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#2651729 06/08/17 02:10 PM
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My theory is there are six basic kinds of pianists. Everbody is, of course, a composite of these types (even those pianists given as examples of the types). But, thinking about these classifications is fun and revealing. Or totally useless.

What kind(s) of pianist are you? I like to think of myself as an Eccentric Knight!

Six Kinds of Pianists

The Ham
Emphasis: (The Self) Personality, bravura technical display, piquant effects
Example: Horowitz
Reaction: "He is thrilling, nailed those octaves like nobody else, etc."

The Eccentric
Emphasis: (The Music) Unusual repertoire, interesting interpretive "takes"
Example: Glenn Gould
Reaction: "I would never think of playing that THAT way. Genius."

The Knight
Emphasis: (The Piano) Golden Tone, presenting the instrument well
Example: Dame Myra Hess
Reaction: "What exquisite tone and respect for the modern piano."

The Protagonist
Emphasis: (The Emotional Self) Catharsis, heroic bleeding on thorns of life.
Example: Richter
Reaction: "His intensity wears me out, but I feel better."

The HIPster
Emphasis: (Performance Practice) Historically-informed nerdiness.
Example: Ralph Kirkpatrick
Reaction: "So, I've always been playing those trills wrong!"

The Pro
Emphasis: (Pleasing Everybody) Not being too unusual or interesting
Example: ???
Reaction: "Didn't he win this competition years ago, old what's-his-name?"


WhoDwaldi
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I'd say I'm an eccentric protagonist who thinks he's a ham. I like to thrill, if only my technique was up to it cry(though I still have a few years left to practice before my body creaks too much, so I still have time to turn into a ham).

The decades I've had of playing only to please myself (plus my fertile imagination, even if I say so myself cool) meant that my playing resembles no-one else, not even my pianistic heroes. If I have an Urtext score in my huge collection, it is purely there by accident.

It helps, of course, that ever since I finished with exams and teachers (when I did play properly, except when I didn't), I've never played for any critics (self-appointed or otherwise, musical or otherwise). I just want to communicate my vision of the music to my audience, and if that means I disregard all the composer's markings, so be it. Though of course, I still play all the notes as the composer wrote them, plus extras for certain repertoire........ wink


"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."
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Hmm, what about one more category....something like this:


The Thinker/Philosopher
Emphasis: Performs loooong and demanding programs, has a preference for large-scale cycles (all Beethoven sonatas, etc), renaissance man, likes to think of music and its connections to other art forms, philosophy, etc.
Example: Busoni, Feinberg, Godowsky
Reaction: "When is this goddamn concert over?"

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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi


The Pro
Emphasis: (Pleasing Everybody) Not being too unusual or interesting
Example: ???
Reaction: "Didn't he win this competition years ago, old what's-his-name?"


Jeno Jando? I was just reading an online article from "The Independent " about him.
Jando
I think that's so cool... the sheer, massive middle-of-the-road competence to do what he does.

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I would be close to a complete eccentric with a hint of the protagonist. I cannot identify with the others at all.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
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The Explorer
Emphasis: (The Music) What is it and how does it work?
Example: Me
Reaction: There is no reaction (no one ever hears it)

Or

The Composer's Intent
Emphasis: (Clairvoyance) Self-effacement, or a pretense of it
Example: Me
Reaction: There is no reaction

Or

The Yogi
Emphasis: (Trance) Mind/body awareness while playing
Example: Me
Reaction: There is no reaction

Or

The Disturbed One
Emphasis: (Hypersensitivity) Extreme projection of the personal; Chopin
Example: Me
Reaction: There is no reaction

Or

The Musicologist
Emphasis: (History) Who composed what, when, and how do they fit into the big picture
Example: Me
Reaction: "What?"

Or

The Clown
Emphasis: (Ha Ha) Goofy interpretation
Example: Me
Reaction: There is no reaction

Or

The Critic
Emphasis: (Rightness) Constant questioning of every aspect of playing
Example: Me
Reaction: There is no reaction (nothing is ever ready)

Or

The Idiot
Emphasis: (Stupidity) Mindless repetition, autopilot
Example: Me
Reaction: None

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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
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[quote=Tyrone Slothrop][/quote]


That was good fun! I "recognized" so many different famous pianists. Thanks for posting.



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I'm thinking I'd be the Knight (Myra Hess) just because many people remark on the beautiful tone I produce. I'm not even sure what I do to achieve it.

I'm curious to know if those who have seen me play (especially in person) think. (I hope I don't regret asking!) laugh


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Originally Posted by coaster
I'm thinking I'd be the Knight (Myra Hess) just because many people remark on the beautiful tone I produce. I'm not even sure what I do to achieve it.

I'm curious to know if those who have seen me play (especially in person) think. (I hope I don't regret asking!) laugh


Tone on the piano is a matter of consistency and balance. Are you able to play from one note to the next without randomly getting louder or softer? In a chord, which note do you choose to be louder, the top note or the bottom note, or a note inbetween? If people say you have beautifully tone, it means you are doing these things well.


Poetry is rhythm

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