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#2027917 - 02/06/13 07:11 AM Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 453
Loc: Europe
I read and see in the method books how I should sit in front of my piano, and how I should engage my fingers to the keys. Not following the recommendations would tense me too much and impact expression, could even produce body injuries. Well, Horowitz is thus no exemplary pianist at all, if I watch his piano bench being too high and subsequently leaning his upper part of the body much foreward, having his bench too low and subsequently his wrists bending frequently. Watch, even his fingers are too much stretched all the time!

And he is still a piano god. Obviously his body and fingers are relaxed as relaxation can be. His face seems him to visit another world while playing. I am not sure if perfectly concentrated to feedback from his ears to the fingers, or just away in piano heaven.

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#2027927 - 02/06/13 07:38 AM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Marco M]
Sandra M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/09/11
Posts: 56
Horowitz made this comment once in an interview I saw on TV. He said," I play the way I hear the music in my head, I do not follow all the rules and NO ONE HAS CORRECTED ME YET." Sandra M

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#2028078 - 02/06/13 12:41 PM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Sandra M]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1834
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Sandra M
Horowitz made this comment once in an interview I saw on TV. He said," I play the way I hear the music in my head, I do not follow all the rules and NO ONE HAS CORRECTED ME YET." Sandra M


It's too bad. He really could have accomplished something.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2028103 - 02/06/13 01:13 PM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Marco M]
ju5t1n-h Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/12
Posts: 179
Loc: Vancouver, British Columbia
He's Horowitz, he can do what he whats haha! When you get to being as good as him you can sit like that at the piano haha! But on a serious note, yes you're right, it's totally off throwing for new pianists who try and copy him.
_________________________
Essex EUP-123S


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#2028108 - 02/06/13 01:18 PM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Marco M]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
There are outliers in everything. You could also look at the example of one of my favorite pianists, Grigory Sokolov. He plays with a hunched-over back, but then it may also be because he's a heavier man.

The reason you should still strive to sit and position yourself with good form on the piano bench is to prevent any discomfort and eliminate any preventable inefficiency so you can ignore the outside world and better focus on the music.

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#2028114 - 02/06/13 01:31 PM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Marco M]
Kbeaumont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 271
Loc: Virginia, USA
Then there is Bill Evans everyone's favorite hunchback piano player. smile

I've seen Ray Charles in the most contorted positions too.

That doesn't mean it would work for me.
_________________________
A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....

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#2028183 - 02/06/13 03:28 PM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Marco M]
woodog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 430
Loc: Bowling Green, KY
As a freshman music major learning a Haydn sonata, I was playing the sixteenth notes runs with a low wrist, and my teacher (a fantastic player!!) told me to raise my wrists higher but keep them supple. They were too low.

I (as a non traditional student of 28, I could do this) said to her, 'Horowitz plays with his wrists like this'.

She replied, 'Horowitz is a genius*, you need to raise your wrists!'.

ahem... wink

anyway...

A fantastic series of youtube videos by Seymour Bernstein sheds some light on this matter. Video 2 (at 6 minutes, 15 seconds) is the one pertaining to seat height, but they are all excellent and meant to be watched sequentially. I feel they would be valuable regardless of ability.

Video 1 : A Lesson with Seymour Bernstein, Part 1: You and the Piano

Video 2: A Lesson with Seymour Bernstein, Part 2: You and the piano

Video 3: A lesson with Seymour Bernstein, Part 3: You and the piano

Video 4: A Lesson with Seymour Bernstein, Part 4: You and the piano

enjoy,

Forrest

*Horowitz was alive at the time.
_________________________
-------------------
current studies:
Debussy: Suite Bergamasque
Bach 848, 866
Schumann Op. 15

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#2028186 - 02/06/13 03:30 PM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Bobpickle]
woodog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 430
Loc: Bowling Green, KY
Originally Posted By: Bobpickle
There are outliers in everything. You could also look at the example of one of my favorite pianists, Grigory Sokolov.


A shout out to you BOB!!

You lead me to the fantastic blog of Graham Fitch.

So good!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

Forrest
_________________________
-------------------
current studies:
Debussy: Suite Bergamasque
Bach 848, 866
Schumann Op. 15

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#2028187 - 02/06/13 03:32 PM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Marco M]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2423
Loc: Virginia, USA
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Glen Gould in this thread yet - a fantastic example of wonderful playing (your view may vary!) with possibly the worse body position you could imagine (your view probably will not vary).

At least in his case, though, that did appear to add to his health problems.
_________________________
  • Schumann - Ende vom Lied, Opus 12.8
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

Kawai K3

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#2028344 - 02/06/13 08:16 PM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Marco M]
Edtek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 261
Loc: El Paso
I remember in the PBS special on the Cliburn competition that the eventual co-winner carried a bench with shortened legs with him everywhere. When he played his elbows were way below the kb. Different strokes eh?
_________________________
Ed (Out in the West Texas town of El Paso)
Yamaha T118

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#2028375 - 02/06/13 08:58 PM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Andy Platt]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
In one of Gould's interviews, he was asked what happens if they were to misplace his chair during transport to a concert. Gould said he would have to take a normal chair and saw off the legs. He said he cannot play using a normal bench. He would be completely lost.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#2028376 - 02/06/13 08:58 PM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Marco M]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
When you are a student you must follow the rules, because you have no history of experience. Once you are a professional then you can make the decisions you wish. Piano is no different.

All doctors, teachers, painters,mechanics, all do things dfferently.

And in the arts it is not how good you are, but how you market the art. There are millions of artists who starve to death each year.


Don't we all know Phds. that are unemployable!

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#2028552 - 02/07/13 05:24 AM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Michael_99]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3600
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Originally Posted By: Michael_99

There are millions of artists who starve to death each year.



shocked

Really?

Maybe we should all start patronizing those ubiquitous "starving artists" sales we see advertised on over night TV infomercials more frequently...


Edited by TrapperJohn (02/07/13 05:25 AM)
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#2028597 - 02/07/13 08:12 AM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: TrapperJohn]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Unfortunately, I haven't had television since I left home in 1969, so I don't know what you are referring to as infocommercial..

cheers,

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#2028610 - 02/07/13 08:45 AM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Marco M]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3600
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Michael - Infomercials are extended commercials or advertisements that appear by the hundreds on many TV channels in the wee small hours of the morning - they usually last for at least a half hour or more and try to sell just about every thing under the sun to the gullible viewer from jewelry to real estate to male "enhancements" - there are several which attempt to peddle paintings by "starving artists"...


Edited by TrapperJohn (02/07/13 08:46 AM)
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#2028686 - 02/07/13 11:24 AM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Marco M]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 453
Loc: Europe
So, does finally somebody know any very famous pianist, who would perfectly display a proper body and finger posture during most time of its performance, any piano god to watch on youtube also fullfilling this requirement?

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#2028740 - 02/07/13 12:46 PM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Marco M]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
A good question. Actually, in book one of any piano book there is a description of how to sit and play the piano.

The difficult part of playing the piano is the spending of thousands of hours over 20 years practicing slowly, and accurately. You must enjoy the journey for the 20 years.

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#2028803 - 02/07/13 02:26 PM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Marco M]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Marco M
So, does finally somebody know any very famous pianist, who would perfectly display a proper body and finger posture during most time of its performance, any piano god to watch on youtube also fullfilling this requirement?


Yes. Authur Rubinstein -
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#2029100 - 02/08/13 01:26 AM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Marco M]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Krystian Zimerman is also an oft-mentioned example of "perfection."

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#2029126 - 02/08/13 03:15 AM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Marco M]
Derulux Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5377
Loc: Philadelphia
I think Claudio Arrau is decent, also. Particularly his Beethoven Appassionata.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2029142 - 02/08/13 03:58 AM Re: Horowitz, no exemplary playing at all [Re: Marco M]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 453
Loc: Europe
Ah!
Thanks a lot, to everybody! I'll now go and watch some video this weekend ...
Cheers, Marco.

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