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Beethoven's Choral Fantasy

Posted By: pianoloverus

Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/01/19 02:03 AM

I'm curious about other members' opinion of this piece. I have always loved it but it seems like many do not think it's a very great or important piece. The piano part has more scales and arpeggios than even the typical Beethoven piece. David Dubal, in his The Art of the Piano. says it "receives more performances than it deserves, I feel Beethoven is perhaps poking fun at himself as he piles one cliche upon another" but I don't agree.

Here are a few performances you can listen to if you wish.
Ozawa and Argerich
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjXBKR4iDS8
Andsnes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJeYMuIi8LI
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/01/19 03:17 AM

Just love it .A wonderful piece !
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/01/19 03:40 AM

I don't like it enough to ever listen to another performance of it. I heartily agree with Dubal's opinion.

Regards,
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/01/19 04:00 AM

Originally Posted by BruceD
I don't like it enough to ever listen to another performance of it. I heartily agree with Dubal's opinion....

.....and I can't hear it enough.
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/01/19 04:50 AM

A symphony ,a rhapsodic fantasia ,a concerto and as usual with Beethoven the pianist is the HERO ! What could be better? Anyway that's my experience with the work .
This is Beethoven from the revolution.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/01/19 06:22 AM

Originally Posted by Lady Bird
A symphony ,a rhapsodic fantasia ,a concerto and as usual with Beethoven the pianist is the HERO ! What could be better? Anyway that's my experience with the work .
This is Beethoven from the revolution.

BEAUTIFULLY SAID.

The piece has got to be in the top few percent of all pieces I know for "great moments."
Well maybe "top few percent" is a bit over-the-top....
Let's say top 15%. grin
(Easily.)

Here are a few -- and I do mean GREAT moments, in my little opinion....
(timings from the video, below)

1:10 (the opening): The entire opening cadenza, sometimes said to be the closest thing we have to a written version of a Beethoven improvisation.
Also, trying to put ourselves in the shoes of hearing the piece at its original performance, without their knowing anything about what's in store (which I sometimes enjoy trying to do), this opening strikes me similarly to how the cadenza in the 1st movement of Bach's 5th Brandenburg Concerto does: an awesome and pleasing SHOCK at what is happening on the keyboard. For me the Brandenburg is the all-time champ on this -- it was, I think, the first time ever that a keyboard part had such a prominent and extended display in an orchestral piece. I think such a cadenza was theretofore unknown, didn't exist. The audience must have been like, "What the heck is he/she doing...!!" This piece might be in a multi-way tie for second. You've got the orchestra and the chorus and the soloists up there, and the pianist. The pianist plays those opening chords, and you figure it's just a little intro before the orchestra and everybody else starts coming in. But no -- the piano goes on, and on, and on -- more and more wonderfully, creatively, and unexpectedly. If there were nothing else remarkable about the piece, to me this aspect of the opening would put this piece in the top rank. I think Dubal's knowledge and his appreciation of history is likewise in the top rank, but he blows this one.

5:53 The entrance of the main theme -- the sublime main theme.
Remember, the 9th Symphony didn't exist yet. Try, if you can, try to hear it without knowing the 9th Symphony.
The more I think of what Dubal said, the more I can't help thinking that he just wasn't thinking.
BTW this part would have been better if Argerich didn't feel compelled to change the tempo a few notes in (and then back again). grin

6:27: The entry of the solo flute for the 1st variation.
The variations are a wonderful sort of Sinfonia-Concertante-Within-A-Fantasy.

8:14: The tutti orchestra coming in on that theme.

9:31: The sudden shift of key and mood, to the furious C minor.

11:28: Oasis.

16:59: Entry of the solo vocalists. For me, that tops it off.
BTW, maybe I ought to say, I feel a special dearness for the piece because I was lucky to be my college's choral accompanist at the time when they were preparing it for their Beethoven bicentennial concert (that's 1970, folks). ha
I wasn't the pianist at the performance -- they got Rudolf Firkusny....actually it's a longer story; it was going to be a faculty member, who happened to be my teacher, but when they were able to get Firkusny they told the faculty guy to forget about it, which didn't make him too happy, nor hardly anyone who was there.....
it was an indescribable experience to play the piece, again and again, at first just with the chorus at their rehearsals, then with the chorus and orchestra, and then finally with soloists present. The moment when the soloists first come in -- at 16:59 on here -- was just.....well, again, I don't know what else to say except that I can't imagine where Dubal was coming from.

Moving on:

19:20 (and the repetitions): the octave-plus-inner 32rd quasi-glissando.

19:36 (and the repetition): the modulation (actually more like just a shift) from minor to major.

And I've only scratched the surface, folks. smile

BTW, I see Dubal around, sometimes.
If I do again, I'm going to give him he1l about this. ha


Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/01/19 06:41 AM

I thought the other Pianist to very inspired as well .
I wonder what the piano was that he was playing ?
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/01/19 10:57 AM

I love it! I've always wanted to play it.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/01/19 12:28 PM

Originally Posted by Lady Bird
A symphony ,a rhapsodic fantasia ,a concerto and as usual with Beethoven the pianist is the HERO ! What could be better? Anyway that's my experience with the work .
This is Beethoven from the revolution.


Well said!
Posted By: Sibylle

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/01/19 01:38 PM

Mark, that was detailed - and I agree with pretty much everything you say there!

I'm amongst those who love it. Even if there was an element of irony or poking fun at himself at it, it's still beautiful.
Posted By: Morodiene

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/01/19 03:17 PM

When I first heard this piece, I fell in love and bought the music even though it was way beyond me at the time. What I love most about it is that it's the 9th symphony in piano concerto form. C'mon, what's not to love!!
Posted By: Stubbie

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/01/19 04:49 PM

I love it. My favorite recording is from Brendel, with the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Argerich recording was good, but the Andsnes didn't move me as much; it seemed a little thin with respect to the choir and it was somehow distracting to see him playing and then conducting when he wasn't playing (I know, don't watch. Listen.).
Posted By: David-G

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/01/19 10:56 PM

I agree 100% with Lady B.
Posted By: patH

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/02/19 10:52 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Lady Bird
A symphony ,a rhapsodic fantasia ,a concerto and as usual with Beethoven the pianist is the HERO ! What could be better? Anyway that's my experience with the work .
This is Beethoven from the revolution.

BEAUTIFULLY SAID.

The piece has got to be in the top few percent of all pieces I know for "great moments."
Well maybe "top few percent" is a bit over-the-top....
Let's say top 15%. grin
(Easily.)

Here are a few -- and I do mean GREAT moments, in my little opinion....
(timings from the video, below)

1:10 (the opening): The entire opening cadenza, sometimes said to be the closest thing we have to a written version of a Beethoven improvisation.

5:53 The entrance of the main theme -- the sublime main theme.

6:27: The entry of the solo flute for the 1st variation.
The variations are a wonderful sort of Sinfonia-Concertante-Within-A-Fantasy.

8:14: The tutti orchestra coming in on that theme.

9:31: The sudden shift of key and mood, to the furious C minor.

11:28: Oasis.

16:59: Entry of the solo vocalists. For me, that tops it off.
BTW, maybe I ought to say, I feel a special dearness for the piece because I was lucky to be my college's choral accompanist at the time when they were preparing it for their Beethoven bicentennial concert (that's 1970, folks). ha
I wasn't the pianist at the performance -- they got Rudolf Firkusny....actually it's a longer story; it was going to be a faculty member, who happened to be my teacher, but when they were able to get Firkusny they told the faculty guy to forget about it, which didn't make him too happy, nor hardly anyone who was there.....
it was an indescribable experience to play the piece, again and again, at first just with the chorus at their rehearsals, then with the chorus and orchestra, and then finally with soloists present. The moment when the soloists first come in -- at 16:59 on here -- was just.....well, again, I don't know what else to say except that I can't imagine where Dubal was coming from.

Moving on:

19:20 (and the repetitions): the octave-plus-inner 32rd quasi-glissando.

19:36 (and the repetition): the modulation (actually more like just a shift) from minor to major.

I like the Choral Fantasy a lot.
But with "Oasis" I suppose you are not talking about the British pop group. I don't think the A major part sounds like "Wonderwall".

About the intro: I read somewhere that Beethoven wanted it to be improvised; but the version used most commonly today is an improvisation by Beethoven that somebody wrote down. I could be wrong of course.

As for recordings: I know a recording made by a school orchestra where a reed plays a loud wrong note in the quiet A major part. Sometimes these bloopers stay in the memory.
Posted By: Orange Soda King

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/03/19 03:10 AM

He has many pieces that are arguably "greater," but I still enjoy the piece. One of my old Brevard friends is performing it at IU in a couple weeks, and I can't wait! The variations a little after the opening cadenza are one of my favorite set of variations Beethoven wrote, even though they're rather simple.
Posted By: WhoDwaldi

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/03/19 04:12 AM

This performance, shown on PBS, was the first time I ever heard the "Choral Fantasy" or paid any attenion to Evgeny Kissin. I was impressed on both counts. It's from around 1990, shortly after German reunification, so it's also a historic performance (in the Berlin Philharmonic's old hall in the former East Berlin). Abbado era.



It's a marvelous performance, after a slightly ponderously-played, opening cadenza. laugh

(There's a sharper black-and-white version on YouTube, also; but, it sounds better in fuzzy color, for some reason. 🤣)

I think there is a prejudice against it for using so many forces and a choir (old bias against "amateurish" choirs).
Posted By: WhoDwaldi

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/03/19 04:31 AM

Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
It's from around 1990, shortly after German reunification, so it's also a historic performance (in the Berlin Philharmonic's old hall in the former East Berlin). Abbado era.



I'm mistaken, there. The Konzerthaus was not the Berlin Philharmonic's old home. But, it's a famous old hall that had to be rebuilt by the East German government after the war.
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/03/19 06:30 AM

If only the sound quality was better .,But just listening to that wonderful huge choir and of course Kissin with that orchestra makes
it truly worthwhile. Thank you .
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/03/19 05:08 PM

Originally Posted by Lady Bird
If only the sound quality was better .,But just listening to that wonderful huge choir and of course Kissin with that orchestra makes
it truly worthwhile. Thank you .


Yes, it was well worth the listen!
Posted By: SiFi

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/04/19 04:07 PM

Originally Posted by johnstaf
I love it! I've always wanted to play it.

I'm another big fan of the piece but it has mildly unfortunate associations for me because the one time I performed it things did not go smoothly. This was the first time I'd played in a major concert at Cambridge University and the piece was the the big final showpiece on the program, so I was nervous as heck (not allowed to say h*ll on this forum ha ). Then, just as we were about the start, the conductor realized he didn't have his score so he went off in search of it. I swear, after four or five minutes just sitting there in front of a big orchestra, an even bigger chorus, and a packed house, with nothing to do but get more and more nervous, I was actually hoping he'd never find it and we'd end up calling the whole thing off. By the time he did get back with the lost score, the audience had become restless, with lots of muttering and semi-audible complaining. It took another couple of minutes to quiet them down. Then, as you know, I had to launch into the big cadenza, with some really nasty octave/double-note passagework, starting cold with a moderately hostile audience that was already set up to expect something amateurish. Somehow I got through it and from the point where the orchestra magically enters I had a blast. Then, when the whole thing reached its apotheosis with everyone going full tilt, the audience had become completely enraptured and my frantically nervous cadenza was all but forgotten.

So I hope if you ever do get to play it johnstaf, it's under better circumstances! grin

BTW, Mark_C, I can't believe you didn't include the sweet little string quartet variation among your favorite highlights!
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/04/19 04:48 PM

It's interesting that no one(so far!)has had anything other than praise for this piece. Have other posters at least read other negative reviews of this work or do you think Dubal's negative opinion mentioned in my OP is more of an outlier?
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/04/19 05:58 PM

I don't see much to dislike about the Choral Fantasia, unless you're of such an intellectual (read: snobbish wink ) bent that anything that smacks mostly (or even purely) of tub-thumping fun, with lots of banging, is deemed vulgar and unseemly, and therefore unworthy of one's attention, especially coming from the esteemed pen of Luddy. (But hang on, didn't the same Luddy make those arrangements of folk songs from Britain, for ready cash?)

Most pianists enjoy the opportunity to flex their muscles and make a lot of noise (especially in attempting to drown out orchestra and choir at full cry), and in the Fantasia, they get to do just that. It's not for shrinking violets or for those whose main preoccupation is in showing off how much subtle tonal variety they can get between ppp and pp; it's for those who want to show off their power and virility whistle, which is why the most successful performances are those by powerhouse pianists like Pollini and Kissin.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/04/19 06:15 PM

Originally Posted by SiFi
I can't believe you didn't include the sweet little string quartet variation among your favorite highlights!

A few things:

-- I sort of subsumed it in what I had about the variations;
-- I said at the end that I had merely scratched the surface;
-- If it had been about my "favorite highlights," I would have singled it out. What I called it was "great moments," which (I'm splitting hairs here, but, well, that's what I do) ha ....which isn't the same as favorite highlights. I was talking about moments where in a certain instant I go "wow," and yes, in a gentle way, that variation does do it, but in a gentle way.

BTW I don't mean that in order to be "wow wow" it has to be loud. ha

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
It's interesting that no one(so far!)has had anything other than praise for this piece.

(see Bruce's) grin
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/04/19 06:29 PM

I stand forlorn, alone and rejected by all as (according to bennevis) the "snobbish ... shrinking violet" who can't appreciate the repetitious and somewhat bombastic content of the "Choral Fantasy" of Herr Beethoven.

Oh, well ....

Sad cheers!
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/04/19 06:50 PM

Originally Posted by BruceD
I stand forlorn, alone and rejected by all as (according to bennevis) the "snobbish ... shrinking violet" who can't appreciate the repetitious and somewhat bombastic content....

Well, 1st mvt of 5th Symph? grin
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/04/19 09:11 PM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by BruceD
I stand forlorn, alone and rejected by all as (according to bennevis) the "snobbish ... shrinking violet" who can't appreciate the repetitious and somewhat bombastic content....

Well, 1st mvt of 5th Symph? grin


In the fifth symphony Beethoven doesn't take six minutes to wander aimlessly around before finally settling down to the first subject. In the fifth symphony the development of the opening motif is done with extreme skill - genius, actually - and with great interest to the attentive listener.

Regards,
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/04/19 09:19 PM

Originally Posted by BruceD
I stand forlorn, alone and rejected by all as (according to bennevis) the "snobbish ... shrinking violet" who can't appreciate the repetitious and somewhat bombastic content of the "Choral Fantasy" of Herr Beethoven.

Oh, well ....

Sad cheers!


We are all have likes and dislike of different pieces .I have grown tired of listening to some really great Beethoven pieces .One of them is a Beethoven piano concerto. I am not even going to say which one because it is one of the really wonderful ones .
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/04/19 11:03 PM

Originally Posted by BruceD
In the fifth symphony Beethoven doesn't take six minutes to wander aimlessly around before finally settling down to the first subject. In the fifth symphony the development of the opening motif is done with extreme skill - genius, actually - and with great interest to the attentive listener.

So. it's mostly that you just don't like the material, which of course is subjective.
I was referring to this in what you had said: "the repetitious and somewhat bombastic content."
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 12:02 AM

FWIW:

I did sit through the Argerich/Ozawa performance linked above, with the score in hand, and I'm still here to tell about it. smile

Cheers!
Posted By: BDB

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 01:04 AM

The "aimless wandering around" is said to be the closest thing to Beethoven's improvising that was ever notated.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 02:21 AM

Originally Posted by BDB
The "aimless wandering around" is said to be the closest thing to Beethoven's improvising that was ever notated.


Yes, that's what they say.
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 03:57 AM

I've performed it before. It's probably not Beethoven's best piece, but it sure is fun onstage trying to outdo an orchestra, vocal soloists, and a choir! The piano part isn't that hard, and it's much more satisfying to play then the Triple Concerto.
Posted By: BDB

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 04:25 AM

"Probably not Beethoven's best piece" is still more than most compositions could aspire to!
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 05:37 AM

Originally Posted by Brendan
The piano part isn't that hard.....

Although you know the piece and have performed it, you're wrong. grin

Really.
One might say it's subjective....of course it's subjective.
But, except for very very advanced players, it's simply not true that it isn't hard.

I'm going to single out some places, among others I could cite. All I mean to do is show that it's simply false that it's not hard, and all we'd need for that is one thing.
So I'm giving three. smile




I'd say that the technically hardest thing -- the most clearly hard (it's a no-doubter) -- is the section starting at 4:00, with the leaping octaves in the right hand, while the left hand is also doing hard stuff but even forget that; the right hand by itself is enough to make the point.
Unless, of course, you're not talking about necessarily playing it at a good tempo, or about playing it well -- and I imagine you are.

Secondarily: The furious C minor section, at 19:20.
Not hard if we're not requiring that it be played at a good tempo and with proper fury. Very hard if we are.

And finally: Those quasi-glissando upward octave-with-inner-3rd flourishes, at 19:20 and afterwards.
Sure, you could say it's 'not that hard,' and you'd be sort of right. But, again, if we're talking about doing it at a good tempo and doing it well.....it's a thing that's beyond most players and is a challenge each and every time even for very good players. Could you do it each and every time, totally cleanly and totally how you'd like to?
If so, I'd say you're in a rarefied minority.
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 08:03 AM

It's amazing how this aimless wandering grows, finds its form and develops into something like a wonderful concerto /symphony .
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 08:53 AM

OOPS, sorry -- made a mistake about where to find one of those parts in the video.

I said:

Originally Posted by Mark_C
....Secondarily: The furious C minor section, at 19:20...

Actually it's at 9:31.
19:20 is where the next thing is.
(Sorry! I'd edit/correct the earlier post if I could, but there's now a pretty stringent time limit on editing.)
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 12:19 PM

Originally Posted by BDB
"Probably not Beethoven's best piece" is still more than most compositions could aspire to!

Well said!
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 01:48 PM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Brendan
The piano part isn't that hard.....

Although you know the piece and have performed it, you're wrong. grin
Really.One might say it's subjective....of course it's subjective.
But, except for very very advanced players, it's simply not true that it isn't hard.
Brendan is clearly speaking from the perspective of what you call "very advanced". Brendan is at different level than you so I don't see the point in just saying he's wrong. I'm sure you'd find every one of Brendan's recital programs, including his latest WTC Book 1, very hard if not impossible to perform.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 04:53 PM

I said it because of what the post said. Simple as that.

He simply said it flat-out. People who come across it will (WILL) take it as a general thing, not how you're indicating he meant it, which also I happen to disagree with.

Things like that are best countered, and in this case, I'd say 'corrected.'
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 05:07 PM

I wonder if Martha's page turners get stage fright.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 05:18 PM

Originally Posted by johnstaf
I wonder if Martha's page turners get stage fright.

I think I might have because of how she kept coming in too soon on almost all her entrances. ha
Posted By: SiFi

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 06:30 PM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Brendan
The piano part isn't that hard.....

Although you know the piece and have performed it, you're wrong. grin
Really.One might say it's subjective....of course it's subjective.
But, except for very very advanced players, it's simply not true that it isn't hard.
Brendan is clearly speaking from the perspective of what you call "very advanced". Brendan is at different level than you so I don't see the point in just saying he's wrong.

I'm with Mark_C on this one, even if he had cited only the first of his three examples. Those leaping demisemiquaver octaves near the end of the introduction, with the hemidemisemiquaver figures in the left hand, are totally exposed and IMO extremely difficult to play cleanly at what most people would consider the appropriate tempo. In fact, I'd say the difficulty is integral to the overall effect of the music. You can't use more than an occasional touch of the sustaining pedal because of all the LH non-harmony notes in a resonant register of the instrument. There are some other technically nasty moments in the cadenza, and as Mark points out, the rest of the piece, but for mere mortal pianists faced with having to battle nerves and pull off a convincing solo opening to a fairly monumental work, that octave passage is a nightmare. "Isn't that hard" just isn't that accurate. eek eek crazy crazy
Posted By: SiFi

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 06:44 PM

Originally Posted by johnstaf
I wonder if Martha's page turners get stage fright.

I dunno, but after this video went viral I doubt Yuja Wang can find many willing page turners:



Also some interesting commentary here. ("TURN. THE. PAGE.") https://www.classicfm.com/artists/yuja-wang/news/page-turner/
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/05/19 07:22 PM

She doesn't like people coughing either.... It's at 31:40
Posted By: argerichfan

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/06/19 03:13 AM

Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
He has many pieces that are arguably "greater," but I still enjoy the piece.

I love it, always have. And the Argerich video -which I had not recently seen- certainly conveyed the 'spirit' in spades.

Of course there are many works of Beethoven 'arguably [or not so much] greater', but that seems to miss the point. Beethoven wasn't setting out to be profound, or particularly concise. This is Public Music, intended to communicate by the most kinetic means, moving and elevating the spirit. The Choral Fantasy is a masterpiece of its genre and should be accepted for what it is.

Haven't been around in a while, needed a break.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/06/19 12:20 PM

Originally Posted by johnstaf
She doesn't like people coughing either.... It's at 31:40


I do not think any pianist appreciates coughing during a performance.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/06/19 12:21 PM

Originally Posted by SiFi
Originally Posted by johnstaf
I wonder if Martha's page turners get stage fright.

I dunno, but after this video went viral I doubt Yuja Wang can find many willing page turners:



Also some interesting commentary here. ("TURN. THE. PAGE.") https://www.classicfm.com/artists/yuja-wang/news/page-turner/



If looks could kill grin
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/06/19 10:25 PM

Originally Posted by SiFi
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Brendan
The piano part isn't that hard.....

Although you know the piece and have performed it, you're wrong. grin
Really.One might say it's subjective....of course it's subjective.
But, except for very very advanced players, it's simply not true that it isn't hard.
Brendan is clearly speaking from the perspective of what you call "very advanced". Brendan is at different level than you so I don't see the point in just saying he's wrong.

I'm with Mark_C on this one, even if he had cited only the first of his three examples. Those leaping demisemiquaver octaves near the end of the introduction, with the hemidemisemiquaver figures in the left hand, are totally exposed and IMO extremely difficult to play cleanly at what most people would consider the appropriate tempo. In fact, I'd say the difficulty is integral to the overall effect of the music. You can't use more than an occasional touch of the sustaining pedal because of all the LH non-harmony notes in a resonant register of the instrument. There are some other technically nasty moments in the cadenza, and as Mark points out, the rest of the piece, but for mere mortal pianists faced with having to battle nerves and pull off a convincing solo opening to a fairly monumental work, that octave passage is a nightmare. "Isn't that hard" just isn't that accurate. eek eek crazy crazy


It's not that hard.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/06/19 11:38 PM

Originally Posted by Brendan

It's not that hard.


This reminds me of a quote from Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales":

"And Snakes-and-Families and Happy Ladders. And Easy Hobbi-Games for Little Engineers, complete with instructions. Oh, easy for Leonardo!"

Regards,
Posted By: SiFi

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/09/19 06:45 AM

Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Brendan

It's not that hard.


This reminds me of a quote from Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales":

"And Snakes-and-Families and Happy Ladders. And Easy Hobbi-Games for Little Engineers, complete with instructions. Oh, easy for Leonardo!"

That's wonderful. Thanks BruceD.

Just my opinion, but I don't feel it's ever helpful when experts or geniuses tell us that something "isn't that hard". If Einstein were still alive and blogging, I doubt he would ever say online that understanding how the Lorentz Transformation equations relate to Special Relativity "isn't that hard". I believe he would have recognized that saying such a thing would have the effect (intended or otherwise) of making the rest of us seem small. Just sayin'.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/09/19 12:15 PM

Originally Posted by SiFi
Just my opinion, but I don't feel it's ever helpful when experts or geniuses tell us that something "isn't that hard"...I believe he would have recognized that saying such a thing would have the effect (intended or otherwise) of making the rest of us seem small.
I don't feel that way at all. The kind of thinking that Brendan's comment was somehow demeaning never even crossed my mind, and I was actually very surprised to read what I quoted above.

To me it just seems a given that there are pianists who play at a much higher level than me in the same way that I play at a much higher level than other pianists. For me it just "is was it is". There are so many great pieces I can play it doesn't really concern me that there are many that I can't play.

When someone comments on piece's difficulty isn't it obvious that in evaluating the comment one has to consider the skill level of the person making the comment and the level of his intended audience?
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/09/19 04:34 PM

Other pieces that aren't that hard, in my experience (and current judgment, in view of some of the recent posts): wink

Liszt Sonata in B minor (easier than the Chopin)
Feux Follets (especially if you leave out the hard parts)
Chopin Etude #1 (if you do this cheat fingering that I have)
Beethoven Appassionata (if you play it at Gould's tempos)
Scriabin late sonatas (you don't really need to get the notes in order for people to think you're playing great) ha


In no respect or by any stretch of the imagination is it accurate (in terms of anything of general relevance) is it to say that the Choral Fantasy isn't that hard.
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/10/19 03:02 AM

This thread is a pretty awesome reminder of why I don't post here much anymore, but regardless:

Beethoven, Piano Concerto 1 - ca. 39 minutes, actually pretty hard throughout.

Beethoven, Piano Concerto 2 - ca. 35 minutes, medium/hard, mostly in the first movement.

Beethoven, Piano Concerto 3 - ca. 35 minutes, medium/hard in a few spots in the rondo.

Beethoven, Piano Concerto 4 - ca. 35 minutes, extremely hard throughout (I maintain that this is one of the most difficult concerti in the standard repertoire).

Beethoven, Piano Concerto 5 - ca. 40 minutes, quite hard, but not as difficult as 4, but perhaps slightly more so than 1.

Beethoven, Choral Fantasy - ca. 20 minutes, not that hard. It's basically orchestral piano, the figurations are extremely repetitive and derivative, much of it is in the background after a point, and it only took me a week to learn, as opposed to the concerti listed above, all of which were summer projects of serious practice. I think I learned the cadenza in about two practice sessions.

You all can continue to debate and nitpick, but it's quite simply not that hard. Anyway, got another complete WTC Book I on Tuesday, so back to practicing for that.

(...and that's hard, but it's getting easier now that I have the structure/flow pretty well mapped out. Maybe next year it won't be that hard.)
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/10/19 03:28 AM

Update: just read through it again to give Mark and Simon the benefit of the doubt - yep, still not that hard!
Posted By: SiFi

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/10/19 03:35 AM

Originally Posted by Brendan
Update: just read through it again to give Mark and Simon the benefit of the doubt - yep, still not that hard!

Well you're certainly doing due diligence, Brendan. I think there may be a little miscommunication going on here and your list of Beethoven works might help to resolve it. Watch this space! ha
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/10/19 04:30 AM

Originally Posted by Brendan
Beethoven, Piano Concerto 5 - ca. 40 minutes, quite hard, but not as difficult as 4, but perhaps slightly more so than 1.

I had the chance once to perform a concerto and to pick which it would be, and I picked #5, although Beethoven's 4th was what I 'really' wanted to play at that moment -- because of what you're saying about them. A reason also was that the orchestra wasn't the greatest and I felt the 5th 'plays itself' in a way that the 4th certainly doesn't (which is also why I didn't even consider Mozart), but 'secretly' a big reason was that the 4th seemed like more of a reach for me.

I don't at all agree, though, that the 5th is only slightly harder than the 1st if at all. Maybe part of our difference is that a big thing I take into account in looking at such a thing is, what are the most difficult parts of a piece, however limited they may be (this is why people who say Opus 110 "isn't that hard," which we hear all the time, are simply wrong, extremely wrong; but that's off the subject) grin ....and there simply isn't anything in #1 which is nearly as challenging as the most difficult moments of the Emperor.

Quote
....it only took me a week to learn, as opposed to the concerti listed above, all of which were summer projects of serious practice.

Doesn't seem real relevant to what we're talking about, including because some things that are less challenging technically can take longer to learn. As you also said there (not quoted here), the Choral Fantasy is a shorter and simpler piece than the concerti, and for sure that's a large part of why it would take less time to learn.

Quote
I think I learned the cadenza in about two practice sessions.

Maybe you're just unusually good, for example, at wide-jumping right hand octaves!
But anyway, that doesn't address our question in the least, at all, whatsoever, because I could learn it in about two practice sessions too -- but it doesn't necessarily mean I'd be able to play it well or reliably. Don't get me wrong; I don't mean to be suggesting that I doubt that you played it well, just that the "two practice sessions" thing says absolutely nothing toward what we're discussing.

Quote
This thread is a pretty awesome reminder of why I don't post here much anymore...

You're depriving yourself of some highly intelligent discussion, like what you're seeing right here. ha

Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/10/19 03:11 PM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Brendan
Beethoven, Piano Concerto 5 - ca. 40 minutes, quite hard, but not as difficult as 4, but perhaps slightly more so than 1.

I had the chance once to perform a concerto and to pick which it would be, and I picked #5, although Beethoven's 4th was what I 'really' wanted to play at that moment -- because of what you're saying about them. A reason also was that the orchestra wasn't the greatest and I felt the 5th 'plays itself' in a way that the 4th certainly doesn't (which is also why I didn't even consider Mozart), but 'secretly' a big reason was that the 4th seemed like more of a reach for me.

I don't at all agree, though, that the 5th is only slightly harder than the 1st if at all. Maybe part of our difference is that a big thing I take into account in looking at such a thing is, what are the most difficult parts of a piece, however limited they may be (this is why people who say Opus 110 "isn't that hard," which we hear all the time, are simply wrong, extremely wrong; but that's off the subject) grin ....and there simply isn't anything in #1 which is nearly as challenging as the most difficult moments of the Emperor.

Quote
....it only took me a week to learn, as opposed to the concerti listed above, all of which were summer projects of serious practice.

Doesn't seem real relevant to what we're talking about, including because some things that are less challenging technically can take longer to learn. As you also said there (not quoted here), the Choral Fantasy is a shorter and simpler piece than the concerti, and for sure that's a large part of why it would take less time to learn.

Quote
I think I learned the cadenza in about two practice sessions.

Maybe you're just unusually good, for example, at wide-jumping right hand octaves!
But anyway, that doesn't address our question in the least, at all, whatsoever, because I could learn it in about two practice sessions too -- but it doesn't necessarily mean I'd be able to play it well or reliably. Don't get me wrong; I don't mean to be suggesting that I doubt that you played it well, just that the "two practice sessions" thing says absolutely nothing toward what we're discussing.

Quote
This thread is a pretty awesome reminder of why I don't post here much anymore...

You're depriving yourself of some highly intelligent discussion, like what you're seeing right here. ha


.
thumb
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/10/19 05:06 PM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Maybe part of our difference is that a big thing I take into account in looking at such a thing is, what are the most difficult parts of a piece, however limited they may be...
What you seem to always ignore is that other pianists can have a much greater level of skill than you...that's why there's such a difference in view points about the difficulty of pieces. You seem to think that if it's difficult for you it must be difficult for even high level professionals.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/10/19 05:17 PM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What you seem to always ignore is that other pianists can have a much greater level of skill than you....

No.

There are a couple of things wrong about that. Maybe 3 actually.

First of all, I don't ignore it in the least.

But even if I had, you'd still be wrong, because, while your view of what Brendan said was that he was just talking about himself (and perhaps others of his level), that's not what "it's not that hard" means, or at least what it looks like and how almost anyone would take it (maybe you want to dispute that too!) -- and, if you look at Brendan's more recent posts, you'll see that indeed he meant it in the broader way. In fact he's insisting on it: He's saying it simply isn't that hard -- globally.

And IMO there's even a third thing wrong, although this one does require a big IMO:

The piece is hard for anybody and everybody.
If nothing else, that octaves thing in the opening cadenza is difficult for anybody and everybody in the world. The only way it isn't difficult (for Brendan or for anyone else) is if we mean a different understanding of "difficult" or "hard" than I mean and than what I think almost anyone would understand. I also agree with SiFi that the difficulty is intended as an inherent part of the musicality and effect of the cadenza. It's a quasi-impossible quasi-superhuman feat that's being attempted and hopefully pulled-off. I'd actually go even further and say that if it's not "hard" for someone, it means he isn't playing it adventurously enough. If it's being approached and played handily, that ain't the music.
(IMO)

So there. smile

I could almost agree -- almost -- if someone wanted to say that the piece is "not that hard" if we ignore that passage.

P.S. Out of curiosity, I went and looked to see if Argerich screws up the passage at all.

She does. grin

However slightly, she does.
And she's not even playing it real 'recklessly.'

The passage starts right around 4:00.
Folks, see if you can find the little screw-up! grin

It's a good guess that almost everyone does -- because it's very, very hard.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/10/19 05:38 PM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What you seem to always ignore is that other pianists can have a much greater level of skill than you....
No.There are a couple of things wrong about that. Maybe 3 actually......
Everything here is just your opinion. I certainly don't intend to comment each sentence except to say I don't agree with virtually everything in your post and I think I've made my views clear.

Posted By: SiFi

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/14/19 06:39 AM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Maybe part of our difference is that a big thing I take into account in looking at such a thing is, what are the most difficult parts of a piece, however limited they may be...
What you seem to always ignore is that other pianists can have a much greater level of skill than you...that's why there's such a difference in view points about the difficulty of pieces. You seem to think that if it's difficult for you it must be difficult for even high level professionals.

I mentioned earlier that I thought there was miscommunication going on and I still think that's true. So first off, pianoloverus, I don't think Mark_C's comments have anything to do with the deficiencies or otherwise of his technical apparatus. Attempting to explain his criticism of Brendan's claim about the Choral Fantasy by saying Mark is an inferior pianist adds nothing to the otherwise serious and constructive dialogue that is going on here. So let's leave that argument, if that's what it is, out of it.

The big one: "It's not that hard." I believe, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, Brendan, that this statement is not made based on any imagined or specifically defined level of technical accomplishment on the part of an individual pianist. I think it has more to do with the difficulty of the Choral Fantasy piano part in the big scheme of things, that is to say, where it lies on what we might call the normal distribution of difficulty that could be graphed for all piano music. When examined objectively, Brendan's assertion is unassailable. I'd say that among 19th-century works it's less than half a standard deviation from the mean in either direction, depending on criteria, controls, confidence intervals, and other statistical nonsense. In fact, if you exclude the introduction, I'd put it maybe a whole standard deviation to the left of the mean. So, point taken there.

Where I have a problem with the initial "It's not that hard" statement is with the intent of the remark and its context. I don't want to turn this into a dissertation and I enjoyed how Brendan just stuck by that assertion, but I had already explained, responding to a different sub-theme, how difficult it is to bring off the opening in imperfect circumstances, and then subsequently amplified that with a description of the "nightmare" problems that certain passages in the cadenza present even when conditions are hunky-dory. I acknowledged that after the orchestra joins in everything changes. The piano from that point on is mere obligato and, sorry Mark, it's all pretty simple after that--and a lot of fun! Hence, we seem to be veering towards Mark's point about "the most difficult parts" of a composition. On that issue, I am totally with him. For the pianist, the Choral Fantasy is the opening cadenza. Any half-decent pianist can play the rest. But in my opinion the passage from bar 17 (or somewhere around there based on me counting measures) is difficult bordering on very difficult. Not Islamey or Scarbo difficult, but enough to make you pay attention. Moreover, you can't average out difficulty. So that passage stands like Scylla guarding the straits that lead to the joys and happiness of the rest of the work: One has to make it through intact and that is not easy, not "not that hard".

My final issue is with the motivation, or possibly justification, for making such a statement at all. (I know I've already commented on this, but what the heck.) We're all pretty serious piano dudes, male, female, human, non-human, etc., so mostly we can tell from "hard" without too much help. So how is it helpful? If, as pianoloverus seems to think, it's directed at, or only meant for, people with techniques superior to those of Mark and most of the rest of us, I would wonder whether it has any purpose at all. I mean, if Yuja was a member (I wish), do we really think she'd need advice on the relative difficulty of a piece whose difficulty she could ascertain within about 10 seconds simply by looking at the score? Those of us who've played it already know how difficult it is, those who are superlative pianists, as many here are, don't need to know, and those who are average-to-good pianists might be misled into thinking, "Hey, this isn't too hard" and then waste time trying to learn something they'll never actually master.

I've played Beethoven 4 complete (twice) and the Choral Fantasy (once). Obviously the former work presents way more difficult challenges as a whole. But the latter was by far the most nerve-wracking performance I've ever had to pull off, ever, mostly because of second half of that damn cadenza.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/14/19 12:47 PM

I think people almost always discuss difficulty of pieces relative to their own skill. That's why one can read discussion on the Adult Beginner's Forum about how difficult Clementi's C major Sonata is to play at full speed. The main exception to what I said would be ranking lists that try to include a huge amount of piano music like the Henle rankings.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/14/19 01:04 PM

If someone is good enough to attempt the Choral Fantasy they will be good enough to judge how difficult it will be for them. So I think any concern that they would be misled if they read Brendan's comment is unfounded. There are plenty of other opinions about the piece's difficulty on this thread anyway,

I don't think Brendan's comment was "meant for" people of his ability. It was just from his personal perspective.
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/15/19 04:12 AM

Originally Posted by SiFi
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Maybe part of our difference is that a big thing I take into account in looking at such a thing is, what are the most difficult parts of a piece, however limited they may be...
What you seem to always ignore is that other pianists can have a much greater level of skill than you...that's why there's such a difference in view points about the difficulty of pieces. You seem to think that if it's difficult for you it must be difficult for even high level professionals.

I mentioned earlier that I thought there was miscommunication going on and I still think that's true. So first off, pianoloverus, I don't think Mark_C's comments have anything to do with the deficiencies or otherwise of his technical apparatus. Attempting to explain his criticism of Brendan's claim about the Choral Fantasy by saying Mark is an inferior pianist adds nothing to the otherwise serious and constructive dialogue that is going on here. So let's leave that argument, if that's what it is, out of it.

The big one: "It's not that hard." I believe, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, Brendan, that this statement is not made based on any imagined or specifically defined level of technical accomplishment on the part of an individual pianist. I think it has more to do with the difficulty of the Choral Fantasy piano part in the big scheme of things, that is to say, where it lies on what we might call the normal distribution of difficulty that could be graphed for all piano music. When examined objectively, Brendan's assertion is unassailable. I'd say that among 19th-century works it's less than half a standard deviation from the mean in either direction, depending on criteria, controls, confidence intervals, and other statistical nonsense. In fact, if you exclude the introduction, I'd put it maybe a whole standard deviation to the left of the mean. So, point taken there.

Where I have a problem with the initial "It's not that hard" statement is with the intent of the remark and its context. I don't want to turn this into a dissertation and I enjoyed how Brendan just stuck by that assertion, but I had already explained, responding to a different sub-theme, how difficult it is to bring off the opening in imperfect circumstances, and then subsequently amplified that with a description of the "nightmare" problems that certain passages in the cadenza present even when conditions are hunky-dory. I acknowledged that after the orchestra joins in everything changes. The piano from that point on is mere obligato and, sorry Mark, it's all pretty simple after that--and a lot of fun! Hence, we seem to be veering towards Mark's point about "the most difficult parts" of a composition. On that issue, I am totally with him. For the pianist, the Choral Fantasy is the opening cadenza. Any half-decent pianist can play the rest. But in my opinion the passage from bar 17 (or somewhere around there based on me counting measures) is difficult bordering on very difficult. Not Islamey or Scarbo difficult, but enough to make you pay attention. Moreover, you can't average out difficulty. So that passage stands like Scylla guarding the straits that lead to the joys and happiness of the rest of the work: One has to make it through intact and that is not easy, not "not that hard".

My final issue is with the motivation, or possibly justification, for making such a statement at all. (I know I've already commented on this, but what the heck.) We're all pretty serious piano dudes, male, female, human, non-human, etc., so mostly we can tell from "hard" without too much help. So how is it helpful? If, as pianoloverus seems to think, it's directed at, or only meant for, people with techniques superior to those of Mark and most of the rest of us, I would wonder whether it has any purpose at all. I mean, if Yuja was a member (I wish), do we really think she'd need advice on the relative difficulty of a piece whose difficulty she could ascertain within about 10 seconds simply by looking at the score? Those of us who've played it already know how difficult it is, those who are superlative pianists, as many here are, don't need to know, and those who are average-to-good pianists might be misled into thinking, "Hey, this isn't too hard" and then waste time trying to learn something they'll never actually master.

I've played Beethoven 4 complete (twice) and the Choral Fantasy (once). Obviously the former work presents way more difficult challenges as a whole. But the latter was by far the most nerve-wracking performance I've ever had to pull off, ever, mostly because of second half of that damn cadenza.


lol
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/15/19 04:16 AM

Originally Posted by Brendan
lol

Need I say, you're not helping your point a whole lot. grin
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/15/19 12:14 PM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Brendan
lol

Need I say, you're not helping your point a whole lot. grin

+1 thumb
Posted By: Julian_

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/15/19 12:53 PM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Also, trying to put ourselves in the shoes of hearing the piece at its original performance, without their knowing anything about what's in store (which I sometimes enjoy trying to do), this opening strikes me similarly to how the cadenza in the 1st movement of Bach's 5th Brandenburg Concerto does: an awesome and pleasing SHOCK at what is happening on the keyboard. For me the Brandenburg is the all-time champ on this -- it was, I think, the first time ever that a keyboard part had such a prominent and extended display in an orchestral piece. I think such a cadenza was theretofore unknown, didn't exist. The audience must have been like, "What the heck is he/she doing...!!" This piece might be in a multi-way tie for second. You've got the orchestra and the chorus and the soloists up there, and the pianist. The pianist plays those opening chords, and you figure it's just a little intro before the orchestra and everybody else starts coming in. But no -- the piano goes on, and on, and on -- more and more wonderfully, creatively, and unexpectedly. If there were nothing else remarkable about the piece, to me this aspect of the opening would put this piece in the top rank.

Thanks pianoloverus for highlighting this work, and Mark_C for describing some of the highlights in such detail.

I enjoyed performing the Choral Fantasy about five years ago (as part of the chorus smile - not playing the piano part!!! shocked ). That was a busy and long day. We traveled by coach from Brighton (southern England) to Rouen (northern France), checked into our hotel, walked down the road for the tutti rehearsal, had a break for dinner, and then gave a performance of the Choral Fantasy and Choral Symphony, broadcast live on French radio and TV. I intentionally did not listen to any recordings of the Fantasy, so I could experience the piano cadenza for the first time along with many of the audience. Our fine soloist, Frédéric Aguessy, omitted most of the cadenza at the rehearsal so most of it was a surprise on the night. I like to think the composer would be delighted to know that, two centuries later, one of his more unusual and experimental creations is still surprising and enchanting (some) people around the world. (I have read today that some of the variations include hints of Viennese street music and Turkish music!)

It reminded me of hearing Prokofiev's Second Piano Concerto for the first time, on a TV broadcast of the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2000. During one of the discussion segments, the conductor, Sir Simon Rattle, mentioned that the work was rarely performed (not so true nowadays, but remember, this was 2000). Rattle decided to check the archives of the orchestra, and found that it was 16 years since they had performed the work. In view of the possibility that many of the newer members of the orchestra might never have played or heard it before, he warned them (to the best of my memory), "There is this quite extraordinary extended cadenza near the beginning, and I do recommend that you listen to a recording if you can, so you know what to expect." He was amused to see some members of the orchestra with very wide eyes during the performance ("What the heck is he/she doing...!!") who had obviously not taken his advice and must have been unsure if Severin von Eckardstein had gone "off-piste"!
Posted By: SiFi

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/16/19 06:43 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Brendan
lol

Need I say, you're not helping your point a whole lot. grin

Mark, I talked about half-standard deviations as applicable to the technical difficulty of some piano music. Of course, I meant every word of what I wrote, in a good way, I promise. And yet, I made my point and Brendan made his. Let's just say that I was prolix and he was succinct? lol

It's the cat thing: simultaneously difficult and not difficult at the quantum level, where we all live, like it or not.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven's Choral Fantasy - 02/16/19 03:13 PM

Originally Posted by SiFi
.....It's the cat thing: simultaneously difficult and not difficult at the quantum level, where we all live, like it or not.

(Not really "simultaneously.") grin
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