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#1909249 - 06/06/12 08:38 AM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: Andromaque]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
are the tickets "reasonably priced"? that could also explain the large venue.
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#1909516 - 06/06/12 04:03 PM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: Andromaque]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2587
Loc: Manchester, UK
Mine were £25
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Kapustin - Preludes Op. 53, Nos. 8, 11, 12, 9 and 10
Poulenc - Nocturnes and Novellettes
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Kevin Oldham - Ballade, Op. 17

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#1910151 - 06/07/12 06:05 PM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: currawong]
CleverName Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/11
Posts: 117
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: CleverName
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
The comparison is that each gained quite a bit of fame through Youtube.
Exactly. Calm down, everybody.
The mere mention of a pop star shouldn't get all of you in such a fuss, particularly when the comparison is spot-on: they both got famous after being discovered through their own postings on YouTube. I'm surprised at the knee-jerk reaction here-this is why the rest of the world see us as elitist snobs.
I don't think everyone got "in such a fuss" did they? Some didn't like the comparison, for various reasons. Others didn't seem to care. Like another poster, I didn't get the point of the comparison, because I didn't even know that either Bieber or Lisitsa gained their fame through Youtube. The mere mention of a pop star doesn't affect me one way or the other. I don't think I've actually ever heard Bieber, but that doesn't make me an elitist snob does it?


Hmm...

"this insulting descriptive"

"let's find that critic and shoot him"

"she should shoot her publicist"

"that's a really insulting comparison"

Yes, I'd say that everyone got into a fuss. What thread are you reading? wink

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#1910345 - 06/08/12 05:06 AM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: CleverName]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7426
Originally Posted By: CleverName


"that's a really insulting comparison"



Ummm, that was about comparing to Lang Lang, not Beiber.

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#1910382 - 06/08/12 08:39 AM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: Andromaque]
Fraggle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 384
Loc: Nottingham, U.K.
Reality check here - people dislike Justin Beiber because he`s a prat, the Ali G of the pop world and yes, playing classical piano to a very high standard indeed IS more difficult and requires MUCH more hard work than swanning round being beautiful. People who dedicate large parts of their life learning a skill get irritated when they see other people obtain equal or greater recognition for what amounts to serendipity. Hence the reaction in this thread.
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#1910397 - 06/08/12 09:19 AM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: Andromaque]
bennevis Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4397
Non-UK residents might be interested to know that the winner of 'Britain's got Talent' TV show recently is .....a dog grin, easily beating classical musicians and even pop acts.

Truly, the public gets what they deserve.

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#1910534 - 06/08/12 01:29 PM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: Andromaque]
Phil D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 551
Loc: London, England
I've known about this Lisitsa concert for a good few months now, due to targeted internet advertising. I've watched her on youtube, and I live in London, so adverts get targeted at me. And since then I've heard about it in other places online, and seen adverts in the local papers. I'd say the PR machine is in full swing, they know she is very marketable and she'll likely get close to filling the RAH. I may even go myself smile

(Edit: first caption ad in youtube after posting this ad: Valentina Lisitsa at the Royal Albert Hall!)


Edited by Phil D (06/08/12 01:32 PM)
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#1910564 - 06/08/12 02:26 PM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: Phil D]
PianogrlNW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/11
Posts: 299
Loc: Seattle, WA
Has anyone seen what her program will be at RAH and in Virginia?
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#1910581 - 06/08/12 02:50 PM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: PianogrlNW]
scriabinfanatic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/23/12
Posts: 32
Loc: Maryland, USA
It's listed here:

http://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/valentina-lisitsa/default.aspx

Click on the "Repertoire" tab.

I'm about to head out the door for her pre-concert concert in this area (leaving plenty early...due to unreserved seating, and nasty early rush-hour D.C.-area traffic). She will be performing that same program at tonight's concert, according to her live-stream site.

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#1910622 - 06/08/12 04:24 PM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: Andromaque]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 730
Loc: Michigan, USA
Here's another article from the Telegraph about "star" classical musicians. Although the focus is on Lang Lang, it seems appropriate for this discussion. I happen to have a soft spot for both Lang Lang and Lesitsa, and I believe this writer takes a very balanced approach toward these new superstars.

Please note his comments about Horowitz, who was also regarded as a mere showman, and somehow unworthy of being considered a "serious" musician. I have a few choice words to describe that type of thinking, but they wouldn't make it past the censors.

Snobbery to Censure a Showman



Edited by Old Man (06/08/12 04:25 PM)

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#1910644 - 06/08/12 05:07 PM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: Old Man]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Here's another article from the Telegraph about "star" classical musicians. Although the focus is on Lang Lang, it seems appropriate for this discussion. I happen to have a soft spot for both Lang Lang and Lesitsa, and I believe this writer takes a very balanced approach toward these new superstars.
I was surprised to see that the writer seems to be a bona fide music critic. I thought most of the article was nonsensical.

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#1910654 - 06/08/12 05:26 PM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: pianoloverus]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 730
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I was surprised to see that the writer seems to be a bona fide music critic. I thought most of the article was nonsensical.

Would you care to expound on why you disagreed with it? Just curious.

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#1910819 - 06/09/12 12:25 AM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: scriabinfanatic]
scriabinfanatic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/23/12
Posts: 32
Loc: Maryland, USA
Just got back from Valentina Lisitsa's concert here in the D.C. area. She did play all of the pieces on her upcoming RAH program (see link above). Which was a lot of music (2 hours), and much of it very difficult (she must have fingers of steel!). There was a good-sized crowd at the church...about 3/4 full, so 3/4 times 550 = about 400 people in attendance. Not bad for a remote-neighborhood church recital with no serious advertising. In fact, during the pre-recital talk she gave, she joked about how the advertisement for her concert was in the Post's 'upcoming religious events' section. She has a good, charming, likeable stage presence/personality, and good sense of humor. Her thick Russian accent adds to the charm.

And she played very well. I found her to be especially effective at Liszt. And not so much for her impressive technique, but for her expressiveness. She had a marvelous ability to play very softly and sensitively in some very fast/thorny passages. Some of her playful spirit in the Liszt Rhapsody was delightful. And then the other end of her wide dynamic range was quite thundering.

She played five encores, all Liszt: Ave Maria transcription, Un Sospiro, Liebestraume 3, La Campanella (fantastic job on that one!), Chasse-Neige. Oh yes, and she threw in Fur Elise at the end, and explained how that proves that she is out of things to play.

For those interested, she was wearing a black evening gown, strapless/floor-length, and very high-heeled black sandal-shoes (I guess that's what they would be called). Her concert-pianist husband Alexei was working the video cameras. The piano was a Steinway B. It was said that this was her third concert at this church.

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#1910870 - 06/09/12 03:48 AM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: Andromaque]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
All the Liszt, I'm sure, would have bored me to tears...
_________________________

"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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#1910877 - 06/09/12 04:18 AM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: Old Man]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7426
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Here's another article from the Telegraph about "star" classical musicians. Although the focus is on Lang Lang, it seems appropriate for this discussion. I happen to have a soft spot for both Lang Lang and Lesitsa, and I believe this writer takes a very balanced approach toward these new superstars.

Please note his comments about Horowitz, who was also regarded as a mere showman, and somehow unworthy of being considered a "serious" musician. I have a few choice words to describe that type of thinking, but they wouldn't make it past the censors.

Snobbery to Censure a Showman



It was some time ago that I figured out that Ivan Hewitt wasn't the brightest bulb on the tree, at least based on his writings in the Telegraph. He also works at BBC Radio 3 and frequently comes off as something of an air-head there, too.

The bit comparing Horowitz to Lang Lang as a showman is patently nonsense, and is a good example of why I have the opinion I do of Hewitt. Horowitz never was the wildly gesticulating type (like LL), nor was he given to theatrical facial expressions (like LL). Somehow, Hewitt managed to totally confuse visual showmanship with the musical sort, as if they are one and the same. Well, they aren't.

And so forth, throughout the essay. It was embarrassing, actually. It was amusing to see him accuse "snobs" of muddled thinking, when his own thinking is about as muddled as it could be.


Edited by wr (06/09/12 05:08 PM)

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#1910938 - 06/09/12 09:13 AM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: stores]
Damon Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 5916
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: stores
All the Liszt, I'm sure, would have bored me to tears...


Blasphemy!
_________________________
Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

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#1911156 - 06/09/12 06:15 PM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: wr]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 730
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: wr
The bit comparing Horowitz to Lang Lang as a showman is patently nonsense, and is a good example of why I have the opinion I do of Hewitt. Horowitz never was the wildly gesticulating type (like LL), nor was he given to theatrical facial expressions (like LL). Somehow, Hewitt managed to totally confuse visual showmanship with the musical sort, as if they are one and the same. Well, they aren't.

You're right: Visual showmanship is not the same as musical showmanship. But I don't think Mr. Hewitt was confused about any of this. In fact, with regard to Horowitz, he says, "But to this day there are people who can’t take him quite seriously. His flamboyance and wilful way with the text are tolerated as light relief from proper pianists, who have the things that really matter: depth, insight, sensitivity to phrasing and nuance and architecture."

He never mentions anything about physical similarities, such as bearing, gestures, or facial expressions. He's making a larger point. He writes of VH's "flamboyance and wilful way with the text." Horowitz never bobbed and weaved on the bench, but he did impose his personality onto the music. And like Lang Lang, he never "self-abnegated", to use Hewitt's word. He never viewed himself as an empty vessel, or a mere conduit to the composer.

Whether Horowitz was playing Bach or Chopin, he never let the audience forget that it was Vladimir Horowitz who was doing the playing. He took liberties with the music, especially pre-Romantic music, that other pianists and many critics frowned upon. But over the decades he carefully built and nurtured the Horowitz "brand". The key component of that brand was a technical wizardry that would have spooked audiences in former times, much like Paganini did.

I don't know of many pianists today who really connect with their audiences. And it has nothing to do with facial expression or physical carriage. It's a complete package, comprised of many intangibles. Technical prowess, the "wow" factor, is an absolute must. But beyond that, a variety of disparate elements come into play, all of which are extremely subjective: musicality, a flamboyant life style or wardrobe, accessibility to the public, selection of performing venues, how (or if) one should be marketed, etc. All contribute to the brand.

Purists may hate the word "showmanship", but showmanship is the glue that binds the composer and the artist, and connects them with the audience. Liszt and Paganini had it. Horowitz had it. Argerich has it. And yes, maybe the youngsters like Lesitsa and Lang Lang have too much of it. But Lesitsa is only 39 and Lang Lang turns 30 in a few days. They both have the "wow", but I think it's too soon to dismiss them as mere performers. Musicianship comes with maturity. And like it or not, they have brought classical music to many who couldn't have cared less about it. Personally, I consider that a good thing.

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#1911194 - 06/09/12 08:12 PM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: Old Man]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7426
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: wr
The bit comparing Horowitz to Lang Lang as a showman is patently nonsense, and is a good example of why I have the opinion I do of Hewitt. Horowitz never was the wildly gesticulating type (like LL), nor was he given to theatrical facial expressions (like LL). Somehow, Hewitt managed to totally confuse visual showmanship with the musical sort, as if they are one and the same. Well, they aren't.

You're right: Visual showmanship is not the same as musical showmanship. But I don't think Mr. Hewitt was confused about any of this. In fact, with regard to Horowitz, he says, "But to this day there are people who can’t take him quite seriously. His flamboyance and wilful way with the text are tolerated as light relief from proper pianists, who have the things that really matter: depth, insight, sensitivity to phrasing and nuance and architecture."

He never mentions anything about physical similarities, such as bearing, gestures, or facial expressions. He's making a larger point. He writes of VH's "flamboyance and wilful way with the text." Horowitz never bobbed and weaved on the bench, but he did impose his personality onto the music. And like Lang Lang, he never "self-abnegated", to use Hewitt's word. He never viewed himself as an empty vessel, or a mere conduit to the composer.



And after making the linkages between the words "showmanship", "Horowitz", and "Lang Lang", Hewitt goes on to spend the entire rest of his essay talking about showmanship specifically in terms visual elements in a performance. So, I think you are wrong about Hewitt being confused, since he definitely identifies it with something visual. He talks about Paganini first as a showman doing visual/physical stunts with his instrument, and then quotes Heine for support. Except that Heine doesn't really talk about any of that kind of stuff, but just about the effect of Paganini's sound and appearance without any stunts (eyes that sparkle and a mouth that moves while playing is not exactly showmanship, I don't think - I don't know if my eyes sparkle when I play or not, but my mouth sometimes moves involuntarily, and I know it isn't because I am a showman).

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#1911990 - 06/11/12 05:04 PM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: scriabinfanatic]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4974
Loc: boston north
Originally Posted By: scriabinfanatic
Just got back from Valentina Lisitsa's concert here in the D.C. area. She did play all of the pieces on her upcoming RAH program (see link above). Which was a lot of music (2 hours), and much of it very difficult (she must have fingers of steel!). There was a good-sized crowd at the church...about 3/4 full, so 3/4 times 550 = about 400 people in attendance. Not bad for a remote-neighborhood church recital with no serious advertising. In fact, during the pre-recital talk she gave, she joked about how the advertisement for her concert was in the Post's 'upcoming religious events' section. She has a good, charming, likeable stage presence/personality, and good sense of humor. Her thick Russian accent adds to the charm.

And she played very well. I found her to be especially effective at Liszt. And not so much for her impressive technique, but for her expressiveness. She had a marvelous ability to play very softly and sensitively in some very fast/thorny passages. Some of her playful spirit in the Liszt Rhapsody was delightful. And then the other end of her wide dynamic range was quite thundering.

She played five encores, all Liszt: Ave Maria transcription, Un Sospiro, Liebestraume 3, La Campanella (fantastic job on that one!), Chasse-Neige. Oh yes, and she threw in Fur Elise at the end, and explained how that proves that she is out of things to play.

For those interested, she was wearing a black evening gown, strapless/floor-length, and very high-heeled black sandal-shoes (I guess that's what they would be called). Her concert-pianist husband Alexei was working the video cameras. The piano was a Steinway B. It was said that this was her third concert at this church.


Thank you for sharing. I had not even opened this thread. Glad that you shared here and posted it on the other thread to review your thoughts here.

I totally agree that she has expressiveness as well as her impressive technique.

_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1912182 - 06/12/12 04:04 AM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: Verbum mirabilis]
ScriabinAddict Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 322
Originally Posted By: Verbum mirabilis
When I saw the title I thought of Lang Lang...


According to Earl Wild, he's already the J. Lo of the piano. grin

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#1912221 - 06/12/12 07:14 AM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: scriabinfanatic]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2334
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: scriabinfanatic
Just got back from Valentina Lisitsa's concert here in the D.C. area. She did play all of the pieces on her upcoming RAH program (see link above). Which was a lot of music (2 hours), and much of it very difficult (she must have fingers of steel!). There was a good-sized crowd at the church...about 3/4 full, so 3/4 times 550 = about 400 people in attendance. Not bad for a remote-neighborhood church recital with no serious advertising.


Wish I could have been number 401. Thanks for your post about it - next time wink
_________________________
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  • Bartk - Romanian Folk Dances, Sz. 56
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#1912262 - 06/12/12 09:37 AM Re: The Justin Bieber of the Classical Music World [Re: lilylady]
scriabinfanatic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/23/12
Posts: 32
Loc: Maryland, USA
Originally Posted By: lilylady
Have you anything specific to add about the performance?

What did you enjoy the most?

Was seeing her practice any particular piece helpful in viewing her performance?

I viewed her practicing as just making sure that she got the notes/technique correct, and not putting a total performance into each practice section (hope that makes sense)

Wish you'd asked me a few days ago...some of the specifics are now starting to blur as to which piece made this or that impression on me. Maybe I should have taken notes...

If I had to pick a favorite, I think I enjoyed her Liszt Rhapsody most. A piece that I don't normally care for that she made enjoyable with changing moods, contrasts, playfulness, etc. And generally speaking, I felt that her connection with Liszt's music was something special. Her La Campanella was among the best I've heard.

Her Scriabin Poem Op. 32 no. 1 was kind of a Debussy-ized Scriabin. A lot of pedal-blurring effects, and keeping down the dynamic contrast to a minimum. Very delicately and quietly played. Push-pull in tempo giving it a tentative, improvised feel (that part not unusual for this piece). Similar hushed-and-blurred playing was also in the 'mosquito' etude, and even in some of the following Chopin set. (My personal preference is for more transparency in some of these pieces.) Speaking of her Chopin...the Chopin E-flat nocturne (the unfortunately notorious Muzak elevator piece) had some "rewriting" done to some of the little thematic flourishes that I've not heard before. A little personal liberty, I presume.

One of the Rachmaninoff pieces (the Gm prelude?) shocked me at how (unusual for the piece) loud and aggressive she started out. I was wondering where she was going to find room to build from there. But she soon backed off and after that it was more as expected.

Most of her online practice that I viewed/heard was full run-throughs of the pieces...so it didn't seem so much like nuts-and-bolts practice...more like a final check for rough spots. Like a pilot preflighting the plane before flight.

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