Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1993316 - 12/01/12 05:58 PM Do great musicianship and great technique usually...
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19225
Loc: New York City
go together?

This was mentioned by a Jeffrey Jones in another thread. He said they do and I basically agree with him. I don't think there have been many pianists who are generally considered great who weren't great both as technicians and as musicians. Of course, I don't mean that every great pianist had a technique on the level of Horowitz or Hamelin, but I think very few pianists generally considered great had technical problems or a "weak" technique. In fact, I don't see how one can be considered great if one is weak in either area.

1. Do you think that great technique and great musicianship normally go together?

2. Even if you said yes to #1 can you name some exceptions, i.e. pianists with great technique but weak musicianship or vice versa?

3. For amateur pianists, do you think their level of technical skill and musical understanding are generally on about the same level?

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1993333 - 12/01/12 06:24 PM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: pianoloverus]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21271
Loc: Oakland
1. If one does not have the technique to bring off the musicianship, you will never know about the musicianship.

2. Cortot and Schnabel were better known for their musicianship than their technique, at least for the bulk of their careers. There are many pianists with better technique than musicianship, but since pyrotechnics sells, they have careers. I do not wish to name any, because I do not wish to offend people for whom technique is so important.

3. No.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#1993364 - 12/01/12 07:14 PM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: pianoloverus]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4777
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
1. Do you think that great technique and great musicianship normally go together?
To become a really world class pianist, you need both. If one is a gifted musician but a lousy pianist, I assume it would make sense to choose another instrument or become a great conductor or composer.

Quote:
2. Even if you said yes to #1 can you name some exceptions, i.e. pianists with great technique but weak musicianship or vice versa?
Sure. I've heard several professional performances that left me scratching my head. One was a harpsichordist who performed with the Seattle Symphony and was just terrible. He had technique but no musicality. One pianist who did not impress me at all with his musicality was Awadagin Pratt. The same for Marc-Andre Hamelin, although maybe he was having an off night. I once went to a recital given by a young man who was about to leave for the major Australian competition. He had blazing technique but his music was loud, louder, fast and faster. IMO he had astonishing technique but did not know how to make music. My ears were ringing and I couldn't wait to leave.
Quote:

3. For amateur pianists, do you think their level of technical skill and musical understanding are generally on about the same level?
I think it varies too much to judge. It's safe to assume that most of us are working hard on both and are making the best progress we can when we find the time.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

Top
#1993504 - 12/02/12 03:32 AM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: pianoloverus]
fledgehog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 273
Loc: West Hartford, CT
I believe that emotion and technique are mutually exclusive. Each has the means to support and complement the other, but it's definitely possible to have one without the other. There seems to be a trend towards robotic, note-perfection in the classical music world now -- lots of students just learning the notes, with absolutely no understanding of what they mean. At the same time, there are plenty of musicians who feel each composition as though they had written it themselves, and yet don't quite have the technical means to get the tricky passages and runs up to speed and clean. I believe you're more likely to find a stellar musician who also has good technique, than a virtuoso who can also emote.

There are a number of reasons why technique seems to be so much more heavily emphasized in modern times. Recording studios, multiple takes, studio magic, etc, have raised everybody's standards of what a good performance sounds like. In concert, even technical titans flub occasionally, but because we've become used to edited studio recordings, suddenly the occasional missed note sticks out like a sore thumb. Another part of it is that classical music is sadly suffering, and flashy/bombastic is just going to sell more. To the casual listener, La Campanella is going to have just the right "wow" factor, but a late Schubert sonata is going to be long and tedious. Thus, the technical showcasers get all the attention. I also believe technique is easier to learn than musicality. You can train and do exercises to strengthen and coordinate your fingers, but it's much, much more difficult (if not impossible) to teach somebody genuine musical emotion.

Top
#1993615 - 12/02/12 11:11 AM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: gooddog]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2290
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: gooddog

Quote:
2. Even if you said yes to #1 can you name some exceptions, i.e. pianists with great technique but weak musicianship or vice versa?
Sure. I've heard several professional performances that left me scratching my head. One was a harpsichordist who performed with the Seattle Symphony and was just terrible. He had technique but no musicality. One pianist who did not impress me at all with his musicality was Awadagin Pratt. The same for Marc-Andre Hamelin, although maybe he was having an off night. I once went to a recital given by a young man who was about to leave for the major Australian competition. He had blazing technique but his music was loud, louder, fast and faster. IMO he had astonishing technique but did not know how to make music. My ears were ringing and I couldn't wait to leave.


I think there's more than a bit of abuse and misunderstanding of "piano technique," and "musicians" like this are the result. Technique is not about the ability to play the fastest and loudest all the time. It's about the ability to control and portray the full range of musical material, no matter how difficult or awkward. Hamelin has the full range of technique. Many successful pianists do not.

Top
#1993625 - 12/02/12 11:59 AM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: pianoloverus]
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
musicianship depends on techniques, which is essential base of a great pianist. but musicality of a pianist goes above techniques or virtuosity. we have tons of pianists in the world who can play anything, but how many among them make it to a great pianist with something unique and special to say in music making? someone like Bozhanov or young Pogorelich doesn't come along often, who would arouse controversy, debate or sensation, and yet would leave the world some unforgettable music experience and moments...

Top
#1993635 - 12/02/12 12:30 PM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: signa]
Works1 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 415
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: signa
musicianship depends on techniques, which is essential base of a great pianist. but musicality of a pianist goes above techniques or virtuosity. we have tons of pianists in the world who can play anything, but how many among them make it to a great pianist with something unique and special to say in music making? someone like Bozhanov or young Pogorelich doesn't come along often, who would arouse controversy, debate or sensation, and yet would leave the world some unforgettable music experience and moments...


Sad thing is I think most of the general listening public do not appreciate sensitive playing and would rather hear a flashy lightening fast version of La Campanella over Schubert's D959, for example.

It's also sad when something like the ridiculous midi reproduction below gets more hits on Youtube than almost any classical piece performed by even the best artists (albeit most out of curiousity I imagine):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHBuKmyhbtQ&feature=player_detailpage

Top
#1993892 - 12/02/12 09:51 PM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: Works1]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7756
Originally Posted By: Works1


It's also sad when something like the ridiculous midi reproduction below gets more hits on Youtube than almost any classical piece performed by even the best artists (albeit most out of curiousity I imagine):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHBuKmyhbtQ&feature=player_detailpage


I didn't click on the link to find out what you are talking about, but you know, posting the link will probably generate more of those deplorable hits. smile

Top
#1993904 - 12/02/12 10:23 PM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: Works1]
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Originally Posted By: Works1
Originally Posted By: signa
musicianship depends on techniques, which is essential base of a great pianist. but musicality of a pianist goes above techniques or virtuosity. we have tons of pianists in the world who can play anything, but how many among them make it to a great pianist with something unique and special to say in music making? someone like Bozhanov or young Pogorelich doesn't come along often, who would arouse controversy, debate or sensation, and yet would leave the world some unforgettable music experience and moments...


Sad thing is I think most of the general listening public do not appreciate sensitive playing and would rather hear a flashy lightening fast version of La Campanella over Schubert's D959, for example.



Yes, remember the good ol' days when music was perfect and you would never hear arguments of this sort. You know, the glory days of Beethoven, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, when the concept of "spectacle" didn't exist, and muscians represented a higher calling and grasped, indeed held, something spiritual, something ethereal; when art was perfect. Those were the days.

Not like the [censored] we get now. Bunch of mechanistic twats who clearly are only in it for the fame and glory. Pianist's these days! Honestly! Ain't got no respect, Ain't got no appreciation! Just a bunch of thoughtless artless ingrates. If only people knew how perfect the world used to be!

Top
#1993993 - 12/03/12 06:26 AM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: polyphasicpianist]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 451
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist
Yes, remember the good ol' days when music was perfect and you would never hear arguments of this sort. You know, the glory days of Beethoven, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, when the concept of "spectacle" didn't exist, and muscians represented a higher calling and grasped, indeed held, something spiritual, something ethereal; when art was perfect. Those were the days.

Really? They all have been great showman as well! It is known that Beethoven sometimes played so intense that the pianoforte he was performing on broke under his fingers. And not once. He pretty well knew about the quality of his instruments - and knew how to make a spectacle out of it.
_________________________
learning Piano on my Roland HP-505
before playing Drums in adults bluesband on handpicked set; before crashing E-Guitar in kids garage band; raised on home entertainment Organ and Keyboard models Eminent Solina P240, Farfisa Maharani 259R, Technics KN800, and on Mouth Organ, Recorder and Accordion

Top
#1993997 - 12/03/12 06:37 AM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: pianoloverus]
kapelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 380
Loc: Poland
You can be great technic completely without any musical feelings.
And opposite - you can have "Weak" (weak im comparison to lets say Volodos, Horowitz, Godowsky etc) like Sofronicki (I don't know what's the proper spelling for his name in English) or Petri - but play beautifully.

Read Henry Neuhaus book - you won't find anything better about the correct approach to piano playing, from each side.
Also there you will find answer for your questions smile

Jest compare Bang Bang and Yuja Wang.
Both have tremendous skills - Lang perhaps even much better, his control of action is out of this world.
But his playing is like being in circus, but not like being in the temple of art (Just look on youtube his two Rach preludes from PROMS - bing bang technic with completely lost musicality, he even killed the Stars and Stripes - watch the video that was made in front is White House in Washington).
He is sometimes good in low volume, lirycal places - but most of the time his performaces are like 10-year child which want to say to everybody "hey, i am doing stupid things, so maybe now you will see me eventually".

Listening to Yuja is like a long journey, full of color and emotions... It's much more deep fastinating playing... I love listening to her.. great technic and musicality...

Regards


Edited by kapelli (12/03/12 06:51 AM)

Top
#1994045 - 12/03/12 09:37 AM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: pianoloverus]
Cheeto717 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 696
Loc: Pennsylvania
I doubt there was ever a musician who DIDN'T use his skills to flex his ego.

And, call me shallow, but I think I'd rather listen to La Campanella than most Schubert works.
_________________________
Working On:
Bach: Partita No. 6
Beethoven: Op. 26
Brahms: Op. 120
Chopin: Op. 10

Top
#1994058 - 12/03/12 10:24 AM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: pianoloverus]
bennevis Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4821
'Musicianship' is subjective, technique is objective. Therein lies the difficulty of trying to differentiate between the two. Horowitz told Perahia (when the latter studied with him) that 'to be more than a virtuoso, first you must become a virtuoso.' After which Perahia played music that didn't suit him - Rachmaninoff and Liszt. Did he become a better pianist after that experience? I found his Chopin less poetic and more relentless after it (listen to his Chopin Concertos), but does that mean it's less 'musical' than before?

And what did Mozart say about Clementi's playing when the two fought in a duel? That's often what some people say about those with great techniques....

Top
#1994234 - 12/03/12 05:01 PM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: kapelli]
babama Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/08
Posts: 800
Loc: Netherlands
Originally Posted By: kapelli
You can be great technic completely without any musical feelings.
And opposite - you can have "Weak" (weak im comparison to lets say Volodos, Horowitz, Godowsky etc) like Sofronicki (I don't know what's the proper spelling for his name in English) or Petri - but play beautifully.


Sofronitsky had a weak technique?!

Top
#1994238 - 12/03/12 05:10 PM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: babama]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19225
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: babama
Originally Posted By: kapelli
You can be great technic completely without any musical feelings.
And opposite - you can have "Weak" (weak im comparison to lets say Volodos, Horowitz, Godowsky etc) like Sofronicki (I don't know what's the proper spelling for his name in English) or Petri - but play beautifully.


Sofronitsky had a weak technique?!
Petri had weak technique??

Top
#1994499 - 12/04/12 07:15 AM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: pianoloverus]
kapelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 380
Loc: Poland
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: babama
Originally Posted By: kapelli
You can be great technic completely without any musical feelings.
And opposite - you can have "Weak" (weak im comparison to lets say Volodos, Horowitz, Godowsky etc) like Sofronicki (I don't know what's the proper spelling for his name in English) or Petri - but play beautifully.


Sofronitsky had a weak technique?!
Petri had weak technique??


Henry Neuhaus claims that technique of Petri was especially weak in octaves (or not so good as the rest). Sofronitzky also had some weak points. But you know, the question about technique on this level of pianists is rather something like:
Can the pianist play each figure at the same immense speed as his competitors (or with one very high tempo)?
Even good pianists have their week points.
I know, that all of them compared to us have great skills, but if you would stand on their level, for sure you would change the point of view ;-)

Of course, you can doubt about Henry Neuhaus thesis and argue with him grin


Edited by kapelli (12/04/12 07:21 AM)

Top
#1994518 - 12/04/12 08:23 AM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: kapelli]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19225
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: kapelli
Neuhaus claims that technique of Petri was especially weak in octaves (or not so good as the rest). Sofronitzky also had some weak points. But you know, the question about technique on this level of pianists is rather something like:
Can the pianist play each figure at the same immense speed as his competitors (or with one very high tempo)?
Even good pianists have their week points.
I know, that all of them compared to us have great skills, but if you would stand on their level, for sure you would change the point of view ;-)

Of course, you can doubt about Henry Neuhaus thesis and argue with him grin
Petri and Sofronitsky were both world class pianists so I think any claims of weak technique are rather silly. Using just one person's opinion about a single aspect of another pianist's technique is particularly dangerous. If a pianist does not have the technique of a Horowitz, Richter, or Gilels that does not mean he has a weak technique.

On Petri, Dubal says:
"Even in old age his technique remained superlative."
"He was capable of the most fabulous deeds of technical daring in the Transcendental Etudes which he programmed in cycle."
"When Liszt transcriptions were being frowned upon, Petri played them and was dazzling."


Edited by pianoloverus (12/04/12 08:25 AM)

Top
#1994627 - 12/04/12 12:47 PM Re: Do great musicianship and great technique usually... [Re: pianoloverus]
kapelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 380
Loc: Poland
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: kapelli
Neuhaus claims that technique of Petri was especially weak in octaves (or not so good as the rest). Sofronitzky also had some weak points. But you know, the question about technique on this level of pianists is rather something like:
Can the pianist play each figure at the same immense speed as his competitors (or with one very high tempo)?
Even good pianists have their week points.
I know, that all of them compared to us have great skills, but if you would stand on their level, for sure you would change the point of view ;-)

Of course, you can doubt about Henry Neuhaus thesis and argue with him grin
Petri and Sofronitsky were both world class pianists so I think any claims of weak technique are rather silly. Using just one person's opinion about a single aspect of another pianist's technique is particularly dangerous. If a pianist does not have the technique of a Horowitz, Richter, or Gilels that does not mean he has a weak technique.

On Petri, Dubal says:
"Even in old age his technique remained superlative."
"He was capable of the most fabulous deeds of technical daring in the Transcendental Etudes which he programmed in cycle."
"When Liszt transcriptions were being frowned upon, Petri played them and was dazzling."


That "one person's opinion" is opinion of teacher of Richter, Gilels, Yakov Zak and many many other great pianist. A genious pegagoue, whose book is till today a bible for professors and teachers about correct approach to piano playing on each level.
He was also phenomenal pianist untill he got some kind of injury in his hands.

And, this is not silly. Petri even himself was telling, that his octave technique is weaker in comparison to his other piano skills (he often also played octaves slower then rest of the piece).

Horowitz about Neuhaus:
After Blumenfeld - Neuhaus was the artist, whom I owe most of all.

Of course, as I said, you can discuss with HN, but this is silly for me.

Top

Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
What's Hot!!
Our latest Issue is available now...
Piano News - Interesting & Fun Piano Related Newsletter! (free)
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
157 registered (36251, Alex-SapRenovation, accordeur, 42 invisible), 1857 Guests and 11 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75516 Members
42 Forums
156160 Topics
2293263 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Medelssohn on meaning in music
by phantomFive
28 minutes 32 seconds ago
Correcting Heavy Piano Touchweight in Grand Pianos
by Paul678
42 minutes 14 seconds ago
[AMAZING PIANO COMP.] Anyone able to transcribe it from ear?
by Weakky
Today at 12:29 PM
[AMAZING PIANO COMP.] Anyone able to transcribe it from ear?
by Weakky
Today at 12:21 PM
Best Keyboard/Piano 600 light up keys
by barabusm
Today at 12:09 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission