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#2048293 - 03/14/13 04:04 PM How to respond to member recordings?
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2735
After reading a recent thread (carey's Nocturne thread) I am curious about how would you all respond to a member recording.

Any general guidelines?

What not to say/not to do when responding?

Any discrimination according to age, professionalism, amateurism, etc.?
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#2048310 - 03/14/13 04:53 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
gooddog Offline
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Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4822
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Hakki, that's a tough one to answer. For me, age isn't a factor. It really depends on what the OP is asking for and how they ask for it.

The only guideline I can think of is: good manners, (but that is pretty much covered by the rules of PW). Posting a recording takes courage for some of us amateurs. It's like putting a big red target on ourselves. This is the internet, after all and there are those who use their anonymity as an opportunity to be cruel or tactless. In the nocturne thread in question, I think our members did a good job of reining things in.
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#2048315 - 03/14/13 05:03 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
Nikolas Online   content
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Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5367
Loc: Europe
Discrimination to the goal of the poster, nothing else!

Posting a professional recording that goes "This is how it should be" is rubbish!
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#2048367 - 03/14/13 06:38 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
Tim Adrianson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1102
Hakki, a few comments:

I've read many of your own responses to recordings, and find them to be quite good examples of how to respond appropriately. You first provide an overall reaction, and then typically have specific things to say regarding the details in the performance. If there are areas of open criticism, you are honest enough to say so, but you couch it within the framework of specifics, so that the OP member can clearly assess the character of the "shortcomings". So, IMO, keep doing what you're doing!

Since I do a lot of member recording reviews myself, in classical, popular, and composition forums (listening to them is really the main reason I belong to PW), I actually DO discriminate somewhat, based both on age and a general assessment of both musical and technical ability. And, briefly put I think it IS possible to be frank, without being BRUTALLY frank -- I believe most recording members really DO want, above all, honesty, and criticism, so long as it is, in fact, constructive: specifics, with a recommended path-forward.

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#2048434 - 03/14/13 09:52 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
daviel Offline
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Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
Nothing pays off like restraint
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#2048782 - 03/15/13 04:06 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2735
Deborah, Tim,

Thank you for taking the time and "responding" to my request.
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#2048786 - 03/15/13 04:15 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5352
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Deborah, Tim,

Thank you for taking the time and "responding" to my request.

I take offense to this.. I responded myself, in my lack of response. smirk

I think it is critically important to remember we are not judging professional recordings. I think, too often, we expect to hear RCA, Sony or Deutsche Grammophon, and then we are sorely disappointed. (Note that I am not discussing the pianist's ability here--but the recording, and possibly, the piano itself.)

My general rule of thumb is this: if you can't find anything pleasing about the recording, it's probably best not to post anything.

It is, however, certainly fine to give a balanced critique, especially when asked-for. (Hakki, I think this is what you do, which is great. I've always respected your intelligible responses to people's performances.)

What I don't condone is blatant ripping of the poster, either in "watch this video" format (with no subsequent intelligible commentary--as discussed in carey's thread), or in all-out brass-on-paper. Very few things get under my skin as much as disrespectful people.
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#2048875 - 03/15/13 08:36 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
Damon Online   happy
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Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6224
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Hakki
After reading a recent thread (carey's Nocturne thread) I am curious about how would you all respond to a member recording.

Any general guidelines?

What not to say/not to do when responding?

Any discrimination according to age, professionalism, amateurism, etc.?




For me, it depends on the poster, my perception of their level, and how they present it. If they ask for a full critique then they get what they get.
Obviously, for those that read the nocturne thread, I found the posting of a professional recording rude.
I recall having a similar thread awhile back when some of us thought you went over the top in a critique to the point of being unnecessarily mean. Maybe a clever searcher can find that thread.

Found it!:
Constructive criticism


Edited by Damon (03/15/13 08:39 PM)
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#2048992 - 03/16/13 04:43 AM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Damon]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2735
Originally Posted By: Damon

...For me, it depends on the poster, my perception of their level, and how they present it....


It is similar for me too. Especially with talented young professional pianists I look for a more refined recording. And say so if it is not presented that way.

Originally Posted By: Damon

I recall having a similar thread awhile back when some of us thought you went over the top in a critique to the point of being unnecessarily mean. Maybe a clever searcher can find that thread.

Found it!:
Constructive criticism


Thanks for reminding. I had my lesson on that, and I am "trying" to control my manners as Deborah has put it.
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#2049056 - 03/16/13 09:21 AM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19591
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Thanks for reminding. I had my lesson on that, and I am "trying" to control my manners as Deborah has put it.
You quite recently told a pianist posting the Liszt Bsllade that the piece was simply not suitable for her as she was not up to the technical challenges. The timing was particularly bad because this was apparently shortly before she was going to play it for a DMA audition. So you gave her a choice of evils...either drop the piece at the last moment and try to learn something else or play it with at least one person saying the piece was unsuitable for her abilities.

Originally Posted By: Hakki
IMO, this piece is not suitable for you. Did you choose the piece or was it assigned to you?

I think, wide chords, octaves, broken octaves are really not your strong sides that you would want to show. And unfortunately this piece requires all of these to be executed at a very high tempo. But you take most of these at subpar tempos and that dramatically reduces the overall quality of the piece. Also the chords after the chromatics are one of those rare cases where when played broken changes the intent of the composer totally and it really does not fit the atmosphere of the piece.

I am really very sorry if my comments are too harsh, and not appropriate to say at such a late stage just before your audition.


I'd assume her teacher, who knows the student far better than you, thought the piece was appropriate for her and at least reasonably well prepared for the audition. If you thought certain areas were technically weak, IMO it would have been far more appropriate to offer some suggestions for improving those areas in the remaining time.


Edited by pianoloverus (03/16/13 09:34 AM)

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#2049146 - 03/16/13 01:03 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2735
pianoloverus thanks for bringing this up again.

I especially need advice on how to respond properly to a member when my real impression is like the above.

a) Do not respond.
b) Respond, but do not tell what you think actually, instead tell a couple of "white lies"
c) Find a way (???) to tell what you think without offending the member
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#2049160 - 03/16/13 01:32 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
Brad Hoehne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 374
Loc: Ohio
Simple: If you find something to be lacking, be positive, helpful and offer solutions.
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#2049164 - 03/16/13 01:43 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Brad Hoehne]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2735
Originally Posted By: Brad Hoehne
Simple: If you find something to be lacking, be positive, helpful and offer solutions.


Brad, if this is not much of an asking, would you mind providing an example, that is my words for Rachel's situation transformed to the way you are suggesting. It is obvious that I need help with this.


Edited by Hakki (03/16/13 04:44 PM)
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#2049169 - 03/16/13 01:58 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4822
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Reading the above posts makes me want to add to my "be polite" remark: be sensitive about your timing. If someone has a major performance or audition coming up in a very a short time, I think it's a pretty good guess that they have pre-performance jitters and are posting because they are looking for encouragement. If the performance warrants criticism, it may be tempting to be completely honest, but I'd hold it until afterwards. Just say something tactful and bland like, "good luck. I can hear you have worked hard on that piece." You can whale into them later, albeit politely.

Oh, and Hakki, this comment irked me.

Originally Posted By: Hakki
Especially with talented young professional pianists I look for a more refined recording. And say so if it is not presented that way
I'm a complete amateur and am on the golden side of 50 but when I ask for constructive criticism I don't want to be held to a lower standard because I'm not a youngster with aspirations. I've always looked forward to your comments but this statement suggests they are just flattery and not sincere. I'd prefer criticism I can use.


Edited by gooddog (03/16/13 02:07 PM)
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#2049174 - 03/16/13 02:23 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: gooddog]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2735
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Just say something tactful and bland like, "good luck. I can hear you have worked hard on that piece." You can whale into them later, albeit politely.


Thank you for the advice. I will keep that in mind next time.

Originally Posted By: gooddog
Oh, and Hakki, this comment irked me.

Originally Posted By: Hakki
Especially with talented young professional pianists I look for a more refined recording. And say so if it is not presented that way
I'm a complete amateur and am on the golden side of 50 but when I ask for constructive criticism I don't want to be held to a lower standard because I'm not a youngster with aspirations. I've always looked forward to your comments but this statement suggests they are just flattery and not sincere. I'd prefer criticism I can use.


On the contrary, Deborah, I always follow your recordings. And I wish those youngsters present their work the way you do. Your playing is always mature, balanced and very pleasing to listen. In fact, even before listening to your recordings, I am almost sure that I will enjoy listening to your recording.

So don't get me wrong, there is no flattering, I am completely sincere with your recordings. And I won't hesitate if I have something to criticize.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#2049192 - 03/16/13 03:34 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4822
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Hakki
On the contrary, Deborah, I always follow your recordings. And I wish those youngsters present their work the way you do. Your playing is always mature, balanced and very pleasing to listen. In fact, even before listening to your recordings, I am almost sure that I will enjoy listening to your recording.

So don't get me wrong, there is no flattering, I am completely sincere with your recordings. And I won't hesitate if I have something to criticize.
That's good to hear. Thank you.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2049211 - 03/16/13 04:20 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19591
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Hakki
pianoloverus thanks for bringing this up again.

I especially need advice on how to respond properly to a member when my real impression is like the above.

a) Do not respond.
b) Respond, but do not tell what you think actually, instead tell a couple of "white lies"
c) Find a way (???) to tell what you think without offending the member
I offered a suggestion on a better approach in my previous post.


Edited by pianoloverus (03/16/13 04:22 PM)

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#2049224 - 03/16/13 04:55 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Derulux]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2735
Originally Posted By: Derulux

It is, however, certainly fine to give a balanced critique, especially when asked-for. (Hakki, I think this is what you do, which is great. I've always respected your intelligible responses to people's performances.)



Thank you.
But I think you have skipped some of my comments which were not even close to what you have described above. I am trying to improve though.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#2049238 - 03/16/13 05:16 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: pianoloverus]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2735
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

If you thought certain areas were technically weak, IMO it would have been far more appropriate to offer some suggestions for improving those areas in the remaining time.


I thought she was a very fine pianist, but her octave technique was not as remarkable as her other virtues in this piece. Maybe I should have only suggested her to take those passages more swiftly, instead of saying that the piece was not suitable for her.

So, I thought it would be better for her to play another piece for the audition. Maybe a movement from the op.109 Sonata, which she mentioned she had played at the same recital along with the Liszt Ballade. She should have been ready for that already.

My goodness, I still feel guilty. I hope she did well at the audition.
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Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#2049305 - 03/16/13 07:44 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
RachelEDNC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 81
Originally Posted By: Hakki
My goodness, I still feel guilty. I hope she did well at the audition.


Hakki,

I somewhat doubt you feel that guilty. I do however think you may not enjoy looking mean/rude to members of the forum. If you really felt that guilty you would have apologized to me. I am seeing this through scanning through posts. As I am the person in question, I am guessing you would just like everyone on the forum to know you feel sorry for matter of appearances.

As to your question as to when you should post, I think you should ask yourself if what you have to say is constructive criticism or just negative criticism. If it is the latter, do not post. There is no need to ever lie to someone, there is also no law stating you have to respond to posts. If you have to question whether it is constructive criticism or not- Is it helpful to the poster? A practice tip to fix the part in question, maybe? If yes, it is constructive.

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#2049502 - 03/17/13 05:21 AM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2735
Rachel,

I am glad you chimed in.
Please accept my apologies.
What I say is true and I really have no concerns about looking mean to other posters.

But, now I think you owe me an apology for making up such a statement.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#2049542 - 03/17/13 07:57 AM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
drumour Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 861
Loc: Scotland
Rachel has absolutely no reason to apologise. I remember the incident (that is significant of something) and you came across, Hakki, like a particularly nasty version of comic-store guy from the Simpsons - relishing their nastiness. My main thought at the time was, WHY? And now you're wanting an apology, pft! Are you a man or a tosser?

Much more importantly in the wider sense, just give a thought to those who may have been about to post their own humble offerings and who now never will. You were being toxic.
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#2049558 - 03/17/13 08:54 AM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: drumour]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2735
Now you owe me an apology too drumour.
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Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#2049646 - 03/17/13 12:34 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
If I am to owe an apology too I shall grant it, but, um, aren't apologies intended to be sincere? Would you rather someone granted you one when they felt no need? Likewise don't we need to respect the diffidence of opinion? Sorry, it's just...you *have* to recognise the difficulty in correctly identifying motive on the internet and, because of this I fear, there's no rudeness in questioning it. Oh, um, regarding your query laugh : 100% depends on the poster; personally I don't care about positive review and, I feel, most probably don't to a large extent (couldn't we just play for friends and family if this were the case?). I would rather a list of specific things I've done wrong and maybe a big "NO" at the bottom laugh But, um, I'll essentially specify as such in the posting and would never assume one to guess; read the post, try and determine whether the poster is the type who needs support or condemnation to progress and, if you can't decide, err on the side of support; I mean, far better to support those who don't need it than crush those who can't weather it...in my opinion laugh
Xxxx
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#2049663 - 03/17/13 01:07 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: FSO]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2735
Thanks FSO. Yes, I am asking for opinions of other members.
But this doesn't mean that I grant them any right to discuss my personality falsely and make insulting remarks.

As far as it is on topic everything is fine, but when it turns into personal attacks then it is my right to ask for an apology.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#2049720 - 03/17/13 02:15 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
How about discussing your personality truthfully? wink Of course, it's never quite on to insult someone intentionally (in my opinion it's actually one of the worst things one can do) and, I suppose, asking for an apology isn't exactly out of line...just...um, some people feel that two wrongs may not make a right, but that one wrong *can* deserve another; drumour feels Rachel owes no apology but you think she does. I'm not sure either opinion can ever really be right, but it's foolhardy to try and change them. In my eyes nobody is in the wrong; um...just talking in different languages smile I certainly don't mean (or intend! laugh ) to berate your way of being and I'm sorry your feelings were hurt and...and I hope you can see the reason behind each communication; I'm sure drumour doesn't mean to make you feel like a horrible person or anything, just trying to clarify the jarring that's occurred in, perhaps, a slightly brusque manner...
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Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3

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#2049751 - 03/17/13 03:46 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: FSO]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2735
Well FSO, if you have nothing more to say regarding my question, I think it is better to leave this here, before you become another member who owe me an apology. ha
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#2049778 - 03/17/13 04:38 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
RachelEDNC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 81
Originally Posted By: Hakki
As far as it is on topic everything is fine, but when it turns into personal attacks then it is my right to ask for an apology.


Hakki,

While not directly the topic of your original post, the topic that was currently being discussed was about your remarks towards me. I assumed it was fair game to throw in my opinion on the situation. I was as FSO said, questioning your motives.

I responded to your post on the original thread about the Liszt Ballade shortly after you made it. Most people when making some sort of improper post would respond after said post on the same thread. This would ensure whoever their remarks were aimed at would see the apology. You however wrote nothing. Saying you are sorry on another forum after several members have openly criticized you would naturally lead me to believe you are sorry you look mean, and not sorry for what you actually did.

Reversing positions with me for a second, you must be able to see why I would not think you would think twice about any negative comments you have made towards me. I really am not trying to start an issue on pianoworld. I actually generally try to stay away from controversial things on this site because I realize how public this forum is to observers, and I do not know who those observers are. I felt the need to say something because I was the one being discussed.

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#2049794 - 03/17/13 04:59 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2735
Rachel,

Like you, I also do not like to be involved in controversial things.

I can do nothing other than saying, you just be assured that I am sincere about what I say. You can confidently clear up any doubts you have.

Please do post other recordings in the future, and I promise I won't post on that threads if I don't have something to say positive.
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#2049892 - 03/17/13 07:42 PM Re: How to respond to member recordings? [Re: Hakki]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5352
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: Derulux

It is, however, certainly fine to give a balanced critique, especially when asked-for. (Hakki, I think this is what you do, which is great. I've always respected your intelligible responses to people's performances.)



Thank you.
But I think you have skipped some of my comments which were not even close to what you have described above. I am trying to improve though.

That is possible. I certainly don't get a chance to read every post in every thread, though I do try to keep track of the posts from members whose contributions I enjoy (or with whom I enjoy a great opposing-viewpoint discussion).

It seems, after reading the thread, there is some sincere intent here, and I have gone back and referenced the thread mentioned.

I would say that there is nothing wrong with being honest. In your comments, at least the ones I read, you did not attack the pianist. What I did see was particularly bad timing. I usually shy away from posting overly negative comments when someone says they have a competition/jury/audition/etc coming up. Why? There really is no time to improve or substitute. Just say, "Good luck," and let them go in as confident as possible so they can do their best.

If I do have many criticisms, I usually send the person a PM. I can always find something about the performance I enjoy, but when I do find something to improve--or especially when the poster specifically asks for criticism--I tend to send my reply privately. This way, it never gets inflamed by other posters who have nothing to do with the conversation. wink
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