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#418349 - 01/09/09 07:22 PM Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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This is a Polish pianist Jozef Kapustka playing one of the most difficult piano pages ever written,Prokofiev 7th Sonata, 3rd part
Incredible*****
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17eY339td4M

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#418350 - 01/09/09 07:33 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Well, there's 2 minutes and 26 seconds of my life I'll never get back.

Sorry, but that didn't do anything for me.

#418351 - 01/09/09 08:01 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Cyprien's is even faster, and as amazing as it is, I completely disagree with this approach.


"I'm a concert pianist--that's a pretentious way of saying I'm unemployed at the moment."--Oscar Levant

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#418352 - 01/09/09 08:36 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Whew. (Catching breath and wiping brow). Impressive. My score says "precipitato" but maybe it should say precipitatissimo.

Fabulous technique but I think the musicality is lost in the speed. I like a more disquieting version.


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#418353 - 01/09/09 08:42 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Sorry, but Horowitz still owns this in my book. smile


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#418354 - 01/09/09 09:12 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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I think that pretty much any piece can be played super-duper fast if you just practise it like crazy. When I was filming myself practising some Chopin etudes, after a couple of takes the speed was just ridiculous. Try it if you have a camera and compare after multiple takes, it´s actually really hard to keep the tempo down after repeated performances.

Then you just take the last take and post in on YouTube! :-)

#418355 - 01/09/09 09:13 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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There is no faster rendering of it, meaning: with ALL the right notes (and this is what makes a huuuuge difference in LIVE recording). As to musicality, Martha Argerich who plays this already fast enough,but a bit over 3' or so, puts some exquisitely amazing sonorities and details,what makes a difference at the first sight,although this one breaths a kind of a very pecular music as well.
Just another intellectual approach, a speed not really being an issue , but rather a kind of energetic impact,I believe.

#418356 - 01/09/09 09:18 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Quote
Originally posted by dzinn:
There is no faster rendering of it, meaning: with ALL the right notes
Sorry but who really cares? Even if the point of music is to play it as fast as possible I doubt that Argerich is somehow unable to play it faster than this guy. I also have to agree that a lot is lost musically with all the speed and excessive pounding. Where's the melody? Or the rhythm for that matter?


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#418357 - 01/09/09 09:29 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Quote
Originally posted by dzinn:
There is no faster rendering of it, meaning: with ALL the right notes (and this is what makes a huuuuge difference in LIVE recording).
As I said above, Cyprien's is even faster (and it's also live), FWIW.


"I'm a concert pianist--that's a pretentious way of saying I'm unemployed at the moment."--Oscar Levant

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#418358 - 01/10/09 12:07 AM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Ugly, boring, mindless, a total waste of time. Why not just make a midi file and turn up the speed?


Piano Teacher
#418359 - 01/10/09 02:17 AM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Quote
Originally posted by akonow:
Even if the point of music is to play it as fast as possible I doubt that Argerich is somehow unable to play it faster than this guy.
No doubt at all. Argerich's tempi are perhaps 'too' fast (in a certain sense) for some folks, but they never represent the extreme limit of what she is capable of. She's nobody's fool. As James Levine once said: 'you can tell me it's too fast or too slow; you can tell me it's too soft or loud. But don't tell me I don't know the music'.

Otherwise, I'll give the OP's YouTube post a miss. It was too fast for me, that is all.


Jason
#418360 - 01/10/09 07:46 AM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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It only comes off as a stunt. It makes no sense to play it that fast for any other reason IMHO. The piece is unintelligible at that speed.

#418361 - 01/10/09 12:27 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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All of the points raised in a discussion are pertinent,some are excellent.And of course Argerich can play faster, and she does.That was not the issue.The issue was that with such a speed you cross over to the utterly un-physical dimension making any material representation virually senseless and since we are evolving in a highly sensitive,not to say spiritual,territory,this is what finally makes it interesting.Thus,we all agree upon that,though slower,she obviously plays it simply better,but having established these inalienable facts, I still do think that this is one of the most amazing Prokofiev ever smile

#418362 - 01/10/09 12:53 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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I have to give credit to the pianist for an impressive technical display, but musically it was way too fast for my taste... It's marked precipitato - why people take that to mean "as fast as you possibly can play" escapes me...

While not known for Prokofiev, I really like Glenn Gould's performance of this piece. He takes a more modest approach to tempo in the last movement, but for me it is almost even more effective that way instead of just blasting away the audience with bravura. Link here


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#418363 - 01/10/09 01:09 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Quote
Originally posted by dzinn:
The issue was that with such a speed you cross over to the utterly un-physical dimension making any material representation virually senseless and since we are evolving in a highly sensitive,not to say spiritual,territory,this is what finally makes it interesting.
confused confused confused

#418364 - 01/10/09 01:10 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Quote
Originally posted by dzinn:
All of the points raised in a discussion are pertinent,some are excellent.And of course Argerich can play faster, and she does.That was not the issue.The issue was that with such a speed you cross over to the utterly un-physical dimension making any material representation virually senseless and since we are evolving in a highly sensitive,not to say spiritual,territory,this is what finally makes it interesting.Thus,we all agree upon that,though slower,she obviously plays it simply better,but having established these inalienable facts, I still do think that this is one of the most amazing Prokofiev ever smile
It's not Prokoviev.


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#418365 - 01/10/09 01:13 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Quote
Originally posted by dzinn:
All of the points raised in a discussion are pertinent,some are excellent.And of course Argerich can play faster, and she does.That was not the issue.The issue was that with such a speed you cross over to the utterly un-physical dimension making any material representation virually senseless and since we are evolving in a highly sensitive,not to say spiritual,territory,this is what finally makes it interesting.
There are certain performances I can name which certainly push the limit of what I feel the human nervous system is capable of, and yet are completely satisfying on an artistic level as well.

This is not one of those performances, for me.


"I'm a concert pianist--that's a pretentious way of saying I'm unemployed at the moment."--Oscar Levant

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#418366 - 01/10/09 01:27 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Ah Glenn Gould! Chapeau!
The performance discussed here is techno, Gould's is ART: majestic, communicative, technically brilliant and imprinted with the performer's individuality!!
I am a fan of Argerich's interpretation, but it was wonderful to watch Gould. He certainly brings a different signature and perspective that further highlight the beauty of the music. It is particularly interesting - as a side note- to watch how torturous his hand movements can look at times, and how impeccably relaxed Argerich's hands are, especially the left hand.. Fluid steel!
As for the pianist subject of the thread, he is probably trying to make a point with this performance. Perhaps he has other recordings where his musicality is better highlighted?

#418367 - 01/10/09 02:31 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Quote
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
It only comes off as a stunt. It makes no sense to play it that fast for any other reason IMHO. The piece is unintelligible at that speed.
2 points :

This is a valid performance, and i hear every note, performing at this speed, musically, provides a refreshing experience.

Performances that push the limits of the human body are no more 'stunts' than Usain Bolt's 'superficial and empty' interpretations of the 100m and 200m sprints.


Simply rather marvellous.
#418368 - 01/10/09 03:44 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Quote
Originally posted by Quite a Delight:
Quote
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
[b] It only comes off as a stunt. It makes no sense to play it that fast for any other reason IMHO. The piece is unintelligible at that speed.
2 points :

This is a valid performance, and i hear every note, performing at this speed, musically, provides a refreshing experience.

Performances that push the limits of the human body are no more 'stunts' than Usain Bolt's 'superficial and empty' interpretations of the 100m and 200m sprints. [/b]
Depends on what you mean by "valid". If you mean the tempo is "correct" in the sense it is within normaly accepted bounds of what the composer indicated, I would disagree. If you mean that the pianist truly feels that this is a correct interpretation, then maybe.

I would strongly disagree that running a race(where speed is the only objective)can be correctly compared to making music. Even if a composer writes "as fast as possible" would it make sense to play a piece twice or ten times what everyone else could play it at?

If one played Traumerai around one third faster(as in this Prokoviev performance) than virtually everyone else, do you think anyone would find it "valid" or "refreshing"?

I don't even find the performance exciting because of the speed because it is so bizzare. One of the most exciting performances I heard of this was by Grant Johanessen, and he actually played it somehwat more slowly than most. The motoric rhythmic intensity seemed even greater that way.

#418369 - 01/10/09 10:30 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Quote
Originally posted by dzinn:
There is no faster rendering of it, meaning: with ALL the right notes...
I find it interesting that you give him credit for right notes but don't seem concerned with the things he misses that aren't notes. (Things like espress, mp, cresc, etc...)

That being said, he plays it faster than I can, but I'll stick to the people who interpret the rest of the score. (Richter, Sokolov, Pollini, some lesser-known friends of mine, etc...)


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#418370 - 01/10/09 11:50 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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I think it's fun and kinda exciting to watch, though it's not the most outstanding musical interpretation. I'm curious as to the tempo he chooses for the rest of the sonata. That tempo will not work for the 1st two movements, and the difference in tempos between the 2nd and 3rd movements would be too extreme to be taken seriously.

Daniel


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#418371 - 01/11/09 10:19 AM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Quote
Originally posted by Kreisler:
[/qb]
I find it interesting that you give him credit for right notes but don't seem concerned with the things he misses that aren't notes. (Things like espress, mp, cresc, etc...)

You are right and your point is unquestionable.We are talking a high level athlete performance here:) Sound quality being very poor,(direct handycam with obviously no editing of any kind) you can only suppose that at least some of it is actually there, but you cannot tell with a 100% certitude,so it is not a disqualifying argument

#418372 - 01/11/09 10:58 AM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Quote
We are talking a high level athlete performance here[/QB]
Only if you think virtuosity only means hitting the correct notes.

#418373 - 01/12/09 03:39 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Well, I heard at a masterclass with Konstantin Bogino that this movement takes inspiration from caucasian dance rhythms, and isn't at all supposed to be as awfully fast as this performance.

#418374 - 01/12/09 03:44 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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I hear Russian tanks rumbling inexorably across a battlefield (at least as interpreted by Richter, Horowitz, Kapell, etc.)


"I'm a concert pianist--that's a pretentious way of saying I'm unemployed at the moment."--Oscar Levant

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#418375 - 01/12/09 04:22 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Quote
Originally posted by Quite a Delight:
Performances that push the limits of the human body are no more 'stunts' than Usain Bolt's 'superficial and empty' interpretations of the 100m and 200m sprints.
They ARE stunts when they distort a composition in a way that was never intended by the composer.

To my ear this performance is crap. If the guy playing wants to prove a point about how fast he can play, he should compose his own piece. laugh


Piano Teacher
#418376 - 01/12/09 05:30 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Quote
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
Quote
We are talking a high level athlete performance here
Only if you think virtuosity only means hitting the correct notes. [/QB]
in this case,yes

#418377 - 01/12/09 08:13 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Quote
Originally posted by dzinn:
Quote
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
[b]
Quote
We are talking a high level athlete performance here
Only if you think virtuosity only means hitting the correct notes. [/b]
in this case,yes [/QB]
Even a musical moron can sometimes hit a whole bunch of notes at top speed. What does it prove?


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#418378 - 01/12/09 08:39 PM Re: Possibly some of the most impressive Prokofiev ever  
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Oh no I was just going to post a link to Abdel Rahman El Bacha's clip of Prokofiev Concerto No.2 Cadenza .. now that is impressive Prokofiev; unfortunately, it was pulled down. frown

Did any one of you watch that?

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