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Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492406 04/23/08 11:06 AM
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i remember that my teacher once said that even within the Russian school, there're some different technique approaches. he mentioned a few Russian pianists, but i don't remember who's who anymore...

Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492407 04/23/08 11:15 AM
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Having studied with Russian, French, British, and American teachers during my life, it's probably best to think of certain techniques and/or idiosyncrasies that are associated with each "school." For example, the technique of flutter-pedaling is often associated with the Russian school.

In this day and age, it's all moving towards one big cosmopolitan school of piano technique.


Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.
Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492408 04/23/08 11:42 AM
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Flutter pedal - I do not excactly understand what is meant, but the use of the sustain pedal was held as belonging to another level of playing.

My age-mates were allowed to use the pedal much earlier - probably simply using it on-off.

- - - - -

Things are changing and schools "merge", and new ideas appears on the market.

I cannot think the American school is as bad as described. I have heard many good amateur pianists from the States, although I do not know wherefrom their teachers have come. A good school also inspires and encourages its pupils. Too much discipline and boring exercises can perhaps hamper the developing pianist.

Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492409 04/23/08 12:05 PM
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I think of “the Russian style” of being a conbination of excellent technique, a dramatic and formal stage presence, and a repertoire that puts some emphasis on Russian and east Europeon repertoire.

There are quite a few recent Russian emigre students of very high quality here in Minnesota. I don't know what attracts them here. Russian violinists, too. I've heard quite a few of them around town, and without pretending to be an expert on "the Russian School," I'll summarize what I've seen and heard from this group of musicians.

While the usual repertoire is played, there is a some emphasis on more eastern European music. I've heard Balakirov quite a few times, for example. Also Janacek, and others east Europeans whose names I'm unfamiliar with. Also, an emphasis on romantic music, or 20th century music of a romantic nature. For some reason, when it gets to baroque, they reach across Europe and play more Scarlatti than is usual.

They are highly proficien technically. From what I've seen, they tend to play with a high wrist, but not in all passages. They talk about “dropping” the arm. They don’t avoid pedal, and they pedal differently than others. The tone is rounded, full, and very satisfying. It is not a bashful sound. It gushes. It's in your face.

They also play with a tremendous personal authority on matters of musical style. There is never any question of rubato or tempo. No one would ever dare question it. Their attitude doesn't allow it. They play a given piece of music as if there is no other way to play it.

Some of this authority comes from a visual style and attitude.
They do not avoid visual flair and style of a certain arch quality, although I’ve heard them deny that they do any such thing. It's all about music, they say. The music is the only thing. Nevertheless, somewhat theatrical gestures and body posture seem the norm. It isn't surprising to see one show up in tuxedo and tails for an afternoon recital, and the ladies in a full gown. I've never seen a tiara, but it wouldn't surprise me. Their stage demeanor is formal, and I would say Royalist in tradition. They offer a much more formal bow, for example, as opposed to the head nod, or slight bend from the waist of the more egalitarian American style I'm used to.

With little exception, the ones around here are first rate musicians and performers

Tomasino


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

Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492410 04/23/08 12:14 PM
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Thanks, Tomasino. I'm asking because of the background of my violin lessons which I did not fully understand and began to delve into deeper because of some of the outcroppings of that. I am curious what that means pianistically.

Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492411 04/23/08 03:00 PM
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My right hand graduated from the Russian school, but my left hand attended the French school. :p

Sometimes they meet in a neutral country (Outer Slobovia) for café au lait and a blini.

Actually, I'm probably as much a product of the "Russian school" as you're likely to find. There have been a few other influences to be sure, but that is what makes things interesting. smile

Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492412 04/23/08 03:12 PM
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I'm the hillbilly version of the American school. No Hanon and you learn to play from a hymnal.


Slow down and do it right.
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Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492413 04/23/08 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by btb:
The Russian School was pioneered by Glinka and followed by "The Five" ... Balakiref, Cui, Borodin, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.

But what about Tchaikowsky, Glazanof, Scriabin and Rachmaninoff ... and later "Rite of Spring" Stravinsky, Prokofieff , Khatchaturian
and Shostakovich?
The thread is discussing pianists, not composers.

Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492414 04/24/08 12:15 AM
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Originally posted by Whippenboy
Quote
My right hand graduated from the Russian school, but my left hand attended the French school.

Sometimes they meet in a neutral country (Outer Slobovia) for café au lait and a blini.
Should that be Lower Slobbovia ?

Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492415 04/24/08 02:12 AM
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Thanks for the correction Sachs ... your comment about the Russian "pedal-flutter" is obviously some sort of joke.

In support of Phlebas’s neat summary of the fruitlessness of trying to pin down a ready description of the Russian school of playing
and his closing "It means different things to different people, which is why it’s a confusing topic" ...I thought it apt to remind of the
pioneers in Russian music.

It is interesting to read about Rachmaninoff gaining a scholarship to the St. Petersburg Conservatory at the age of 12 years.

"He was rather lazy as a student and managed to fail all his end-of-term exams in 1885.

A stern hand was needed to counter his idleness; soon Rachmaninoff found himself a lodger in the household of a famous piano teacher named Zverev. House rules were strict and piano practice began a six in the morning and continued under supervision for most of the day.

The new regime brought about a spectacular improvement. Piano studies were given the first priority, but even during his adolescent years the boy revealed a natural flair for composition. Indeed it was composition that led to a breach with Zverev, for Rachmaninoff found it impossible to compose against a constant barrage of piano practice from other pupils.

He transferred to the Moscow Conservatory where he soon became the star pupil. At his final examination in keyboard harmony he was given a unique mark; the maximum score possible was five, which, as an acknowledgement of exceptional ability, could be supplemented with a plus mark.

Rachmaninoff earned a five with four pluses, one each side, one above and one below. They were put there by Tchaikowsky himself, who was on the board of examiners."
(The Dent Concert-Goer’s Companion by Antony Hopkins .. page 467)

Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492416 04/24/08 02:15 AM
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Well, one school I have been wondering about is the Chinese school! After all, look at what is coming out of Peking. I am wondering where those teachers come from. Obviously, they are really stressing technique.


Baldwin SF-10 320152, Marshall & Wendell, Steinway B
Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492417 04/24/08 09:28 AM
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I'd guess the Peking Conservatory--I believe there is such a thing--is full of Russian professors from the Soviet era.

Tomasino


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

Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492418 04/24/08 10:52 AM
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Chinese music schools follow pretty much Russian school, because of Soviet era Russia influence.

there's a Chinese pianist Chenzhong Yin(?) who got 3rd or 4th place prize at Tchaikovski competition in 60s (?), and he was sent to Russian to study piano (which i read from somewhere and hope it's roughly correct). ok, found the info:

http://www.yinchengzong.com/media/theage.html

btw, nobody say Peking anymore but Beijing.

Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492419 04/24/08 11:31 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by dmc092657:
Kari - I'd be interested in seeing those videos. I did a Google search on Peskanov but didn't find anything under videos for him. Where did you get them ?
The videos were "In Search of Sound." You can see his materials here . I requested them through inter-library loan. (Lawrence University has them.) I've been interested in his Piano Olympics idea and purchased the manual, but I've had too much on my plate to pursue it further.


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Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492420 04/24/08 01:00 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by btb:
Thanks for the correction Sachs ... your comment about the Russian "pedal-flutter" is obviously some sort of joke.
No, it isn't. If you're denying the existence of flutter pedaling, a simple search of PW will suffice. If you're denying the association of flutter pedaling with the Russian school, you obviously don't know of the flutter pedal indications in Barber's Piano Concerto, and what gave the composer the idea to use the technique in the first place.

Either way: no joke.


Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.
Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492421 04/24/08 02:14 PM
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I saw Philippe Entremont taught flutter pedaling in master classes.

Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492422 04/24/08 02:41 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by LisztAddict:
I saw Philippe Entremont taught flutter pedaling in master classes.
It's a great and very useful technique to have! Seems that everyone is teaching/learning it -- goes to show you the trend towards the cosmopolitan in piano playing (not to mention the world at large).


Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.
Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492423 04/24/08 03:19 PM
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I have things to add...but busy working (my time of year)

And I thank you all for contributing. I think we all have much to learn still about the different schools and their approach to piano teaching and techinique.

but I wanted to add to the pedal flutter point...

I think I do this instinctively.... depending on the piano.

Maybe this flutter habit might deserve another thread of its own?


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492424 04/25/08 02:18 AM
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The joke is highlighting a spastic nuance (pedal-flutter) in the name of the Russian-school ... not seeing the wood for the trees.

Re: Russian, French, American, German School of playing - What are they?
#492425 04/25/08 02:35 AM
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btb, I'm planning a trip to South Africa; while there I would be more than happy to demonstrate flutter pedaling to you in person.

Maybe some sight reading too. smile

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