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#2040504 - 02/28/13 01:51 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Sad news when such an historically important icon passes.

Excellent obituary in the NYT found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/arts/music/van-cliburn-pianist-dies-at-78.html

Obituary once again confirms that Van Cliburn also deserves to be added to the pantheon of names of great master pianists listed on this thread:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2028931/The%20piano%20and%20homosexuality.html

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#2040512 - 02/28/13 02:17 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
Michael Sayers Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1158
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
I lived in Dallas, and later between Dallas and Fort Worth, before moving to Sweden several years ago.

One anecdote that I heard was of him being recognized in a Barnes & Noble by a mother and her piano-student child. The story is that he spent about half-an-hour speaking with the little girl about playing the piano.

This shows the type of man he was and of course it radiates forth in his playing.

And his life and activities showed that he genuinely was aware of and placed into action the transformative power of great music for a person's life and the world.

One doesn't have to be a concert pianist champion of peace to do it, or give tremendous recitals for decades for charitable causes as Liszt did - one can for instance play for free at a nursing home. There are endless possibilities to serve others through music.

Van Cliburn was a fine role model for what a pianist can be and for what it really means to be a musician and to live out the proper role of music in the world!


Mvh,
Michael


Edited by Michael Sayers (02/28/13 02:30 AM)

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#2040519 - 02/28/13 02:38 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
Numerian Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 1075
Whenever a thread comes up about Van Cliburn, or his name comes up in a musical conversation, I am surprised at how many people say, "I met him," or "I had my picture taken with him", or "He wrote back to me." With Van Cliburn, he always had time to talk or communicate with anybody interested in piano. He had time, because he made time.

By fate he became an ambassador for classical piano in 1958. After all the hoopla died down, he could have stepped back and become just another touring professional. He didn't. He embraced his role as ambassador of the piano and classical music. It came across in his performance style - his warm and enveloping sound, and his personality on stage (in one concert I heard him perform, he played six encores). He was an active presence at the competitions which bore his name. There was never a line too long backstage, because he would make time to meet everyone and treat them graciously.

Russian audiences, especially in the Soviet era of dullness and grayness, could be very sensitive to the emotional bearing of a performer, and they picked up on Van Cliburn's warmth immediately. It's one reason he won the Tschaikovsky competition, and his emotional connection to people never failed him or us over the next 50 years on the public stage.

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#2040591 - 02/28/13 07:32 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1117
Loc: chicago, il
a very nice piece npr did a few years back...



i saw him play in the early '70s and i don't think i've ever seen a pianist make it look so easy.


Edited by Entheo (02/28/13 07:35 AM)
_________________________
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#2040700 - 02/28/13 10:41 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: John Pels]
DameMyra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1970
Loc: South Jersey
Originally Posted By: John Pels
Van was one of those larger than life guys that I was lucky to meet in my piano youth at a small college in South Jersey back in the early 70's. I remember he landed in an adjacent field in a helicopter, never warmed up and just hastened to the hall, sat down and played a typically grand program. He met with all of the aspiring young pianists at a reception afterwards and chatted with any and all that showed more than a passing interest. He was totally engaged and couldn't have been a better ambassador for the piano and classical music in general, just a really warm and very kind absolute gentleman. I learned the A flat polonaise that semester, inspired by his performance.

Not just a great artist, but a great human being.


We were told that same story about him just yesterday before our weekly studio class. smile
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#2040707 - 02/28/13 10:51 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3474
Loc: US
He was such an inspiration-- when you see pictures of his ticker tape parade in NYC, it's hard to imagine that happening now. A beautiful soul and musical spirit. RIP, Mr. Cliburn.

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#2040755 - 02/28/13 12:50 PM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
It broke my heart to hear this. It's the end of an era. Cliburn was my favorite pianist, particularly for his Rachmaninoff... no one else has that incredible singing voice.

Best Rach 3 and 2nd sonata ever recorded.
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2040799 - 02/28/13 01:58 PM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1365
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
American music critic B.H. Haggin forever maintained that Van Cliburn was an exceptional pianist who was maligned by US critics. It may indeed have been the generally unfavorable reception of US music critics which kept Cliburn away from the concert stage for much of his career.

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#2040834 - 02/28/13 03:03 PM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
jdhampton924 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1009
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
Me and a very close friend of mine, a second mother of sorts, met over Van Cliburn's recording when we started talking about them. Last night for a time we talked about him again, both of us getting emotional.

Many things already been said, all I can say(never getting to see him live, probably because of my youth) I am thankful for the recordings I have heard.

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#2040991 - 02/28/13 07:21 PM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Brendan]
Emanuel Ravelli Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 687
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: Brendan
Awful! frown

This performance has always been my benchmark for the piece:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apNTq-Tgf4w

RIP, Maestro.


I agree. This link is to a genuine landmark in music history -- Cliburn's performance of the Rachmaninoff 3rd in the 1958 finals of the Tchaikovsky competition. If you'd like to get the whole performance in a single link instead of 5 parts, you can find it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulE4KlRpIpU

His playing in the Carnegie Hall performance shortly after his return to the US is better in many respects (especially in the first movement cadenza). But I'm not sure there has ever been a more musically perfect performance of the second movement than this Moscow recording. And the finale is truly hair-raising. The ovation after his performance is incredible – the high honor of rhythmic applause, Cliburn giving his first set of bouquets to Kondrashin to thank him and the orchestra for their superb accompaniment, and the pure joy on his face when an audience member presented him with a balalaika. I love the recordings of this great work by Volodos, Gilels, Andsnes and Sokolov, but this will always be the summit for me.

Van Cliburn inspired me to keep on with the piano at an age when I'd rather have been playing sandlot football. Fifty years later, I'm still at it. I first heard him live at Washington's Constitution Hall in 1962. It was my first encounter with Brahms Op. 118 No. 2, which he played to perfection. I heard him play the Tchaikovsky at Wolf Trap -- rocky at spots, but still majestic. I met him briefly when I attended the 8th Cliburn competition in 1989. He was warm and gracious and seemed geneuinely interested in hearing what others had to say (or in my case stammer). My last encounter was at a Kennedy Center benefit for the Humane Society. As he often did, he opened with Rachmaninoff's transcription of the Star Spangled Banner and some charming remarks about the importance of animal companionship and musical arts in a civilized society. He gave a truly awful rendition of the Brahms B minor Rhapsody, then played Chopin's 4th Ballade to near perfection. Go figure.

I've been listening to his recordings all day. The world is a better place because he passed through it.



Edited by Emanuel Ravelli (02/28/13 07:23 PM)
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#2041252 - 03/01/13 09:01 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
Copake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 256
Loc: Columbia/Westchester Counties ...
The New York Times posted this great photograph of the teen-aged Van Cliburn playing a duet with an even younger James Levine at Marlboro.

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#2041564 - 03/01/13 07:01 PM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
Louis Podesta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 740
Kreisler:

Enclosed is my published comment from today's NY Times. Their chief music critic, Anthony Tommasini, unlike anyone else who has commented on my writings, has spoken to me personally about my "Classical Piano News Story." He found it "too detailed for his newspaper." His book is on the modern composer Virgil Thompson. Therefore, I understand his reticence to publish my news story.

Nevertheless, I enclose for you my published NY Times comment on Anthony Tommasini's obituary regarding Van Cliburn. I encourage you to go to http://www.nytimes.com and in the box in the upper left hand corner type the words "van clilburn." It will pull up Mr. Tommasini's piece along with hundreds of other comments, mostly relating to what happened to them forty years ago.

"LHP San Antonio

As a classical pianist and sometime critic, I can tell you with all certainty that there were music critics who were ordered by their editors to give Van Cliburn a pass, when he gave a sub-par performance. In defense of Anthony Tommasini, that can never be said about him nor his predecessor Harold Schonberg. Harvey Lavan Cliburn was a huge talent in the 1960's and 70's. Yet, in the last 25 years, he gave many a bad performance, and charged ticket prices higher than the Rolling Stones. He would charge $200 for a basic ticket, and an extra $100 for attending the following reception, at which, as can be gleaned from all the comments here, he obviously excelled. However, it is glaring by its omission that not one major symphony conductor in the world has stepped forward to praise Mr. Cliburn for their experience and their orchestra's experience with him. Why? Because the man was notorious for cancelling at the last minute, often without time to find a replacement. And, when he did show up, he was ill prepared as was the case a few years back with the Corpus Christi Symphony. As Tony Tommasini knows, who has two music degrees from Yale and a doctorate from Boston Universtiy, each and every time you walk out on that stage you are expected to be prepared and to give it your all. That is for your audience, and most importantly for the music. For over the last two decades, Van Cliburn chose not to honor that long held tradition."

Thank you "derulux" and please share with us what you paid for the ticket to hear the most famous pianist on the planet give a sub-par performance. Earl Wild recorded all of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos in one week, when he was 56 years old and teaching full-time at Eastman. He recorded the Beethoven Hammerklavier when he was 76. What is the difference? Please reference the last two sentences of my NY Times comment.

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#2041587 - 03/01/13 07:52 PM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Louis Podesta]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19798
Loc: New York
Louis, you are a sourpuss. smile

You are proud of that comment. You should be ashamed of it.

Besides that I disagree with the gist of it, I can tell you that this wasn't the time to say such a thing even if it were fair. Perhaps you'll want to say that you just believe in telling it like it is -- but, judging from other posts of yours, if that's your wish, you don't do the greatest job of it, and when your frank errors or misunderstandings are pointed out, you run away from it. You have agendas and you're in love with them, and you seem to care about little else.

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#2041607 - 03/01/13 09:28 PM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Mark_C]
Emanuel Ravelli Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 687
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Louis, you are a sourpuss. smile

You are proud of that comment. You should be ashamed of it.


Well said, Mark. I'll grant that Cliburn was capable of bad performances in his later years. As noted in my earlier post on this thread, I heard one of them. But I have no idea where Louis' comment about exorbitant ticket prices comes from. At the Humane Society benefit recital I attended several years ago -- a benefit, where ticket prices are usually well above the usual standard -- my memory tells me I paid no more than $50 or $75 for the ticket. It's inconceivable that anyone who was as generous with his time and talent toward other musicians as Cliburn was would be sitting in his counting house smirking as he tallied up his evening's inflated take.

In any case, this is not the time for such criticism. For at least a decent interval after Van's passing, we should be focusing on his many great contributions to the world of music. Louis and his fellow nay-sayers should be patient -- and quiet -- for a while.
_________________________
Phil Bjorlo

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#2041625 - 03/01/13 10:30 PM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Emanuel Ravelli]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4804
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Emanuel Ravelli
In any case, this is not the time for such criticism. For at least a decent interval after Van's passing, we should be focusing on his many great contributions to the world of music. Louis and his fellow nay-sayers should be patient -- and quiet -- for a while.
I heartily agree. I've heard many comments about his decline but this is not the time to discuss them.

I was very excited to hear him perform in Seattle just a few years ago. He was warm and extremely gracious to the enthusiastic audience.

For those of you who were not yet born, or old enough to be aware, the man uplifted our entire country during a frightening time in the Cold War. You may not remember the Cuban missile crisis or atomic bomb drills in school but the late '50's and early '60's was a scary time when dialogue between the heavily armed U.S.S.R. and heavily armed U.S. was strained to the breaking point. I was one little girl among many, sitting cross legged on the school hallway floor, against the wall, burying my head in my arms to "protect" myself from an incoming ICBM. It was a grim time. Van Cliburn won the Tchaikovsky and suddenly it seemed possible that the world might not end in a nuclear conflagration. I'm not saying this lightly.

Van Cliburn was an inspiration to young pianists and he represented hope of world peace. He was a hero. That, my dear, is an enviable legacy. I had hoped to meet him in 2015 and sorely regret not having the chance. Rest in peace Van.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2041636 - 03/01/13 11:16 PM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Louis Podesta]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
Kreisler:

Enclosed is my published comment from today's NY Times. Their chief music critic, Anthony Tommasini, unlike anyone else who has commented on my writings, has spoken to me personally about my "Classical Piano News Story." He found it "too detailed for his newspaper." His book is on the modern composer Virgil Thompson. Therefore, I understand his reticence to publish my news story.

Nevertheless, I enclose for you my published NY Times comment on Anthony Tommasini's obituary regarding Van Cliburn. I encourage you to go to http://www.nytimes.com and in the box in the upper left hand corner type the words "van clilburn." It will pull up Mr. Tommasini's piece along with hundreds of other comments, mostly relating to what happened to them forty years ago.

"LHP San Antonio

As a classical pianist and sometime critic, I can tell you with all certainty that there were music critics who were ordered by their editors to give Van Cliburn a pass, when he gave a sub-par performance. In defense of Anthony Tommasini, that can never be said about him nor his predecessor Harold Schonberg. Harvey Lavan Cliburn was a huge talent in the 1960's and 70's. Yet, in the last 25 years, he gave many a bad performance, and charged ticket prices higher than the Rolling Stones. He would charge $200 for a basic ticket, and an extra $100 for attending the following reception, at which, as can be gleaned from all the comments here, he obviously excelled. However, it is glaring by its omission that not one major symphony conductor in the world has stepped forward to praise Mr. Cliburn for their experience and their orchestra's experience with him. Why? Because the man was notorious for cancelling at the last minute, often without time to find a replacement. And, when he did show up, he was ill prepared as was the case a few years back with the Corpus Christi Symphony. As Tony Tommasini knows, who has two music degrees from Yale and a doctorate from Boston Universtiy, each and every time you walk out on that stage you are expected to be prepared and to give it your all. That is for your audience, and most importantly for the music. For over the last two decades, Van Cliburn chose not to honor that long held tradition."


Excuse me?? If that's true, then that is unfortunate, but the man was still a great pianist and very important to classical music in America and he just passed away. Give the guy a little respect.

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#2041649 - 03/02/13 12:03 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4425
Loc: San Jose, CA
Thank you, Deborah. I was thinking of the very same things you wrote about (and which everyone worried about) during that time of the Cold War. Cliburn created a very serious breakthrough, in the most unexpected and amazing way. This is food for contemplation.

Louis Podesta, I feel very sorry--- for you--- that this anger is on your soul, and that you can't tell why, at a time of funeral, remembrance, a time to give the departed a good send-off, and to console those who are grieved (especially after so dreadful a disease as bone cancer)... it's the wrong time to ventilate your resentments. I think of the old saying, that goes, "If you want to be really, really miserable, try thinking only of yourself."

If you can't think of some of the many good things the deceased has done, things that will help others long after his time... then at least put a cork in it for a few months. No one wants to hear it now.
_________________________
Clef


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#2041652 - 03/02/13 12:14 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8903
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Googling Cliburn today, I was led to an independent Baptist web site which was very honest about his sexuality.

Of major interest:

Cliburn was also Broadway’s [Broadway Baptist Church] most famous gay member, though little was said about his private life except for a palimony lawsuit brought against him in 1996 that was eventually dismissed. In 2009, the Southern Baptist Convention revoked the church’s membership after an unprecedented investigation by SBC leaders into whether media reports about the congregation’s inclusiveness placed it in violation of a policy banning churches that "act to affirm, approve or endorse homosexual behavior."

SBC, American Neanderthals.
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Jason

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#2041654 - 03/02/13 12:23 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
Louis Podesta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 740
For now, I have to get some sleep, so I can get up tomorrow at the age of 61 and practice four to five hours, just like I do every day. (Unlike Van Cliburn who was doing other things until 3 AM in the morning, besides practicing!)

Suffice it say, what you know, and don't know about Mr. Cliburn is what his press agents wanted you to know. And, they obviously did their jobs extremely well.

More tomorrow about a man (not a god) who was a great pianist forty years ago!

"$50 to $75 a ticket," - I paid $7.50 to hear Claudio Arrau play the Beethoven Op. 111 and the Schumann Symphonic Etudes. And, do you know what? He wasn't great and at the end everybody just got up and walked out, without an encore. Go figure.

I know a former IRS agent who audited one of Cliburn's promoters. You all don't even have a clue. His base fee for a recital in the mid 1970's was $50,000 plus 65% of the gross ticket sales. That was when the aforementioned Mr. Arrau was getting $5,000 to play with orchestra.

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#2041670 - 03/02/13 01:15 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Louis Podesta]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19798
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
....More tomorrow....

Please spare us.
If you must, maybe start your own thread about it rather than sullying this one.

Quote:
....You all don't even have a clue.

Of course not.

A few people thought I was being hard on you on the other threads. I wasn't. It just wasn't so blatant what you were about and so others were willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. Now you've made it plain for all to see. Good job.

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#2041693 - 03/02/13 03:11 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
Michael Sayers Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1158
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Van Cliburn was one of those pianists who really listened to and cultivated piano tone and its projection, and the live recordings I've heard show a finely hewn technique.

Even if the later performances are erratic - and I haven't heard a recording of this so I can't have any observations upon it - Van Cliburn set one of the highest standards in the 20th century for who and what a pianist can be.

Maybe there is envy in some posts in this thread toward Van's success rather than gratefulness for who he was and what he accomplished?


Mvh,
Michael

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#2041775 - 03/02/13 09:39 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Louis, just shut up - you are the most disrespectful poster I've come across here.

YOU criticize Cliburn?????? With YOUR pianistic "skills"??
Hahahahahaha you've got to be JOKING me!


Do us all a favour and leave PW.


Edited by Pogorelich. (03/02/13 11:34 AM)
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2041778 - 03/02/13 09:42 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Yes, Cliburn could've had a better career but unfortunately he was very disorganized sometimes. He'd often mix up concert programs and practice the wrong program.

This is not the time to give him helll for this. The man was INCREDIBLE in his young years, and anyone with a grain of a good ear can hear that. Clearly you cant.

Go away.
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2041808 - 03/02/13 11:10 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
Michael Sayers Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1158
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
I think it is time for a bit of the peaceful and accepting Swedish lagom here.

I don't have anything personal against Louis Pedesta who very well might be a pleasure to meet or know in person - and I would be interested to hear his piano playing.

He isn't crucifying Cliburn for what Cliburn believed in, just noting inconsistencies or anomalies in the outward manifestation.


Mvh,
Michael

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#2041811 - 03/02/13 11:14 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19798
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Michael Sayers
....He isn't crucifying Cliburn for what Cliburn believed in, just noting inconsistencies or anomalies in the outward manifestation.

An awfully charitable take.

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#2041820 - 03/02/13 11:32 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
I don't care why he's doing it, this is not the time or the place.


Edited by Pogorelich. (03/02/13 11:33 AM)
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2041822 - 03/02/13 11:34 AM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: gooddog]
PattyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 615
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Originally Posted By: Emanuel Ravelli
In any case, this is not the time for such criticism. For at least a decent interval after Van's passing, we should be focusing on his many great contributions to the world of music. Louis and his fellow nay-sayers should be patient -- and quiet -- for a while.
I heartily agree. I've heard many comments about his decline but this is not the time to discuss them.

I was very excited to hear him perform in Seattle just a few years ago. He was warm and extremely gracious to the enthusiastic audience.

For those of you who were not yet born, or old enough to be aware, the man uplifted our entire country during a frightening time in the Cold War. You may not remember the Cuban missile crisis or atomic bomb drills in school but the late '50's and early '60's was a scary time when dialogue between the heavily armed Russia and heavily armed U.S. was strained to the breaking point. I was one little girl among many sitting cross legged on the school hallway floor, against the wall, burying my head in my arms to "protect" myself from an incoming ICBM. It was a grim time. Van Cliburn won the Tchaikovsky and suddenly it seemed possible that the world might not end. I'm not saying this lightly.

Van Cliburn was an inspiration to young pianists and he represented hope of world peace. He was a hero. That, my dear, is an enviable legacy. I had hoped to meet in him 2015 and sorely regret not having the chance. Rest in peace Van.


Brava, gooddog! Great post.

I was too young to know about Mr. Cliburn's Tchaikovsky win in Russia at the time, but I do remember the nuclear-bomb-attack drills at school in the early 60s. Mr. Cliburn's accomplishment that day must have been like a salve on a burn to two sorely hurting nations and their people.
_________________________
Patty

A tired dog is a good dog.

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#2041829 - 03/02/13 12:01 PM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]
Louis Podesta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 740
Michael Sayers:

Thank your for your kind words, and yes I noticed that you also use your full name.

What I am saying is that every time I sit down at the piano, it does not matter how good or bad I was the day before. What matters is the level of quality I strive to put out today, all in the name of one thing and one thing only - the music.

Van Cliburn made very beautiful music in his youth and all of the accolades afforded him were justly earned.

However, unlike Earl Wild who played a 2 1/2 hour recital at a Carnegie Hall on his 90th birthday, or Mieczyslaw Horszowski who played a full recital when he was 98, Van Cliburn essentially "coasted" for the last thirty years. And, in the process, he got paid a whole lot of money for it.

Unlike Wild, Horszowski, Brendel, Arrau, Horowitz, de Larrocha, or Abbey Simon, he recorded nothing since the mid 1970's and rarely performed. Wild and Horszowski also actively taught or gave Master Classes until shortly before their deaths, and Abbey Simon continues to do so today.

Mr. Cliburn, instead, enjoyed his celebrity status to the hilt, without giving much of anything back, as regards THE MUSIC! Giving the rare (not in "top form") performance, or showing up every four years to hand out gold medals, is not exactly my idea of making high quality music, which is exactly what he did in his early years.

That is why along with not one major symphony conductor issuing a press release expressing sadness over this death, not one world reknown concert pianist, or one major music school or conservatory has done so either. They knew the score, and so do I.

Thanks once again for your civil discourse, and I list the link from my original thread, which shows a small snippet of my playing.

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

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#2041832 - 03/02/13 12:09 PM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Kreisler]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Oh and I suppose you knew him personally to make sch claims? You don't know anything about the circumstances.

And YOU or your playing don't have anything to do with it; I really don't understand why you bring them up. Are you comparing yourself to Cliburn? If so, that is laughable. What he accomplished in the years he played is more valuable than what most pianists today will ever do so.

Cliburn cared about and loved music more than most people can imagine....... you can just hear it in his playing right away, and once you talk to him you understand. Or should understand.

Yes, his career became a little quiet. So what? After the competition, he was bombarded with concerts - can YOU imagine playing more than 200 concerts a year? He became burnt out. And often in the years after that, because of his lack of organization, yes, sometimes he would be unprepared for recitals/concerts.

That doesn't diminish what he had accomplished and the level or artistry he demonstrated, which is so precious and so special that I cannot believe you are opening your mouth to criticize him. Give it a rest, show some respect............. go. away.


Edited by Pogorelich. (03/02/13 12:55 PM)
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2041857 - 03/02/13 01:17 PM Re: Van Cliburn 1934-2013 [Re: Louis Podesta]
Michael Sayers Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1158
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Hi Louis,

You are entirely correct in the video. Here is a little Brahms for you that includes some significant breaking of hands/voices:

http://michaelsayers.com/mp3/Michael_Sayers_Brahms_Op_118_No_2_excerpt.mp3

Maybe Van Cliburn was more in love with the music than with being a pianist and always having to do things to please others?

I owe you an apology re. my first post in response to your posts. I don't think you are envious, just disappointed in the long term trajectory of Van's career and activities.

He had a right though to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in his own way as I see it.


Mvh,
Michael


Edited by Michael Sayers (03/02/13 01:39 PM)

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