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That's a very important aspect that all those proponents of that "Age = Maturity = Profundity" ilk miss.

There is a lot of music (actually, most music) that is not The Last Testament and which, dare I say it, benefits from the impetuosity of youth. I've heard performances of Les Adieux and Appassionata from a couple of famous veteran pianists (who I won't name) which sound like, how shall I put it, they've played them once (or twice) too often. Or maybe, taught them to students once (or twice) too often. In other words, all the freshness have disappeared and been replaced by a didactic and pedantic - and pedestrian - crossing of t's and dotting of i's. They have scrutinized the score rather too often and are seeing too many trees and missing the wood.

This is, of course, not the exclusive preserve of older pianists. Pianists like Rubinstein continued to throw caution to the winds when it came to playing music like the Appassionata live (never mind the dropped notes, feel the danger and absorb the message), even in their old age. I've often felt too, that pianists who do a lot of teaching are much more prone to this than those who mainly perform. They start to read too much into details in the scores, and forget that a performance is not about not missing all the little hairpin stuff the composer wrote, but conveying the complete whole. Being literally true to the score is not the same as being true to the music - and the composer.


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Originally Posted by bennevis
Being literally true to the score is not the same as being true to the music - and the composer.

There are the essential features of a composition, and there is intepretation of a composition. A music score includes both.

The conclusion: one can play Urtextian or quite freely, and either way be true (or untrue) to the composer depending on the spirit through which one is moved.

Liszt interpreted music both quite freely and as an Urtextian, and was successful at moving listeners with either of the two approaches.

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Not sure I understand this Urtext vs. freely thing.

Urtext scores have fewer markings on them than edited scores. The purpose of working from Urtext scores, for me, is to have MORE interpretive freedom. I want only the composer's directions in front of me, so that I can make all further interpretive decisions, instead of relying on an editor to make them for me.

How would copying an editor's instructions make us more free as interpreters?


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Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
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Originally Posted by hreichgott
Not sure I understand this Urtext vs. freely thing.

Urtext scores have fewer markings on them than edited scores. The purpose of working from Urtext scores, for me, is to have MORE interpretive freedom. I want only the composer's directions in front of me, so that I can make all further interpretive decisions, instead of relying on an editor to make them for me.

How would copying an editor's instructions make us more free as interpreters?

That is why I, too, prefer Urtext editions. Some things on an Urtext score might, nonetheless, be considered interpretive, rather than as essential features of the composition, as in relation to the idea of using an Urtext score in order for the pianist to be able to make "all further interpretive decisions".

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I am a free interpreter, and I also like Urtext editions. Why? Because I have no use for a convoluted edition resulting from the insertion of the opinions of an editor who may or may not know what he is talking about.


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Everybody has their own experiences in life. They may not be dramatic, but at the time. . .music will resonate to those experiences for each of us. IMO. . .!


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Originally Posted by Gerard12
[...]
On the other side of the coin: The most surreal recital I've ever experienced was one in which a pair of students from a well known conservatory performed selections from Wintereisse. I kid you not, my first impulse was to wish that I had one of those super-soakers handy...... [...]



Slightly OT :

Gerard12, since you mention a student performance of "Winterreise" :

You may be interested to read that a piano and voice teacher at the local conservatory are giving master classes and individual voice and piano lessons leading to two up-coming complete performances of "Winterreise." One of the performances features the two faculty members; the other performance features voice and piano students who have auditioned to participate. In response to your impulse, please note that the minimum age for both singers and pianists in this project is 30 years. I'm thrilled to have been accepted to participate in this project because of my deep fondness for "Winterreise".

Winterreise project

Regards,


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Originally Posted by BruceD
Slightly OT :

Gerard12, since you mention a student performance of "Winterreise" :

You may be interested to read that a piano and voice teacher at the local conservatory are giving master classes and individual voice and piano lessons leading to two up-coming complete performances of "Winterreise." One of the performances features the two faculty members; the other performance features voice and piano students who have auditioned to participate. In response to your impulse, please note that the minimum age for both singers and pianists in this project is 30 years. I'm thrilled to have been accepted to participate in this project because of my deep fondness for "Winterreise".

Winterreise project

Regards,
What are you singing? laugh

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What are you singing? laugh
laugh ha


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It seems to me that when this issue comes up, it is over-simplified into some kind of either/or thing, which is silly. It's an interesting issue, and a very complex one, I think, in regard to performing classical music and there is no "one size fits all" sort of answer, unless it is that for many performers, life experience and musical experience will indeed somehow affect their perspective on what they are doing. But even that isn't universal - some performers seem to see classical music as a sort of separate, idealized world that shouldn't be affected very much by anything as mundane as their own personal experience.

It's funny that in the article, the author pretty much drops the "suffering" aspect shortly after the beginning of the piece, in favor of more general kinds of experience and maturation.

It might have been a more useful exploration of the issue if the article had focused on a group of "senior" pianists who have played a lot of Beethoven, and reported on what those folks think about how their interpretations have or haven't changed. They are the ones who have the inside dope on the issue, after all.


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OT:

[/quote] ......I'm thrilled to have been accepted to participate in this project because of my deep fondness for "Winterreise".

Winterreise project

[/quote]

Wow! That is thrilling, Bruce.....Congrats!


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