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#1373264 - 02/14/10 02:58 AM Argerich's Page Turner Mishap
CherryCoke Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/11/02
Posts: 531
Hey, maybe someone can shed some light on what happened here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy5n97CBFj4&feature=related

I feel bad for the girl (the page turner) here, as I can't figure out why Martha seemed, on several occasions, to shoo her away, only to grab the pages herself and sloppily turn them a mere moment later. The YouTube comments (always a source of entertainment) seemed to reflect the turner's supposed neglience. What am I missing here?

On a side note, I had no idea Argerich's daughter was a violist, and one who is so extremely attractive. 3hearts

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#1373265 - 02/14/10 03:01 AM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: CherryCoke]
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1485
Evelyne would do the same smile And, not to mention - has an extremely attractive daughter...

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#1373270 - 02/14/10 03:25 AM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: CherryCoke]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: CherryCoke
Hey, maybe someone can shed some light on what happened here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy5n97CBFj4&feature=related

I feel bad for the girl (the page turner) here, as I can't figure out why Martha seemed, on several occasions, to shoo her away, only to grab the pages herself and sloppily turn them a mere moment later. The YouTube comments (always a source of entertainment) seemed to reflect the turner's supposed neglience. What am I missing here?

On a side note, I had no idea Argerich's daughter was a violist, and one who is so extremely attractive. 3hearts


Argerich, has three daughters, that I know of. One with Dutoit, one with Kovacevich, and Lyda, whose father is, Robert Chen.
_________________________

"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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#1373271 - 02/14/10 03:25 AM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Opus_Maximus]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Opus_Maximus
Evelyne would do the same smile And, not to mention - has an extremely attractive daughter...


Who's Evelyne?
_________________________

"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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#1373279 - 02/14/10 04:05 AM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: CherryCoke]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19734
Loc: New York
The page turner was terrible. It wasn't necessarily completely her fault; it may have been partly that Argerich didn't confer enough with her in advance, or maybe not at all.

I've turned pages at a number of concerts, and we've always talked in advance about exactly how we should work it. There are all kinds of options. Maybe in this case the two of them hadn't talked and so weren't on the same "page." But regardless of any of that, the page turner was also terrible.

The first blatant sign that we see is at 1:45. The turner seems to be confused, apparently not realizing that the players were going to take a REPEAT or not knowing exactly how Argerich wanted her to handle the page-turn for it. She leans way forward, then a few seconds later stands up to turn, and Argerich has to shake her off. A few seconds after that, Argerich (not seen by the camera at first) frantically flips a few pages back and forth, to get back to the first page of the movement.

For the next few minutes there don't seem to be any blatant mishaps, but in more subtle ways, it continues to be awful. Page turners are supposed to be as unobtrusive as possible, both to the audience and to the performer, which means mainly sitting still except when turning. But this girl is rarely motionless, usually swaying her head or bobbing-and-weaving, sometimes standing up prematurely, squinting at the score to try to see where they are. Even when she's sitting still, she sometimes does funny stuff with her lips and mouth, which (believe me) the pianist can sense, and it looks like that stuff might be making noises too. At one point, she stands up at 8:04 but the page-turn doesn't occur till 8:15.
11 seconds might not seem like much, but for this, it's an eternity.

At 9:08, she again gets up prematurely, and this time she leans all the way forward to turn the page and Argerich again has to frantically shake her head to say "no." At 9:15 Argerich turns the page herself.

It's the worst page-turning I've ever seen for a professional performance.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1373342 - 02/14/10 07:36 AM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Mark_C]
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City

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#1373379 - 02/14/10 09:38 AM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: CherryCoke]
Tweedpipe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 425
Not quite as chillingly unpredictable as this 'perfect' page turner......
The Page Turner
- as a keen cinema-goer and music lover, this was a film I found particularly memorable.
_________________________
Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Yours sincerely,
The Unicorns



------------------------------


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#1373431 - 02/14/10 10:40 AM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Tweedpipe]
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1298
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
I saw Martha play in Philadelphia a few years ago with Nelson Freire and the exact same thing happened with the page turner. She waved him off and turned herself. I was sitting behind her in a box and could see the music. She had it all marked up. Measures crossed out and arrows all over the place. She also took repeats and had to turn back several pages just like to youtube vid. She might be hard to follow.
_________________________
Do or do not. There is no try.

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#1373509 - 02/14/10 12:12 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Ralph]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 766
Loc: Dorset, UK
I have both turned and had pages turned for me in public and I know what I'd rather do - play. Turning is a no win job - no-one notices if you get it right, everyone notices if you get it wrong. A turner needs a large, clear indication, preferably in different ink, as to the exact point to turn, to the half-beat if necessary, plus of course clear indications re repeat or no repeat. Sounds as if Argerich has so many markings for herself - surely only for practice purposes - that the poor turner cannot see the wood for the trees. I think it is incumbent upon the performer to make it crystal clear to the turner and not have the music littered with other markings for him/herself. Turning is an incredibly stressful task.

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#1373516 - 02/14/10 12:24 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Ralph]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19734
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Ralph
I saw Martha play in Philadelphia a few years ago with Nelson Freire and the exact same thing happened with the page turner. She waved him off and turned herself. I was sitting behind her in a box and could see the music. She had it all marked up. Measures crossed out and arrows all over the place. She also took repeats and had to turn back several pages just like to youtube vid. She might be hard to follow.

Great info, including about all the markings in the score.

From your story, I'd guess that in addition to all else, she either doesn't talk to the page turner beforehand or at least doesn't do it very patiently or very well.

I wondered about her being hard to follow and I scanned through this video an extra time with an eye to that, and I don't think she is, not particularly.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1373523 - 02/14/10 12:31 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: sandalholme]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: sandalholme
I have both turned and had pages turned for me in public and I know what I'd rather do - play. Turning is a no win job - no-one notices if you get it right, everyone notices if you get it wrong. A turner needs a large, clear indication, preferably in different ink, as to the exact point to turn, to the half-beat if necessary, plus of course clear indications re repeat or no repeat. Sounds as if Argerich has so many markings for herself - surely only for practice purposes - that the poor turner cannot see the wood for the trees. I think it is incumbent upon the performer to make it crystal clear to the turner and not have the music littered with other markings for him/herself. Turning is an incredibly stressful task.


Definitely. I hate turning and I really hate having people turn for me. The latter just stresses me out! Except after I ripped an entire page in my hand during a performance (more than once!), I give in and use turners now.. sometimes.

Yeah I don't think Martha explained to the girl where to turn exactly. Or sometimes you'll have one line to play and you're so used to turning yourself that you don't want them to turn there. But maybe she should've written it in the music? I kind of don't think it's the girl's fault because Brahms is not THAT hard to follow.. =)
_________________________

'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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#1373527 - 02/14/10 12:35 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: sandalholme]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19734
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: sandalholme
I have both turned and had pages turned for me in public and I know what I'd rather do - play. Turning is a no win job - no-one notices if you get it right, everyone notices if you get it wrong. A turner needs a large, clear indication, preferably in different ink, as to the exact point to turn, to the half-beat if necessary, plus of course clear indications re repeat or no repeat....

I don't think it's no-win. When I've turned, I've often been noticed (especially by the performers) for doing it well. But then again I make sort of an obsessive science of it. smile

I don't think there's any need for markings like what you said. What's needed is that the player and turner confer beforehand, and that the performer tell exactly what's the "philosophy" for the turning. There are some simple variables:

-- Will you "nod" for the turns, or not?
(In my experience, many prefer not to, if you can get the "philosophy" straight between the two of you.)

-- Where do you usually like the turn? Right at the end of the page, or a tiny bit in advance, or a couple of measures in advance, or whatever?

-- How much does it depend on the tempo?

-- Does it depend on anything else?

-- Are there any exceptions?

-- And of course, what repeats will be taken, and what exactly do you prefer on those?

That might look like a lot of things, but it isn't really.

Plus, of course:

The turner has to be very good at reading music, has to be able to SIT STILL (and not do those mouth movements) when not turning ......plus (I can't help laughing about this) ....if he/she needs GLASSES, wear them. It looks like the turner in this Argerich video just didn't SEE the score very well.

If you do all that, I think you'll usually get recognition.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1373537 - 02/14/10 12:42 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Mark_C]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Ha don't you hate it when you forget to ask about repeats and they forget to tell you.. and then you're at the repeat and like, "WTF DO I DO NOW! OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD!!"
_________________________

'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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#1373538 - 02/14/10 12:43 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Pogorelich.]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19734
Loc: New York
That's the stuff of a comedy.
No, I guess I mean a tragedy. smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1373541 - 02/14/10 12:46 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Mark_C]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4793
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I've had only two page turning experiences. The first was when I recruited my son at the last minute. He cannot read music. I nodded once to warn him and once to turn. He was perfect.

My second page turner was a piano professor at a conservatory. He also was perfect.

I was once asked at the last minute to turn pages for a Beethoven sonata. It went well but it was very stressful. I lost my place once and nearly paniced. Fortunately, I recovered quickly. Page turning is not an easy job. I imagine turning pages for Martha Argerich would be terrifying.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1373542 - 02/14/10 12:47 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Mark_C]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Hahah it's happened to me!! Once. It was only for a chamber class. I had to kind of turn with both hands.. one hand on the page back, the other forward.. aiudhkahfjkf.
_________________________

'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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#1373576 - 02/14/10 01:30 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Pogorelich.]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3762
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I was as page-turner in college once for a performance of Prokofiev's second sonata for violin and piano. The performance went fine.

Afterward the pianist sent me a thank-you card. It was very nice, but kind of ridiculous. It said something like (editorial comments mine):

"I want you to know I've never felt as comfortable with a page-turner before as with you. I could just always count on the page being turned. [Yes, that was my one job.] I recently watched the video, and I could see you really getting into the music. [Not actually what you want from a page-turner.]" !!!

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

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#1373593 - 02/14/10 01:44 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Mark_C]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 766
Loc: Dorset, UK
MarkC
Well, we all have our different ways - otherwise there be no point to this forum. By recognition, I meant audience - performers do acknowledge competent turners. Agree with no nods - I'm playing music, not having a dialogue with the turner. For me, as a player, there's no 'norm' - it depends upon the music on the page, the next page and the tempo. So, I hope to make it simple for the turner: turn here. Not just before, not just afterwards. Especially, no hovering, unsure, waiting for a signal! Go away! Also repeat or no repeat needs to be marked, it's unfair to rely upon a turner's memory. (You hope and pray that they remember that you have already done the repeat!)
Agree with dialogue beforehand - the turner needs to know precisely what is expected. and be a good sight reader, and be quickwitted if s/he suddenly realises you have departed from the score.
Still prefer to play..........

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#1373665 - 02/14/10 02:42 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: sandalholme]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
I find nodding comes quite natural to me sometimes when I have a turner. I guess to each their own!
_________________________

'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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#1373672 - 02/14/10 02:47 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Pogorelich.]
saerra Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 842
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Ohhhhhh my! That poor girl. I think I'd be the same way - squinting at the music, hovering and nervous, wanting to be ready for just the right moment, and generally a nuisance!

No page turning career for me I suppose! wink

I'm curious, given that it can affect the performance, don't they *practice* once or twice WITH the page turner?

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#1373676 - 02/14/10 02:51 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: saerra]
Googlism Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 1072
Loc: Toronto
And this why future pianos need to have an LED screen on the sheet music stand!
_________________________
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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#1373697 - 02/14/10 03:12 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Googlism]
P I A N O piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 425
Loc: Ann Arbor, Michigan
I had to page turn recently- during a festival competition without any warning whatsoever! It was stressful and I did lose my place in the score- luckily the lad nodded and all went well! Whew!
_________________________
Chopin, Polonaise in C sharp minor, Etude in E major;
Bach, Toccata in e minor BWV 914;
Debussy, Snow is Dancing;
Schubert, Moments Musicaux,No.4 in C Sharp Minor;
Beethoven, Sonata no. 15 in D major, op. 28 (Pastoral)
teacher: Katherine Teves Mizruchi, Ann Arbor, MI
Steinway B

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#1373719 - 02/14/10 03:44 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: P I A N O piano]
Fredil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/08
Posts: 216
The last time I turned pages for someone, he was playing a Mendelssohn trio, and the piano part seemed to go at one page every twenty seconds. I did relatively fine on every part except those two pages he hadn't memorized.


Edited by Fredil (02/14/10 03:44 PM)

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#1373735 - 02/14/10 04:01 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Fredil]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8857
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
I once paged turned for an organist (semi-well known in the UK) at a very well attended recital. The organ console was fortunately out of sight. Lo and behold, during one of the more treacherous Bach P&Fs (the D major if there are any organists here), he made a few highly exposed mistakes and then muttered the 'F' word.

In a house of God, no less. shocked
_________________________
Jason

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#1373737 - 02/14/10 04:03 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Fredil]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5921
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Fredil
The last time I turned pages for someone, he was playing a Mendelssohn trio, and the piano part seemed to go at one page every twenty seconds.
Yep, that's about right! smile (or perhaps even less...)
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1374047 - 02/14/10 09:39 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: currawong]
CherryCoke Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/11/02
Posts: 531
Mark, you seem kind of high maintenance. smile I've turned many, many times, a few times for famous pianists. I've also had turners for myself in chamber and other collaborative concerts. I've never had any problems, save for one girl who turned for me waaay too early in a rhythmically taxing piece, multiple times. That was frustrating.

I'm not sure how you figure that the girl forgot the repeat-just as she stands up, Argerich waves her off (both times that figure comes around) And Martha is already turning herself by the time the girl's rear hits the chair again, so there goes the "too early" theory. How do you know whether she was about to mess up and turn forward instead of backward?

And really, I mean really, if you find someone standing up 10 seconds (8:05-8:15)or 7 seconds (9:08-9:15) prior to the turn (just as the last phrase of the page is begining) to be excessively early, I will never ask you to turn for me. I rather panic when turners wait until the last absolute moment, then fumble with getting one (and only one) page in their grip. I would far rather they stand slowly and gradually reach over, making sure they have only one page, and gently turn..rather than stand 2 seconds before the turn, sloppily grab, and rip the pages back noisiliy.

I still don't understand the "major mishaps," in other words. The girl was not standing at an inappropriate time; again, Martha's already turning her own pages by the time the girl has even had time to sit down again after being waved off.

I'll confess that butterflies can exist when turning for a big name, but really guys, I'm not sure about the whole "big deal, markings in the score to the half beat, exact science" thing. It's really not a very difficult job. If you're a pianist who can read fairly well, then the time to turn should be pretty obvious. The only special instructions that (I think) should ever be required are "yes, we're taking this repeat. Make sure you note the tempo change at the bottom of this page-be ready to turn early. I'd rather take this page turn myself." That type of thing.

edit-that said, I'll admit the girl's mouth thing and leg-crossing at the end was rather cringe-worthy. smile

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#1374060 - 02/14/10 09:56 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: CherryCoke]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19734
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: CherryCoke
Mark, you seem kind of high maintenance. smile

Huh?
But thanks anyway for adding the smiley. smile

Quote:
I'm not sure how you figure that the girl forgot the repeat-just as she stands up, Argerich waves her off (both times that figure comes around) And Martha is already turning herself by the time the girl's rear hits the chair again, so there goes the "too early" theory. How do you know whether she was about to mess up and turn forward instead of backward?

I'm not sure where you're coming from there. There is no doubt that the turner messed up somehow. The only question is how. And there are various possibilities, as you sort of hinted.

In my other post I only covered that particular thing in a simplified way, and so I didn't give all the possible details about it, which would have taken a lot more space in that already-long post. I'll fill in the rest if you're really interested and if you'll think openly about it, which I'm not sure you will, based on what you've said so far. If you wish, just ask for it, and I'll be glad to say more. But it looks like you didn't try very hard to understand what I did say, and if your main point is to reject all of it and say that she didn't necessarily mess up there somehow, you are mistaken.

Quote:
And really, I mean really, if you find someone standing up 10 seconds (8:05-8:15)or 7 seconds (9:08-9:15) prior to the turn (just as the last phrase of the page is begining) to be excessively early, I will never ask you to turn for me....

Again, it seems that you didn't read my post well. One of the main things I said was that the performer and the turner need to confer in advance. Most performers don't wish you to stand up and reach for the page 11 seconds or even 7 seconds in advance, and Argerich obviously had a problem with it. (Right?) If you, as a performer, want the turner to get up and grab the page sooner, you can indicate that -- and you better, because it's unusual.

I gave all those details for YOUR benefit, since you had asked what was the problem. You're not appreciating the effort I made because of your question and on your behalf, and instead you're slamming it down.

Quote:
I still don't understand the "major mishaps," in other words....

I told you what they are. If you disagree that they were mishaps, fine -- but evidently Argerich thought so, and I can tell you that most people would have.

Quote:
The girl was not standing at an inappropriate time

FALSE.
And she did it several times.

Quote:
.....Martha's already turning her own pages by the time the girl has even had time to sit down again after being waved off.

False as well.

Quote:
edit-that said, I'll admit the girl's mouth thing and leg-crossing at the end was rather cringe-worthy. smile

Good for you. But that part was the least of it. If you feel like thinking a little more about the rest of the stuff, you might find value in it too.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1374167 - 02/14/10 11:55 PM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Mark_C]
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
Speaking of the Mendelssohn D minor: here's a guy who doesn't need help turning pages.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vL2ftX-xC4w

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#1374173 - 02/15/10 12:01 AM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Phlebas]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
I just want to say that Argerich , while somewhat eccentric, is a very gracious lady. She is notoriously generous with young people. I watched the clip but I got carried away with the music making and forgot to analyze the page turner..
The other daughters are Annie who lives in NY and Stephanie. They are not professional musicians .

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#1374175 - 02/15/10 12:01 AM Re: Argerich's Page Turner Mishap [Re: Phlebas]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3762
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Great video!

Here's another performer who doesn't need help with the page turns. I don't mean the Moonlight; start the video at 6:25.



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

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New start - wish me good luck:)
by FarmGirl
Yesterday at 11:21 PM
Automatic Piano Players...
by tksler
Yesterday at 10:33 PM
No one home?
by ScottM
Yesterday at 08:05 PM
Prokofiev's 5 piano concertos, live: Marinskij/Gergiev etc
by fnork
Yesterday at 07:36 PM
Has anyone here studied with S. Babayan
by Serge Marinkovic
Yesterday at 07:05 PM
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