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JoelW Offline OP
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I pay to hear the music, not to see them shake their heads and look at the ceiling.

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Then play the video in the background, and just listen to the audio instead of watching the video if it bothers you that much.

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Originally Posted by JoelW
I pay to hear the music, not to see them shake their heads and look at the ceiling.
You are wrong. Why? Because you insult all performers with your statement. Very few performers are mere pianists. Obviously you have never been to an opera or a play.

That being said, I hate watching musicians when they perform, so I close my eyes. laugh

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Some very great pianists have showed a lot of emotion, some very great pianists have not showed emotion, and many have been somewhere in between. Some people like it when pianists show emotion and some people don't like it. But saying pianists shouldn't show emotion because you personally don't like it is not a good reason.

Most people in the audience can't see the type of close up facial views that are common on YouTube videos. They are not close enough and see the pianist in profile.

I personally don't like ceiling starers if they do it constantly. I rarely mind facial expressions and sometimes think it greatly adds to a performance. Daniil Trifonov would be an example of someone whose expressions I think actually add to his performances. He is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed pianists in the world.

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Some performers like to look for flies (or wasps, as the case may be) on the ceiling; others like to commune with the composer (or someone even higher, if that's possible) by smiling beatifically at infinity (wherever that is); still others grimace in rapture (though grimacing uses more facial muscles than smiling, so my anatomist tell me, so it must surely create more tension); others like to relate pent-up energy by jumping up & down, or side-to-side, or a permutation of both.

It's all good.thumb

Personally, in my old age, I 'let myself go' when it comes to practicing in the privacy of my home, as well as performing in public these days, and my playing - and range of expression, and communicating skills - is all the better for it. In fact, it made me realize how self-conscious I was as a kid, forcing myself to adopt a poker face and restraining myself from what I deemed to be 'extraneous movements', even if no-one was watching. I don't have a video of my teenage self (thankfully), but I must have looked like a robot when playing. Maybe I even sounded like a robot......until my last teacher freed me from all that nonsense by reminding me that I was (amazingly enough) a member of the species homo sapiens, and that music is all about communication. And we know robots don't communicate (- their programmers do).

As someone once said, the truth is out there..... smirk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__jTJLEIRnQ

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I'm extremely animated when I 'perform' and when I talk. It has been mentioned, always positively, by thousands of people over my lifetime, that I look like I love playing. I don't do it for show - too many knocked over wine glasses sadly as a result of my animated ways.

So I am definitely a 'Do as I say, not as I do' hypocrite.

Last edited by prout; 01/10/19 08:41 PM.
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I wonder if the OP was jesting, or in earnest?



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Whether it's a pianist or a plumber, I say that anyone who's working hard gets to make whatever faces they want. ;-)


-- J.S.

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I think OP is stirring ....

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Shaking their heads and looking at the ceiling means in the middle of their performance, they noticed that the ceiling painter had "missed a bit". Again.

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Originally Posted by Zaphod
Shaking their heads and looking at the ceiling means in the middle of their performance, they noticed that the ceiling painter had "missed a bit". Again.

smile

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Originally Posted by MrCatMissMew
I think OP is stirring ....
….the pot just to see what kind of reaction he'll get.

This topic has been discussed to death here in the past. smile


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As long as they play well, I couldn't care less what else they do. I just look at their hands anyway. In fact, one of my pet peeves with videos/films of pianists is the long time they spend filming the face. I don't give a toss if s/he's pulling a face, and I find it rather intrusive to keep the camera there. Show me their hands, dammit!

Last edited by Sibylle; 01/11/19 03:02 AM.

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Originally Posted by JoelW
I pay to hear the music, not to see them shake their heads and look at the ceiling.


Wrong. You pay them to show up and play the advertised programme. What they do with their faces is up to them.

Last edited by johnstaf; 01/11/19 06:21 AM.
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung

Whether it's a pianist or a plumber, I say that anyone who's working hard gets to make whatever faces they want. ;-)

Good words! thumb

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Originally Posted by Sibylle
As long as they play well, I couldn't care less what else they do. I just look at their hands anyway. In fact, one of my pet peeves with videos/films of pianists is the long time they spend filming the face. I don't give a toss if s/he's pulling a face, and I find it rather intrusive to keep the camera there. Show me their hands, dammit!


They don't want you to see their fingering for the tricky parts. It's a masonic secret.

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Originally Posted by Zaphod
Originally Posted by Sibylle
As long as they play well, I couldn't care less what else they do. I just look at their hands anyway. In fact, one of my pet peeves with videos/films of pianists is the long time they spend filming the face. I don't give a toss if s/he's pulling a face, and I find it rather intrusive to keep the camera there. Show me their hands, dammit!


They don't want you to see their fingering for the tricky parts. It's a masonic secret.

That explains why they do the obnoxious face-filming *especially* during those passages when I really want to see what fingering the pianist uses ha


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I believe that Brahms was noted for being rather stoic and still at the piano. His technique is said to have been equal to Liszt, but no where near as flashy; indeed I think the same can be said of their compositions. Oddly enough, I find myself exactly opposite playing their music, i.e. I'm much more mobile and emotive playing Brahms, and the technical difficulties of Liszt for the small handed like me lead me to focus more on the notes and less on the music.

One time, I was playing playing Brahms opus 10 Ballades when I thought I was alone. Like many people, I'm usually more still when an audience is present, so I was more emotive this time. I didn't know my wife (a music teacher) had come into the room. When I finished, she had tears in her eyes (as did I) and asked me why I don't play like that normally. She said it was a much more intense experience than normal.

When watching a performer, facial expressions and body movements only bother me when they come across as exaggerated and inauthentic. I guess what I'm trying to say is let the performers perform in a way that feels right to them.


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You are practicing art and your are not supposed to show your emotion? That should be up to the individual to say the least.

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Originally Posted by prout
... too many knocked over wine glasses sadly as a result of my animated ways.

Not into the piano I hope!

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