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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Even knowing that the video is an imagining about Trifonov's struggles to compose an ending, I found the video somewhat confusing. For example, what is the meaning of the part around 9:30 when he's in the woods and tears up a full sheet of music? Am I correct in understanding an earlier part of the video shows him not being able to find something in his room, and then a trail of bits of paper leading him to its location in the woods? What was he looking for?

Another strange thing about the video is that many people wouldn't be able to figure it out at all since they don't know this last fugue was not completed by Bach. There seems to be no explanation of that in the video.

The written explanation accompanying the video states:
"Bach did not live to finish The Art of Fugue’s final contrapunctus, and a number of musicians have attempted conjectural completions. For this recording, Trifonov, himself an accomplished composer, has created a seamless, stylistically respectful conclusion worthy of Bach’s genius. It reflects the extent to which he has absorbed and internalised every nook and cranny of Bach’s valedictory masterpiece."


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Even knowing that the video is an imagining about Trifonov's struggles to compose an ending, I found the video somewhat confusing. For example, what is the meaning of the part around 9:30 when he's in the woods and tears up a full sheet of music? Am I correct in understanding an earlier part of the video shows him not being able to find something in his room, and then a trail of bits of paper leading him to its location in the woods? What was he looking for?

Another strange thing about the video is that many people wouldn't be able to figure it out at all since they don't know this last fugue was not completed by Bach. There seems to be no explanation of that in the video.

My appreciation of the video shouldn't be taken as my understanding it. smile

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Originally Posted by toyboy
Originally Posted by Carey
Smaller chunks and silly gimmicks for folks with shorter attention spans. Welcome to the 21st century.

But aside from that, I don't think it's about breaking through short attention spans (which strikes me as a rather arrogant attitude) but rather trying to break through the noise of a pop-saturated cultural world.
Not arrogant - just reality - sadly.
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And isn't one way to do that is by showing something that is intriguing or even seducing to an audience that isn't normally attracted to the classical music world?
Perhaps, but one has to understand what is really going on here in order to fully appreciate it.

The playing itself is beautiful.


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Originally Posted by Carey
Perhaps, but one has to understand what is really going on here in order to fully appreciate it.

What's that supposed to mean? Only the qualified are allowed in? Of course I agree with you that a fuller understanding brings deeper levels of appreciation, but if you're trying to bring classical music to a new audience, you can't expect that right off the bat. Certainly your point raises a good question whether this sort of pop-style music video is the best way to bring classical music to new ears. If I had my way, I would have had Leonard Bernstein preserved forever so he could hold his Young People's Concerts in perpetuity.

My only point was that a video like this is speaking more to the language that people attuned more to pop culture (or YouTube (or TikTok)) might accept or appreciate or recognize. And other than a latter day Leonard Bernstein getting on TikTok and giving ten second music appreciation courses, I really fail to understand why a video like this is such a problem. While I'm only guessing as to the good it can do, the real question is what harm does it do? I don't see any.

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Another quote from the YouTube page:

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Trifonov’s imaginative interpretation captures the sense of the work as a cycle, treating it as a living, organic whole. This chimes with the inspiration he takes from spending time in nature, whether hiking or practising Qigong, a form of meditation that values the healing energy of trees. “And the tree is a good metaphor for The Art of Fugue’s overall structure,” he notes. “The theme is the trunk, the fugues are the branches, all the permutations within each fugue are the leaves…”

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The video is not ‘harmful’ but it could have been helpful. I am not a videographer, but wouldn’t a snippet of Bach trying to complete the music. and stopping in frustration followed by Trifanov picking up the Bach score with blank pages and starting to write told a ‘story’ ????


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Originally Posted by toyboy
Originally Posted by Carey
Perhaps, but one has to understand what is really going on here in order to fully appreciate it.
What's that supposed to mean? Only the qualified are allowed in?

Not at all. I didn't "get it" initially because I didn't read the accompanying explanation - so I could only take what I was watching at face value. The playing was lovely and the visual stuff was just "strange." Once I understood that it had to do with creating a proper ending for the work, I could appreciate what was going on.
Quote
Of course I agree with you that a fuller understanding brings deeper levels of appreciation, but if you're trying to bring classical music to a new audience, you can't expect that right off the bat. Certainly your point raises a good question whether this sort of pop-style music video is the best way to bring classical music to new ears. If I had my way, I would have had Leonard Bernstein preserved forever so he could hold his Young People's Concerts in perpetuity.

My only point was that a video like this is speaking more to the language that people attuned more to pop culture (or YouTube (or TikTok)) might accept or appreciate or recognize. And other than a latter day Leonard Bernstein getting on TikTok and giving ten second music appreciation courses, I really fail to understand why a video like this is such a problem. While I'm only guessing as to the good it can do, the real question is what harm does it do? I don't see any.
It's not a problem. It doesn't do any harm. It may or may not do some good. If it helps the pianist sell recordings and introduces more folks to Bach - fantastic.


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To be honest, the video distracted me from the music. I'd be happy with a video of just his hands playing. But I think that might be the point of making the video. It's a hook.

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I didn't find the video too bad myself.

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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Even knowing that the video is an imagining about Trifonov's struggles to compose an ending, I found the video somewhat confusing. For example, what is the meaning of the part around 9:30 when he's in the woods and tears up a full sheet of music? Am I correct in understanding an earlier part of the video shows him not being able to find something in his room, and then a trail of bits of paper leading him to its location in the woods? What was he looking for?

Another strange thing about the video is that many people wouldn't be able to figure it out at all since they don't know this last fugue was not completed by Bach. There seems to be no explanation of that in the video.

The written explanation accompanying the video states:
"Bach did not live to finish The Art of Fugue’s final contrapunctus, and a number of musicians have attempted conjectural completions. For this recording, Trifonov, himself an accomplished composer, has created a seamless, stylistically respectful conclusion worthy of Bach’s genius. It reflects the extent to which he has absorbed and internalised every nook and cranny of Bach’s valedictory masterpiece."
Yes, but perhaps all that should have been said in the actual video. Or maybe it would ruin the video? I didn't read that quote before viewing the video.

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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Even knowing that the video is an imagining about Trifonov's struggles to compose an ending, I found the video somewhat confusing. For example, what is the meaning of the part around 9:30 when he's in the woods and tears up a full sheet of music? Am I correct in understanding an earlier part of the video shows him not being able to find something in his room, and then a trail of bits of paper leading him to its location in the woods? What was he looking for?

Another strange thing about the video is that many people wouldn't be able to figure it out at all since they don't know this last fugue was not completed by Bach. There seems to be no explanation of that in the video.

The written explanation accompanying the video states:
"Bach did not live to finish The Art of Fugue’s final contrapunctus, and a number of musicians have attempted conjectural completions. For this recording, Trifonov, himself an accomplished composer, has created a seamless, stylistically respectful conclusion worthy of Bach’s genius. It reflects the extent to which he has absorbed and internalised every nook and cranny of Bach’s valedictory masterpiece."


I am sorry to see that DG gets into the kind of marketing BS which flirts with borderline statement. Of course every word is carefully chosen. So "attempted conjectural completions" seems to imply that others have tried but of course only Trifonov who is an accomplished composer (he composed one concerto) has been able to deliver the ultimate ending worthy of Bach genius. What kind of crap is that ? Seems like DG has hired more marketing guys than musicians lately.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Carey
The written explanation accompanying the video states: "Bach did not live to finish The Art of Fugue’s final contrapunctus, and a number of musicians have attempted conjectural completions. For this recording, Trifonov, himself an accomplished composer, has created a seamless, stylistically respectful conclusion worthy of Bach’s genius. It reflects the extent to which he has absorbed and internalised every nook and cranny of Bach’s valedictory masterpiece."
Yes, but perhaps all that should have been said in the actual video. Or maybe it would ruin the video? I didn't read that quote before viewing the video.
Well neither did I....so the video initially didn't make much sense to me. I don't think that including some type of simple statement at the beginning of the video would have ruined anything.


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Originally Posted by Sidokar
I am sorry to see that DG gets into the kind of marketing BS which flirts with borderline statement. Of course every word is carefully chosen. So "attempted conjectural completions" seems to imply that others have tried but of course only Trifonov who is an accomplished composer (he composed one concerto) has been able to deliver the ultimate ending worthy of Bach genius. What kind of crap is that ? Seems like DG has hired more marketing guys than musicians lately.
Let's just hope they never try to promote Lola Astanova. grin


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*googles Lola Astanova*

Oh.

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Originally Posted by Hakki
Trifonov attempted to complete the unfinished ending with his own composition.
Which is the video is about obviously.

It starts after 8:35 (?) I guess.

Do you find the ending added by Trifonov convincing?

I think it starts around 7:00, where the BACH motif first appears. I wish I could get a copy of the score. Some of his playing towards the end is way overpedalled and muddy, with octave doublings that don't sound authentic to me. This isn't supposed to be like a Busoni transcription!

That said, it's not bad. I'm waiting to see the completion worked by music theory scholar Kevin Korsyn, which is apparently in his latest book.


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Oh, and also, the verbiage that describes the completion of the work is a bit strange. "For this recording, Trifonov, himself an accomplished composer, has created a seamless, stylistically respectful conclusion worthy of Bach’s genius. It reflects the extent to which he has absorbed and internalised every nook and cranny of Bach’s valedictory masterpiece." Stylistically "respectful"? "Worthy of Bach's genius"? Sounds like the author (Trifonov himself?) can't find appropriate words to describe what's been done, other than to imply that it's as good as Bach would have done.


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Originally Posted by SiFi
....Sounds like the author (Trifonov himself?) can't find appropriate words to describe what's been done, other than to imply that it's as good as Bach would have done.

Nay, better! ha

I liked everything about this thing except that write-up.

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Heavily edited, atmospheric, nostalgic, earthy. The style is similar to other music videos like Birdy’s Skinny Love. I think DG produced this to attract the audience of the younger demographic. Would I watch the video again? No. But I was fascinated by the piece. Wonderful playing by Trifonov. But I wonder if this video cheapens his brand.



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It's better than his Fantaisie Impromptu video imo.

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Wonderful music. I could do without the video but would have missed this gem if not for the cleverly titled thread here.

These days, I can imagine the classical labels are having a brutal time promoting their artists, especially with the global pandemic. And in some regions of the world this type of video might be popular.

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