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#1814138 - 12/28/11 10:46 PM An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist
BachMach2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/11
Posts: 116
Loc: Always somewhere about the glo...
Thank you for accepting my membership. I might begin by saying, that I am impressed with the range and variety of thoughts at this forum. Many points have been conscientiously debated, while others have resulted in angry sentiment and unnecessary flames.

In essence we are all here for the same reason, which is to play as well as we can. We may have different targets, different objectives, and different tastes but we all ultimately seek the same resolve – our own internal perfection. Yet, in reading the comments on the many, many posts to read at this place, there is an enormous amount of energy directed at other players – our peers as it were. If I take a little known concert pianist Jorge Demus, some may ask which composer or what works is this performer renowned for? Why do you draw him to our attention?

So if I took a rather better known concert performer Jorge Bolet, some will immediately identify with my choice. Some may have some or many of this artist’s recordings. If I presented the late 1980’s recording of Liszt’s Dante Sonata for general listening attention, a number of comments would ensue (going on the track record of other threads) ranging from “rubbish” to “perfection”. Not dwelling on bigotry, I have seen some attention to lesser known artists being presented as a worthy performance target. Before I comment on the rationale of that it first might be better to throw up this thought. Who was Richter, Horowitz or the great Liszt himself “like”?

We of course do not have any recordings of Liszt, only numerous testimonies. That is not true for Horowitz and Richter who’s performance careers each spanned the piano roll through to modern techniques. Does everyone say Richter and Horowitz are Rachmaninoff, because there were protoges’ of the master? No, because neither sound anything like each other. All are individuals with their own styles, perfections and interpretations. Taking that little known pianist Jorge Demus, should he be known as “like Vladimir Sofrontisky”? Of course not, Jorge Demus is Jorge Demus and he will never be Vladimir Sofrontisky. Comparison with playing styles can only be done piece by piece and not as an effervescent analysis. You Benny Brownlow, 3rd grade student of Chicago High School will only ever be you and you will never be Busoni however hard you try. You will never match Jorge Bolet’s 1989 recording of Liszt’s Dante sonata because you were not there and you are not Jorge Bolet.

Some may wonder, what is the harm in aiming for the famed “Transcendental Technique” of Mitsuko Uchida? At the correct point of development it is not only ‘not harmful’, but a positive step forward is the answer. But to actively single out Uchida, Argerich or even Myra Hess as “my” style would be suicide though, over time, intelligent comparisons of performance styles may beg. Another popular theme of this forum is what came first, the chicken or the egg? To simplify the debate, we all should know that performance can be identified in three distinct “terms” – music, interpretation and technique. Many performers of the modern age shroud themselves in denial as to their duty. They should all remember their first priority is the music, the second dedication is to the creator out of love and devotion to the composer. Thirdly must be described as the love of God, as is the nurturing of personal talent and technical development. Those who claim to be ‘atheist’ and/or students of Richard Dawkins still identify with the God-word and concept whilst rejecting it. Perhaps Pleroma is a better word for these purposes.

It is no wonder why the confusion of priorities has taken hold of modern pianistic tradition. The enormous journey required to reach a point of coherent, focused performance appears all but devoid of anything other than technique perfection. Other than the confusing mystery of the Adagio where the race appears to be to play as slow as possible, currently the sad trend to play faster and louder than anyone else is continuing. Even more plausible is the fact that music cannot be taught, it is inherently inside you. Arguably, more subtly, so is interpretation. Interpretation has been downgraded to influence by those detached from their souls. Some appear unable to see beyond a particular technical style or idiom, rather than addressing deeper matters – the very heart of the music in its absolute perfection. There is an amazing recording by Alfred Cortot floating somewhere out in the big www which acts as a good example. He plays an innocuous little piece by Chabrier and brings something to it that nobody had ever been able to contemplate before. He found the heart of the music which had been eternally beating with no ears or minds capable of capturing it.

I am a great fan of the performer Martha Argerich. Her recording of the Op 28 Chopin preludes has become a trademark “want” of most serious students. She brought something to the number 12 that no one had ever done before. Though she had arguably outdone the great Busoni with her interpretation, he did play the fiendish glissandos of the number 24 note perfect, while she ‘improvised’ (to be nice). This neatly addresses the issue of interpretation. There have been some commentaries about the composer Schubert, which claim he was unable to play some of his piano works and used an Austrian pianist (who’s name escapes) as favourite for premiers. As a composer myself I wrote a four movement piano sonata of what seemed nightmarish proportions 25 years ago. Now I can play it, it is rubbish. The reason it is rubbish is it was not conceived, because I could not play it when I wrote. It is impossible to write MUSIC by accident. Compiling note jumbles is not composing music. Those who champion such works are akin to the supporters of “The Emperors invisible [no] clothes”.

It is well documented that Liszt loved Beethoven’s Hammerklavier, the final movement he adoringly termed “the great fugue”. Did he play it better than Beethoven? How could he? Beethoven invented it, but what is guaranteed is Liszt’s interpretations (never one identical) would have been different to Beethoven’s. Another work Liszt championed was Czerny’s (1st) sonata in Ab Opus 7. Czerny was the pianist Chopin turned to for advice on his composition now known as the “Winter Wind” etude (Opus 25 number 11). Czerny not only gave advice, but Chopin heeded it. That is why the Winter Wind is presented with a slow introduction. For my taste, it works perfectly in place of the other. The point is that IN THE SPIRIT OF THE MUSIC Chopin needed cooperation to find its heart.

Having listened to over 100 performers interpretations of the various works of Beethoven, I keep coming back to Daniel Barenboim as the most in synch. This not to take away Glenn Gould’s memorable performance of the Hammerklavier or Alfred Brendel’s unusually less-than-memorable interpretation or indeed to overlook the extra-ordinary care Emil Gilels took in his attention to detail. If I took a single work in Balakirev’s Islamey Fantasy, of the 26 recordings I have reviewed, not a single one is note-perfect. Yet this time Brendel has to be commended for the most note-perfect performance. As to most authentically in the spirit of Balakirev the honour must be given to Boris Berezovsky. While line honours to most dynamic and brilliant performances would be shared between Evgeny Kissin and Vladimir Horowitz. This is taking nothing away from the others. There were no dogs. Lang Lang, Idel Biret and a Chinese Melbourne junior called Wui held up and all were a worthy listen. The ones highlighted shone for the reasons identified. With all the talk of who was Liszt’s favourite, aside from Von Bulow, was it Smetena who’s “sensitivity no one can reproduce” according to the great maestro? Today performers such as Kissin, Hamelin, Yundi Li [Argerich makes him look like a novice with her 1964(?) recording of Chopin’s 4th scherzo] and so on struggle with sensitivity, as purposeful as their performances are. My current ‘hero’ is Vladimir Ashkenazy, but after tistening to his wayward interpretation of Chopin’s 1st Ballade I find even he is corruptible. But, then again, weighing up commentaries on Liszt’s contemporaries, perhaps this too blighted the “golden age” of the concert craft.


Edited by BachMach2 (12/28/11 10:48 PM)
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Given enough time, I'll play anything. Given all time, I'll play everything.

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#1814226 - 12/29/11 04:08 AM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Up late with nothing to do?
_________________________

"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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#1814233 - 12/29/11 04:45 AM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5281
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
What was the question again?
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#1814268 - 12/29/11 07:40 AM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6217
Loc: St. Louis area
Try as you may, you can't catch up in one post. We won't let you. laugh
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It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#1814281 - 12/29/11 08:21 AM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: Damon]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: Damon
Try as you may, you can't catch up in one post. We won't let you. laugh


You beat me to it.. I was going to say something very similar! laugh Welcome to the forums BachMach2!
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1814320 - 12/29/11 09:57 AM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
sandalholme Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 781
Loc: Dorset, UK
Welcome. I look forward to more posts as thoughtful as this one.

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#1814371 - 12/29/11 11:09 AM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
rada Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1124
Loc: pagosa springs,co
I thought you made some very good points[ having studied with the great Bolet myself] but I can't remember them all...

rada

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#1814435 - 12/29/11 01:01 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
rob.art Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 187
never underestimate the power of dope.

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#1814458 - 12/29/11 01:28 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18215
Loc: Victoria, BC
Well, now that we have been condescendingly lectured by a new-comer about how conscientiously we sometimes debate and how we sometimes resort to angry sentiment and unnecessary flames with the conclusion that we are all here for the same reason, I wonder what this “introduction” is all about.

The ramble about who Demus - not a little-known concert artist, by the way - Bolet, Richter, or Horowitz was “like,” followed by observations on contemporary performance standards, and passing references to Cortot’s perfection, Argerich’s ‘improvised’ interpretation , along with numerous other contemporaries and BachMach2’s own “rubbish,” does indeed underline the “confusion of priorities” in this essay.

Does anyone else glean from this "what it means to be a pianist"?

I reservedly say : “Welcome to the Pianist Corner.”

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1814473 - 12/29/11 01:54 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BruceD]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
BruceD: You read his whole post?

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#1814483 - 12/29/11 02:09 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: Orange Soda King]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
BruceD: You read his whole post?
No disrespect intended to BachMach2, but I didn't get all the way through the 2nd paragraph. Perhaps the fault lies in my lack of patience to read through what seemed to be condescending, pedantic musing.

BachMach2 - welcome to the forum. A piece of advice: your lengthy narrative comes across as rather pompous - especially for a newcomer. I think it is fair to say that any posting that exceeds the size of the computer screen will not be read by many - at least until you earn a reputation here. Perhaps offer shorter insights and opinions, rather than long, ponderous essays? While we have many learned scholars here, we tend to be informal and succinct.
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Best regards,

Deborah

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#1814541 - 12/29/11 03:27 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: Orange Soda King]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18215
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
BruceD: You read his whole post?


Twice, to try to get at the essence of his post.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1814550 - 12/29/11 03:35 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3829
Loc: Bay Area, CA
FWIW, I didn't find the OP condescending in the least, and I'm surprised that others here did.

I did find it a little rambling, and maybe a little indulgent... usually posts here are not so long, and when they are, the successful ones are careful to highlight their main points. But so what?

Welcome to the forum, BachMach2.

-J
_________________________
Schubert: Bb Impromptu D.935/3; Mozart: D minor concerto; Chopin: first Ballade

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#1814556 - 12/29/11 03:44 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BruceD]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6411
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Well, now that we have been condescendingly lectured by a new-comer about how conscientiously we sometimes debate and how we sometimes resort to angry sentiment and unnecessary flames with the conclusion that we are all here for the same reason, I wonder what this “introduction” is all about.

The ramble about who Demus - not a little-known concert artist, by the way - Bolet, Richter, or Horowitz was “like,” followed by observations on contemporary performance standards, and passing references to Cortot’s perfection, Argerich’s ‘improvised’ interpretation , along with numerous other contemporaries and BachMach2’s own “rubbish,” does indeed underline the “confusion of priorities” in this essay.

Does anyone else glean from this "what it means to be a pianist"?



Nope.
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1814571 - 12/29/11 03:55 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5281
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Most of the time I'm just a piano player. smile
_________________________
website

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AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#1814586 - 12/29/11 04:18 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
What's the problem, this was interesting to read. Welcome to the forum!
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#1814593 - 12/29/11 04:27 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: Pogorelich.]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19575
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
What's the problem, this was interesting to read. Welcome to the forum!
You must be some kind of genius to figure out what the post means.

Since, according to his unusual profile, he plays a "not sure-it was filed off" piano, I wouldn't assume his post was serious.


Edited by pianoloverus (12/29/11 04:57 PM)

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#1814608 - 12/29/11 04:43 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BruceD]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7974
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
BruceD: You read his whole post?


Twice, to try to get at the essence of his post.



You are destined for sainthood, I'm sure of it.

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#1814629 - 12/29/11 05:14 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
fuzzy8balls Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 465
Loc: San Diego, CA
tl;dr

I can't stand people being so snooty about classical music, I think that's why it gets a bad rep. Whatever music it is, enjoy it; but if you don't that's fine, you don't need to write a dissertation either way.
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YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/fuzzy8balls

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#1814630 - 12/29/11 05:14 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
Adam Coleman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/10
Posts: 132
So? You're giving us all these random "facts". What are you trying to prove?
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"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." - S. Rachmaninoff

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#1814636 - 12/29/11 05:21 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: fuzzy8balls]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1500
Originally Posted By: fuzzy8balls
tl;dr

I can't stand people being so snooty about classical music, I think that's why it gets a bad rep. Whatever music it is, enjoy it; but if you don't that's fine, you don't need to write a dissertation either way.


ha Yeah..it is like a dissertation. But he has the patience to write such a long post like that....two thumbs up for the effort. I have no patience to read his post.

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#1814649 - 12/29/11 05:34 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: RonaldSteinway]
rob.art Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 187
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
But he has the patience to write such a long post like that....two thumbs up for the effort.


but i looks like copy and paste from totally different topics laugh

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#1814657 - 12/29/11 05:43 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
PaulaPiano34 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1217
Omg I just read the whole thing and I have absolutely nothing to say...perhaps the op is talking about the importance of piano as art as opposed to athleticism? I'm going to have to chew on this morsel more though if I'm going to respond with anything coherent.

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#1814664 - 12/29/11 05:53 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5281
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
What it means to be a ... silent pianist.

So many silent profiles. smile
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website

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AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#1814665 - 12/29/11 05:55 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
notbach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 155
Loc: Texas
Adderall is a heck of a drug.
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Actively working on:
Bach - Two-part Invention No. 14
Chopin - Prelude in E minor - Op. 28, No. 4
Notenbuch für Nannerl - Tempo di menuetto in F (Anonymous)

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#1814670 - 12/29/11 06:01 PM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2719
Check here

regards,
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#1814912 - 12/30/11 12:34 AM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: Hakki]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Check here

regards,
Oh... Well, based on BachMach2's essay and attempt to play all the Beethoven sonatas, s/he seems to be passionate about piano and this is certainly the right place to share that devotion. Let's give him/her a chance to become accustomed to the "culture" here.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1814951 - 12/30/11 03:30 AM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
izaldu Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 1255
Loc:
Condescending, to put it nicely, are some of the answers that followed the op. At least be polite. I read posts and opinions here from time to time that i consider utter rubbish, i just don t feel the need to point them out. What was actually wrong with the OP?

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#1815011 - 12/30/11 08:09 AM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: BachMach2]
fuzzy8balls Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 465
Loc: San Diego, CA
I'm assuming we're getting trolled by the OP, either intentionally or unintentionally... doesn't matter.

This is further confirmed by his attempts of trying to record the first 8 Beethoven Sonatas -- which are a joke. The original post is heavily drenched in arrogant rhetoric from someone that has no skill at the keyboard to back it up. And finally, it is also quite rude to push theistic beliefs onto others.
_________________________
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/fuzzy8balls

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#1815048 - 12/30/11 09:52 AM Re: An introduction - what it 'means' to be a pianist [Re: fuzzy8balls]
cefinow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 364
Loc: Western NC (US)
Originally Posted By: fuzzy8balls
I'm assuming we're getting trolled by the OP, either intentionally or unintentionally... doesn't matter.

This is further confirmed by his attempts of trying to record the first 8 Beethoven Sonatas -- which are a joke. The original post is heavily drenched in arrogant rhetoric from someone that has no skill at the keyboard to back it up. And finally, it is also quite rude to push theistic beliefs onto others.


Well, there is something mighty strange about his mentioning Ashkenazy's "wayward interpretation" of Chopin's 1st Ballade, while at the same time making some downright laughable recordings. It's impossible for him to listen with such a fine, critical ear to other musicians, yet not be able to hear what he himself is playing. I would bet he is a fine musician with a gift for parody; he must have some gift to learn all those sonatas, record them in recognizable form yet with just enough wince-inducing passages to make the listener wonder what is going on. And that's putting it mildly wink


Edited by cefinow (12/30/11 09:57 AM)

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