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#2027997 - 02/06/13 10:15 AM Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 780
I have never been taught to play rolled chords, and had never heard of anyone else doing it either. One was told to pay meticulous attention to the score, and that was it.

Then, over the last twelve years, I have found/stumbled upon numerous analog recordings of composers whose music had this very method of playing. Therefore, the news story is as follows:

The issue briefly stated is twofold: When a person is taught to play a chord, an octave, or double notes at the piano, they are taught to strike all of the keys at the same time. It is assumed that, because the notes on the printed score are all lined up vertically on the note stem, those keys are to be struck simultaneously.

My research, consisting of multiple written and recorded sources, has shown me that all of the composers of the Classical, Romantic, and Impressionist Periods regularly rolled their chords, octaves, and double notes. This was done commonly in the left hand, and also very often in the right hand.

Further, they also employed a performance technique known as asynchronization. This is where the bass note is played slightly ahead of the soprano note in order to enhance the melodic line.

It is most important to note that this is in no way a question of musical style. It is instead a reality of substance. It has nothing to do with tempo, dynamics or phrasing. One either plays all of the notes at the same time, or they do not.

Carl Friedberg, who was a student of both Brahms and Clara Schumann, proves this unequivocally in his live Julliard recital recordings, where he taught until 1946 (Marston Records). In Europe, Adelina de Lara was also doing the same, as is evidenced in the "Pupils of Clara Schumann" recordings (Pearl Records). She was also a student of Brahms.

Then, there are the digtal stereo recordings, "Debussy, The Composer As Pianist, and "Ravel, The Composer As Pianist" which are the piano roll recordings of the composers playing their own music. In both instances, there is arpeggiation/rolled chords and asynchronization throughout.

One of my written sources is Kenneth Hamilton, who is the author of "After the Golden Age," (OUP) and who has also recently confirmed my premise in the following e-mail excerpt:

"As for the issue of Debussy and Ravel recordings: I think your basic point about the performance-style of these composers and their musical associates is correct, but I'm afraid it isn't really "news". There is, for example, discussion of these topics and others in Roy Howat's book "The Art of French Piano Music" (Yale University Press, 2009)-- in particular pp.309-324 ("The Composer as Pianist") and pp.335-40 ("Composers' Surviving Instruments and Recordings"). "

Unfortunately, what professor Hamilton fails to recognize is that 99% of the world's piano students have never heard of Roy Howat. They sit down for a lesson, and then do what they are told. And, none of them are taught that the original composer rolled their chords.

Another more recent source is the new book by Dr. Neal Peres Da Costa of the Sydney Conservatorium, which is entitled “Off the Record: Performing Practices in Romantic Piano Playing” (OUP). He has a whole chapter on Unnotated Arpeggiation. His research, completely independent of mine, confirms my thesis in the following email:

"Thanks so much for sending this through. We are obviously on the same wave length here and its great that you are spreading the news. In will certainly pass your You Tube presentation on to everyone I know. Arpeggiation is one of the great expressive devices, though there is also the question of rhythmic alteration in all its forms and tempo modification, devices that I consider to be just as important in emulating the performers on early recordings and for historically accurate interpretations of pre-twentieth-century repertoire. I have dealt with these areas in my book and readers can hear some of the rich recorded examples on the Companion website."

Then, there is the email from Dr. Clive Brown of the University of Leeds who is considered the worlds leading authority on historical performance practice. He was Dr. Peres Ca Costa's professor for his PhD dissertation, which eventually became his book.

"I am sure your conclusions about 19th-century piano playing are correct and hope that your video will help persuade musicologists and performers of its value in performing this repertoire effectively. It has been a great frustration to me over the years that even pianists working in academia have been so resistant to the overwhelming evidence, despite my drawing attention to it in my 1999 book Classical and Romantic Performing Practice 1750-1900. I hope your video will nevertheless contribute towards making people think again about the idiomatic performance of pre-20th-century keyboard music. I will certainly mention it to people who may find it helpful.

Finally, I enclose for your perusal a link to my You Tube video of this story. It is a somewhat radical approach, but my goal is to see to it that every person on this planet who has ever played the piano is given the opportunity to hear the classical piano repertoire as it was originally composed, played, and taught.

Please feel free to share this news story with anyone you think might find it interesting so that together we can eventually bring the true joy, color, warmth, and beauty of this great music to the public, as it once commonly existed throughout the world.

Louis Podesta

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VPgg3armCI

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#2028068 - 02/06/13 12:30 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19873
Loc: New York
Louis,
Admittedly without having watched the whole video, I have a question jumping out at me immediately.

How is this different from what most everyone already knows about chord-rolling being part of the usual style during the "Romantic" time? Your post states that it was done also in earlier periods, which to me would be the big 'discovery' to be made, but it seems that most if not all the evidence you offer is from the Romantic period and perhaps slightly after, which doesn't seem like it proves anything or tells us anything that most of us didn't already know and which perhaps dilutes the point that there might be.

Can you maybe say a little about what's the evidence for this having been the practice during early times? I know that you want people to watch the video -- but I think you'd get more people interested in it if you lead off with some clear indication that there's really something to be learned from it.

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#2028107 - 02/06/13 01:16 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2778
Ditto Mark

Additionally, those rolls that you mention to back up your theory might just as well be misleading you. I mean, it can just be that, chords actually played simultaneously might come up as rolled chords because of the inaccurate mechanical recording mechanism.

I must admit that I really can't take your stuff seriously.
_________________________
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#2028124 - 02/06/13 01:51 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
My main problem is the title of the video and opening idea that "your piano teacher taught you wrong". While it's certainly interesting and perhaps beneficial to be aware of performance practices of 100 or 200 years ago, this doesn't mean current performance practices are "wrong". In fact, if someone played today using performance practices of 100 years ago most would consider that style wrong, and it's not necessarily because they are unaware of how people played in the past. It's a bit like saying today's fashion styles are wrong.

None of the main differences(rolled chords, playing LH before RH, etc.)are new discoveries. All this has been known, but obviously not to everyone, for I'd guess decades(starting whenever the early 20th century recordings were available) and written about in great detail.



Edited by pianoloverus (02/06/13 01:58 PM)

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#2028125 - 02/06/13 01:54 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Mark_C]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 780
Mark_C:
For starters, I am 61 years old, and until I stumbled upon a reference in Clavier 13 years ago relating to Ken Caswell's new digital recordings of the Debussy piano roll, I had no idea that anything like this existed. Further, I have a coach who is in his late 70's, a Urtext student of Adele Marcus, who had absolutely no knowledge of this whatsoever.

Next, the first example of the second section of the video is a comparison of Alicia de Larrocha and Carl Reinecke playing the slow mvt. of the Mozart A Major K 488. Reinecke, whose line is way wider than anything I do when I play this piece, was considered the top classical period pianist in the world. His teachers were Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Liszt.

Further, there is a a CD set entitled L'Art de Marguerite Long, which includes her entire discography.

http://www.allmusic.com/album/lart-de-marguerite-long-mw0001853268

It has recorded samples, and she is arpeggiating everything including the same Mozart Concerto slow mvt.(Reinecke), as well as Debussy selections. She was a friend and student of the composer.

In terms of written sources get a copy of Neal Peres Da Costa's book. His five chapters are referenced in comment #3 of the video. The chapter entitled "Unnotated Arpeggiation" starts with a discussion of rolled chord playing starting with CPE Bach.

Last time I checked, that was before Beethoven or Mozart. Additionally, there is an extensive section on Karl Czerny, whose students were Leschetizky and Liszt, and whose piano teacher was guess who? (Along with Hummel and Clementi)

Finally, in terms of what can be learned from it, millions of students have quit the piano because they could not stand the block chord percussive nature of how the repertoire should sound. They have every right to know that arpeggiation and asynchronization was the original way in which this beautiful music was played, because it was the composers intention that it be done so.

If they could hear the difference, maybe, just maybe, some of them would come back and want to learn to play this great instrument again.

Here is an extended list of more You Tube examples, starting with Emil von Sauer playing a movt. from a Beethoven Sonata. Dr. Peres da Costa's book has an OUP companion website with a more extensive list.

www.oup.com/us/offtherecord. Username Music3, password Book3234.

I thank you for your interest.

LHP


Additional Examples (Artist, Teacher, Work, Youtube video)

1) Emil von Sauer (Liszt, Rubinstein) - Beethoven Sonata Op. 13, Slow Mvt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbG-t66EL08

2) Theodore Leschetizky (Czerny) - Mozart Fantasia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbdwDS23lZo

3) Josef Hoffman (A. Rubinstein) - Mendelssohn Rondo Capriccioso
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9T_hx2-5Wo

4) Olga Somaroff (Rubinstein) - Brahms Intermezzo op. 117, #2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVqG7k13SrY

5) Teresa Carreno (Mathias) - Chopin G Minor Ballade
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SCoheEblp0

6) Alfred Cortot (Descombes) - Chopin Waltz in A Flat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3ja7b-d6LQ

7) Adelina de lara (Schumann) - Schumann Kinderszenen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWutTfXvuW8

8) Eugen d'Albert (Liszt) - Liszt Libestraume
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svH5a86d0Vc

9) Marguerite Long (Marmontel) - Debussy Arabesque #1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzhaPbVlZGQ

10) Moriz Rosenthal (Mikuli, Liszt) - Chopin Sonata in B Minor, 3rd Mvt.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWcmp6qIC9g&feature=relmfu

11) Claude Debussy - La plus que lente
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir8snfWIU2M

12) Maurice Ravel - Miroirs, Oiseaux triste
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDIAnwjFVVA

13) Ignaz Paderewski ( Leschetizky) - Debussy, Reflet dans l'eau
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c_yZPIqoz0

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#2028148 - 02/06/13 02:38 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19873
Loc: New York
Louis,
I find your work interesting but I think you would do well to take a few steps back and reconsider what it means and doesn't mean. You are indicating that this whole thing came to you relatively late and that you didn't know a lot of the history. It seems that therefore you might not realize the extent to which this isn't news to many others, and the extent to which you aren't breaking new ground. I think it would all be fine if you presented it at a more modest level, and certainly without anything so bold as "your teacher taught you wrong" or even just that it's a "news story." Mind you, I'm very open to teachers teaching wrong, and in fact any authority figures doing wrong, and I love news grin but what you're saying doesn't indicate any such thing about teaching, it doesn't seem like news, and I think it serves you badly to put it forth as such.

You are going to a lot of trouble to give more and more and more examples of how 19th century pianists rolled chords. That's not necessary, because pretty much everybody already knows that -- and it is considered just a practice of that period. What would elevate your work to something ground-breaking would be for you to find stuff indicating that this was done commonly during earlier times. (BTW, lest anyone start making too much of some known things from earlier times: We do know that chords in continuo parts were commonly rolled, and some chords in works of classical composers like Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven etc. are rolled. That's not what we're talking about; we're talking about it being a common practice or not to roll almost everything.)

Nothing wrong with what you're doing. It's just that as it stands, it doesn't seem to have the significance that you think it does, and you're way overstating it.

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#2028176 - 02/06/13 03:20 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Hakki]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 780
Hakki:

Thank you so much for your comment. It addresses a crucial point in my research, and that is the assumption that one cannot play a block chord on a Welte-Mignon piano roll piano.

Initially, way back in the year 2000, I thought the Caswell Debussy recordings, as well as the "Great Masters" vinyl recordings, were fake. I have what can be accurately described as humongous piano discography library, and I had never heard anyone play rolled chords.

Then, my former faculty advisor at UT Austin, who is also a musicologist, referred me to Dr. David Hunter who is the historic recordings curator for the Fine Arts Library. The first thing I asked David was did he know of Ken Caswell, and if so, were his recordings "for real."

Dr. Hunter asssured me that they were, and I still didn't believe that this was actually the way this music was originally played. And, then came the key to solving the puzzle.

I discovered a 6 CD box set entitled the "Pupils of Clara Schumann." These were not piano roll transfers, but instead, they were "78" and "33" analog recordings made from the 1930's to as late as the 1950's.

Here were these three ladies, Fanny Davies, Adelena de Lara and Ilona Ibenschutz, whose playing was as different as night and day. (except for one striking similarity)

That similarity had to do with where the arpeggiation and the asynchronizaton occurred in each piece by Robert Schumann. They were all exactly in the same places because Clara Schumann had a reputation for preciseness and attention to detail.

After that, I discovered the analog recordings of Moritz Rosenthal, and Carl Friedberg. Rosenthal studied with Mikuli, Liszt, and Brahms, and Friedberg studied with both Brahms and Clara Schumann. Rosenthal's recordings were made in the late 1930's, but Friedberg's were live recital recordings made at Julliard in the early 1950's.

These were two totally different personalities playing arpeggiated and asynchronized music, and I might add, stunningly beautiful music.

Finally, Ken Caswell, who recorded the Debussy roll, has become a dear friend of mine in the last few years. He has been conslulted extensively on this news story.

One of the very first questions I asked him was about the contention that one could not play a block chord on a Welte piano. His reply is unprintable because he starting cursing profusely.

Does that answer your question, Hakki?

Take care.

LHP

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#2028191 - 02/06/13 03:41 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2778
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
Does that answer your question, Hakki?



No. Because I don't remember I asked one.

You have so delved into the details that you think you have found something new and interesting. But it is not.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#2028238 - 02/06/13 04:53 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Mark_C]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 780
Mark_C:

1) The average private piano student, especially the young ones, have absolutely no knowledge of this subject, and that is the purpose of this news story, which with its 1,388 views has gone global some time ago.

2) When Dr. Clive Brown, and Dr. Neal Peres Da Costa, two of the top historic performance practice applied musicologists in the world, enthusiastically endorse my video, that is way more good enough for me.

3) Get a copy of Peres Da Costa's 310 page book. OUP did not spend their time and money publishing this last January because everyone already knew about it. With its companion website, it is the only comprehensive work of its kind in existence on this specific subject.

And finally, quoting from his book, in regards the performance of Beethoven and Mozart, I leave you with the following cited quote.

"In the modern style, all passages in many parts are now invariably played in arpeggio, and so greatly is this the case, that many pianists have almost forgotten how to strike chords firmly. Many, otherwise good players, would not be able to perform the following passage quite firm, that is to strike all the notes of each chord exactly together."

Karl Czerny (1846)


LHP

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#2028336 - 02/06/13 08:04 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19873
Loc: New York
Louis,
It seems you misunderstand the significance of the Czerny quote. First of all, LOOK AT THE YEAR: 1846.

You keep pressing on seemingly without paying attention to what is being raised. We've pointed out that the idea of this being a practice in the 19th century is no news. So, what do you do to demonstrate that it was perhaps also the norm at an earlier time: you give us a quote from 1846.

If anything, the quote negates what you believe you're showing. It appears to be the dismay of a mostly-classical guy over the new practice that he saw occurring in the mid-19th century.

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#2028413 - 02/06/13 10:18 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Mark_C]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 780
Mark_C:

The title of the sub-chapter in the BOOK!, by Neal Peres Da Costa is "The So-Called Modern Manner of Arpeggiating in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century."

Karl Czerny is referring to what was then called the Modern School in his day (1864).

Therefore, in that his teachers were Beethoven, Hummel (Mozart), and Clementi, this method of playing was commonplace in his day of "Modern Playing." That means that is the way everbody played Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. Karl Czerny was the highest paid, most sought after, piano teacher in the world.

The difference, as stated in Kenneth Hamilton's book, "After The Golden Age," is that people studied under Czerny, Schumann, Mikuli, Descombes, Mathias, Leschetizky, Liszt, Carreno, Cortot, et al, because they had direct pedagogical ties to the composers themselves.

Therefore, when Arthur Rubinstein, Wilhelm Backhaus, Artur Schnabel, Claudio Arrau, Walter Gieseking, Rosina Lehvinne, and Adele Marcuus and others arbitrarily decided to champion their own 20th century "Modern School," after a composer named Stravinsky declared the piano to be a "Percussive Instrument," then their use of the word "Modern" was surreptitious at best.

Fini!

LHP

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#2028417 - 02/06/13 10:23 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19873
Loc: New York
I think you're continuing with the same misinterpretation of the Czerny quote and its significance.

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#2028626 - 02/07/13 09:09 AM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
Morodiene Online   content
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12227
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I think what Mark is asking for (if I may interject) is proof that this performance practice happened before Beethoven, Mozart, and Clementi - i.e., Baroque era keyboardists. What research have you done on this era to support this performance practice?

For the record, I do know that there is some evidence of such practice, but without actual recordings it's pretty difficult to say definitively. So I'm curious as well to hear more about it.
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#2028677 - 02/07/13 10:56 AM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Morodiene]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19873
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I think what Mark is asking for (if I may interject) is proof that this performance practice happened before Beethoven, Mozart, and Clementi - i.e., Baroque era keyboardists....

No, that it happened even in that later time that you mentioned (Beethoven, Mozart....). Those guys were just before the time when we know it became common.

All of what he's showing seems to be from still after all that -- including the Czerny thing which he seems to think shows it for that era but which actually seems to indicate the opposite.

(Do you see anything in there that shows it even for Beethoven, Mozart etc.?)

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#2028679 - 02/07/13 11:10 AM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Morodiene]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 780
Morodiene:

As an empiricist, I always cite sources. In this case, I have cited the book by Neal Peres Da Costa, as it relates to arpeggiation.

This forum does allow me to quote at length from his chapter on "Unnotated Arpeggiation." However, he does cite the arpeggiation technique of the first keyboard player of note, that anyone recognized at the time, who was CPE Bach. He also cites the rules of Roger North, who expounded on this circa 1700.

Further, Peres Da Costa's first chapter is entitled "Recordings As Evidence." So, I have included in my additional examples listed above the Leschetizky recording of the the Mozart Fantasia, which was taught to him by Karl Czerny. Czerny learned it from Hummel, who learned it from a man whose first name was Wolfgang.

There is also the George Copeland analog recording of the same piece, which he learned from Terresa Carreno. She learned it from George Mathias, who learned it from his teacher whose last name was Chopin.

Then there is the Beethoven Sonata example from Emil von Sauer, who teachers were Nikolai Rubinstein and Franz Liszt.

All of these examples have arpeggiation.

The bottom line is that Peres Da Costa's book, which I only found out about after my video was posted, is a fully comprehensive analysis/narrative on the performance practices of the 19th century. It was originally his doctoral dissertation written under the tutelage of Dr. Clive Brown, that OUP decided to publish in January 2012 as a book, with its companion website (listed above).

Don't believe me, but instead go to Amazon or you local library and get a copy and research the matter for yourself.

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#2028696 - 02/07/13 11:42 AM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Morodiene]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I think what Mark is asking for (if I may interject) is proof that this performance practice happened before Beethoven, Mozart, and Clementi - i.e., Baroque era keyboardists. What research have you done on this era to support this performance practice?

For the record, I do know that there is some evidence of such practice, but without actual recordings it's pretty difficult to say definitively. So I'm curious as well to hear more about it.
I read the De Costa book which is probably one of the biggest references on keyboard performance practice of the 19th century and earlier. It contains an amount of detail that probably mostly only musicologists would appreciate. I don't think that anything the OP has said contradicts anything in that book (although the book is very detailed and complex so I certainly can't remember all of it), and that book seems to be the latest and one of the most comprehensive discussions of these issues. It would be silly for the OP to contradict material in that book(and he certainly hasn't claimed to and is, in fact, quoting it as a reference)because that book represents, I'm sure, many years of research into early performance practice.

I think those that doubt any of the OP's statements should read that book and stop saying what "we" generally know when the "we" is only what the person writing the post knows. Most people are probably not familiar with anywhere near everything about early performance practice that is in the De Costa book. This is probably because many pianists find this information interesting but not so crucial to how they want to play those pieces today.

It is also true (as is I believe mentioned many times in that book)that no one knows for sure how anyone played before recordings were possible. De Costa's statements about performance practice before the era of recording are based on verbal accounts of those who heard those early pianists play or pedagogical works of that era which, as he points out, are always open to interpretation. As a simple example, saying someone played a passage "quickly" is quite vague. It could depend on that person's definition of quickly, on which other performances he was comparing to, etc.

As I stated near the beginning of the thread, the only thing I object to in the OP's video is the idea that what your teachers taught you or the performance practices of today are "wrong".


Edited by pianoloverus (02/07/13 12:08 PM)

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#2028727 - 02/07/13 12:27 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: pianoloverus]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19873
Loc: New York
OK. smile

I searched meticulously in the book (via Amazon) for each and every mention of CPE Bach, since Louis mentioned that as a key thing.

There seems to be just one portion involving CPE that could be considered relevant to what we're talking about, i.e. the tendency to characteristically roll chords, on p. 126 -- and that's only about the "continuo" type of thing I mentioned earlier, when the keyboard player is an accompanist. That has nothing to do with a practice of typically rolling chords. The fact of rolling chords in that context is no news, nor is the fact that some kinds of chords were rolled in the usual practices before the 19th century -- as is also the case with "modern" playing and usual teaching.

There doesn't appear to be anything in the book that supports the point that is trying to be made. If anyone finds anything about CPE Bach in the book that does support it, please show us.

I know that the book is about much more than what it says about CPE, but since that is being offered as a key thing, I thought this would be an indication if there's good reason to look for anything else relevant in there, and it looks to me like we're coming up empty.

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#2028738 - 02/07/13 12:42 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 780
Pianoloverus:

Thank you for your refreshingly lucid comments/analysis. As I stated to Morodiene in the Piano Teachers Forum, this news story is under serious consideration for the CBS Evening News. Unfortunately, in their world if the title of your story does not have some kind of catchy hook then they are basically not interested. That is why I chose a non-scholary title for my video.

My late teacher, who was a graduate of Ithaca, spent the better part of 15 years teaching me how to produce a singing tone along with super legato and other techniques. His love, dedication, and devotion to me and piano pedagogy did anything but teach me wrong.

Finally, the overlooked facit of Peres Da Costa's book is that practically every single page includes special symbols which cross-reference recorded examples in the accompanying website. This way you can read about it, and then hear an example of what he has written. I list for your perusal the link and password to this website.

www.oup.com/us/offtherecord. Username Music3, password Book3234.

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#2028755 - 02/07/13 01:10 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18295
Loc: Victoria, BC
Where is the teapot big enough for this tempest?
_________________________
BruceD
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Estonia 190

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#2028767 - 02/07/13 01:29 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
kuifje Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 110
Did Chopin also do this?

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#2028812 - 02/07/13 03:03 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: kuifje]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 780
kuifje:

Absolutely, which is further proof of arpeggiation and asynchronization. When Chopin was a young student, he didn't play Chopin. He played Bach, a lot of Bach, and he played Beethoven and Mozart.

In that he charged 80 francs for a 45 minute lesson to wealthy aristocrat females, do you think their fathers would fork out that kind of money for lessons on just the music of Chopin. I very seriously doubt it.

This goes to a ridiculous statement made by one famous Debussy specialist that, in the piano roll recording, he is improvising in a Chopinesque fashion. Debussy is rolling his chords and playing the bass note slightly ahead of the soprano because, as a child, that is the way he was taught to play Chopin, Brahms, Schumann, and everybody else "Mark_C".

With Chopin, do you think that one day he just decided to start arpeggiating his chords, and he had never played that way before?

The same thing holds true for Clara Schumann and Brahms. When they were young, they didn't play Schumann or Brahms. They played what Chopin played, which was Baroque and Classical Period Repertoire.

So, when you hear Carl Friedberg's live recital recordings of Chopin, that is the way his teacher Madamme Schumann heard it played when she attended concerts at his home, and when she was invited to play duets with the composer.

Adelilna de Lara tells the story of how Herr Brahms used to sneak into the room when lessons were being taught and his music was being played by one of Clara Schuman's students. He would stand quitely behind each student, and then would critique and comment on how he thought his music should be played.

Further, she relates (all of this in her audio narrative, which is included in the "Pupils of Clara Schumann" box set) that the first piece she ever played for Brahms was the Beethoven Op. 111 Sonata.

So, in this recording, when you hear her roll her chords in the playing of the Beethoven C Minor Variations, that is the way Clara Schumann taught her to play it because that is the way her father Herr Wiek taught her.

And, when you you hear Adelina de Lara's Brahms recordings or those of Carl Friedberg, who was personally tutored by Brahms, then you can take it to the bank that they rolled their chords and asynchronized their melody.

For additional reference, I suggest you get the recordings of Moritz Rosenthal, Alfred Cortot, and Teresa Carreno, all of whom studied under teaching assitants of Chopin.

I thank you for your interest.

LHP

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#2028841 - 02/07/13 04:11 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
swiss_boy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/01/12
Posts: 13

Thanks a lot Louis for this very interesting information.
Now I have to first try myself...and then I will challenge my teacher.

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#2028842 - 02/07/13 04:11 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
This is quite without research or references, forgive me, but...hasn't improvisation become less commonplace as time has gone on? I mean, harpsichordists were expected to produce their own ornaments...weren't they? So, um, if we assume (wherein may lay my failing, I admit) that as we go further back we deviate from the score *more*...isn't it almost a necessity to say that asynchronisation would occur the further back we flee from mechanical repetition? Sorry..I'm sure you've put *a lot* of time into this...um...I'm not doubting your convictions or motives, but...*everyone* noodles around with the score, don't they? So in a time less obsessed with accuracy and more with personal interpretation (again, another wild assumption)...wouldn't asynchronisation be as common in vertical lines as it is in horizontal?
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Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3

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#2028849 - 02/07/13 04:23 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18295
Loc: Victoria, BC
It seems to me that the big fallacy in this presentation is the assumption that every student is going not only to copy exactly what his teacher teaches him but will also continue to do so throughout his lifetime of composing and performing, regardless of new influences that may impact his performing style.

The corollary of that is to assume that, aside from what one may have been taught, performance practice and performance styles do not change whether through fashion or inspiration.

To cite only one example : To assume that Chopin would continue to play as Zwyny and Elsner taught him is to deny the influences of those he met and heard when he settled in Paris.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
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Estonia 190

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#2028952 - 02/07/13 07:19 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8027
I agree with those who are saying this information isn't news. We've had discussion here about the de-sychronization of the hands, and anyone who has listened carefully to a wide range of recordings will have heard it. I've known about the rolling of chords for so long that I've forgotten where I learned it, although on recordings it seems not very common and I don't recall as many "modern" examples of it on recordings as there are of the de-sychronizing the hands. But, of course, the rolling and breaking of large chords out of necessity is something that all pianists who have played much repertoire will know about.

But I do think that students should know about old performance practices, regardless of whether or not they are taught to actually attempt to reproduce those practices. The easy access to examples of all kinds of interesting old performance variants on YouTube is the real news, I think, as well as having places like Piano World in which to have discussions about them. There have been numerous references here to Hamilton's book. And during the Sydney competition, I pointed out Da Costa's informative pieces on early recordings that were part of the broadcast and were available online (I don't know if they still are).

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#2028964 - 02/07/13 07:39 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: swiss_boy]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 780
swiss boy:

Thank your for your kind comment.

However, and I caution all those out there who are going to "dip their musical toe in the water" and explore the logic of my post, that the "Mark_C's" of this world are what most of you will run up against, if you pursue this.

And, that is a very good thing. Because, I was my own "Mark_C" for over 13 years. I truly did not believe this is the way the music was originally played.

So, the first thing you do is to build your discography of 19th century pianists, and students of those pianists, that recorded in the early 20th century. Marston, Arkive, and All Music are excellent retail source websites of the pianists I have listed above in various posts.

However, 90% of the discography available (unfortunately) can only be garnered for "free" from your local library through Interlibrary Loan "ILL."

Then, you build your written sources, which are 1) "Classical and Romantic Performing Practice," by Clive Brown, and 2)"After the Golden Age," by Kenneth Hamilton, and finally Neal Peres Da Costa's book, "Off the Record: Performing Practices In Romantic Piano Playing."

Most importantly, let your ears be your guide. And after that, play devils advocate with yourself and challenge every piece of knowledge you come upon.

Finally, always treat your teacher with the utmost respect because your goal is the pursuit of knowledge, and not some foolish trophy game. Remember, Music is love, and that is, after all is said and done, the most important thing

LHP

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#2029071 - 02/08/13 12:00 AM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19873
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
....Because, I was my own "Mark_C" for over 13 years....

You've never been a MarkC. ha

To be sure, I have my own stubbornesses too grin but I hope I've never been so resistant to input or declined so persistently to deal directly with it. It's been pointed out to you repeatedly that it's no news that this practice was common for a large portion of the 19th century, and you keep replying with more examples from.....the 19th century smile -- mid-century and forward. You cite that book as showing that CPE Bach advocated the practice, but the book contains nothing of the sort. And you got the Czerny quote completely backwards. It doesn't support the idea that the practice was common earlier; it goes against it.

If your point is simply that chord-rolling ever existed as a common practice, that would be right, but it would be absolutely no news, since it is well known that it was commonplace for much of the 19th century and into the first part of the 20th. Therefore I assume that your main point is that it was a common practice also during earlier times (not just any rolling of chords but as a usual way of playing chords) and thus that the "block" style is the unusual thing and a historical outlier -- and that's where you've got a big problem. If that's not your main point, then I'm not sure what you think the "news" is and how it is that you think teachers have been teaching wrong.

I wish you luck with your pursuit. You'll do better if you let yourself be willing to consider these points (so far you clearly aren't), but even as it is, what you're doing is a celebration of a wonderful and interesting practice of yesteryear. The problem is that you're expanding what it actually was, and making more of your findings than you should. I have the feeling you think I'm against such Romantic practices. I'm absolutely not. I'm a huge, huge fan of the old Romantic style of playing, about as much as anyone could be. I think the beauty of it has never since been equaled except by just a tiny handful of pianists.

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#2029270 - 02/08/13 11:55 AM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: wr]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 780
wr:

Thank you for your inciteful comments. However, I would like to clarify one thing which somehow is causing confusion.

For starters, I write and have have been published as a social activist philosopher. In doing so, I have worked on and also provided source material for dozens of news reporters.

Therefore, when I use the word "news," it means information that has not been disseminated to the general public. And, the fact that Chopin and Brahms rolled most of their chords and asynchronized their melody lines is not known, not only to the general public, but also to a whole lot of classical musicians.

I studied under Jack Roberts in 1971 at North Texas. Two studios down was Richard Cass, and the Assistant Dean was Bob Rogers. Jack was a student of Gyorgy Sandor, Cass studied under Cortot, and Rogers got his degree at Julliard under Carl Friedberg.

I finished up at UT Austin in 1981, and between the 1,300 music majors at NTSU and the folks in Austin, there was not one word said about this type of playing.

Finally, thank you for mentioning the You Tube examples of Neal Peres Da Costa. I enclose those links, which Neal sent to me in one of his many supportive e-mails.

When you hear chamber music played with a non-percussive block chord piano part, the result is true joy and beauty.

LHP

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3uydnhCdU4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJXTmfMK3wI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgZtsAXD_MM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1czQoO0JPQ

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#2029320 - 02/08/13 01:41 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18295
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
[...]When you hear chamber music played with a non-percussive block chord piano part, the result is true joy and beauty.
[...]


If by "non-percussive block chord piano part" you mean rolled or arpeggiated chords, remember that beauty is in the eye (ear) of the beholder. To some, it just sounds out-dated and lacking precision.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2029342 - 02/08/13 02:26 PM Re: Classical Piano News Story With You Tube Video Link [Re: Louis Podesta]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 780
BruceD

Well, you had better let the folks at the Eastman School of Music know about it because that is where it was performed in March of 2012, in Hatch Hall. Further, while you are at it, give the people at Stanford and Yale a ring because that is where they will be performing in September along with a retun trip to Eastman. We wouldn't want these schools associated with performers that are "out-dated and lacking precision."

For those others who think that this playing is stunningly beautiful like I do, I am providing a link to Dr. Peres Da Costa's Sydney Conservatorium contact page. His Quintet will be touring the U.S. from September 9-20, so if you would like to hear him play in your city, please do not hesitate to contact him.

http://sydney.edu.au/music/people/neal_peres_da_costa.shtml

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