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#1617917 - 02/11/11 08:56 PM The Greatest Piece of All Time
Skorpius Offline
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Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 751
If you had to choose, what would it be?
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Working On-

Deux Arabesques, Debussy


On Queue-

Danse Russe from Petroushka, Stravinsky
Toccata, Ravel





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#1617918 - 02/11/11 09:00 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Toastburn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/10
Posts: 221
Loc: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
FOr piano solo or generally?

Generally, my vote is for the St Matthew Passion.
_________________________
A perennially hopeful amateur!
Pianos: Boston GP178, Lipp 1899 upright
Currently attempting: Bach: WTC I/1,5;II/12; Chopin Polonaise in A; Etude 10/5; Brahms Op 118 No 2 Intermezzo in D; Scarlatti Sonata L23.

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#1617929 - 02/11/11 09:37 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Dustin Sanders Offline
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Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
mazeppa!!!!!!
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#1617965 - 02/11/11 10:55 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Toastburn]
Palindrome Offline
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Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3914
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Originally Posted By: Toastburn
FOr piano solo or generally?

Generally, my vote is for the St Matthew Passion.


From the very first note that piece is overwhelming.
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There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#1617968 - 02/11/11 11:04 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
alexb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/10
Posts: 265
Loc: USA
For piano, Beethoven's op. 106 sonata tied with 111.

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#1617976 - 02/11/11 11:34 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
what a hard question to answer.. i think of the twinkle twinkle variations by Mozart, the 2nd movement of Beethoven's 7th.. the hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah.. and then think of the finale, the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's 9th, and that gets my vote.
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#1618013 - 02/12/11 02:43 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
pjang23 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 106
Probably from one of these
Bach: Mass in B-, St. Matthew's Passion
Mozart: Requiem, Operas
Beethoven: Symphony No.9, Late Quartets+Grosse Fuge
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Auch das Schöne muβ sterben...

Brahms-Singer Symphony No.3 & No.4
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Schubert D946/2
André Mathieu - Été Canadien

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#1618021 - 02/12/11 03:39 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19777
Loc: New York
No matter what anyone thinks about this pick..... smile Chopin's A-flat Polonaise
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1618023 - 02/12/11 03:44 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3788
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Welcome back, Mark!

We feared you permanently lost in the dark depths of dealership devilry. smile

-J
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Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#1618024 - 02/12/11 03:46 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19777
Loc: New York
Do you BELIEVE what's going on there????
I'm dumbfounded. (<< I know that almost everyone would agree with at least the first half of that sentence.) ha

And it all started because I just said "he never really said what his deal was......"
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1618025 - 02/12/11 03:49 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3788
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Yes, crazy!

btw, I know Russell; he sold me my Estonia last year. Super sharp and knowledgeable; I would *not* want to be on the other end of a written battle of wits with him. smile

-J
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Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#1618026 - 02/12/11 03:51 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1489
Rach 3
Beethoven op. 111

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#1618027 - 02/12/11 03:53 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19777
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Yes, crazy!....

So......what's the greatest piece of all time?
(If you can't think of anything, maybe just say "Chopin's A-flat Polonaise.") ha
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1618028 - 02/12/11 03:55 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Percival Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/11
Posts: 66
Loc: United Kingdom
I think Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony is up there.
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#1618031 - 02/12/11 04:00 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Percival]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19777
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Percival
I think Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony is up there.

What do you think of that little theme for a couple of seconds at 3:02 in this other Chopin polonaise? smile

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

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#1618032 - 02/12/11 04:01 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Mark_C]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3788
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Yes, crazy!....

So......what's the greatest piece of all time?
(If you can't think of anything, maybe just say "Chopin's A-flat Polonaise.) ha

Right, back on topic...

I've always said that the Große Fuge is the greatest. I don't know if I still believe it though, and it would take a lot of work to come up with a current honest answer.

So... I guess I can say the Chopin Ab Polonaise. smile

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

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#1618033 - 02/12/11 04:03 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19777
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: beet31425
.......So... I guess I can say the Chopin Ab Polonaise. smile

Nah, I changed my mind.
It's Chopin's "Introduction and Polonaise for Cello and Piano." smile
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1618039 - 02/12/11 04:32 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Mark_C]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Percival
I think Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony is up there.

What do you think of that little theme for a couple of seconds at 3:02 in this other Chopin polonaise? smile



You know James Kreger, Mark, or is this just a random selection?
_________________________

"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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#1618150 - 02/12/11 10:14 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
carey Offline
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Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6343
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Mass in B minor - hands down !!!

followed by Mozart's "Jupiter" and Beethoven's "Fifth."
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#1618169 - 02/12/11 11:00 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
Kreger, what beautiful cellist!!! I am sorry to say that I had not heard of him before.. No too many recordings either.. What is his story?

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#1618210 - 02/12/11 11:38 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Geez, what a difficult question! I definitely cannot say what is the greatest, but I can name off my favorites in some genres.

With piano, I really like Liszt's B Minor Sonata. With concerti, I really like Busoni's Piano Concerto. With symphonies, I like Mahler's 8th. With piano duet, I'm really into Schubert's Fantasie in F Minor Op. 103.

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#1618238 - 02/12/11 12:18 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1299
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
There's only 2 kinds of music, music before Beethoven's 3rd symphony and music after the 3rd symphony.

Beethoven took an artform which was mainly reserved for the aristocracy and gave it to the people.
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#1618243 - 02/12/11 12:26 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Orange Soda King]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19348
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
With symphonies, I like Mahler's 8th.
I heard a rehearsal of this symphiny conducted by James Levine. When it got to the place where the chorus sings acappela and very softly he said he thought it was one of th greatest moments in music.

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#1618255 - 02/12/11 12:44 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
That is an impossible, impossible question. I can't even attempt to answer it, it's impossible.

But, at the end of the day, it would probably be something Bach.. hahahah..
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#1618259 - 02/12/11 12:49 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Pogorelich.]
Orange Soda King Offline
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Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.

But, at the end of the day, it would probably be something Bach.. hahahah..


St. Matthew's Passion? laugh

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#1618264 - 02/12/11 12:58 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
jdhampton924 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1009
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
Oh boy, for me that piece is the "Emperor" Concerto from Beethoven

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#1618277 - 02/12/11 01:15 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
hat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/09
Posts: 244
Loc: In a heap of trouble
4'33. Obviously.
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Repertoire
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#1618291 - 02/12/11 01:35 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Bach's Chaconne is definitely one of the greatest of all time.
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All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

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#1618297 - 02/12/11 01:38 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6148
Loc: St. Louis area
No contest. Sonata in Bm - Liszt.

Click to reveal.. (MPAA=PG)
or Jessica Alba
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It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#1618322 - 02/12/11 02:09 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Amant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/07
Posts: 310
Loc: Southwest
Originally Posted By: Skorpius
Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time - If you had to choose, what would it be?


In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida!!!

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#1618393 - 02/12/11 04:08 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
cast12 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 219
Here are my contenders for the greatest piece of all time:

Polonaise Op. 53 "Heroic" - Chopin
Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 - Chopin
Ballade No. 4 Op. 52 - Chopin
Barcarolle Op. 60 - Chopin
Scherzo No. 2 Op. 31 - Chopin
Sonata No. 3 Op. 58 - Chopin

If I had to pick just one of these, I'd go with the Ballade No. 4 Op. 52.

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#1618402 - 02/12/11 04:23 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Fortepianoization Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/12/11
Posts: 10
Loc: Fl
I go for:
Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2
The Grand Galop Chromatique
Chopin op10 no4
Flight of the bumblebee(Cziffra)
Moonlight Sonata movement 3

If it had to be only one of them, I would choose:
As a crowd pleaser: Flight
As a showy: Grand Galop
As a techinical marvel: Chopin op10 no4
As musicality: Hungarian Rhapsody no2
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#1618405 - 02/12/11 04:27 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: stores]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19777
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: stores
You know James Kreger, Mark, or is this just a random selection?

Random. I linked to this performance that I found because it's awesome.

BTW.....I didn't even check to see if Kreger is the pianist or the cellist.

Wanna tell us about him?
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1618408 - 02/12/11 04:30 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: cast12]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19777
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: cast12
Here are my contenders for the greatest piece of all time:

Polonaise Op. 53 "Heroic" - Chopin.....

Go no further! ha
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1618409 - 02/12/11 04:31 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Mark_C]
cast12 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 219
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: cast12
Here are my contenders for the greatest piece of all time:

Polonaise Op. 53 "Heroic" - Chopin.....


Go no further! ha


The Heroic Polonaise would be my runner-up.

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#1618412 - 02/12/11 04:36 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Pogorelich.]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
That is an impossible, impossible question. I can't even attempt to answer it, it's impossible.

But, at the end of the day, it would probably be something Bach.. hahahah..



I think I love you heart
_________________________

"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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#1618417 - 02/12/11 04:44 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: hat]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: hat
4'33. Obviously.

Good one.
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#1618432 - 02/12/11 05:10 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: pianoloverus]
Toastburn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/10
Posts: 221
Loc: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
With symphonies, I like Mahler's 8th.
I heard a rehearsal of this symphiny conducted by James Levine. When it got to the place where the chorus sings acappela and very softly he said he thought it was one of th greatest moments in music.


I agree. Some performances really give me that spine-tingling feeling / raise the hairs-on-your-neck-and goosebumps-all-over when the choirs enter pp singing "Alles Vergangliche..." and then it all just gets better and better up to the final fff passages with everybody singing their lungs out, the orchestra thundering away and to top it all off the extra brass choir sounding out the theme over everything else. Did you know the score includes a piano part as well as parts for organ, celeste, and harmonium? Although the organ part is fairly unexciting I've always wanted to be the organist for a performance. I sang in the choir years ago for a performance in Adelaide under Henry Krips and can still remember the bass part throughout. Has the version under James Levine been recorded and issued? THe Haitink version is my yardstick. We could have a whole thread on the 8th but this is a piano site after all so it would be a bit off-focus.
_________________________
A perennially hopeful amateur!
Pianos: Boston GP178, Lipp 1899 upright
Currently attempting: Bach: WTC I/1,5;II/12; Chopin Polonaise in A; Etude 10/5; Brahms Op 118 No 2 Intermezzo in D; Scarlatti Sonata L23.

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#1618471 - 02/12/11 05:48 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6101
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I just cannot make up my mind right now. There is so much music I love...
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Music is my best friend.


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#1618584 - 02/12/11 08:53 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Amant]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Come on guys , it's OBVIOUSLY Justin Bieber "Baby"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kffacxfA7G4
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#1618585 - 02/12/11 08:56 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Dustin Sanders]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Come on guys , it's OBVIOUSLY Justin Bieber "Baby"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kffacxfA7G4



This is even "better" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxUey1tSqJg

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#1618606 - 02/12/11 09:42 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
antony Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/07
Posts: 396
Loc: Portland, OR
Some contenders:
Chopin: Barcarolle, polonaise fantasie
Beethoven: 3rd symphony, waldstein sonata
Bach:mass b minor, Goldberg's, brandenburgs
Mozart:Figaro, don Giovanni , k330, symph. 39 40 41 36 29
Mend: Octet
Vivaldi: 4 seasons


This is impossible!

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#1618612 - 02/12/11 10:04 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8888
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
No, it's this:



Don't laugh. The trio is one of the most magnificent tunes ever written, and even such a master as Mahler never matched that exquisitely expert orchestration.

Elgar's vision summed up a whole period in time, and like Mahler, his music is very pertinent to us today.
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Jason

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#1618616 - 02/12/11 10:22 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: argerichfan]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
No, it's this:



Don't laugh. The trio is one of the most magnificent tunes ever written, and even such a master as Mahler never matched that exquisitely expert orchestration.

Elgar's vision summed up a whole period in time, and like Mahler, his music is very pertinent to us today.


Ummm...yeah.
_________________________

"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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#1618623 - 02/12/11 10:43 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Brandon_W_T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 1940
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
BACH PASSACAGLIA IN C MINOR

period.
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#1618628 - 02/12/11 11:10 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: stores]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8888
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: stores

Ummm...yeah.

Understood. The tune has too many 'graduation' associations for it to be taken seriously in the US.

Elgar has always suffered from the usual suspect British stigma. Empire, mauve decade, self-congratulation, Mahler without the comfortably obvious complications. So hypocritical. The British Empire (which, IMO has little to do with Elgar) even at its height was no match for America's awesome and unforgiving power.

Whatever happens in Egypt, America will make certain that the outcome is to her advantage, screw whatever the people of Egypt want. It's all on Fox News, don't blame me, okay?
_________________________
Jason

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#1618636 - 02/12/11 11:28 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
Goodness, Jason.. Can't blame Yankeehood for that one. Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance is fine. But it is no Mozart Requiem or any such.
As for the people of Egypt, well wish them luck.. They will need it. They are likely moving from one dictatorship to another, America or Her Majesty non-withstanding..

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#1618717 - 02/13/11 04:25 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Mark_C]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: stores
You know James Kreger, Mark, or is this just a random selection?

Random. I linked to this performance that I found because it's awesome.

BTW.....I didn't even check to see if Kreger is the pianist or the cellist.

Wanna tell us about him?


Someone that I know. There's plenty of info to be found about him. I just thought you might've either known or known of him as he's quite a devoted Scriabinist.
_________________________

"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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#1618763 - 02/13/11 07:17 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: argerichfan]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
No, it's this:



Don't laugh. The trio is one of the most magnificent tunes ever written, and even such a master as Mahler never matched that exquisitely expert orchestration.

Elgar's vision summed up a whole period in time, and like Mahler, his music is very pertinent to us today.


I actually regard Elgar as one of the greatest composers of all.
Serenade for strings and sospiri are amazing, and of course the cello concerto!
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#1618792 - 02/13/11 08:05 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
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#1619113 - 02/13/11 03:52 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: stores]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: stores
[about Kreger] Someone that I know. There's plenty of info to be found about him. I just thought you might've either known or known of him as he's quite a devoted Scriabinist.

Interesting -- because we 'might' think of a Scriabinist as someone who like fuzzy stuff and maybe even has a preference for fuzzing things up -- but that performance of the Chopin is sharp as a tack.
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#1619115 - 02/13/11 03:55 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
ChopinAddict Offline
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I feel like selecting the Pathetique or the Appassionata right now.
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#1619130 - 02/13/11 04:08 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Gerard12 Offline
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It changes, but today I vote for the Brahms' German Requiem.
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#1619133 - 02/13/11 04:13 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
ChopinAddict Offline
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Or Mozart's Requiem or even Allegri's Miserere (Mozart wrote it down after hearing it only once at the age of 12)...
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#1619171 - 02/13/11 04:54 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: ChopinAddict]
TheHappyMoron Offline
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Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Allegri's Miserere


That piece is wonderful!!
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#1619436 - 02/13/11 11:42 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: stores]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
That is an impossible, impossible question. I can't even attempt to answer it, it's impossible.

But, at the end of the day, it would probably be something Bach.. hahahah..



I think I love you heart


Ahahahha.. don't blame me, I've had certain influence lately.
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#1619489 - 02/14/11 02:05 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Toastburn Offline
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Chopsticks.
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#1619562 - 02/14/11 07:25 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Emphursis1 Offline
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Part of me really wants to say 'Hot Cross Buns'
Seriously though, umm, it varies, if I really had to pick, it'd possibly be the Hammerklavier Sonata. Or Chopin's Ballade in G Minor
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#1619565 - 02/14/11 07:31 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Percival Offline
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Originally Posted By: TheCannibalHaddock
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Allegri's Miserere


That piece is wonderful!!


Yes, good choice.
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#1619571 - 02/14/11 07:40 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
alexb Offline
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The greatest composition would have to either be Bach (non-piano) or Beethoven (piano). Simple as that. All else is subjective greatness.

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#1619609 - 02/14/11 08:39 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: alexb]
Orange Soda King Offline
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Originally Posted By: alexb
or Beethoven (piano)


YES, someone who finally agrees with me on liking Beethoven's piano music more than his orchestral music... His chamber music is spectacular, too!

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#1619683 - 02/14/11 11:05 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: alexb]
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted By: alexb
The greatest composition would have to either be Bach (non-piano) or Beethoven (piano). Simple as that. All else is subjective greatness.


Really? And there's nothing subjective about this?
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#1619691 - 02/14/11 11:10 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Orange Soda King]
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King


YES, someone who finally agrees with me on liking Beethoven's piano music more than his orchestral music... His chamber music is spectacular, too!


Some of Beethoven's "great" piano music is more orchestral in concept than pianistic, as though the piano were limiting his expression or were insufficient to what he wants to convey. That's why, in some instances, his orchestral music can be a more satisfying listening experience than his piano music.

Sort of reminds me of a line from a Joyce Grenfell monologue, called "Artists Room" :

"I just like to sit back and let the music pour over me. I guess that's what I don't like about Beethoven. I mean, he just doesn't "pour," does he?"

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#1619703 - 02/14/11 11:18 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Orange Soda King]
beet31425 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: alexb
or Beethoven (piano)


YES, someone who finally agrees with me on liking Beethoven's piano music more than his orchestral music... His chamber music is spectacular, too!


I'm not sure that alexb really made as strong a statement as you want him to have. smile

Anyway, fwiw, there was a long time when I loved Beethoven's piano and chamber music, and only liked the symphonies. They were good, but, I felt, they often seemed bloated and anemic, missing some essential vitality.

Then I heard Roger Norrington's 1989 recordings on period instruments, and everything changed. I heard the intensity of the inner voices. I finally understood how this was the same man who wrote all the piano music I loved.

The Norrington recordings have some faults, and I think some of the tempi in the 9th are terrible, but overall, they might open your eyes. They did mine!

-Jason
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#1619709 - 02/14/11 11:30 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: beet31425]
argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted By: beet31425

The Norrington recordings have some faults, and I think some of the tempi in the 9th are terrible...

and I thought his tempo for the finale of the 5th far too hectic for my taste. It sort of trivialized it. Oh well, at least he took the repeat.
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#1619718 - 02/14/11 11:37 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: argerichfan]
beet31425 Offline
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: beet31425

The Norrington recordings have some faults, and I think some of the tempi in the 9th are terrible...

and I thought his tempo for the finale of the 5th far too hectic for my taste. It sort of trivialized it. Oh well, at least he took the repeat.

Fair enough; I thought the same for the finale of the 7th.

But the ones he gets right-- and I still claim there are a whole bunch of them-- are devastatingly good in their ferocious precision and sheer brio. No? smile

-J
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#1619747 - 02/14/11 12:13 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: beet31425]
argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted By: beet31425

But the ones he gets right-- and I still claim there are a whole bunch of them-- are devastatingly good in their ferocious precision and sheer brio. No? smile

Oh definitely. Though sometimes I like my Beethoven with Furtwänglerian/Klempererian gravity.

BTW, Klemperer's Missa Solemnis is quite an experience, one that I can't confront too frequently. (And also I'm sure you know his Mahler 2, one of the great recordings of that symphony.)
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#1619763 - 02/14/11 12:31 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Orange Soda King Offline
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Thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to give these a listen.

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#1620009 - 02/14/11 06:33 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
dolce sfogato Offline
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As most of the greatest music ever written is, alas, not for piano, what is the point mentioning Bach's Mass, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Wagner's Tristan and Ring, Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe, Debussy's La Mer, Berlioz's Les Troyens, Verdi's Othello, and so many other unforgettable masterpieces, i could go on for quite a while, and therefore shall not..
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#1620019 - 02/14/11 06:45 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: dolce sfogato]
beet31425 Offline
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Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
As most of the greatest music ever written is, alas, not for piano...

I agree with that statement. Not because the piano is particularly incapable of supporting great music, but rather, just because only a fraction of classical music is written for it, and so you'd expect a corresponding fraction of the "greatest pieces of all time" to be written for it.

-J
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#1620025 - 02/14/11 06:49 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
dolce sfogato Offline
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smile
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#1628299 - 02/26/11 01:57 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Karl Pilkington Offline
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Linus and Lucy by Vince Guaraldi...

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#1628311 - 02/26/11 02:21 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
jeffreyjones Offline
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Solo piano - Beethoven: 33 Variations on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli, Op. 120
Concerto w/piano - Mozart: Concerto No. 9 "Jeunehomme" K. 271
Chamber w/piano - Shostakovich: Quintet, Op. 57

All pieces of towering quality and inspiration..

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#1628326 - 02/26/11 04:14 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
pjang23 Offline
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My favorite piece of all time: Link Link 2

If only it were performed more. frown
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#1628392 - 02/26/11 08:51 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
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Beethovens moonlight sonata 3rd movement

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#1628411 - 02/26/11 09:54 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Karl Pilkington]
Orange Soda King Offline
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Originally Posted By: Karl Pilkington
Linus and Lucy by Vince Guaraldi...


I may have to agree. laugh

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#1628628 - 02/26/11 03:38 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
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the hammerklavier





warning, if you watch in HD, your mind will be blown
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#1628715 - 02/26/11 05:21 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
polyphasicpianist Offline
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Originally Posted By: Skorpius
If you had to choose, what would it be?


Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 29 Op. 106 "The Hammerklavier"

Why: Simply because I have never heard any pianist who can tame that piece without killing it. Most pianists who play it keep a safe distance. Schnabel is the only pianist I have ever heard who was brave enough to tackle the piece head on, and even he did not fair so well. Gieseking comes in a close second.



P.S. Valentina Lisitsa does an admirable job but when you listen to Schnabel's tempo you will see what I mean by playing it safe.


Edited by polyphasicpianist (02/26/11 05:25 PM)

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#1628909 - 02/27/11 12:15 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: polyphasicpianist]
jeffreyjones Offline
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Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist
Originally Posted By: Skorpius
If you had to choose, what would it be?


Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 29 Op. 106 "The Hammerklavier"

Why: Simply because I have never heard any pianist who can tame that piece without killing it. Most pianists who play it keep a safe distance. Schnabel is the only pianist I have ever heard who was brave enough to tackle the piece head on, and even he did not fair so well. Gieseking comes in a close second.


I played it for PW's Beethoven recital. I think that what really kills it is trying to play it too fast. There's a lot of wonderful music blowing by if you don't take the time to bring it out. However, I think the Adagio is usually played too slowly and deprived of its melodic flow.

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#1628928 - 02/27/11 01:08 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: jeffreyjones]
polyphasicpianist Offline
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Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones


I played it for PW's Beethoven recital. I think that what really kills it is trying to play it too fast. There's a lot of wonderful music blowing by if you don't take the time to bring it out. However, I think the Adagio is usually played too slowly and deprived of its melodic flow.


Beethoven's tempo indications are quite clear: half notes = 138. Personally I have never found the notion that 'playing this piece too fast ruins it musically' is altogether valid. Take for instance Anton Kuerti's recording of it. In the liner notes he makes the same argument that the fast tempo Beethoven marked "makes it impossible to hear the magnificent details." But in the liner notes to one of Beethoven's other Sonata's (I can't remember which one) Anton Kuerti clearly states that the performer should always obey the composers intentions (or maybe it was Steven Kovacevich who said that - I can't remember). Brendel is the same way, one moment he's all about obeying the composer completley and then he records this sonata and plays it at a slower tempo than Beethoven wanted. My point is, pianist's tend to pick and choose which rules they consider valid. That's why anytime I hear a pianist say that they didn't play this piece at the required tempo, for such and such reason, I am suspicious. Do they really believe that? Or are they just not up for the challenge and want to play it safe? @ Jeffreyjones, I mean no disrespect by this post, I admire anyone who is even willing to learn this monster of piece and you are entitled to your opinion. But for guys like Kuerti, Kovacevich, Brendel, etc. who play the biggest venues and get the most respect, there is no excuse to cut corners. Either you can handle the piece as written or you can't. I would prefer a pianist to say, the piece is impossible as written rather then give a substandard interpretation that contradicts their own philosophy regarding music. Because when they do this the music comes across as insincere.

I wouldn't disagree with the fact that when people try and play this piece at the required tempo it typically has disastrous effects musically, but that is why I so admire Schnabel and Gieseking's recordings. They tried to tame this beast of a sonata. Whether or not they succeeded is another matter altogether.

P.S. I didn't mean to be so hard on Kuerti, he is actually one of my favorite Beethoven interpreters. But when it comes to No. 29 Op. 106 I think he is playing it safe. As Schnabel says: "Safety last."


Edited by polyphasicpianist (02/27/11 01:11 AM)

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#1628932 - 02/27/11 01:17 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
jeffreyjones Offline
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And you'll see conductors trying to take the "Eroica" at the MM markings that Beethoven worked out a decade after writing it, crashing it out on his piano to get an idea. Respecting Beethoven's intent is not the same thing as obeying his numbers. There are a lot of fine details in the first movement of Op. 106 that will never come out at high speed.

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#1628963 - 02/27/11 02:33 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: jeffreyjones]
polyphasicpianist Offline
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Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
And you'll see conductors trying to take the "Eroica" at the MM markings that Beethoven worked out a decade after writing it, crashing it out on his piano to get an idea. Respecting Beethoven's intent is not the same thing as obeying his numbers. There are a lot of fine details in the first movement of Op. 106 that will never come out at high speed.


I would say, respecting Beethoven's intent is obeying his numbers. You can't obey someone by disobeying them. That doesn't make any sense.

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#1629043 - 02/27/11 07:15 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: jeffreyjones]
stores Offline
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Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
And you'll see conductors trying to take the "Eroica" at the MM markings that Beethoven worked out a decade after writing it, crashing it out on his piano to get an idea. Respecting Beethoven's intent is not the same thing as obeying his numbers. There are a lot of fine details in the first movement of Op. 106 that will never come out at high speed.


Jeffrey, is absolutely correct here. Much of what Beethoven originally marked with the metronome is "out of range" and he knew it. His frustration WITH the metronome, in fact, lead him to not bother with marking metronomic indications after a certain point. He never really understood exactly how to use it and I'm sure this was related to his terrible mathematical skills. I may be the most staunch member here in regard to respecting composer intent and Beethoven is truly one of my heroes, but the metronomic numbers he left us are to be taken with much caution.
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#1629244 - 02/27/11 01:22 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: stores]
polyphasicpianist Offline
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Originally Posted By: stores

Jeffrey, is absolutely correct here. Much of what Beethoven originally marked with the metronome is "out of range" and he knew it. His frustration WITH the metronome, in fact, lead him to not bother with marking metronomic indications after a certain point. He never really understood exactly how to use it and I'm sure this was related to his terrible mathematical skills. I may be the most staunch member here in regard to respecting composer intent and Beethoven is truly one of my heroes, but the metronomic numbers he left us are to be taken with much caution.


Pure conjecture. Sorry if I sound rude (it's not my intent), but this really seems like pianists are making excuses not to play it at the proper tempo. Schnabel clearly felt it was important, and he lived and breathed nothing but Beethoven. It was his one consuming musical obsession (or so I am told). Also, I really don't think people who make the argument that Stores is putting forth are giving Beethoven enough credit. To say the man who composed some of the most important musical works of all time simply did not understand the workings of tempo is just absurd. Even if it was the case that he did not understand how to work the metronome, he still would have had a basic understanding of tempo. For instance, are you telling me that the same man who wrote the 9th symphony could not grasp the concept that a clock ticks 60 times a minute, and if you double that you get 120. He knew perfectly well how fast half notes at 132bpm were.

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#1629252 - 02/27/11 01:35 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: polyphasicpianist]
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist
[...] .... the concept that a clock ticks 60 times a minute, and if you double that you get 120. He knew perfectly well how fast half notes at 132bpm were.


Do you mean to say that " ... if a clock ticks 60 times a minute"?

I have three antique clocks, all of which keep near-perfect time and none of them beats at 60 bpm. They range from 48 bpm to 72 bpm. I certainly wouldn't assume that any mechanical clock necessarily beats at 60 bpm.

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#1629260 - 02/27/11 01:45 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: polyphasicpianist]
beet31425 Offline
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Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist
Pure conjecture. Sorry if I sound rude (it's not my intent), but this really seems like pianists are making excuses not to play it at the proper tempo....

It's not that you sound rude so much as unnecessarily rigid. It's important to honor a composer's intentions, but it's also important to have some freedom of interpretation. That's why most pianists don't honor metronome markings with the same rigidity that they do, say, the notated pitches of the piece. After all, if the only way to honor the composer's intentions was to play at the exact metronome marking specified, then everyone would be playing at the exact same tempo! That's pretty absurd to me.

If this seems inconsistent to you, I think you're grasping at consistency too feverishly, at the cost of musicality!

-Jason
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#1629268 - 02/27/11 01:54 PM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: polyphasicpianist]
stores Offline
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Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist
Originally Posted By: stores

Jeffrey, is absolutely correct here. Much of what Beethoven originally marked with the metronome is "out of range" and he knew it. His frustration WITH the metronome, in fact, lead him to not bother with marking metronomic indications after a certain point. He never really understood exactly how to use it and I'm sure this was related to his terrible mathematical skills. I may be the most staunch member here in regard to respecting composer intent and Beethoven is truly one of my heroes, but the metronomic numbers he left us are to be taken with much caution.


Pure conjecture. Sorry if I sound rude (it's not my intent), but this really seems like pianists are making excuses not to play it at the proper tempo. Schnabel clearly felt it was important, and he lived and breathed nothing but Beethoven. It was his one consuming musical obsession (or so I am told). Also, I really don't think people who make the argument that Stores is putting forth are giving Beethoven enough credit. To say the man who composed some of the most important musical works of all time simply did not understand the workings of tempo is just absurd. Even if it was the case that he did not understand how to work the metronome, he still would have had a basic understanding of tempo. For instance, are you telling me that the same man who wrote the 9th symphony could not grasp the concept that a clock ticks 60 times a minute, and if you double that you get 120. He knew perfectly well how fast half notes at 132bpm were.


Which part is pure conjecture? Did I say that Beethoven didn't understand tempo? No. I said he didn't understand correctly the usage of the metronome. His frustrations with it are well documented as are his mathematical shortcomings. You might want to do a little homework.
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#1629674 - 02/28/11 01:00 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: stores]
polyphasicpianist Offline
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Originally Posted By: stores
Much of what Beethoven originally marked with the metronome is "out of range" and he knew it. His frustration WITH the metronome, in fact, lead him to not bother with marking metronomic indications after a certain point. He never really understood exactly how to use it and I'm sure this was related to his terrible mathematical skills.


Originally Posted By: stores

Which part is pure conjecture? Did I say that Beethoven didn't understand tempo? No. I said he didn't understand correctly the usage of the metronome. His frustrations with it are well documented as are his mathematical shortcomings. You might want to do a little homework.


Let my try and get this clear:
You are trying to convince me that his tempo marking of half notes=132 is wrong. Why? You claim it is because he could not work a metronome on account of his bad math skills.
-I find it hard to beleive that Beethoven was so bad at math that he could not work this Maelzel metronome.


This is same type of metronome Beethoven would have used.

Nevertheless, if you still want to persist in this myth that his math was so bad that he could not grasp the basic working of a metronome, and that "he knew" his tempo indications were out of range, then I would be more than willing to "do my homework" as you say. Tell me what biography or scholarly article makes this assertion and I would be more than willing to seek it out, and report back here what I find. I have no problem admitting I am wrong, but you have not given me sufficient reason to think so. The burden of proof belongs to you.

I don't necessarily doubt that Beethoven was bad at math, perhaps he was. But so bad that he could not work a simple metronome. Surely you can understand why this is such a hard pill for me to swallow.


Edited by polyphasicpianist (02/28/11 01:21 AM)

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#1629685 - 02/28/11 01:49 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: polyphasicpianist]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3788
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist
Tell me what biography or scholarly article makes this assertion and I would be more than willing to seek it out, and report back here what I find. I have no problem admitting I am wrong, but you have not given me sufficient reason to think so.

Read the chapter called "Tempo", especially the subsection "'Tempi Ordinarii' and the Metronome", from pianist and scholar Charles Rosen's book Beethoven's Piano Sonatas for a better perspective. He also talks specifically about op.106's metronome markings later on, when he discusses that sonata.

But anyway, as I indicated above, I think the specifics of Beethoven's relationship with his metronome are beside the point. Many composers since Beethoven have given metronome markings. It's not the case that we have to follow them exactly; otherwise, everyone would play a given piece at exactly the same speed.

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

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#1630406 - 03/01/11 02:52 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: beet31425]
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Read the chapter called "Tempo", especially the subsection "'Tempi Ordinarii' and the Metronome", from pianist and scholar Charles Rosen's book Beethoven's Piano Sonatas for a better perspective. He also talks specifically about op.106's metronome markings later on, when he discusses that sonata.


I am on it, thanks. Give me about a week, and I will report back my findings here.

Originally Posted By: 31425

But anyway, as I indicated above, I think the specifics of Beethoven's relationship with his metronome are beside the point. Many composers since Beethoven have given metronome markings. It's not the case that we have to follow them exactly; otherwise, everyone would play a given piece at exactly the same speed.


To be quite I honest I perfectly agree with this statement. My problem is only with those pianists who argue for the most literally accurate interpretation and then contradict themselves by ignoring what (to me at any rate) seems to be the composer's obvious intention.

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#1630494 - 03/01/11 07:58 AM Re: The Greatest Piece of All Time [Re: Skorpius]
Alojolo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Spain
I have loads of favorite works, but right now I will say Rach 3.

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