After reading the current batch of posts, I had a few more thoughts to share, with piano_deb
's comment as a springboard this time:
[...] I've generally found the discussions in there [Pianist Corner] whizzing around well above my head and so I don't feel capable of contributing -- but one of these days I hope to get enough theory and technique under my belt to at least do some useful lurking.
Remember when you were first learning how to play softball in grade school? Didn't it seem like every time you went to bat, or every time you ran the bases, or every time you took the field, there was some new rule you'd never heard before that suddenly came into play? "You have to tag up!" "What?" "TAG UP!!!" "What's that?" LOL!
This is how I look at Pianist Corner. I mean, in the recent Mazurka recital thread, I learned a new word. It is "fioritura." I have been happily playing fioritura
for years, but I never new it had a name!
Now, I can say, fioritura
instead of dipsy doodle! (Although I reserve the right to say "dipsy doodle," especially in Pianist Corner, and most expressly on purpose, to cut through fuddeeduddiness.) I cannot tell you, piano_deb, how many things I have learned by reading threads in Pianist Corner, things that my swiss cheese education did not give me. And, I've cut some teeth chewing on ideas in certain threads I felt compelled to respond to (or start!), and I've been embarrassed a few times at things that I wrote (and recordings I've posted!). But I wouldn't take it back for the world. I was embarrassed when I threw to 3rd when I should have thrown to 2nd, too, that one day... So, piano_deb, lurk to your heart's content! Lurk and learn to play the game!
Anyway, regarding comments to recordings in Pianist Corner, here are some observations that goodog
's post prompted me to think about.
1) Comments made in e-cital threads tend to be very convivial.
2) Comments made in Member Recordings (or in original recordings posted on the main board (an etiquette no-no, apparently, although generally gracefully welcomed, especially by the occasional newbie who doesn't know about Member Recordings) tend to elicit a wide range of responses, thus:
2a) Some responses tend to judge the performance against some kind of an ideal, no matter how new or advanced the performer seems to be. Perfection, observation of tradition, evidence of musical understanding, and good taste are the standards. Pretty high standards. Often, these responses include a YouTube link to a virtuoso performance or two or three. Nothing like rubbing it in! LOL!
2b) Some responses tend to acknowledge a sliding scale of development by listening carefully to what can be heard of the performer's technique. Thoughtful help often follows, with a catalog of strengths and suggestions for things to address and ways to address them. Sometimes that help includes a YouTube link to a virtuoso performance. LOL! But context and presentation of the critique makes a tremendous difference, and some people can share this kind of thing without making it seem like they are rubbing your nose in anything.
2c) Some responses tend to serve to bolster the ego of the critic, showcasing their knowledge about a certain subject or piece. That is not to say that there aren't some very knowledgeable people who share very freely some very fine points, and share well-developed reasons for those points, too. Those kinds of posts are wonderful when they happen. The "look how much I know" posts are different, though. You know them when you see them.
2d) Some responses are soapboxes for the critic to espouse some kind of artistic philosophy.
2e) Sometimes, a bar fight from another thread on the main board will spill into a recording thread.
Some threads are a mix of all of these, especially ones with the word "Chopin" in the title.
Plus, there is always drive-by inanity. (Done my share of that, too!
From the point of view of receiving criticism, I get the sense from reading in Pianist Corner (and a very rich PM correspondence with several Piano World online friends) that at some point, or at some level, learning to give and receive specific criticism is a very important part of the musical endeavor. And when you get to the point of public performance, receiving criticism simply comes with the territory. And always, you can take it or leave it!
Seriously, if you have never poked around in Pianist Corner-Member Recordings, I'd encourage you to take some time to do so. There are some very interesting discussions and some very wonderful recordings in there. There's lots to listen to, and many things that are very inspirational from a learning standpoint. I hope this little "Field Guide To The Comments" might help you enjoy your time exploring Member Recordings and making sense of it if you've never been in there before.
, I hope you'll reconsider about sharing or not. I certainly understand where you are coming from. I feel like it's our loss, though. Authentic performances are precious and rare.
Kindest regards, everyone!