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Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2849327
05/17/19 04:00 PM
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This is his interpretation of the Presto opening movement of Beethoven opus 10 no. 3 ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro0a2h2ATPo

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Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: Hatchestron] #2849330
05/17/19 04:09 PM
05/17/19 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Hatchestron
This is his interpretation of the Presto opening movement of Beethoven opus 10 no. 3 ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro0a2h2ATPo

Thanks for that. grin
It's a great example.

BTW I hope nobody will feel it is mean-spirited to be laughing at it. ha

It's not mean-spirited. It's simply a natural reaction, and very mild compared to what it deserves.

I would love, love, love, love for anyone who still gives any credence whatsoever to that guy to explain how they don't think that this thing that you posted -- in itself, all by its lonesome -- how they don't think that this thing blows him completely out of the water.

Cliff's Notes: It blows him completely out of the water.
It's one of many things which in themselves do it.

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: Mark_C] #2849338
05/17/19 04:32 PM
05/17/19 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
BTW I hope nobody will feel it is mean-spirited to be laughing at it. ha

It's not mean-spirited. It's simply a natural reaction, and very mild compared to what it deserves.

I would love, love, love, love for anyone who still gives any credence whatsoever to that guy to explain how they don't think that this thing that you posted -- in itself, all by its lonesome -- how they don't think that this thing blows him completely out of the water.

Cliff's Notes: It blows him completely out of the water.
It's one of many things which in themselves do it.

Are you trying to tell us this was not Beethoven's intention? Well count me as shocked. (OK, I'm joking of course)


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
Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2849366
05/17/19 06:02 PM
05/17/19 06:02 PM
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And he rushes in spots. 😁


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Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: WhoDwaldi] #2849376
05/17/19 06:34 PM
05/17/19 06:34 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?

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!


Chopin: I'll mark this Etude at an unplayable speed. For a laugh. Let's give it to Franz and see if he can sightread it.

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: Zaphod] #2849427
05/17/19 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod
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?

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!


Chopin: I'll mark this Etude at an unplayable speed. For a laugh. Let's give it to Franz and see if he can sightread it.


And of course Franz could sightread it perfectly grin


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Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2849442
05/17/19 11:41 PM
05/17/19 11:41 PM
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Alkan could play it 3x faster. 😆


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2849459
05/18/19 02:22 AM
05/18/19 02:22 AM
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His idea of proof reminds me of the Flat Earthers.

People often set the metronome to mark half beats, so they double the speed on the metronome in order to play at the same speed as before. This is really not evidence of anything.

Does he think that in the space of a lifetime tempos doubled and nobody noticed?

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: johnstaf] #2849509
05/18/19 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Does he think that in the space of a lifetime tempos doubled and nobody noticed?

As I as I mentioned to outo, above, it's like the "bad" form of historical revisionism which often presupposes a grand conspiracy where everyone lied, no one tells what really happens, no one documented it, etc.

Here, as you allude to, no one noticed or wrote about it. There were obviously no music critics. Grandparents never sat their piano playing kids on their laps and said: "when I was young, we used metronomes in a totally different way and Beethoven sounded very different..." In a way, this is very solipsistic - only Wim exists and can notice these things. Certainly over that generation - all pianists were simply unthinking drones.


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
Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2849575
05/18/19 11:07 AM
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Here's an interesting comparison by Paul Barton of Chopin Etude Op10 No 6:
at the 'normal speed:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJvi7FhWLbs&list=UU-4HMv1j00QTebcFg4mV2DQ
and at the 'Chopin metronome marking':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9KO9oK-9PA

Some interesting responses on the latter (including 'foolish'!)
As I had not heard this piece before I had no prior expectations and preferred the faster version 'at the Chopin metronome marking.'


regards
Pete
Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2849689
05/18/19 04:12 PM
05/18/19 04:12 PM
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I hope nobody who believed/believes in this Winters stuff is feeling too discouraged. I'd say that the main point about all this -- and it's a thing that everybody among us can stand to be reminded about sometimes -- is that tempo indications aren't only about speed, and we could even say they aren't mainly about speed. They're also about a feeling of the music, the nature of the music -- and any theory we put forth about the speed shouldn't fly in the face of that.

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2849692
05/18/19 04:32 PM
05/18/19 04:32 PM
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I've tried to keep myself "pure" of too much Wim stuff, but how does Wim explain away the small detail that "presto" means quickly in Italian? Or did he find some other etymology for the Italian "presto?" laugh


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
Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2849697
05/18/19 04:49 PM
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Good grief! He gets a lot of traction on this forum. Here is the last WW discussion that goes on and on and on Winters on PW

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2849841
05/19/19 06:42 AM
05/19/19 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Wim says that somewhere in the middle of 19th century the interpretations of tempo indications went astray. He gives nice proofs. What do you think of all of this?



There has been a lot of changes in the way we think past music. After 1950 new elements and people like Harnoncourt have completely changed our perception of how baroque music and even classic music of Mozart should be played. This is due to the work of musicologists who have challenged and critized the established way of thinking. Science is progressing the same way by challenging the established theories.
So I do not see the theory of WW as an issue in itself and it is good that people do not take for granted what is the dominant way of thinking as long as they do so in a scholarly and with an (as much as possible) objective and rational approach.

Many comments I have seen about WW seems exaggerate; WW is obviously a good musician even if not at the top virtuoso level and he has obviously more musical knowledge than most amateur pianists. It is interesting that someone who has such a background would advance a theory so contrary to the established line of thinking. I do not think it is appropriate to talk about historical revisionism as at least for some composers the exact tempo at which the pieces should be played is just an assumption and also largely depends on our modern taste.

When analyzing the average tempo at which pianists play classic music standard repertoire, we can see a trend of acceleration vs the 1960s interpretations, with more emphasis toward virtuoso interpretation. There is more emphasis on a more tense, nervous view of pieces with faster tempo. This is obviously a high level trend notwithstanding many exceptions, in the past and in our time.

The issue with WW position is not so much that it is disturbing our habits and modern taste, but that it is not done through an objective analysis. WW is taking as a supporting evidence one document, which can be read different ways, but not all other available documents that could contradict his point of view. The double beat is known since the baroque period so there is nothing really new. Also when reading all the published theory books late 18th and mid 19th century, anybody can notice significant differences of point of view on some topics. So taking just one document is not representative. Also the issue with WW approach is that it is a systematic one that would mean that all metronome markings would have to be divided by half, which very clearly does not make a lot of sense for many pieces. We have enough supporting elements, even if not they do not give us a 100% proof, that Chopin pieces should not be played half speed, per the composer intentions.

The somehow dogmatic position of WW however does hide an interesting question, which is not new by any mean, and that is whether there is an appropriate tempo to play a piece of music. Irrespective of what the metronome indication of the composer, how far can we alter the tempo while being still in line with the music structure and the composer initial intent. Sometime we do not even know what the composer intent was to start with, so how far can we slow down or speed up?

My take is that there is a fairly wide spectrum of possible tempos, in the range of +30% for many pieces (and sometime more even changing completely the piece from an allegro to an andante) and that at the end it is more a matter of consistency of the interpretation and musical trends/taste of our time rather than an absolute target number. An interesting example would be the famous controversy on the hammerklavier sonata opus 106 by Beethoven.

This sonata is the only one out of the 32, that has a metronome indication, confirmed to be from Beethoven himself. The indication is half note at 138 for the first movement. It is an incredibly fast tempo which has never been recorded by anyone. Though Czerny, a long time student of Beethoven, writes and confirms that this is a correct tempo, even if he recognizes that it is a fierce one and technically extremely difficult. However Ignaz Moscheles who also worked with Beethoven consider it to be too fast and recommends 112 !

Actually it is so difficult that no pianist has achieved the 138. Even if one assumes playing it on a lighter keyboard, and if technically maybe achievable, the musical results would be barely listenable judging by the few attempts done so far (Badura-Skoda at 116 for example).

The closest one has ever get to is the Schnabel version of 1935 at a very close 131. Not to diminish the talent of such a great pianist, but the end result is less than convincing with a constant rush and lack of articulation which makes this version less of a piece of music than a pure technical demonstration.
Since this sonata is one of the most recorded, every known pianist has recorderd it so we have plenty of example and range of tempo. As said going from the 135 by Schnabel down to Gould at 80 and Nikolayevna below 80 (she was already quite old when she recorded it), so a 40% difference !

Not to offend people who might like one version or another, I can pick 2 versions which have been both recognized as outstanding interpretations: the Solomon version of 1952 and the Gilels version of 1983 (DG studio recording). These 2 versions are as different as they can be: the Solomon version is at average 110-115 and the Gilels version at 90-95 (btw very close to the tempo of Serkin 1968). So basically taking Gilels, we are at one third of the target speed set by Beethoven and confirmed by Czerny. In terms of musical result, the Solomon version is quite tense/modern; with the Gilels version it is more lyrical and has clearly the character of a classic composition, closer and in line with the legacy of Mozart and Haydn.

So which one is in fact better aligned with the intent of the composer. Why did Beethoven put a tempo that is barely playable ? We will probably never have a proper answer to that question. Some explanations around are that the metronome used by Beethoven was old, others that the composer being death was not able to properly evaluate the speed. In both cases though it does not explain why Czerny confirmed the tempo. He was not death and he had a working metronome. It may be that Beethoven and Czerny wanted to put a sort of ambition to show that the piece needed to be played fast but not expecting anyone to reach that speed (though it is not what Czerny wrote). Maybe it applied only to certain passages or maybe they used the metronome differently. Another possible explanation is that the speed perceived internally is different from the actual result. I often times use headphones and the speed that I perceive when I play is slower than the actual result once I listen to the recorded version.

The conclusion out of that is that even for something that is after all only 200 years old and Beethoven and Chopin are only 20 years apart, we do not know clearly how the composer intended the piece to be played exactly and the various versions we have give excellent but very different renditions with tempos that are 30% apart. Our modern taste for speed and tension tends to push the tempo up but is that what the composer wanted ? Maybe even that the internal vision of Beethoven in his world of silence may not have any proper transcription.

Since we are the one listening to the music, I guess it does not really matter. It we like these pieces to be played fast and we like to think of Beethoven that way, so be it. After all the music is meant as a communication vehicle and as such it is a reflection of our modern society.

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2849856
05/19/19 07:15 AM
05/19/19 07:15 AM
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There are a lot of things I don't understand about these complex matters discussed in this thread, but I have a doubt.

I just watched this performance of this piece which is marked Allegro Con Fuoco:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpfdMSlu2oU

So I wondered, If a piece marked Allegro Con Fuoco is played so slowly, how slowly should a piece marked Adagio or Largo be played by his standard?

So I just had a listen to this movement marked Adagio:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hQzG-CATQM&t=750s
Surprisingly, he plays it as fast as his interpretation of Allegro. Curious, no?

Perhaps this half speed theory only applies to fast pieces that are too difficult to play at full tempo?
If I go along with this theory, playing the piano suddenly seems a lot easier than I thought grin

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: noobpianist90] #2849857
05/19/19 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by noobpianist90
There are a lot of things I don't understand about these complex matters discussed in this thread, but I have a doubt.

I just watched this performance of this piece which is marked Allegro Con Fuoco:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpfdMSlu2oU

So I wondered, If a piece marked Allegro Con Fuoco is played so slowly, how slowly should a piece marked Adagio or Largo be played by his standard?

So I just had a listen to this movement marked Adagio:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hQzG-CATQM&t=750s
Surprisingly, he plays it as fast as his interpretation of Allegro. Curious, no?

Perhaps this half speed theory only applies to fast pieces that are too difficult to play at full tempo?
If I go along with this theory. playing the piano suddenly seems a lot easier than I thought grin


Exactemundo! My point precisely. 😂

(Rather like those terrible and infuriating drivers who drive the same speed no matter the speed limit.)


Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: ShyPianist] #2849858
05/19/19 07:22 AM
05/19/19 07:22 AM
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Incidentally, I skimmed and initially misread Sidokar’s post above and thought it was still about op 2 no 1. So I just tried the first movement at 138 instead of my normal speed of around 108. That was fun! But also strangely enlightening and has given me new thoughts about a couple of passages. There’s a lot to be said for testing outlandish tempos, as long as you use it to inform a sensible interpretation in the end.


Pianist, independent music arranger, violinist, mother
Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: ShyPianist] #2849863
05/19/19 07:45 AM
05/19/19 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Originally Posted by noobpianist90
Perhaps this half speed theory only applies to fast pieces that are too difficult to play at full tempo?
If I go along with this theory. playing the piano suddenly seems a lot easier than I thought grin

Exactemundo! My point precisely. 😂

(Rather like those terrible and infuriating drivers who drive the same speed no matter the speed limit.)

Which begs the question - if everything is supposed to be played at the same speed, why have tempo indications at all? grin


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
Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2852071
05/25/19 11:37 AM
05/25/19 11:37 AM
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Now I know this isn't a piano piece, but I think it brings the point home that Wim is making with all his videos. It has to do with this:

[Linked Image]

That is the tempo marking and indication of the first movement of Beethoven's 5th. The fact that it is marked in half notes clues me into an Alla Breve. But that is not the time signature here. It is 2 beats but it isn't 2/2, it is 2/4. 2/4 is not an Alla Breve in any sense of the phrase. So what, Beethoven is wanting his 5th symphony to be played what we would consider Prestissimo? I mean if you translate the half note tempo marking exactly to quarter note beats, you get a tempo of quarter note = 216. That is clearly a Prestissimo, just as much as this marking here:

[Linked Image]

Is clearly a slow Presto. That tempo marking there is from CPE Bach's Solfeggio in C minor. I have seen even slower tempo markings in some Haydn pieces that are at Presto than that, sometimes as slow as 160 which I would typically describe as Allegro Vivace or something similar to that.

But anyway, back to Beethoven. Wim has a separate video all about Beethoven's 5th and its tempo where he mentions the rhythmic ambiguity of the Fate Motif. And he has another video where he plays a manipulated recording of the first movement of Beethoven's 5th to supposedly be at Beethoven's original tempo. Before I bring that up though, I want to mention that, no orchestra to this day would bother playing Beethoven's 5th at a tempo of quarter note = 216. At best, you would get a bad sounding orchestra at that speed. At worst, the orchestra wouldn't perform it at all.

So then what if Beethoven is using double beat here and is wanting the half note tempo marking to be the speed of the quarter note beats? This is what Wim argues. In other words, he is arguing that there is a 4 beat structure to the first movement even though it is only played as 2 beats. Given that the accent patterns of 2/4 and 4/4 are very similar(both alternate strong and weak beats), that isn't a ridiculous statement.

But, if you assume Beethoven is using double beat here like Wim does, then you are also wrong. That would make it way slower than your typical performance. Your typical performance of it is at quarter note = 138 or a similar tempo to that. It also takes the energy out of the first movement that Beethoven is clearly wanting, what with the tempo indication of Allegro Con Brio. Now, the fortissimo strings sound very bad in this audio manipulated recording, in fact, they sound so bad that they don't sound like strings at all. This audio manipulation doesn't seem to have affected the sound of the woodwinds or the brass though but that's besides the point. Here is the video with the audio manipulated recording at supposedly Beethoven's original tempo:



And here is your typical performance of that same piece:



So while, in this case I would argue that using double beat gets you closer to Beethoven's original tempo than just assuming that a half note tempo marking means the quarters go at twice that speed, Wim's tempo is still too slow.

Difference between typical playing tempo and assumed tempo without double beat: 78 BPM
Difference between typical playing tempo and Wim's tempo with double beat: 30 BPM

Clearly there is conflict between the tempo marking half note = 108 and the tempo indication Allegro Con Brio here.

Re: Wim Winters and his AuthenticSound: do we play too fast? [Re: caters] #2852075
05/25/19 11:47 AM
05/25/19 11:47 AM
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Or Beethoven's metronome could just have been broken. I think this is the most likely explanation.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

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