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From the New York Times:

link

Any thoughts? Is it a worthwhile pursuit? Does this sort of performance re-examination matter?




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Its very interesting research and of course I think this kind of thing is worthwhile. I would guess it only matters so much as you think its important to re-evaluate your preconceptions about how we perform music from different periods.

I'm not sure what to make of the different technique(s). It does seem to sound a lot different but I also think it would only work well on period instruments. You would have a very difficult time playing a modern concert grand the way she's playing. Some of the physical elements on technique (like sitting tall, elbows in) don't seem to contradict much with modern day technique but of course there is no agreement on what is the 'right' way to play. I might be concerned about the hands always being still with all the movement in the fingers. I think that could lead to injury if you're not careful.


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I thought this was going to be about extemporization of ornaments (which would have been more valuable), instead of one person's evaluation and recreation of faulty techniques of the past.




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Nice playing. The technique is definitely not faulty for the instruments of the day.

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The best comment about the techniques advocated in old books that I ever read was that so many books would say that something was not to be done so often meant that doing it must have been almost universal. So you have to take everything with a grain of salt.


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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Nice playing. The technique is definitely not faulty for the instruments of the day.


No, no, no! I will never accept (as a Matthay-ite) the elbows close to the body (pointed down) stuff with hands slanted toward the pinky! 😄

It's a question of not beating the stuffing out of fortepianos with modern technique, not hogtying yourself! Modern technique includes playing gently but "articulated" enough for these instruments.


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every pianist in history with enough influence has developed particular piano schools and they all played pretty much different from each other...

there's no right way to music, it's all about expression, of bringing music to life...

thus, I find it to be a bogus pursuit that of being historically accurate. I'll wait for a real time machine to listen to Mozart himself play. It didn't seem to make a deep impression on young Beethoven, another pianist with peculiarities which were passed on in his works...

the real reason it's being done is because classical performances have been stale for several decades and audiences ever slimmer. So, new "findings" try to inject new life into ever older pieces...

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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Nice playing. The technique is definitely not faulty for the instruments of the day.


No, no, no! I will never accept (as a Matthay-ite) the elbows close to the body (pointed down) stuff with hands slanted toward the pinky! 😄

It's a question of not beating the stuffing out of fortepianos with modern technique, not hogtying yourself! Modern technique includes playing gently but "articulated" enough for these instruments.
My teacher was a student of Matthay - what he developed he did so for the modern piano. I didn't watch the vid - 'the elbows close to the body (pointed down) stuff with hands slanted toward the pinky!' is exactly how I play Mozart!

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Originally Posted by Doritos Flavoured
It didn't seem to make a deep impression on young Beethoven,
That was a different school! Beethoven mostly kept his foot on the pedal (and broke strings).

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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Originally Posted by Doritos Flavoured
It didn't seem to make a deep impression on young Beethoven,
That was a different school! Beethoven mostly kept his foot on the pedal (and broke strings).


I've heard that in those days and on those fragile instruments, breaking strings was very, very easy to do, and that it took a particular kind of skill to avoid doing it.

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You're more likely to break hammers actually.

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IIRC it was Bösendorfer, who built a (or the first) piano withstanding Listz's style of hitting the keys.
- - -

For playing style and technique, I do prefer this one:
[video:youtube]iJb0OdEY-d8[/video]

Probably at Bach's time the technique was not so much refined yet, compared to Mozart's and Hummel's.

scnr wink




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Now that I've watched it - coins wouldn't last long on the backs of her hands! Still, as she seems to say, she's still a beginner.

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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Now that I've watched it - coins wouldn't last long on the backs of her hands!


I noticed that too. At some parts she seemed to regress to modern technique wink

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These old pianos were much lighter to play and had much less key dip. I'm sure playing thes results in entirely different body language and sound. These pianos invite for lighter, faster play. Also the sound of the piano is different, often they were straight strung and much less resonant. Response to pedaling then also is very different. Exaggerating, you can't even get the gloomy romantic sound that you get with a modern grand if you press the pedal.

So also your interpretation will be different if you are to play it on a period instrument

>Does this sort of performance re-examination matter

Not so much imho. What matters if the performer can bring the piece to life with a good interpretation that fits what he's got. I do not think the piano industry is going to change the pianos to facilitate this old style playing (but you can have your piano modified for eg lighter play, like I have)


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Originally Posted by wouter79
These old pianos were much lighter to play and had much less key dip.
Something Gould tried to achieve much to the chagrin of his techs.


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