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Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467539 04/13/06 03:15 PM
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Kind of funny thinking about how I got really interested in Rachmaninoff. I didn't know anything about him when the movie Shine came out. So the first performance I ever heard was [gasp]Helfgott's[/gasp]. I quickly replaced it with Askenazy because I wanted to hear all of the concertos. I guess I was 15, and even though I was serious about classical piano, I was not into music/recordings at all.

After 11 years of educating myself on different artists, works, recordings, etc., I now have certain standards and tastes.

Looking back, Helfgott was amazing, and I'm really glad I thought that. Who knows what would have happened had he and his recording not been appealing to me. My hope today is that Lang Lang can be a Helfgott to other young people and they too can start that exploration journey. (I think much more highly of Lang Lang than Helfgott, so kids today will have a better "first experience".)

Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467540 04/13/06 05:30 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Brendan:
Quote
Originally posted by Derulux:
[b] No, I think the problem is you've never encountered someone who thinks so fast. And it can be detrimental to my arguments because I'll often think about 8 levels deep but only write one or two of them, expecting that people can keep up.


You're being very rude. Lang Lang threads are going back on the moratorium list if I see any more comments like this.[/b]
Isn't that a bit one-sided, Mr. Big Judge? Not to mention that the above statement by Derulux isn't quite as much of a personal insult as Jeffy's was... :rolleyes:

PS. Personally, I thought it was a fun, well-put statement, could never have put it so well myself--not that I'm taking any sides on the actual subject... smile

Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467541 04/13/06 08:21 PM
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Two things...neither Godowsky nor Busoni count, since they were both born before and died before Rachmaninoff. Secondly, Bartok, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, while perhaps adept at the piano, were known primarily as composers, not pianists. They are certainly not celebrated anymore as pianists. Medtner and Feinberg I do not know enough about...I'd have to do some research.

-------------------------------------------------

1. Because his fan base includes very young kids and others who are not as musically educated as the critics, professors and other peformers who mostly have negative views of him.

So the only people qualified to say what "good music" is are critics, professors and other "musically-educated" people? I think you're missing the point of music if you think that!

3. His fans are mostly younger kids, older or elderly people, the "casual" fan of classical music, or people from his home country. For the most part, his fans DO NOT include people who can appreciate a Horowitz or Rubinstein. The reason for his massive popularity is because there is such a larger number of people that DO find him appealing than those that take classical music very seriously. He appeals to all of the people that a Horowitz or Rubinstein didn't or wouldn't appeal to for whatever reason.
So, you would argue that classical music should NOT become popular, that it should remain remote and listened to only by "serious" classical appreciators? :rolleyes:

In one sense, Lang is to piano what Tiger Woods was to golf.
Tiger Woods may be the best golfer in the history of the sport. I doubt you meant that Lang Lang is the greatest pianist to ever play the piano...it would be inconsistent with your previous statements.

-------------------------------------------------

You're being very rude. Lang Lang threads are going back on the moratorium list if I see any more comments like this.

Brendan, I'm only being rude to myself if you reread the post. I have never been rude to another poster...ever, despite the rude remarks I receive.

That's 12 so far...
Gershwin/Bernstein- known today as composers
Kapustin
Hamelin
Liebermann

Heard of Hamelin as a pianist, never seen any compositions. The other two, I'm pretty sure I've never even heard of.

PS. Personally, I thought it was a fun, well-put statement, could never have put it so well myself--not that I'm taking any sides on the actual subject...
Thank you. smile *Recognition of your un-sidedness noted* wink


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467542 04/13/06 09:06 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Derulux:
Bartok, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, while perhaps adept at the piano
You funny

Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467543 04/13/06 10:14 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
Isn't that a bit one-sided, Mr. Big Judge? Not to mention that the above statement by Derulux isn't quite as much of a personal insult as Jeffy's was... :rolleyes:


Perhaps, but I read (present tense) the thread as four pages of sarcastic winks and posters (including Derulux and others) antagonizing one another. I don't know if you were around a year or so ago when every Lang Lang thread degenerated into personal insults after five posts, but it's something that I'd rather not see return.

For reference:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/2/8399.html

Sam made this thread in good spirit and has asked several times for people to keep on topic. Respect that and each other, otherwise this topic will be closed.

Quote
Originally posted by Derulux:
Heard of Hamelin as a pianist, never seen any compositions. The other two, I'm pretty sure I've never even heard of.


Hamelin has a quite a few piano and vocal works. They're not in the mainstream yet (mostly due to their extreme difficulty), but I think it's only a matter of time.

Nikolai Kapustin and Lowell Liebermann are two of the most successful composers living today and have recorded many of their own piano works. Do a google search for further reading.

Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467544 04/13/06 10:59 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Brendan:

Perhaps, but I read (present tense) the thread as four pages of sarcastic winks and posters (including Derulux and others) antagonizing one another. I don't know if you were around a year or so ago when [b]every
Lang Lang thread degenerated into personal insults after five posts, but it's something that I'd rather not see return.

For reference:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/2/8399.html
[/b]
I blame it all on lang lang himself .. the guy must be jinxed laugh

Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467545 04/13/06 11:56 PM
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he has a certain snappiness to his articulation that i really like.


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

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467546 04/14/06 12:37 AM
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Slightly off topic (but discussed in this thread):

Leonard Bernstein was no slouch as a pianist. The fact that we remember him today as a conductor and composer speaks of his prodigious talent in those areas; it does not mean he was not a credible pianist.

Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467547 04/14/06 01:50 AM
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Hamelin has a quite a few piano and vocal works. They're not in the mainstream yet (mostly due to their extreme difficulty), but I think it's only a matter of time.

Nikolai Kapustin and Lowell Liebermann are two of the most successful composers living today and have recorded many of their own piano works. Do a google search for further reading.

So, Hamelin isn't yet a great composer, and Kapustin and Liebermann are not yet great pianists. (Perhaps I should amend the term "great" to mean more than just the subjective "good", but also to mean "known" and "known for". That may help to alleviate some confusion.)

Leonard Bernstein was no slouch as a pianist. The fact that we remember him today as a conductor and composer speaks of his prodigious talent in those areas; it does not mean he was not a credible pianist.
Right, but neither does it mean he was a "great". (Perhaps the above amendment will help alleviate some of the confusion...it was actually after your post that I realized where a lot of the discrepancy was coming from. smile )


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467548 04/14/06 11:24 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by jeffylube:


1. Because his fan base includes very young kids and others who are not as musically educated as the critics, professors and other peformers who mostly have negative views of him.

Hey! Don't kids have the right to have own opinions? Professors might know more about "music", but eventually I think it's the world's task to bring classical music to the world which is rather unfamilar with it.

I won't say people who don't know anything about music are better critics, but they are the real people who can critisise, because they don't know much about it, so they only look at (or listen to, in this case) things they think are important, and don't pick on every pianistic or musical thing he does wrong. I'd rather have a pianist who can impress normal people than a pianist who is praised by all professors of conservatories etc. but letting normal audience falling asleep...


Kawai ES-110

"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is never enough for music."
-Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467549 04/14/06 02:42 PM
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Originally posted by lol_nl:
Quote
Originally posted by jeffylube:
[b]

1. Because his fan base includes very young kids and others who are not as musically educated as the critics, professors and other peformers who mostly have negative views of him.

Hey! Don't kids have the right to have own opinions? Professors might know more about "music", but eventually I think it's the world's task to bring classical music to the world which is rather unfamilar with it.

I won't say people who don't know anything about music are better critics, but they are the real people who can critisise, because they don't know much about it, so they only look at (or listen to, in this case) things they think are important, and don't pick on every pianistic or musical thing he does wrong. I'd rather have a pianist who can impress normal people than a pianist who is praised by all professors of conservatories etc. but letting normal audience falling asleep... [/b]
Given this weekend, I can only think of one thing to say to that: Amen. wink


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467550 04/14/06 03:05 PM
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It all depends on what you think the purpose of "criticism" is.

I for one like the type of criticism that seeks to discuss and analyze. The type of criticism that seeks to sanction or condemn is largely uninteresting and pointless.

What's really odd is why people insist on taking a stand. What's in it for them? If you hate Lang Lang and say so, then if history bears you out, then you get to say "I told you so." If history proves you wrong, then the other people get to say "I told you so." Is that elementary school playground reward really worth all the trouble?


"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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Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467551 04/14/06 03:05 PM
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AMEN!!!!!! thumb


I don't know what the meaning of life is- I'm too busy to figure it out.
Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467552 04/14/06 03:08 PM
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LL appeared in St. Paul about a year ago on the Schubert club's International series. The audience was made up of the same crowd that came to the other offerings on the series--Anna Sophie Mutter, Peter Serkin, Bryn Terfel, and so. Mostly they were middle age to elderly. There was not an influx of kids or young people. I'm a part of this crowd myself, and I know that they are made up of very experienced music listeners. Many have heard countless performances of the standard repertoire in piano, voice, or whatever, and they know and perceive differences in performance style and technique.

They appreciated everyone on the concert series, but I must say, they seemed to appreciate LL more than the others.

I question that his "fan base" includes an undue number of young kids, nincompoops, and other sorts of unworthies. Maybe, but you couldn't prove it by me based on what I experienced.

Tomasino


"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467553 04/14/06 03:28 PM
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What's really odd is why people insist on taking a stand. What's in it for them? If you hate Lang Lang and say so, then if history bears you out, then you get to say "I told you so." If history proves you wrong, then the other people get to say "I told you so." Is that elementary school playground reward really worth all the trouble?
Yeah, but in a nation where voting for President is no different than voting for "Prom Queen", are you really surprised? wink


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467554 04/14/06 09:36 PM
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Originally posted by Orlando Gibbons:
Upon seeing him play, I'd actually say that the music is truly living in his conciousness. (Good for him.) This is more than I could say for many. I get the impression, though, that his mannerisms are the result of a struggle to keep the window of life open; to keep the sense of the music's vitality in his conciousness.
Well said. I basically get the same impression. We hear many debates about whether a particular pianist's gestures and facial expressions are forced and affected or responsive and genuine. These arguments miss the point and present a false dichotomy. For many performers they are both (or neither?): a fluxuating push/pull in the struggle to live the sound.

Whether these gestures distract a particular observer is a different matter, of course, but that's not very important. The offended and repulsed can always close their eyes.

Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467555 04/14/06 10:11 PM
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Another pianist/composer was Benjamin Britten, he was good enough to record two-piano works with Curzon and Richter!

Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467556 04/15/06 08:30 AM
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Yes, I agree with LEMON PLEDGE and ORLANDO GIBBONS a couple of posts back.

" . . . his mannerisms are the result of a struggle to keep the window of life open; to keep the sense of the music's vitality in his conciousness."

Gestures and facial expressions are ". . . a fluxuating push/pull in the struggle to live the sound."

Most of us have experienced the urge to move as we play, to bounce a little bit, or sway to the 3/4 time. It's instinctive, natural, and normal. But what do we do with it during performance.

Some suppress it and remain as still as possible.

Some simply let it go, let it take care of itself, without giving it thought or due deliberation.

Others pay attention to it by nurturing and shaping it into something that is visually expressive and concordant with the music.

The first can result in a viable performance demeanor, although, in my opinion, it risks being a little flat visually, and flat musically as well, perhaps because the instinct to move is being suppressed.

The second can be very harmful to the performance. All sorts of little ticks and discordant gestures may develop in the practice studio, and show themselves to ill effect on the stage. Two modern day performers come to mind, neither of them pianists: The violinist Melonie Salerno-Sonnenberg, who literally knashes her teeth while playing the sweetest music; and the English tenor, Ian Bostridge or Bostrich, who goes through all sorts of elbow twitching and weird leg movements during performance. The myth-laden Glen Gould would be another example of this with his humming and conducting. All three of these performers are strong enough musically to overwhelm their weird stage demeanor. But it takes an effort on the part of the audience, because it is distracting.

The artist who shapes and nurtures the instinct to move, into gestures which are visually concordant with the music, are the most satisfying to me. They are not flat like the still performer, and they are not distracting like the performers who allow themselves to move without care.

In my own performance experience--more as a singer than a pianist--I find the third approach produces a stronger musicality as well. I speculate that this is because I am nurturing and honing an honest musical instinct into something expressive, rather than suppressing it.

Tomasino


"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467557 04/16/06 09:20 AM
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Let me begin by saying I do not consider myself in any way able to properly criticise great, or even good pianists. My experience with the piano, although greater than the layperson, is very limited. I have only a few recordings to refer to and some of them are not particularly well maintained (very old) vinyls. As such, I would like my comments to be taken with a pinch of salt, and if I make any glaringly ignorant statements, I would ask they are corrected without snobbery and insults. ... Bloody heck, I feel like I'm writing a legal disclaimer.

Back on topic: I am not a fan of Lang Lang. I will not deny he has incredible talent, far greater than anything I possess, but I do not particularly enjoy his playing style. I find his interpretations to be excessive, and his performances, although technically amazing, lack something. The best way I can think to express it is through painting. Lang would be an amazing realist painter, depicting what he sees with absolute accuracy, the difference between him and the better artist, though, is he lacks the ability to capture feeling.

Just my £.02

Re: some thoughts on Lang Lang the performer and why people don't like his stage behavior
#467558 04/16/06 11:21 AM
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I would only have a qualm with this phrase: "the difference between him and the better artist," simply because of the subjective nature of artistry and a term like "better". wink


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
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