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#1984505 - 11/09/12 06:25 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: ando]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: ando

I would suggest practising it both ways - but playing it your preferred way in your performance. If he pulls you up on it, you can mount your argument respectfully and if you fail to convince him, you'll be able to at least play it the other way without making a mess of it. I would never avoid my own interpretation just to avoid trouble with somebody. I'm happy to alter my approach if the master requests it, but ultimately I am there to have a master critique my style, not my imagination of what he might like. I think that's a dishonest way to approach such a situation.

With anything you do that is controversial or unconventional, be prepared with sound arguments for why you are doing it - both musical and technical, and even historical if possible. If you show the right combination of strength and yielding, you will gain the respect of the master. Of course you should never enter an intense argument with somebody like this - that would not be smart politics in the narrow world of classical music, but you can push it reasonably far as long as you stay on point. Only argue intensely if he questions your parentage!
I have never been to a master class where the student argued with the teacher. Maybe a one sentence question about something the teacher said. I have gone to at least 150 master classes.


Edited by pianoloverus (11/09/12 06:26 AM)

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#1984519 - 11/09/12 07:21 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: pianoloverus]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3613
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: ando

I would suggest practising it both ways - but playing it your preferred way in your performance. If he pulls you up on it, you can mount your argument respectfully and if you fail to convince him, you'll be able to at least play it the other way without making a mess of it. I would never avoid my own interpretation just to avoid trouble with somebody. I'm happy to alter my approach if the master requests it, but ultimately I am there to have a master critique my style, not my imagination of what he might like. I think that's a dishonest way to approach such a situation.

With anything you do that is controversial or unconventional, be prepared with sound arguments for why you are doing it - both musical and technical, and even historical if possible. If you show the right combination of strength and yielding, you will gain the respect of the master. Of course you should never enter an intense argument with somebody like this - that would not be smart politics in the narrow world of classical music, but you can push it reasonably far as long as you stay on point. Only argue intensely if he questions your parentage!
I have never been to a master class where the student argued with the teacher. Maybe a one sentence question about something the teacher said. I have gone to at least 150 master classes.


There's a difference between "arguing" and having reasoned arguments for why you do something. Present arguments is a perfectly reasonable and peaceful thing to do. It just means you are explaining your reasoning for your choices. I have seen tense moments in masterclasses. They are not always obsequious yes sir/no sir affairs. I haven't ever seen a full blown argument, but I have seen disagreements and visibly upset parties on both sides. Not hard to see why when egos and passions run high. If somebody started to really insult me, I would push back, regardless of who they were. Once you have been humiliated there's not much left to lose. I consider it a matter of basic human respect not to belittle somebody. Fortunately I've never been treated that way in such a class, but I have seen people rather roundly rebuked and belittled. It almost always reflects badly on the teacher rather than the student.

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#1984526 - 11/09/12 07:51 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: landorrano]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: landorrano

I think that these artists are obliged to do masterclasses. I think that the situation is ridiculous: pretty much insulting to the artist, flattering for mediocre students and mediocre music fans. I can understand that an artist detests being in such a situation. And that he takes it out on the "student", well why not!
I don't think famous pianists are ever forced to give master classes. They may do so as a favor to whoever's in charge, but if they accept this job they should do it with the best intentions and for the benefit of the student and the audience. I assume they get paid for these classes. The top pianists like Schiff don't teach "mediocre" students in their master classes. The students are always conservatory pianists and for someone like Schiff, I'd guess the best conservatory students.

"Mediocre music fans"?

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#1984528 - 11/09/12 07:58 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: fnork]
Ian_G Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/10
Posts: 168
Loc: Germany
That Demus clip was disgusting. Made worse by the fact that he was making rather shallow musical points.

There's a great clip on youtube of Rubinstein giving a masterclass on the 1st Ballade. Very old and near-blind, he imparts wonderful things.

Using music to lash out is really unforgivable in my opinion.

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#1984529 - 11/09/12 07:59 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: fnork]
Ian_G Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/10
Posts: 168
Loc: Germany
(btw, to the OP, I'd play the Bartok Etudes).

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#1984530 - 11/09/12 08:01 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: fnork]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5279
I've never understood why students would go to a masterclass with someone who has a known reputation for being nasty. No matter how well-known, there are pianists who enjoy massaging their egos by destroying hapless students to an adoring audience (who may have wanted to see blood spilled....). Personally, if I was to go to one such, I'd go armed with lots of sarcastic one-liners to put these egoistical and egotistical pianists back into their place.... grin

This is different from those pianists who are naturally volatile but not mean or obnoxious - I once watched a masterclass on Chopin given by Cristina Ortiz, who, after being unable (after several attempts) to get a student to play with any sort of expression, almost pushed him off his seat to demonstrate what she wanted at the piano - despite never having played the piece (an Etude) herself - which she admitted at the beginning -, and obviously sightreading. It turned out to be a masterclass in sightreading, complete with all expression, though she obviously left out a few notes here and there grin.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1984531 - 11/09/12 08:02 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: pianoloverus]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
The top pianists like Schiff don't teach "mediocre" students in their master classes.


Oh yes they do. For example:

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
The students are always conservatory pianists


Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I assume they get paid for these classes.


"Money makes the world go round ..."

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#1984532 - 11/09/12 08:04 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: bennevis]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Personally, if I was to go to one such, I'd go armed with lots of sarcastic one-liners to put these egoistical and egotistical pianists back into their place.... grin


So, what is their place?

Egoistical and egotistical!

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#1984534 - 11/09/12 08:12 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: Ian_G]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Ian_G
(btw, to the OP, I'd play the Bartok Etudes).


thumb

Or Bach.

A major part of Schiff's baggage is Kurtag (still alive, by the way) who was close to Bartok. There is a Bach lineage there that is simply insuperable.

What an opportunity for you, Fnork. This guy has a lot to say to you, don't go try to show him what you think, go to hear what he thinks. It is a master class: go to the master!

Or don't go.

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#1984537 - 11/09/12 08:16 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: landorrano]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5279
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Personally, if I was to go to one such, I'd go armed with lots of sarcastic one-liners to put these egoistical and egotistical pianists back into their place.... grin


So, what is their place?

Egoistical and egotistical!


Back where they belong: a B-list concert pianist who needs to earn extra money by giving masterclasses because they can't get enough concerts and recordings grin.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1984538 - 11/09/12 08:23 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: bennevis]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Personally, if I was to go to one such, I'd go armed with lots of sarcastic one-liners to put these egoistical and egotistical pianists back into their place.... grin


So, what is their place?

Egoistical and egotistical!


Back where they belong: a B-list concert pianist who needs to earn extra money by giving masterclasses because they can't get enough concerts and recordings grin.


I'm afraid that it is much more likely you who will end up back in your place!

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#1984549 - 11/09/12 09:03 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: bennevis]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: bennevis
I've never understood why students would go to a masterclass with someone who has a known reputation for being nasty. No matter how well-known, there are pianists who enjoy massaging their egos by destroying hapless students to an adoring audience (who may have wanted to see blood spilled....). Personally, if I was to go to one such, I'd go armed with lots of sarcastic one-liners to put these egoistical and egotistical pianists back into their place.... grin
Students play for very famous pianists to learn something or to put it on their resume. Your idea of sarcastic one liners shows you don't understand the realities of a master class, especially one with a world class pianist.

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#1984550 - 11/09/12 09:08 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: landorrano]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
The top pianists like Schiff don't teach "mediocre" students in their master classes.

Oh yes they do. For example:

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
The students are always conservatory pianists
My example was the opposite of what you said unless you think top conservatory pianists are mediocre or you have a very jaded definiton of mediocre.


Edited by pianoloverus (11/09/12 09:08 AM)

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#1984611 - 11/09/12 11:59 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: pianoloverus]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5279
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: bennevis
I've never understood why students would go to a masterclass with someone who has a known reputation for being nasty. No matter how well-known, there are pianists who enjoy massaging their egos by destroying hapless students to an adoring audience (who may have wanted to see blood spilled....). Personally, if I was to go to one such, I'd go armed with lots of sarcastic one-liners to put these egoistical and egotistical pianists back into their place.... grin
Students play for very famous pianists to learn something or to put it on their resume. Your idea of sarcastic one liners shows you don't understand the realities of a master class, especially one with a world class pianist.


Nobody has to put up with gratuitous nastiness from anybody, least of all from so-called world class pianists. People will video masterclasses (furtively or otherwise) and put them on Youtube which will be humiliating - indefinitely - for the hapless student being subjected to this sort of thing. And what will happen if that student becomes a concert pianist himself and realises this sort of stuff is going to haunt him for the rest of his career?
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1984653 - 11/09/12 01:19 PM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: bennevis]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18137
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: bennevis
[...] And what will happen if that student becomes a concert pianist himself and realises this sort of stuff is going to haunt him for the rest of his career?


In the meantime, what happens to the reputation of already established, word-class pianists who can't control their nastiness when giving public master classes. Surely, they begin to attach a negative reputation to themselves which, in instances already expressed here, can have an equally negative effect on some of their public.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1984654 - 11/09/12 01:24 PM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: bennevis]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: bennevis
I've never understood why students would go to a masterclass with someone who has a known reputation for being nasty. No matter how well-known, there are pianists who enjoy massaging their egos by destroying hapless students to an adoring audience (who may have wanted to see blood spilled....). Personally, if I was to go to one such, I'd go armed with lots of sarcastic one-liners to put these egoistical and egotistical pianists back into their place.... grin
Students play for very famous pianists to learn something or to put it on their resume. Your idea of sarcastic one liners shows you don't understand the realities of a master class, especially one with a world class pianist.


Nobody has to put up with gratuitous nastiness from anybody, least of all from so-called world class pianists. People will video masterclasses (furtively or otherwise) and put them on Youtube which will be humiliating - indefinitely - for the hapless student being subjected to this sort of thing. And what will happen if that student becomes a concert pianist himself and realises this sort of stuff is going to haunt him for the rest of his career?
Yes, but this has little or nothing to do with what I said which was an explanation of why students take master classes with teachers even when they know the teacher has a reputation for nastiness.

Schiff is not a "so-called" world class pianist. He is a world class pianist. The only person coming off looking bad are the teachers, and I'd guess the teachers that act this way couldn't care less. Students are aware if their master class is being video taped and aware that it could appear on YouTube.

You seem to be unaware of master class dynamics and how the real world works here.

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#1984661 - 11/09/12 01:48 PM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: pianoloverus]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5279
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Yes, but this has little or nothing to do with what I said which was an explanation of why students take master classes with teachers even when they know the teacher has a reputation for nastiness.

Schiff is not a "so-called" world class pianist. He is a world class pianist. The only person coming off looking bad are the teachers, and I'd guess the teachers that act this way couldn't care less. Students are aware if their master class is being video taped and aware that it could appear on YouTube.

You seem to be unaware of master class dynamics and how the real world works here.


As to whether Schiff is a world class pianist, that's a matter of opinion. I personally don't think he's in the top rank - here in London, he wouldn't be playing in the Royal Festival Hall along with the likes of Uchida, Pollini, Zimerman, Perahia, Hewitt et al.

I've read many young pianists' résumés which often boast of whose masterclasses they've been on (as if being on a masterclass with a big name pianist means they're good....) along with which competitions they've won. Which is precisely the reason why they need to choose carefully, if they want that fact to help them along their career path - because prospective agents and concert promoters will want to find out what impression they made in those masterclasses. Were they just tails being wagged (or bitten grin) by their owners?
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1984668 - 11/09/12 02:03 PM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: bennevis]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Yes, but this has little or nothing to do with what I said which was an explanation of why students take master classes with teachers even when they know the teacher has a reputation for nastiness.

Schiff is not a "so-called" world class pianist. He is a world class pianist. The only person coming off looking bad are the teachers, and I'd guess the teachers that act this way couldn't care less. Students are aware if their master class is being video taped and aware that it could appear on YouTube.

You seem to be unaware of master class dynamics and how the real world works here.



I've read many young pianists' resumés which often boast of whose masterclasses they've been on (as if being on a masterclass with a big name pianist means they're good....) along with which competitions they've won. Which is precisely the reason why they need to choose carefully, if they want that fact to help them along their career path.
Which is why you should understand one of the two reasons I gave why young pianists want to or at least are willing to to play for people like Schiff. In order to play for people of this caliber it shows a certain amount of skill. That's why it's on their resume... precisely because it is indicative of something positive.

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#1984842 - 11/10/12 12:29 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: pianoloverus]
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1495
[quote=pianoloverus I'd love to see one of those teachers get yelled back to in public although this will never happen for obvious reasons. out. [/quote]

I actually saw a student yell back at David Dubal during one of his nastier moments in an open class at the Manhattan School of Music. He was screaming at her at the top of his lungs while she was playing, and she slammed down the lid to the keys, got up, and shrieked at him "I can't even HEAR myself with your ranting".

He was quite shocked smile

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#1984851 - 11/10/12 12:51 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: Opus_Maximus]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8904
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Opus_Maximus

He was quite shocked smile

The nerve to question the great David Dubal. Pity, he could have screamed at Argerich for her Liszt sonata, then sit down and play it properly for her. (I must check out Dubal's recording of the Liszt. Anyone have it?)

smokin
_________________________
Jason

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#1984882 - 11/10/12 03:42 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: fnork]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1365
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Bless that gal who fought back at David Dubal in public! I would love to have been there to applaud her. She should get a medal. What's her name and where is she now?

But in the bigger picture, it's master classes by their very nature that allow such bad teaching situations. More broadly, I'd say it's the nature of classical music instruction by its very nature that allows such bad teaching situations, though most of this abuse goes on in secret, behind closed doors.

It would be very interesting to interview both Dubal and this young pianist in retrospect about this sorry affair: I am sure there are wounds unhealed.

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#1984889 - 11/10/12 04:11 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: pianoloverus]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1365
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
In answer to an earlier comment, Schiff has indeed carved out a noted career as a Bach pianist. But his published remarks about playing 18th century music with any allegiance to its history sounded both uneducated and arrogant to me. I believe I have read interviews in Clavier Magazine and the New York Times some years back, but he gets so much press, it might have been elsewhere that I read his comments.

My reaction each time he spouted off about Bach performance was, "Oh, boy, another 19th-century-style, conservatory-trained pianist who should just shut up and play, before he makes things worse."

A guy like this would probably not make a good teacher, including master classes.

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#1984895 - 11/10/12 04:35 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: fnork]
Praeludium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/19/11
Posts: 91
Loc: Besançon, France
Yelling back at a famous musician who is doing a masterclass could have terrible consequences. If he's very influential and nasty, he could make your life very hard as a musician. Isn't it probably why almost nobody do it ? You don't want Andras Schiff as an enemy.
I think it can goes very far - you can be bothered for MUCH less in any conservatory, for instance, where there's always some politics involved. So, "insulting" the great X could be seen as a kind of suicide. But I think it's the right thing to do - it depends on what are your goals as a music student I guess.


Edited by Praeludium (11/10/12 04:37 AM)

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#1984900 - 11/10/12 04:47 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: Praeludium]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Praeludium
Yelling back at a famous musician who is doing a masterclass could have terrible consequences. If he's very influential and nasty, he could make your life very hard as a musician. Isn't it probably why almost nobody do it ? You don't want Andras Schiff as an enemy.
I think it can goes very far - you can be bothered for MUCH less in any conservatory, for instance, where there's always some politics involved. So, "insulting" the great X could be seen as a kind of suicide. But I think it's the right thing to do - it depends on what are your goals as a music student I guess.


Je ne crois pas, pas du tout! I really don't think so.

If a student doesn't "yell back" when a teacher is simply being nasty, it's because he has no spine. Too bad for him.

Salut les Franche-Comtois!

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#1984901 - 11/10/12 04:51 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose

My reaction each time he spouted off about Bach performance was, "Oh, boy, another 19th-century-style, conservatory-trained pianist who should just shut up and play, before he makes things worse."

A guy like this would probably not make a good teacher, including master classes.



It's great isn't it, the internet, being able to write things like that and with a click send it out into the world wide web.

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#1984906 - 11/10/12 05:09 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: landorrano]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4831
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose

My reaction each time he spouted off about Bach performance was, "Oh, boy, another 19th-century-style, conservatory-trained pianist who should just shut up and play, before he makes things worse."

A guy like this would probably not make a good teacher, including master classes.



It's great isn't it, the internet, being able to write things like that and with a click send it out into the world wide web.


But does that make it wrong?

I don't care how famous and/or knowledgeable someone is. If they don't have the decency to be respectful, especially when providing a masterclass in front of people, then they aren't worth the time of any self-respecting student.

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#1984907 - 11/10/12 05:13 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: JoelW]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: mazurkajoe
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose

My reaction each time he spouted off about Bach performance was, "Oh, boy, another 19th-century-style, conservatory-trained pianist who should just shut up and play, before he makes things worse."

A guy like this would probably not make a good teacher, including master classes.



It's great isn't it, the internet, being able to write things like that and with a click send it out into the world wide web.


But does that make it wrong?


It is wrong.

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#1984908 - 11/10/12 05:19 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: landorrano]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4831
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: mazurkajoe
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose

My reaction each time he spouted off about Bach performance was, "Oh, boy, another 19th-century-style, conservatory-trained pianist who should just shut up and play, before he makes things worse."

A guy like this would probably not make a good teacher, including master classes.



It's great isn't it, the internet, being able to write things like that and with a click send it out into the world wide web.


But does that make it wrong?


It is wrong.


Missed my point.

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#1984938 - 11/10/12 07:05 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: JoelW]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: mazurkajoe


Missed my point.


Gee whiz, how dare you talk to me that way here on the internet! Have the decency to be respectful in front of the whole wide (piano) world!

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#1984939 - 11/10/12 07:10 AM Re: What should I play for Andras Schiff? [Re: landorrano]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4831
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: mazurkajoe


Missed my point.


Gee whiz, how dare you talk to me that way here on the internet! Have the decency to be respectful in front of the whole wide (piano) world!



lol

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Yamaha UX vs WX
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