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#1368908 - 02/08/10 07:28 PM Clunkers by the great composers
pianoloverus Offline
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I got the idea for this thread listening to this Rachmaninov Nocturne:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiowCGYeXJw

Further reading indicated Rach was only 14 at the time so maybe it doesn't count. Anyone have their own favorite clunker by a great composer?


Edited by pianoloverus (02/08/10 07:29 PM)

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#1368934 - 02/08/10 07:55 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: pianoloverus]
beet31425 Online   content
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Registered: 06/12/09
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Fun topic!

The first thing I think of, fairly or not, is Beethoven's Wellington's Victory Symphony. I've never had the heart to listen to it carefully, though. Can it really be as bad as everyone says?

And then... this is a little apocryphal... but I can't decide if the middle section of the second movement of Schubert's great A major sonata (D. 959) is a vision of genius, or a clunker. For ten years, I've been unable to decide. smile

Oh, and, for me there are really 31 Beethoven piano sonatas. Number 20, op. 49 #2, is just not in the same league as the others, for me. (The other "easy sonata", op. 49 #1, is.) Not exactly a clunker, but maybe a fizzle.

-Jason
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#1368945 - 02/08/10 08:04 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: beet31425]
beet31425 Online   content
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Loc: Bay Area, CA
By the way, pianoloverus, could your fatal judgment of the Rachmaninoff nocturne be due to that particular recording? It sounded brash and dynamically abrupt to me. Does this recording help you view the piece any more favorably?:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYzQawMpX-s&feature=related


-Jason
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#1368949 - 02/08/10 08:07 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: beet31425]
Orange Soda King Offline
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Registered: 11/25/09
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Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Solo piano version of Liszt's Totentanz. Yuck.

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#1368960 - 02/08/10 08:23 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: beet31425]
stores Offline
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Originally Posted By: beet31425
Fun topic!

The first thing I think of, fairly or not, is Beethoven's Wellington's Victory Symphony. I've never had the heart to listen to it carefully, though. Can it really be as bad as everyone says?

And then... this is a little apocryphal... but I can't decide if the middle section of the second movement of Schubert's great A major sonata (D. 959) is a vision of genius, or a clunker. For ten years, I've been unable to decide. smile

Oh, and, for me there are really 31 Beethoven piano sonatas. Number 20, op. 49 #2, is just not in the same league as the others, for me. (The other "easy sonata", op. 49 #1, is.) Not exactly a clunker, but maybe a fizzle.

-Jason


I'm sure you know this, but Wellington's Victory, isn't a symphony. It was, believe it, or not, a huge hit for Beethoven. Finanacially, it was one of his most rewarding works and there were many editions of the work published (there's even one for two pianos and offstage cannons). It's first version wasn't orchestral, but written for Malzel (the same Malzel that patented the metronome and he also argued with Beethoven over ownership rights to the work!) and another of his inventions, the panharmonicon. Beethoven, took a lot of heat from the critics for Wellington, and one of my favorite quotes of his stems from his rebuke of one such critic: "What I sh*t, is better than anything you could ever think up."
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1368964 - 02/08/10 08:27 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: stores]
Orange Soda King Offline
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Registered: 11/25/09
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Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
stores, that quote actually made me lol out loud!

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#1368973 - 02/08/10 08:42 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Orange Soda King]
MarkH Offline
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Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 855
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Solo piano version of Liszt's Totentanz. Yuck.


I disagree completely. I like that one a lot. Leslie Howard's recording of it is ugly, and it's probably an easy piece to over-bang, but I love Arnaldo Cohen's version on Naxos so much that it makes me want to learn it myself.


Tchaikovsky The Seasons and Grand Sonata have always seemed embarrassingly puerile to me.

And I know many will disagree here, but I can't find a speck of musical interest in Schuman's Toccata. Islamey is vastly more musically interesting, and that's not saying much.
_________________________
Currently Studying: Bach - English Suite No. 5; Beethoven - Op. 27 No. 1; Chopin - Op. 27 No. 1; Chopin - 3rd Scherzo

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#1368974 - 02/08/10 08:43 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Orange Soda King]
stores Offline
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LOL! Isn't that hysterical?! You've gotta LOVE Ludwig!
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1368998 - 02/08/10 09:05 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: MarkH]
gooddog Offline
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Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4791
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: MarkH
Tchaikovsky The Seasons and Grand Sonata have always seemed embarrassingly puerile to me.


I'm glad to find I'm not alone. I was miserable when I was learning 2 of The Seasons. I finally begged for mercy and was allowed to drop them. Tchaikovsky wrote some lovely music but upon hearing a piece of his for the first time, I instantly identify it as his - very stylized.

I've been listening to Beethoven's sonatas - most of them for the first time. I'm probably going to take a lot of grief for this, but I think most are nice, but not stunning. I do like Beethoven and I love some of his symphonies, but he's far from my favorite composer and I rarely listen to his music. (Slinking away...)
_________________________
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Deborah

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#1369013 - 02/08/10 09:20 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: MarkH]
Orange Soda King Offline
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Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
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MarkH, if it is availiable to stream for free somewhere on the Internet, I shall give it a listen.

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#1369014 - 02/08/10 09:21 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: gooddog]
beet31425 Online   content
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Originally Posted By: gooddog
I've been listening to Beethoven's sonatas - most of them for the first time. I'm probably going to take a lot of grief for this, but I think most are nice, but not stunning. I do like Beethoven and I love some of his symphonies, but he's far from my favorite composer and I rarely listen to his music. (Slinking away...)


No need to slink, Deborah. smile There's been a lot of music in my life that started off as "nice, but not stunning". And then, as you listen to it over a period of time, its greatness sort of... seeps into your mind. This happened for me recently with Don Giovanni. Maybe it will happen for you with the Beethoven, over time!


-Jason
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#1369027 - 02/08/10 09:31 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: beet31425]
stores Offline
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Slink on, ye blasphemer!!! =p Just kidding.

I, personally, can't fathom NOT being blown away by Beethoven (aka God), but to each his own.
I really have to agree with on the Tchak Sonate. Even hearing Bronfman, play it in recital somewhat recently didn't do much to change my opinion.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1369030 - 02/08/10 09:34 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: beet31425]
Orange Soda King Offline
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For me, it's the pianist performing the Beethoven piece that makes me like it. I never was super crazy about the Pathetique, Waldstein, Appassionata, or Hammerlkavier until I heard Gilels. My piano teacher does my favorite Op. 111, and Gilels also does an amazing 109 and 110. Heck, Gilels is my man for most sonatas (Op. 2 No. 2 and 3). Not so sure about Op. 10 No. 2 or Op. 22, but I play both of those so that's different... Haha.

MarkH, I am listening to Christopher Shih play Totentanz for solo piano, and it's pretty good. I change my opinion. However, I still like the concerto version more. smile

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#1369038 - 02/08/10 09:45 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Orange Soda King]
Ridicolosamente Offline
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Beethoven Op 49! Here's to it going the way of Pluto.

Daniel
_________________________
Currently working on:
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#1369041 - 02/08/10 09:48 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: MarkH]
argerichfan Online   sick
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Registered: 11/15/06
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Originally Posted By: MarkH

Tchaikovsky The Seasons and Grand Sonata have always seemed embarrassingly puerile to me.

The Seasons: musical pancakes. T's publisher had to remind him every month that his 'season' was due. I doubt T wasted any time on them, though there are a few keepers amongst the chaff.

The Grand Sonata takes a Richter to make sense of it, otherwise it's mostly bombast and the inspiration surprisingly tepid. I think it almost required repertoire for Russian students -maybe only they can understand it- but western pianists seem content to give it a miss.

Chopin's Tarentella isn't exactly one of his masterpieces (he did set the bar rather high), and I well remember a classmate of mine blubbering loudly at a party after a few drinks: 'that's the one piece Chopin bombed out on!'

Personally I think Schumann's Arabesque a rather tiresome piece of fluff, and although I adore the great F# minor Sonata, the Intermezzo of the Scherzo doesn't match the white-hot inspiration of the rest of the sonata.
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Jason

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#1369108 - 02/08/10 11:41 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: pianoloverus]
pianoloverus Offline
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IMO many of the clunkers listed so far are great pieces and even masterpieces.

The slow movement of Schuberts D.959 Sonata is one of the saddest and most profound works ever. One has to hear it more than once to get used to the highly unusual ff improvisatory sections.

Almost all the Beethoven Sonatas are IMO masterpieces of the highest level, and even the two from Op.49 are very good as Sonatinas.

I think about half of Tchaikovsky's Seasons are masterpieces but the rest are just average. The Sonata is for me the best candidate so far for clunker status.

I think the solo Liszt Totentanz is quite terrific and have heard it performed in two competitions.


Edited by pianoloverus (02/08/10 11:58 PM)

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#1369136 - 02/09/10 12:31 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: pianoloverus]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Beethoven's Rondo - rage over a lost penny.. really, come on now....

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

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#1369137 - 02/09/10 12:32 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: pianoloverus]
beet31425 Online   content
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Well, we're all going to disagree, and there's probably no real point in trying to convince anyone else of this sort of thing.


Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Almost all the Beethoven Sonatas are IMO masterpieces of the highest level, and even the two from Op.49 are very good as Sonatinas.
I purposely made a distinction between op.49 #1 and #2. The G minor sonata is a small wonder, whether you want to think of it as a sonata or a sonatina or whatever. The G major sonata, to my ears, is a triviality. Of course, in general, the Beethoven sonatas are masterpieces; no one's going to disagree with you there.


Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
The slow movement of Schuberts D.959 Sonata is one of the saddest and most profound works ever. One has to hear it more than once to get used to the highly unusual ff improvisatory sections.
As I said, I've been listening to it for ten years. I didn't make my comment casually. I don't lightly identify a possible clunker of a section sitting inside a profound musical utterance.

Did you start this thread because you were interested in the diversity of opinions out there, or because you wanted to see how many people would submit correct answers? smile


-Jason
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#1369139 - 02/09/10 12:34 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Pogorelich.]
beet31425 Online   content
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Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
Beethoven's Rondo - rage over a lost penny.. really, come on now....


Any chance this recording can change your mind? smile




-Jason
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#1369142 - 02/09/10 12:40 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: beet31425]
Pogorelich. Offline
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I've seen that.. I just think the composition is silly =)
_________________________

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

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#1369144 - 02/09/10 12:42 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: beet31425]
ChopinAddict Offline
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I wonder if it is sometimes BAD PERFORMANCES that convince people a particular piece is bad, while the piece itself is not bad?
For a 14-year old composer, that Nocturne by Rach is great.... For me at least...
I have been listening to the same recording as Jason, and I think it is beautiful....
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#1369154 - 02/09/10 01:11 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: ChopinAddict]
jeffreyjones Offline
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The Four Fugues by Robert Schumann, Op 72. Absolutely the worst, most monotonous and dullest music ever to be written by a great composer. Even Richter can't make it interesting. How he wrote this, the Symphony in C major, and the Piano Concerto in the same year boggles my mind.

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#1369155 - 02/09/10 01:13 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Offline
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Posts: 19708
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: beet31425
The first thing I think of, fairly or not, is Beethoven's Wellington's Victory Symphony. I've never had the heart to listen to it carefully, though. Can it really be as bad as everyone says?.....

I'd recommend giving it another listen, although I'm not sure I'd say "carefully." smile

I like it quite a bit, although some of it is to laugh at.

Quote:
And then....I can't decide if the middle section of the second movement of Schubert's great A major sonata (D. 959) is a vision of genius, or a clunker. For ten years, I've been unable to decide. smile

Clunker smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1369161 - 02/09/10 01:19 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: argerichfan]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19708
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
.....Chopin's Tarentella isn't exactly one of his masterpieces (he did set the bar rather high), and I well remember a classmate of mine blubbering loudly at a party after a few drinks: 'that's the one piece Chopin bombed out on!'

When performed well, it's electrifying.
I've even done well with it. ha

Quote:
.....Personally I think Schumann's Arabesque a rather tiresome piece of fluff....

Maybe indeed you just don't like the piece but I wonder if it doesn't depend on the performance. Most performances have made me feel as you said, but when done beautifully, I find it quite the opposite.
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1369162 - 02/09/10 01:20 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Pogorelich.]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19708
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
Beethoven's Rondo - rage over a lost penny.. really, come on now....

IMO, a masterpiece of wit and much else.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1369164 - 02/09/10 01:22 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: ChopinAddict]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19708
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
I wonder if it is sometimes BAD PERFORMANCES that convince people a particular piece is bad, while the piece itself is not bad?....

Yes -- as I also said about 1 or 2 of the pieces on here. (If I'd seen your post, I wouldn't have had to.) smile
Some pieces depend more than others on a very good performance, and I think that goes for some of these.
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1369202 - 02/09/10 02:57 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Mark_C]
RogerW Offline
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Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 439
Not perhaps a clunker, too many people seems to like the piece, but personally I cannot stand Chopin's Berceuse. It bores me to death. On the other hand, it might be that it is one of the best lullabies ever written, since I usually want to fall asleep already a few bars into the piece...

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#1369204 - 02/09/10 03:02 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: RogerW]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Here's something that might help keep you awake: realize that if you don't read very well, it looks like "Because."

So just be thinking:
Why do I have to keep hearing this piece? Because.
Why does it have to be so slow? Because.
Why can't they at least play it better? Because. smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1369249 - 02/09/10 06:42 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: pianoloverus]
lacrymosa85 Offline
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Registered: 07/14/08
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Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I really like the Rach nocturne.

As for my contribution, Rachmaninoff concerto 4? I'm probably going to be flamed for saying that. I guess, to me, it falls short in comparison to his other three concerti.
_________________________
A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.

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#1369252 - 02/09/10 06:53 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: beet31425]
pianoloverus Offline
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Originally Posted By: beet31425
Did you start this thread because you were interested in the diversity of opinions out there, or because you wanted to see how many people would submit correct answers? smile
Well I agree there are certainly no right or wrong answers, but I was shocked by some of the replies because for me some of the choices were excellent pieces that I would have never considered even close to the "clunker" category.

Maybe is should have spelled out more clearly what I was thinking about when I used the word "clunker". I didn't mean just one of the composer's weaker pieces(a weak piece by a great composer can still be very good), but a piece that was so poor one is almost shocked that the composer could have written it. That is how I felt about the Rachmaninov Romance I mentioned in the OP even taking into account it was a piece of juvenalia.

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#1369261 - 02/09/10 07:22 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: pianoloverus]
Janus K. Sachs Offline
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Registered: 10/31/07
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Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
Why settle for clunkers when one can have garbage?

Repetition, history, and the ignorant -- gotta love 'em.
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Die Krebs gehn zurcke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

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#1369267 - 02/09/10 07:38 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: gooddog]
John_B Offline
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Originally Posted By: gooddog
I've been listening to Beethoven's sonatas - most of them for the first time. I'm probably going to take a lot of grief for this, but I think most are nice, but not stunning. I do like Beethoven and I love some of his symphonies, but he's far from my favorite composer and I rarely listen to his music. (Slinking away...)


Nice! NICE!! NICE!!!

That must be the ultimate insult to Beethoven.

(However you regard his music, 'nice' would have been anathema to him IMO. )

PS Whose recordings have you been listening to?


Edited by John_B (02/09/10 07:46 AM)

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#1369280 - 02/09/10 08:07 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: John_B]
Robert Kenessy Offline
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Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
I am a big Beethoven fan, but I think the slow movement from the tempest sonata is a clunker. Especially that anoying tremolo (in a triplet) in the deep base sounds like a turd falling out.
_________________________
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

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#1369286 - 02/09/10 08:25 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Robert Kenessy]
tomasino Offline
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Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
I haven't read the whole thread, but I'm sure someone has mentioned the 1812 overture by that guy whose name I can't spell. However, there is a recording of it made in the early 60s by the Minneapolis Symphony under Antal Dorati. Not only do they use real cannon, they've got a brass section that just won't quit. It is an awesome recording. Thrilling to listen to. I believe that the reason there are so few more recent recordings is that everyone knows they can't compete with it. One of those times when a fantastic performance turns a mediocre composition into a profundity. Sort of like a few etudes I know.

Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#1369334 - 02/09/10 09:50 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: John_B]
gooddog Offline
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Registered: 06/08/08
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Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: John_B
PS Whose recordings have you been listening to?


Gulda, Barenboim. I'm not thrilled with the Barenboim but it was a complete set at the right price. Just to clarify: there are a few of Beethoven's sonatas that I think are spellbinding, but most just don't do much for me. Excluding those few, I'd rather work on a Mozart sonata.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1369346 - 02/09/10 10:00 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: gooddog]
stores Offline
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Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Originally Posted By: John_B
PS Whose recordings have you been listening to?


Gulda, Barenboim. I'm not thrilled with the Barenboim but it was a complete set at the right price. Just to clarify: there are a few of Beethoven's sonatas that I think are spellbinding, but most just don't do much for me. Excluding those few, I'd rather work on a Mozart sonata.


What about the Barenboim don't you like? Just curious.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1369348 - 02/09/10 10:06 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: stores]
RealPlayer Offline
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This was maybe 30 years ago, but I went to hear a famous harpsichordist play a set of Bach English Suites and thought to myself, well, I've finally heard some Bach that isn't very good. Of course, I should give those pieces another listen to confirm!

Not piano music, not really clunkers, but I have a hard time with the orchestral overtures and other showpieces that the classical radio stations seem to love. Fluff and bombast, a lot of them.
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#1369351 - 02/09/10 10:13 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: RogerW]
D4v3 Offline
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Originally Posted By: RogerW
Not perhaps a clunker, too many people seems to like the piece, but personally I cannot stand Chopin's Berceuse. It bores me to death. On the other hand, it might be that it is one of the best lullabies ever written, since I usually want to fall asleep already a few bars into the piece...


BLASPHEMY!!! How dare you sully Chopin!!! J/K you can say what ever you want, just not about Chopin.
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#1369364 - 02/09/10 10:40 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Janus K. Sachs]
argerichfan Online   sick
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Originally Posted By: Janus K. Sachs
Why settle for clunkers when one can have garbage?

Ah yes, one of the more notorious threads at PW.
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#1369366 - 02/09/10 10:41 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: gooddog]
John_B Offline
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Originally Posted By: gooddog
Gulda, Barenboim. I'm not thrilled with the Barenboim but it was a complete set at the right price.


The only Beethoven that I have heard played by Gulda is the Waldstein on YouTube and I thought it pretty superficial, though pianistically impressive.

I have enormous respect for Barenboim but I often feel slightly unsatisfied by his Beethoven sonatas. This is probably more to do with me rather than Barenboim.

I first got to know the sonatas through Brendel's recordings (actually my first encounters were when they were broadcast on the radio, decades ago and, at that time, I found them electrifying ). I still get a lot out of Brendel's recordings.

Do try listening to Brendel, Gilels or Kempff, etc if you want to explore further.

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#1369371 - 02/09/10 10:51 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: RealPlayer]
sophial Offline
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Originally Posted By: RealPlayer
This was maybe 30 years ago, but I went to hear a famous harpsichordist play a set of Bach English Suites and thought to myself, well, I've finally heard some Bach that isn't very good. Of course, I should give those pieces another listen to confirm!

Not piano music, not really clunkers, but I have a hard time with the orchestral overtures and other showpieces that the classical radio stations seem to love. Fluff and bombast, a lot of them.


Joe,
GIve a listen to Perahia's recording of the English Suites-- brilliant and will likely change your mind about these pieces.

I have to agree with you about the orchestral bombast and treacle flooding the airwaves on much of classical radio.

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#1369383 - 02/09/10 10:58 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: gooddog]
MarkH Offline
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Originally Posted By: gooddog

I've been listening to Beethoven's sonatas - most of them for the first time. I'm probably going to take a lot of grief for this, but I think most are nice, but not stunning. I do like Beethoven and I love some of his symphonies, but he's far from my favorite composer and I rarely listen to his music. (Slinking away...)


When I first started music school, the thing I was most worried about was that I'd be forced to learn Beethoven Sonatas and Bach Preludes and Fugues. I just wanted to play Liszt, Chopin and Rachmaninoff all day. I found the WTC incredibly sleep-inducing, and the Beethoven Sonatas just ho hum as you describe, with the exception of the fast movements of some of the named ones. And, to make matters worse, I had a little psychological reservation against them, just because I was soon going to have to start studying them. I told myself, "No way am I going to turn into some fuddy-duddy and start liking these boring, academic pieces - I'm only going to play stuff that everyone can appreciate." But I started listening to my recordings of both sets a lot, since I knew I needed to prepare myself for having them forced upon me. I think I began getting interested in the Beethoven Sonatas after about 2 years of very frequent listening, and the WTC took 3 or maybe a little more. Even then, I only had a select set of them that I was interested in. I'm finally now interested in personally playing about 3/4 of the Beethoven Sonatas and about 1/2 of the WTC, and perhaps my appreciation will continue to develop for the ones that I still don't find interesting. YMMV, but given your commitment to classical piano, I bet you'll gradually find this happening to yourself as well.
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#1369386 - 02/09/10 11:02 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: sophial]
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I forgot to mention the 3rd ballade.
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#1369389 - 02/09/10 11:03 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: RealPlayer]
stores Offline
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Originally Posted By: RealPlayer
This was maybe 30 years ago, but I went to hear a famous harpsichordist play a set of Bach English Suites and thought to myself, well, I've finally heard some Bach that isn't very good. Of course, I should give those pieces another listen to confirm!

Not piano music, not really clunkers, but I have a hard time with the orchestral overtures and other showpieces that the classical radio stations seem to love. Fluff and bombast, a lot of them.


Wow. The English Suites, are among Bach's most extraordinary works. There's much more substance to them than the Partitas or the French Suites. They're also considerably more difficult technically. There are superb sets from Hewitt, Schiff, and Perahia.
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"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

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#1369395 - 02/09/10 11:07 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Pogorelich.]
stores Offline
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Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
I forgot to mention the 3rd ballade.


Agreed. I wouldn't miss it too badly if I never heard it again.
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#1369396 - 02/09/10 11:07 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: stores]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: RealPlayer
This was maybe 30 years ago, but I went to hear a famous harpsichordist play a set of Bach English Suites and thought to myself, well, I've finally heard some Bach that isn't very good. Of course, I should give those pieces another listen to confirm!

Not piano music, not really clunkers, but I have a hard time with the orchestral overtures and other showpieces that the classical radio stations seem to love. Fluff and bombast, a lot of them.


Wow. The English Suites, are among Bach's most extraordinary works. There's much more substance to them than the Partitas or the French Suites. They're also considerably more difficult technically. There are superb sets from Hewitt, Schiff, and Perahia.


You will probably kill me when I tell you that I find some of the Goldberg variations rather strange for me. whome But then again, I'm definitely not a Bach player.
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#1369397 - 02/09/10 11:08 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Pogorelich.]
stores Offline
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Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: RealPlayer
This was maybe 30 years ago, but I went to hear a famous harpsichordist play a set of Bach English Suites and thought to myself, well, I've finally heard some Bach that isn't very good. Of course, I should give those pieces another listen to confirm!

Not piano music, not really clunkers, but I have a hard time with the orchestral overtures and other showpieces that the classical radio stations seem to love. Fluff and bombast, a lot of them.


Wow. The English Suites, are among Bach's most extraordinary works. There's much more substance to them than the Partitas or the French Suites. They're also considerably more difficult technically. There are superb sets from Hewitt, Schiff, and Perahia.


You will probably kill me when I tell you that I find some of the Goldberg variations rather strange for me. whome But then again, I'm definitely not a Bach player.


Yes, I WILL kill you. Expect a rant within the next 30 seconds hahaha =p
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#1369401 - 02/09/10 11:10 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: MarkH]
John_B Offline
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Interesting to read the comments about the Beethoven sonatas. To me, in the hands of a great Beethoven pianist, they are an emotional and intellectual journey (at times on a 'heroic' scale) - and sometimes even a spiritual journey. But then I approach them as a listener rather than as a performer.

(Apologies for going off topic.)

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#1369402 - 02/09/10 11:11 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: MarkH]
MarkH Offline
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A couple other thoughts on disappointing sections of famous pieces, pianoloverus' definition of clunker notwithstanding:

I LOVE the A section of the first Chopin Scherzo, but the slow, repetitive B section is just so monotonous. Yes, I know, it's a nice Polish Christmas carol quotation or something, but did he have to repeat it so many times with so little variation? I almost want to recompose the B section adding some inner voices or variation on the melody or texture so that I can justify learning the rest of it.

Along the same vein, the 1st movement of the 27th Beethoven Sonata has a very interesting personality - it's a very striking combination of resignation, determination and fire, sort of like an aging person angrily resisting entering old age while also recognizing its inevitability. But the second movement, just like the B section of the Chopin Scherzo, is just so repetitive and boring. I hope that's not what old age is like!
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#1369405 - 02/09/10 11:15 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: stores]
argerichfan Online   sick
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Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
I forgot to mention the 3rd ballade.


Agreed. I wouldn't miss it too badly if I never heard it again.

To avoid being crucified here, let me just say that I think I'll give the 1st Ballade a rest. Just plain tired of it, thank-you. (And I've never much cared for the closing section. Yeah, yeah- I expect the rotten tomatoes to come flying...)
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#1369418 - 02/09/10 11:24 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: MarkH]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: MarkH
....I LOVE the A section of the first Chopin Scherzo, but the slow, repetitive B section is just so monotonous. Yes, I know, it's a nice Polish Christmas carol quotation or something, but did he have to repeat it so many times with so little variation?.....

That's another example (IMO) of something that depends heavily on how the performance is. I have sometimes found it deadly, but often the opposite, including wishing that it was repeated a few more times. smile

Originally Posted By: MarkH
.....Along the same vein, the 1st movement of the 27th Beethoven Sonata has a very interesting personality - it's a very striking combination of resignation, determination and fire, sort of like an aging person angrily resisting entering old age while also recognizing its inevitability. But the second movement, just like the B section of the Chopin Scherzo, is just so repetitive and boring.....

Same comment. smile
Exactly.
But yes indeed -- this can be pretty deadly too.

BTW.....I don't think very many people recognize most Beethoven sonatas from their "number" -- I had to look this up to see that #27 is Op. 90. Don't you usually think of them by their opus number? I think most people do.....
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#1369422 - 02/09/10 11:28 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: argerichfan]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
.....let me just say that I think I'll give the 1st Ballade a rest. Just plain tired of it, thank-you. (And I've never much cared for the closing section. Yeah, yeah- I expect the rotten tomatoes to come flying...)

That's probably because you've mainly heard the Argerich version. ha
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#1369423 - 02/09/10 11:29 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Mark_C]
stores Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: MarkH


Originally Posted By: MarkH



Don't you usually think of them by their opus number? I think most people do.....


Yes, that's how I think of them.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

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#1369433 - 02/09/10 11:50 AM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Mark_C]
TempoPrimo Offline
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Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Solo piano version of Liszt's Totentanz. Yuck.


I love this piece (and prefer the solo piano version to the one where that orchestra gets in the way grin) Currently learning it - taking forever but a lot of fun. One of those pieces where even the easy bits are hard.
Valentina Lisitsa Totentanz piano solo This is only two thirds of it, but what's not to like? 'Clunker' seems unduly harsh. Suitably deathly atmosphere to this vid too.
Like the Spanish Rhapsody too.

De gustibus

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#1369452 - 02/09/10 12:18 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Mark_C]
MarkH Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C

BTW.....I don't think very many people recognize most Beethoven sonatas from their "number" -- I had to look this up to see that #27 is Op. 90. Don't you usually think of them by their opus number? I think most people do.....


I know them by their number, not their opus number simply because I wanted to keep the track names in my mp3 player as short as possible. If the name is 30-40 characters long, it takes quite a while for the whole title to slowly scroll across the screen. I opted for brevity and loss of a little information (I didn't include tempo indications in the names either). However, I've recently been wondering if I should go back and add opus numbers as well, because I'm not familiar with all of them.
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#1369461 - 02/09/10 12:34 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: RogerW]
Damon Offline
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Originally Posted By: RogerW
Not perhaps a clunker, too many people seems to like the piece, but personally I cannot stand Chopin's Berceuse. It bores me to death. On the other hand, it might be that it is one of the best lullabies ever written, since I usually want to fall asleep already a few bars into the piece...

Speaking of Chopin and falling asleep..how about Mazurka Op 17 No 4. I can not tolerate two bars of this nonsense.
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#1369529 - 02/09/10 02:10 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Damon]
Googlism Offline
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Anything by Prokofiev

Don't lynch me =p

Ok, perhaps Peter and the Wolf is half-decent...
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#1369545 - 02/09/10 02:40 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Googlism]
John_B Offline
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Originally Posted By: Googlism
Anything by Prokofiev


Have you heard the symphonies, in particular 5, 6 & 7?

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#1369550 - 02/09/10 02:49 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: John_B]
xtraheat Offline
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Originally Posted By: John_B
Originally Posted By: Googlism
Anything by Prokofiev


Have you heard the symphonies, in particular 5, 6 & 7?


Or anything else by him?
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#1369557 - 02/09/10 02:54 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Googlism]
stores Offline
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Originally Posted By: Googlism
Anything by Prokofiev

Don't lynch me =p

Ok, perhaps Peter and the Wolf is half-decent...


If nothing else, please say you at least like the 2nd piano concerto and the 7th sonata. Otherwise, we're comin' to string you up. LOL.
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#1369564 - 02/09/10 03:07 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: D4v3]
RogerW Offline
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Originally Posted By: D4v3
BLASPHEMY!!! How dare you sully Chopin!!! J/K you can say what ever you want, just not about Chopin.

Well, speaking of Chopin... What was he thinking when he wrote the Nocturne in C#-minor, op.27 no1? This is the story I hear:

Larghetto - a calm night, I am falling asleep at home, dreaming somewhat weird, but rather beautiful and calm dreams.
Piu mosso - the wind starts to build up outside my window, my sleep becomes more restless. In my dreams I am confronted by a dragon.
Appassionato - I slay the dragon.
Agitato - The wind outside my window builds up to a storm. My sleep becomes very restless. The dragon I just slayed is brought back to life and keeps growing bigger and bigger every second.
con anima - stretto - I am woke up by a gang of drunk frat boys passing outside my window, singing (or rather screaming) a catchy drinking song.
fff (16 bars later) - I scream at the frat boys to get lost so that I can get some sleep.
Tempo 1 - I go back to sleep.

Now this is otherwise fine and I kind of like most of the piece, but I could really do without the drunk frat boys. How on earth did they get into that piece???

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#1369574 - 02/09/10 03:20 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: RogerW]
Googlism Offline
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Ok I probably haven't listened to Prokofiev's non-piano works (and I rarely listen to non-piano works by other composers), but all the numerous piano works, whether it be the concertos, preludes or sonatas - all of them just sound too abstract for my liking.

I just have this profound distaste for Prokofiev. I remember trying to listen to Prokofiev's works after listening to countless works by Rachmaninoff (and hoping to hear similar styles since they are from the same era), but to me, Prokofiev's music is just garbled notes. Many dissonant sounds with no purpose. Very few melodic lines that I enjoy. Just utter...'garbage'. It's something which I personally don't consider music, almost like how I don't consider Karl Stockhausen's experiments with synthesizers to be 'music', just random notes with atrocious harmonies.

If you are perturbed with my views on Prokofiev, don't get me started on Bach =p

I'm the anti-Glenn Gould. Gould loved Bach but hated Chopin. I'm the opposite =p
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#1369580 - 02/09/10 03:29 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Googlism]
gooddog Offline
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Originally Posted By: stores
What about the Barenboim don't you like? Just curious.
It's hard to pin down. Some are lackluster. There are some mistakes. Some are excellent.
Originally Posted By: John_B
I have enormous respect for Barenboim but I often feel slightly unsatisfied by his Beethoven sonatas. This is probably more to do with me rather than Barenboim.
I have to assume that is true of me too just as I assume my ignorance of the Beethoven sonatas is coloring my judgment. I hope I will connect with them better once I've listened to them more.

I understand Perahia is working on recording the complete Beethoven sonatas. He's one of my favorite living pianists so I'd love to hear this.

Originally Posted By: Googlism
Anything by Prokofiev
Googlism, everyone has different taste and what we like and dislike can change. In general, I don't enjoy most contemporary composers but for some reason I'm crazy about Prokofiev. I happen to worship Bach.
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#1369651 - 02/09/10 05:30 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Googlism]
xtraheat Offline
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Originally Posted By: Googlism


I just have this profound distaste for Prokofiev. I remember trying to listen to Prokofiev's works after listening to countless works by Rachmaninoff (and hoping to hear similar styles since they are from the same era), but to me, Prokofiev's music is just garbled notes. Many dissonant sounds with no purpose. Very few melodic lines that I enjoy. Just utter...'garbage'. It's something which I personally don't consider music, almost like how I don't consider Karl Stockhausen's experiments with synthesizers to be 'music', just random notes with atrocious harmonies.




I have no problem with you disliking Prokofiev and modern composers, and you are entitled to your own opinion, but this is just complete ignorance.
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#1369662 - 02/09/10 05:49 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: xtraheat]
Orange Soda King Offline
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Prokofiev is okay, but I only actually LIKE a few of his works.
Ravel is my favorite composer, and I like every one of his works.

Hmm... The Liszt Grande Galop Chromatique (spelling?) comes to mind, but as a technical study it is quite good. And I've gained some appreciation for the solo piano Totentanz.

Overall, I guess am not very critical about music at all.

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#1369675 - 02/09/10 06:17 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Orange Soda King]
John_B Offline
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What never fails to amaze me is how someone can say they hate composer X on the basis of knowing a fairly small part of the whole range of the composer's music.

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#1369678 - 02/09/10 06:23 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: John_B]
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted By: John_B
What never fails to amaze me is how someone can say they hate composer X on the basis of knowing a fairly small part of the whole range of the composer's music.



... and the other side of the coin : "Oh, I just love Liszt! I've heard his Liebesträume No. 3."

Regards,
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#1369704 - 02/09/10 07:08 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: BruceD]
Orange Soda King Offline
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Originally Posted By: BruceD

... and the other side of the coin : "Oh, I just love Liszt! I've heard his Liebesträume No. 3."

Regards,


Luckily for those who say that, Liszt was not a one-hit wonder. wink

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#1369734 - 02/09/10 08:13 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: xtraheat]
Googlism Offline
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@xtraheat
I stated my opinions as to why I dislike Prokofiev's works, which I think is a legit reason. Each composer has their own style of composing, and each audience has their preference. Glenn Gould loved Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, but did not enjoy Chopin, Schumann or Mozart. Heck, he even said "Mozart was a bad composer who died late rather than early". Mozart's style (consistent with his era) is easy to distinguish and I can understand why he would not like it. Do I disagree with Gould's assessment of the romantic era composers as well? Of course! Do I think that his reasoning is ignorant? No, it's logical and it was his opinion.

@JohnB
It would be difficult for the audience to attempt to listen to each work by a composer and then make judgments on them only after listening to them all. But as you mentioned, it is unfair to judge a composer by a select few works. That being said, I've been exposed and forced to listen to many Prokofiev pieces, and none of them made me want to listen to them again. It's not the performance that is at fault, it's just the rampant dissonant themes and mass unpredictability in his music which do not enlighten me.
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#1369761 - 02/09/10 08:49 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Googlism]
xtraheat Offline
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Loc: WV
Have you ever heard Prok's 3rd Piano Concerto?
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Currently working on
Prokofiev Piano Concerto 3
Beethoven Sonata Op.109
Chopin Op.10 No.1
Bach WTC II no. 15

--Sam--

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#1369770 - 02/09/10 09:17 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: xtraheat]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4791
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I think a good place to try Prokofiev is his Symphony #1, the Classical Symphony. It has many melodic lines and a lot of humor too.
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Best regards,

Deborah

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#1369784 - 02/09/10 09:41 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: xtraheat]
Googlism Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 1072
Loc: Toronto
@extraheat
I have heard Prokofiev's 3rd, though only the 1st and 3rd. 1st is blah and the 3rd pretty much sums up what I expect Prokofiev to be all about - full of dissonant music. I can only imagine what the 2nd movement must be like.

@gooddog
Thats the kind of music I enjoy - melodies that are clear, dissonant harmonies to a minimum
_________________________
Old videos from prior piano competitions:
http://www.youtube.com/user/kilace

____________________

"... It is a skill you go on learning all your life: the more you write, the more you learn."

Harry Freedman on the craft of composing

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#1369793 - 02/09/10 09:49 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Googlism]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Prokofiev is okay (I don't dislike him at all! Great composer, it's just personal taste, and I do kind of like him) but I actually REALLY REALLY like Shostakovich! (Shostokovich?)

The two piano concerti are SO cool, and the chamber music is really cool too! One of his quartets (I think) sounds like heavy metal or something, it's so awesome!

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#1369803 - 02/09/10 09:58 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Orange Soda King]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
I'm glad to hear that someone else has a problem with Beethoven 49 #2. I always thought I had some sort of genetic deficiency, at least now I have company wink I was tortured with it as a kid which didn't help.

I have never laughed so much at a PW post as I did reading this old one from Garbage thread. Thank you Janus; wicked humour. wink

Originally Posted By: Janus K.Sachs
Bach's Well Tempered Whatever: boring contrapuntal exercises. Except the Ave Maria prelude -- so pretty!

Handel's Messiah: any educated soul knows it's nothing compared to Israel in Egypt!

Beethoven's Appassionata: someone got out of the wrong side of the bed! Need a beer?

Beethoven's Ninth, all the late quartets and late piano sonatas: pretentious nonsense.

Schubert's Winterreise: can't handle a breakup, eh?

Schubert's Lieder: they lied to me!

Chopin's First Ballade: pianistic noise.

Schumann's Piano Concerto: sissy music.

Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony: where is the pasta, the gondolas, the bad tenor singing?!?

Dvorak's Ninth Symphony: coz the last movement copies the Jaws theme, man!

Liszt's Sonata in B minor: silly piano bashing.

Brahms's chamber music: better than the lulluby for going to sleep.

Wagner's Ring Cycle: better than Brahms's chamber music for going to sleep.

Tchaikovsky's Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Symphonies: closet too tight for you?

Mahler's Symphonies: John Williams does it better.

Rachmaninov's Concertos 2-3 and Pag. Rhapsody: if you needed therapy to compose such filth, I don't want to know what pre-therapy music sounds like!

All operas: coz classical vocals suck! Except Puccini's Nessum Dorma, coz long high notes are kewl during a football (i.e. soccer) game!

Scriabin's Op. 8 #12 Etude: childish temper tantrum.

Everything by Richard Strauss -- except "Sunrise" from Also Sprach Zarathustra. Duh!

Everything by Haydn and Mozart: too many notes, laughs, and not profound enough. Except the works in minor keys.

All ancient, medieval, and renaissance music: coz there's, like, no emotion whatsoever, man.

All modern music: too dissonant -- I luv triads! Oh, except Barber's Adagio for Strings -- that song is nice.

Yep that made my day.
_________________________

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1369805 - 02/09/10 10:00 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Canonie]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
I read that thread, and that gave me a good laugh too. smile

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#1369811 - 02/09/10 10:12 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Googlism]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Googlism
@xtraheat
I stated my opinions as to why I dislike Prokofiev's works, which I think is a legit reason. Each composer has their own style of composing, and each audience has their preference. Glenn Gould loved Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, but did not enjoy Chopin, Schumann or Mozart. Heck, he even said "Mozart was a bad composer who died late rather than early". Mozart's style (consistent with his era) is easy to distinguish and I can understand why he would not like it. Do I disagree with Gould's assessment of the romantic era composers as well? Of course! Do I think that his reasoning is ignorant? No, it's logical and it was his opinion.

@JohnB
It would be difficult for the audience to attempt to listen to each work by a composer and then make judgments on them only after listening to them all. But as you mentioned, it is unfair to judge a composer by a select few works. That being said, I've been exposed and forced to listen to many Prokofiev pieces, and none of them made me want to listen to them again. It's not the performance that is at fault, it's just the rampant dissonant themes and mass unpredictability in his music which do not enlighten me.


Just so ya know...Gould did not love Beethoven and considered most of his works to be "empty, banal, hedonistic, superficial and belligerent". About the Emperor concerto (which, oddly enough, he recorded and performed many times) he said, "it is a harmonically simple-minded work and an impossible mixture of naivete and professionalism ... nowhere this side of Grand Old Opry can one encounter more unadorned II-V-I progressions." He called the Hammerklavier (once again, a work he recorded), "mathematical tomfoolery"(the fugue), and of the entire sonata, "the most inconsiderate, least rewarding piece Beethoven wrote for the piano."

Don't get me started on Gould. I am thankful to him for pushing Bach back under the mainstream spotlight where he belongs, but that's about it. The man was, certainly, endowed with many gifts. Had he not been quite so interested in promoting himself and placing his views ahead of the music itself, he might have been able to teach future generations a great deal.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1369812 - 02/09/10 10:13 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: xtraheat]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: xtraheat
Have you ever heard Prok's 3rd Piano Concerto?


Second Concerto! Second Concerto! Second Concerto! =)
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1369814 - 02/09/10 10:15 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: stores]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
That post from Janus, above, DOES belong in the garbage.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1369817 - 02/09/10 10:18 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: stores]
Fredil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/08
Posts: 216
Quote:
Rachmaninov's Concertos 2-3 and Pag. Rhapsody: if you needed therapy to compose such filth, I don't want to know what pre-therapy music sounds like!

Well, that's why he had therapy, you see...

Quote:
Everything by Haydn and Mozart: too many notes, laughs, and not profound enough. Except the works in minor keys.

LOL! +1, definitely! :P

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#1369824 - 02/09/10 10:30 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: stores]
Googlism Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 1072
Loc: Toronto

That surprised me regarding Beethoven!

We all know Gould to have been quite an eccentric and peculiar pianist and person. I wouldn't doubt if there was a suggestion that he was in some part, insane, which would have created some unique and controversial views of music. He also hummed and chanted a lot while playing...

Compare
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB76jxBq_gQ&feature=related
@ 1:58

with Lang Lang...and we know how crazy Lang Lang is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b85hn8rJvgw
_________________________
Old videos from prior piano competitions:
http://www.youtube.com/user/kilace

____________________

"... It is a skill you go on learning all your life: the more you write, the more you learn."

Harry Freedman on the craft of composing

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#1369825 - 02/09/10 10:34 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Orange Soda King]
ChrisKeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1274
Loc: Dallas, TX
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Prokofiev is okay (I don't dislike him at all! Great composer, it's just personal taste, and I do kind of like him) but I actually REALLY REALLY like Shostakovich! (Shostokovich?)

(The first spelling is correct.) You should give a listen to some of his preludes and fugues for piano. (24 altogether, like Bach's WTC.) A few years ago I got to hear Christopher O'Riley perform a couple of them in Fort Worth, and they were fascinating pieces! Or perhaps you've already listened to some of them?

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#1369826 - 02/09/10 10:35 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Googlism]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Googlism

That surprised me regarding Beethoven!

We all know Gould to have been quite an eccentric and peculiar pianist and person. I wouldn't doubt if there was a suggestion that he was in some part, insane, which would have created some unique and controversial views of music. He also hummed and chanted a lot while playing...

Compare
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB76jxBq_gQ&feature=related
@ 1:58

with Lang Lang...and we know how crazy Lang Lang is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b85hn8rJvgw



I've been convinced he was nuts for years lol. I'll pass on watching either of the videos, since they're both arguably numbers 1 and 2 on my most hated pianists list. That said, I have read an extraordinary amount about Gould, including, a couple of bios and I own a few documentaries on DVD, as well.
My favorite quote from him, "They say I'm a hypochondriac, and so, I am."
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1369828 - 02/09/10 10:37 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: ChrisKeys]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: ChrisKeys
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Prokofiev is okay (I don't dislike him at all! Great composer, it's just personal taste, and I do kind of like him) but I actually REALLY REALLY like Shostakovich! (Shostokovich?)

(The first spelling is correct.) You should give a listen to some of his preludes and fugues for piano. (24 altogether, like Bach's WTC.) A few years ago I got to hear Christopher O'Riley perform a couple of them in Fort Worth, and they were fascinating pieces! Or perhaps you've already listened to some of them?


Chris O'Riley (who is a friend of mine), does a remarkable job with Shostakovich. Ashkenazy's recording of the same "24" is, also, well worth the listen.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1369829 - 02/09/10 10:46 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: stores]
ChrisKeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1274
Loc: Dallas, TX
Originally Posted By: stores
Chris O'Riley (who is a friend of mine), does a remarkable job with Shostakovich.

Ah, very nice. Well, whenever you next see or talk to him, you can pass along that both my wife and I really enjoyed those preludes and fugues he did over at Ft. Worth. I'm sorry I didn't say something to him after the concert. :-\

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#1369832 - 02/09/10 10:49 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Googlism]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3752
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Googlism


Thanks for that pointer. Starting at about 1:10, that's probably the coolest video I've seen all week. I'm not being sarcastic. Really.


-Jason
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#1369841 - 02/09/10 11:01 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: ChrisKeys]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: ChrisKeys
Originally Posted By: stores
Chris O'Riley (who is a friend of mine), does a remarkable job with Shostakovich.

Ah, very nice. Well, whenever you next see or talk to him, you can pass along that both my wife and I really enjoyed those preludes and fugues he did over at Ft. Worth. I'm sorry I didn't say something to him after the concert. :-\


You, certainly, should have. Chris, is a great guy and very approachable. I'll let him know his Ft. Worth fans are still talking about him. =)
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1369849 - 02/09/10 11:17 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: gooddog]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Originally Posted By: stores
What about the Barenboim don't you like? Just curious.
There are some mistakes.



I guess I should give them another listen then. You must be very, very familiar with the sonatas. I thought I knew them well, but, perhaps not.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1369850 - 02/09/10 11:17 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: stores]
argerichfan Online   sick
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8840
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: stores

Don't get me started on Gould. I am thankful to him for pushing Bach back under the mainstream spotlight where he belongs, but that's about it.

+1. Gould's Bach is indispensable, though IMO not the only recordings of Bach one should have in their library. Aside from that, I fail to hear much of interest in his recordings of other composers -particularly Beethoven and Mozart- and my library contains nothing of his except for Bach. (And not that much.)

I once heard Gould's recording of Beethoven's Op. 28 on the radio, and I almost crashed the car. (Well not really, but you get my point.)

Like Maria Callas and Barbra Streisand, Gould has his rabid fans, and good on them. Just count me out, though one could certainly make a case for Callas being one of the seminal operatic voices of all time. (But I'm not a huge fan, generally an honest respect, yet more than I could ever claim about Gould.)
_________________________
Jason

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#1369863 - 02/09/10 11:31 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: argerichfan]
Googlism Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 1072
Loc: Toronto
You should listen to his rendition of the popular Alla Turca by Mozart. Certainly one of the slowest interpretations I've heard - it bothered me quite a bit.
_________________________
Old videos from prior piano competitions:
http://www.youtube.com/user/kilace

____________________

"... It is a skill you go on learning all your life: the more you write, the more you learn."

Harry Freedman on the craft of composing

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#1369865 - 02/09/10 11:32 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: Googlism]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Unfortunately, I've heard it (and the rest of the sonata as well).
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1369876 - 02/09/10 11:45 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: stores]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19708
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: stores
.....I'll let him know his Ft. Worth fans are still talking about him. =)

I guess that's about the '81 Cliburn competition? I remember it well. It was one of the most-covered competitions ever. It got huge coverage (almost daily) in the NY Times, and the final announcements were broadast on TV, together with an extended feature. I still remember all the finalists, in order. It was an amazing field.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1369883 - 02/09/10 11:53 PM Re: Clunkers by the great composers [Re: beet31425]
Googlism Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 1072
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: Googlism


Thanks for that pointer. Starting at about 1:10, that's probably the coolest video I've seen all week. I'm not being sarcastic. Really.


-Jason


That video is actually a portion of a full hour interview about him. You can hear some snippets of the Italian Concerto in the latter parts of the series.

Part 1 to 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uS3Zr_egjI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAHhBsaqs8Q&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSRC3G1y7dA&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEtmifxrdsw&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKOtAHY_XII&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=butg4krAZyo&feature=related
_________________________
Old videos from prior piano competitions:
http://www.youtube.com/user/kilace

____________________

"... It is a skill you go on learning all your life: the more you write, the more you learn."

Harry Freedman on the craft of composing

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