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Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: ShyPianist] #2848754
05/16/19 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I certainly am not convinced by his arguments for slow tempos. OTOH I think quite a few of the comments on this thread are over the top nasty. Having outlier ideas about tempo dies not harm anyone so why such mean spirited comments?


My comments are slightly tongue in cheek pianoloverus, sorry if not clear. It kind of does do harm though, because is it not lulling some people into a false sense of security in respect of their own playing?


I just listened to his rendition of Opus 2 no 1 1st movement, and this is a classic case in point. By no stretch of the imagination could the piece be described as Allegro the way he is playing it, and yet there are people enthusiastically defending it saying that Allegro doesn't mean "fast" it means "cheerful" or "joyful" (lively I think I learned it as). Can anyone listen to that and say that it meets any of those descriptions? It sounds like a funeral march at the speed he's playing it at, Beethoven would be turning in his grave to hear it. So yes, he is doing great harm - to musical intelligence!

Last edited by ShyPianist; 05/16/19 11:25 AM.

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Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: ShyPianist] #2848757
05/16/19 11:22 AM
05/16/19 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I certainly am not convinced by his arguments for slow tempos. OTOH I think quite a few of the comments on this thread are over the top nasty. Having outlier ideas about tempo dies not harm anyone so why such mean spirited comments?


My comments are slightly tongue in cheek pianoloverus, sorry if not clear. It kind of does do harm though, because is it not lulling some people into a false sense of security in respect of their own playing?
Only if they are naive enough to believe everything posted on the internet, don't listen to Youtube recordings by the great pianists, and have not had piano teachers. I don't think many of those studying, for example, the Chopin Etudes, which I believe started the discussion on an earlier thread, fall into that category.

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2848768
05/16/19 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Except that this is not Wim. He is arguing that the incredibly slow tempo is indeed the composer's tempo. Wim disgusts me in a similar way that historical revisionists and Holocaust deniers disgust me, and he argues in exactly the same way - if you see any so-called "academic" Youtube videos of revisionists and deniers, you'll see that's true. (Sorry to have such an extreme point of view on this "man." frown )
Please no not associate historical revisionism only with the grazy youtube stuff. It's also a healthy and necessary part of scientific process when looking into written history.

I hereby retract my comparison with Holocaust denial. Was wrong to compare against something so serious. But how is what Wim is doing not historical revisionism? He is changing the both the factual and interpretive basis of events that happened over a hundred years ago. That is historical revisionism.


My comment had nothing to do with Wim. I was referring to serious historians, scholars, who look into the mainstream or older history writing with a critical modern view. That is also historical revisionism, but it's not grazy or extremist. So it was about this comment:
"historical revisionists and ... disgust me".

Last edited by outo; 05/16/19 11:41 AM.
Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2848790
05/16/19 12:17 PM
05/16/19 12:17 PM
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I watched several of Wim's videos some months ago. My takeaway was that he had some interesting ideas, and was playing on some interesting instruments, but ultimately I found his arguments unconvincing.

We could also get into discussions about how much composers' intent matters (a la the "death of the author" literary concept). I try to find a middle ground with my students. What I tell them is try to understand the composer's intent as best you can, and start from that as a baseline. If you cannot give a pleasing musical performance by following the composer's intent, then deviate as necessary to achieve a nice musical result. To me, at least, a pleasing musical result is what I want to hear the most.

I heard Schiff mention in one of his lectures that he wished he had a telephone on which he could call Beethoven and ask about interpretation issues on his sonatas, but unfortunately we don't have such a telephone. Barring that, we have musicological research, but musicologists don't always agree (Wim being a case in point here).

TL;DR: Eh, play it so that it sounds good; no need to stress out.


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Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2848796
05/16/19 12:25 PM
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I think lots of things about this.

Here is a short version:

i. Yes he might be on to something. There are sources existing which talk about the 'whole beat' theory.

ii. There is a tendency these days to play faster, over all, but it's also true that some great virtuosos of the past played as fast or faster than most people today, and I'm thinking here of the 20th Century virtuosos like Cziffra.

iii. He (Wim Winters) has quoted and presented some source material that back up his argument.

However

iv. Citing one or two sources and ignoring the tradition that has been captured on early recordings is, frankly, a bit dangerous. Yes, things get changed from teacher to pupil, but we have recordings of Leschetizky who was a pupil of Czerny - and we have so many recordings of Liszt's pupils.

v. Even IF Beethoven or Chopin played slower than we do today, is that evidence enough to say that we shouldn't experiment with the tempo? Was it really so fixed

vi. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that not every composer used the double-beat. As far as I'm aware we know that Mendelssohn definitely did not use the double beat. It's not enough to say that because there are some contemporary sources talking about double beat that for instance, Chopin definitely used double beat. He may have known about it, but we don't know that he used it.

Finally, I think there may even be value in playing and performing works at a very slow speed, it sheds a different light on things, and to some it sounds dull, but to others the exceptionally fast virtuosic performances also sound dull. I don't believe that we should be dogmatic about anything in music.

Do I, myself, believe in the double beat theory? Yes. I agree that there are sources that talk about it. Do I think that the first Beethoven sonata or the Chopin etudes work in double beat - well they may work, but I'm not convinced these are the speeds they had in mind.

Wim Winters is a knowledgeable musician but he doesn't like people disagreeing with him. But these debates do tend to become polarised anyway.

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: Hatchestron] #2848800
05/16/19 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Hatchestron
joe80, "Chopin definitely used the double beat" ... you mean you feel the etudes are played at double the speed Chopin intended? Surely not...

[...]


Hatchestron:

Surely you misread joe80's post!

Regards,


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Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: outo] #2848801
05/16/19 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by outo
My comment had nothing to do with Wim. I was referring to serious historians, scholars, who look into the mainstream or older history writing with a critical modern view. That is also historical revisionism, but it's not grazy or extremist. So it was about this comment:
"historical revisionists and ... disgust me".

Sorry, I misunderstood your post. It is true that "historical revisionism" now has a bad rap because when the term is used, the connotation is akin to that of the Holocaust denier, while you are right, the denotation is quite different. So I stand corrected. I meant to compare Wim to the bad sort of historical revisionism, not the scholarly good sort.


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Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: pianoloverus] #2848802
05/16/19 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
\Having outlier ideas about tempo dies not harm anyone so why such mean spirited comments?

I don't think any of the comments on here are mean spirited, and the reason you mention isn't the reason for the extremeness of our views of him.

(If you wonder what the reasons are, they're all boldly on the other thread.)

Merely having outlier ideas would be fine.

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2848812
05/16/19 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by outo
My comment had nothing to do with Wim. I was referring to serious historians, scholars, who look into the mainstream or older history writing with a critical modern view. That is also historical revisionism, but it's not grazy or extremist. So it was about this comment:
"historical revisionists and ... disgust me".

Sorry, I misunderstood your post. It is true that "historical revisionism" now has a bad rap because when the term is used, the connotation is akin to that of the Holocaust denier, while you are right, the denotation is quite different. So I stand corrected. I meant to compare Wim to the bad sort of historical revisionism, not the scholarly good sort.


Glad to know, because I feared for a moment that you had been replaced by a close minded imposter who is against any revised thinking smile

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2849086
05/17/19 02:32 AM
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Any pieces older than 200 years we're not sure what the intended tempo would be. In the 19th century when Beethoven, Schubert & Chopin wrote their pieces, there were student survivors who lived into the 20th century so we have some certainty how a Chopin Etude would be played. A Bach Fugue that was written over 200 years ago we're just guessing when historical sources were not available.

Recently I listened to a Handel Sarabande (HWV437) performed on YouTube. I listened to a sound sample of the same piece from imslp.org site and the speed was at least half as fast. The original Key Signature was 3/2 with no tempo indication on top (Andante, Adagio, Largo, etc.) so was the performer too fast?

Once came across a recording of Glenn Gould playing #1 in the Bach Art of Fugue (BWV1080). The piece dragged on for over 6m. Was he too slow? Did composers intend for performers to vary tempos at their leisure?

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2849088
05/17/19 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Any pieces older than 200 years we're not sure what the intended tempo would be. In the 19th century when Beethoven, Schubert & Chopin wrote their pieces, there were student survivors who lived into the 20th century so we have some certainty how a Chopin Etude would be played. A Bach Fugue that was written over 200 years ago we're just guessing when historical sources were not available.

Recently I listened to a Handel Sarabande (HWV437) performed on YouTube. I listened to a sound sample of the same piece from imslp.org site and the speed was at least half as fast. The original Key Signature was 3/2 with no tempo indication on top (Andante, Adagio, Largo, etc.) so was the performer too fast?

Once came across a recording of Glenn Gould playing #1 in the Bach Art of Fugue (BWV1080). The piece dragged on for over 6m. Was he too slow? Did composers intend for performers to vary tempos at their leisure?


Any musician worth their salt has a pretty good idea of a suitable tempo for a given piece in order to capture its character. Different people may come to different conclusions about that character of course if the score itself gives no obvious steer. But if a piece marked Allegro sounds like a funeral march when played in double beat, then that should be a pretty good indicator that something is wrong!

Last edited by ShyPianist; 05/17/19 02:43 AM.

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Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2849121
05/17/19 06:34 AM
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Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2849184
05/17/19 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Any pieces older than 200 years we're not sure what the intended tempo would be....

That gives bizarre ideas way too much dispensation.

What we do know is what the "tempo indications" mean, at least broadly.
If a notion of what the speed should be is contradicted by the "tempo indication," it's a flat-out no-good non-starter -- and that's what this guy's stuff is. (Among other problems.)

BTW, the reason I put tempo indication in quotes is, well, to be doing this explanation down here. grin
Tempo indications aren't only about speed; many say they aren't even mainly about speed. They're also about a feeling of the music, an impression.

Allegro is a certain kind of impression.
Presto likewise.
Andante, Largo, Moderato, likewise. They're all feelings and impressions, not just speed.

If a notion of what the speed should be is contradicted by the tempo indication, it's simply no good -- and the guy should know enough to give it up. In fact he should know enough not to have the idea for more than maybe 3 seconds, having sort of forgotten this, then smacking himself in the head and going "Never mind" when he remembers it. ha

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2849243
05/17/19 12:26 PM
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Publisher: You indicated allegro, what exact speed?

Composer: I dunno--some days I'm more riled up than others.

Publisher: But teachers will want to know for rapping students' knuckles with a ruler! We must have a setting!

Composer: What's printed on the metronome, behind the pendulum thingy?

Publisher: Mine says, "Allegro: 120-168."

Composer: Put down "M.M. quarter = 176." Hold on, let's hear it tick.

[Both listen. Composer hums themes.]

Publisher: That seems way too fast for actually playing against the ticks!

Composer: Yep--but they'll slow down when it gets difficult 13 pages in--besides, I hate children!


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Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: WhoDwaldi] #2849255
05/17/19 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Publisher: You indicated allegro, what exact speed?

Composer: I dunno--some days I'm more riled up than others.

Publisher: But teachers will want to know for rapping students' knuckles with a ruler! We must have a setting!

Composer: What's printed on the metronome, behind the pendulum thingy?....

Funny, but hardly applies for the kinds of composers we're talking about.

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: Mark_C] #2849266
05/17/19 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Publisher: You indicated allegro, what exact speed?

Composer: I dunno--some days I'm more riled up than others.

Publisher: But teachers will want to know for rapping students' knuckles with a ruler! We must have a setting!

Composer: What's printed on the metronome, behind the pendulum thingy?....

Funny, but hardly applies for the kinds of composers we're talking about.


There is a school of thought that an indicated number was to "give an idea" of the tempo from turning on ticker, but that the pianist would shut it off before actually playing (probably more slowly). Such a notion smells of being an excuse, however. 😁


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Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: WhoDwaldi] #2849273
05/17/19 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
There is a school of thought that an indicated number was....

But this wasn't about the number. It was about the word(s) of the tempo indication.

That's a key thing about what's wrong with what this guy is doing -- completely, utterly, and profoundly wrong. It's a stark and obvious thing, basically an Emperor's New Clothes thing. Unfortunately it has been mostly submerged in the discussions of the Winters stuff.

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: ShyPianist] #2849302
05/17/19 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I certainly am not convinced by his arguments for slow tempos. OTOH I think quite a few of the comments on this thread are over the top nasty. Having outlier ideas about tempo dies not harm anyone so why such mean spirited comments?


My comments are slightly tongue in cheek pianoloverus, sorry if not clear. It kind of does do harm though, because is it not lulling some people into a false sense of security in respect of their own playing?


I just listened to his rendition of Opus 2 no 1 1st movement, and this is a classic case in point. By no stretch of the imagination could the piece be described as Allegro the way he is playing it, and yet there are people enthusiastically defending it saying that Allegro doesn't mean "fast" it means "cheerful" or "joyful" (lively I think I learned it as). Can anyone listen to that and say that it meets any of those descriptions? It sounds like a funeral march at the speed he's playing it at, Beethoven would be turning in his grave to hear it. So yes, he is doing great harm - to musical intelligence!


Oh, what shame we bring upon ourselves, criticizing Winter for not playing Ludwig von Beethoven's Op. 2, No. 1 at the composer's chosen tempo. It is plain to see, at a mere 21 seconds into the video, that this was NOT a performance of Ludwig von Beethoven's Op. 2, No. 1 at all. Rather, it was clearly a performance of the similar Op. 2, No. 1 by Louis van Beethoven. cry


Last edited by Ralphiano; 05/17/19 02:33 PM.

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Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: Ralphiano] #2849303
05/17/19 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Ralphiano
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I certainly am not convinced by his arguments for slow tempos. OTOH I think quite a few of the comments on this thread are over the top nasty. Having outlier ideas about tempo dies not harm anyone so why such mean spirited comments?


My comments are slightly tongue in cheek pianoloverus, sorry if not clear. It kind of does do harm though, because is it not lulling some people into a false sense of security in respect of their own playing?


I just listened to his rendition of Opus 2 no 1 1st movement, and this is a classic case in point. By no stretch of the imagination could the piece be described as Allegro the way he is playing it, and yet there are people enthusiastically defending it saying that Allegro doesn't mean "fast" it means "cheerful" or "joyful" (lively I think I learned it as). Can anyone listen to that and say that it meets any of those descriptions? It sounds like a funeral march at the speed he's playing it at, Beethoven would be turning in his grave to hear it. So yes, he is doing great harm - to musical intelligence!


Oh, what shame we bring upon ourselves, criticizing Winter for not playing Ludwig von Beethoven's Op. 2, No. 1 at the composer's chosen tempo. It is plain to see, at a mere 21 seconds into the video, that this was NOT a performance of Ludwig von Beethoven's Op. 2, No. 1 at all. Rather, it was clearly a performance of the similar Op. 2, No. 1 by Louis van Beethoven. cry



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Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: Mark_C] #2849310
05/17/19 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
There is a school of thought that an indicated number was....

But this wasn't about the number. It was about the word(s) of the tempo indication.

That's a key thing about what's wrong with what this guy is doing -- completely, utterly, and profoundly wrong. It's a stark and obvious thing, basically an Emperor's New Clothes thing. Unfortunately it has been mostly submerged in the discussions of the Winters stuff.


Yes, yes that’s exactly what it is! There are people in the comment section on that video arguing that Allegro “doesn’t mean fast, it means joyful” and they have literally just listened to the piece played like a dirge. 😂

Last edited by ShyPianist; 05/17/19 03:23 PM.

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