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#1464852 - 06/29/10 05:56 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: stores]
John_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/10
Posts: 621
Loc: Bristol, UK
The live video feed is fascinating, though I have only briefly viewed it.

A few questions spring to mind:

Does VL usually practise this intensively, for 14 hours a day or is it a 'big surge' in preparation for a series of concerts?

Is this sort of practise normal for established concert pianists? I seem to remember, from long ago, a TV programme on Rubinstein in which he said that his daily practise was much less than that - I think it was about 3 hrs maximum (although others commented that he used his practise time very efficiently). But then again - the pressures on concert artists were probably much less in those days.

Lastly, in general, such sustained practise a good thing over the long term (I'm not referring to VL)?

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#1464869 - 06/29/10 06:39 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: John_B]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
It looked mind numbing to this very humble amateur pianist. The woman clearly knew most (all) the repertoire she was "practicing" and was just "running" through it, often listlessly. Obviously this window into her practicing life is nonetheless limited. But I do wonder if this style is conducive to great music making eventually. I tuned into the channel intermittently and mostly late in the evening, and frankly the quality of the practicing, as opposed to its duration, was not intensive. She repeated a few fragments of passages a tempo and moved on through an enormous list of pieces.. She looked exhausted and on auto pilot. It is hard to imagine that this could be very effective at her level, whereby what is needed is deeper insight into the music. Granted, she could be simply refreshing her memory. She did say that she has to practice 55 pieces towards upcoming performances, which is hard to imagine unless You Tube is included..
As I said, my perspective is limited since I am not a performer. So, as suggested above, it would be interesting to hear it from those who do perform..

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#1464886 - 06/29/10 07:23 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: Andromaque]
John_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/10
Posts: 621
Loc: Bristol, UK
About the 55 pieces that VL is working up.

Out of curiosity I checked on the concert schedule for Mitsuko Uchida (available on her website). She is performing a total of 21 pieces (including concertos and chamber works) during the period from May of this year to February 2011.

Often she will work up one programme (with a few alternative pieces) and then tour with it.

This seems far more 'sensible' (not that I am in anything like a position to judge). But then Uchida is a tremendously respected performer and draws large audiences where ever she plays, so she can set her own terms.

(Luckily, I see that Uchida is visiting St George's, Bristol this autumn. St. George's is a beautiful 'shoebox' Georgian church converted into an 800 seat concert hall. It is often used by recording companies and is absolutely perfect for chamber music - there is the feeling of intimacy which you rarely get in the standard 2000/3000 seat hall.)


Edited by John_B (06/29/10 07:29 AM)

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#1464920 - 06/29/10 09:17 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: John_B]
LuvLiszt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 18
Loc: Rapid City, SD
My wife and I have been Valentina's hosts on several occasions. Once, when staying with us she played four different concert programs in six days (duo with Alexei, Tchaikovsky 1 & two completely different recitals). On two occasions when I went in to listen to her practice, she was reading "The History of Civilization" while playing. To answer John B's question, I think this is a "big surge" to be prepared for awhile. Once she has a piece "in hand," she doesn't need to practice it again for quite a long time.

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#1464923 - 06/29/10 09:22 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: John_B]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
darn.. i cannot sign up for the chat. (who's reading it anyway).

i love her relaxed low arms
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1464943 - 06/29/10 10:06 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: apple*]
timmyab Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 459
Loc: Bristol, UK
I watched her practising Brahms 2nd concerto last night.Wow, that things a monster isn't it.
I'd be interested to know what the 55 pieces comprise of.I wonder if she's counting Chopin's op 10 as one piece or twelve.

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#1464950 - 06/29/10 10:24 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: stores]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
To expand on my former statement my dislike for her methods was the fact that she's seemingly charging into pieces that are very rusty from the looks of it at a relatively high tempo which makes some passages full of hiccups.


I don't know her memorization method when she goes about first studying a piece although I know that she holds pieces in finger memory which must take some time.

In my opinion it seems that practicing in the start stop method at the point pieces were (mind you I did not see her begin on a new piece) would give to much room for holes. While on the other hand it's a very effective method for refreshing pieces that aren't so far gone or ironing out the kinks. If I remember correctly Lugansky give an example of this on the four Rachmaninoff Concertos.

Just for the record, I meant no disrespect or was I offended by any of the posted comments. I also apologize, because I realize that such a short comment leave a lot of room for a misunderstanding in the tone.





Edited by MikeN (06/29/10 10:39 AM)
Edit Reason: Posting Error

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#1464956 - 06/29/10 10:33 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: MikeN]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19265
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: MikeN
To expand on my former statement my dislike for her methods was the fact that she's seemingly charging into pieces that are very rusty from the looks of it at a relatively high tempo which makes some passages full of hiccups.
Rusty? Hiccups? I barely noticed a wrong note in her practicing.

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#1464964 - 06/29/10 10:43 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: pianoloverus]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Rusty? Hiccups? I barely noticed a wrong note in her practicing.


Me neither.. which is why I wondered about the purpose. She also did not dwell on or repeat entire pieces, during the periods I watched.

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#1464966 - 06/29/10 10:45 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: pianoloverus]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
Really, in the Brahms Concerto in seemed that she was stopping and even practicing hands separately. Although in the couple of Chopin Etudes I saw, it seemed that they weren't nearly as far gone.

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#1464969 - 06/29/10 10:50 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: MikeN]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
did not see the Brahms. Mostly CHopin.

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#1464976 - 06/29/10 10:55 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: MikeN]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19265
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: MikeN
Really, in the Brahms Concerto in seemed that she was stopping and even practicing hands separately. Although in the couple of Chopin Etudes I saw, it seemed that they weren't nearly as far gone.
What does stopping and practicing hands separtely have to do with anything?

It just means she felt a passage needed that kind of practice. It doesn't mean there were hiccups(whatever that means) or wrong notes. Many pianists do this kind of practicing all the time, no matter what stage of learning a piece is at including "finished".

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#1464977 - 06/29/10 10:57 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: pianoloverus]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19265
Loc: New York City
Anyone else having problems with the audio today? I can't get any sound at all, only the picture.

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#1464982 - 06/29/10 11:02 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: MikeN]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19265
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: MikeN

I don't know her memorization method when she goes about first studying a piece although I know that she holds pieces in finger memory which must take some time.
How do you know how she memorizes?

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#1465009 - 06/29/10 12:06 PM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: pianoloverus]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
There's an interview on youtube where she's asked about her photographic memory where she says she prefers to use muscle memory because if she uses a different score than she risks having a blank.

Here's the interview if your interested.

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#1465038 - 06/29/10 01:00 PM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: MikeN]
Teodor Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 945
Loc: Bulgaria
She is live right now.
_________________________
Music Pedagogy Student

Recitals:

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#1465054 - 06/29/10 01:30 PM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: LuvLiszt]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
Originally Posted By: LuvLiszt
My wife and I have been Valentina's hosts on several occasions. Once, when staying with us she played four different concert programs in six days (duo with Alexei, Tchaikovsky 1 & two completely different recitals). On two occasions when I went in to listen to her practice, she was reading "The History of Civilization" while playing. To answer John B's question, I think this is a "big surge" to be prepared for awhile. Once she has a piece "in hand," she doesn't need to practice it again for quite a long time.


What a privilege that was! I met her at a masterclass / party after her concert in Washington DC and was very impressed. Not only as a concert artist but as a very comfortable person to be around. She popped into Cathy Harl's store (where the party / master class was being held) and like a magnet, the pianos drew her to sit down and play! There is a thread here at PW in the party section. About 2 yrs ago now.

Cherished memories. She even taught me during the master classes! She was so patient and gave such good advice.

I have her practicing in the background while I work at the computer for the week.

We can support her by purchasing her tapes/CD's, DVD's and attending her concerts!
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1465063 - 06/29/10 01:46 PM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: MikeN]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19265
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: MikeN
There's an interview on youtube where she's asked about her photographic memory where she says she prefers to use muscle memory because if she uses a different score than she risks having a blank.

Here's the interview if your interested.
Actually she says that photographic memory has advantages and disadvantages for her. Then she says that photographic memory is "definitely a plus". And she starts mentioning muscle memory after a question about fingering.

Finally, all pianists use muscle memory to some extent and few, if any, professional pianists use it exclusively. So I can't see what point you were trying to make by talking about her "holding a piece in muscle memory which must take time". Everyone does it and it "takes time" for everyone.


Edited by pianoloverus (06/30/10 11:17 AM)

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#1465093 - 06/29/10 02:33 PM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: pianoloverus]
PianonaiP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/09
Posts: 119
Loc: Central PA
what is she playing right now?

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#1465611 - 06/30/10 10:57 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: PianonaiP]
Jamerz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/14/08
Posts: 24
Loc: CA
Well I'm not sure what she was playing then but right now (7:58 Pacific time) she's playing Chopin's 4th scherzo. :]


Edited by Jamerz (06/30/10 10:58 AM)

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#1465640 - 06/30/10 11:36 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: Jamerz]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3752
Loc: Bay Area, CA
She's practicing the Emperor concerto now (6/30 8:30 am PST).

I know this sounds crazy but... I find this more exciting than an actual performance would be.


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

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#1465657 - 06/30/10 11:59 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: beet31425]
MegumiNoda Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/09
Posts: 203
It's totally hypnotic. I often meant to just check in for a few minutes but ended up staying for hours. In a way, I'm glad that the live feed will end by July 4th. This is interfering with my (already scant) practice time!

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#1465705 - 06/30/10 01:06 PM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: MegumiNoda]
Mattardo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
Originally Posted By: MegumiNoda
It's totally hypnotic. I often meant to just check in for a few minutes but ended up staying for hours. In a way, I'm glad that the live feed will end by July 4th. This is interfering with my (already scant) practice time!


I know this is off-topic, but is your icon from Nodame Cantabile?
I think many people on this forum would really like that series!

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#1465709 - 06/30/10 01:15 PM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: MegumiNoda]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3752
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I think I'm also experiencing a childhood-nostalgia affect. I grew up with my father playing several hours a day. He's not at professional level, but he did work up things like the Prokofiev 8th sonata and the Diabelli variations, and hearing this kind of practicing, with its starting and stopping rhythms, brings those days back a bit.

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

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#1465992 - 06/30/10 09:35 PM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: pianoloverus]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
The point I was trying to make that the method she uses, in my experience, creates a blank spot in muscle memory, but if she uses her photographic memory first and overtime moves the pieces to muscle memory then it's very effective.

Also yes she mentions her use of muscle memory after asked about fingering, but she still said she preferred muscle memory. Whether or not she meant that she prefers to use muscle memory over photographic I'll allow you to decide.

I've found in my very short time of studying that, your right, it's highly ineffective if not impossible to use exclusively muscle memory.


Now I think I've poked enough holes in my statements to satisfy all of the fans and debators.

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#1466173 - 07/01/10 05:49 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: MikeN]
Mostly Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/10
Posts: 271
Now this looks mighty interesting, I need to catch the stream live - doesn't seem recorded "shows" are available.

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#1466214 - 07/01/10 08:29 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: stores]
JGonzalezGUS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/09
Posts: 191
Loc: Florida, USA
I have watched Ms. Lisitsa on and and off the past few days and have truly enjoyed her practice.

I have a comment, tough, on music scores, which I feel is going to draw fire, but this is just my opinion:
The other day she commented online chat that she was looking on the Internet to download the score of Chopin’s ‘La Ci Darem la Mano’ Op.2 Variations and mentioned that she had never had that score before.

I don’t know whether because I’m old (and old fashioned) or maybe my university background, but I had in my mind the view that professional concert pianists (i.e. Brendel, Schiff) are very picky about their scores and go thru great lengths to verify accuracy, good sources, etc. Also, at least in my mind, pianists get acquainted with a lot of music, eventually having sight-read all available music by at least all mainstream composers. So maybe Ms. Livitsa just wanted to sight-read that score.

But, if like she had posted on the live practice Website, she needs to prepare 55 pieces, some brush-up, some new (and Chopin Op.2 is apparently new to her repertoire), I was shocked to see that a professional pianist will simply go on the Internet and download what he/she may find instead of carefully reviewing sources and getting Henle, Peters, etc.

Just my opinion. (now shoot me).
_________________________
Jose
Kawai K5 - Kawai CA61

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#1466223 - 07/01/10 08:58 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: JGonzalezGUS]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Chopin Op.2 isn't new, she released a DVD of it a couple of years ago. It is an excellent performance, but as far as authenticity to the score goes it isn't particularly accurate. This fact does not bother me in the slightest. laugh

Also, she was talking about finding the score to buy on the internet, not to download.

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#1466228 - 07/01/10 09:08 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: debrucey]
JGonzalezGUS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/09
Posts: 191
Loc: Florida, USA
Yes, debrucey. You are right. That music is not new to her. I happen to have the DVD blush I just un-earthed it after your comment reminded me of it (Black and Pink - Liszt Don Juan the best in it in my opinion).
What threw me before was the comment (I know I read it correctly) that she had never owned the Chopin Op.2 score.
_________________________
Jose
Kawai K5 - Kawai CA61

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#1466234 - 07/01/10 09:12 AM Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE [Re: MikeN]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19265
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: MikeN
The point I was trying to make that the method she uses, in my experience, creates a blank spot in muscle memory, but if she uses her photographic memory first and overtime moves the pieces to muscle memory then it's very effective.

Also yes she mentions her use of muscle memory after asked about fingering, but she still said she preferred muscle memory. Whether or not she meant that she prefers to use muscle memory over photographic I'll allow you to decide.

I've found in my very short time of studying that, your right, it's highly ineffective if not impossible to use exclusively muscle memory.


Now I think I've poked enough holes in my statements to satisfy all of the fans and debators.

It's not a choice of one or the other. She uses photogrpahic memory, muscle memory, melodic memory and maybe other kinds also. Everyone uses at least the second and third appropaches. I'm quite sure she uses harmonic analysis memeory also since a person at her level would automatically be able to analyze a piece that way without almost any speicial thought.

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