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I hate Hollywood #393688
12/02/04 09:22 PM
12/02/04 09:22 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 5,749
McAllen, TX
B
Brendan Offline OP
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Brendan  Offline OP
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B

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 5,749
McAllen, TX
Why can't people just keep their hands on the keyboard? What's so important about making huge, flailing arm gestures? After listening to an otherwise fine recital this evening I couldn't stand the over-the-top-hands-and-arms-going-everywhere BS that the pianist was pulling. When used sparingly, physical gestures can add something interesting to a performance, but I believe that overuse is, at best, a waste of musical energy. HEY GUYZ LOOK AT ME, LOL!

Bottom line: gestures don't change the sound that comes out of the instrument and, in my opinion, are very annoying to look at.

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Re: I hate Hollywood #393689
12/02/04 09:34 PM
12/02/04 09:34 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,893
Canada
I
iamcanadian Offline
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iamcanadian  Offline
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I

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,893
Canada
I know what you mean. I prefer watching Hamelin(who is still as a rock) over someone like LangLang who tries to impress with extraneous movements.


♪♫♪♫
Re: I hate Hollywood #393690
12/02/04 09:40 PM
12/02/04 09:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,483
Ohio, USA
signa Offline
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signa  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,483
Ohio, USA
i do agree with you 100%. i saw Zimmerman playing the other day with amazement. his fingers almost felt like closely touching the keyboard all the time, and his movements were just so economic and minimum, and seemed nothing extra wasted. even his necessary hand jumps didn't even look that big, and yet great sound was produced. the only huge gestures he made probably were only at the end of a piece.

Re: I hate Hollywood #393691
12/02/04 09:50 PM
12/02/04 09:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
apple* Offline
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apple*  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
some people are full of movement...


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: I hate Hollywood #393692
12/02/04 09:52 PM
12/02/04 09:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 234
PianoMajor@MSU Offline
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PianoMajor@MSU  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 234
I know what you mean. It can get pretty annoying to watch people make unnessesary gestures while performing.

However, I do love watching Glen Gould play.(On tv of course) He is absolutely amazing when it comes to hand gestures. I remember watching a video of him playing something by Bach and when the right hand had long periods of rest, he would conduct himself with that hand. It's amazing yet humerous to watch.

Never heard of Glen Gould? Well you should try to pick up a video of him playing. It's really amazing how this man plays the piano!
-Paul


"Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art."

-Chopin
Re: I hate Hollywood #393693
12/02/04 09:53 PM
12/02/04 09:53 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,651
Delaware (slower/lower)
Ralph Offline
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Ralph  Offline
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Delaware (slower/lower)
I saw Andre Watts 25 years ago in Phili and still remember his facial expressions more than his playing. I'm going to see him again next Wednesday. He's playing three Scarlatti sonatas along with leigiti and Liszt. Should be interesting.


Do or do not. There is no try.
Re: I hate Hollywood #393694
12/02/04 09:57 PM
12/02/04 09:57 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,336
TX
valarking Offline
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valarking  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,336
TX
Quote
Originally posted by apple*:
some people are full of movement...
... and some, like Lang Lang, are just full of crap.
laugh

Re: I hate Hollywood #393695
12/02/04 10:03 PM
12/02/04 10:03 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,171
Wisconsin
markjpcs Offline
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markjpcs  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,171
Wisconsin
Quote
Originally posted by PianoMajor@MSU:
Never heard of Glen Gould? Well you should try to pick up a video of him playing. It's really amazing how this man plays the piano!
-Paul
I love the way he hunches over the keyboard, face almost touching the keys sometimes. He is a piano teacher's worst nightmare. His posture is non existent.

And how about that chair?

I love it!

Re: I hate Hollywood #393696
12/02/04 11:09 PM
12/02/04 11:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 408
Australia
B
Ballyhoo Offline
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Ballyhoo  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 408
Australia
Do you think that Alfred Brendel's movements are too extreme? I recently bought a DVD of him playing Hammerklavier, and his hands really leap off the keys at times in a way that seems artificial to me.

Re: I hate Hollywood #393697
12/02/04 11:24 PM
12/02/04 11:24 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,561
Canada
NAK Offline
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NAK  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,561
Canada
Some people, like Gould, use seemingly unnecessary movements because it makes them feel more comfortable while playing.

My rule for body movement: If you have to concentrate on how your body is moving, you're doing too much.

I don't agree with people who say that facial expressions and body movement are indispensable to an aspiring performer. I use body movement when it will make the piece sound better, not to get attention. Look at Rubinstein! Straight back, chin up, little or no expression, and yet he was a famous performer.

Re: I hate Hollywood #393698
12/03/04 01:44 AM
12/03/04 01:44 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 489
Y
yhabpo Offline
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yhabpo  Offline
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Y

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 489
I remember that a video of a man playing Chopin's preludes with wild hand gestures was posted here a while ago. Can anyone repost it?

Edit: I remember that valarking posted it.

Re: I hate Hollywood #393699
12/03/04 07:26 AM
12/03/04 07:26 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 782
Rochester, NY
M
mound Offline
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mound  Offline
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M

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 782
Rochester, NY
I agree some of it can be over the top..

Quote
Bottom line: gestures don't change the sound that comes out of the instrument and, in my opinion, are very annoying to look at.
I don't quite agree with that, gestures DO change teh sound.. unfortunately, not generally in a good way, which makes them unnecessary. I know for example when I play Bach, the articulation changes when I introduce even slight "romanticism" into my arms and upper body vs. when I try to really economize all movements.

the body should move, but it should be natural and unconscious.


-Paul


"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer
Re: I hate Hollywood #393700
12/03/04 07:48 AM
12/03/04 07:48 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Axtremus  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Can't you just shut your eyes?

If some one makes awful noise, it's hard to shut the ears. But the eyes are easy to shut.

Re: I hate Hollywood #393701
12/03/04 07:49 AM
12/03/04 07:49 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 808
NL, Canada
Samejame Offline
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Samejame  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 808
NL, Canada
I agree as well, I prefer a no BS get down to business performance to a lot of fluff and no substance. I'm there to listen more than to watch. Funny how you see this arm flailing stuff with so many classical pianists, and so few jazz pianists.

Jamie


"A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing" Oscar Wilde.
Re: I hate Hollywood #393702
12/03/04 07:54 AM
12/03/04 07:54 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 114
UK
elfen Offline
Full Member
elfen  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 114
UK
One of the problem with excessive movement is that audience (I mean general public unfamiliar to piano playing) thinks such movement is the 'product' or 'by-product' of musicianship when it is only a mean to produce music.

Re: I hate Hollywood #393703
12/03/04 08:43 AM
12/03/04 08:43 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 677
divadeb Offline
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divadeb  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 677
If movement happens, it happens...planning the grand gesture is what is cheesey.

Re:Gould...he is an amazing player although I am not always in agreement with his musical ideas. The singing drives me up the wall. It's so bizarre and tic-like, it's like Rain Man plays Bach. (your mileage may vary...I realize there are a load of folks who think that his vocal continuo is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Ick)


Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

www.divadeb.com
Re: I hate Hollywood #393704
12/03/04 10:24 PM
12/03/04 10:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 167
Dubai
Kempff Offline
Full Member
Kempff  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 167
Dubai
Quote
Originally posted by Ballyhoo:
Do you think that Alfred Brendel's movements are too extreme? I recently bought a DVD of him playing Hammerklavier, and his hands really leap off the keys at times in a way that seems artificial to me.
He does move alot, one good moment is in the finale (Fugue), in which there is this passage going up and down and at the end, he throws his hands in the air....

but I love 'im.


Perfection itself is imperfection- Horowitz
Re: I hate Hollywood #393705
12/04/04 03:21 AM
12/04/04 03:21 AM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 790
Auckland, New Zealand
T
Ted2 Offline
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Ted2  Offline
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T

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 790
Auckland, New Zealand
I do not have a technique so proficient that I can afford to waste what energy I do possess on superfluous gestures. The only time I do get physically carried away is when I am deep in an improvisation, but as nobody is ever watching it can't be theatrical. A leg came off the stool at such a moment the other night and I hit the floor - gave me a heck of a fright. I've had that stool for thirty-three years. I have a proper concert stool but it creaks so I kept on using the old one.

After that little episode I swapped stools and the old one, with new screws, can do duty with the practice clavier. It turned out for the best because to stop the concert stool creaking I wound it right down, discovering in the process that I played much better with it in that position. So all's well that ends well.

Overall, I prefer economy of movement.


"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley
Re: I hate Hollywood #393706
12/04/04 07:25 AM
12/04/04 07:25 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,232
Santiago, Chile
anor Offline
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anor  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,232
Santiago, Chile
We know you love Lang Lang's perfomances valarking, I bet you have that Carneggie debut CD signed by him.

I can stand some facial expression and little gestures (LITTLE) but inaproppiate movements can be very anoying. Even simple things like to drop the hands and look anywhere during a fermata, can destroy all the atmposphere.


ss ao lr ue dt on si .u dq ar no on ra qd u. is no td eu rl oa ss
Re: I hate Hollywood #393707
12/06/04 12:24 AM
12/06/04 12:24 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 22
British Columbia, Canada.
ylisztruusi Offline
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ylisztruusi  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 22
British Columbia, Canada.
So your saying you would rather watch someone play a piano like a secretary typing away at a keyboard in the office?

IMO if they sound good when they play I could care less how much they are flailing around. For some I think that is their way of getting a deeper musical expression.

Never seen Lang Lang perform though.. is he really that bad?


Music presents at once the intensity and the expression of feeling... the intelligible essence of feeling, capable of being apprehended by our senses. It permeates them like like a ray, like a mist, like a spirit, and fills our soul." -Franz Liszt
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