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#1454420 - 06/11/10 02:29 AM Liszt and Literature
philosophyfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 34
Originally Posted By: Franz Liszt
"Here is a whole fortnight that my mind and fingers have been working like two lost spirits- Homer, the Bible, Plato, Locke, Byron, Hugo, Lamartine, Chateaubriand, Beethoven, Bach, Hummel, Mozart, Weber, are all around me. I study them, meditate on them, devour them with fury; besides this I practice from four to five hours of exercises (thirds, sixths, octaves, shakes, repeated notes, and cadenzas). Oh! provided I don't go mad, you will find an artist in me!"


It is well known that Liszt liked to read books whilst practising technical exercises, I am wondering what people think of this fact.
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#1454425 - 06/11/10 02:43 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: philosophyfan]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
"Whilst"??

I did not know that!!

In fact, I sort of doubt it. smile
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1454428 - 06/11/10 02:48 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: philosophyfan]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6031
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: philosophyfan
Originally Posted By: Franz Liszt
"Here is a whole fortnight that my mind and fingers have been working like two lost spirits- Homer, the Bible, Plato, Locke, Byron, Hugo, Lamartine, Chateaubriand, Beethoven, Bach, Hummel, Mozart, Weber, are all around me. I study them, meditate on them, devour them with fury; besides this I practice from four to five hours of exercises (thirds, sixths, octaves, shakes, repeated notes, and cadenzas). Oh! provided I don't go mad, you will find an artist in me!"


It is well known that Liszt liked to read books whilst practising technical exercises, I am wondering what people think of this fact.


Well - if you can indeed PROVE to us that this is a "fact" I'll be happy to comment.
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YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1454429 - 06/11/10 02:51 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: carey]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
I'm still on his saying it's "well known." smile
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1454432 - 06/11/10 02:58 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: philosophyfan]
casinitaly Offline

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4663
Loc: Italy
I think a soul that craves the fulfillment music brings is well matched with a thirst for knowledge in other areas. Look at what he was reading - cornerstone literature (of Western civilization) - philosophy, ethics, epic poetry, humanities, and other musicians. The more you learn about works such as these, the more you find links that hold them together and the tighter knit is the tapestry they weave.

Both fields of study were giving him a depth and breadth of scope that he was clearly quite passionate about - thirst feeding thirst!

Speaking from my own experiences, being immersed in music has given me (at different stages in my life) a very different and much more developed awareness of what I listen to and how I listen. My interests in reading - which include history, art, classic literature just to name a few - have really given me an ability to see connections, patterns and movements on many scales (no pun intended), over periods of a few hunderd years and on a few different continents! My experience is: the more you know, the more you realize there is to know, and the more you want to know.
I personally know a fair amount - but I still feel it is a work in progress, which is most enjoyable.

The only thing I find surprising is that he says his mind and spirit are like two lost spirits.... I would have thought he might have found some level of mental/emotional/philisophical harmony from the combination of the two activities.
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#1454439 - 06/11/10 03:19 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: casinitaly]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
No no -- he was asking about the "whilst" part. smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1454444 - 06/11/10 03:30 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: Mark_C]
casinitaly Offline

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4663
Loc: Italy
Well, don't I feel a bit silly. smile I was going to make a joke about "how did he balance the books while he was doing arpeggios" but decided it was a more philisophical question.

ah well..... to err is human smile
_________________________
Interested in MOYD? Check out the RULES!
XVIII-XXXIII
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1454445 - 06/11/10 03:31 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: Mark_C]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6075
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
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#1454447 - 06/11/10 03:44 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: casinitaly]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
.....to err is human smile

Well I don't know if you really erred, since the question you answered was probably more interesting. smile
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1454449 - 06/11/10 03:46 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: ChopinAddict]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict

OK.......now we can get back to whether it's "well known." ha

BTW.......I still have my doubts.
Even though one of my esteemed teachers recommended the same thing. (I always thought it was a little nuts.)

I wouldn't have thought that Liszt considered technical exercises mindless, which I think you basically have to in order to do that kind of thing.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1454455 - 06/11/10 04:13 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: Mark_C]
philosophyfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 34
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

I wouldn't have thought that Liszt considered technical exercises mindless, which I think you basically have to in order to do that kind of thing.


I tried this once reading a couple chapters of Moby Dick while practicing scales and chords. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't too hard either. Mark_C makes a good point though, if this is in fact true then what does this say about our Romantic conceptions of Liszt. Perhaps it says nothing at all, perhaps Liszt only felt music was worthy of deep reflection and that technical exercises were not (since they are not, strictly speaking, music).

In the book "Practicing Perfection" there is a quote by Martha Argerich:
Originally Posted By: Martha Argerich
"(Remembering her childhood) Officially, I was supposed to practice three hours but, in reality it was less because I cheated. What I really liked was reading, so I used to read while pretending to be practicing. If I heard the door I would put whatever I was reading under my skirt . . ."


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#1454459 - 06/11/10 04:27 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: philosophyfan]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: philosophyfan
Quote:
.....under my skirt . . ."

Well now it's really getting interesting. smile
If it had been at a slightly later age, she could also have used cleavage.
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1454460 - 06/11/10 04:46 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: philosophyfan]
fallapart Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/15/09
Posts: 39
I'd say Liszt would adore ipad.

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#1454534 - 06/11/10 10:00 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: Mark_C]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4491
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict

OK.......now we can get back to whether it's "well known." ha

BTW.......I still have my doubts.
Even though one of my esteemed teachers recommended the same thing. (I always thought it was a little nuts.)

I wouldn't have thought that Liszt considered technical exercises mindless, which I think you basically have to in order to do that kind of thing.



So Lisitsa can do it, and Liszt can't? I sort of really kind of doubt that.. ahahaha.
_________________________

'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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#1454552 - 06/11/10 10:25 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: philosophyfan]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6031
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: philosophyfan
Originally Posted By: Franz Liszt
"Here is a whole fortnight that my mind and fingers have been working like two lost spirits- Homer, the Bible, Plato, Locke, Byron, Hugo, Lamartine, Chateaubriand, Beethoven, Bach, Hummel, Mozart, Weber, are all around me. I study them, meditate on them, devour them with fury; besides this I practice from four to five hours of exercises (thirds, sixths, octaves, shakes, repeated notes, and cadenzas). Oh! provided I don't go mad, you will find an artist in me!"


It is well known that Liszt liked to read books whilst practising technical exercises, I am wondering what people think of this fact.


Apparently Liszt was good at "multi-tasking."
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1454553 - 06/11/10 10:25 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: Pogorelich.]
Rui725 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 953
The ultimate question is not whether to read or not, but what to read?

I'm going to try this with scientific journals, but it may deem to mind absorbing. If it doesn't go well then it's time to try Calvin and Hobbes.


Edited by Rui725 (06/11/10 10:25 AM)

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#1454565 - 06/11/10 10:36 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: Rui725]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4491
Loc: in the past
Well I know he was obsessed with Faust. So I'm reading it right now laugh

(seriously, what's the devil obsession)
_________________________

'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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#1454594 - 06/11/10 11:24 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: Pogorelich.]
Rui725 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 953
Wouldn't be surprised that Liszt's made a deal with the devil too haha.

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#1454598 - 06/11/10 11:36 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: philosophyfan]
philosophyfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 34
So nobody has a problem with the whole idea of (at least partially) ignoring your practicing? confused
_________________________
Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.

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#1454602 - 06/11/10 11:47 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: philosophyfan]
Rui725 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 953
Once the technical aspect of a particular exercise has been truly ingrained, the act of doing so becomes "automated" and "mindless" so to speak. Only at the point, it would be a wise idea to let your mind wander. During the learning process, it would not be a good idea.

Liszt is not your everyday pianist either, so....

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#1454971 - 06/12/10 04:06 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: Rui725]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6075
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I am actually good at multi-tasking and usually do several things at the same time with the computer, also completely different things, but I don't think I could read a book while practicing at this stage. Besides, I usually READ the notes, so I cannot read a book at the same time... frown
But I think if you have really memorized an exercise, why not? However, I am not talking from experience (I have never tried), it just appears to be possible to me, when your fingers play automatically....
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Music is my best friend.


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#1454978 - 06/12/10 05:15 AM Re: Liszt and Literature [Re: ChopinAddict]
Rui725 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 953
this is purely technical exercises though, say a simple pattern of thirds in some key up and down. So there really is no note reading involved, just mechanical execution.

edit: sorry, wasn't aware you were talking about actually playing a piece. Maybe, maybe not, I agree then it would be a bad idea at that time.


Edited by Rui725 (06/12/10 05:24 AM)

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