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#2078767 - 05/07/13 10:57 AM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4535
Loc: in the past
Thank you for that. I was familiar with this grin believe it or not, haha! It makes me glad to have a Steinway D at my disposal for my next recital.. I love how far the instrument has come!

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear

"One can follow the score, or one can do his/her best to bring the ink splotches on the page alive." (That part, Pogo, I know you already know... grin )


Yes, I sure hope I know that, haha.... I try anyway. But as you know, I respect the score immensely, and try to follow it as much as I can, and use it as a guide to bring something special to a piece. I'll often even use the score to justify something that most people would think is not ordinarily done, if you know what I mean. How many people sit down with the music and examine it closely, figuring out relationships between thematic material, harmonic structure, not to mention overall structure etc - it's fascinating! Sometimes, I don't even think the composers themselves realized what's really in there. Anyway.

Quote:
When I heard this performance, above, it untied all sorts of mental knots I was having about "How much pedal to use when playing Baroque on a piano?" Take a deep breath and use your judgement is, I think, the answer.

And that is your early instrument lesson for today. Now, go practice piano!

--Andy


Yes, it should sound as if there is no pedal. I mean, most good pianists play that way - you don't exactly "notice" their pedaling. Which I think is extremely difficult to achieve!

But yes, I should go practice. Tomorrow I have a dress rehearsal in the hall. And if I crap all over it, my teacher will throw rotten tomatoes at me.

Ooooh, I should wear a red dress! Then the tomatoes will blend..


Edited by Pogorelich. (05/07/13 11:00 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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#2078781 - 05/07/13 11:26 AM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Mwm]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19643
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Mwm
So, given a J.S. Bach autograph of a keyboard work that contains no markings of any kind as to tempo, dynamic level, phrasing and so on, how would you play it, being faithful to the score? I would argue a MIDI playback device set at 60bpm and mf with no phrasing would satisfy "fidelity".
When a composer doesn't use any markings it's safe to assume he expected the performer to do something more than keep the tempo, dynamics, etc. constant. Fidelity to the markings in the score is a non issue if there are no markings.


But therein lies the issue. Since the composer clearly "intended" to not put markings in the score, are you assuming that all interpretations, no matter how wild, satisfy the intent of the composer? And, do you, the listener, respond to all of the interpretations with the same, "Oh my Gawd, THAT was what the composer intended!" ?
I don't think the composer not putting markings on the score means that the composer thought any interpretation is OK.

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#2078786 - 05/07/13 11:29 AM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Cinnamonbear]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19643
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
...I think Mwm expressed quite beautifully when he said, "One can follow the score, or one can do his/her best to bring the ink splotches on the page alive."
Why does it have to be one or the other?

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#2078855 - 05/07/13 02:42 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: pianoloverus]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3991
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
...I think Mwm expressed quite beautifully when he said, "One can follow the score, or one can do his/her best to bring the ink splotches on the page alive."
Why does it have to be one or the other?


Obviously, you can't have the second thing without the first, PL'us, if you want to read things like a sentence-parsing (*ahem* score-worshipping) literalist. Yet, somehow, I was able to understand (*ahem* make sense of) what Mwm composed without putting a magnifying glass to the "or." wink
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2078859 - 05/07/13 02:53 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: music32]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
I don't want to press the point unmercifully, but, if one believes in strict adherance to the markings in a score including note lengths, then playing many pieces of the French and German baroque as written would be not respecting the composers' intents. It was expected that one would play notes inégales when and where appropriate to the style of the work. By doing research, reading the treatises, written in the time when the music was written, on performance style and technique, you are able to come closer to the style of playing that was expected by the listener of that day.


Edited by Mwm (05/07/13 02:58 PM)

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#2078863 - 05/07/13 03:06 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Cinnamonbear]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19643
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
...I think Mwm expressed quite beautifully when he said, "One can follow the score, or one can do his/her best to bring the ink splotches on the page alive."
Why does it have to be one or the other?


Obviously, you can't have the second thing without the first, PL'us, if you want to read things like a sentence-parsing (*ahem* score-worshipping) literalist. Yet, somehow, I was able to understand (*ahem* make sense of) what Mwm composed without putting a magnifying glass to the "or." wink
Magnifying glass or an absolutely key word in the idea that was expressed which, in my view, makes the statement dubious? The entire discussion for most of the last pages is about whether following the score is a good idea. Perhaps if you had quoted more than the single sentence the intended meaning might be clearer, but as stated the use of "or" in that sentence implies a choice of one or the other.


Edited by pianoloverus (05/07/13 03:12 PM)

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#2078867 - 05/07/13 03:11 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
...I think Mwm expressed quite beautifully when he said, "One can follow the score, or one can do his/her best to bring the ink splotches on the page alive."
Why does it have to be one or the other?


Obviously, you can't have the second thing without the first, PL'us, if you want to read things like a sentence-parsing (*ahem* score-worshipping) literalist. Yet, somehow, I was able to understand (*ahem* make sense of) what Mwm composed without putting a magnifying glass to the "or." wink


I would hope you both understand that, as the consummate musicians you are, by following the ink splotches on the page, you are both following the score AND trying to make sense of it.

Someone mentioned above about a painting being frozen - the artist paints it and then is out of the equation. I disagree. The viewer becomes the performer. It is up to the viewer to make sense of the painting, and her interpretation of the painting is only as good as her knowledge of the markings on the painting and their meaning, given the artist, school, and conventions of the day. Symbology in art is as complicated, and fascinating, as that in music. One can give as too romantic an interpretation of an early painting, being ignorant of the artist's intent, as one can give a too romantic interpretation of an early musical work.

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#2078881 - 05/07/13 03:43 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Mwm]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5548
Originally Posted By: Mwm


....her interpretation of the painting is only as good as her knowledge of the markings on the painting and their meaning, given the artist, school, and conventions of the day. Symbology in art is as complicated, and fascinating, as that in music.


You are making art sound elitist, and understandable only to the 'learned', almost in the same way many ignoramus claim classical music is elitist despite never bothering to listen to it.

I don't think anyone needs an art degree to appreciate great art, just as no one needs a music degree to appreciate classical music. When I was seriously into painting (I won prizes as a teenager), all I ever wanted was for people to enjoy my paintings as much as I enjoyed 'creating' them. If people wanted to ask me who my influences were, what my inspiration was, I was happy to oblige. But to 'explain' my painting, the reason for its existence, its 'symbology', the significance of a particular brush stroke?

Perish the thought.



_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2078903 - 05/07/13 04:46 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: bennevis]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
The point of this thread was to ponder whether or not we can truly realize the composer's intent. If we don't understand the language (notation in music, use of symbols such as colour, flowers, mirrors, drapes, clocks, books in 16th and 17th century art), then we can never come close to what the composer/artist intended. I am not suggesting that one can't appreciate music or art without an education. That IS elitist. But it is not elitist to state that one can have a deeper appreciation of the music/art if one IS educated. Think of the Art of Fugue or the Goldberg Variations -exquisite music that brings tears to my eyes with its emotional content; and even more tears when I realize that this man produced that exquisite music with an underlying, complex mathematical structure. Is it elitist for me to enjoy the music at that level? If so, that is very sad.


Edited by Mwm (05/07/13 04:51 PM)

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#2078905 - 05/07/13 04:50 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Mwm]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Actually, on reading my post above, I admit that I am an elitist ____(fill in the blanks). I often think when I play this music for people, "I know all this stuff about this music and you don't!" Then I want to tell them about it, so they can enjoy the music in a different way. Sad, eh? or Huh? as the case may be.


Edited by Mwm (05/07/13 05:11 PM)

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#2078928 - 05/07/13 05:32 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Mwm]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5548
Originally Posted By: Mwm
The point of this thread was to ponder whether or not we can truly realize the composer's intent. If we don't understand the language (notation in music, use of symbols such as colour, flowers, mirrors, drapes, clocks, books in 16th and 17th century art), then we can never come close to what the composer/artist intended.


I see you're heavily into symbolism.

As this is a music rather than art forum, I'll leave that part of the discussion for another occasion...
But as far as understanding what the composer intended, and the performance practice of the period, HIP have changed our perception in recent decades, to the extent that even modern orchestras (playing on modern instruments) scale back their forces and reduce the use of vibrato to the bare minimum when playing music from the Classical era. And there are some who claim that vibrato should not be used even in Bruckner and Mahler.

But how much do we really know how music was performed in those days? Notation gives us no clue. (Otherwise why the discrepancy between big-band Mozart as played by the Berliner Philharmoniker/Herbert von Karajan and period ensemble Mozart as played by the Freiburger Barockorchester/René Jacobs? Both are faithful to the score). Correspondence from the period may give some hints as to what performance practice was like - but only hints, open to interpretation (and prejudices...).

As for understanding the 'language', let's see what Mozart has to say about his concertos K413, 414 and 415: "These concertos are a happy medium between what is too easy and what is too difficult; they are very brilliant, pleasing to the ear, and natural, without being vapid. There are passages here and there from which the connoisseurs alone may derive satisfaction; but these passages are written is such a way that the less learned cannot fail to be pleased, though without knowing why......The golden mean of truth in all things is no longer either known or appreciated. In order to win applause, one must write stuff which is so inane that a coachman could sing it, or so unintelligible that it pleases precisely because no sensible man can understand it."
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2078938 - 05/07/13 06:01 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Mwm]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3991
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
...I think Mwm expressed quite beautifully when he said, "One can follow the score, or one can do his/her best to bring the ink splotches on the page alive."
Why does it have to be one or the other?


Obviously, you can't have the second thing without the first, PL'us, if you want to read things like a sentence-parsing (*ahem* score-worshipping) literalist. Yet, somehow, I was able to understand (*ahem* make sense of) what Mwm composed without putting a magnifying glass to the "or." wink


I would hope you both understand that, as the consummate musicians you are, by following the ink splotches on the page, you are both following the score AND trying to make sense of it. [...]


Believe me, Mwm, I got it. I was hoping people might appreciate the metaphorical nature of my joke with PL'us as my foil. Every so often, I like to rib PL'us when he goads me. It helps him keep his post count up. grin
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2078951 - 05/07/13 06:28 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 778
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
...I think Mwm expressed quite beautifully when he said, "One can follow the score, or one can do his/her best to bring the ink splotches on the page alive."
Why does it have to be one or the other?


Obviously, you can't have the second thing without the first, PL'us, if you want to read things like a sentence-parsing (*ahem* score-worshipping) literalist. Yet, somehow, I was able to understand (*ahem* make sense of) what Mwm composed without putting a magnifying glass to the "or." wink


I would hope you both understand that, as the consummate musicians you are, by following the ink splotches on the page, you are both following the score AND trying to make sense of it. [...]


Believe me, Mwm, I got it. I was hoping people might appreciate the metaphorical nature of my joke with PL'us as my foil. Every so often, I like to rib PL'us when he goads me. It helps him keep his post count up. grin

I don't think a little ribbing hurts even when he's not goading you. grin

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#2078960 - 05/07/13 06:45 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: bennevis]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 778
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: bennevis

As for understanding the 'language', let's see what Mozart has to say about his concertos K413, 414 and 415: "These concertos are a happy medium between what is too easy and what is too difficult; they are very brilliant, pleasing to the ear, and natural, without being vapid. There are passages here and there from which the connoisseurs alone may derive satisfaction; but these passages are written is such a way that the less learned cannot fail to be pleased, though without knowing why......The golden mean of truth in all things is no longer either known or appreciated. In order to win applause, one must write stuff which is so inane that a coachman could sing it, or so unintelligible that it pleases precisely because no sensible man can understand it."

Thank you, bennevis, for a great quote!

Which may explain why I have such antipathy towards 20+ century music. I much prefer to hang out with the coachmen, who "know not why", than the connoisseurs, who "know it all". And for Wolfie to then say that music has something to do with being "brilliant, pleasing to the ear, and natural, without being vapid." What a concept!

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#2078970 - 05/07/13 07:02 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Old Man]
patH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 601
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Which may explain why I have such antipathy towards 20+ century music. I much prefer to hang out with the coachmen, who "know not why", than the connoisseurs, who "know it all". And for Wolfie to then say that music has something to do with being "brilliant, pleasing to the ear, and natural, without being vapid." What a concept!

Is your antipathy directed towards 20+ century classical music (i.e. avant garde music)? Because the modern coachmen (taxi drivers) listen to pop music. Usually they don't sing to it. But in Mozart's time, the car radio did not exist yet. wink

The Mozart quote still leaves room as to what is the composer's intent. Apparently, Mozart wanted to sound simple and sophisticated at the same time. But how to do it in our time? That's where the interpreter comes in.

From an amateur standpoint, maybe a good rule is: Playing the piece the way one would like to listen to it. IMO This is respectful to the composer, because if someone takes the time and effort to learn a piece, this person obviously likes and/or respects the composer, and will not butcher the work. The result may not be totally true to the score; but it will probably still be pleasant music; at least for the performer.
_________________________
Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
XXXI

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#2079002 - 05/07/13 08:34 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: music32]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4535
Loc: in the past
Sort of don't agree with the concept of if you take the time to learn a piece you won't butcher it... I butcher things every day and I love my repertoire.....
_________________________

'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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#2079011 - 05/07/13 08:58 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Pogorelich.]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6248
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Freddy Chopin
It never occurred to me that people would be playing my music beyond 1850


Now we know!
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2079034 - 05/07/13 09:56 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: bennevis]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: Mwm
The point of this thread was to ponder whether or not we can truly realize the composer's intent. If we don't understand the language (notation in music, use of symbols such as colour, flowers, mirrors, drapes, clocks, books in 16th and 17th century art), then we can never come close to what the composer/artist intended.


I see you're heavily into symbolism.


No, I'm not. I know next to nothing about art, but I have art that I have bought because I it spoke to me and I feel sad that I don't know enough about art to have a deeper understanding. When I read an "art 101" synopsis of of famous painting, and realize that I never saw any of the real detail in the painting, I wonder if that is how people who don't understand music feel. I still enjoy the painting, they still enjoy the music, but I think I am missing the point of the painting and i think they are missing the point of the music.

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#2079040 - 05/07/13 10:04 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: bennevis]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: Mwm
The point of this thread was to ponder whether or not we can truly realize the composer's intent. If we don't understand the language (notation in music, use of symbols such as colour, flowers, mirrors, drapes, clocks, books in 16th and 17th century art), then we can never come close to what the composer/artist intended.

But how much do we really know how music was performed in those days? Notation gives us no clue. (Otherwise why the discrepancy between big-band Mozart as played by the Berliner Philharmoniker/Herbert von Karajan and period ensemble Mozart as played by the Freiburger Barockorchester/René Jacobs? Both are faithful to the score). Correspondence from the period may give some hints as to what performance practice was like - but only hints, open to interpretation (and prejudices...)

Actually, if you have studied early performance practice, you would know that there are a vast number of treatises, books, and primers written by composers and scholars during the time that the pieces were written that describe in minute detail the contemporaneous performance customs and techniques. Armed with this information, it is possible to make reasonable educated guesses regarding interpretation.

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#2079141 - 05/08/13 06:08 AM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Mwm]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5548
Originally Posted By: Mwm
I know next to nothing about art, but I have art that I have bought because I it spoke to me and I feel sad that I don't know enough about art to have a deeper understanding. When I read an "art 101" synopsis of of famous painting, and realize that I never saw any of the real detail in the painting, I wonder if that is how people who don't understand music feel. I still enjoy the painting, they still enjoy the music, but I think I am missing the point of the painting and i think they are missing the point of the music.



I think it's sad that anyone needs to feel inadequate for perceived lack of knowledge or 'understanding', of art or music.

When I listen to some of the gobbledegook that some so-called 'experts' say about certain paintings or music (and they also abound in sleeve-notes to CDs), I do wonder if they're living on the same planet. I've had that sort of nonsense imposed on me when some people 'saw' all sorts of significance (and yes, 'symbolism') and fin de siècle existentialism in my paintings that I didn't (and still don't grin). I'm just a simple guy, and I paint and compose because I enjoy it, purely for pleasure. End of. (Luckily, very few people have heard my music compositions, or I'd probably be informed that I was predicting the end of the world with my use of major-minor chord clashes overlaid on top of implied atonality.....).

Buy paintings that 'speak' to you, that you want to admire again and again - not because someone 'learned' tells you there's all sorts of underlying significance and symbolism and 'detail' below the brushstrokes and color. Don't feel you're missing the 'point' of it.

Similarly, you don't need to understand the intricacies of counterpoint and fugal writing to enjoy Bach, nor twelve-tone principles to enjoy Berg's Violin Concerto. Nor know what Alberti bass is to play Mozart. Nor bitonality to enjoy Poulenc.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2079149 - 05/08/13 06:46 AM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: bennevis]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8027
Originally Posted By: bennevis


I think it's sad that anyone needs to feel inadequate for perceived lack of knowledge or 'understanding', of art or music.



I love it when I look at a painting, and feel that to really get what is going on, I need to investigate more about the artist, their period, their style, what they thought they were doing, etc. - in other words, I feel "inadequate". It gets my mind going, it helps me grow my taste and expand my horizons, it keeps me from getting too self-satisfied. Please, don't feel sad for me, I am enjoying myself (plus, it's condescending to assume I need your pity).

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#2079168 - 05/08/13 07:56 AM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: wr]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5548
Originally Posted By: wr
Please, don't feel sad for me, I am enjoying myself (plus, it's condescending to assume I need your pity).



No, I don't pity you at all, not in the least, nohow.

Just as long as you're enjoying yourself. Or even if you're not enjoying yourself..... wink .

I've seen how many people (including friends and acquaintances) who have had no music education feel that classical music is a closed book to them, because, don't you 'need to understand it to enjoy it'? They don't like to feel inadequate, so, better to avoid it than to display their ignorance. And, unfortunately, all too often, this sort of nonsense is implicitly propagated by classical music enthusiasts who adopt this kind of superior attitude towards the less musically endowed. In fact, my experience is that professional musicians themselves are the ones least likely to adopt this condescending attitude towards the great 'unwashed'. They just want the public to enjoy their music-making, at any level they may choose. Yes, even if only for the 'tunes'. Even if they went to a piano recital just because Moonlight Sonata is on. Even if they attended a performance of Turandot just because of Nessun dorma.

Is it any wonder why the likes of Valentina Lisitsa are so popular? She never adopts this 'holier than thou' attitude towards her audience - I've seen her engrossed in conversation with people who've never heard of Chopin (and pronounced it 'choppin' grin), and thought Liszt is just a misspelling of list.

Were Verdi's operas not the 'pop' music of his day? Coachmen (or taxi drivers) would go around humming tunes from Aïda. And Mozart loved it when the hoi polloi went around Prague whistling tunes from Le nozze di Figaro.

By all means, do your own research, delve deeper into the composer and his music and that of his contemporaries, understand what drove Mahler into avoiding naming his Das Lied von der Erde as his 9th Symphony, the significance of the hammer blows in his 6th etc, etc - if that helps you enjoy the music more. (I enjoy doing all that, as a matter of fact).
But let's not foist this onto others who may prefer to enjoy music on their own terms - no matter how 'shallow' this seems to the learned (or those who think they're learned.....).
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2079198 - 05/08/13 09:37 AM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: bennevis]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8027
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: wr
Please, don't feel sad for me, I am enjoying myself (plus, it's condescending to assume I need your pity).



No, I don't pity you at all, not in the least, nohow.

Just as long as you're enjoying yourself. Or even if you're not enjoying yourself..... wink .



Oh, so you don't feel sad about my feeling of inadequacy, after all? I'm not sure what changed...

Quote:

I've seen how many people (including friends and acquaintances) who have had no music education feel that classical music is a closed book to them, because, don't you 'need to understand it to enjoy it'? They don't like to feel inadequate, so, better to avoid it than to display their ignorance.



To me, that's their problem. Assuming they are intelligent enough to realize that it is a large area of their culture that may be worth exploring, then it's up to them to start exploring. Or not.

And yeah, if they drop into a concert of, say, Bartok and Webern string quartets without having a clue, the chances are pretty good they'll hate it. Or even late Beethoven, for that matter. Or maybe they wouldn't. Either way, it's their problem, not mine.

I don't feel any particular sympathy for ignorance, seeing that I was born totally ignorant of all this stuff myself, and not into any particularly cultured environment, and have still managed to get into some of it, through luck or whatever.

Quote:


And, unfortunately, all too often, this sort of nonsense is implicitly propagated by classical music enthusiasts who adopt this kind of superior attitude towards the less musically endowed. In fact, my experience is that professional musicians themselves are the ones least likely to adopt this condescending attitude towards the great 'unwashed'. They just want the public to enjoy their music-making, at any level they may choose. Yes, even if only for the 'tunes'. Even if they went to a piano recital just because Moonlight Sonata is on. Even if they attended a performance of Turandot just because of Nessun dorma.

Is it any wonder why the likes of Valentina Lisitsa are so popular? She never adopts this 'holier than thou' attitude towards her audience - I've seen her engrossed in conversation with people who've never heard of Chopin (and pronounced it 'choppin' grin), and thought Liszt is just a misspelling of list.

Were Verdi's operas not the 'pop' music of his day? Coachmen (or taxi drivers) would go around humming tunes from Aïda. And Mozart loved it when the hoi polloi went around Prague whistling tunes from Le nozze di Figaro.



Sure, there was a time during which opera was the "pop" music of the day, or at least a good part of it. So what? It's theater music, not concert music.

And we aren't in 19th century Italy (which country and time, by the way, didn't exactly contribute heavily to the classical concert repertoire, be it for solo instruments or small or large ensembles).

Quote:


By all means, do your own research, delve deeper into the composer and his music and that of his contemporaries, understand what drove Mahler into avoiding naming his Das Lied von der Erde as his 9th Symphony, the significance of the hammer blows in his 6th etc, etc - if that helps you enjoy the music more. (I enjoy doing all that, as a matter of fact).
But let's not foist this onto others who may prefer to enjoy music on their own terms - no matter how 'shallow' this seems to the learned (or those who think they're learned.....).


Who's "foisting" anything? Anybody who enjoys music can enjoy it however they will.

But if I know from my own life that when it comes to classical music, experience plus knowledge can add a great deal to pleasure and enjoyment. I don't see any particular reason to pretend it isn't true, just out of deference to people who my not have similar experience and knowledge. I was in their position once myself, and that didn't stop me.

The same kind of situation occurs in almost any area where real expertise exists, and amateurs are allowed. In the world of wine, I am probably drinking at the level of "New Age/Einaudi", and I know it. And that's fine. There are all sorts of highly cultivated wine aficionados who are kind of the equivalent of some of us music people who know a thing or two about what we love. And you know what, I may not want to go to a high-end wine-tasting with them, where they would be talking about stuff of which I had little comprehension, but having expert people like that in the world doesn't keep me from enjoying wines at my own level, and slowly getting more knowledge and expertise about that whole experience.

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#2079205 - 05/08/13 10:15 AM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: music32]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
After I perform and people are congratulating me, while I graciously accept kudos from a 'choppin' lover, it is the person who says to me "That was an entirely adequate performance" I appreciate the most.

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#2079222 - 05/08/13 10:43 AM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: music32]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Monica K. posted this in a thread on the forum.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2013/apr/26/james-rhodes-blog-find-what-you-love

Here is a guy who has thought about the point of this particular thread, and done something about it, rather than nattering on about elitism and the unwashed masses.

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#2079247 - 05/08/13 11:41 AM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Mwm]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5548
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Monica K. posted this in a thread on the forum.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2013/apr/26/james-rhodes-blog-find-what-you-love

Here is a guy who has thought about the point of this particular thread, and done something about it, rather than nattering on about elitism and the unwashed masses.


James Rhodes has played on less-than-high-end digital pianos in small clubs, for the great unwashed and unknowledgeable, and has no qualms about doing it. Just for the love of classical music.

Would that more classical musicians (whether professional or not) do that, rather than turn up their noses at the kind of audience that they might get, or what 'learned' people might think of them for doing that....
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2079261 - 05/08/13 12:04 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: bennevis]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Monica K. posted this in a thread on the forum.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2013/apr/26/james-rhodes-blog-find-what-you-love

Here is a guy who has thought about the point of this particular thread, and done something about it, rather than nattering on about elitism and the unwashed masses.


James Rhodes has played on less-than-high-end digital pianos in small clubs, for the great unwashed and unknowledgeable, and has no qualms about doing it. Just for the love of classical music.

Would that more classical musicians (whether professional or not) do that, rather than turn up their noses at the kind of audience that they might get, or what 'learned' people might think of them for doing that....

I am sorry bennevis, but I don't get your point. I go to live jazz clubs to hear real people playing real music. I also embrace the growing trend of performing classical music in clubs in the same setting as is done for jazz and blues. I don't care if my audience is learned, unwashed, high, or psychotic, as long as they enjoy the experience. But, that is not the point of the thread. Please, for once and for all, clearly restate your opinion on whether or not we can truly realize the composer's intent.

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#2079278 - 05/08/13 12:22 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Mwm]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5548
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Please, for once and for all, clearly restate your opinion on whether or not we can truly realize the composer's intent.


I think I've already posted quite enough about that issue in this thread, but if you want a straight answer, no, but we can try grin.

BTW, jazz music is normally heard in jazz clubs, not concert halls. I was referring to something completely different, and your post about jazz was beside the point.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

Top
#2079285 - 05/08/13 12:32 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: bennevis]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Please, for once and for all, clearly restate your opinion on whether or not we can truly realize the composer's intent.


I think I've already posted quite enough about that issue in this thread, but if you want a straight answer, no, but we can try grin.


Wonderful, and how do we go about trying?

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#2079286 - 05/08/13 12:35 PM Re: about whether we can truly realize the composer's intent [Re: Mwm]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Knowledge - try to become educated

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