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#1941126 - 08/12/12 12:03 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
evilpacman18 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/12
Posts: 152
Loc: Glendora, CA
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Rather amazed at this:



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#1941165 - 08/12/12 01:29 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
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Loc: St. Louis area
_________________________
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#1941214 - 08/12/12 04:49 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Kuanpiano]
trigalg693 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 609
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano

They're sorta cadenza-like passages, so I don't think they really need to be in time. That's one of the cases where I think you can be flexible with Liszt's rhythm - just hammer out those octaves at a speed which does service to the music without destroying your hands!


You think? Usually when that happens he writes a "quasi una cadenza" or something in there, but this is written out metrically correct, which is really disturbing because if I try really hard and deprioritize accuracy I can barely do it at what I consider slightly under tempo (granted, I've only really worked on it for maybe 1.5 months, not much practice done over the summer frown ). I end up missing quite a bit of notes, my arms get very sore, and I start sweating pretty bad lol. If you transplant Berezovsky's octaves, then it would almost be up to tempo for the tempo I like.

Of course no one ever plays it in tempo, and I don't plan on trying to do it for real, I just really wonder why Liszt would try to write it like that.

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#1941237 - 08/12/12 07:11 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: trigalg693]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7781
Originally Posted By: trigalg693
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano

They're sorta cadenza-like passages, so I don't think they really need to be in time. That's one of the cases where I think you can be flexible with Liszt's rhythm - just hammer out those octaves at a speed which does service to the music without destroying your hands!


You think? Usually when that happens he writes a "quasi una cadenza" or something in there, but this is written out metrically correct, which is really disturbing because if I try really hard and deprioritize accuracy I can barely do it at what I consider slightly under tempo (granted, I've only really worked on it for maybe 1.5 months, not much practice done over the summer frown ). I end up missing quite a bit of notes, my arms get very sore, and I start sweating pretty bad lol. If you transplant Berezovsky's octaves, then it would almost be up to tempo for the tempo I like.

Of course no one ever plays it in tempo, and I don't plan on trying to do it for real, I just really wonder why Liszt would try to write it like that.


The overall tempo is just a plain old allegro, for one thing. Most people try to play the whole piece too fast for that spec, IMO. And too, Liszt was writing for pianos on which it was easier to play this kind of stuff. A key dip that's just a little bit shallower can make a huge difference in how effortful or effortless this kind of thing feels.

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#1941577 - 08/12/12 06:35 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
trigalg693 Offline
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Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 609
Yea I understand, I happened to get a chance to play a Bechstein that Liszt used, and the keys were extremely light. Completely takes the load off your fingers for Chasse neige, for example.

Today I noticed that the 2nd time those octaves come, he starts to disregard the meter and just writes everything into 3 bars. I guess that's enough evidence supporting the quasi cadenza idea that I shouldn't worry too much about playing it as written.


Edited by trigalg693 (08/12/12 06:36 PM)

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#1942454 - 08/14/12 09:42 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
pianojosh23 Offline
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Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 603
It is my opinion that Liszt is vastly underrated as a composer of orchestral music. The criticism of his orchestral music is remarkably persistent and, I have found, much of it is unfounded. Even the nicer critics will give this remarkable side of his output due credit for being extremely important in the development of program music, thematic transformation, harmony and, to a lesser extent, use of the orchestra - but only the very brave will give the music itself much credit - which is a shame. In my opinion it simply comes down to prejudices, which lead to misunderstanding, and the fact that much of Liszt's orchestral music is actually pretty complex program music and not the cheap thrills that people seem to link his name to. Even the most educated critics seem to be blind to this side of his music. I read recently Charles Rosen calling Liszt's orchestration 'dreadful,' and when esteemed critics like Rosen are making those judgements, what are others supposed to think?

I don't know why Rosen would have made that claim. Maybe it's because Liszt's orchestration isn't as colorful and immediately exciting as Berlioz or Strauss - who knows. Here's a summary by Michael Saffle on Liszt's orchestration:

"Instead of novelty or complexity, Liszt specialized as an orchestrator of transparency. Only when necessary did he double parts, and then most often to give his string parts more emphasis. Almost never did he produce muddy-sounding or poorly balanced passages, as Schumann and even Brahms sometimes did; certain murky effects in Tasso are an exception, introduced for programmatic purposes. Instead, Liszt's more heavily scored passages are forthright rather than merely exaggerated; his sectional scoring, especially for winds, is noteworthy for its clarity and logic, and his use of solo instruments is both infrequent and highly effective. Liszt also wrote well for percussion; consider the delightful and mostly understated military passages in Hungaria. On occasion he may have employed cymbals and other noise-makers a bit too enthusiastically - but as the years passed his orchestration, in general, grew more subdued."

I'm starting to consider Liszt as not only a composer with a first-rate orchestral output, but also a very good orchestrator - not at the level of, say, Berlioz, but a very good one regardless. I find even the worst his orchestral music to be at least good, very intersting, and certainly worthy of occasional listening - and the best is among my favourite orchestral music. His tone poems are, on the whole, among my favourites and his two symphonies are both tremendously innovative and novel masterpieces that are worthy of frequent recording and performance. Here's a good recording of the Dante (even though the treatment of Liszt's cymbals in the Inferno movement is dreadfully ugly and vulgar at times, and the Purgatorio movement too slow, it is still among the best in a un-competitive environment - perhaps second only to Barenboim, whose recording is also on youtube but in many parts).



Here's my favourite recording of the Faust Symphony:



And some of my favourite tone poems by him:



This recording of the Heroide Funebre is almost ridiculously slow and probably not going to endear itself to new listeners - but actually very compelling if you believe in the work itself beforehand. I only put it here because it's the only video on youtube containing the whole piece in one video - there are other, faster ones on youtube for those who are interested.



Ce qu'on is a flawed, yet remarkable and very innovative composition.





And of course, then there's the more famous (and brilliant) ones like Tasso, Les Preludes and Mazeppa, the other great ones like From the Cradle to the Grave, Der Nachtliche Zug, etc.


Edited by pianojosh23 (08/14/12 10:36 AM)

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#1942525 - 08/14/12 12:14 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8841
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
I read recently Charles Rosen calling Liszt's orchestration 'dreadful,' [...]
I don't know why Rosen would have made that claim.

That's from 'The Romantic Generation'. I agree that Rosen's a bit excessive there (he is elsewhere patronizing about Mendelssohn), but his astute observations in the rest of the chapter more than make up for it. Certainly it gave me a renewed appreciation of some aspects of Liszt which I had formerly excused as 'guilty pleasures'!

Unfortunately Rosen isn't as enthusiastic about the Sonata, in fact he seems somewhat apologetic that it doesn't fully merit the praise bestowed upon it by the rest of us. He rightly points to the Faust Symphony in its more sophisticated use of thematic transformation, but then that occasions the 'dreadful' orchestration.

Otherwise I cannot recommend Rosen's book highly enough, though with the caveat that some of it makes for rather opaque reading. Especially in chapters dealing with music of less interest to me, I thought 'well now, Charles, you've lost me.'

Quote:
Here's my favourite recording of the Faust Symphony:

A fine one indeed. Also try to hear Beecham's early stereo recording from 1958. It has long been considered a classic, and EMI's sound is amazing for its age. Bernstein's early recording on CBS was predictably kinetic in its excitement, but is marred at the end by a tenor (remaining nameless in this post) who sounds like a wizened old queen.
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#1942568 - 08/14/12 01:09 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
pianojosh23 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 603
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
I read recently Charles Rosen calling Liszt's orchestration 'dreadful,' [...]
I don't know why Rosen would have made that claim.

That's from 'The Romantic Generation'. I agree that Rosen's a bit excessive there (he is elsewhere patronizing about Mendelssohn), but his astute observations in the rest of the chapter more than make up for it. Certainly it gave me a renewed appreciation of some aspects of Liszt which I had formerly excused as 'guilty pleasures'!

Unfortunately Rosen isn't as enthusiastic about the Sonata, in fact he seems somewhat apologetic that it doesn't fully merit the praise bestowed upon it by the rest of us. He rightly points to the Faust Symphony in its more sophisticated use of thematic transformation, but then that occasions the 'dreadful' orchestration.

Otherwise I cannot recommend Rosen's book highly enough, though with the caveat that some of it makes for rather opaque reading. Especially in chapters dealing with music of less interest to me, I thought 'well now, Charles, you've lost me.'

Quote:
Here's my favourite recording of the Faust Symphony:

A fine one indeed. Also try to hear Beecham's early stereo recording from 1958. It has long been considered a classic, and EMI's sound is amazing for its age. Bernstein's early recording on CBS was predictably kinetic in its excitement, but is marred at the end by a tenor (remaining nameless in this post) who sounds like a wizened old queen.




Absolutely. I also can't recommend the book enough and a good part of my confusion about him making that claim is that he is really such a terrific writer on music. It shows, to me, that despite how penetrating many of his insights are, he is still human like the rest of us - opinionated, has his own specific tastes, has his biases/prejudices, and is also agenda driven at times, and despite all the times he is highly agreeable there are many others where he's not and that's what's always going to happen when someones writes about music.

As far as the Liszt chapter goes I also can't agree with Rosen's dismissal of Liszt's choral music (perhaps the best part of his output not including his piano music), as well as the quality of his late piano music. His view on the Sonata not fully deserving the praise we heap on it seems to be a taste thing more than anything. He diverted the importance from one aspect of it to another, but as far as quality goes his main gripe was about the work containing "a good deal of bombast and sentimental posturings in between its finest passages." The sections of the piece that he feels deserve that description most of us revel in - and him calling the Liszt Sonata overrated based on that is purely an opinion based on peronal taste. I find Rosen too...'highbrow' in a sense to fully appreciate Liszt's music in the way he does Chopin and Schumann - despite, ironically, his defending of the Rhapsodies and Etudes. I find the negative sentimental posturings comment disagreeable when Rosen elsewhere stated that Chopin's music is fully free of sentimentality, but I digress...

As far as recordings for the Faust go, I have not heard Beecham which is a classic by all accounts. It's high on my to-buy list - and the two CD set i'm thinking of getting also includes a full blooded performance of the 13th Psalm (in English) and a good performance of Orpheus - as well as Silvestri in Tasso and Les Preludes. Looks like a great buy!


Edited by pianojosh23 (08/14/12 04:12 PM)

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#1961838 - 09/20/12 10:41 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
pianojosh23 Offline
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Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 603


Beautiful!

Here's a beautiful piece that's almost never played:





Edited by pianojosh23 (09/20/12 11:04 PM)

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#1963022 - 09/23/12 07:05 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
pianojosh23 Offline
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Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 603
Great stuff!



And a terrific performance of Les préludes.



Edited by pianojosh23 (09/23/12 07:06 AM)

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#1963380 - 09/23/12 09:45 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8841
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Probably the greatest piano work Liszt ever wrote. It speaks more profoundly to me than anything else, I dearly love this, it says everything to me.
_________________________
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#1963399 - 09/23/12 10:37 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Probably the greatest piano work Liszt ever wrote. It speaks more profoundly to me than anything else, I dearly love this, it says everything to me.


Are you referring to Il Lamento? If so, my first reaction would be if that's the case why is this piece so infrequently(almost never) performed?

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#1963424 - 09/23/12 11:18 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6101
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Probably the greatest piano work Liszt ever wrote. It speaks more profoundly to me than anything else, I dearly love this, it says everything to me.




A gorgeous piece which I once considered almost as highly as you do, but has lost some of it's charm for me. I still love it and still prefer Edith Farnadi's rendering.
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#1963572 - 09/24/12 08:16 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8841
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
@Damon: you have mentioned Farnadi before. Will try to check out some recordings on YT.

@pianoloverus: I've never heard Il lamento in recital, nor have I known anyone who has worked on it. I can only surmise that it's extreme difficulty -especially maintaining momentum over such a long span of time- may be discouraging, and that the piece doesn't have the obvious technical payoff of the other etudes.
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#1963579 - 09/24/12 08:31 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6101
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
@Damon: you have mentioned Farnadi before. Will try to check out some recordings on YT.


Good luck. She wasn't a powerhouse but figured large for me because much of my Liszt was first heard through her. It may explain my preference for La leggierezza without the ossia in thirds.
Originally Posted By: argerichfan

@pianoloverus: I've never heard Il lamento in recital, nor have I known anyone who has worked on it. I can only surmise that it's extreme difficulty -especially maintaining momentum over such a long span of time- may be discouraging, and that the piece doesn't have the obvious technical payoff of the other etudes.


Although not unusual with Liszt, the theme isn't too varied in this piece as in others. For a 10 minute piece, this could get monotonous for some, despite the brilliant ornamentation.
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#1963587 - 09/24/12 08:48 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
pianoloverus: I've never heard Il lamento in recital, nor have I known anyone who has worked on it. I can only surmise that it's extreme difficulty -especially maintaining momentum over such a long span of time- may be discouraging, and that the piece doesn't have the obvious technical payoff of the other etudes.
My question or observation was really something different.

Doesn't it seem strange to you that you consider this piece to be "probably the greatest piece Liszt wrote" but virtually no one plays it? In other words, it seems that most people have the opposite opinion of this piece.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/24/12 08:50 AM)

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#1963598 - 09/24/12 09:51 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianoloverus]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8841
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

Doesn't it seem strange to you that you consider this piece to be "probably the greatest piece Liszt wrote" but virtually no one plays it? In other words, it seems that most people have the opposite opinion of this piece.

So your point is?
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#1964440 - 09/25/12 07:07 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
dolce sfogato Offline
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Registered: 03/29/10
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Loc: Netherlands
anyone ever tried the valse-imprompu? so very very charming and disarming! also Liszt, to be played by all of you!
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#1964476 - 09/25/12 08:08 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: dolce sfogato]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6101
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
anyone ever tried the valse-imprompu? so very very charming and disarming! also Liszt, to be played by all of you!


I'm working on it, but it will take me awhile. I love it!


Rubinstein owns this.


Edited by Damon (09/25/12 08:09 PM)
_________________________
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#1964482 - 09/25/12 08:25 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

Doesn't it seem strange to you that you consider this piece to be "probably the greatest piece Liszt wrote" but virtually no one plays it? In other words, it seems that most people have the opposite opinion of this piece.

So your point is?
You love a piece that most don't seem to rate very highly. That's a little unusual, but more importantly you express your opinion as if it was a fact. You just say "probably the greatest piece he ever wrote." To me that's kind of like saying "Probably the earth is flat".


Edited by pianoloverus (09/25/12 08:31 PM)

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#1964519 - 09/25/12 10:38 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianoloverus]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8841
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
You love a piece that most don't seem to rate very highly. That's a little unusual, but more importantly you express your opinion as if it was a fact. You just say "probably the greatest piece he ever wrote." To me that's kind of like saying "Probably the earth is flat".

There you go again, so bloody tiresome with your constant whining about 'opinion as fact'. It's just an internet board, haven't you figured that out? Your 'earth is flat' analogy would be laughable if it were not so insulting.

If I happen to love that work of Liszt, I don't require anyone's approval, certainly not yours, and that is only my opinion. I think that should have been obvious, but if not, let me add an 'IMO' for your gratification.

I will no longer interact with you here, and would highly appreciate it if you did not read or respond to any of my posts in the future. You are now on IGNORE.




_________________________
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#1965647 - 09/28/12 07:47 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
Jolteon Offline
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Registered: 04/11/11
Posts: 526
Loc: Perth, Australia
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Probably the greatest piano work Liszt ever wrote. It speaks more profoundly to me than anything else, I dearly love this, it says everything to me.




This, to me, is perhaps Liszt's most profound piano writing. (such that I've discovered, anyway.) smile


I think I might, possibly, have already posted this one here before, but I will do it again because I just love it so much!


Edited by Jolteon (09/28/12 07:47 AM)
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#1965697 - 09/28/12 10:12 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Jolteon]
argerichfan Offline
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Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8841
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Jolteon

This, to me, is perhaps Liszt's most profound piano writing. (such that I've discovered, anyway.) smile

Absolutely. I love that piece, and it made for some wonderful early morning listening!
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#1966297 - 09/29/12 02:58 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6101
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
You love a piece that most don't seem to rate very highly. That's a little unusual, but more importantly you express your opinion as if it was a fact. You just say "probably the greatest piece he ever wrote." To me that's kind of like saying "Probably the earth is flat".

There you go again, so bloody tiresome with your constant whining about 'opinion as fact'. ..



I read where Microsoft is adding a new feature to Word. Now it will have pianoloverus-check in addition to spell-check and grammar check. wink
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#1966298 - 09/29/12 03:01 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Damon]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
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Loc: St. Louis area
This is one of several videos where examples of Liszt by various artists are accompanied with some commentary by David Dubal.




Haha, Dubal doesn't share our love of Il Lamento, argerichfan. But coincidentally, he has an equally scratchy recording of Edith Farnadi performing it in this video.


Edited by Damon (09/29/12 03:09 PM)
Edit Reason: addition
_________________________
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#1966345 - 09/29/12 04:01 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Damon]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Damon
I read where Microsoft is adding a new feature to Word. Now it will have pianoloverus-check in addition to spell-check and [b]grammar check
Yes and my fee was one million which they happily paid. It's just called P-check due to my fame.

I don't think it's unreasonable to think it's desirable that opinions should be phrased as opinions whether on the internet or in person. To have a strong opinion about something, especially if it's not what most others think, and then phrase it as if it was purely factual seems somewhat arrogant.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/29/12 04:21 PM)

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#1966360 - 09/29/12 04:27 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianoloverus]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6101
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

I don't think it's unreasonable to think it's desirable that opinions should be phrased as opinions whether on the internet or in person. To have a strong opinion about something, especially if it's not what most others think, and then phrase it as if it was purely factual seems somewhat arrogant.


It's unreasonable to constantly call people out for it when the fact that it's an opinion is obvious. Obviously you won't "get over it" but it's my opinion that you should. laugh
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#1966374 - 09/29/12 04:41 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Damon]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Damon
It's unreasonable to constantly call people out for it when the fact that it's an opinion is obvious.
I think when it's obvious it's an opinion, it's even more important/desirable to express it as one to avoid the appearance of arrogance. That's my whole point.(Just my opinion.)

Thanks for the Dubal programs. Quite fascinating to hear how he sounded 35 years ago which turns out to be almost exactly the way he sounds today. I used to listen to Dubal's radio program a lot but then got somewhat tired of his super enthusiasm and penchant for reading quotes from various books.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/29/12 04:47 PM)

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#1966395 - 09/29/12 05:10 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianoloverus]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6101
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

Thanks for the Dubal programs. Quite fascinating to hear how he sounded 35 years ago which turns out to be almost exactly the way he sounds today. I used to listen to Dubal's radio program a lot but then got somewhat tired of his super enthusiasm and penchant for reading quotes from various books.


I've never heard him before, so I've been enjoying his excerpts for now. I think I counted 48 Liszt related programs on this channel. Each one is roughly 50 minutes long, which is a good amount of material for a Liszt-fan.
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#1966408 - 09/29/12 05:30 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Damon]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

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Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

Thanks for the Dubal programs. Quite fascinating to hear how he sounded 35 years ago which turns out to be almost exactly the way he sounds today. I used to listen to Dubal's radio program a lot but then got somewhat tired of his super enthusiasm and penchant for reading quotes from various books.


I've never heard him before, so I've been enjoying his excerpts for now. I think I counted 48 Liszt related programs on this channel. Each one is roughly 50 minutes long, which is a good amount of material for a Liszt-fan.
If you google his website, I think they've archived most of his more recent programs. I think he had two programs in the last decade and the less recent one was called Reflections from the Keyboard: The Piano in Comparative Performance.

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