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Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: johnstaf] #2811003 02/05/19 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
I wonder if Martha's page turners get stage fright.

I think I might have because of how she kept coming in too soon on almost all her entrances. ha

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Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: pianoloverus] #2811024 02/05/19 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Brendan
The piano part isn't that hard.....

Although you know the piece and have performed it, you're wrong. grin
Really.One might say it's subjective....of course it's subjective.
But, except for very very advanced players, it's simply not true that it isn't hard.
Brendan is clearly speaking from the perspective of what you call "very advanced". Brendan is at different level than you so I don't see the point in just saying he's wrong.

I'm with Mark_C on this one, even if he had cited only the first of his three examples. Those leaping demisemiquaver octaves near the end of the introduction, with the hemidemisemiquaver figures in the left hand, are totally exposed and IMO extremely difficult to play cleanly at what most people would consider the appropriate tempo. In fact, I'd say the difficulty is integral to the overall effect of the music. You can't use more than an occasional touch of the sustaining pedal because of all the LH non-harmony notes in a resonant register of the instrument. There are some other technically nasty moments in the cadenza, and as Mark points out, the rest of the piece, but for mere mortal pianists faced with having to battle nerves and pull off a convincing solo opening to a fairly monumental work, that octave passage is a nightmare. "Isn't that hard" just isn't that accurate. eek eek crazy crazy


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Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: johnstaf] #2811027 02/05/19 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
I wonder if Martha's page turners get stage fright.

I dunno, but after this video went viral I doubt Yuja Wang can find many willing page turners:



Also some interesting commentary here. ("TURN. THE. PAGE.") https://www.classicfm.com/artists/yuja-wang/news/page-turner/


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Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: pianoloverus] #2811042 02/05/19 02:22 PM
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She doesn't like people coughing either.... It's at 31:40

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: Orange Soda King] #2811190 02/05/19 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
He has many pieces that are arguably "greater," but I still enjoy the piece.

I love it, always have. And the Argerich video -which I had not recently seen- certainly conveyed the 'spirit' in spades.

Of course there are many works of Beethoven 'arguably [or not so much] greater', but that seems to miss the point. Beethoven wasn't setting out to be profound, or particularly concise. This is Public Music, intended to communicate by the most kinetic means, moving and elevating the spirit. The Choral Fantasy is a masterpiece of its genre and should be accepted for what it is.

Haven't been around in a while, needed a break.


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Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: johnstaf] #2811271 02/06/19 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
She doesn't like people coughing either.... It's at 31:40


I do not think any pianist appreciates coughing during a performance.


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Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: SiFi] #2811272 02/06/19 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by SiFi
Originally Posted by johnstaf
I wonder if Martha's page turners get stage fright.

I dunno, but after this video went viral I doubt Yuja Wang can find many willing page turners:



Also some interesting commentary here. ("TURN. THE. PAGE.") https://www.classicfm.com/artists/yuja-wang/news/page-turner/



If looks could kill grin


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Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: SiFi] #2811545 02/06/19 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by SiFi
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Brendan
The piano part isn't that hard.....

Although you know the piece and have performed it, you're wrong. grin
Really.One might say it's subjective....of course it's subjective.
But, except for very very advanced players, it's simply not true that it isn't hard.
Brendan is clearly speaking from the perspective of what you call "very advanced". Brendan is at different level than you so I don't see the point in just saying he's wrong.

I'm with Mark_C on this one, even if he had cited only the first of his three examples. Those leaping demisemiquaver octaves near the end of the introduction, with the hemidemisemiquaver figures in the left hand, are totally exposed and IMO extremely difficult to play cleanly at what most people would consider the appropriate tempo. In fact, I'd say the difficulty is integral to the overall effect of the music. You can't use more than an occasional touch of the sustaining pedal because of all the LH non-harmony notes in a resonant register of the instrument. There are some other technically nasty moments in the cadenza, and as Mark points out, the rest of the piece, but for mere mortal pianists faced with having to battle nerves and pull off a convincing solo opening to a fairly monumental work, that octave passage is a nightmare. "Isn't that hard" just isn't that accurate. eek eek crazy crazy


It's not that hard.

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: Brendan] #2811588 02/06/19 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Brendan

It's not that hard.


This reminds me of a quote from Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales":

"And Snakes-and-Families and Happy Ladders. And Easy Hobbi-Games for Little Engineers, complete with instructions. Oh, easy for Leonardo!"

Regards,


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Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: BruceD] #2812564 02/09/19 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Brendan

It's not that hard.


This reminds me of a quote from Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales":

"And Snakes-and-Families and Happy Ladders. And Easy Hobbi-Games for Little Engineers, complete with instructions. Oh, easy for Leonardo!"

That's wonderful. Thanks BruceD.

Just my opinion, but I don't feel it's ever helpful when experts or geniuses tell us that something "isn't that hard". If Einstein were still alive and blogging, I doubt he would ever say online that understanding how the Lorentz Transformation equations relate to Special Relativity "isn't that hard". I believe he would have recognized that saying such a thing would have the effect (intended or otherwise) of making the rest of us seem small. Just sayin'.


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Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: SiFi] #2812599 02/09/19 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by SiFi
Just my opinion, but I don't feel it's ever helpful when experts or geniuses tell us that something "isn't that hard"...I believe he would have recognized that saying such a thing would have the effect (intended or otherwise) of making the rest of us seem small.
I don't feel that way at all. The kind of thinking that Brendan's comment was somehow demeaning never even crossed my mind, and I was actually very surprised to read what I quoted above.

To me it just seems a given that there are pianists who play at a much higher level than me in the same way that I play at a much higher level than other pianists. For me it just "is was it is". There are so many great pieces I can play it doesn't really concern me that there are many that I can't play.

When someone comments on piece's difficulty isn't it obvious that in evaluating the comment one has to consider the skill level of the person making the comment and the level of his intended audience?

Last edited by pianoloverus; 02/09/19 07:19 AM.
Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: pianoloverus] #2812676 02/09/19 11:34 AM
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Other pieces that aren't that hard, in my experience (and current judgment, in view of some of the recent posts): wink

Liszt Sonata in B minor (easier than the Chopin)
Feux Follets (especially if you leave out the hard parts)
Chopin Etude #1 (if you do this cheat fingering that I have)
Beethoven Appassionata (if you play it at Gould's tempos)
Scriabin late sonatas (you don't really need to get the notes in order for people to think you're playing great) ha


In no respect or by any stretch of the imagination is it accurate (in terms of anything of general relevance) is it to say that the Choral Fantasy isn't that hard.

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: pianoloverus] #2812908 02/09/19 10:02 PM
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This thread is a pretty awesome reminder of why I don't post here much anymore, but regardless:

Beethoven, Piano Concerto 1 - ca. 39 minutes, actually pretty hard throughout.

Beethoven, Piano Concerto 2 - ca. 35 minutes, medium/hard, mostly in the first movement.

Beethoven, Piano Concerto 3 - ca. 35 minutes, medium/hard in a few spots in the rondo.

Beethoven, Piano Concerto 4 - ca. 35 minutes, extremely hard throughout (I maintain that this is one of the most difficult concerti in the standard repertoire).

Beethoven, Piano Concerto 5 - ca. 40 minutes, quite hard, but not as difficult as 4, but perhaps slightly more so than 1.

Beethoven, Choral Fantasy - ca. 20 minutes, not that hard. It's basically orchestral piano, the figurations are extremely repetitive and derivative, much of it is in the background after a point, and it only took me a week to learn, as opposed to the concerti listed above, all of which were summer projects of serious practice. I think I learned the cadenza in about two practice sessions.

You all can continue to debate and nitpick, but it's quite simply not that hard. Anyway, got another complete WTC Book I on Tuesday, so back to practicing for that.

(...and that's hard, but it's getting easier now that I have the structure/flow pretty well mapped out. Maybe next year it won't be that hard.)

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: pianoloverus] #2812915 02/09/19 10:28 PM
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Update: just read through it again to give Mark and Simon the benefit of the doubt - yep, still not that hard!

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: Brendan] #2812916 02/09/19 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Brendan
Update: just read through it again to give Mark and Simon the benefit of the doubt - yep, still not that hard!

Well you're certainly doing due diligence, Brendan. I think there may be a little miscommunication going on here and your list of Beethoven works might help to resolve it. Watch this space! ha


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Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: Brendan] #2812936 02/09/19 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Brendan
Beethoven, Piano Concerto 5 - ca. 40 minutes, quite hard, but not as difficult as 4, but perhaps slightly more so than 1.

I had the chance once to perform a concerto and to pick which it would be, and I picked #5, although Beethoven's 4th was what I 'really' wanted to play at that moment -- because of what you're saying about them. A reason also was that the orchestra wasn't the greatest and I felt the 5th 'plays itself' in a way that the 4th certainly doesn't (which is also why I didn't even consider Mozart), but 'secretly' a big reason was that the 4th seemed like more of a reach for me.

I don't at all agree, though, that the 5th is only slightly harder than the 1st if at all. Maybe part of our difference is that a big thing I take into account in looking at such a thing is, what are the most difficult parts of a piece, however limited they may be (this is why people who say Opus 110 "isn't that hard," which we hear all the time, are simply wrong, extremely wrong; but that's off the subject) grin ....and there simply isn't anything in #1 which is nearly as challenging as the most difficult moments of the Emperor.

Quote
....it only took me a week to learn, as opposed to the concerti listed above, all of which were summer projects of serious practice.

Doesn't seem real relevant to what we're talking about, including because some things that are less challenging technically can take longer to learn. As you also said there (not quoted here), the Choral Fantasy is a shorter and simpler piece than the concerti, and for sure that's a large part of why it would take less time to learn.

Quote
I think I learned the cadenza in about two practice sessions.

Maybe you're just unusually good, for example, at wide-jumping right hand octaves!
But anyway, that doesn't address our question in the least, at all, whatsoever, because I could learn it in about two practice sessions too -- but it doesn't necessarily mean I'd be able to play it well or reliably. Don't get me wrong; I don't mean to be suggesting that I doubt that you played it well, just that the "two practice sessions" thing says absolutely nothing toward what we're discussing.

Quote
This thread is a pretty awesome reminder of why I don't post here much anymore...

You're depriving yourself of some highly intelligent discussion, like what you're seeing right here. ha


Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: Mark_C] #2813055 02/10/19 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Brendan
Beethoven, Piano Concerto 5 - ca. 40 minutes, quite hard, but not as difficult as 4, but perhaps slightly more so than 1.

I had the chance once to perform a concerto and to pick which it would be, and I picked #5, although Beethoven's 4th was what I 'really' wanted to play at that moment -- because of what you're saying about them. A reason also was that the orchestra wasn't the greatest and I felt the 5th 'plays itself' in a way that the 4th certainly doesn't (which is also why I didn't even consider Mozart), but 'secretly' a big reason was that the 4th seemed like more of a reach for me.

I don't at all agree, though, that the 5th is only slightly harder than the 1st if at all. Maybe part of our difference is that a big thing I take into account in looking at such a thing is, what are the most difficult parts of a piece, however limited they may be (this is why people who say Opus 110 "isn't that hard," which we hear all the time, are simply wrong, extremely wrong; but that's off the subject) grin ....and there simply isn't anything in #1 which is nearly as challenging as the most difficult moments of the Emperor.

Quote
....it only took me a week to learn, as opposed to the concerti listed above, all of which were summer projects of serious practice.

Doesn't seem real relevant to what we're talking about, including because some things that are less challenging technically can take longer to learn. As you also said there (not quoted here), the Choral Fantasy is a shorter and simpler piece than the concerti, and for sure that's a large part of why it would take less time to learn.

Quote
I think I learned the cadenza in about two practice sessions.

Maybe you're just unusually good, for example, at wide-jumping right hand octaves!
But anyway, that doesn't address our question in the least, at all, whatsoever, because I could learn it in about two practice sessions too -- but it doesn't necessarily mean I'd be able to play it well or reliably. Don't get me wrong; I don't mean to be suggesting that I doubt that you played it well, just that the "two practice sessions" thing says absolutely nothing toward what we're discussing.

Quote
This thread is a pretty awesome reminder of why I don't post here much anymore...

You're depriving yourself of some highly intelligent discussion, like what you're seeing right here. ha


.
thumb


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Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: Mark_C] #2813088 02/10/19 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Maybe part of our difference is that a big thing I take into account in looking at such a thing is, what are the most difficult parts of a piece, however limited they may be...
What you seem to always ignore is that other pianists can have a much greater level of skill than you...that's why there's such a difference in view points about the difficulty of pieces. You seem to think that if it's difficult for you it must be difficult for even high level professionals.

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: pianoloverus] #2813092 02/10/19 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What you seem to always ignore is that other pianists can have a much greater level of skill than you....

No.

There are a couple of things wrong about that. Maybe 3 actually.

First of all, I don't ignore it in the least.

But even if I had, you'd still be wrong, because, while your view of what Brendan said was that he was just talking about himself (and perhaps others of his level), that's not what "it's not that hard" means, or at least what it looks like and how almost anyone would take it (maybe you want to dispute that too!) -- and, if you look at Brendan's more recent posts, you'll see that indeed he meant it in the broader way. In fact he's insisting on it: He's saying it simply isn't that hard -- globally.

And IMO there's even a third thing wrong, although this one does require a big IMO:

The piece is hard for anybody and everybody.
If nothing else, that octaves thing in the opening cadenza is difficult for anybody and everybody in the world. The only way it isn't difficult (for Brendan or for anyone else) is if we mean a different understanding of "difficult" or "hard" than I mean and than what I think almost anyone would understand. I also agree with SiFi that the difficulty is intended as an inherent part of the musicality and effect of the cadenza. It's a quasi-impossible quasi-superhuman feat that's being attempted and hopefully pulled-off. I'd actually go even further and say that if it's not "hard" for someone, it means he isn't playing it adventurously enough. If it's being approached and played handily, that ain't the music.
(IMO)

So there. smile

I could almost agree -- almost -- if someone wanted to say that the piece is "not that hard" if we ignore that passage.

P.S. Out of curiosity, I went and looked to see if Argerich screws up the passage at all.

She does. grin

However slightly, she does.
And she's not even playing it real 'recklessly.'

The passage starts right around 4:00.
Folks, see if you can find the little screw-up! grin

It's a good guess that almost everyone does -- because it's very, very hard.

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy [Re: Mark_C] #2813096 02/10/19 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What you seem to always ignore is that other pianists can have a much greater level of skill than you....
No.There are a couple of things wrong about that. Maybe 3 actually......
Everything here is just your opinion. I certainly don't intend to comment each sentence except to say I don't agree with virtually everything in your post and I think I've made my views clear.


Last edited by pianoloverus; 02/10/19 12:46 PM.
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