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Cage's 4'33"

I bet he could play it faster than anybody else around.

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Originally Posted by wr
Cage's 4'33"

I bet he could play it faster than anybody else around.

And with his eyes closed too.


Townley: Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor Op 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK1WR7oPY44
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by J Joe Townley
Rachmaninoff, after hearing Tatum play in a club is reputed to have said, "If this fellow ever decides to play seriously we'll all be out of a job."
On PianoStreet I saw this phrase attributed to Horowitz. I'd like to know exactly what was said and by whom. Are you aware of any sources? Or maybe someone else is aware?

It seems to be a merging of Horowitz's and Rach's remarks:

Top musicians in the 1930’s and 40’s and 50’s would go to Harlem clubs to hear Art Tatum play and Rachmaninoff told the press. ” If this man ever decides to play serious music were all in trouble”

Here's what Arthur Rubinstein said:

When a music professor saw Rubinstein in a jazz club and said “Maestro, this is not your usual habitat”. Rubinstein placed his finger to his lips, saying “Shhh. I am listening to the world’s greatest piano player.”

https://nmaam.org/2016/04/20/classical-music-meets-american-jazz/


Townley: Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor Op 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK1WR7oPY44
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I am quite skeptical of the Rubinstein anecdote. Having read Rubinstein's 2-volume memoir, I feel confident that Tatum would be mentioned if the anecdote were true. I do not recollect reading about Tatum, nor is Tatum mentioned in the index of either volume.

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Originally Posted by J Joe Townley
Rachmaninoff, after hearing Tatum play in a club is reputed to have said, "If this fellow ever decides to play seriously we'll all be out of a job."

Do we know what Rachmaninoff was drinking, and how much of it he'd had?

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Why would I want to hear Tatum play a classical piece? If I wanted to hear him, I would want to hear him at what he does best.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by J Joe Townley
Rachmaninoff, after hearing Tatum play in a club is reputed to have said, "If this fellow ever decides to play seriously we'll all be out of a job."

Do we know what Rachmaninoff was drinking, and how much of it he'd had?

A pianist friend of mine told me once that Rach liked creme de menthe and would have one before walking on stage. Make of that what you will.


Townley: Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor Op 2
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Originally Posted by J Joe Townley
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by J Joe Townley
Rachmaninoff, after hearing Tatum play in a club is reputed to have said, "If this fellow ever decides to play seriously we'll all be out of a job."
On PianoStreet I saw this phrase attributed to Horowitz. I'd like to know exactly what was said and by whom. Are you aware of any sources? Or maybe someone else is aware?

It seems to be a merging of Horowitz's and Rach's remarks:

Top musicians in the 1930’s and 40’s and 50’s would go to Harlem clubs to hear Art Tatum play and Rachmaninoff told the press. ” If this man ever decides to play serious music were all in trouble”

Here's what Arthur Rubinstein said:

When a music professor saw Rubinstein in a jazz club and said “Maestro, this is not your usual habitat”. Rubinstein placed his finger to his lips, saying “Shhh. I am listening to the world’s greatest piano player.”

https://nmaam.org/2016/04/20/classical-music-meets-american-jazz/
Thank you.

Unfortunately there are no sources specified in this article either.

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Feux Follets - maybe Gershwin's Walkin' the Dog/Promenade...

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If Art Tatum *had* lived earlier, I'd love to hear Art Tatum do a piano duel versus Liszt in a similar fashion that Liszt did with Thalberg.

I can only imagine how that'd go.


Pianist-in-training who changes his signature...alot.

I believe certain composers and their pieces in the less-played repertoire ought to be re-examined.
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I would rather Art Tatum stick to jazz. Personally I find him tiring to listen to, technically brilliant, yes. But brilliance can become as big a bore as perfection, quite quickly.

Sorry and all that, I know we are supposed to fawn at the likes of Liszt, Chopin, and the tedious Rachmaninoff and so on. But personally I'd rather listen to and enjoy a pub pianist bashing out "The Old Bull and Bush", any day, or a child "having a go" at Fur Elise.

I am lucky enough to be neither brilliant or perfect so gain much enjoyment from my own playing too as the Art Tatum recordings I have never bought gather dust.

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Originally Posted by Farazissimo
If Art Tatum *had* lived earlier, I'd love to hear Art Tatum do a piano duel versus Liszt in a similar fashion that Liszt did with Thalberg.

I can only imagine how that'd go.
Pretty badly for Art (and art in general), I'd imagine.

Would anyone really want to hear Tatum play stuff that requires subtlety and myriad gradations of nuances and finesse in voicings, like this?


Their duels weren't at all about who could improvise and play fastest, loudest and breaking the most number of strings. Ladies of that era (or of any era) weren't swooning to crash-bang-wallop and fast fingers in RH and LH bangs, which was what Tatum specialized in. Almost all his music is based on this formula & this pattern:


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Their duels weren't at all about who could improvise and play fastest, loudest and breaking the most number of strings. Ladies of that era (or of any era) weren't swooning to crash-bang-wallop and fast fingers in RH and LH bangs, which was what Tatum specialized in.
Tatum rarely plays loudly or crash-bang-wallop as you describe it. He does play very fast RH passages and insanely fast LH stride. As far as I know pianists in the duels you mention played their most technically impressive pieces in their piano duels. Thalberg liked playing his Moses Fantasy among others. The program for the Liszt Thalberg duel consisted almost exclusively of pieces meant to show off technical brilliance:

The Ivory Duel:
*S. Thalberg Fantaisie sur des thèmes de l’opéra Moïse de G. Rossini, op.33
*F. Liszt Grande fantaisie sur des thèmes de l'opéra Niobe de Pacini – Divertissement sur la cavatine I tuoi frequenti palpiti, S419
*F. Liszt Réminiscences de Robert le Diable – Grande fantaisie sur des motifs de l'opéra de Meyerbeer, S413
*S. Thalberg L’art du chant appliqué au piano, op.70 no.19 Casta diva - cavatine de Norma
*F. Liszt Réminiscences de Don Juan, S.418

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The program for the Liszt Thalberg duel consisted almost exclusively of pieces meant to show off technical brilliance
They're meant to show off the virtuosity of the pianists - in all meanings of the word: musical as well as technical. Operatic paraphrases involve cantabile melodic lines which are exploited in all the pieces.

Even Liszt's most bombastic paraphrase, the Don Juan Fantasy, has a long section on the seduction duet La ci darem la mano which is all about cantabile playing, with the tune in the middle as the accompaniment gets busier around it.


Quote
Thalberg liked playing his Moses Fantasy among others.
Here it is:



Most of it is fairly slow and soft, with a cantabile melodic line, and Thalberg's trademark "three hands" effect.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
S. Thalberg L’art du chant appliqué au piano, op.70 no.19 Casta diva - cavatine de Norma
I've already linked the Casta Diva piece earlier, which is slow throughout, has no fireworks and is all about the ability of the pianist to imitate a bel canto singer. Not something you want to hear from a jazzer, certainly not from Tatum.
Here it is again:


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The program for the Liszt Thalberg duel consisted almost exclusively of pieces meant to show off technical brilliance
They're meant to show off the virtuosity of the pianists - in all meanings of the word: musical as well as technical. Operatic paraphrases involve cantabile melodic lines which are exploited in all the pieces.

Even Liszt's most bombastic paraphrase, the Don Juan Fantasy, has a long section on the seduction duet La ci darem la mano which is all about cantabile playing, with the tune in the middle as the accompaniment gets busier around it.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
S. Thalberg L’art du chant appliqué au piano, op.70 no.19 Casta diva - cavatine de Norma
I've already linked the Casta Diva piece earlier, which is slow throughout, has no fireworks and is all about the ability of the pianist to imitate a bel canto singer. Not something you want to hear from a jazzer, certainly not from Tatum.
Here it is again:
I said the program was meant to show off almost exclusively the technical brilliance of the contestants, and that's obviously true since four of the five pieces fall in the extremely virtuosic(in the sense of playing fast and loud) category. Of course, long pieces like the Don Juan Fantasy have episodes with non fireworks passages but they and all the other pieces excluding the Casta Diva are obviously virtuoso showpieces and meant as such.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/05/21 07:18 PM.
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Originally Posted by bennevis
I've already linked the Casta Diva piece earlier, which is slow throughout, has no fireworks and is all about the ability of the pianist to imitate a bel canto singer. Not something you want to hear from a jazzer, certainly not from Tatum.
I was aware that Casta Diva has no fireworks, and that's why I was careful to say almost all of the pieces were virtuoso showpieces.

Tatum rarely played ballades without a lot of brilliant passage work but numerous other jazz pianists play ballads with beautiful tone and control of the melodic line. Pianists like Jarrett, Evans, Hersch, Shearing, and Charlap are particularly known for their gorgeous and non virtuosic playing of ballads that I think can rival the playing of great classical pianists.

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Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Claude Bolling, and Bill Evans are/were well trained classical pianists who choose/chose to play jazz. Herbie Hancock performed a Mozart concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at about age 12.

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None whatsoever


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
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Goldberg Variations!
Yes! I was thinking about it. I want to hear how he plays Goldberg Variations. grin

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