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Re: Wim Withers
Pianoman53 #2997016 06/30/20 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Pianoman53
I am making a series about this theory. I didn't think it was suitable in this sub, but I guess it is. So I'll post the video here, and next episode withh be put in a separate thread. It's bullocks, and not a thought-out theory.

https://youtu.be/40yFVGs2QAI
Good for you, Simon. Bullocks indeed. thumb thumb


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Re: Wim Withers
Carey #2997040 06/30/20 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Carey
Bullocks
Lol smile smile smile


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Re: Wim Withers
achoo42 #2997047 06/30/20 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by achoo42
Refer to my above post. Wim presents ZERO documented evidence. In fact, all documents and program notes fit in with our modern depiction of tempo. Wim only speculates based on the quicker-than-usual tempi of Czerny and then runs off with it, completely disregarding all historical evidence of pianists claiming that the Hammerklavier was impossible or the Schumann Toccata was the hardest work or whatnot.
Czerny was a boy when he began lessons with Beethoven. There is no reason to think Czerny was doing anything other than being faithful to his teacher. Plus the Moscheles tempi are typically within 10% of Czerny's. There are some outliers primarily because I believe Moscheles preferred slower tempi as indicated by the tempi he gave for Haydn & Mozart.

Originally Posted by achoo42
And what of Hans von Bulow claiming that Chopin's Etude Op.10 No.1 was played too fast?
I'm not familiar with that quote but I agree with von Bulow. The first etude is an homage to Bach's WTC1 c major prelude. And IMO works better at a slower tempo. It should flow like a wandering stream not a raging torrent. That's my opinion, nothing more.
Originally Posted by achoo42
And what of string players having immense difficulties with the bowings required at HALF TEMPO?

And what of opera singers and horn players? Who already almost burst their lungs singing at modern tempos? How would they possibly manage a piece in half the speed?
I believe wood & wind players have various techniques for dealing with long notes. Not sure about others. The piano is the only instrument I play. No problem for me to hit any note and hold it for as long as I need to smile

Originally Posted by achoo42
And what of Schumann ruining his hand practicing too strenuously? Scriabin as well? How could someone's hands be permanently damaged playing pieces at half tempo?
No one should ever hurt or ruin their hands playing in half beat or whole beat. There are also tales that Schumann (bizarrely) performed surgery on his own hands to loosen up the tendons. I don't believe them. Probably Schumann had terrible technique and developed malignant tendinitis. I've read studies that even today 60% of career pianists end up with injuries. As I've said before, if you hurt yourself playing piano You're Doing It Wrong.

Originally Posted by achoo42
And what of Beethoven's octave glissandi in the Waldstein? Have YOU tried octave glissandi at half tempo? Why would they be notated as glissandi in the first place? AT HALF TEMPO THEY ARE EASILY FINGERED!
Yes I've tried them. I use Urtext editions. Beethoven wrote a 1-5 fingering & that's it. He didn't write "gliss". I can't play a glissando there. My piano has a 58g touch weight, a 2 foot key length & a large key dip. I'd bleed profusely doing a 1-5 gliss! My teacher's piano has a 50g touch weight and a shallower key dip. I get closer on that piano but still not usable. I need a piano lighter-shallower than any available to me.

Originally Posted by achoo42
Critics that hurl insults have great reason to do so. Wim is truly a crackpot, if not an outright scam artist.
By the way Valentina Lisitsa & Josh Wright are my 2 favorite modern keyboard technicians. They are close to the way I was taught my first time around the block.

I don't know Wim. Wim doesn't strike me as a crackpot. After decades in the IT business world, he strikes me as thoughtful & hard working. If he's a scam artist, he is one of the worst ever.

When I was a student ALL my teachers struggled explaining the MM numbers. After lots of hand waving the solution was to write in their own MM. I always sensed they didn't know the answer.

In my personal ruminations I've come to believe in the foundational importance of Tempo Ordinario. It is fundamental, in my opinion, to tie tempo & rhythm to our own heartbeat. Wim caught my attention because he was taught that when he was in conservatory.

Here it is: Wim & I think of music in the same way. My current teacher does too. But I'm acutely aware it is passionately frowned upon to play repertoire in whole beat.

Honestly, I don't have the courage to play whole beat in public. I don't want to be called a crackpot or a bad pianist with people accusing me of not having "the chops." Maybe someday I will, but not today.


With new students Chopin was chiefly anxious to do away with any stiffness in, or cramped, or convulsive movement of the hand, thereby obtaining the first requisite of fine technique "souplesse" (suppleness). -- Carl Mikuli on Chopin the teacher.
Re: Wim Withers
samwitdangol #2997058 06/30/20 12:09 PM
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Schumann
The evidence re Schumannโ€™s hands is focal dystonia

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1603754/?page=2


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Re: Wim Withers
Fidel #2997077 06/30/20 01:01 PM
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You missed the point with Von Bulow. You are saying that Chopin's etude was played too fast even at half tempo?

If Wim is right then pianists in Von Bulow's time would've played at half modern speed regarding Chopin's marking of MM 176.

Chopin's etude would've sounded like this:



Yet Von Bulow advocated for MM 152 instead, saying that "the majestic grandeur would be impaired." He wanted it 15% SLOWER than the already incredibly slow tempo presented by Wim Winters. How does that make any sense at all?

Last edited by achoo42; 06/30/20 01:02 PM.
Re: Wim Withers
Fidel #2997085 06/30/20 01:13 PM
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Fidel:
First, czerny made a few editions to beethovens sonatas, and they all have different tempi, so which of the several (in some cases very different) tempi is the correct one?
And I don't have my score here, so I can't see what Beethoven wrote, but every other edition (including Czerny) write that they should be played glissando.

There are also Several sources that coincide with our modern tempi, from concert durations to conductors notes.

Technique was also a relatively new thing. Is it really that strange that the century that gave us Czerny, Moscheles, Hanon, Cramer, Heller and Burgmuller (by far the most famous composers for exercises), wrote very quick tempi?

We also have manuals from many musicians andvwriters on How to use the metronome, which is very clearly in single beat.


You are allowed to play however you want. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but so what? You're playing for you, not for others. The ptoblem comes wgen a clearly flawed theory is taken as truth.

Re: Wim Withers
Pianoman53 #2997096 06/30/20 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Pianoman53
Fidel:

You are allowed to play however you want. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but so what? You're playing for you, not for others. The problem comes wgen a clearly flawed theory is taken as truth.

I completely agree. You are the artist and you can convey the art however you see fit. Regardless of whether historical tempo was super fast or super slow, an artist should not be confined to it.


And I also agree that it is exactly where Wim goes wrong. If he likes plodding tempi then good for him. But to present it as historical fact flies in the face of everything we know about that era.

Re: Wim Withers
samwitdangol #2997123 06/30/20 02:53 PM
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After watching several videos from William Winters, the whole discussion focuses on just 1 thing: speed. Specifically whether we should use single / double count referring to 1 tick of the metronome as a beat or 2 ticks.

There were no recording devices until the beginning of the 20th century so we can only guess how fast pieces would have been played 200+ years ago. Musicians tend to tune their instruments to the A at 415Hz standard instead of 440Hz commonly used in a modern orchestra when playing a concert of pre-19th century works since the tuning used is not known. When specifying bpm on sheet music, it is a common practice use even numbers than odd numbers. You rarely see a number like Allegro 139 or 141. You're more likely going to see 138, 140 sort of thing. It is debatable whether people use single / double count in the past and the issue will never be resolved because we don't have old recordings to go by.

Re: Wim Withers
achoo42 #2997137 06/30/20 03:28 PM
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Just on this part which is sort of OT anyway.
Originally Posted by achoo42
And what of string players having immense difficulties with the bowings required at HALF TEMPO?

And what of opera singers and horn players? Who already almost burst their lungs singing at modern tempos? How would they possibly manage a piece in half the speed?
Are you talking of improperly trained musicians who don't have technique? For bowings of very long note there is a technique for that, which consists of a sleight of hand in transitions from downbow to upbow to make it seem seamless. I think it starts getting taught at the upper intermediate level. A singer who is 'bursting' their lungs can't be doing the right thing.

Re: Wim Withers
samwitdangol #2997145 06/30/20 03:48 PM
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Are there any examples of Winter's site where he plays slow pieces at half the speed most modern pieces play them? That would seem so obviously wrong to destroy his theory.

Re: Wim Withers
pianoloverus #2997158 06/30/20 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Are there any examples of Winter's site where he plays slow pieces at half the speed most modern pieces play them? That would seem so obviously wrong to destroy his theory.

He takes a full 9 and a half minutes to play the Adagio Sostenuto movement of the Moonlight sonata. It's excruciatingly slow but I'm not sure how that's half speed compared to the conventional tempo of 6-7 minutes.

Re: Wim Withers
samwitdangol #2997160 06/30/20 04:21 PM
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I wonder what Wim's professors at the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam think of his theory?


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Re: Wim Withers
Tyrone Slothrop #2997164 06/30/20 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I wonder what Wim's professors at the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam think of his theory?

Maybe this whole thing is part of a bet he made with them? grin

Re: Wim Withers
Qazsedcft #2997176 06/30/20 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I wonder what Wim's professors at the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam think of his theory?

Maybe this whole thing is part of a bet he made with them? grin
He's already won the bet hands down.

He alone, himself, with absolutely no help from any helpers whatsoever (except for one or two sycophants here), has generated more threads and more posts in PW than Yuja, Lang Lang, Martha, Vladimir, Van, Clayderman and Liberace put together.

That's pretty good going, nay, amazingly stupendously stupendous, for someone who thinks and plays Prestissimo furioso as Larghissimo e lugubre. thumb


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Re: Wim Withers
Qazsedcft #2997179 06/30/20 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
He takes a full 9 and a half minutes to play the Adagio Sostenuto movement of the Moonlight sonata. It's excruciatingly slow but I'm not sure how that's half speed compared to the conventional tempo of 6-7 minutes.

He is using the Czerny tempo indication, which he cut by half. I have 54 per quarter in the Czerny book, proper performance of Beethoven sonatas. Ww is using 60, so it is 30 quarters per minute. Most pianists play it more slowly. Here is a version that is close to the 54.

https://youtu.be/3Df14eGXzPk

Re: Wim Withers
pianoloverus #2997182 06/30/20 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Are there any examples of Winter's site where he plays slow pieces at half the speed most modern pieces play them? That would seem so obviously wrong to destroy his theory.

Obviously wrong yet he is oblivious. Check out 14:18 for the Adagio.



Furthermore, any singer would tell you that it is horribly impractical if not impossible to sing Schubert's Der Wanderer at this tempo.

Last edited by achoo42; 06/30/20 05:07 PM.
Re: Wim Withers
thepianoplayer416 #2997186 06/30/20 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
After watching several videos from William Winters, the whole discussion focuses on just 1 thing: speed. Specifically whether we should use single / double count referring to 1 tick of the metronome as a beat or 2 ticks.

There were no recording devices until the beginning of the 20th century so we can only guess how fast pieces would have been played 200+ years ago. Musicians tend to tune their instruments to the A at 415Hz standard instead of 440Hz commonly used in a modern orchestra when playing a concert of pre-19th century works since the tuning used is not known. When specifying bpm on sheet music, it is a common practice use even numbers than odd numbers. You rarely see a number like Allegro 139 or 141. You're more likely going to see 138, 140 sort of thing. It is debatable whether people use single / double count in the past and the issue will never be resolved because we don't have old recordings to go by.

Except we DO have such recordings. Francis Plante who plays below was born in 1839 and not only (allegedly) heard Chopin play as a child but also had many duets with Liszt. Surely he would know how pianists played in the 19th century.



Even as an 89 year old man his tempo is quite close to the ones we see today. Of course he is out of his prime but he still plays the work twice as fast as Wim Winters does below. Presumably Plantรฉ played even quicker when he was in his prime.



I think the comparisons of the tempo we see in the two videos really speak volumes of the stupidity in Wim's theory. Wim has in fact responded saying that the old pianists sped up their tempos in order to fit them on one side of a disc.

Yes, I'm sure that an 89 year old man somehow doubled his usual playing tempo of an extremely difficult etude in order to fit said etude onto the disc. Brilliant theory, Wim. Absolutely brilliant.

Last edited by achoo42; 06/30/20 05:20 PM.
Re: Wim Withers
achoo42 #2997219 06/30/20 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by achoo42
Yes, I'm sure that an 89 year old man somehow doubled his usual playing tempo of an extremely difficult etude in order to fit said etude onto the disc. Brilliant theory, Wim. Absolutely brilliant.

It proves the benefits of slow practice! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€ He could record it at that tempo after spending his practising life at half speed! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

Re: Wim Withers
samwitdangol #3001503 07/11/20 01:16 PM
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I saw someone saying that beethoven did not indicate glissando, but thats not the only example, another example of glissandos would be Czerny op 365 no 31 and he does say glissando there. Also I think I saw a rondo by czerny with third glissandos(he didn't write glissando tho) that would be around 14 notes a sec in double beat.

Re: Wim Withers
samwitdangol #3012079 08/09/20 08:46 PM
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Historical Evidence of Tempi in the 18th and 19th Centuries - A refutation of Wim Winters and his double-beat/whole beat theory, by Fafner Kr. (See here for alternate location)


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