Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) End Stage Fright
End Stage Fright
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 3 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#1268892 - 09/15/09 05:41 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: BruceD]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
When I mentioned "intellectual property," I meant as a concept, not a legal doctrine.

Scientific "discovery" may well amount to naming, describing and explaining phenomena that already existed, but creative artists create; they don't just conjure up stuff that already existed in some inchoate form in the great expanse of collective unconscious.

If one wants to believe that all the colors for the Mona Lisa were simply arranged by Leonardo and all the notes for Beethoven's Ninth were merely assembled by Beethoven, then great literary works aren't original, either. The authors just put together words that were already out there, much like the proverbial monkeys at typewriters who, given enough time, would eventually produce War and Peace.

If that's how it worked, no human could possibly be credited with creating anything. I wonder if we'd even have a word for it that wasn't perceived as blasphemous.

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

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1268900 - 09/15/09 05:49 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: sotto voce]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
If one wants to believe that all the colors for the Mona Lisa were simply arranged by Leonardo and all the notes for Beethoven's Ninth were merely assembled by Beethoven, then great literary works aren't original, either.

Steven


Well, interestingly enough the mona lisa would probably have been a drastically different colour when the painted it. Similarly, when we look at a score we don't know how Beethoven saw it.

What percentage of young pianists even have ANY awareness of the fact that Beethoven changed tempo continually when he performed? Yet they will almost certainly bring the next generation up to believe that to slow down for a lyrical theme amounts to wiping your arse all over the score. It's just one example among many of where those who preach the loudest about the sole 'correct' way of playing are simply ignorant. Those who claim to speak on Beethoven's behalf are staggeringly arrogant to do so-especially with such limited knowledge about how he performed. They just do and teach what they were told to. There understanding of how interpret a text may have almost nothing to do with how Beethoven would have wanted it. Those who just play as they see fit have vastly more dignity. What could possibly me more humble- compared to those who impose ill-thought out, historically flawed rules? The only reason things sometimes have to be explained, is to illustrate to dissenting hypocrites that their basis for dismissal is generally deeply ignorant. If they're not interested in alternative ways of playing, you have to prove them wrong on their own terms about what is 'correct'.

When Beethoven beat pianos senseless and broke virtually every string, was he trying to illustrate his fidelity to the text? Or was there something a little more important going on?


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (09/15/09 05:54 PM)
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

Top
#1268909 - 09/15/09 05:58 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
tl;dr.

Anyway, your post followed mine by eight whole minutes. If you put more thought into what you write, it might not come across quite so uniformly as unedited bloviation with the tone of a haughty and pompous lecturer. 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

Top
#1268911 - 09/15/09 06:04 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: sotto voce]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
tl;dr.

Anyway, your post followed mine by eight whole minutes. If you put more thought into what you write, it might not come across quite so uniformly as unedited bloviation with the tone of a haughty and pompous lecturer. Just sayin.

Steven


So it's okay for you to openly look down upon those who possess the audacity to change the odd marking in a score? But if somebody has the nerve to illustrate that the ground you occupy is perhaps not quite so high as you think, they the pompous ones? I see...

Incidentally, the point that you missed there is that what we see today does not necessarily illustrate the composer's intentions. When a performer follows a score literally that does not necessarily represent the composers ideas, any more than looking at a highly aged painting necessarily represents what the artist originally produced. Perhaps you would have made a stronger case for your side had you stopped to consider and then respond to that vital issue, instead of knocking out a few insults. Sidetrack things by attacking me if you wish, but could you also try dealing with my argument?


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (09/15/09 06:12 PM)
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

Top
#1268914 - 09/15/09 06:06 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: sotto voce]
Clayton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 128
Loc: Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
... the average person would benefit a great deal from an understanding of intellectual property and its role in the creative process.


Intellectual property is a mirage created by government action and has nothing whatever to do with the creative process. As I said above, the vast majority of what we create is not original to ourselves. We are all "copyright violators". Has each and every composer who uses the so-called "Alberti bass" figure discovered/invented it himself/herself? Or was it copied time and again from time immemorial? You don't think that Polish folk music influenced Chopin's music? Or Russian folk music didn't influence Tschaikovsky's music? The lone heroic composer giving birth to de novo music, entirely original and without precedent or influence is pure myth.

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

Top
#1268916 - 09/15/09 06:07 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
You and your wonderful straw man arguments haven't changed one bit. cool
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

Top
#1268917 - 09/15/09 06:08 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Horowitzian]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I resolve to stop toggling ignored posts into view!



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

Top
#1269059 - 09/15/09 11:57 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: sotto voce]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4491
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: ConcertEtudes
But since Chopin is dead, no one knows what Chopin really wanted, so we are all playing our own arrangements of Chopin.

??? What Chopin wanted is what he indicated in the score.

Which is of course, exactly the same thing in every single edition he published. He never changed his mind about a thing...

Actually, the music is substantially the same in every single edition he published. To the extent there are differences, they're pretty much attributable to copyists. In subsequent editions, the discrepancies are equally minor and attributable to different editors. I can't think of a single instance where anything is attributable to Chopin "chang[ing] his mind."

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


It's funny, I have a Vienna Urtext edition of the etudes, and they have all the different ways he's had sections published in different editions........... and there are a lot of uh, varied things in there.

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
It's not just editions, Chopin changed things ALL the time while performing. He almost never played the same thing twice. So really, sometimes we actually don't know what he wanted..


I think it's a very different thing to say Chopin changed things when he performed his own composition and we don't know what he wanted so we can do what we like. If he wanted to leave it up to us, why would he or any composer mark the score with phrasing, dynamics, pedalling, tempo indications?

If you could take a lesson from Chopin and he penciled in something in your score, would you ignore it because he might play it differently the next time?



Do you do everything your teacher tells you?
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

Top
#1269104 - 09/16/09 02:08 AM Re: Interpretation [Re: Clayton]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7422
Originally Posted By: Clayton
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
... the average person would benefit a great deal from an understanding of intellectual property and its role in the creative process.


Intellectual property is a mirage created by government action and has nothing whatever to do with the creative process. As I said above, the vast majority of what we create is not original to ourselves. We are all "copyright violators". Has each and every composer who uses the so-called "Alberti bass" figure discovered/invented it himself/herself? Or was it copied time and again from time immemorial? You don't think that Polish folk music influenced Chopin's music? Or Russian folk music didn't influence Tschaikovsky's music? The lone heroic composer giving birth to de novo music, entirely original and without precedent or influence is pure myth.



At any rate, the issue when it comes to composing and performing seems to confuse a lot of people. Assuming for the sake of argument that there is some intellectual property in a score, it doesn't just go away when a performer performs the piece. It is still there. The score is still intact for anyone to look at and use. Composers don't "own" performances, in other words, their "property" is restricted to the score. The fact that composers can and do get royalty payments from performances may give the appearance that they also own the performance, but I think that's a kind of illusion.

In a very real sense, any performance is an arrangement of the score. Even a perfectly accurate MIDI realization of a score is still an arrangement - you cannot ever actually hear a score, you can only see it, so any audible representation of it has to be an arrangement of some kind or another.

Human performers rarely aim for MIDI-like mechanical accuracy, because it isn't musical (which seems rather odd, seeing that the score-worshippers seem to think the music is in the score, and not in the musician).

To be really honest and truthful, and to accurately represent what is really going on when a pianist performs a notated work of music, concert programs, CD booklets, etc., should always hyphenate the performer's name with that of the composer. For example, Sonata, op. 111 by Beethoven-Goode. That would clearly indicate what the audience is actually getting. And doing that would remind people that if they are truly concerned about "composer's intent", they would do well to avoid actually listening to music being performed by real people in real time, and should instead study the score itself.


Edited by wr (09/16/09 04:53 AM)

Top
#1269149 - 09/16/09 07:28 AM Re: Interpretation [Re: Pogorelich.]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Actually, the music is substantially the same in every single edition he published. To the extent there are differences, they're pretty much attributable to copyists. In subsequent editions, the discrepancies are equally minor and attributable to different editors. I can't think of a single instance where anything is attributable to Chopin "chang[ing] his mind."

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

It's funny, I have a Vienna Urtext edition of the etudes, and they have all the different ways he's had sections published in different editions........... and there are a lot of uh, varied things in there.

If you re-read the first paragraph that you you quoted, you'll see that's what I was describing there.

Steven


Edited by sotto voce (09/16/09 08:06 AM)
_________________________

"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

Top
#1269165 - 09/16/09 08:41 AM Re: Interpretation [Re: sotto voce]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Actually, the music is substantially the same in every single edition he published. To the extent there are differences, they're pretty much attributable to copyists. In subsequent editions, the discrepancies are equally minor and attributable to different editors. I can't think of a single instance where anything is attributable to Chopin "chang[ing] his mind."

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

It's funny, I have a Vienna Urtext edition of the etudes, and they have all the different ways he's had sections published in different editions........... and there are a lot of uh, varied things in there.

If you re-read the first paragraph that you you quoted, you'll see that's what I was describing there.

Steven


However, if you look at the final paragraph, it's isn't. The problem is that in your first paragraph you falsely blamed it all on the editors. There are doubtless issues of inaccurate copying, but there are also countless issues upon which Chopin changed his mind- despite the factually inaccurate assertion you made in the final paragraph.
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

Top
#1269174 - 09/16/09 09:13 AM Re: Interpretation [Re: Pogorelich.]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19096
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
Originally Posted By: Pianoloverus
If you could take a lesson from Chopin and he penciled in something in your score, would you ignore it because he might play it differently the next time?


Do you do everything your teacher tells you?


I'm talking about Chopin, not just any teacher.

But in the course of this discussion I think some may have misinterpreted my remarks or maybe I've not made myself clear. I do not feel that every marking has to be followed and do not mind occasional deviations, if well thought out, from the score. In other words, if one deviates from Chopin's markings it should be done with the utmost care and for a good reason.

The original poster and some of those those arguing for frredom from the score seemed to me more like they were talking about playing everything and everywhere how one felt like playing. Kind of like a poster on the member's recordings section who said they had not looked at Liszt's dynamic markings and just played the piece the way they wanted to in terms of dynamics. Although this poster gave a thoughtful performance IMO, I think his approach to the score is not really good.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/16/09 10:46 AM)

Top
#1269255 - 09/16/09 11:56 AM Re: Interpretation [Re: pianoloverus]
Juishi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 123
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Although this poster gave a thoughtful performance IMO, I think his approach to the score is not really good.


Do we need care about the approach to the score If we enjoy what we are hearing?

Top
#1269270 - 09/16/09 12:18 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Juishi]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Juishi
Do we need care about the approach to the score If we enjoy what we are hearing?

Can we enjoy what we're hearing if we don't care about the approach to the score?

I think it's abundantly clear from this thread that some people can and some people cannot.

I wonder how many different ways there are to say that (and that haven't already been said repeatedly in this thread).

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

Top
#1269302 - 09/16/09 12:59 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: sotto voce]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Originally Posted By: Juishi
Do we need care about the approach to the score If we enjoy what we are hearing?

Can we enjoy what we're hearing if we don't care about the approach to the score?

I think it's abundantly clear from this thread that some people can and some people cannot.

I wonder how many different ways there are to say that (and that haven't already been said repeatedly in this thread).

Steven


I think it's also abundantly clear that everyone posting in this thread is already aware of how abundantly clear it is that some people can and some people cannot. What is extremely interesting however, is the fact that such an overwhelming majority of people seek to impose the idea that ocassionally disobeying a score is not acceptable- as though it were an indisputable crime against morality. The point is that while some people can and some people can't, an enormous number of people continue to push the view that you SHOULDN'T accept something, unless it's supported by the score. THAT is the kind of issue under debate here. Pointing out such a glaring obvious fact about subjectivity (with the evident implication that you feel that it is not already obvious to everybody else posting here) is hardly likely to end such debate.

If you're not interested in thinking it through in any more detail (preferring to classify anything that goes into greater depth as mere repetition) that's up to you. However, if you think that the blindingly self-evident statement you made is going is supposed make everyone go 'Ah!' and end the discussion, I have to wonder whether you've actually looked beyond the surface in the first place. There have been a number of interesting posts here, from both sides of the argument- very few of which are so simplistic as to fall under "different ways (...) to say that". On the contrary, each and every poster has gone considerably beyond your (distinctly less than revelatory) statement. Perhaps you think that sums everything up, but I think it's a staggeringly superficial summary of the complex issues- particularly considering the fact that such issues basically dominate the musical approach of virtually every single present-day teacher and performer.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (09/16/09 01:11 PM)
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

Top
#1269307 - 09/16/09 01:09 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Vasa inania multum strepunt.

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

Top
#1269315 - 09/16/09 01:18 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: sotto voce]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Vasa inania multum strepunt.

Steven


So once more, you have absolutely nothing to add to the discussion? If you're not interested in thinking it through any further than "some people like stuff and others don't" perhaps you could simply refrain from posting- rather than behave patronisingly and rudely towards those who like to think a little beyond that? If I'm not interested in a particular discussion, I tend to walk away from it- rather than make a staggeringly over-simplified summary and then tell the group of people ionvolved that they're basically just repeating it.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (09/16/09 01:26 PM)
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

Top
#1269401 - 09/16/09 04:08 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Juishi]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19096
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Juishi
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Although this poster gave a thoughtful performance IMO, I think his approach to the score is not really good.


Do we need care about the approach to the score If we enjoy what we are hearing?


I don't think someone enjoying what they're hearing is a good criterion for judging how good a performance is unless perhaps the person listening is incredibly knowledgble. The person who posted the recording I mentioned enjoyed their own interpretation, but there were things wrong with it (besides not even looking at the composer's markings). He wasn't aware of them or he would have played things differently!

Even in a master class where the students are from a conservatory setting, the teacher will often point out things that were undeniably wrong with the student's performance. I'm sure the students enjoyed their performance or they would have played things differently. That doesn't mean that the teacher shouldn't care about their approach.

Top
#1269427 - 09/16/09 04:42 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: pianoloverus]
Clayton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 128
Loc: Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Even in a master class where the students are from a conservatory setting, the teacher will often point out things that were undeniably wrong with the student's performance.


Yes, but that's because music is a kind of language with its own grammar, syntax and vocabulary and the student is usually giving mixed signals or using inappropriate phrasing, etc. In the master classes that I've watched on Google Video or YouTube, the instructor rarely, if ever, points to the score. Rather, he or she says something like, "Why are you playing staccato? Is this section happy or giddy? The music is full of yearning and sadness, but you're stomping over it with a staccato as if you're prancing through the meadows." The correctness of the instructor's criticism is plainly there for all to hear, no score is needed to check whether the student or the instructor is right.

Technique (as in, technical faithfulness to the score) is the servant, not the master. And it is the music which technique must serve. I'm an engineer at my day job, and a geek term which might be used to describe the score is "low bandwidth" - the score is a low bandwidth description of high bandwidth content. It is a "lossy compression" of the music. That means that a lot of detail is dropped for the sake of brevity. Even the dynamic markings, such as p, f, crescendo or decrescendo, utterly fail to describe the intricacy of what's occurring throughout a phrase where the breaths, commas and periods in the phrase cause the dynamics to vary at a microscopic level from note to note and voice to voice. And this variance will not likely be the same every time through, that is, if the performer is something other than a robot.

</rambling>

Clayton -


Edited by Clayton (09/16/09 04:43 PM)
_________________________
My listening obsessions:
Kurt Atterberg - Piano Concerto in Bb
Claude Debussy - Cello Sonata
Johannes Brahms - Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2

Top
#1269429 - 09/16/09 04:44 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: pianoloverus]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Juishi
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Although this poster gave a thoughtful performance IMO, I think his approach to the score is not really good.


Do we need care about the approach to the score If we enjoy what we are hearing?


I don't think someone enjoying what they're hearing is a good criterion for judging how good a performance is unless perhaps the person listening is incredibly knowledgble. The person who posted the recording I mentioned enjoyed their own interpretation, but there were things wrong with it (besides not even looking at the composer's markings). He wasn't aware of them or he would have played things differently!

Even in a master class where the students are from a conservatory setting, the teacher will often point out things that were undeniably wrong with the student's performance. I'm sure the students enjoyed their performance or they would have played things differently. That doesn't mean that the teacher shouldn't care about their approach.


Undeniably? That's really a very strong word. The problem is that even some of the most widely accepted 'truths' are highly disputable, if you look to history. As described before, most people would say that playing the left hand before the right hand in Mozart is a 'romantic' gesture that has no place in a classical style and counts as a disrespect to the composer. This is almost universally accepted as being "undeniable". Yet history reveals that not only is inaccurate to dismiss it as 'wrong', but that it is exactly what Mozart asked for. No rational person could honestly look at the source evidence with an unbiased mind and draw the opinion that it's an alien gesture. Yet it's been indoctrinated into everybody to the point where very few people are willing to question their 'rule' about what is inadmissible for Mozart- even with such overwhelming evidence against it.

I repeat the above example as it is a particularly strong, factually supported example of how an almost universally accepted premise is actually the very antithesis of what history actually suggested. The 'rule' is nothing more than a modern idea, falsely attributed to the composer. There are countless other examples- notably the discrepancy between how Rachmaninoff performed and how his music is taught now (considerably less than a century after his death!). When you realise how many flaws there are in the notion than things are "undeniable" and start exploring with an open mind, you start to realise just how many things that have been presented to us as undeniable absolutes are actually a complete load of hokem. Is it any wonder that performers generally sound so boring these days- when they restrict their style according to 'intellectual' rules that often have no intellectual grounding? Similarly, is it any wonder that few people have an interest in classical music- when we need a dubious intellectual justification before we can go ahead and be moved by something? And when we construct pseudo-intellectual arguments to write-off performers who produce distinctive sounds- instead of simply enjoying them? Yeah, that'll get the kids interested...


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (09/16/09 05:02 PM)
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

Top
#1269450 - 09/16/09 05:16 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3618
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I think a big factor here is whether the changes to the composer's intent are coming from a place of knowledge or of ignorance. When Glen Gould plays the b minor fugue (WTC I.24) as an allegro, even though it's marked "Largo" in my urtext, I may not agree with his decision, but I respect that he's made it after a thorough knowledge of Bach's intentions.

Similarly, I once heard Baremboim perform Brahms's first concerto, in which, to my shock, he actually added notes to the very end of the last movement-- a sequence of chords not in the score. But Baremboim has spent a lifetime studying Brahms, and I think he's in a position to make such a decision.

I think this is very different from a student changing a composer's intent just because he likes it more that way.


"Study the masters first-- then comes the revolution."
-A. Schoenberg*

(* Actually, he didn't say this. But he could have!)


-Jason
_________________________
Schoenberg op.10+k, Beethoven op.100+k for k=9
Schubert D.899/4, Chopin op.25/2

Top
#1269452 - 09/16/09 05:22 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19096
Loc: New York City
[quote=NyiregyhaziUndeniably? That's really a very strong word. [/quote]

WEll, how about 99% chance it was corret?

Top
#1269454 - 09/16/09 05:23 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: pianoloverus]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19096
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Undeniably? That's really a very strong word.


Well, how about 99% chance it was correct?

It really doesn't matter whether the teachers were undeniably, 99% or 50% correct in terms of the point I was making, namely that just because someone likes another person'()or their own) performance, this doesn't mean there's nothing wrong the performance or liking it is the only thing that matters.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/16/09 05:33 PM)

Top
#1269462 - 09/16/09 05:42 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
Undeniably? That's really a very strong word.


Well, how about 99% chance it was correct?

It really doesn't matter whether the teachers were undeniably, 99% or 50% correct in terms of the point I was making, namely that just because someone likes another person'()or their own) performance, this doesn't mean there's nothing wrong the performance or liking it is the only thing that matters.


Probabilities don't mean anything here though. Who determines the odds and on what basis? In any case all that matters is the fact that when something is portrayed as an absolute on false ground, people are restricted on unnecessary grounds. Teachers ought to encourage wider boundaries for creativity- not close doors by claiming that things are undeniable absolutes, when they are not. When something as portrayed as undeniable (yet it very much IS deniable) teachers could often be 'banning' something that is not only extremely interesting, but also perfectly valid. That's why anyone who is concerned with more than following 3rd hand orders needs to do their own research and thinking. Sometimes the consensus about the only 'correct' approach is actually very much wrong. I find this especially objectionable when it's claimed to be in the name of the composer, where it solely represents a view of the teacher.

"Undeniable" things are pretty few and far between, when you look at advanced masterclasses. Sadly, all too many try to make things look indisputable by claiming to talk about everything as though they can speak for the composer's will. However, the majority of it is their own belief about what the score means.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (09/16/09 05:52 PM)
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

Top
#1269465 - 09/16/09 05:51 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19096
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Undeniably? That's really a very strong word.


Well, how about 99% chance it was correct?

It really doesn't matter whether the teachers were undeniably, 99% or 50% correct in terms of the point I was making, namely that just because someone likes another person'()or their own) performance, this doesn't mean there's nothing wrong the performance or liking it is the only thing that matters.


Probabilities don't mean anything here though. Who determines the odds and on what basis? In any case all that matters is the fact that when something is portrayed as an absolute on false ground, people are restricted on unnecessary grounds.


The teachers never said anything was undeniable and I changed that word in my description. All this has nothing to do with my point.

You're not saying that because some random person "likes" some performance, that should be the only criterion are you? That's the only point I was making.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/16/09 05:53 PM)

Top
#1269470 - 09/16/09 06:04 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
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
Undeniably? That's really a very strong word.


Well, how about 99% chance it was correct?

It really doesn't matter whether the teachers were undeniably, 99% or 50% correct in terms of the point I was making, namely that just because someone likes another person'()or their own) performance, this doesn't mean there's nothing wrong the performance or liking it is the only thing that matters.


Probabilities don't mean anything here though. Who determines the odds and on what basis? In any case all that matters is the fact that when something is portrayed as an absolute on false ground, people are restricted on unnecessary grounds.


The teachers never said anything was undeniable and I changed that word in my description. All this has nothing to do with my point.

You're not saying that because some random person "likes" some performance, that should be the only criterion are you? That's the only point I was making.



The point I was making was that you were referring to absolutes, on slightly dubious grounds. I'm not saying that just because someone likes something it is good, no. However, you equally have to question whether a consensus among intellectuals means that something is good (and, above all, whether alternatives are therefore 'wrong'). As I illuistrated with the example on Mozart, even when you have a heavy consensus, there is often strong evidence to show that the consensus is based on highly dubious grounds. If you look at how few members of the public take an interest in most classical musicians, I think that is relevant too. Consider the following that certain performers used to have. Is that because their sounds reached out to the public? Maybe. These days a lot of pompous people like to talk about how 'deep' the playing of Brendel is. Can they explain in what way it is 'deep'? I've always seen it as being an example of the emperor's new clothes. The consensus of those who are supposedly knowledgable, is frequently based on people not wanting to be the one who risks coming across as too stupid to see what others claim to see. It's interesting to consider where the line ought to be drawn, but it has to be stressed that any premise that requires a person to see a score (before deciding whether a performance was good) or not, is flawed. You might as well claim that a painting is 'bad', if the artist takes the liberty of adding an extra tree, instead of doing a flawless reproduction of the landscape in front of him. Would the mona lisa become bad art, if we discovered that she actually had blond hair, but he chose to make it black? Is it impossible to appreciate, without a photograph of the scene he reproduced? In terms of what I look for myself,I think that outstanding performances are those that stand out upon how they sound- not upon whether they correspond accurately to instructions or not. Art is usually observed for what it is. Not by checking whether whoever brought it into being followed the instructions to the letter. I don't see why music should be an exception.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (09/16/09 06:21 PM)
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

Top
#1269495 - 09/16/09 06:32 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19096
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

The point I was making was that you were referring to absolutes, on slightly dubious grounds. I'm not saying that just because someone likes something it is good, no. However, you equally have to question whether a consensus among intellectuals means that something is good (and, above all, whether alternatives are therefore 'wrong')..... In terms of what I look for myself,I think that outstanding performances are those that stand out upon how they sound- not upon whether they correspond accurately to instructions or not. Art is usually observed for what it is. Not by checking whether whoever brought it into being followed the instructions to the letter. I don't see why music should be an exception.


I already made it clear a few posts ago that I never meant to imply that classical music had to be performed to the letter of the composer's wishes.

When I discussed a PW memeber's performance in the recordings section, interestingly enough I said something to the effect that "I don't have the score in front of me, but the way you play such and such a passage doesn't make sense musically". I didn't need the score to realize this. The poster thought I meant that he wasn't following the composer's markings and that's when he said he had never bothered to look at them and played the piece the way he felt.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/16/09 06:36 PM)

Top
#1269506 - 09/16/09 06:46 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

The point I was making was that you were referring to absolutes, on slightly dubious grounds. I'm not saying that just because someone likes something it is good, no. However, you equally have to question whether a consensus among intellectuals means that something is good (and, above all, whether alternatives are therefore 'wrong')..... In terms of what I look for myself,I think that outstanding performances are those that stand out upon how they sound- not upon whether they correspond accurately to instructions or not. Art is usually observed for what it is. Not by checking whether whoever brought it into being followed the instructions to the letter. I don't see why music should be an exception.


I already made it clear a few posts ago that I never meant to imply that classical music had to be performed to the letter of the composer's wishes.

When I discussed a PW memeber's performance in the recordings section, interestingly enough I said something to the effect that "I don't have the score in front of me, but the way you play such and such a passage doesn't make sense musically". I didn't need the score to realize this. The poster thought I meant that he wasn't following the composer's markings and that's when he said he had never bothered to look at them and played the piece the way he felt.


Okay, I see what you mean. Even there, I'd be careful about going to so far as to talk about "indisputible" flaws though. I think the kind of impressions you're talking about arguably fall even more under the notion of subjective tastes. Sometimes when something just doesn't work, there are different things that you can focus on. Change one element and suddenly another element that might have seemed poor, might seem wholly appropriate. However, change a completely different element (while keeping the other identical) and that may also lead to a perfectly good whole as well.
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

Top
#1269711 - 09/17/09 01:29 AM Re: Interpretation [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7422
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
These days a lot of pompous people like to talk about how 'deep' the playing of Brendel is. Can they explain in what way it is 'deep'? I've always seen it as being an example of the emperor's new clothes.


Which basically means that because you can't hear what others are hearing, they must be wrong. It's the same kind of bogus reasoning that is employed by those people who insist that anyone who says they like modern music is lying, assuming that it is simply not possible that anyone else like anything they themselves can't enjoy or understand.

And too, I've rarely heard any adequate explanations of why any interpretation by anyone of any music is "deep". That inability to explain it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Music is notoriously difficult to talk about, especially when trying to describe the effects it has on people.

Top
#1270016 - 09/17/09 03:18 PM Re: Interpretation [Re: wr]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
These days a lot of pompous people like to talk about how 'deep' the playing of Brendel is. Can they explain in what way it is 'deep'? I've always seen it as being an example of the emperor's new clothes.


Which basically means that because you can't hear what others are hearing, they must be wrong. It's the same kind of bogus reasoning that is employed by those people who insist that anyone who says they like modern music is lying, assuming that it is simply not possible that anyone else like anything they themselves can't enjoy or understand.

And too, I've rarely heard any adequate explanations of why any interpretation by anyone of any music is "deep". That inability to explain it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Music is notoriously difficult to talk about, especially when trying to describe the effects it has on people.




No it means that because they cannot even begin to quantify what makes it "deep", I am extraordinarily skeptical as to what it is that supposedly carries such 'intellectual' weight. If someone just likes a performance that's fine. There's no implicit dishonesty there. It's when people hype something up as being intellectual or "true to the composer" etc. without being able to follow through (with anything that goes beyond mere issues of taste) that I ask questions. It stinks to me of people wanting to been seen to like a 'clever' musician, when they are not in a position to judge whethere there's actually anything clever or 'correct' about it. When I hear a pianist who sounds very middle of the road being described as a genius, I expect some kind of attempt to explain what I'm missing- if I'm to be persuaded that anything exists. At least pianists like Horowitz or Gould had an unmistakably distinctive sound. Like it or hate it, it is both audible and open to objective descriptions. However, I'm rather skeptical as to whether many Brendel fans could pick his performances out from a host of other competent pianists- either in terms of style or quality. Anyway, this is straying off the point somewhat. The major issue was that the fact that concepts of 'correctness' that are widely accepted by knowledgable people are often easily falsifiable according to historical evidence. Just because there's a wide consensus that something is 'wrong' doesn't mean that it actually is. That's the big problem in performances styles these days. Too many people trust what they have been told is right (and more importantly, what is supposedly unacceptable), without stopping to think for themselves.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (09/17/09 03:36 PM)
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

Top
Page 3 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >

Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
100 registered (Atrys, AZNpiano, adanepst, angga888, ando, Adypiano, 19 invisible), 1323 Guests and 45 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74206 Members
42 Forums
153516 Topics
2249663 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Re-stringing an 84yr old Grand.....?
by Grandpianoman
Today at 01:56 AM
Theme identification
by Polyphonist
Today at 01:26 AM
Morning Mist: a ballade for piano
by JoelW
Today at 12:27 AM
Insanity
by Polyphonist
Yesterday at 11:55 PM
Yamaha P140 sluggish keys : how to fix?
by Bambell
Yesterday at 11:52 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission