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They all cheat.

Argerich cheated in the repeated descending chords section of Prokofiev's toccata. Brendel cheated a whole passage of Schubert's Wanderer. My ex gf cheated on me with a childhood friend of hers.

So - if one encounters a passage of such outstanding difficulty, that only a specifically shaped hand could execute it properly, and months of practice can be spent on it with no result, shouldn't one stop hacking away at it and simply play a simpler version, sparing so much unnecessary stress? (given, of course, that the changed version wouldn't affect the musical structure.)
Why, of course!
No I would never play a simpler version unless the composer explicitly provided an easier "ossia" version. Keep practicing, it takes time but if done right those unsolvable passages become doable.

I do always look for a way to redistribute notes between the hands or redistribute crossovers. Pianists with small hands like me often cannot play the score as the composer suggested. Redistribution isn't cheating, it's adapting the score to my physical span.
There's cheating and there's cheating.

For some people, playing the opening octaves of Op.111 with two hands is cheating. For others, it's idiotic to risk a fluffed note in the crucial opening of a massive work.

For some people, leaving out a few notes in Rach 3 is fine if your hands are small. No-one will notice (and no-one has noticed). For others, it's sacrilege.....even though Horowitz himself simplified Rach's easier cadenza (and it's very noticeable whistle).

You pays your money and you takes your choice.....
My teacher had a few lessons with Horowitz who admitted he cheated and shared how. If you can do it artfully, why not?
It's like cancelling your concerts, you either feel incredibly guilty, or you don't and life goes on.
Originally Posted by newport
It's like cancelling your concerts, you either feel incredibly guilty, or you don't and life goes on.
I don't really agree with you. Cancelling a concert is a black and white, on/off issue. You play or your don't play; you are disappointing your audience and some (most?) might feel guilty about it. Changing or leaving out a few notes to facilitate the flow of the music and preserve its meaning, this is artistry. It is nothing to feel guilty about. If it's done well, the listener might not even notice because they have gotten caught up in the music. IMO, the mission of a musician isn't to be a mechanic; it is to move and involve the listener.
Originally Posted by Fidel
No I would never play a simpler version unless the composer explicitly provided an easier "ossia" version. Keep practicing, it takes time but if done right those unsolvable passages become doable.


I guess us amateurs have the luxury to think this way...when you make a living from performing it's different.

But maybe it is also good to remind ourselves why we play: To reproduce notes perfectly or to create music for the listeners to enjoy. If it's the latter, it makes little sense to spend months agonizing over a few notes that no-one else will notice...
I used to obsess over things too, but I have learned: When I practice I strive for perfection, but if I have to perform a piece I don't care if I need to make changes as long as it works musically.
What some people considered cheating isn't exactly what it implies. In music there are arrangements of various pieces. When someone's level of playing is beginner or lower intermediate, you don't expect him/her to get into a Beethoven Sonata right away. I got a book at home Faber "Adult Piano Adventure Classics 2". The book has easy arrangements of Classical favorites including opera themes & symphonies. Playing an easy arrangement of a Chopin Nocturne with the main melody without the intro & difficult runs in between gets you into a Chopin piece. When you're ready to play the full version, you can get the score later.

I worked on a Schubert Serenade from the Faber book in 3 pages with large print. When I'm ready, I'll download the full version.
Originally Posted by outo

But maybe it is also good to remind ourselves why we play: To reproduce notes perfectly or to create music for the listeners to enjoy. If it's the latter, it makes little sense to spend months agonizing over a few notes that no-one else will notice...
I used to obsess over things too, but I have learned: When I practice I strive for perfection, but if I have to perform a piece I don't care if I need to make changes as long as it works musically.

Exactly my point.
Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
[...]
I worked on a Schubert Serenade from the Faber book in 3 pages with large print. When I'm ready, I'll download the full version.


... and then you'll discover that it is not a piano piece at all, but that the original is a German Lied for voice and piano. That said, there are arrangements - all sorts of them at many levels of difficulty - for piano solo.

Regards,
[Linked Image]
Originally Posted by Animisha
[Linked Image]


Lol. LOVE it!
Haha!
Me too - I cheat. If I really want to play something and some passages are too difficult, then I cheat. I usually 'fix' things in subsequent playings, but on the other hand, if it's just too difficult (some Rachmaninov, nice tune, impossible for my fingers) then the cheat stays. I reckon it's a skill in itself smile
Originally Posted by NervousWreck123
So - if one encounters a passage of such outstanding difficulty, that only a specifically shaped hand could execute it properly, and months of practice can be spent on it with no result, shouldn't one stop hacking away at it and simply play a simpler version, sparing so much unnecessary stress? (given, of course, that the changed version wouldn't affect the musical structure.)

I think as an amateur pianists, you can do what you feel like. If you want to play a certain piece, and there are a few passages that are too difficult, by all means simplify! If you'll perform, you can write in the program

Masterpiece by Mastercomposer
Arr: NervousWreck123


That will look good! smile
Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by NervousWreck123
So - if one encounters a passage of such outstanding difficulty, that only a specifically shaped hand could execute it properly, and months of practice can be spent on it with no result, shouldn't one stop hacking away at it and simply play a simpler version, sparing so much unnecessary stress? (given, of course, that the changed version wouldn't affect the musical structure.)

I think as an amateur pianists, you can do what you feel like. If you want to play a certain piece, and there are a few passages that are too difficult, by all means simplify! If you'll perform, you can write in the program

Masterpiece by Mastercomposer
Arr: NervousWreck123


That will look good! smile


Never been roasted quite like that on this forum; that's refreshing

P.S. never quite been an amateur pianist
Here's the thing: does the cheating still convey the composer's intent or enhance the meaning of the work?

Most everybody cheats the rapid double note runs at the end of Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto; some people just play glissandi with their thumbs, others use their fist to roll right through. Neither is what Prokofiev wrote but the effect is similar and thus the cheating isn't a big deal.

Many pianists also cheat on the octave glissandos in pieces like Beethoven's Op.53 by separating between the hands. I feel this is justified as well because the effect and difficulty of octave glissandi changes with each piano. Octave glissandi may be painful or even impossible to execute on pianos with heavy actions; in Beethoven's time virtually every piano was built with a very light action so this was not an issue. So that's another place where cheating seems to be OK.

Conversely, I recently had a discussion with somebody who was splitting some of the leaps in La Campanella between the hands, saying that this was more "efficient". Liszt wrote La Campanella as a study on leaps, does it not defeat the purpose of learning the etude if you make the leaps easier?

Similar situations appear in the openings of Beethoven's Op.106 and Op.111. A lot of the virtuosic effect is lost when you split these jumps between the hands.

I think it's becoming more common to play gliss in the Waldstein. I don't suppose it's cheating to play normal octaves, as the sound is really obvious, and Beethoven didn't actually write gliss. Maybe he meant conventional octaves at impossible speed...
It's just music, not some sort of sacred divinity thing.

The way some people worships the written notes is to me so much anti artistic as those who find acceptable and natural that some painted works are valued millions of $
Originally Posted by Snail
It's just music, not some sort of sacred divinity thing.

The way some people worships the written notes is to me so much anti artistic as those who find acceptable and natural that some painted works are valued millions of $


It's not about the notes themselves being sacred, it's the artistic integrity that is sacred.

Change the original composer's intent all you want if you have something meaningful to say. Freshness and inventiveness should be welcomed as much (if not more) than accuracy to the score.

But to change notes because of convenience? That's just being lazy.

And why shouldn't paintings be worth millions? You do realize that the only reason that they are worth that much is because people are willing to pay that much? Same reason why a concert pianist charges thousands to perform, or why a Rolls-Royce can cost half a million dollars. Art is subjective.

Basic economics, I don't see your logic here.
Originally Posted by achoo42
Originally Posted by Snail
It's just music, not some sort of sacred divinity thing.

The way some people worships the written notes is to me so much anti artistic as those who find acceptable and natural that some painted works are valued millions of $


It's not about the notes themselves being sacred, it's the artistic integrity that is sacred.

Change the original composer's intent all you want if you have something meaningful to say. Freshness and inventiveness should be welcomed as much (if not more) than accuracy to the score.

But to change notes because of convenience? That's just being lazy.

And why shouldn't paintings be worth millions? You do realize that the only reason that they are worth that much is because people are willing to pay that much? Same reason why a concert pianist charges thousands to perform, or why a Rolls-Royce can cost half a million dollars. Art is subjective.

Basic economics, I don't see your logic here.


I don't see yours...if the price of the painting should rely on how much people are willing to pay, should not the value of the performance also be judged by what the audience feels about it? And they certainly don't care about a few notes here and there. Except that one, who goes to a concert with the score, expecting to hear a recording wink

We would have few great pianists, if they were not lazy as you put it...
Originally Posted by outo
Except that one, who goes to a concert with the score, expecting to hear a recording wink


I often wonder if these people can actually read the music. Maybe it's my bad mind.
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by outo
Except that one, who goes to a concert with the score, expecting to hear a recording wink


I often wonder if these people can actually read the music. Maybe it's my bad mind.


Years ago, I was at an open rehearsal of the Guarneri String Quartet where there was a guy sitting in the front row who had the music for what they were rehearsing. At one point, the members of the quartet got into an argument over what was supposed to happen at some measure number but they couldn’t agree on the measure. One of them looked at the guy in the front row, and he quietly told them the measure number. David Soyer, the cellist, said, darned music mavens!

Recently, I brought music for a classical guitar piece that I was working on to a masterclass where someone else was playing the piece, a rarity for me. That’s always fun. I discovered that my teacher taught the piece better than the master, and that the master was missing some obvious solutions to problems but I kept my mouth shut, although I wanted to yell out.
Watching a rehearsal I'd definitely bring the score.

When I was in college, some of us tried to arrange open rehearsals with the biggest local orchestra, but they weren't interested.
Originally Posted by outo

I don't see yours...if the price of the painting should rely on how much people are willing to pay, should not the value of the performance also be judged by what the audience feels about it? And they certainly don't care about a few notes here and there. Except that one, who goes to a concert with the score, expecting to hear a recording wink


I repeat, it's not about the notes but the artistic integrity.

If you enjoy pianists like Lang Lang who appeal to the audience while throwing composer's intent out of the window, more power to you. He is the indeed the highest valued pianist in the world.

How does one determine who is a greater pianist? If we go by your logic where the audience enjoyment is crucial to how great a pianist is then Lang Lang is also the greatest pianist in the world, if not of all time. If we don't hold composer's intent into consideration then there is no reason to say otherwise.

Originally Posted by outo

We would have few great pianists, if they were not lazy as you put it...


This makes no sense. All great pianists have the ability to play the standard repertoire as it is written. When they encounter difficulties with the notes, they simply don't perform the piece in question. Horowitz and Rubinstein never performed Chopin Op.10 No.1. Today, we have such an abundance of prodigies that can play all the notes perfectly that "laziness" with the score isn't even a factor.
But also an obsession about the notes been played absolutely as they are written may become something that kills the art. I remember now a recording of some Bach work played by Gould and people getting mad because in one bar he deliberately changed a few notes. Not even to make it easier, just because he wanted to, i guess. So what? The playing is great nontheles and enjoyable. But they get angry over that little change, wich anyway was common practice in the baroque era.

Regarding people paying millions for a painting i bet no one of them pay so much because the beauty on it, but because the signature on it, i mean they simply invest their money in art. Art becomes another chapter in their portfolio of financial investment along with shareholding, real estate and the like. If don't think that kills art, good for you. To me is heck.
Originally Posted by achoo42
Change the original composer's intent all you want if you have something meaningful to say. Freshness and inventiveness should be welcomed as much (if not more) than accuracy to the score.
Most of the great pianists for the last 70+ years play mostly what the composer wrote. If one listens to performances of some work by 10 great pianists they all sound different although they respect the composer's score.

I don't understand why almost no one changes the notes( except if a passage is too difficult which is not what my post is about) except occasionally in a few composers like Liszt, but some feel it's OK to ignore all the other markings about tempo, articulation, dynamics, etc. in the score.

What you call freshness and inventiveness others would call putting one's ideas above those of the composer or arrogance.

A teacher I know asks students who don't follow the score something like this:"If you imagine you could take a lesson from Chopin, and he marked something in your score or pointed out where you didn't follow the score what would you do?"
The funny one to me is when the repercussions of a trill ought to sound like an old-fashioned doorbell, very rapid, and someone plays da da da da da da almost like the opening of "Fur Elise." I've heard both Gould and Zimerman do that in the most surprising places (where one would think that they could have handled playing the faster repercussions).

There is a big, unreachable (for me) chord in Liszt's "Hamornies du soir" at a very important place in a climax, and my teacher told me to leave a note out of it that he "guaranteed nobody but a judge would notice" in order to make it feasible. I wasn't playing it for a competition. laugh

I had a non-pianist theory teacher who hated when pianists roll a chord that they cannot otherwise reach. He felt, by all means, reharmonize the thing so that it can be reached: that's what theory knowledge is for. I'm not sure that I entirely agree with that one.

A technical problem spot or two is one thing, a whole piece of those spots is best avoided.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus


I don't understand why almost no one changes the notes( except if a passage is too difficult which is not what my post is about) except occasionally in a few composers like Liszt, but some feel it's OK to ignore all the other markings about tempo, articulation, dynamics, etc. in the score.

What you call freshness and inventiveness others would call putting one's ideas above those of the composer or arrogance.



There is a very famous past Cliburn winner who plays superficially perfect and compelling interpretations that critics have pointed out almost entirely have nothing to do with the composer's markings. It happens.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Originally Posted by pianoloverus


I don't understand why almost no one changes the notes( except if a passage is too difficult which is not what my post is about) except occasionally in a few composers like Liszt, but some feel it's OK to ignore all the other markings about tempo, articulation, dynamics, etc. in the score.

What you call freshness and inventiveness others would call putting one's ideas above those of the composer or arrogance.



There is a very famous past Cliburn winner who plays superficially perfect and compelling interpretations that critics have pointed out almost entirely have nothing to do with the composer's markings. It happens.
Who are you referring to and which performances? That doesn't change the fact that he would be an outlier among great pianists.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
The funny one to me is when the repercussions of a trill ought to sound like an old-fashioned doorbell, very rapid, and someone plays da da da da da da almost like the opening of "Fur Elise." I've heard both Gould and Zimerman do that in the most surprising places (where one would think that they could have handled playing the faster repercussions)..

Unless there was something very unusual about the trills, I would assume it was their choice to play it that way. They both have phenomenal technique.
Originally Posted by Snail
But also an obsession about the notes been played absolutely as they are written may become something that kills the art. I remember now a recording of some Bach work played by Gould and people getting mad because in one bar he deliberately changed a few notes. Not even to make it easier, just because he wanted to, i guess. So what? The playing is great nontheles and enjoyable. But they get angry over that little change, wich anyway was common practice in the baroque era.

Regarding people paying millions for a painting i bet no one of them pay so much because the beauty on it, but because the signature on it, i mean they simply invest their money in art. Art becomes another chapter in their portfolio of financial investment along with shareholding, real estate and the like. If don't think that kills art, good for you. To me is heck.


Well, I don't judge how great a painting is by how expensive it is. A cave painting from 50,000 BC may be artistically crap but of course it is priceless. Aesthetic beauty has nothing to do with an artwork's price, if you want a beautiful artpiece then simply buy the reproduction for a couple of hundred dollars.

Also, I don't think Bach should be touched. It's about how great he was and how he wrote the music—every harmonic change and little detail is pure and beautiful. If you know the Well-Tempered Clavier very well, you know what I'm talking about. Change it, sure—but I doubt that it'll be superior to the original.

Now about Chopin and Liszt—obviously they were geniuses but they wrote their music in a way that if you were to change some of the harmonies or the left hand chords, artistic integrity could still be intact.

Originally Posted by achoo42
Originally Posted by outo

I don't see yours...if the price of the painting should rely on how much people are willing to pay, should not the value of the performance also be judged by what the audience feels about it? And they certainly don't care about a few notes here and there. Except that one, who goes to a concert with the score, expecting to hear a recording wink


I repeat, it's not about the notes but the artistic integrity.

If you enjoy pianists like Lang Lang who appeal to the audience while throwing composer's intent out of the window, more power to you. He is the indeed the highest valued pianist in the world.

How does one determine who is a greater pianist? If we go by your logic where the audience enjoyment is crucial to how great a pianist is then Lang Lang is also the greatest pianist in the world, if not of all time. If we don't hold composer's intent into consideration then there is no reason to say otherwise.

Originally Posted by outo

We would have few great pianists, if they were not lazy as you put it...


This makes no sense. All great pianists have the ability to play the standard repertoire as it is written. When they encounter difficulties with the notes, they simply don't perform the piece in question. Horowitz and Rubinstein never performed Chopin Op.10 No.1. Today, we have such an abundance of prodigies that can play all the notes perfectly that "laziness" with the score isn't even a factor.


I assume you never heard either of those pianists live? Do you listen to historical recordings? It it quite eye opening, when they are not edited studio recordings. What you call lazyness is what surely every pro pianist building their career had to do sometimes to get things done when needed. When you get a chance to play a concerto with a famous conductor, you don't say: Sorry, I don't have time to perfect it to 110%. Call me again some other time. Competitions are a different matter.

This type of obsessive perfectionism is a very recent thing anyway, I would think most of the composers would be in awe...

I don't listen to LangLang, sorry. I don't think we are even talking about the same thing here.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
....There is a big, unreachable (for me) chord in Liszt's "Hamornies du soir" at a very important place in a climax, and my teacher told me to leave a note out of it that he "guaranteed nobody but a judge would notice" in order to make it feasible...

I had a non-pianist theory teacher who hated when pianists roll a chord that they cannot otherwise reach. He felt, by all means, reharmonize the thing so that it can be reached: that's what theory knowledge is for. I'm not sure that I entirely agree with that one....
That's interesting. In both instances the pianist is not being true to the score; deviations of the first sort are common and accepted, but the second is not. I wonder why that is. A rolled chord where none is indicated could seem more jarring than a rearrangement of the chord to make it playable.
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by achoo42
Originally Posted by outo

I don't see yours...if the price of the painting should rely on how much people are willing to pay, should not the value of the performance also be judged by what the audience feels about it? And they certainly don't care about a few notes here and there. Except that one, who goes to a concert with the score, expecting to hear a recording wink


I repeat, it's not about the notes but the artistic integrity.

If you enjoy pianists like Lang Lang who appeal to the audience while throwing composer's intent out of the window, more power to you. He is the indeed the highest valued pianist in the world.

How does one determine who is a greater pianist? If we go by your logic where the audience enjoyment is crucial to how great a pianist is then Lang Lang is also the greatest pianist in the world, if not of all time. If we don't hold composer's intent into consideration then there is no reason to say otherwise.

Originally Posted by outo

We would have few great pianists, if they were not lazy as you put it...


This makes no sense. All great pianists have the ability to play the standard repertoire as it is written. When they encounter difficulties with the notes, they simply don't perform the piece in question. Horowitz and Rubinstein never performed Chopin Op.10 No.1. Today, we have such an abundance of prodigies that can play all the notes perfectly that "laziness" with the score isn't even a factor.


I assume you never heard either of those pianists live? Do you listen to historical recordings? It it quite eye opening, when they are not edited studio recordings. What you call lazyness is what surely every pro pianist building their career had to do sometimes to get things done when needed. When you get a chance to play a concerto with a famous conductor, you don't say: Sorry, I don't have time to perfect it to 110%. Call me again some other time. Competitions are a different matter.

This type of obsessive perfectionism is a very recent thing anyway, I would think most of the composers would be in awe...

I don't listen to LangLang, sorry. I don't think we are even talking about the same thing here.


You are still obsessed about the notes. Did you notice that I didn't say anything about perfection with notes? Did you know that you can convey composer's intent without being 100% accurate to the notes?

I've played dozens of concertos with many conductors (probably only locally famous). I have never played a piece with 100% of the correct notes, and I'm not a fan of fine tuning pieces. Here's the thing—I never missed notes on purpose or because I was "lazy", and neither did Horowitz or Rubinstein (well, not too sure about Rubinstein because he wasn't a technician).

You seem to have missed the point of literally everything I said.
Originally Posted by achoo42
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by achoo42
Originally Posted by outo

I don't see yours...if the price of the painting should rely on how much people are willing to pay, should not the value of the performance also be judged by what the audience feels about it? And they certainly don't care about a few notes here and there. Except that one, who goes to a concert with the score, expecting to hear a recording wink


I repeat, it's not about the notes but the artistic integrity.

If you enjoy pianists like Lang Lang who appeal to the audience while throwing composer's intent out of the window, more power to you. He is the indeed the highest valued pianist in the world.

How does one determine who is a greater pianist? If we go by your logic where the audience enjoyment is crucial to how great a pianist is then Lang Lang is also the greatest pianist in the world, if not of all time. If we don't hold composer's intent into consideration then there is no reason to say otherwise.

Originally Posted by outo

We would have few great pianists, if they were not lazy as you put it...


This makes no sense. All great pianists have the ability to play the standard repertoire as it is written. When they encounter difficulties with the notes, they simply don't perform the piece in question. Horowitz and Rubinstein never performed Chopin Op.10 No.1. Today, we have such an abundance of prodigies that can play all the notes perfectly that "laziness" with the score isn't even a factor.


I assume you never heard either of those pianists live? Do you listen to historical recordings? It it quite eye opening, when they are not edited studio recordings. What you call lazyness is what surely every pro pianist building their career had to do sometimes to get things done when needed. When you get a chance to play a concerto with a famous conductor, you don't say: Sorry, I don't have time to perfect it to 110%. Call me again some other time. Competitions are a different matter.

This type of obsessive perfectionism is a very recent thing anyway, I would think most of the composers would be in awe...

I don't listen to LangLang, sorry. I don't think we are even talking about the same thing here.


You are still obsessed about the notes. Did you notice that I didn't say anything about perfection with notes? Did you know that you can convey composer's intent without being 100% accurate to the notes?

I've played dozens of concertos with many conductors (probably only locally famous). I have never played a piece with 100% of the correct notes, and I'm not a fan of fine tuning pieces. Here's the thing—I never missed notes on purpose or because I was "lazy", and neither did Horowitz or Rubinstein (well, not too sure about Rubinstein because he wasn't a technician).

You seem to have missed the point of literally everything I said.


So have you obviously. I was never obsessed about notes, quite the opposite.

YOU said above that missing notes because of convenience is being lazy. Maybe your definition of convenience is a lot more narrow than mine because I am sure practically everyone does at some point rather than not perform at all when they are playing for bread and it does not ruin the performance in any way. The composers intent is another matter and the further back in history we go the more naive it would be to think one can know exactly what it was.

So do you think Rubinstein or Horowitch (or many others) would have become world famous if they were picky about what they play in their early careers in Russia? You are talking about them when they were international stars, but a lot happened before that.

Originally Posted by outo


So have you obviously. I was never obsessed about notes, quite the opposite.



I said you are obssessed with the notes because you keep on referring to them when I'm not referring to them at all.

I repeat: the composer's intent is indicated by the markings and the notes written, and if you actively choose to change the intent, it must be done with artistic integrity. Horowitz did not actively change the music to make it easier, at least not out of convenience.


Originally Posted by outo
So do you think Rubinstein or Horowitch (or many others) would have become world famous if they were picky about what they play in their early careers in Russia? You are talking about them when they were international stars, but a lot happened before that.


So what if they became superstars or not based on pickiness? Why do you care about that and not artistic integrity?

Rubinstein himself had something say about this:



Well, the audience in Paris loved his performance, so why should he bother to improve?
Originally Posted by Stubbie
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
....There is a big, unreachable (for me) chord in Liszt's "Hamornies du soir" at a very important place in a climax, and my teacher told me to leave a note out of it that he "guaranteed nobody but a judge would notice" in order to make it feasible...

I had a non-pianist theory teacher who hated when pianists roll a chord that they cannot otherwise reach. He felt, by all means, reharmonize the thing so that it can be reached: that's what theory knowledge is for. I'm not sure that I entirely agree with that one....
That's interesting. In both instances the pianist is not being true to the score; deviations of the first sort are common and accepted, but the second is not. I wonder why that is. A rolled chord where none is indicated could seem more jarring than a rearrangement of the chord to make it playable.


Depends on the piece. Many composer's music (Schumann, Ives, et al) have large chords that do not indicate rolling but are rolled by many pianists anyways—if everybody rolls something it is no longer jarring.
Originally Posted by achoo42
[Horowitz did not actively change the music to make it easier, at least not out of convenience.



Are you sure?
Originally Posted by bennevis
[quote=achoo42][Horowitz did not actively change the music to make it easier, at least not out of convenience.

Yes he did. The almost unplayable 3rds in Brahms 2 IIRC are an example.
Originally Posted by achoo42
Originally Posted by outo


So have you obviously. I was never obsessed about notes, quite the opposite.



I said you are obssessed with the notes because you keep on referring to them when I'm not referring to them at all.

I repeat: the composer's intent is indicated by the markings and the notes written, and if you actively choose to change the intent, it must be done with artistic integrity. Horowitz did not actively change the music to make it easier, at least not out of convenience.


Originally Posted by outo
So do you think Rubinstein or Horowitch (or many others) would have become world famous if they were picky about what they play in their early careers in Russia? You are talking about them when they were international stars, but a lot happened before that.


So what if they became superstars or not based on pickiness? Why do you care about that and not artistic integrity?

Rubinstein himself had something say about this:



Well, the audience in Paris loved his performance, so why should he bother to improve?


Now I must admit that I completely lost your point...
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by achoo42
Originally Posted by outo


So have you obviously. I was never obsessed about notes, quite the opposite.



I said you are obssessed with the notes because you keep on referring to them when I'm not referring to them at all.

I repeat: the composer's intent is indicated by the markings and the notes written, and if you actively choose to change the intent, it must be done with artistic integrity. Horowitz did not actively change the music to make it easier, at least not out of convenience.


Originally Posted by outo
So do you think Rubinstein or Horowitch (or many others) would have become world famous if they were picky about what they play in their early careers in Russia? You are talking about them when they were international stars, but a lot happened before that.


So what if they became superstars or not based on pickiness? Why do you care about that and not artistic integrity?

Rubinstein himself had something say about this:



Well, the audience in Paris loved his performance, so why should he bother to improve?


Now I must admit that I completely lost your point...


You were saying that when you play, the main focus should be the listener's enjoyment.

I'm saying that the listener's enjoyment is secondary to artistic integrity. I do not want to sacrifice artistic integrity for audience entertainment because that's how you end up with superstars like Lang Lang who are technically excellent but play only based on what his audience wants to hear.

Are you an entertainer, or are you an artist? You seem to be stating that the main goal of a pianist is to play for other people's enjoyment. I disagree with that fundamentally and it has nothing to do with how perfect the notes are.
Originally Posted by achoo42
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by achoo42
Originally Posted by outo


So have you obviously. I was never obsessed about notes, quite the opposite.



I said you are obssessed with the notes because you keep on referring to them when I'm not referring to them at all.

I repeat: the composer's intent is indicated by the markings and the notes written, and if you actively choose to change the intent, it must be done with artistic integrity. Horowitz did not actively change the music to make it easier, at least not out of convenience.


Originally Posted by outo
So do you think Rubinstein or Horowitch (or many others) would have become world famous if they were picky about what they play in their early careers in Russia? You are talking about them when they were international stars, but a lot happened before that.


So what if they became superstars or not based on pickiness? Why do you care about that and not artistic integrity?

Rubinstein himself had something say about this:



Well, the audience in Paris loved his performance, so why should he bother to improve?


Now I must admit that I completely lost your point...


You were saying that when you play, the main focus should be the listener's enjoyment.


Actually I did not... but never mind...
Originally Posted by outo

Actually I did not... but never mind...


You did rather seem to imply that you did.

Originally Posted by outo

But maybe it is also good to remind ourselves why we play: To reproduce notes perfectly or to create music for the listeners to enjoy.


I fundamentally disagree that an artist should be creating music only for listeners to enjoy.

Originally Posted by outo

should not the value of the performance also be judged by what the audience feels about it?


No, absolutely not.

So you can see how these two statements put together seem to imply that you believe listener enjoyment is primary to a performance?

To make things clear: I believe artistic integrity comes first. If you need to fib some notes to make a certain effect come through or to play a passage smoothly, that is preferable to playing all the notes while sounding awkward or less musical. However, I do not believe in losing notes based only on convenience. A pianist should always strive for perfection in notes but artistic integrity and composer's intent should take top priority.

And if the audience loves it, that's great. If they hate the result, so be it. If I wanted to play for maximum audience enjoyment I would stick to arrangements of Pachelbel's Canon and other trite classical pieces that seem to be popular.
Originally Posted by achoo42


Originally Posted by outo

should not the value of the performance also be judged by what the audience feels about it?


No, absolutely not.

So you can see how these two statements put together seem to imply that you believe listener enjoyment is primary to a performance?


There are other feelings beside enjoyment, are there not? And did you notice the word also? Do you seriously think the audience does not matter at all? And the context of that was your analogy to the expensive painting, which did not really make sense.

As for the other quote, I don't think I can communicate very well in your way because my world is not black and white. I never meant my questions to have an exact answer, there's a lot of middle ground. The point however was: If for one reason or other you cannot play everything exactly as written or rehearsed to perfection (whatever that is), should you not play at all. Even if you need to make a living out of music. And if you do play, does that make you lazy. Because that was what your statement above seemed to imply. Then I asked if the only purpose of the performance is to recreate music 110% or is it meant to be listened (I guess I should not have used to world enjoy because you took it so literally).

Another matter is whether you or anyone is competent to decide what the composers original exact intent was. I think it is quite arrogant to think you do. Or maybe it's just historical blindness. However to contemplate and research that certainly can put more value on the performance.

Interesting though that from the great pianists of the past you selected Rubinstein and Horowitch. Because I don't think they always managed to convey the composers intent well. I cannot stand Rubinstein's Chopin recordings and I don't particulary like Horowitch Scarlatti. Imo there are a lot of pianists that played those composers better and closer to what I think the composer would have intended.
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by achoo42


Originally Posted by outo

should not the value of the performance also be judged by what the audience feels about it?


No, absolutely not.

So you can see how these two statements put together seem to imply that you believe listener enjoyment is primary to a performance?


There are other feelings beside enjoyment, are there not? And did you notice the word also? Do you seriously think the audience does not matter at all? And the context of that was your analogy to the expensive painting, which did not really make sense.

As for the other quote, I don't think I can communicate very well in your way because my world is not black and white. I never meant my questions to have an exact answer, there's a lot of middle ground. The point however was: If for one reason or other you cannot play everything exactly as written or rehearsed to perfection (whatever that is), should you not play at all. Even if you need to make a living out of music. And if you do play, does that make you lazy. Because that was what your statement above seemed to imply. Then I asked if the only purpose of the performance is to recreate music 110% or is it meant to be listened (I guess I should not have used to world enjoy because you took it so literally).

Another matter is whether you or anyone is competent to decide what the composers original exact intent was. I think it is quite arrogant to think you do. Or maybe it's just historical blindness. However to contemplate and research that certainly can put more value on the performance.

Interesting though that from the great pianists of the past you selected Rubinstein and Horowitch. Because I don't think they always managed to convey the composers intent well. I cannot stand Rubinstein's Chopin recordings and I don't particulary like Horowitch Scarlatti. Imo there are a lot of pianists that played those composers better and closer to what I think the composer would have intended.


I understand your point now, seems that you could've been more specific and nobody ever mentioned perfection so that was a bit odd.

I think audience enjoyment should hardly be a factor to a true artist. You should have a niche (or else nobody will come hear you play) but if a big part of your goal is to appeal to audiences, again you will find it easiest to stick to bland, overplayed, music. That's why critics believe pianists like Lang Lang have sold their soul for the sake of appealing to audiences. Play what you want to play and how you want to play, don't bend over for the general public.

And exactly, research and thought into the sheet music as well as historicity can add value into a performance.

As for your second opinion, that's fine as well. I personally love Rubinstein's Chopin. Pianists before the modern period were far more individual and perhaps not so historically informed, and it seems to have been detrimental in your case. You have giants like Busoni building huge romantic fantasies out of Bach, and you have ridiculously fast tempos from Cziffra and Hofmannn, etc. I'm glad that these recordings happened but they are not my top choice for any specific composer.
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