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#2117613 - 07/14/13 05:37 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: laguna_greg]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8936
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Of course, why not Steve?

Except that Franck was a very fine keyboard player including the piano. His chamber music, if nothing else, attests to a highly idiomatic understanding of the piano.
Franck was an extremely proficient pianist (a prodigy) before he even took up the organ. I would rate the PC&F and PA&F amongst some of the greatest piano works of the 19th century, though many seem to disagree. As an organist I'm of course familiar with his organ works, but IMO Franck's successors -Widor and Vierne for example- wrote a lot more idiomatically for the organ. (That is not, however, to say their music is greater than Franck's.)

It is fairly well known here that I am very fond of Edward Elgar's music, and his Concert Allegro would be a good example for this thread. Written for Fannie Davies, it is Elgar's only piano work conceived for the concert hall. It is not very idiomatically written (Elgar could get around the piano, though not a virtuoso), but it dates from 1901, just after a masterpiece -Cockaigne- so he was at the height of his creative powers. It really is a wonderful piece of music, and a few years later we would get the Introduction & Allegro for strings, another masterpiece.
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Jason

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#2117614 - 07/14/13 05:40 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mwm]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8936
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Mwm
....Actually, I think he was also lousy at modulation....

Yeah, he was just terrible at it -- the guy just really wasn't very much at music theory or technique. grin

So true. Finally, we agree on something! crazy

Unless I'm missing something -and I cannot blame it on excessive heat or lack of coffee- I don't think you quite 'got' Mark's post.
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#2117620 - 07/14/13 05:44 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: argerichfan]
Mark_C Online   content
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Posts: 19873
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Unless I'm missing something -and I cannot blame it on excessive heat or lack of coffee- I don't think you quite 'got' Mark's post.

....and I thought he had! (i.e. that he was being sarcastic in return)
But yeah, it's unclear because it 'works' either way.

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#2117640 - 07/14/13 06:24 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mark_C]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8936
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Unless I'm missing something -and I cannot blame it on excessive heat or lack of coffee- I don't think you quite 'got' Mark's post.

....and I thought he had! (i.e. that he was being sarcastic in return)
But yeah, it's unclear because it 'works' either way.

BTW, is it a 'he' or 'she'? wink

I was confused because you and I disagree with Mwm. Calling Beethoven lousy at modulation is a serious accusation, it basically implies that this man was an amateur who didn't know any better.

Whatever, it seems a bit late in the day to worry about it. Beethoven is so universally praised by the public and professionals alike as to make any perceived weaknesses irrelevant. And I do wonder: if Beethoven had been 'better' at modulation, how might that have impacted his music? Would it still be as profoundly stirring and communicative?

Something to think about.
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#2117666 - 07/14/13 07:38 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: argerichfan]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Unless I'm missing something -and I cannot blame it on excessive heat or lack of coffee- I don't think you quite 'got' Mark's post.

....and I thought he had! (i.e. that he was being sarcastic in return)
But yeah, it's unclear because it 'works' either way.

BTW, is it a 'he' or 'she'? wink

I was confused because you and I disagree with Mwm. Calling Beethoven lousy at modulation is a serious accusation, it basically implies that this man was an amateur who didn't know any better.

Whatever, it seems a bit late in the day to worry about it. Beethoven is so universally praised by the public and professionals alike as to make any perceived weaknesses irrelevant. And I do wonder: if Beethoven had been 'better' at modulation, how might that have impacted his music? Would it still be as profoundly stirring and communicative?

Something to think about.

He, meaning me, got it.
While I rank Beethoven amongst the greatest composers, I don't particularly enjoy listening to his music. I do like playing it however, and my audiences have always been appreciative. As to your thought if B had been better at modulation, I think it would have had a profound effect on future composers. They would not have had a wonder tutorial from B. on how not to modulate. The closest composer I can think of to follow in B.'s footsteps was Prokofiev, and maybe Poulenc, but they had the advantage of a larger harmonic vocabulary.

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#2117706 - 07/14/13 08:38 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mwm]
Kuanpiano Offline
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Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2151
Loc: Canada
Boulez has written some works for (or including) piano, but he's not a first-rate concert pianist (unless I'm seriously missing out on something). Apparently he failed the entrance exam for piano performance at the conservatoire playing the same piece that Debussy failed with previously.
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin - Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante
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Franck - Violin Sonata

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#2117712 - 07/14/13 08:44 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mwm]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mwm

While I rank Beethoven amongst the greatest composers, I don't particularly enjoy listening to his music. I do like playing it however, and my audiences have always been appreciative.
How can one enjoy playing music one does not like to listen to?

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#2117720 - 07/14/13 08:51 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: pianoloverus]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Mwm

While I rank Beethoven amongst the greatest composers, I don't particularly enjoy listening to his music. I do like playing it however, and my audiences have always been appreciative.
How can one enjoy playing music one does not like to listen to?

Don't know, never thought about it. I am prepping the Beethoven Op. 69 Cello Sonata for performance in the fall and loving it. In all my long life I have never heard a performance, recorded or live of this work until a month ago. I listened to the youtube of Gould and Rose. Very cool. Gould plays with the lid fully up but has the piano facing the back wall, which means Rose is on his left. It works really well from a blend standpoint. Gould can play right out.

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#2117726 - 07/14/13 08:57 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mwm]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8936
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Quote:
As to your thought if B had been better at modulation, I think it would have had a profound effect on future composers. They would not have had a wonder tutorial from B. on how not to modulate. The closest composer I can think of to follow in B.'s footsteps was Prokofiev, and maybe Poulenc, but they had the advantage of a larger harmonic vocabulary.

Would you perhaps provide an example of a modulation or two in Beethoven that you find particularly inept? That would help.
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#2117730 - 07/14/13 09:03 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mwm]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Mwm

While I rank Beethoven amongst the greatest composers, I don't particularly enjoy listening to his music. I do like playing it however, and my audiences have always been appreciative.
How can one enjoy playing music one does not like to listen to?

Don't know, never thought about it. I am prepping the Beethoven Op. 69 Cello Sonata for performance in the fall and loving it. In all my long life I have never heard a performance, recorded or live of this work until a month ago. I listened to the youtube of Gould and Rose. Very cool. Gould plays with the lid fully up but has the piano facing the back wall, which means Rose is on his left. It works really well from a blend standpoint. Gould can play right out.
My point was it seems incredibly illogical to say you don't like listening to Beethoven but say you enjoy playing it. Don't you listen while you play?

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#2117732 - 07/14/13 09:06 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: pianoloverus]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Mwm

While I rank Beethoven amongst the greatest composers, I don't particularly enjoy listening to his music. I do like playing it however, and my audiences have always been appreciative.
How can one enjoy playing music one does not like to listen to?

Don't know, never thought about it. I am prepping the Beethoven Op. 69 Cello Sonata for performance in the fall and loving it. In all my long life I have never heard a performance, recorded or live of this work until a month ago. I listened to the youtube of Gould and Rose. Very cool. Gould plays with the lid fully up but has the piano facing the back wall, which means Rose is on his left. It works really well from a blend standpoint. Gould can play right out.
My point was it seems incredibly illogical to say you don't like listening to Beethoven but say you enjoy playing it. Don't you listen while you play?

Of course, but there is subtle difference between playing a sonata and being assulted by 700 inept choristers who think B. 9 was actually written by god.

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#2117736 - 07/14/13 09:12 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mwm]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Which reminds me of an interview with the head of music for the Salvation Army. He receives numerous compositions from members and accepts a few and rejects many. One composer complained to him about having his composition rejected as it was dictated to him directly by God. The good music director said "I have no doubt that it was dictated to you by God, but you must of written it down wrong."


Edited by Mwm (07/14/13 09:13 PM)

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#2117738 - 07/14/13 09:13 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mwm]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Mwm

While I rank Beethoven amongst the greatest composers, I don't particularly enjoy listening to his music. I do like playing it however, and my audiences have always been appreciative.
How can one enjoy playing music one does not like to listen to?

Don't know, never thought about it. I am prepping the Beethoven Op. 69 Cello Sonata for performance in the fall and loving it. In all my long life I have never heard a performance, recorded or live of this work until a month ago. I listened to the youtube of Gould and Rose. Very cool. Gould plays with the lid fully up but has the piano facing the back wall, which means Rose is on his left. It works really well from a blend standpoint. Gould can play right out.
My point was it seems incredibly illogical to say you don't like listening to Beethoven but say you enjoy playing it. Don't you listen while you play?

Of course, but there is subtle difference between playing a sonata and being assulted by 700 inept choristers who think B. 9 was actually written by god.
Now it seems like you mean you don't like to listen to what you consider to be poor performances of Beethoven which is completely different.

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#2117739 - 07/14/13 09:15 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: pianoloverus]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Mwm

While I rank Beethoven amongst the greatest composers, I don't particularly enjoy listening to his music. I do like playing it however, and my audiences have always been appreciative.
How can one enjoy playing music one does not like to listen to?

Don't know, never thought about it. I am prepping the Beethoven Op. 69 Cello Sonata for performance in the fall and loving it. In all my long life I have never heard a performance, recorded or live of this work until a month ago. I listened to the youtube of Gould and Rose. Very cool. Gould plays with the lid fully up but has the piano facing the back wall, which means Rose is on his left. It works really well from a blend standpoint. Gould can play right out.
My point was it seems incredibly illogical to say you don't like listening to Beethoven but say you enjoy playing it. Don't you listen while you play?

Of course, but there is subtle difference between playing a sonata and being assulted by 700 inept choristers who think B. 9 was actually written by god.
Now it seems like you mean you don't like to listen to what you consider to be poor performances of Beethoven which is completely different.

You are digging too deep. Accept the fact I don't particulaly like Beethoven. Is that a sin? I am not asking you to dislike Beethoven.

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#2117740 - 07/14/13 09:15 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mwm]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mwm
...I don't particulaly like Beethoven. Is that a sin?

Of course. wink
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2117741 - 07/14/13 09:17 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Polyphonist]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Mwm
...I don't particulaly like Beethoven. Is that a sin?

Of course. wink

Is it deadly? Do I have six more left?

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#2117742 - 07/14/13 09:18 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mwm]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Mwm
...I don't particulaly like Beethoven. Is that a sin?

Of course. wink

Is it deadly? Do I have six more left?

No, I'm afraid not liking Beethoven counts for all seven.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2117745 - 07/14/13 09:22 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Polyphonist]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Mwm
...I don't particulaly like Beethoven. Is that a sin?

Of course. wink

Is it deadly? Do I have six more left?

No, I'm afraid not liking Beethoven counts for all seven.

Sing a requiem in my honour, preferably not one by Beethoven. Did he write any?

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#2117746 - 07/14/13 09:24 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mwm]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Mwm
...I don't particulaly like Beethoven. Is that a sin?

Of course. wink

Is it deadly? Do I have six more left?

No, I'm afraid not liking Beethoven counts for all seven.

Sing a requiem in my honour, preferably not one by Beethoven. Did he write any?

I'll put a record of Beethoven's complete works on repeat in your grave, to run for eternity.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2117748 - 07/14/13 09:26 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Polyphonist]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Mwm
...I don't particulaly like Beethoven. Is that a sin?

Of course. wink

Is it deadly? Do I have six more left?

No, I'm afraid not liking Beethoven counts for all seven.

Sing a requiem in my honour, preferably not one by Beethoven. Did he write any?

I'll put a record of Beethoven's complete works on repeat in your grave, to run for eternity.

I always knew I would suffer eternal damnation.

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#2117751 - 07/14/13 09:40 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Polyphonist]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8936
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

No, I'm afraid not liking Beethoven counts for all seven.

Too bad you are so far away, we could listen to Beethoven to the accompaniment of a good hot Indian curry (I am an awesome cook) and a delectable French Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Where shall we start? Let us ease into it with the early piano quartets, then just imagine how excited we will be when we arrive at the Op 2 sonatas!

Oh wait, Polyphonist, I forgot the Op 1 piano trios!

(Seriously, I heard a live performance of the Op1/3 at St. Bride's in London one rainy afternoon. It knocked my socks off.)
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Jason

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#2117755 - 07/14/13 09:54 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mwm]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8936
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
I am going to sign off. With all due respect, Beethoven has always been the most important composer in my life, and he was the one who first got me involved with classical music in the first place. (Not a bad thing, I should think?)

I have never looked back, and my gratitude has no bounds. Just the other day I heard a superb performance of the the D major cello sonata (Op 102), and once again I was in the presence of the Master. Thank-you, sir.
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#2117764 - 07/14/13 10:16 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mark_C]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
You'll have to forgive Stores. He's jealous of people who know stuff that he doesn't and especially who think a little more complexly. ha




Trust me, if it's you that you believe I'm jealous of then you need to get yourself a life. If "complexly" is a rambling mishmash of incoherency then I'll happily remain a simple thinker.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#2117767 - 07/14/13 10:19 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mwm]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Mwm

Actually, I think he was also lousy at modulation.


Good thing your thoughts on the subject mean nothing.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#2117773 - 07/14/13 10:26 PM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: argerichfan]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
I am going to sign off. With all due respect, Beethoven has always been the most important composer in my life, and he was the one who first got me involved with classical music in the first place. (Not a bad thing, I should think?)

I have never looked back, and my gratitude has no bounds. Just the other day I heard a superb performance of the the D major cello sonata (Op 102), and once again I was in the presence of the Master. Thank-you, sir.

I agree completely, and I might add that the latest piano sonatas (from Opus 101 on) are some of the most sublime and transcendent works ever composed, in addition to pieces like the late string quartets, the Ninth Symphony, and the Diabelli Variations (the 33rd variation of which has never failed to bring me to tears).
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2117897 - 07/15/13 06:31 AM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: argerichfan]
Verbum mirabilis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/11
Posts: 208
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Of course, why not Steve?

Except that Franck was a very fine keyboard player including the piano. His chamber music, if nothing else, attests to a highly idiomatic understanding of the piano.
Franck was an extremely proficient pianist (a prodigy) before he even took up the organ. I would rate the PC&F and PA&F amongst some of the greatest piano works of the 19th century, though many seem to disagree. As an organist I'm of course familiar with his organ works, but IMO Franck's successors -Widor and Vierne for example- wrote a lot more idiomatically for the organ. (That is not, however, to say their music is greater than Franck's.)



I'll just add that Frank once sightread the Hummel concerto in a minor a third lower than written.

Regarding the ongoing discussion about Beethoven, I too think he is one of the greatest composers ever (op. 111 is one of my favourite piano pieces, if not my all-time favourite) and I'd like to see a "lousy modulation" of his. I really mean this, if he did write bad modulations, I'd like to see an example or two.

Regarding the topic, Haydn hasn't been mentioned. He wasn't a virtuoso, but he could play the piano pretty well, so he is also in the "grey area". And he certainly composed great piano pieces.

IMHO Sibelius's piano music is great (and underappreciated), and Sibelius also didn't play the piano at a virtuoso level, altough it was the first instrument he learned (violin took over later).
_________________________
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Beethoven: sonata op. 14 no. 2
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#2117918 - 07/15/13 07:51 AM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mwm]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

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

Accept the fact I don't particulaly like Beethoven.


Earlier in the thread you said you liked him. How quickly tastes change...

But hey, you are in pretty good company - IIRC, Debussy and Benjamin Britten had issues with Beethoven, too. And for some current composers, the entire esthetic world that Beethoven belonged to is too remote to even matter.

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#2117942 - 07/15/13 09:27 AM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: stores]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: Mwm

Actually, I think he was also lousy at modulation.


Good thing your thoughts on the subject mean nothing.

Each of the thoughts posted on PIano World is an opinion. There is no such thing as absolute or universal truth. There is only observed reality, and that reality applies to the observer alone. I say what I think, you say what you think. In the end only what you think matters to you. Live with it.

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#2117968 - 07/15/13 11:04 AM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: Mark_C]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
HI Mark,

Let me throw some more gasoline on the fire:

"but be that as it may, Beethoven was not "lousy" at writing for voice, nor on anything else of any significance with music."

Actually he was not a great writer for the voice as any singer will tell you. I and many other also do not consider him a great melody writer generally.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2117985 - 07/15/13 11:41 AM Re: Great Piano Music composed by Non Pianists [Re: laguna_greg]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19873
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Let me throw some more gasoline on the fire:

"but be that as it may, Beethoven was not "lousy" at writing for voice, nor on anything else of any significance with music."

Actually he was not a great writer for the voice as any singer will tell you. I and many other also do not consider him a great melody writer generally.

Look at what you just said.

Actually, before we do, we need to know what you mean by "great."

But for the moment, I'll assume that great means great. grin

There's an awful lot of room between "lousy" and "great." I was just saying it's absurd to say he was lousy -- which it is.

So, you're not pouring fuel on the fire. You're offering to start a new fire, and I'm not getting into it. smile

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