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Unfortunately, you need to be a subscriber to read the article.


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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand


Unfortunately, you need to be a subscriber to read the article.
As far as I know, anyone can read up to 15 articles per month without subscribing.

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It is now limited to 10 articles per month. You just need to give them your email address.

The article was well written and interesting.



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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand


Unfortunately, you need to be a subscriber to read the article.


I am not a subscriber to the NYT, yet I was able to read the article.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand


Unfortunately, you need to be a subscriber to read the article.
As far as I know, anyone can read up to 15 articles per month without subscribing.

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States ‘Ron Howard is developing a biopic on his rags-to-riches upbringing in China’.

That should be worth seeing.


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Originally Posted by jeffscot

States ‘Ron Howard is developing a biopic on his rags-to-riches upbringing in China’.

That should be worth seeing.



I thought the same thing. I enjoyed his documentary on Luciano Pavarotti.



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Thank you for posting that article. I was able to read it just fine.

Honestly, I've always found Lang Lang's playing amateurish and annoying, and more than a bit robotic, to the point where I never could sit through one of his performances. I was sad but not surprised when he injured himself. I always thought it was a shame, as he had so much potential. What he needs is a dash of maturity - maybe playing that Bach will sober him up a bit. (I strongly recommend Bach to all my students and anyone who will listen.)

He has the potential to be a truly great pianist, and I wish him the best.


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From the NYT comment section:

"To vaunt tasteless performers like Lang Lang and Yuja Wang, who have zero artistic integrity, no depth, no culture, just showy technique is to destroy classical music and its most valuable traditions."

I sympathize, but only partly. Whatever one's tastes, these "showy" pianists do seem to do something to popularize classical music. At the more extreme end, there was Liberace. He did his thing, too; and I guess we all knew his shtick wasn't serious music. But he probably brought a lot of folks on board.

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Originally Posted by johnlewisgrant
From the NYT comment section:

"To vaunt tasteless performers like Lang Lang and Yuja Wang, who have zero artistic integrity, no depth, no culture, just showy technique is to destroy classical music and its most valuable traditions."

I sympathize, but only partly. Whatever one's tastes, these "showy" pianists do seem to do something to popularize classical music. At the more extreme end, there was Liberace. He did his thing, too; and I guess we all knew his shtick wasn't serious music. But he probably brought a lot of folks on board.


I haven't yet read the article and don't know enough about Lang Lang to voice an opinion; that characterization of Yuja Wang, though, strikes me as wildly inaccurate. She's not my favorite pianist, but to say that she has no artistic integrity, depth, or culture is just wrong.


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Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Originally Posted by johnlewisgrant
From the NYT comment section:
"To vaunt tasteless performers like Lang Lang and Yuja Wang, who have zero artistic integrity, no depth, no culture, just showy technique is to destroy classical music and its most valuable traditions."

I haven't yet read the article and don't know enough about Lang Lang to voice an opinion; that characterization of Yuja Wang, though, strikes me as wildly inaccurate. She's not my favorite pianist, but to say that she has no artistic integrity, depth, or culture is just wrong.
I agree. Doesn't make sense.


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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Originally Posted by johnlewisgrant
From the NYT comment section:
"To vaunt tasteless performers like Lang Lang and Yuja Wang, who have zero artistic integrity, no depth, no culture, just showy technique is to destroy classical music and its most valuable traditions."

I haven't yet read the article and don't know enough about Lang Lang to voice an opinion; that characterization of Yuja Wang, though, strikes me as wildly inaccurate. She's not my favorite pianist, but to say that she has no artistic integrity, depth, or culture is just wrong.
I agree. Doesn't make sense.



"tasteless performers". I do NOT agree at all. Oh well, to each ones own....



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Originally Posted by johnlewisgrant
From the NYT comment section:

"To vaunt tasteless performers like Lang Lang and Yuja Wang, who have zero artistic integrity, no depth, no culture, just showy technique is to destroy classical music and its most valuable traditions."

WAY off base, at least with regard to Yuja Wang.

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Originally Posted by Hank M
Originally Posted by johnlewisgrant
From the NYT comment section:

"To vaunt tasteless performers like Lang Lang and Yuja Wang, who have zero artistic integrity, no depth, no culture, just showy technique is to destroy classical music and its most valuable traditions."

WAY off base, at least with regard to Yuja Wang.


It's worth noting that the quoted phrase is the remark of a *reader* commenting on the article, and not of the author of the article. In fact, a theme of the article is how Chinese pianists tend to be stereotyped in precisely the fashion of that comment.

The remark, "zero artistic integrity, no depth, no culture...", is (besides being wrong), so subjective that it's inevitable to suspect that it's motivated by something other than a pure-hearted musical sensibility.


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Originally Posted by Hank M
Originally Posted by johnlewisgrant
From the NYT comment section:

"To vaunt tasteless performers like Lang Lang and Yuja Wang, who have zero artistic integrity, no depth, no culture, just showy technique is to destroy classical music and its most valuable traditions."

WAY off base, at least with regard to Yuja Wang.


If one continues reading that comment it has some, in my opinion, racist undertones. Something to the effect of the pianists in question not being able to understand classical music because of not being westernized, whatever that means.

It also states that classical music is built on tradition which I vehemently disagree with. If it is though, no wonder why it's dying.

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I agree that it is off-base to characterize Yuja Wang as tasteless unless you're closing your ears and extrapolating artistic taste and integrity from her choice of fashion.

Lang Lang and Yuja Wang dress equally tastelessly, but they play very differently. I think Lang Lang PLAYS rather tastelessly and without much artistic merit, but what's really interesting about him is what he's done for piano globally in terms of excitement in his home country and elsewhere, his effect on the piano buying market, and general interest in classical piano.

It's a fascinating story, and a fascinating subject (the classical rock star, who seems to pop up once a generation) and I'd be very interested in seeing a documentary on him.

Nothing will make me like his playing, though. BUT...some of his earliest recordings and performances were actually rather good. My current theory on this came after noting that they were all made while he was in, or recently graduated from school. I think that he has what appears to be limitless technique and a sponge-like capacity to absorb and channel good teaching. Two of the three pillars of greatness. Which means that when he was still training, and shortly thereafter, what you hear is Gary Graffman's incredible sense of artistry, playing through him. Later, when he was left to interpret the music on his own and not receiving daily input from sophisticated artists, he made some really questionable choices that left a lot of people scratching their heads about what kind of actual artist Lang Lang really was inside all along. And an inner sense of artistry--something amazing and unique to share with the world--is that third pillar. I don't see much development from there so my guess is that as incredibly interesting a person he might be, and as incredibly interesting his story is for its uniqueness and influence on the world of pianos and piano playing, he's just not that great of an artist.

I feel like you can be an amazing artist who is quite teachable, but with limited technical aptitude. You can be an amazing artist with technical aptitude but impossible to teach. And Lang Lang has unlimited technical aptitude, near-perfect teachability, but questionable artistry. But all three are necessary for objective greatness. Can you imagine if he'd been all three? However, HAD he been all three, I wonder if the fame would have followed. After all, part of what got him there was his INTEREST in playing in rock-star like venues and gravitating towards exhibitions of pyrotechnics, both literal and figurative.

I think Yuja Wang gets further down the path of being all three, by the way. She's not my favorite pianist in the world, and I'd never want to risk walking across a stage in those heels (fortunately nobody is asking), but I think it would be hard to dismiss her actual musical artistry.

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Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by Hank M
Originally Posted by johnlewisgrant
From the NYT comment section:

"To vaunt tasteless performers like Lang Lang and Yuja Wang, who have zero artistic integrity, no depth, no culture, just showy technique is to destroy classical music and its most valuable traditions."

WAY off base, at least with regard to Yuja Wang.


If one continues reading that comment it has some, in my opinion, racist undertones. Something to the effect of the pianists in question not being able to understand classical music because of not being westernized, whatever that means.

It also states that classical music is built on tradition which I vehemently disagree with. If it is though, no wonder why it's dying.


Yes, I think it is sadly rather in-fashion to dismiss Chinese pianists as robotic and lacking inherent artistry of their own. I hear a lot of talk about "competition robots" and almost always it seems to refer to Asian pianists.

I will say, I just got back from China and visited a friend who lives in a gigantic high rise in an affluent area of town. The local malls all have thriving piano dealerships. In the early evening during a hot summer, all windows were open and I could hear western-tradition classical music being practiced by children out of each of them, like hundreds of different birds singing overlapping songs in a tropical rainforest.

My friend looked up with me at the sky scrapers converging above us from the courtyard and mused, "you could make a fortune teaching piano here. The private teachers go from floor to floor after school all week. They charge whatever they want." Then she looked at me and added, "double it if you're Russian or Jewish."

So I guess making ethnic assumptions is not confined to the European side!




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Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
Yes, I think it is sadly rather in-fashion to dismiss Chinese pianists as robotic and lacking inherent artistry of their own. I hear a lot of talk about "competition robots" and almost always it seems to refer to Asian pianists.
People who think like that must be living in a vacuum because Asian pianists have done incredibly well in major competitions for many decades at this point.

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Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
And Lang Lang has unlimited technical aptitude, near-perfect teachability, but questionable artistry.
Unless you've read comments by his teachers I think any ideas about LL's teachability is total speculation.

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