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#1624040 - 02/20/11 03:01 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: sophial]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19647
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: sophial
Jason, I gotta call you out on this one. You know how much I think of Argerich-- I adore her playing but there is no way that I would place her musicianship above Horowitz'. Horowitz went deeply into the music he played and studied it very carefully. His interpretations were not simply technical showcases or fits of capriciousness but based on a deep understanding of the music he was playing. Plus I agree with Mark about the problems inherent in this type of comparison but if it's about going there, I give the nod to H.

Actually I can see (I think) where Jason was coming from. For example, I think most non-pianist musicians would say that Argerich was a "greater musician" than Horowitz, if they had to give an answer, although frankly I think most of them would feel neither one was a particularly great musician. ha

"Musicianship" is a funny thing. On one hand, there are objective aspects to it, but on the other, it's very subjective. What is it? Which aspects are more important than others? How much leeway is there for different kinds of approaches? How much do we count "originality" and "uniqueness"? Or maybe, are those things negatives rather than positives, because of how they may violate usual musical expectations and even usual musical principles? How much does it count against "musicianship" if the person sometimes gets carried away with his/her impulsiveness and 'personality' into (arguably) messy ugliness? When it comes to people like Horowitz and Argerich I think they create their own thing to an extent that talking about degrees of "musicianship" sort of misses the point, and, as I said before, sort of insults both of them.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1624048 - 02/20/11 03:35 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Mark_C]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3712
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I'm finding myself surprised at a number of statements here from valued forum members.

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
IMO there is no possible case for [Horowitz] being a greater musician than Argerich.
It's totally reasonable to think Argerich the greater musician, but I think it's totally unreasonable to think there's no "possible case" for the reverse. I happen to think Bach is greater than Mozart, but I'd never say there's just no possible argument for Mozart's superiority. We're talking about taste and opinion among the giants.


And:
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
For example, I think most non-pianist musicians would say that Argerich was a "greater musician" than Horowitz, if they had to give an answer, although frankly I think most of them would feel neither one was a particularly great musician. ha
I think you're being unfair to our non-pianist friends-- surely they would understand the artistry and musicianship of the great pianists even if they don't themselves play. At the same time, you're being far too indulgent towards our non-pianist friends-- if they don't appreciate the musicianship of the great pianists just because they don't play, this should count significantly against them. It shouldn't be "OK"; it should call their own musical judgment severely into question-- no?

I've been as universal as I know how-- I love Mahler and Wagner and plenty of non-piano music. And I expect the same courtesy from our non-piano musicians. I expect them to love Beethoven sonatas, and I even expect the violinists to understand that Paganini was no Chopin.

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

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#1624049 - 02/20/11 03:38 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19647
Loc: New York
It's not "discourtesy" on their part; it's different ideas of "musicianship."

I think a lot of what both Horowitz and Argerich do, musically, is stuff that is idiosyncratic to the piano and which arises from the piano -- and those kinds of things often are just not included in non-pianists' ideas of musicianship.

And.....a little off the subject, but.....I think it's also why many of them don't rank Chopin very high as a composer. It is often put in terms of his having composed little music other than for piano, and therefore lacking breadth -- but I think it's also this other thing: not appreciating those aspects of musicianship that arise from and are idiosyncratic to the piano.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1624070 - 02/20/11 05:03 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: argerichfan]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I have to say I find Argerich's octaves more impressive than Horowitz's.

They actually are, and in some respects she is a lot more sophisticated and intelligent musician than Horowitz. She certainly has more respect for the printed note, and has shown us that it always works as advertised.

Nevermind that Liszt always played free, that was back then. Like Liszt, Horowitz was just too technically rich to behave himself. But Argerich simply does not see it this way.



Lol, you know you wern't gonna get me on board with the rest of that message ;-). One of the things I love about Horowitz was his willingness to play with things.

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#1624086 - 02/20/11 06:17 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: PaulaPiano34]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: chobeethaninov
I've heard Horowitz drop a thumb or a pinky here and there in octaves (not that it really matters, but I'm just saying).


Really? You've got damned good ears then.
_________________________

"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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#1624088 - 02/20/11 06:29 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: argerichfan]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
there is no possible case for him being a greater musician than Argerich.



I've gotta tell ya...I've seen some homers in my life, but you, my friend, are pretty darned close to the top of the slappy pile. This is really one of the more thoughtless comments I've seen around here and I say so because you're a smart guy who knows better than to say something so inane. I don't care if you think she's the greater musician, but to say "there is no possible case for..." any other possibility is simply ridiculous and you know it.
_________________________

"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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#1624089 - 02/20/11 06:35 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: argerichfan]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I have to say I find Argerich's octaves more impressive than Horowitz's.

They actually are



Here's another...to say "they actually are", implies that it's some sort of fact. Well, in your mind I'm sure that's the case, but then I'm sure in your mind she can do no wrong and does it (whatever it may be) better than anyone past, present, or future.
_________________________

"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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#1624103 - 02/20/11 07:37 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: stores]
JustAnotherPianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 798
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I have to say I find Argerich's octaves more impressive than Horowitz's.

They actually are



Here's another...to say "they actually are", implies that it's some sort of fact. Well, in your mind I'm sure that's the case, but then I'm sure in your mind she can do no wrong and does it (whatever it may be) better than anyone past, present, or future.



I have to agree with Stores here.

To me, the octaves of Horowitz in the Tchaik clip sound infinitely more electric and powerful than those of the other 15 pianists.

As for musicianship, I don't think anyone could make a serious case for Argerich being a 'superior' musician (whatever that means anyway).

IMO, no pianist has had a bigger impact on piano playing, audiences, and musical culture in general than Horowitz.

While he doesn't get everything 100% right for 100% of the people 100% of the time (who the heck does anyway?), I find his playing in many instances unrivaled and unsurpassed.

I think you folks who think Argerich's octaves in the Tchaik are better than da HO's just like hers because she plonks the pedal down.... so you all think they sound more 'impressive'.

Well in that case, Lang Lang can be more 'technically impressive' than Josef Lhevinne....

yeah right.

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#1624105 - 02/20/11 07:46 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: JustAnotherPianist]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
I think you're slightly guilty of the attitude you're criticising there.

I personally prefer Horowitz's octaves in the Hungarian Rhapsody, Argerich's in Funerailles, and funnily enough my favourite for the Tchaikovsky is Sergio Tiempo.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2svEIKd5x8

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#1624114 - 02/20/11 08:04 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Bech]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
I think they are both brilliant pianists with many idiosyncrasies. It would not be surprising at all that audience, and particularly pianists, would favor one or the other. It does not diminish either. As for musicianship, a word whose definition varies widely (see JAP above, identifying it with "influence"), a case can easily be made for both artists. In my opinion however, Argerich's breadth of repertoire, particularly in chamber music, offers substantial support for superlative musicianship.. In my opinion and experience, many pianists are barely aware of the treasures of chamber music she has played and/ or recorded. As to whose octaves you prefer, I personally do not find octave playing to be the pinnacle of musicianship.. It is a technical feat that is best appreciated in context of what the pianist has to say overall about a particular piece.

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#1624115 - 02/20/11 08:06 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Bech]
JustAnotherPianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 798
Loc: United Kingdom
lol I don't think so at all. Argerich can CERTAINLY play octaves with great control, speed, and accuracy.

Sergio Tiempo is not on the same level as Argerich. And he gots NOTHING on da Ho. Behold his suckage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6eVaTBdP7M

da HO people. come on. Have some respect. Who else could pull his Waldstein coda octave 'glissando'? Have any of you ever tried to do that at the piano? It's impossible!

Not for da HO.

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#1624140 - 02/20/11 08:42 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Bech]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i vote for OSK, with Argerich a close second.

Horowitz is awesome at many things. I don't know that octaves are his forte.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1624143 - 02/20/11 08:42 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Bech]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
I didn't say I prefered Tiempo to Argerich or Horowitz full stop, I said I prefered his tchaikovsky octaves.

I've seen a number of students accomplish the octave glissandi in the Waldstein perfectly well, its difficult but not impossible.

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#1624148 - 02/20/11 08:45 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Bech]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8819
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
'Tis fun to stir up the pot occasionally if only to make sure folks here are alive and kicking. laugh

Few people are as much in awe of Horowitz as I am, but sometimes I can't resist being a bit wicked. (And yes, I have heard Sergio Tiempo... no slouch, that one!)
_________________________
Jason

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#1624154 - 02/20/11 08:51 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: debrucey]
JustAnotherPianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 798
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I didn't say I prefered Tiempo to Argerich or Horowitz full stop, I said I prefered his tchaikovsky octaves.

I've seen a number of students accomplish the octave glissandi in the Waldstein perfectly well, its difficult but not impossible.


Dude, have you even HEARD the Horowitz Walstein recording?

Cause what you have written suggests you are not familiar with the recording.

Yes, the octave glissando is not too difficult to execute on a piano in good condition.

Go listen to the recording, and hopefully you will understand what I mean. He doesn't PLAY the glisando. He plays OCTAVES.

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#1624157 - 02/20/11 08:54 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Bech]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
Of course I've heard the recording. I probably listen to it about once a week.


Edited by debrucey (02/20/11 08:55 AM)

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#1624163 - 02/20/11 09:02 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Bech]
JustAnotherPianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 798
Loc: United Kingdom
And you are telling me you have seen a number of students play the octave glissandi the way Horowitz does?

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#1624177 - 02/20/11 09:35 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Bech]
JustAnotherPianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 798
Loc: United Kingdom
Please, anyone doubting that octaves were 'his forte', do yourself a favour and listen at around 6:05 in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DvTvWoBxKw&feature=related

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#1624180 - 02/20/11 09:44 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Bech]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
hello..


i was kind of kidding there.. at least tongue in cheek so to speak, justanotherpianist. All of his playing is his forte. (i love the photos of H and R in this film you linked.. so young and fresh.)
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1624185 - 02/20/11 09:51 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Bech]
JustAnotherPianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 798
Loc: United Kingdom
lol I know what you mean, apple. Still, in all my days I have not come across a Rach 3 with the same fury in that passage.

....and those are just his left hand octaves...

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#1624187 - 02/20/11 09:59 AM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Bech]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
I've never heard any part of his Rach 3! It is awesome!... the best I've heard ever.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1624385 - 02/20/11 01:45 PM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Andromaque]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19647
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Andromaque
.....In my opinion however, Argerich's breadth of repertoire, particularly in chamber music, offers substantial support for superlative musicianship.....

That's maybe as good an example as could be imagined for what I said about "musicianship" being subjective to an extent that people could not even agree on what's involved in it. IMO what you said has nothing whatsoever to do with their musicianship.

"Musicianship" to me is an inner quality, actually a set of inner qualities, that are manifested in one's playing. Unless one plays extremely little stuff or not enough of a range to show those qualities, the amount and types of repertoire that he/she plays have no bearing.

And as long as we're on the subject of collaborative repertoire, one of the most impressive things I ever came across about Horowitz's "musicianship" was his performance of the Dichterliebe with Fischer-Dieskau in the mid-'70's at a big celebration where numerous greats performed. It floored me, not because I would have doubted that he had the "musicianship" to do the music and the collaboration so well, while fully still being 'Horowitz,' but because (I assumed) he was so "out of practice" on 'accompanying' for lieder (like maybe 50 years worth), plus that his "personality" might have gotten in the way of it. And it didn't; it enhanced it.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1624493 - 02/20/11 03:33 PM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: jeffreyjones]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13759
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Horowitz was not at his best in 1983. In fact, I think that was probably the rock bottom for him. He was heavily medicated and was prone to memory lapses.


I think the people who've uploaded Horowitz's 1983 performances to YouTube should be rounded up and shot. To anthologize and present a pianist's worst performances for all the world to see shows a lack of respect and decency, and does nothing to promote the arts or the artist.

Sometimes I worry about the state of our culture. We seem to think we deserve to have access to everyone's worst moments, and we turn everything into a reality show. (Like this thread, for example. It started out as a discussion of Horowitz's octave technique, and it quickly became one of those phony television contests: Who's octaves are best? Who gets voted off OctaveSurvivor this week? Only Argerich and Horowitz remain, who will win?" In the real world of people who haven't lost their brain cells to television, there is no such contest. We get to enjoy both pianists.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1624495 - 02/20/11 03:34 PM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Mark_C]
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3914
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
...one of the most impressive things I ever came across about Horowitz's "musicianship" was his performance of the Dichterliebe with Fischer-Dieskau in the mid-'70's at a big celebration where numerous greats performed. It floored me, not because I would have doubted that he had the "musicianship" to do the music and the collaboration so well, while fully still being 'Horowitz,' but because (I assumed) he was so "out of practice" on 'accompanying' for lieder (like maybe 50 years worth), plus that his "personality" might have gotten in the way of it. And it didn't; it enhanced it.


Did you have the great good fortune to actually be there, or is this available on recording somewhere?
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#1624535 - 02/20/11 04:18 PM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Kreisler]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Horowitz was not at his best in 1983. In fact, I think that was probably the rock bottom for him. He was heavily medicated and was prone to memory lapses.


I think the people who've uploaded Horowitz's 1983 performances to YouTube should be rounded up and shot. To anthologize and present a pianist's worst performances for all the world to see shows a lack of respect and decency, and does nothing to promote the arts or the artist.


I think it's of tremendous interest. There are many good things in the octave etude (including a fine middle section and a few bars at the end where he really pulls it all together and gives a glimpse of what he would have been like in his prime). The C sharp minor Etude is absolutely superb and there are many good things in Carnaval, despite memory lapses. I was actually very surprised how fine the playing is, after hearing all the stories. If momentary errors mean disaster, then it's a disaster. Personally, I'd far sooner look past them (no matter how many) and hear how much wonderful stuff is also on offer.
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1624539 - 02/20/11 04:23 PM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Kreisler]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Horowitz was not at his best in 1983. In fact, I think that was probably the rock bottom for him. He was heavily medicated and was prone to memory lapses.


I think the people who've uploaded Horowitz's 1983 performances to YouTube should be rounded up and shot. To anthologize and present a pianist's worst performances for all the world to see shows a lack of respect and decency, and does nothing to promote the arts or the artist.

Sometimes I worry about the state of our culture. We seem to think we deserve to have access to everyone's worst moments, and we turn everything into a reality show. (Like this thread, for example. It started out as a discussion of Horowitz's octave technique, and it quickly became one of those phony television contests: Who's octaves are best? Who gets voted off OctaveSurvivor this week? Only Argerich and Horowitz remain, who will win?" In the real world of people who haven't lost their brain cells to television, there is no such contest. We get to enjoy both pianists.


Calm down.

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#1624545 - 02/20/11 04:29 PM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Mark_C]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Andromaque
.....In my opinion however, Argerich's breadth of repertoire, particularly in chamber music, offers substantial support for superlative musicianship.....

That's maybe as good an example as could be imagined for what I said about "musicianship" being subjective to an extent that people could not even agree on what's involved in it. IMO what you said has nothing whatsoever to do with their musicianship.

"Musicianship" to me is an inner quality, actually a set of inner qualities, that are manifested in one's playing. Unless one plays extremely little stuff or not enough of a range to show those qualities, the amount and types of repertoire that he/she plays have no bearing.

And as long as we're on the subject of collaborative repertoire, one of the most impressive things I ever came across about Horowitz's "musicianship" was his performance of the Dichterliebe with Fischer-Dieskau in the mid-'70's at a big celebration where numerous greats performed. It floored me, not because I would have doubted that he had the "musicianship" to do the music and the collaboration so well, while fully still being 'Horowitz,' but because (I assumed) he was so "out of practice" on 'accompanying' for lieder (like maybe 50 years worth), plus that his "personality" might have gotten in the way of it. And it didn't; it enhanced it.



Yeah.. I see what you are saying (long-windedly.. smile ). But I am not so wildly far off.. Breadth of repertoire allows opportunities to experience versatility, more complex voicing, understnandng the role of entries by other instruments, harmonizing with them, varying your technique to fit a different style and purpose of the music etc.. It is not breadth in the quantitative sense, ie playing more pieces..
Bt yes sure, the definition of musicianship can be subjective.. Just not as subjective as you present it to be..

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#1624563 - 02/20/11 04:50 PM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: debrucey]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Horowitz was not at his best in 1983. In fact, I think that was probably the rock bottom for him. He was heavily medicated and was prone to memory lapses.


I think the people who've uploaded Horowitz's 1983 performances to YouTube should be rounded up and shot. To anthologize and present a pianist's worst performances for all the world to see shows a lack of respect and decency, and does nothing to promote the arts or the artist.

Sometimes I worry about the state of our culture. We seem to think we deserve to have access to everyone's worst moments, and we turn everything into a reality show. (Like this thread, for example. It started out as a discussion of Horowitz's octave technique, and it quickly became one of those phony television contests: Who's octaves are best? Who gets voted off OctaveSurvivor this week? Only Argerich and Horowitz remain, who will win?" In the real world of people who haven't lost their brain cells to television, there is no such contest. We get to enjoy both pianists.


Calm down.


Why? He's right.
_________________________

"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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#1624568 - 02/20/11 04:54 PM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Bech]
JustAnotherPianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 798
Loc: United Kingdom
Nope. He's WRONG.

Horowitz remains on OCTAVESURVIVOR!

Everyone else has been voted off.

It's not about the music.... it's about the OCTAVES!

OCTAVESURVIVOR.

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#1624585 - 02/20/11 05:17 PM Re: Horowitz's Octaves [Re: Bech]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
He may be right, but he's still taking what is supposed to be a lighthearted discussion rather too seriously. Mind you, many people on here are too prone to bouts of sensationalism. Like, chill out dudes.

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Please help! Hoping for advice regarding Yamaha purchase
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