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piano = symbol of bourgeois society...

Posted By: jazzyd

piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/04/03 09:58 PM

From BBC News:

Pianist 'goes out with a bang'

French classical pianist Francois-René Duchable is to end his career in style by destroying two pianos and burning his recital suit in his final three concerts, it has been reported.

The musician is retiring from the classical music scene in August because he is disillusioned with its elitist approach, according to the Times newspaper.

Duchable is widely regarded as one of France's greatest pianists and won his country's soloist of the year title three years running in the 1990s.

The Paris-born pianist revealed his feelings in an interview with Catholic newspaper La Croix.

"I have had enough of sacrificing my life for 1% of the population. I have had enough of participating in a musical system, which in France at least, functions badly and limits classical music to an elite," he told the French publication.

Duchable will send his piano crashing into Lake Mercantour in the French Alps in the first of his farewell concerts at the end of July, reports the Times.

He will mark his second concert by burning his recital suit and plans to make his piano explode in mid-air during a dramatic finale performance in August, says the paper.

Duchable turned on the instrument that made his name in the interview, describing it as a symbol of bourgeois society.
"Used as this society uses it, the piano is an arrogant instrument which excludes all those that don't know about music," quotes the Times.

The paper says he now intends to bring his music to new audiences with more control over the music he plays and where he performs it.

"I could give concerts with a commentary and perhaps participate in off-beat festivals, for example, I could play on water," he told La Croix.

"I could play for children, the ill and for prisoners, but without ostentation," he added.

Duchable told the newspaper that he found the formal recital too restrictive.

"An organiser fixes my programme in advance. And if, at the last moment I want to play something else, because the mood takes me or because of artistic concerns, I can't," he said.

The maverick also took the opportunity to criticise several of his fellow pianists, according to the Times.

He is reported as calling Czech-born Alfred Brendal's latest record "discouragingly artificial" and accused Italian musician Maurizio Pollini of "wearing himself out from repeating the same things."

Duchable was born in Paris in 1952 and studied at the Paris Conservatory.

He gave his first concert in 1973 but his career really took off when he recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra in 1980.

He won the prize for the best recording of classical music in France in 1997 for his rendition of Liszt's Transcriptions and Paraphrases.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3044844.stm

David
Posted By: CrashTest

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/04/03 10:14 PM

This guy is crazy. He obviously has some serious issues to contend with. How can classical music not be elitist? By nature, its performers must study hard, and it listeners must have a certain know-how to appreciate it. Its not being snobby, but its the nature of the beast. Sports can also be said to be elitist in a sense, since only a select few achieve a good deal of success and the average person cannot grasp a lot of what is going on without further study. (What's the endzone?)
Posted By: valarking

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/04/03 10:21 PM

Quote
Originally posted by CrashTest:
(What's the endzone?)
Oh my god, is that a serious question?
Posted By: CrashTest

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/04/03 10:22 PM

No, it was just an example of what a naive question would be.
Posted By: CrashTest

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/04/03 10:23 PM

laugh
Posted By: Googlism

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/04/03 10:34 PM

Omg...instead of destroying the pianos why not give them to a needy child!!! Like ME!!!!

laugh wink
Posted By: Orlando Gibbons

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/04/03 10:40 PM

Quote
Sports can also be said to be elitist in a sense, since only a select few achieve a good deal of success and the average person cannot grasp a lot of what is going on without further study.
Further study? How long does it take to realize that a team gets points by kicking the ball through a big H, ect.? It's certainly not like deciphering a Schoenberg tone row.

Most classical music is not elitist. It is, however, presented with a certain degree of ostentation, to use Duchable's word. I agree with him that the concert experience is too confining for the artist, and consequently - the audience. I think he did go off the deep end, though. (Pun intended.) Smashing a perfectly good piano just ain't right, no matter how he justifies it.
Posted By: zorro

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/04/03 11:14 PM

What an IMBECILE, he puts shame on my country and to me! I am sorry that ever saw the light of day! Crazy Idiot! mad mad
zorro
P.S: Don't think all French are like that, he's a special case laugh
P.P.S: I hope he gets enormous stage-fright on all three of his last concerts!
P.P.P.S: I think he is a con artist that uses that little piano smashing story to sell out and make $$$.
Posted By: gryphon

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/05/03 12:02 AM

[Linked Image] What zorro said. Maybe he should have been a nuclear engineer instead. :rolleyes:
Posted By: Praetorian_AD

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/05/03 12:05 AM

I think classical music is held by many influential people who enjoy it to be an intellectual pursuit, one which have to use only your brain power to enjoy, and this has got to aliennate many casual listeners. It's just not true though: classical music is something which makes your heart flutter, something you should respond to emotionally. Whilst it's true that the emotional reaction can be enhanced by exploring the refinements of the music, it remains basically an emotional thing, like all music, something you hear with your heart first. Classical music needs to become 'cool' again, I think.

Peter
Posted By: TomK

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/05/03 12:51 AM

Hay, da French. And you were expecting.........?
Posted By: ChickGrand

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/05/03 01:13 AM

Quote
Originally posted by zorro:
P.P.P.S: I think he is a con artist that uses that little piano smashing story to sell out and make $$$.
Most probable interpretation.
Posted By: Ariel

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/05/03 03:15 AM

French classical pianist Francois-René Duchable is to end his career in style by destroying two pianos and burning his recital suit in his final three concerts, it has been reported.

Sounds like he's just switching a career as a concert artist for a career in "performance art".

Duchable will send his piano crashing into Lake Mercantour in the French Alps in the first of his farewell concerts at the end of July, reports the Times.

I wonder which piano make has been his "official" sponsor. Something tells me Pleyel wouldn't appreciate this. It goes even beyond Lizst - or Ozzie Osbourne.

He will mark his second concert by burning his recital suit

Before or after playing?

and plans to make his piano explode in mid-air

with his partner, David Copperfield

during a dramatic finale performance in August, says the paper.

I guess he will have given considerable thought to which instrument is most suitable, considering among other things, flammability (in turn a function of proper drying and aging of the wood). Not to mention the quality and projection of the bass...

How HAVE his latest reviews been anyhow?? Perhaps he already bombed.

Ariel
Posted By: Bernard

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/05/03 03:18 AM

Some random observations:

I personally think that when it comes to taste nobody beats the French.

Their language is the non-plus ultra.

Isn't it somewhat elitist to crash a piano into a lake in the alps?

I'm with TheFutureEltonJohn (BTW, I've been listening to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road this weekend. Mind you, when I was a teenager, I wore out the albums and had to get a replacement!), he should give them to the needy.

He's probably fed up with the business end of it all.

I think he could find something less extravagant that would help his cause a great deal more than being so showy, especially if he has reknown.
Posted By: StanSteel

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/05/03 03:26 AM

This reminds me of this story.
In the 1950's at a highschool in Lausanne, Switzerland (where I am from), a group of students bought a piano and dropped it from a very high bridge just to hear what sound a piano would make when crashing on the concrete 150 feet below.

I've always wanted to find a newspaper article relating the story. I guess during my next stay there, I will research the local library to find out. What sound do you think it makes? Have you ever witnessed a similar event?
Posted By: CrashTest

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/05/03 03:31 AM

I wonder if before he crashes the piano in the alps, if he will do a crash-test?

(Allusion to someone on the forum..maybe crashtest..?)! laugh
Posted By: jazzyd

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/05/03 12:46 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Ariel:

[b] and plans to make his piano explode in mid-air


with his partner, David Copperfield[/b]
What I would give to see David Copperfield explode.

David
Posted By: piqué

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/05/03 05:03 PM

well, i'm probably in the tiny minority, but i am amused by this guy and i like his plans. it will get a lot of attention for classical music, a lot of well-deserved negative publicity for all that is wrong with the classical music world, and just might possibly bring in a new audience.
Posted By: ChickGrand

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/05/03 05:29 PM

I'd sooner pay to see him do the Harry Houdini thing--straightjacketed and chained to the plate, submerged inside the piano in a pool, with the lid locked, of course.
Posted By: StanSteel

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/05/03 07:09 PM

It's Niels Bohr.
Posted By: ChickGrand

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/05/03 07:20 PM

Quote
Originally posted by StanSteel:
It's Niels Bohr.
Thank you! I usually catch my own typos, but I appreciate when you do if I don't. You haven't lived in shame until you've seen your own typo in red letters ten feet high. (I have.)
Posted By: cool_breeze

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/06/03 12:10 AM

I just love it.
Posted By: virtuoso_735

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/06/03 01:25 AM

I dont think that pianos are arrogant or that they exclude people that dont know about music. I think that anyone can enjoy some good music. True, you cant follow along as well as people who do, but isn't music mostly about enjoyment?
Posted By: Ringer

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/06/03 12:00 PM

Folks, we're forgetting the point here...if we can catch that piano before it hits the water after he throws it away.... :p
Posted By: BDB

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/06/03 06:48 PM

I think he has a point. What we usually think of as classical music is going nowhere these days. There are a lot of people who think that jazz is the classical music of the 20th century, and the way it is presented is a lot closer to the way Bach would have presented his music than the way we usually get it these days.
Posted By: Hank Drake

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/06/03 07:49 PM

If the piano is the symbol of a bourgeois society, it's because society has changed, not because pianos are any less affordable than they were or that Classical music is elitest.

Pianos have always been expensive, but ninety years ago the automobile was a luxury, radio was in its infancy, and television was unheard of. There was a piano in nearly every home and some 300 American piano manufacturers were cranking out about 370,000 pianos a year. A piano was something of a neccesity since recorded music was in its infancy, so if you wanted to hear a new piece of music, you had to play it yourself. People entertained themselves in the evening by playing music together or listeneing to a friend play music while the others played cards. Classical music was not always on the in-home program, there were loads of popular songs, most of which are forgotten today. Musical education, now thought of as an extracurricular, was part of the standard curriculum.

These days, the entire Classical repertoire is at the fingertips of anyone with a computer modem. n 1906, John Philip Sousa predicted that "canned" music would all but destroy amateur music making, and he was correct.

Pianos have been crowded out by other priorities in life. To blame Classical music for this is to ignore economic and social realities that have nothing to do with elitism.
Posted By: virtuoso_735

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/07/03 01:20 AM

There is still music written in the classical style right now, even though there probably wont be another Mozart or Beethoven. Classical has stood the test of time for more than 300 years, so why would it die now? People will always be playing musical instruments, and classical music is used for instruction, and concerts, so it probably will not die.
Posted By: evilhui

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/09/03 11:30 AM

" Used as this society uses it, the piano is an arrogant instrument which excludes all those that don't know about music " Francois-Rene Duchable

He is right in the sense because the society is so educated and busy and nobody really understand classical music. If he said this in the 18th century, he will surely be said as an unrepectable person in the world. But i disagree part of him as a pianist. He failed to love music, and hoped all the person in the world will listen to his performance. He have no respect in the past musician, as they spent all their life just on music alone.
So the very best solution is to let all the people in the world to respect classical music and to appreciate with enjoyment
Posted By: Matt G.

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/09/03 01:55 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Ariel:
He will mark his second concert by burning his recital suit

Before or after playing?
I'm thinking that while he is playing might make the most "statement". mad
Posted By: ChrisKeys

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/09/03 05:17 PM

Quote
Originally posted by StanSteel:
This reminds me of this story.
In the 1950's at a highschool in Lausanne, Switzerland (where I am from), a group of students bought a piano and dropped it from a very high bridge just to hear what sound a piano would make when crashing on the concrete 150 feet below.

I've always wanted to find a newspaper article relating the story. I guess during my next stay there, I will research the local library to find out. What sound do you think it makes? Have you ever witnessed a similar event?
Actually, Yes! I have witnessed a similar event, on a much smaller scale. Years ago a friend of mine had just been given (for free!) a WW-II vintage upright piano, said piano having a custom mirror surface in the upper portion of the front of the piano. Anyway, I helped him load it into the back of a borrowed pickup truck. He did not tie down the piano at all! Well, he wasn't more than one block away from the place where we loaded it when he turned a corner (slowly), and the piano did a graceful free-fall off the side, turned totally upside-down, and made a dramatic SMASH on the pavement. Not only did it make the the sound you'd expect (a horrible BANG of all notes at the same time), but there was also the spectacular sound and image of shattered mirrored glass and wood flying everywhere. It was quite a show --- which I refrained from saying in front of my friend, after looking at the total devastation reflected in his face.

-- Chris
Posted By: JBryan

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/09/03 06:41 PM

My brothers were moving an old upright in Denver when almost the exact same thing happened. While making a left turn in an intersection it just tumbled over the side and smashed into a jillion pieces right in the middle of the intersection.

They kept on going.
Posted By: CrashTest

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/09/03 07:19 PM

There is nothing more gruesome than seeing a piano destroyed, it aches deep down inside. frown
Posted By: CrashTest

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/09/03 07:20 PM

Well, unless its thrown off a moutain with a lot of pizzaz, then its just funny!


laugh
Posted By: gryphon

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/09/03 09:50 PM

Quote
Originally posted by JBryan:
They kept on going.
Litterbugs.
Posted By: ChickGrand

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/09/03 11:35 PM

Quote
Originally posted by CrashTest:
There is nothing more gruesome than seeing a piano destroyed, it aches deep down inside. frown
Sure there is (or was) There was Liberace! (Aches even deeper down inside, to the bone.)
Posted By: benedict

Re: piano = symbol of bourgeois society... - 07/29/03 06:10 PM

Francois Rene Duchable live on internet

http://www.radioclassique.fr/site/programme_01.cfm?h=20%3A40%3A00&emission=LES%20SOIREES%201%E8re%20partie

click on Radio Classique en direct
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