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#1267661 - 09/13/09 06:05 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Clayton]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Clayton
...or if you think of a composition as a cut-and-paste of many existing musical ideas seasoned with the composer's own original insights and ideas. I view musical composition more like the latter.


"Cut and paste?"

A strange way to describe music composed by the greatest composers of Western music.
IMO it's hard to imagine a description further from the truth.

Maybe we should run some of Beethoven's Sonatas through the musical equiavalent of Turnit in.com so we can get riad some of the weal or plagiarized ones. eek


Edited by pianoloverus (09/13/09 06:09 PM)

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#1267671 - 09/13/09 06:16 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Clayton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 128
Loc: Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Originally Posted By: sotto voce

Other composers certainly changed their minds, with the result that earlier works were revisited, completely revised and published anew. Chopin isn't one of them. He was precise and deliberate about the content of a manuscript by the time it was ready for publication, and he didn't look back. (And if he he "never played anything the same way twice" or wrote variants on his students' scores, that's completely irrelevant to what was published.)

Steven


What kind of an argument is that? Are we talking about what was published? Or about playing it? Chopin was notorious for changing his mind about things. Apparently he hated writing stuff down and having to put it in a concrete form. Does a published score count as the most important word on a piece of music- taking all priority over any rethinking the composer made? Is it about faith to the composer, or faith to a piece of paper?

Chopin certainly DID change things. As for "looking back" however- maybe he simply didn't care exactly what he wrote the last time he wrote the piece down? Maybe it wasn't even in his mind and he just wrote what he felt at the time? There are countless instances of differences between various editions. Not generally in terms of major variants (although there are cases of this), like those he wrote for students, but in terms of dynamics and phrasing etc. Some, but far from all of these can be put down to copyists mistakes. There are too many to assume that Chopin didn't either want to make the changes (or that he simply wasn't all that bothered whether certain things went one way or another) It shows the inherent danger in being overly pedantic about every single detail in the score- and assuming that anything that contradicts the odd mark is necessarily "wrong".


The thing that I think the self-styled "purists" fail to understand is that faithfulness to the score is not an end in itself. Faithfulness to the score is only important so far as the performer is communicating the essence of what the score indicates, that is, the musical "message" the composer wanted to capture for the performer to communicate to the audience. Departures from the score that do not stem from a failure to comprehend the composer's clear intent are not "bad" or "wrong", they are simply different ways of communicating with the audience. I read recently that Horowitz did not hesitate to alter a score if he felt it was "unpianolike" and Glenn Gould also re-arranged pieces to suit his own vision of what the piece "ought to" have sounded like. I don't see anything wrong in that. Masterful re-interpretation is a far cry from a student's departure from the composer's clear intent due to a failure to grasp what the composer was trying to "get across" in the piece.

Clayton -


Edited by Clayton (09/13/09 06:17 PM)
_________________________
My listening obsessions:
Kurt Atterberg - Piano Concerto in Bb
Claude Debussy - Cello Sonata
Johannes Brahms - Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2

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#1267673 - 09/13/09 06:23 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: pianoloverus]
Clayton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 128
Loc: Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Clayton
...or if you think of a composition as a cut-and-paste of many existing musical ideas seasoned with the composer's own original insights and ideas. I view musical composition more like the latter.


"Cut and paste?"

A strange way to describe music composed by the greatest composers of Western music.
IMO it's hard to imagine a description further from the truth.

Maybe we should run some of Beethoven's Sonatas through the musical equiavalent of Turnit in.com so we can get riad some of the weal or plagiarized ones. eek


I have a very different view from most people on the nature of human "originality" and plagiarism. 99% of what we see as "original" is really just remixes of existing ideas. And yes, that goes for the greatest composers, as well. I'm not saying some people do not contribute more original ideas than others - clearly a Bach, Beethoven or Chopin contributed a great deal more original ideas than many of the minor composers or composers of drawing room music. But I think people have become rapt with this conception of the lone, heroic composer introspecting deeply to create, ex nihilo, great masterpieces. But the greatest composers were students of the folk music which provided the tapestry and variations upon which they composed. Chopin was a student of Polish folk music and this is clearly heard in the lyricality of his melodies. Bach was a student of German and Italian music. Tschaikovsky was a great student of Russian folk music. These men's vast command of the music of the people is the fuel that drove the engines of their creativity.

Clayton -


Edited by Clayton (09/13/09 06:24 PM)
_________________________
My listening obsessions:
Kurt Atterberg - Piano Concerto in Bb
Claude Debussy - Cello Sonata
Johannes Brahms - Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2

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#1267677 - 09/13/09 06:31 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: sotto voce]
Clayton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 128
Loc: Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Play whatever you want in whatever way you wish! It's pointless to seek justification—especially defended with bogus reasons and reasoning—when no justification is needed.

Steven


I agree with "play whatever you want" but I think there is a difference between just changing something out of ignorance or failure to comprehend the music and changing it out of purposeful intent. In general, I never change the notes for the simple reason that I do not fully understand why all the notes are the way they are in the first place. If I did fully understand, I would feel more freedom to rearrange the notes if I felt I could "improve" the piece in so doing. However, I do understand the dynamics and phrasing of the pieces I play and I use that understanding to depart from the marked dynamics and phrasings where I feel that this can improve upon the piece (in my estimation). So, I do have justifications or reasons for what I do but not because I feel I need somebody's approval, just because I feel that good art does not come into being by accident.

Clayton -
_________________________
My listening obsessions:
Kurt Atterberg - Piano Concerto in Bb
Claude Debussy - Cello Sonata
Johannes Brahms - Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2

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#1267680 - 09/13/09 06:36 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Clayton]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
So a composition is just a pastiche of "many existing musical ideas" that are floating around in the ether, public-domain style, and a composer just plucks that low-hanging fruit and does some cutting and pasting and seasoning. Who knew?

You lot who have better ideas than the composer are just beyond the cutting edge of nonconformity ... unbound, unfettered, too big to be contained or constrained. You're rebels, and you don't need no stinkin' scores! That's awesome! smile

Dang, my dismal destiny is to dwell in the Prison of Pedantry. But I'm not a memorizer, so burning the score is out of the question anyway. And since I have it in front of me anyway when I play, I reckon I'll just follow the notes, rhythm, dynamics, articulation, phrasing and tempo as written.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1267682 - 09/13/09 06:47 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: sotto voce]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Beethoven says ...



Better play it exactly as I wrote it or else! Seriously though, let purists play it note for note. Let others do what they want. What does it matter what you do in the privacy of your own home?
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1267690 - 09/13/09 06:55 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: eweiss]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Ed, you always find the funnest visual aids, though poor Beethoven looks too placid for the ire of his thoughts! (I bet you already looked for a Beethoven with a ruler at the ready to whack the knuckles of non-purists. smile )

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1267732 - 09/13/09 07:40 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Clayton]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Clayton
The thing that I think the self-styled "purists" fail to understand is that faithfulness to the score is not an end in itself. Faithfulness to the score is only important so far as the performer is communicating the essence of what the score indicates, that is, the musical "message" the composer wanted to capture for the performer to communicate to the audience. Departures from the score that do not stem from a failure to comprehend the composer's clear intent are not "bad" or "wrong", they are simply different ways of communicating with the audience. I read recently that Horowitz did not hesitate to alter a score if he felt it was "unpianolike" and Glenn Gould also re-arranged pieces to suit his own vision of what the piece "ought to" have sounded like. I don't see anything wrong in that. Masterful re-interpretation is a far cry from a student's departure from the composer's clear intent due to a failure to grasp what the composer was trying to "get across" in the piece.

Clayton -


What could be clearer about a composer's "intent" than when he writes forte or indicates some tempo or phrasing?

The Horowitz pieces you refer to were mostly called transcriptions(to distinguish from playing what the composer wrote..,i.e.a new piece based on what the composer wrote) and listed that way in the program.

The only time to my knowlegde that Gould changed something was in his transcription of La Valse. When he varied greatly from the composer's tempo he was often severely criticized for doing this by very important musicians(not just some "self styled purists").

When a pianist varies significantly from the text, why do you assume they are still playing what the composer wants to get across and not what they want to get across? Do you think the composer puts tempo, phrasing, dynamics etc. in the score for no reason?




Edited by pianoloverus (09/13/09 07:41 PM)

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#1267740 - 09/13/09 07:49 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: pianoloverus]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
The Horowitz pieces you refer to were mostly called transcriptions(to distinguish from playing what the composer wrote..,i.e.a [i]new piece based on what the composer wrote) and listed that way in the program.[/i]

Not true. He made countless changes to pieces that were not regarded as transcriptions.

When a pianist varies significantly from the text, why do you assume they are still playing what the composer wants to get across and not what they want to get across?

I don't believe he did assume that. It appears that you are simply so set in your belief that the composer is a God, that you assume everyone else must think the same way. Not everyone does. Some people just judge on whether thye like the sound of something- regardless of whether it is 'correct' or not. Can you only appreciate something based on the technicality of whether it follows instructions literally? Can you really not appreciate that what a performer wants to get across might actually sound rather good?
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1267765 - 09/13/09 08:19 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Originally Posted By: Pianoloverus
The Horowitz pieces you refer to were mostly called transcriptions(to distinguish from playing what the composer wrote..,i.e.a new piece based on what the composer wrote) and listed that way in the program.


Not true. He made countless changes to pieces that were not regarded as transcriptions.

Of course, I'm well aware of this. I don't think the poster was referring to these minor alterations. It sounds like he just heard about Horowitz making transcriptions or changes.



Originally Posted By: Nyiregyazi
Originally Posted By: Pianoloverus
When a pianist varies significantly from the text, why do you assume they are still playing what the composer wants to get across and not what they want to get across?


I don't believe he did assume that. It appears that you are simply so set in your belief that the composer is a God, that you assume everyone else must think the same way. Not everyone does. Some people just judge on whether thye like the sound of something- regardless of whether it is 'correct' or not. Can you only appreciate something based on the technicality of whether it follows instructions literally? Can you really not appreciate that what a performer wants to get across might actually sound rather good?


I think you'll have to let the poster ansswer what he did or did not assume. But it does seem clear that's what he assumed because he praised pianists who he felt varied from the score but still, he felt, got the composer's message across.

O course, I don't think everyone thinks about this topic or any topic the same way I do. I that was the case, why would there be all the posts in this thread?

If you could take a lesson from Chopin and he pencilled in "f" on one of his works, would you play it that way or do you think you have a better idea on how it should be played?


Edited by pianoloverus (09/13/09 08:29 PM)

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#1267771 - 09/13/09 08:33 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: pianoloverus]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Even if it was Chopin, I wouldn't do it simply because he said so. If he demonstrate HOW the f might work- and I liked it, I'd happily do it. If he simply said to do it and not to ask questions- regardless of whether it sounded good or not, I'd sooner ignore it. It wouldn't be about the forte itself, but how I felt it fitted within an overall context. Sadly, we may not succeed in getting that context, from the instructions of a score. Isn't it better to do something that you feel works- rather than follow something that feels totally wrong? Chopin might have preferred the alteration, to an unconvicing execution of what he wrote.

I've always ignored his forte when the music reaches A flat major in op. 25 no. 12. It simply makes more sense to relax the mood there. I doubt it even Chopin could have convinced me otherwise.
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1267775 - 09/13/09 08:45 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Even if it was Chopin, I wouldn't do it simply because he said so.


Well, since you appear to know more about what Chopin's music should sound like than Chopin(and I'm not talking about changing something once in a blue moon...that's not what this thread is about), I guess you must be right.

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#1267788 - 09/13/09 09:17 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: pianoloverus]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Even if it was Chopin, I wouldn't do it simply because he said so.


Well, since you appear to know more about what Chopin's music should sound like than Chopin(and I'm not talking about changing something once in a blue moon...that's not what this thread is about), I guess you must be right.


No. But that how I like it to sound. And I feel no shame whatsoever in saying that.
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1267869 - 09/14/09 12:03 AM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Some people feel "no shame whatsoever" over anything whatsoever; characteristics like massive ego, arrogance and entitlement are symptomatic of numerous pathological behaviors and disorders. Just sayin.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1267889 - 09/14/09 12:57 AM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
ConcertEtudes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/06/09
Posts: 82
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Even if it was Chopin, I wouldn't do it simply because he said so. If he demonstrate HOW the f might work- and I liked it, I'd happily do it. If he simply said to do it and not to ask questions- regardless of whether it sounded good or not, I'd sooner ignore it. It wouldn't be about the forte itself, but how I felt it fitted within an overall context. Sadly, we may not succeed in getting that context, from the instructions of a score. Isn't it better to do something that you feel works- rather than follow something that feels totally wrong? Chopin might have preferred the alteration, to an unconvicing execution of what he wrote.

I've always ignored his forte when the music reaches A flat major in op. 25 no. 12. It simply makes more sense to relax the mood there. I doubt it even Chopin could have convinced me otherwise.


Some more examples of deviations from score that have became standard:
Chopin Etude Op.10 No.1: only dynamic marking is forte, but everyone plays it with dynamic varying from p to ff, and a performance would be criticized if it did not vary in dynamics.
Chopin Etude Op.10 No.12: no pedal marking in the Urtext; some pianists still insist that no pedal should be used at all, but different editions have put in different pedal markings.
Rach concerto No.2 first movement: the opening chords are marked as solid chords, but many pianists play them as broken chords. I read that even Rachmaninoff himself played them both solid and broken at different times. I don't know why Rach did not mark in the score that those chords could be played both solid and broken.

There are many other examples where modern pianists and audiences feel that the original score does not convey the music well enough. I would not say that society has become more arrogant or egoistic; rather, the society's taste of music is constantly changing.


Edited by ConcertEtudes (09/14/09 12:59 AM)

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#1267913 - 09/14/09 03:24 AM Re: Interpretation [Re: sotto voce]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Some people feel "no shame whatsoever" over anything whatsoever; characteristics like massive ego, arrogance and entitlement are symptomatic of numerous pathological behaviors and disorders. Just sayin.

Steven


Indeed. And some people follow orders without stopping to ask questions or demonstrate anything that suggests they have a trace of personality or individual will.
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1267976 - 09/14/09 09:23 AM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
An overbearing desire to demonstrate that one has personality and individual will are more symptoms of a disordered personality. Some people are legends in their own minds—so special that rules and orders just don't apply to them. That's for the little people, the unwashed masses, the self-styled purists, the pedants.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1268113 - 09/14/09 02:17 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: sotto voce]
Clayton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 128
Loc: Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
An overbearing desire to demonstrate that one has personality and individual will are more symptoms of a disordered personality. Some people are legends in their own minds—so special that rules and orders just don't apply to them. That's for the little people, the unwashed masses, the self-styled purists, the pedants.

Steven


I'm going to take the bait and go down the rabbit trail of personal philosophy a bit. In my view, there are two types of people in the world: rule-followers and rule-breakers. Art is a complex mixture of both following and breaking rules. Too much rule breaking and you just have a child banging at the keyboard or smearing a paintbrush across a canvas. Too much rule following and you might as well listen to a MIDI or take a photograph.

Clayton -
_________________________
My listening obsessions:
Kurt Atterberg - Piano Concerto in Bb
Claude Debussy - Cello Sonata
Johannes Brahms - Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2

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#1268145 - 09/14/09 03:29 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Clayton]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Clayton

I'm going to take the bait and go down the rabbit trail of personal philosophy a bit. In my view, there are two types of people in the world: rule-followers and rule-breakers. Art is a complex mixture of both following and breaking rules. Too much rule breaking and you just have a child banging at the keyboard or smearing a paintbrush across a canvas. Too much rule following and you might as well listen to a MIDI or take a photograph.

Clayton -


Much too black and white IMO. I think the huge majority are in between. I certainly don't think it's true that if one follows every marking in a score(wheter this is good or bad), there is no additional liberty in interpretation.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/14/09 03:30 PM)

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#1268148 - 09/14/09 03:31 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Clayton]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6160
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted By: Clayton
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
An overbearing desire to demonstrate that one has personality and individual will are more symptoms of a disordered personality. Some people are legends in their own minds—so special that rules and orders just don't apply to them. That's for the little people, the unwashed masses, the self-styled purists, the pedants.

Steven


I'm going to take the bait and go down the rabbit trail of personal philosophy a bit. In my view, there are two types of people in the world: rule-followers and rule-breakers. Art is a complex mixture of both following and breaking rules. Too much rule breaking and you just have a child banging at the keyboard or smearing a paintbrush across a canvas. Too much rule following and you might as well listen to a MIDI or take a photograph.

Clayton -


Yes, the golden mean is always the best....
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#1268156 - 09/14/09 03:40 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: ChopinAddict]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
If (1) there were only two types of people—rule-breakers and rule-followers, and (2) art were "a complex mixture of both following and breaking rules," then there would be no artists; no one would be qualified.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1268162 - 09/14/09 03:48 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: sotto voce]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
An overbearing desire to demonstrate that one has personality and individual will are more symptoms of a disordered personality. Some people are legends in their own minds—so special that rules and orders just don't apply to them. That's for the little people, the unwashed masses, the self-styled purists, the pedants.

Steven


And how about those who sincerely believe that they are in a position to best represent the composer's intentions and who frown upon others for doing the composer a disservice- after all they know the composer's 'correct' style as well as anyone? When you compare that to somebody who simply wishes to play a piece as they feel like doing it, I think it's the performer who sincerely believes that he can channel a composer's spirit who is guilty of both delusion and arrogance. I can scarcely think of anything more arrogant than a performer who behaves this way. It's about as 'humble' as claiming to be a prophet who speaks on behalf on god.
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1268191 - 09/14/09 04:20 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Q.E.D.
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1268701 - 09/15/09 12:35 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: sotto voce]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Q.E.D.


?
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1268717 - 09/15/09 01:00 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Don't tell me you don't know what Q.E.D. means. laugh
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1268748 - 09/15/09 02:14 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Clayton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 128
Loc: Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
An overbearing desire to demonstrate that one has personality and individual will are more symptoms of a disordered personality. Some people are legends in their own minds—so special that rules and orders just don't apply to them. That's for the little people, the unwashed masses, the self-styled purists, the pedants.

Steven


And how about those who sincerely believe that they are in a position to best represent the composer's intentions and who frown upon others for doing the composer a disservice- after all they know the composer's 'correct' style as well as anyone? When you compare that to somebody who simply wishes to play a piece as they feel like doing it, I think it's the performer who sincerely believes that he can channel a composer's spirit who is guilty of both delusion and arrogance. I can scarcely think of anything more arrogant than a performer who behaves this way. It's about as 'humble' as claiming to be a prophet who speaks on behalf on god.


Especially when you take into account the fact that we don't even play the same instruments that most composers wrote for. Today's modern grand piano is a far cry from Chopin's Pleyel or Beethoven's piano. We don't even use the same temperament that Bach did. Someone posted a thread a while back about a music student who has recreated as closely as possible the actual tunings used by Bach and tuned a harpsichord according to that temperament. If you want to get all "historical", now that is historical. To me, historical re-enactment of music is its own genre which few people have the resources, knowledge or dedication to attempt. Performance is not about recreating the composer's "intent", whatever that means. I think of the composer more like a scientist of music who has discovered a beautiful theorem and written it down for all to enjoy. A good scientific theorem is never proven to be "false" (e.g. Newton's laws are not false, just not the most accurate description we have of the physical world), but it is never the last word either. It is always open to be further enhanced by new and better insights. Music is like this - always open to be enhanced by new and better insights.

Clayton -
_________________________
My listening obsessions:
Kurt Atterberg - Piano Concerto in Bb
Claude Debussy - Cello Sonata
Johannes Brahms - Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2

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#1268753 - 09/15/09 02:30 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Clayton]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Hmmm. Because we don't have period instruments tuned to meantone, "new and better insight" is demonstrated by playing forte and Allegro where the composer specifically wrote Andante and pianissimo—if we think it sounds good.

Dang, now I've got to remember to add insightful to that list of adjectives to describe the fashion-forward I did it MY way practice of musicianship that my dessicated, uncreative, stunted brain can't quite graps. smile

FWIW, I think that the average person would benefit a great deal from an understanding of intellectual property and its role in the creative process.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1268787 - 09/15/09 03:23 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: sotto voce]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Hmmm. Because we don't have period instruments tuned to meantone, "new and better insight" is demonstrated by playing forte and Allegro where the composer specifically wrote Andante and pianissimo—if we think it sounds good.

Dang, now I've got to remember to add insightful to that list of adjectives to describe the fashion-forward I did it MY way practice of musicianship that my dessicated, uncreative, stunted brain can't quite graps. smile

FWIW, I think that the average person would benefit a great deal from an understanding of intellectual property and its role in the creative process.

Steven


I understand intellectual property. However, it has legally expired on most of the great composers.

What annoys me is the double standards. How many period instrument player pay any heed to what Mozart decreed about rubato (where left and right are not continually synchronised). Ironically it's the same people who preach faith to Mozart who are usually the most damning when you take his specific description literally. Look at the comments Horowitz received (as one of few pianists who actually goes beyond the lifeless 'classical sound' to create a truly operatic sound). It wouldn't bother me if people were consistent about following what they preach on faith to the composer. When they go so squarely in the face of it so often, you have to question the premise for the accepted 'rules' in it's entirety. How many of them really stand up to any scrutiny? Those who do not ask questions may not only mind-numbingly boring- they may also be guilty of limiting themselves rules and restrictions that are entirely without foundation.

Isn't it rather ironic that those who are the strictest about faith to the composer can often be rationally demonstrated to be as distant from a 'correct' style as anyone? And that those who employ 'romantic' rubatos in classical period music are doing exactly what Mozart described? When you realise how misguided most of the modern preconceptions are, you have to ask questions. Half of the rules are little more than the result of a long, drawn-out game of Chinese whispers.



Edited by Nyiregyhazi (09/15/09 03:39 PM)
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1268804 - 09/15/09 03:40 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: ConcertEtudes]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18292
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: ConcertEtudes
[...]Some more examples of deviations from score that have became standard:
Chopin Etude Op.10 No.1: only dynamic marking is forte, but everyone plays it with dynamic varying from p to ff, and a performance would be criticized if it did not vary in dynamics.
[...]


That's not quite accurate. There are, in the Urtext, indications of diminuendo (measures 36, 48, and 76) and cresc. (measures 33, 42, and 69).

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1268881 - 09/15/09 05:30 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Clayton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 128
Loc: Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Half of the rules are little more than the result of a long, drawn-out game of Chinese whispers.


Exactly!

Clayton -
_________________________
My listening obsessions:
Kurt Atterberg - Piano Concerto in Bb
Claude Debussy - Cello Sonata
Johannes Brahms - Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2

Top
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