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Re: Chinese international Music Competition
ShyPianist #2850275 05/20/19 06:55 AM
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Incidentally I'm not saying I dislike Malofeev, mannerisms aside. I already said I enjoyed his Appassionata and I am listening to his Mozart 20 again just now and reflecting on how much more interesting his interpretation is than Yun's. I just don't think it's a good thing for the youngest, most prodigious player to necessarily win these competitions just because they're young and prodigious. I think there is a lot to be said for a slower trajectory, a slower pace of development that allows for growth and breadth of experience.


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Re: Chinese international Music Competition
Tyrone Slothrop #2850276 05/20/19 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
You are describing how they market themselves, and the repertoire they select to play, and not their skill. Continuing with Argerich as an example, she won her first international competition, the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition, at age 16, and was playing Rachmaninoff concertos by the time she was 20. Except for Youtube, she would seem to meet your definition of "hothousing." But if you say that time will tell, then I think we should let time tell and not criticize in their twenties the 'Malofeev's about hothousing as any one of these current crop could have the trajectory of an Argerich, only in a 21st-century variant, vs. 20th-century as Argerich (e.g., pre-Youtube days). Because similarly, one could have criticized a 20+ Argerich in the 1960's, and in retrospect been a bit off the mark.

I'm saying there are certain types of pianists and repertoire I admire and certain types I don't, and I'm as entitled to my opinion as you are to yours surely?

You certainly are entitled to repertoire you admire, but what does "certain type of pianist" mean beyond classical vs. non-classical and does this relate to you earlier remarks concerning 'hothousing'? Because this now doesn't sound like hothousing.

I only responded in the first place to this thread because you implied 'hothousing' is bad. But your recent remarks about self-marketing, repertoire choices, and even pianist-types don't sound like hothousing. Maybe before I dig any deeper, I should get on the same page with what you mean by 'hothousing.' What does 'hothousing' mean to you?


See comment above first. But to me hot-housing means teachers jumping their students into the most virtuosic crowd-pleasing repertoire before they have earned their stripes on the less technically challenging, but arguably more difficult and certainly more interesting, music. Many of these child prodigies can come across as little more than trained monkeys and I think it diminishes the whole discipline. But this is sounding more polarised than I mean it to. I'm waiting on some tests to run so I have one eye on what's happening there and no time to formulate my meaning more carefully.


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Re: Chinese international Music Competition
kbrod1 #2850279 05/20/19 07:23 AM
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Stephen Hough is also one of my favorites. I have many CDs of his and all of them I enjoy. My favorite all around is Arcadi Volodos who certainly has the fingers but also expressive and has a beautiful tone and his Brahms is wonderful to listen to and I don't believe he won any major competitions nor did Kissin or Wang. YouTube does bring these artists recognition early and frankly there are so many pianists out there that can play anything easily some tend to get exploited to bring them out of the crowd. It has been reported that Malofeev practices 10-12 hours a day. Whether this is true or not and just fodder remains to be seen but certainly unnecessary.

Re: Chinese international Music Competition
One Ohm #2850289 05/20/19 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by One Ohm
No doubt Malofeev is a prodigy, but good grief, can't anyone just play a beautiful song anymore. All these competitions just seem to be about how many notes and how fast someone can play. Surely the songs are not chosen for the beautiful melodies or the inspiring phrases, but only chosen for how complex and advanced they are. It is starting to sound like speed heavy metal, with about as much anger and anxiety thrown into the mood of the performance. Most of the performers don't look happy, they look stressed and at war. Were is the conflict and hardships that consume their lives? It is no wonder so many young people cannot relate to this and would prefer to do anything but take piano lessons after seeing one of these competitions. When my young daughter watched a few of these, see commented that everyone looked unhappy...except Bowen Li, who she said looked like he was having fun (https://youtu.be/KvhuImwEq6s?t=883). Yes, Malofeev and Melemed are amazing technically, but I don't hear anything emotionally inspiring in these competition performances, just lot's of impressive speed and notes. I don't think they have an once of concern about moving the audience emotionally or transporting the listener to a higher place. Just trying to hold on and survive these very complex pieces while impressing the judges with their speed and technique. Well, maybe that is what a competition is all about these days. Again, amazing playing. No question. But my eyes were dry the entire time.

Feel free to tell me I just don't get it. I'm always open to learn.
I agree that Malofeev's second program seemed too heavy on super virtuoso pieces...Prok Toccata, Tchaikovsky Dumka, Liszt Etude, Gaspard, and Rachmaninov Sonata. He only played one piece that was not highly virtuosic, the Tchaikovsky Troika. Also no Baroque or Classical.

I think the "not having fun" aspect is understandable as there is so much pressure in the competitions. There are so many pianists who want a professional performing career that winning a competition is one of the few ways to at least get a start in that direction.

Re: Chinese international Music Competition
ShyPianist #2850291 05/20/19 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
See comment above first. But to me hot-housing means teachers jumping their students into the most virtuosic crowd-pleasing repertoire before they have earned their stripes on the less technically challenging, but arguably more difficult and certainly more interesting, music. Many of these child prodigies can come across as little more than trained monkeys and I think it diminishes the whole discipline. But this is sounding more polarised than I mean it to. I'm waiting on some tests to run so I have one eye on what's happening there and no time to formulate my meaning more carefully.

OK. I see. Then I had a different definition in mind. For me, it was trying to push your student along quickly. But repertoire is in your definition. Mine didn't include repertoire. So then I agree, with your definition of hothousing, I suppose Malofeev was hothoused and perhaps Argerich was not. Both were pushed along, but my sense was Argerich's teachers were not focusing on "crowd pleasing."


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Re: Chinese international Music Competition
Tyrone Slothrop #2850295 05/20/19 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
See comment above first. But to me hot-housing means teachers jumping their students into the most virtuosic crowd-pleasing repertoire before they have earned their stripes on the less technically challenging, but arguably more difficult and certainly more interesting, music. Many of these child prodigies can come across as little more than trained monkeys and I think it diminishes the whole discipline. But this is sounding more polarised than I mean it to. I'm waiting on some tests to run so I have one eye on what's happening there and no time to formulate my meaning more carefully.

OK. I see. Then I had a different definition in mind. For me, it was trying to push your student along quickly. But repertoire is in your definition. Mine didn't include repertoire. So then I agree, with your definition of hothousing, I suppose Malofeev was hothoused and perhaps Argerich was not. Both were pushed along, but my sense was Argerich's teachers were not focusing on "crowd pleasing."


Your definition may be more accurate to be fair!


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Re: Chinese international Music Competition
kbrod1 #2850348 05/20/19 10:46 AM
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Unbelievably awful result.


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Re: Chinese international Music Competition
ShyPianist #2850395 05/20/19 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Unbelievably awful result.


What? Was a winner announced?

Re: Chinese international Music Competition
One Ohm #2850412 05/20/19 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by One Ohm
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Unbelievably awful result.


What? Was a winner announced?

It's on Youtube.


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Re: Chinese international Music Competition
kbrod1 #2850432 05/20/19 01:18 PM
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The results are completely messed up! Mackenzie only got 3rd place? Really?

Re: Chinese international Music Competition
kbrod1 #2850433 05/20/19 01:21 PM
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I know. Yun’s performance was very good, but like his Mozart it was wholly unexceptional. I thought Malofeev took parts of the Prokofiev too fast, but he’s young and would still have been a worthy winner. I thought Mackenzie’s Rachmaninov was wonderful. What were the jurors thinking?

I’ve never paid much attention to a competition before since my internet bandwidth generally can’t support the platforms, but with this one I see all the bad things people say are true!

Last edited by ShyPianist; 05/20/19 01:24 PM.

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Re: Chinese international Music Competition
ShyPianist #2850437 05/20/19 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
I’ve never paid much attention to a competition before since my internet bandwidth generally can’t support the platforms, but with this one I see all the bad things people say are true!

Instead of debating the merit of the judges' selections, I choose to enjoy the nice music that comes out of competitions like this. If I don't like a particular performance, I can always fast forward.


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Re: Chinese international Music Competition
AZNpiano #2850438 05/20/19 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
I’ve never paid much attention to a competition before since my internet bandwidth generally can’t support the platforms, but with this one I see all the bad things people say are true!

Instead of debating the merit of the judges' selections, I choose to enjoy the nice music that comes out of competitions like this. If I don't like a particular performance, I can always fast forward.


That’s a much healthier way of looking at it, yes.


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Re: Chinese international Music Competition
kbrod1 #2850448 05/20/19 02:23 PM
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I'm listening to Tony Yun's semi-final round recital now. I think he has a good musical narrative with his playing. Not as bombastic and technical as Malofeev, but a more genuine and humble voice in my opinion. Much easier to listen to. He is also much easier to watch given his professional posture and movements. More mature in expression and appearance. I'm on the fence with Mackenzie. His playing is indeed impressive, but again Yun's touch and presentation seem more professional. I think the judges made a hard decision, but made a good choice with Yun.

Re: Chinese international Music Competition
One Ohm #2850451 05/20/19 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by One Ohm
I'm listening to Tony Yun's semi-final round recital now. I think he has a good musical narrative with his playing. Not as bombastic and technical as Malofeev, but a more genuine and humble voice in my opinion. Much easier to listen to. He is also much easier to watch given his professional posture and movements. More mature in expression and appearance. I'm on the fence with Mackenzie. His playing is indeed impressive, but again Yun's touch and presentation seem more professional. I think the judges made a hard decision, but made a good choice with Yun.


I agree in part, but to me Yun’s performances were workmanlike. One of many pianists playing in the same way. Just my opinion, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to hear him live. But I guess middle of the road often wins these things, as I’ve always heard.


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Re: Chinese international Music Competition
kbrod1 #2850506 05/20/19 05:49 PM
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I quickly parsed through some of the playing when I saw this thread. Not really my type of playing. A lot of it seemed pretty over the top in rep choice and playing style. I actually had a lot more fun watching the Astana Piano Passion auditions with it's far humbler demands and younger age brackets. I glad the big comps exist so we can hear what's out there, but I find them pretty exhausting to follow at times.

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