like that, anyway) just makes me sick.

And I really adore to people who can stand this type of - well I don't know what to call it, it is definitely not music, but it is more like an output of a sick mind - "thing" more than a few minutes.
I can't imagine being any part of the performance, and I adore to people who perform these things, they really have strong nerves.


Plenty of examples of "music" you probably like that was written by "sick minds".


Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2400038
03/19/15 07:47 AM
03/19/15 07:47 AM
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I think people need to stop looking at this as "sophisticated". I have probably less knowledge about music theory, orchestration, etc, ythan many posters here, yet i enjoy a good lot of 20th century music. It is not about being sophisticated or snobbish.

Like Nikolas has mentioned before, beauty is very subjective, and also, i don't necessarily look for beauty in every artictic work i care about.

My late composition teacher said in one of our first lessons that music has to be "well written", technically, formally; then people may or may not like what you're saying, but no one can say you don't know your craft. Then you may even not like the outcome, but at least make sure it is correct and well put together.

Many composers of the past were not appreciated as much as they are now in their lifetimes. The point of composers writing "classical" music, or music of written tradition, is to kep the art alive. ANd i totally understand that authors look for new ways and languages , as an artist you need to try to find something new, a statement that no one has made before. Not at the risk of being absurd, but you have to take chances. You're not going to beat Beethoven at his game, why even try?

I love Ligeti, Messiaen ... yet i profoundly despise other forms of art that like the chicken feet example, or the "work" below, a glass of water on a shelf that goes for 20,000 euros and makes it to one of the top art shows in Europe. Not anything goes in art, but modern music has to be given a chance, and not be denied its integrity, and all composers thrown in the same bag just because of dissonance.

http://www.mediavida.com/foro/off-topic/un-vaso-de-agua-20000-euros-531121

Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: izaldu] #2400053
03/19/15 08:33 AM
03/19/15 08:33 AM
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Let's not beat about the bush here - there's a lot of (?inverse) snobbery in the arts, including of course so-called 'classical' music. Along the lines of "You don't like it, because you're too stupid to understand it." grin

That is, someone who purports to love cacophony/plink-plonk/whatever stuff is 'superior' in intellect to someone who only likes 'tunes'. Well, in the latter category are great musicians who openly said that they want 'tunes' - Ashkenazy, Perahia et al - and quite a few others, no doubt, who feel that they are better off citing the Fifth Amendment when asked for their opinions......

I think I'm as open to new stuff as anyone else, and I'm interested in contemporary music (and listen regularly to it on BBC Radio 3 - I'd rather hear a new piece by a composer I've never heard of, than an old warhorse like Tchaik 1 beaten to death by another whizz kid). I also play it, if the music looks like music. But there is, to put it mildly, an awful lot of trash out there. Composers whose 'explanations' for each plink and plonk and crash-bang are more lengthy (and wishy-washy) than the cacophony that they present as their latest masterpiece, for example. Composers who can't even tell when the performer takes huge liberties with their music - like leaving out huge chunks of inconvenient notes, or substituting their own.

I'd say, if you want to write complex (or even simple) dissonant music that grate on people's ears, make sure you know exactly what it sounds like. Even better, if it's for a solo instrument, that you can actually play it yourself.......

But there's also a lot of new, serious (and not so serious) music being composed today that not only makes sense (though it may not immediately appeal without repeated listening) but stays in the memory. Even memorable. So, I'd say - listen with an open mind, and be prepared to listen again and again. I've heard lots of stuff in recent years that puzzled me initially (but still sounded intriguing), but after a few hearings, made perfect sense. I often record stuff and put it on my iPod: if the music palls rather than gains in appeal with repeated listening, it gets junked grin.

But also, don't be afraid to call a spade a spade.......


"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: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: bennevis] #2400197
03/19/15 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis


I'd say, if you want to write complex (or even simple) dissonant music that grate on people's ears, make sure you know exactly what it sounds like. Even better, if it's for a solo instrument, that you can actually play it yourself.......

But also, don't be afraid to call a spade a spade.......


Nailed it! If you are writing for a specific instrument like the piano , make sure it's "playable" .... either by yourself or a good pianist. If for a full orchestra, please be familiar with the timbre and range and basic technicalities of the instruments, not just slap a few notes into a computerized "orchestration" program.

The bottom line is that there are NO shortcuts in the actual creation of music ... the shortcuts/assists offered by technology are valuable for creating scores, editing, clipping, adjusting recording effects .... but NOT for composing. You can tell a "fake" in a few measures. Impossible arpeggios and gargantuan chords and speeds impossible for "live" performers. Cut and paste doesn't cut it.

Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2400211
03/19/15 03:38 PM
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I'm not a fan of most modern composers but I did find this concerto a rare exception to the rule. This is Unsuk Chin's Piano Concerto played by Myung Whun Chung, the noted conductor who is relatively unknown as the pianist who won 2nd prize at the 1974 Tchaikovsky Competition:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONSnc7ipmi8&index=2&list=PLbBwUpmaG3LGqgYltqNN05Ia67W4mNmVS


Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: izaldu] #2400292
03/19/15 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by izaldu
Originally Posted by Hakki
This type of music (well not really music, but I am supposed to call these like that, anyway) just makes me sick.

And I really adore to people who can stand this type of - well I don't know what to call it, it is definitely not music, but it is more like an output of a sick mind - "thing" more than a few minutes.
I can't imagine being any part of the performance, and I adore to people who perform these things, they really have strong nerves.


Plenty of examples of "music" you probably like that was written by "sick minds".



Have you read Slonimsky's Lexicon of Musical Invective? It's an entire book of this kind of stuff, going back to Beethoven's day. All the usual accusations regarding new music are there, in all their inadvertently hilarious glory.

Slonimsky's reason for putting it together was to demonstrate how Philistine reactions to new music are basically all the same, and have been for a very long time. In a nutshell: "I don't get it, so it is bad". Or, as he put it, "The Non-Acceptance of the Unfamiliar". It bears an interesting resemblance to xenophobia, I think.

Also, someone has published a book-length study of the "sick mind" reaction just to Wagner's music alone. I haven't read it, but it sounds interesting. Apparently at one time there was practically a whole cottage industry devoted to making bogus connections between mental illness and Wagner's music. The more things change, the more they stay the same....




Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2400331
03/19/15 10:05 PM
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The chicken feet example is exactly the problem.

This is Avant Garde and it's supposed to promote talk, thinking, ugliness and whatnot.

Not all art or all music is that.

I also happen to not like Avant Garde in music (don't care one bit about the helicopter quartet (though I've tried to heard it one too many times). But none of the above examples are Avant Garde music. They are normal works of music... for me...

Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: bennevis] #2400355
03/19/15 11:31 PM
03/19/15 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Let's not beat about the bush here - there's a lot of (?inverse) snobbery in the arts, including of course so-called 'classical' music. Along the lines of "You don't like it, because you're too stupid to understand it." grin



But it's not limited to modern music at all. I like neither Beethoven nor Mozart and the common response is that I just need to listen/play more and when educated enough it will all come to me. No thanks! I have listened and it's still the same. In the end the music must do it for me, not the other way round.

Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: bennevis] #2400368
03/20/15 12:16 AM
03/20/15 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Let's not beat about the bush here - there's a lot of (?inverse) snobbery in the arts, including of course so-called 'classical' music. Along the lines of "You don't like it, because you're too stupid to understand it."
And then there's the inverse (maybe even inverse inverse - I'm getting a bit lost here smile ) snobbery which says "you only say you like this piece of atonal noise so that you can pretend to be cleverer than the rest of us. But in fact we can see through it, we can see that the emperor has no clothes so in fact we are cleverer!" I've certainly heard that line often enough here when we get to talking about modern music.


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2400378
03/20/15 12:34 AM
03/20/15 12:34 AM
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This thread supports an observation of mine I've had many times on this forum over the years: People tend to have much more interesting and informed things to say about music they like than about music they don't like.


-Jason


Beethoven op.110, Chopin op.27/2, Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: outo] #2400396
03/20/15 01:48 AM
03/20/15 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by bennevis
Let's not beat about the bush here - there's a lot of (?inverse) snobbery in the arts, including of course so-called 'classical' music. Along the lines of "You don't like it, because you're too stupid to understand it." grin



But it's not limited to modern music at all. I like neither Beethoven nor Mozart and the common response is that I just need to listen/play more and when educated enough it will all come to me. No thanks! I have listened and it's still the same. In the end the music must do it for me, not the other way round.


I don't think that you must like Beethoven and Mozart - after all, a large percentage of people on the planet seem to do okay without even having heard much of either, if any at all. The real underlying question isn't that - it is about whether their idiom is making enough sense to you so that whatever you think about their music is based on listening/playing with knowledgeable ears rather than on ignorance. And the main way of getting to that knowledgeable state regarding their idiom is through exposure to their music.

I didn't like Bruckner for a long while, starting with when I first heard any of his music. I just couldn't understand how people could enjoy listening to endless dreary expanses of what seemed to me to be the most banal and hackneyed kind of orchestral note-spinning possible, with an occasional loud but simple-minded outburst. Ick!! Like watching the grass grow.

However, I remained curious about it, since it was obvious that some people adored his music and some of the best classical musicians on the planet were involved with performing it. And I don't like missing out on something really good.

Eventually, after trying various pieces of his music out repeatedly over the course of years, his idiom and the way to listen to it finally soaked into my brain, and I discovered that not only could I enjoy it, but that it was some of the most magnificent stuff out of the entire Romantic era, and that it had the power to transport me to some remarkable and wonderful realms of musical experience.

I would have missed all that if I had instead at some point decided that it had to be presented to me in a form accessible to me at that moment, or else I just wasn't going to bother with it.

The main point of this story is that some of us have had profound experiences in our musical lives that make us aware that it is indeed possible to get big rewards from persisting with music that isn't to our liking right away, or even after some repeated exposure. There no good reason to refrain from saying that this sort of education is something that really does happen, or to refrain from encouraging others to persist, if that is what has worked for us. Some classical music can be kind of hard, but it's often worth it, I think.

The difficult thing is figuring out whether the music's idiom is truly intelligible or not. It can be easy to fool yourself about that, as I have personally found out more than once. I thought that Bruckner's music was something I completely understood, at first. After all, nothing in it seemed particularly radical or off-putting to me - it was just long and mind-numbingly dull, that's all. But intuitively, I guess I knew I must not be getting it, if other people whose musical knowledge and experience I respected could go into raptures about how wonderful it was.

Since you mentioned Mozart - I still don't gravitate towards his music the way some people do. Although I liked a few things of his when I was in my teens and twenties, it was probably somewhere in my middle-aged years before I really started to understand his musical language and how to listen to it. I don't regret having spent the many hours listening to it to get to that point, but that was sort of unavoidable anyway, because his music is so ubiquitous. I'm fairly sure that his idiom is reasonably intelligible to me now, and that I have a fairly good sense of why many people find it so amazing and "perfect". And I also know that his music doesn't really nourish me in the way that it does some people, which may be a matter of innate temperament. On the other hand, I am trying to remain open to the idea that there still could be more to learn about it that will make it more compelling to me.


Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: wr] #2400417
03/20/15 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by bennevis
Let's not beat about the bush here - there's a lot of (?inverse) snobbery in the arts, including of course so-called 'classical' music. Along the lines of "You don't like it, because you're too stupid to understand it." grin



But it's not limited to modern music at all. I like neither Beethoven nor Mozart and the common response is that I just need to listen/play more and when educated enough it will all come to me. No thanks! I have listened and it's still the same. In the end the music must do it for me, not the other way round.


I don't think that you must like Beethoven and Mozart - after all, a large percentage of people on the planet seem to do okay without even having heard much of either, if any at all. The real underlying question isn't that - it is about whether their idiom is making enough sense to you so that whatever you think about their music is based on listening/playing with knowledgeable ears rather than on ignorance. And the main way of getting to that knowledgeable state regarding their idiom is through exposure to their music.

I didn't like Bruckner for a long while, starting with when I first heard any of his music. I just couldn't understand how people could enjoy listening to endless dreary expanses of what seemed to me to be the most banal and hackneyed kind of orchestral note-spinning possible, with an occasional loud but simple-minded outburst. Ick!! Like watching the grass grow.

However, I remained curious about it, since it was obvious that some people adored his music and some of the best classical musicians on the planet were involved with performing it. And I don't like missing out on something really good.

Eventually, after trying various pieces of his music out repeatedly over the course of years, his idiom and the way to listen to it finally soaked into my brain, and I discovered that not only could I enjoy it, but that it was some of the most magnificent stuff out of the entire Romantic era, and that it had the power to transport me to some remarkable and wonderful realms of musical experience.

I would have missed all that if I had instead at some point decided that it had to be presented to me in a form accessible to me at that moment, or else I just wasn't going to bother with it.

The main point of this story is that some of us have had profound experiences in our musical lives that make us aware that it is indeed possible to get big rewards from persisting with music that isn't to our liking right away, or even after some repeated exposure. There no good reason to refrain from saying that this sort of education is something that really does happen, or to refrain from encouraging others to persist, if that is what has worked for us. Some classical music can be kind of hard, but it's often worth it, I think.

The difficult thing is figuring out whether the music's idiom is truly intelligible or not. It can be easy to fool yourself about that, as I have personally found out more than once. I thought that Bruckner's music was something I completely understood, at first. After all, nothing in it seemed particularly radical or off-putting to me - it was just long and mind-numbingly dull, that's all. But intuitively, I guess I knew I must not be getting it, if other people whose musical knowledge and experience I respected could go into raptures about how wonderful it was.

Since you mentioned Mozart - I still don't gravitate towards his music the way some people do. Although I liked a few things of his when I was in my teens and twenties, it was probably somewhere in my middle-aged years before I really started to understand his musical language and how to listen to it. I don't regret having spent the many hours listening to it to get to that point, but that was sort of unavoidable anyway, because his music is so ubiquitous. I'm fairly sure that his idiom is reasonably intelligible to me now, and that I have a fairly good sense of why many people find it so amazing and "perfect". And I also know that his music doesn't really nourish me in the way that it does some people, which may be a matter of innate temperament. On the other hand, I am trying to remain open to the idea that there still could be more to learn about it that will make it more compelling to me.



I don't think it's about the music being intelligible or not. I am quite ready to admit that I do not have certain common human feelings that this music seems to commonly bring forth. So while I can see and hear that the music is very smart and complex even in a genious way, it gives me no positive feelings. So it might be interesting to study from a theoretical pov. It's like comparing reading a scientific article or a novel. I do like to read the former, but the purpose is different. So far I have neither the time or the interest to study music on a purely intellectual level, when I can find music that does evoke real feelings in me.

Edit: I don't expect immediate rewards and there are several composers that have "grown on me". These two are just examples of those who are unable to do that, even after quite a lot of exposure.

Last edited by outo; 03/20/15 04:04 AM.
Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2400752
03/20/15 06:18 PM
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Maybe it's a past reincarnation thing. My parents had no interest in classical music. My mother had taken the obligatory piano lessons as a child and hated them. Occasionally she played a few popular pieces from the 40's, adding the chords her brother had taught her. She liked to dance and could do the Charleston while making omlettes for breakfast.

So I didn't hear any classical music until I was about four and we were visiting a friend of my father's who had a victrola ... and was listening to Ezio Pinza singing Mozart. I apparently toddled over toward the music and sat down on the floor in front of the victrola, put my hand over my heart ... and wailed. In sheer ecstacy. My parents were utterly confused by this display, which wasn't one of my normal tantrums. It was response to the music. I don't remember crying or wailing, but I do remember the "feeling" of that music. Every time we visited Uncle Bill, I wanted to hear the music. By the time I was six, I declared I was going to marry Ezio PInza.

My father bought a less elborate record player and I was given a recording of Pinza and Mozart ...plus South Pacific which featured Pinza in the lead role. Apparently my father hoped to "normalize" his odd little daughter with more popular music. I liked South Pacific, but it was no match for the Mozart. My parents couldn't afford a piano nor lessons until I was nine. My first teacher was forewarned about my proclivities for Mozart and after a few bars of a sonata, launched into Fur Elise and the Pathetique which immediately expanded my taste to include Beethoven. And the rest is history as they say.

What was it? What was that hold which only certain music had on me from such an early age? Even today certain music catches my heart with feelings so intense they are like physical pain. I discovered Domenico Zipoli a couple of years back ... and the effects were the same.

And I naturally question whether "understanding" music makes so much difference. Perhaps I will tolerate a well-constructed piece obeying defined rules ... but where is that immediate joy? Sometimes sitting in a concert now, with years of training behind me, I find myself analyzing and comparing the performance, somehow missing out on the sheer pleasure of just listening. I'm not sure my education has enhanced that natural joy. And so I tend to defend the "natural" response to music.


Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: TheHappyPianoMuse] #2400864
03/21/15 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by TheHappyPianoMuse
And so I tend to defend the "natural" response to music.



Me too, but I also do not think we are born/built the same, so natural means different things to different people. I guess some people's brains are more drawn towards creating rules and order and mainly enjoy music that is following rules, while some others (like me) have more chaos oriented mind and can easily relate to "chaotic" music.

It cannot be from experience only, because I was brought up with very traditional music exposure. Yet I started gravitating towards different things as soon as I was old enough to choose.

Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: outo] #2400887
03/21/15 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by outo


I don't think it's about the music being intelligible or not. I am quite ready to admit that I do not have certain common human feelings that this music seems to commonly bring forth. So while I can see and hear that the music is very smart and complex even in a genious way, it gives me no positive feelings. So it might be interesting to study from a theoretical pov. It's like comparing reading a scientific article or a novel. I do like to read the former, but the purpose is different. So far I have neither the time or the interest to study music on a purely intellectual level, when I can find music that does evoke real feelings in me.

Edit: I don't expect immediate rewards and there are several composers that have "grown on me". These two are just examples of those who are unable to do that, even after quite a lot of exposure.


Thanks for the interesting and thoughtful response. I worried after posting that I was being much too "preachy", as if I thought you were supposed to do what I've done. I don't think that. I just wanted to emphasize that, for people who don't know it already, that continued exposure can do wonders in appreciating music that may not be working for them, even music they really hate at first. For me, persistence had paid off in a very big way, sometimes in ways that really surprised me. It appears to be mostly an intelligibility issue based on my experience, but that's probably just me and my perspective. I wish I knew better words to describe what I mean.

It's good that there are some composers who have "grown on" you. So you do know how that works. Some people don't even allow it to happen.


Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: wr] #2403139
03/27/15 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by wr
Thanks for the interesting and thoughtful response. I worried after posting that I was being much too "preachy", as if I thought you were supposed to do what I've done. I don't think that. I just wanted to emphasize that, for people who don't know it already, that continued exposure can do wonders in appreciating music that may not be working for them, even music they really hate at first. For me, persistence had paid off in a very big way, sometimes in ways that really surprised me. It appears to be mostly an intelligibility issue based on my experience, but that's probably just me and my perspective. I wish I knew better words to describe what I mean.

It's good that there are some composers who have "grown on" you. So you do know how that works. Some people don't even allow it to happen.

Good points. I think perhaps the important part is to be opinionated, or at least trying to understand why it is that you don't fall for certain music. As your aesthetic tastes may change over time, so will your appreciation for various composers. To give an example, I've hardly played any Liszt at all and was often bothered with some excesses in his music, but with time I have learned to appreciate a lot of aspects of his music that I didn't understand in the past.

In any case, it would be nice to see the discussion on new concerti continue in one way or the other! I'll try to add some more works soon.

Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2403484
03/28/15 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by fnork

In any case, it would be nice to see the discussion on new concerti continue in one way or the other! I'll try to add some more works soon.


Earlier in the thread you gave a link to the Abrahamsen concerto and I just now got around to listening to it - he's an interesting composer I'm just now learning to know a little. I heard some of his other music on BBC Radio 3's website earlier this month, and was intrigued.

I remembered another concerto from within the last 30 years that I think is pretty wonderful (even if it seemed rather peculiar on first hearing - it definitely improved for me on repeated hearings):







Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2405758
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Please bear with me for bringing this topic back up after several days of inactivity therein, but I wanted to share this with you, my own piano concerto, that is (I also posted it in the Composer's Lounge, but this topic here seems equally valid and it might find an audience here that doesn't usually frequent the Composer's Lounge, I hope that's ok). It doesn't require a particularly big orchestra, just nine players apart from the soloist, so it's more of a chamber concerto really.

Instrumentation:

- solo piano (=toy piano)
- flute (=piccolo and bass flute)
- clarinet in Bb (=clarinet in Eb and bass clarinet in Bb)
- percussion 1: bass drum, Beijing opera gong, metal chimes, bean rattle, radio, melodica, flexatone, 2 gongs
- percussion 2: snare drum, Chinese cymbal, spring drum, sleigh bells, rain stick, melodica, crotales, 2 gongs
- percussion 3: hi-hat, tam-tam, brake drum, bamboo chimes, hyoshigi, 3 cardboard boxes, flexatone (arco), 2 gongs
- percussion 4: cymbal, maracas, glass chimes, castanets, ocean drum, guitar amplifier, steel pan, 2 gongs
- violin
- violoncello
- double bass

Recording:

- Movement I (12'27")
- Movement II (14'45")

The performers on this recording are Helena Bugallo (piano) and the Ensemble Phoenix, conducted by Jürg Henneberger.

I hope you'll enjoy it! smile


I have an ice cream. I cannot mail it, for it will melt.
Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: mrenaud] #2405839
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Yay, now we're talking! When PW members bring up their own recently-premiered concertos, it's a sign that this thread might be a lasting one. I don't have anything of interest to offer myself, but will chime in with a "Prologue" for piano and orchestra by a friend of mine, premiered just a few years ago. Enjoy. Highly talented pianist, composer and improvisor.


Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2405947
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Originally Posted by fnork
"Prologue" for piano and orchestra by a friend of mine, premiered just a few years ago. Enjoy. Highly talented pianist, composer and improvisor.


Lovely! I have heard Johannes play quite a few times, but didn't know he can also compose.

So do you compose? A new piano concerto on the way?

Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: mrenaud] #2406350
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Originally Posted by mrenaud

I hope you'll enjoy it! smile


I did - thanks.


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