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#1928843 - 07/19/12 01:43 AM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8822
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: SirHuddlestonFudd
When Brahms was touring with the violinist (I forget the name), he was supposed to play the Waldstein sonata, which is in C major. The piano in the hall was found to be a semitone flat, so Brahms shrugged and played the thing in C# major instead, from memory.

Hmmmm... but anecdotes such as that are hard to pin down. Brahms toured with Joachim, and the story I read was that they were to play the Kruetzer Sonata, but the piano was a semitone flat so Brahms transposed it up. Yet Gerald Moore (no stranger to accompanying or transposing on the run) in his fascinating book 'Am I Too Loud?' skeptically inquired: 'but did he play all the notes?'

OTH, I've also read that Beethoven played his C major concerto up a semitone to accommodate a wrongly tuned piano. Either or both could have done it, who knows? crazy
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#1928881 - 07/19/12 04:52 AM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: argerichfan]
davaofthekeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 243
Wow, funny to see this thread resurrected. I'm the OP and I'm still here, just lurking about.

I have read many books about Liszt since my original question, and the best one if you want a looong chapter on his playing techniques and sight-reading feats from accurate sources, is "The Great Pianists" by Harold C. Schonberg. It's full of stories about all the famous pianists (even reports on J.S. Bach, though he didnt play an actual piano for more than like 10 minutes). Highly recomended, just get it, any fan of piano will have no regrets!

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#1928883 - 07/19/12 04:55 AM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: babama]
drumour Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 848
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: babama
...

Even if you can read music that fast, how do your hands "know" all the moves? How can you make quick, precise jumps etc. if you haven't gone through these moves before? I just don't get it... not that I don't believe any of it, but it's just mind boggling to me.



Because you have done most of these moves before - tons of times. I was lucky enough to be coached, when in a youth orchestra, by William Pleeth (the go to cellist for quintets for the Amadeus Quartet). When any of us had problems leaping to high notes he would say it's exactly where it was the last time - simple.

Practising sight-reading isn't the same as doing sight-reading for a collaborator or an audience. There is no reason at all why a slower tempo couldn't be taken. I would recommend sight-reading for accuracy in one's practising and taking a speed where that's possible.

John
_________________________
Vasa inania multum strepunt.

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#1928889 - 07/19/12 05:21 AM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: drumour]
davaofthekeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 243
I get the feeling that Liszt, having composed many of history's most difficult piano pieces, was pretty familiar with almost anything that could appear in a score. Certainly he would not easily be taken by surprise. Afterall, you recognize patterns easier after extended exposure.

The more disturbing part are the numerous reliable witness accounts from composers who said that Liszt could sight read whole orchestra scores at the piano, simultaneously transcribing it perfectly for piano plus adding some improvements.

Actually, it has been said that Liszt what at his perfomance-best during his first sightreading of pieces, because if he was made to play it a second time, he would get bored by the lack of challenge and start adding his own techniques and ideas into the piece to make it more flashy.

It's a real shame that there are no recordings of Liszt, but since he was challenged by pianists all over Europe during his lifetime and seem to have risen above them all, it's probably safe to say that he was indeed the best ever. At least what I like to think smile

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#1928890 - 07/19/12 05:30 AM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: davaofthekeys]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7763
Originally Posted By: davaofthekeys


The more disturbing part are the numerous reliable witness accounts from composers who said that Liszt could sight read whole orchestra scores at the piano, simultaneously transcribing it perfectly for piano plus adding some improvements.



I've heard of other pianists and conductors who could read from orchestral scores and produce an instant transcription, too. It's not a unique ability that Liszt alone had.

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#1928894 - 07/19/12 05:39 AM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: wr]
davaofthekeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 243
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: davaofthekeys


The more disturbing part are the numerous reliable witness accounts from composers who said that Liszt could sight read whole orchestra scores at the piano, simultaneously transcribing it perfectly for piano plus adding some improvements.



I've heard of other pianists and conductors who could read from orchestral scores and produce an instant transcription, too. It's not a unique ability that Liszt alone had.



But Liszt was doing it before it became cool.

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#1928898 - 07/19/12 06:06 AM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: davaofthekeys]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7763
Originally Posted By: davaofthekeys
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: davaofthekeys


The more disturbing part are the numerous reliable witness accounts from composers who said that Liszt could sight read whole orchestra scores at the piano, simultaneously transcribing it perfectly for piano plus adding some improvements.



I've heard of other pianists and conductors who could read from orchestral scores and produce an instant transcription, too. It's not a unique ability that Liszt alone had.



But Liszt was doing it before it became cool.


Yeah, probably - he did have this knack of being ahead of the pack in a lot of ways.

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#2016711 - 01/18/13 12:45 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: davaofthekeys]
jdott Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/13
Posts: 34
Loc: Colorado, USA
From what I've read, he didn't envy his interpretations, because Liszt included some of his own fireworks ( which would render them no longer Chopin). Liszt' sight reading skills were legendary, however. Edward Grieg (I played for his nephew Storm once) said that Liszt sight read his concerto. My piano teacher sight read the Liszt E-flat for me when I was pestering her to learn it. She didn't like it, and after I learned it, I didn't either (I think it's just a long étude with accompaniment.). Yes, I believe he sight read all of them.

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#2016736 - 01/18/13 01:34 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: jdott]
AldenH Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: jdott
From what I've read, he didn't envy his interpretations, because Liszt included some of his own fireworks ( which would render them no longer Chopin). Liszt' sight reading skills were legendary, however. Edward Grieg (I played for his nephew Storm once) said that Liszt sight read his concerto. My piano teacher sight read the Liszt E-flat for me when I was pestering her to learn it. She didn't like it, and after I learned it, I didn't either (I think it's just a long étude with accompaniment.). Yes, I believe he sight read all of them.


A very famous (in a letter in his hand, and thus authentic) quote of Chopin is (speaking of Liszt) "I am writing without knowing what my pen is scribbling, because at this moment Liszt is playing my études and putting honest thoughts out of my head. I should like to rob him of the way he plays my études." That sounds fairly laudatory as well. There is an apocryphal anecdote of Liszt adding notes to the Db Nocturne at a salon and is confronted by Chopin and asks him not to add any notes, but this is unverifiable (unlike the letter).

They certainly had ups and downs in their musical friendship, but I don't believe that Liszt added notes to the études.

By the way, jdott, you really shouldn't post on old threads. It is impolite to the people who are currently engaged with active threads and oftentimes old threads have posts by users no longer involved with these forums. I mean no rudeness, you have something to contribute, but please post on living threads instead of resurrecting the dead!

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#2016758 - 01/18/13 02:21 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: AldenH]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19648
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: AldenH
....By the way, jdott, you really shouldn't post on old threads. It is impolite to the people who are currently engaged with active threads and oftentimes old threads have posts by users no longer involved with these forums. I mean no rudeness, you have something to contribute, but please post on living threads instead of resurrecting the dead!

Funny -- I was going to do a post saying "Nice job finding these old threads!" and then I saw your post. ha

I know that your view is shared by some. I don't agree with it at all, and for what it's worth I don't think most others do. In fact, to me it's one of the more interesting things on the site -- seeing which old things are of such interest to new members, and seeing a bit of the site's archeology. smile

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#2016797 - 01/18/13 04:12 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: Mark_C]
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2314
Loc: NYC
It would be cool if thread titles and entries that were over, say, six months old appeared differently, maybe shaded differently. So you'd know instantly when you look at the forum list that someone is responding to an old thread.
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www.josephkubera.com

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#2016802 - 01/18/13 04:21 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: RealPlayer]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3713
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: RealPlayer
It would be cool if thread titles and entries that were over, say, six months old appeared differently, maybe shaded differently. So you'd know instantly when you look at the forum list that someone is responding to an old thread.

Brilliant idea. It would satisfy the archeologically-minded Mark_C's, as well as the rest of us (the majority I think, sorry Mark) who resent the confusion between living and historical conversations.

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

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#2016804 - 01/18/13 04:26 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: AldenH]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19227
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: AldenH
By the way, jdott, you really shouldn't post on old threads. It is impolite to the people who are currently engaged with active threads and oftentimes old threads have posts by users no longer involved with these forums. I mean no rudeness, you have something to contribute, but please post on living threads instead of resurrecting the dead!
Don't agree, think it's impolite to those engaged in active threads, and don't think it matters if the old posts were started by users no longer active. There are very few threads that are only of interest or relevance to the person who originally started the thread.

Posting on an old thread is no different, I think, from opening up an old magazine or book one has saved. If the thread has interesting material and is worthwhile, then it remains interesting and worthwhile forever. In fact, many threads are really just repeats of earlier threads, so what's the difference?

The only exceptions for me are when someone decides to open a huge number of old threads simultaneously, opens up an old thread with a meaningless post, or opens up an old flame war thread.


Edited by pianoloverus (01/18/13 04:29 PM)

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#2016809 - 01/18/13 04:43 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: davaofthekeys]
AldenH Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas
RealPlayer's idea would satisfy all parties, and would give even more variety to the forum page!

On the subject of repeated topics in threads - doesn't Frank get tax refunds based on how many threads the forum gains annually? ha

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#2016826 - 01/18/13 05:30 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: beet31425]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8822
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: beet31425
...who resent the confusion between living and historical conversations.

At what point does a thread become 'historical'? The Franz Liszt Appreciation Thread was dormant from 3 December to 9 January, and long off the first page of topics. But I wouldn't think it qualified for historical status, thus inviting someone to start a new topic.

I admit to mixed feelings about this. Ancient threads can be fun to read for the archival value, but I don't think they should be bumped up with new posts. OTH, threads less than a year old are fair game, particularly if a good portion of the contributors are still active here. Just my 2 pence.

_________________________
Jason

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#2016844 - 01/18/13 06:19 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: Mark_C]
Tararex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 406
Loc: Middle Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: AldenH
....By the way, jdott, you really shouldn't post on old threads. It is impolite to the people who are currently engaged with active threads and oftentimes old threads have posts by users no longer involved with these forums. I mean no rudeness, you have something to contribute, but please post on living threads instead of resurrecting the dead!

Funny -- I was going to do a post saying "Nice job finding these old threads!" and then I saw your post. ha

I know that your view is shared by some. I don't agree with it at all, and for what it's worth I don't think most others do. In fact, to me it's one of the more interesting things on the site -- seeing which old things are of such interest to new members, and seeing a bit of the site's archeology. smile


I'm with you Mark. This was one of the more entertaining threads I've read here in a while. The assumption that newer members are unable to understand the concept of "date stamps" on old threads is a bit odd to say the least. Or that because older members may no longer be around to respond no one can pick up the ball for further play.
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#2016857 - 01/18/13 06:54 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: AldenH]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 777
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: AldenH
By the way, jdott, you really shouldn't post on old threads. It is impolite to the people who are currently engaged with active threads and oftentimes old threads have posts by users no longer involved with these forums. I mean no rudeness, you have something to contribute, but please post on living threads instead of resurrecting the dead!

Thanks for raising this subject, AldenH, because it's always been a puzzler to me. Some, such as yourself, believe that old threads should not be resurrected, and yet I've seen new OPs chewed out for raising subjects that have already been hashed and rehashed a "million times before".

Which is it, folks? I think most newcomers strive to follow the etiquette of the particular forum they are joining, but in this situation, one can be damned either way. Personally, I agree wholeheartedly with Mark and pianoloverus. Why should it matter that the original participants are no longer active? If a topic is worthy of reconsideration, why not raise an old thread, and let it compete with the current ones? I think an old thread can provide an interesting history of other opinions on the topic, and that will enrich the current discussion far more than opening a new thread.

Actually I started a thread soliciting opinions on the "best" box sets of Beethoven sonatas last year. I knew this would most likely be a worn-out topic, but I wasn't about to waste time tracking down old threads. Surprisingly, no one complained, and people were very willing to state (or restate) their opinions. OTOH, I've also found many interesting old topics (yes, a few somewhat contentious) that I would love to revive, but didn't feel like taking the incoming fire.

If I were the etiquette czar, I'd declare all threads welcome, old or new. And I believe the proper etiquette should be to simply comment on the topic at hand, and not criticize the age of the thread, one way or the other.

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#2016880 - 01/18/13 07:38 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: AldenH]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6067
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: AldenH

By the way, jdott, you really shouldn't post on old threads. It is impolite to the people who are currently engaged


No it isn't.
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It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2016885 - 01/18/13 07:44 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: Coolkid70]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6067
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Coolkid70
Quote:
Originally posted by Age_of_Anxiety:
I also heard he sightread Grieg's concerto for the composer and played some of the orchestra part as well.
I also read that Liszt was commenting on the score during that time, as well.


I also read somewhere that he was simultaneously balancing a plate on stick with his chin. That Liszt sure was something!
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2016891 - 01/18/13 07:53 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: AldenH]
jdott Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/13
Posts: 34
Loc: Colorado, USA
My apologies if I breached some etiquette of this site. Yes, Chopin did write that he envied Liszt's skills, but he was ill and weakened from TB probably the last ten years of his life. I've read several accounts of his formidable concertizing skills in his youth.

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#2016898 - 01/18/13 08:10 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: jdott]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 777
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: jdott
My apologies if I breached some etiquette of this site. Yes, Chopin did write that he envied Liszt's skills, but he was ill and weakened from TB probably the last ten years of his life. I've read several accounts of his formidable concertizing skills in his youth.

Please, jdott - no apologies. smile You didn't breach a thing. You're simply bringing your questions and insights to a topic that interests you, and that's what PW is (or should be) all about.

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#2016907 - 01/18/13 08:22 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: Old Man]
jdott Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/13
Posts: 34
Loc: Colorado, USA
Thank you. I'm 65-does that still make you the 'Old Man?'

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#2016909 - 01/18/13 08:24 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: Old Man]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7763
Originally Posted By: Old Man
You didn't breach a thing.


For some of us, he did. I have an intense dislike of zombie threads, and I know there are many others who feel the same.

The very concept of a forum is dependent on the interaction of current users. That fact seems to be lost on a number of the current users.

If it were my forum, I'd be looking for some automated method of locking dormant threads. If someone was desperate to add on to some ancient stuff, they could simply start a new thread and give a link to the old one they wanted to reference in the first post. Or, if it was just some single posting that they wanted to respond to, they could just copy and paste whatever was relevant.

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#2016955 - 01/18/13 10:30 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: jdott]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 777
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: jdott
Thank you. I'm 65-does that still make you the 'Old Man?'

Well, um, I'll be 63 in a few weeks. Care to swap monikers? grin

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#2016958 - 01/18/13 10:38 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: Old Man]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17834
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: jdott
Thank you. I'm 65-does that still make you the 'Old Man?'

Well, um, I'll be 63 in a few weeks. Care to swap monikers? grin


Hah! Young whippersnappers!
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- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2016972 - 01/18/13 11:06 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: wr]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 777
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Old Man
You didn't breach a thing.

For some of us, he did. I have an intense dislike of zombie threads, and I know there are many others who feel the same.

The very concept of a forum is dependent on the interaction of current users. That fact seems to be lost on a number of the current users.

If it were my forum, I'd be looking for some automated method of locking dormant threads. If someone was desperate to add on to some ancient stuff, they could simply start a new thread and give a link to the old one they wanted to reference in the first post. Or, if it was just some single posting that they wanted to respond to, they could just copy and paste whatever was relevant.

How exactly has the "interaction of current users" been impeded? Just today we've had the following people post to this thread:

jdott
AldenH
Mark C
RealPlayer
beet31425
pianoloverus
argerichfan
Tararex
Damon
Old Man
wr

All of the above are current users (1/18/2013 seems fairly current to me, anyway). The title of the thread is clearly visible. The only difference I see between this "zombie" thread and a "current" thread is that this thread contains comments that have an earlier time stamp.

So what is the source of your "intense dislike"? Other than these time stamps, and the names of people who may or may not still be posting, I'm not sure how how this thread differs from a current thread. The differences seem so superficial, I can't believe it's such an issue for you and the "many others who feel the same." I'm certainly no genius, but even I can handle time stamps.

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#2016975 - 01/18/13 11:15 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: Old Man]
jdott Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/13
Posts: 34
Loc: Colorado, USA
There does seem to still be interest in this, and thanks for the support, Gramps. Any idea what is considered a 'zombie thread?"

Thanks

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#2016978 - 01/18/13 11:33 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: jdott]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8822
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: jdott
Any idea what is considered a 'zombie thread?'

Good question. No concrete definition of course, but I should think any thread that is at least 8 years old would qualify, especially as the majority of times subsequent threads may have covered the same territory.

But I don't really have a problem with threads that may be as old as 2 years, particularly if there is something pertinent to add, as in the case here.

As I indicated earlier, the Franz Liszt Appreciation Thread might lie fallow for several months, but that does not mean we shouldn't revive it when there is something new and exciting to add.

And not to mention some threads which had a very short shelf life at the time. Why not revive them if there are new members or older ones with fresh input?
_________________________
Jason

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#2016980 - 01/18/13 11:42 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19648
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: beet31425
....the rest of us (the majority I think, sorry Mark) who resent the confusion between living and historical conversations.

Confusion? I didn't think there's much confusion except maybe to the very new people. As the line goes in Annie Get Your Gun....



....all you have to do is look! smile

Just take a look at the date on the 1st post. Or the last ones before the new one.

A big clue, which almost always gives it away to me even before I click: A thread that doesn't look at all familiar but which has multiple posts and many hundreds or thousands of views.

And as for the n00bs, nothing we do will keep THEM from being confused. ha

I know, because when I first came here, there were thousands of things that confused me. For starters, how about the thing that has the name "Adult Beginners Forum".....

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#2016987 - 01/18/13 11:48 PM Re: Liszt really sight-read Chopins etudes..? [Re: pianoloverus]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19648
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
....Posting on an old thread is no different, I think, from opening up an old magazine or book one has saved....

Interesting analogy, and maybe it's no accident that I love that too. Almost always when I find an old magazine or newspaper that I've 'saved' by accident (by having put it some place where it then just failed to get thrown away.....excuse me, I mean recycled) ha ....I virtually always find everything in it fascinating, on a lot of levels. Even/maybe especially the ads. And the older the better.

It's also always a fascinating experience to thumb through the old magazines in antique shops. I find myself half-wanting to buy them ALL. What keeps me from it is that I realize there'd be no end to it.

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Will starting on unweighted keys cause problems later on?
by Alex1
07/27/14 05:43 PM
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