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There will be about 45 mins of contemporary music going on my channel sometime in March, and I'm premiering two pieces in the summer. Last year I gave a 30 min recital of contemporary music but unfortunately wasn't able to record it. I do as much as a relatively insignificant music student can do to promote the music of my friends and contemporaries.

Liszt85's post is NOT nonsense. A lot of contemporary music is hard because we are not brought up subsumed in its language. Though, as was my point before, not all contemporary music does use an unfamiliar language. To say that a lot of crap is committed to paper these days, well that's certainly true, but its also true of literature, art, theatre and film, but that doesn't stop me from trying to seek out and appreciate what IS good, and support working artists in the process.

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Originally Posted by debrucey
There will be about 45 mins of contemporary music going on my channel sometime in March, and I'm premiering two pieces in the summer. Last year I gave a 30 min recital of contemporary music but unfortunately wasn't able to record it. I do as much as a relatively insignificant music student can do to promote the music of my friends and contemporaries.

Liszt85's post is NOT nonsense. A lot of contemporary music is hard because we are not brought up subsumed in its language. Though, as was my point before, not all contemporary music does use an unfamiliar language. To say that a lot of crap is committed to paper these days, well that's certainly true, but its also true of literature, art, theatre and film, but that doesn't stop me from trying to seek out and appreciate what IS good, and support working artists in the process.


I play tons of contemporary music written after 1980 but it isn't piano instrumentals. The golden age of piano is over. Gone. It will not be renewed. The ship has sailed. The train left the station. Few want to be subsumed in the language of contemporary piano music, tonal or atonal. Scolding Perahia will not change this. It is up to the lovers of this music to promote it. If they can't, then the music is officially crap.

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Thanks for sharing, Mark.. Nice performance.

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In a lifetime which is precious and short, an artist chooses what repertoire to play, and it should be his/her decision to make, period. If Tommasini wants to use everyone's playing choices as a podium to vent to his frustrations about contemporary music being showcased or not, so be it. Obviously he could not stick to the merits of Murray's performance alone without having his bully pulpit. It struck a sour chord with me and others.. But each to his own opinion in the matter.

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Of course it is the artists choice what to play, but that doesn't mean they can't be criticised for their choices.

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Healthy debate and disagreement is fine, but let's refrain from calling people's posts nonsense and accusing them of trolling. Debate the issues, not each other.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Originally Posted by debrucey
but that doesn't stop me from trying to seek out and appreciate what IS good, and support working artists in the process.


What's funny is that the very same people who categorically state that they have no responsibilities, also whine about how the arts are not supported anymore. They often express disappointment when orchestras get decommissioned (we've seen many of those threads here, check out some of the strongest voices there that cry out against all the decommissioning, you'll be surprised). I've seen all of it on these very forums. Yet when it comes to contemporary music and supporting composers, they have no responsibilities. Its all very inconsistent. If musicians don't support their own brethren, why must the public pay to keep orchestras and other artistic entities alive? Charity must begin at home.

debrucey, you have excellent attitude for a young pianist working towards the concert stage, I wish you great success because people like you deserve it!

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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by debrucey
There will be about 45 mins of contemporary music going on my channel sometime in March, and I'm premiering two pieces in the summer. Last year I gave a 30 min recital of contemporary music but unfortunately wasn't able to record it. I do as much as a relatively insignificant music student can do to promote the music of my friends and contemporaries.

Liszt85's post is NOT nonsense. A lot of contemporary music is hard because we are not brought up subsumed in its language. Though, as was my point before, not all contemporary music does use an unfamiliar language. To say that a lot of crap is committed to paper these days, well that's certainly true, but its also true of literature, art, theatre and film, but that doesn't stop me from trying to seek out and appreciate what IS good, and support working artists in the process.


I play tons of contemporary music written after 1980 but it isn't piano instrumentals. The golden age of piano is over. Gone. It will not be renewed. The ship has sailed. The train left the station. Few want to be subsumed in the language of contemporary piano music, tonal or atonal. Scolding Perahia will not change this. It is up to the lovers of this music to promote it. If they can't, then the music is officially crap.


By that reasoning, Justin Bieber is absolutely superior to Beethoven and Brahms and if you took "its upto the people to promote it, if they don't its officially crap" to be true, then Debussy is "officially crap" relative to Bieber.

Also, now I understand your stance better. The assumptions that you work with are fundamentally different from mine. So our conclusions are different as well. I don't think we can reconcile differences in our conclusions without addressing the assumptions but since you've pretty much decided that the golden age of piano (or carefully composed forms of music for a variety of instruments) is gone, there is no space for any dialogue.

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Originally Posted by liszt85

By that reasoning, Justin Bieber is absolutely superior to Beethoven and Brahms and if you took "its upto the people to promote it, if they don't its officially crap" to be true, then Debussy is "officially crap" relative to Bieber.

Also, now I understand your stance better. The assumptions that you work with are fundamentally different from mine. So our conclusions are different as well. I don't think we can reconcile differences in our conclusions without addressing the assumptions but since you've pretty much decided that the golden age of piano (or carefully composed forms of music for a variety of instruments) is gone, there is no space for any dialogue.


To respond to this misunderstanding, I would have to ignore the moderator's plea. I think it is best if you just put me on your ignore list (like you said you would.)

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Originally Posted by Damon

I play tons of contemporary music written after 1980 but it isn't piano instrumentals. The golden age of piano is over. Gone. It will not be renewed. The ship has sailed. The train left the station. Few want to be subsumed in the language of contemporary piano music, tonal or atonal. Scolding Perahia will not change this. It is up to the lovers of this music to promote it. If they can't, then the music is officially crap.


I don't know the right answer to that but I wouldn't be so confident about the ship sailing. I have been listening to Stephen Hough's latest CD which includes his Broken Branches piano sonata. It is very beautiful, reminiscent of Janacek (with a stronger rythmic flavor), and obviously not atonal. Perhaps the "golden age" trappings are gone but I would not be pessimistic about the piano as a solo instrument, if that is what you meant.
I do agree that you cannot force anyone to enjoy a certain type of music, and certainly not a performer of Perahia's calibre. But contemporary music does need to be promoted, preferably (if not by necessity) by music lovers. That may actually have to start at the conservatory too.
Why don't you play piano "instrumentals" since you are open minded about everything else post 1980? Is it the context (a band?) or a personal preference? have you not found any piano music to your liking? (serious question). I personally struggle to weed out fluff and new age-y stuff in contemporary music. I would listen to more contemporary stuff if I knew who is who. It takes time to wade through the field and find a few gems. So I end up looking for specific composers if I recognize their name or works, and probably missing out on many.

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Very well said, deBrucey -- we need more contemporary advocates like yourself in the world of piano. I find the general attitude of classical piano aficianados toward 20th century piano music to be, at best, conservative -- I would say it's more appropriate to assign a "reactionary" label to it. As the moderator, Kreisler, opined in another thread, this blanket dismissal of all contemporary composition does NOT seem to hold true in other instrumental categories nearly to the same degree. Although I tend to agree that Tommasini was wrong in grafting his "agenda" into his review (as Bart Kinlein indicates in this thread), I think that he is quite correct in his agenda content -- the wholesale discount of 20th century compositions for the solo piano.

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FWIW, I think Perahia can play anything he wants. He could do an all-late-Schumann recital and I'd love every minute of it.

Tommasini is also welcome to criticize performers however he'd like. He is, of course, an American journalist protected by the first amendment, the same amendment that allows me to say publicly that I think Tommasini is a self-important show-off. smile


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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by liszt85

By that reasoning, Justin Bieber is absolutely superior to Beethoven and Brahms and if you took "its upto the people to promote it, if they don't its officially crap" to be true, then Debussy is "officially crap" relative to Bieber.

Also, now I understand your stance better. The assumptions that you work with are fundamentally different from mine. So our conclusions are different as well. I don't think we can reconcile differences in our conclusions without addressing the assumptions but since you've pretty much decided that the golden age of piano (or carefully composed forms of music for a variety of instruments) is gone, there is no space for any dialogue.


To respond to this misunderstanding, I would have to ignore the moderator's plea. I think it is best if you just put me on your ignore list (like you said you would.)


You know I'll dish it right back.

So you will go on my ignore list as soon as I go on yours.

P.S: For somebody who claims to be the biggest Liszt fan, its quite surprising that you have such arcane views (whereas Liszt was so very contemporary and maybe even too progressive for his times).

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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Let me take this opportunity for a shameless little plug for this article about learning and performing modern music, which happens to be about me and Seymour Bernstein. smile


Wonderful performance of "Guernica" Mark !!!!!!!!!! thumb thumb thumb



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thumbs up to Kreisler's post..Perahia will be in the Bay area on March 11 probably revisiting the Berlin program.. OP. 109 Beethoven, Bach Partita in E...and whatever else was played.

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Originally Posted by Andromaque

Why don't you play piano "instrumentals" since you are open minded about everything else post 1980? Is it the context (a band?) or a personal preference? have you not found any piano music to your liking? (serious question). I personally struggle to weed out fluff and new age-y stuff in contemporary music. I would listen to more contemporary stuff if I knew who is who. It takes time to wade through the field and find a few gems. So I end up looking for specific composers if I recognize their name or works, and probably missing out on many.


My musical choices has generally expanded by association. There hasn't been a shortage of contemporary pieces as my universe expanded, the model just failed at a certain point for me.

The new stuff that I play is in the context of a band. Some of it I like, some I don't. All of it is tonal, if sometimes mildly dissonant, and all of it has conventional rhythmic content, which I believe is important (for success). It may be that the experiments with "serious" music in the 50's and 60's have destroyed a few generations of composers of European tradition. Or maybe Justin Bieber songs are the equal and heir of Schubert's. whistle

But no, I have found no modern European tradition piano instrumentals that I like.

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Originally Posted by liszt85

P.S: For somebody who claims to be the biggest Liszt fan, its quite surprising that you have such arcane views (whereas Liszt was so very contemporary and maybe even too progressive for his times).


It's okay to have different views than the composer you love. I'm sure what he likes the most about Liszt is his music.

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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Originally Posted by liszt85

P.S: For somebody who claims to be the biggest Liszt fan, its quite surprising that you have such arcane views (whereas Liszt was so very contemporary and maybe even too progressive for his times).


It's okay to have different views than the composer you love. I'm sure what he likes the most about Liszt is his music.


His music though came from progressive thoughts and ideas. One cannot appreciate just the music and not the ideas it came from. Maybe some people do but its incomplete appreciation, in my book.

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Originally Posted by liszt85
One cannot appreciate just the music and not the ideas it came from.

I disagree. The music speaks for itself. One's experience may be enhanced by knowing the history of the time and the philosophy of the man, but the music speaks for itself. I do not think my appreciation is "incomplete".

-J

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Originally Posted by beet31425
Originally Posted by liszt85
One cannot appreciate just the music and not the ideas it came from.

I disagree. The music speaks for itself. One's experience may be enhanced by knowing the history of the time and the philosophy of the man, but the music speaks for itself. I do not think my appreciation is "incomplete".

-J


The music may very well speak for itself. I'm talking about revolutionary musical ideas, one doesn't have to know about Liszt's life to see that his ideas were progressive and revolutionary for his times, you only have to listen to his late compositions. One cannot claim to be a Liszt fan without being a fan of revolutionary ideas. Just my opinion of course. If you disagree, so be it.

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