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#2138689 - 08/25/13 09:15 AM Lisitsa's style
Hakki Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2567
I find her style rather superficial. Which I myself tend to do as well.

That is, playing over the keys, with flat fingers, not pressing the keys all the way down, not holding full note values and not playing with true legato, instead using the sustain pedal excessively for these kind of passages. She plays as if she is just taking the dust over the keys with her fingers.
I find this style contrary to the Russian school of playing.

Whereas, Kissin, Khozyainov, Kholodenko, etc. from this generation and Richter, Gilels from the past all seem to play with finger tips, pressing the keys firmly to the key bed, with power and solid tone, following the traditional Russian style.

What do you think?
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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

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#2138691 - 08/25/13 09:24 AM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Hakki]
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 290
Loc: United States
I think her interpretations CAN be different than the "norm," but I don't really question her technique (her Chopin etudes are just amazing!). On the other hand, I think her pedaling can definitely be a bit much sometimes, but you have to give her credit for trying to be her own person.
_________________________
Currently working on:
1) Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
2) Beethoven Sonata Op. 53
3) Prokofiev Sonata Op. 83
4) Bach Prelude and Fugue in f# minor, WTC II
5) Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
6) Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3
7) Debussy Images, Book I

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#2138708 - 08/25/13 10:36 AM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Hakki]
Gerard12 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 757
Loc: South Carolina
In the context of performance, "style" is not very important to me.

Many of us study with more than 1 or 2 teachers. And though we follow a single teacher's direction to the letter while we are studying under that person, at the end many of us mix and match our influences and come up with something that we can call our approach and/or style.

Add in the extra influence of our increasingly visual culture, and what we've built with the help of our teachers has now morphed into something else - at least on the stage.

What's important to me is the musical communication. I feel that she is a good musical communicator regardless of whether I agree or disagree with the interpretation (and yes, I consider myself to be a fan).

If someone's performance style helps them to build an audience, more power to them: It's a tough business.

(My own style is rather stoic......)
_________________________
Piano performance and instruction (former college music professor).

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#2138712 - 08/25/13 10:41 AM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Hakki]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5123
This is what Lisitsa had to say, when asked what advice she'd give to an amateur pianist (Pianist June/July 2013 issue):

"Learn and play your left-hand part as though it were a separate piece of music with a life of its own (reverse the advice for 'lefties', naturally). Make sure you are able to play your piece with no pedal (her italics) - relying on pedal to connect the notes and to obscure the deficiencies with a veil of pedal 'smoke' are the most common mistakes."

Concert pianists do all sorts of things while performing - some change their pedaling to suit the acoustics (which may have changed with the presence of a full audience, compared to when they tried the piano out earlier); others stick rigidly to what they'd practised at home, regardless. I've never seen a world-class pianist who didn't use pedal (sometimes quite liberally) even in Bach and Mozart.

BTW, András Schiff has been held up as the epitome of how to use fingers rather than the sustain pedal to connect notes. Look at his DVD of him playing Schubert's Impromptu in G flat, D899/3, and you'll see him not connecting the melody with the fingers at all, relying totally on the pedal.
_________________________
"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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#2138730 - 08/25/13 11:33 AM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Hakki]
Works1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 418
Loc: New York
She would be able to use a lot less pedal to connect the notes if she would change her style and not lift her hands two feet off the notes all the time. I find her playing very distracting. That said, she has an extraordinary technique but her playing is uninteresting to me when compared to Kissin, Yula Wang, Trifonov and others.

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#2138738 - 08/25/13 11:58 AM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Hakki]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4794
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Hakki
I find her style rather superficial. Which I myself tend to do as well.

That is, playing over the keys, with flat fingers, not pressing the keys all the way down, not holding full note values and not playing with true legato, instead using the sustain pedal excessively for these kind of passages. She plays as if she is just taking the dust over the keys with her fingers.
I find this style contrary to the Russian school of playing.

Whereas, Kissin, Khozyainov, Kholodenko, etc. from this generation and Richter, Gilels from the past all seem to play with finger tips, pressing the keys firmly to the key bed, with power and solid tone, following the traditional Russian style.

What do you think?

That sums it up nicely for me. I find her playing lacks "teeth". There is a lot I admire about her including her lack of tension, her speed and her unique way of promoting herself on the internet, but her playing sounds bland to me and does not touch me.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2138764 - 08/25/13 01:14 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Hakki]
TwoSnowflakes Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1223
What do we all think of her rach 3 concerto recording? I'm not sure quite what I think about it. When the orchestra opens, my first thought is "good lord, we're off to the races!" And, indeed, it is quite fast, though it is the closest to Rachmaninoff's 1939 recording in terms of tempo. In general, I like the faster versions. For me, that opening theme sounds best with some momentum, which is why I find Ashkenazy's version to plod a little for me in the beginning, though it definitely picks up, heh.

I think I still like Argerich on this one. Or Horowitz. But it's up there for me.

In general, I like Valentina. I agree that she has a touch and style which isn't terribly conventional, especially when compared some other Russian style examples. But then again, the same could be said of Horowitz. Very unconventional. (My teacher, who grew up and trained in the same general area Lisitsa did, is all classic Russian style; she's got me up on my fingertips, playing deeply, with the elbows up and out--I flattened out and kind of wiped the keys for a particular passage in a piece which I must have picked up from liking the way Lisitsa played it and I practically got whacked on the knuckles with a ruler.)

She draws me in and I find the whole package to be engaging (her enthusiasm, her open personality, her audience interaction, and her playing).
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2138774 - 08/25/13 01:37 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Hakki]
Dwscamel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 467
Valentina is a phenomenal pianist. Her technique may be unconventional, but it is accomplished: she plows through the toughest Liszt transcriptions, and the brain-teasers that most people wouldn't even want to touch after reading the score. She takes her music very, very seriously, and there isn't a hint of showmanship or superficiality about her in interviews or live practice sessions.

I think she is often relegated to the "pop musician" category of superficial Internet pianists with no real talent compared to the greats, but this is nonsense. The problem is that many people haven't seen or heard enough of her; if you can get over the unconventional technique, you'll find someone who is extremely competent and accomplished, who practices hard.

She does have to promote herself on the Internet, and I agree that THAT part can get showy, superficial, and so forth, but such is the business of promotion.

And do note that I'm not saying that everyone needs to enjoy her playing. I love her playing and I put it right up there with the best of them, but what I'm really asking for is to give her a chance beyond the one or two YouTube recordings you might have heard.

Finally, on the subject of unconventional technique, like the others have said: what about Horowitz, Gould, Schiff, etc.? Greatness is unconventional.

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#2138778 - 08/25/13 01:43 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Dwscamel]
TwoSnowflakes Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1223
Originally Posted By: Dwscamel
she plows through the toughest Liszt transcriptions, and the brain-teasers that most people wouldn't even want to touch after reading the score.


Ain't that the truth:

_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2138779 - 08/25/13 01:43 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Hakki]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 376
Loc: Dorset, England
What on earth are you going on about, "Russian School" and Valentina Lisitsa for?

This seems a remarkable lack of knowledge of the subject.

You do KNOW....... don't you?

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#2138787 - 08/25/13 01:52 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: bennevis]
NeilOS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/06
Posts: 617
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: bennevis
This is what Lisitsa had to say, when asked what advice she'd give to an amateur pianist (Pianist June/July 2013 issue):

"Learn and play your left-hand part as though it were a separate piece of music with a life of its own (reverse the advice for 'lefties', naturally). Make sure you are able to play your piece with no pedal (her italics) - relying on pedal to connect the notes and to obscure the deficiencies with a veil of pedal 'smoke' are the most common mistakes."

Concert pianists do all sorts of things while performing - some change their pedaling to suit the acoustics (which may have changed with the presence of a full audience, compared to when they tried the piano out earlier); others stick rigidly to what they'd practised at home, regardless. I've never seen a world-class pianist who didn't use pedal (sometimes quite liberally) even in Bach and Mozart.

BTW, András Schiff has been held up as the epitome of how to use fingers rather than the sustain pedal to connect notes. Look at his DVD of him playing Schubert's Impromptu in G flat, D899/3, and you'll see him not connecting the melody with the fingers at all, relying totally on the pedal.


If you'e going to use pedal, over-holding notes to create the illusion of legato is not necessary.
_________________________
Concert Pianist, University Professor, Private Teacher in Los Angeles
Blog: http://www.pianoteacherlosangeles.com/

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#2138792 - 08/25/13 02:03 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: NeilOS]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 376
Loc: Dorset, England
Originally Posted By: NeilOS
Originally Posted By: bennevis
This is what Lisitsa had to say, when asked what advice she'd give to an amateur pianist (Pianist June/July 2013 issue):

"Learn and play your left-hand part as though it were a separate piece of music with a life of its own (reverse the advice for 'lefties', naturally). Make sure you are able to play your piece with no pedal (her italics) - relying on pedal to connect the notes and to obscure the deficiencies with a veil of pedal 'smoke' are the most common mistakes."

Concert pianists do all sorts of things while performing - some change their pedaling to suit the acoustics (which may have changed with the presence of a full audience, compared to when they tried the piano out earlier); others stick rigidly to what they'd practised at home, regardless. I've never seen a world-class pianist who didn't use pedal (sometimes quite liberally) even in Bach and Mozart.

BTW, András Schiff has been held up as the epitome of how to use fingers rather than the sustain pedal to connect notes. Look at his DVD of him playing Schubert's Impromptu in G flat, D899/3, and you'll see him not connecting the melody with the fingers at all, relying totally on the pedal.


If you'e going to use pedal, over-holding notes to create the illusion of legato is not necessary.


I was MOST disappointed with that article. I was expecting new photos of her in London and all they did was get a few shots off the internet and talk to her on the 'phone in Paris!

Fanny Waterman gave the left hand advice many years ago too.

That said. the content of the interview was OK. That issue of "Pianist" sold out very quickly, I got the last one in my town on the 3rd day of publication.

Not sure an article about Hakki would have the same pull.

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#2138794 - 08/25/13 02:04 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Hakki]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10362
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Visually, I have always been struck by how she appears to paw at the piano. I showed a video to the piano prof who I have worked with occasionally, and the arched eyebrow spoke volumes. But heck, if it works for her ...
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#2138795 - 08/25/13 02:05 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: slipperykeys]
Dwscamel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 467
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
Originally Posted By: NeilOS
Originally Posted By: bennevis
This is what Lisitsa had to say, when asked what advice she'd give to an amateur pianist (Pianist June/July 2013 issue):

"Learn and play your left-hand part as though it were a separate piece of music with a life of its own (reverse the advice for 'lefties', naturally). Make sure you are able to play your piece with no pedal (her italics) - relying on pedal to connect the notes and to obscure the deficiencies with a veil of pedal 'smoke' are the most common mistakes."

Concert pianists do all sorts of things while performing - some change their pedaling to suit the acoustics (which may have changed with the presence of a full audience, compared to when they tried the piano out earlier); others stick rigidly to what they'd practised at home, regardless. I've never seen a world-class pianist who didn't use pedal (sometimes quite liberally) even in Bach and Mozart.

BTW, András Schiff has been held up as the epitome of how to use fingers rather than the sustain pedal to connect notes. Look at his DVD of him playing Schubert's Impromptu in G flat, D899/3, and you'll see him not connecting the melody with the fingers at all, relying totally on the pedal.


If you'e going to use pedal, over-holding notes to create the illusion of legato is not necessary.


I was MOST disappointed with that article. I was expecting new photos of her in London and all they did was get a few shots off the internet and talk to her on the 'phone in Paris!

Fanny Waterman gave the left hand advice many years ago too.

That said. the content of the interview was OK. That issue of "Pianist" sold out very quickly, I got the last one in my town on the 3rd day of publication.

Not sure an article about Hakki would have the same pull.


I'm a huge Lisitsa fan, but come on: that shot at the OP was unnecessary.

He wasn't being disrespectful at all, he just doesn't agree with you.

Make the debate as fiery as you want. Get dirty about it. But restrict the debate to the music and musicians . . . leave the cheap-shots out of it.

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#2138803 - 08/25/13 02:21 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: slipperykeys]
TwoSnowflakes Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1223
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
What on earth are you going on about, "Russian School" and Valentina Lisitsa for?

This seems a remarkable lack of knowledge of the subject.

You do KNOW....... don't you?


I'm afraid I have no idea what it is I'm supposed to know here.

But then again it's often less about the answer than the general desire to shame unsophistication when one asks a question and purposefully withholds the answer. Otherwise one would just simply share what it is they know and are sure you don't.

That much I know.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2138807 - 08/25/13 02:35 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Dwscamel]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 376
Loc: Dorset, England
Originally Posted By: Dwscamel
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
Originally Posted By: NeilOS
Originally Posted By: bennevis
This is what Lisitsa had to say, when asked what advice she'd give to an amateur pianist (Pianist June/July 2013 issue):

"Learn and play your left-hand part as though it were a separate piece of music with a life of its own (reverse the advice for 'lefties', naturally). Make sure you are able to play your piece with no pedal (her italics) - relying on pedal to connect the notes and to obscure the deficiencies with a veil of pedal 'smoke' are the most common mistakes."

Concert pianists do all sorts of things while performing - some change their pedaling to suit the acoustics (which may have changed with the presence of a full audience, compared to when they tried the piano out earlier); others stick rigidly to what they'd practised at home, regardless. I've never seen a world-class pianist who didn't use pedal (sometimes quite liberally) even in Bach and Mozart.

BTW, András Schiff has been held up as the epitome of how to use fingers rather than the sustain pedal to connect notes. Look at his DVD of him playing Schubert's Impromptu in G flat, D899/3, and you'll see him not connecting the melody with the fingers at all, relying totally on the pedal.


If you'e going to use pedal, over-holding notes to create the illusion of legato is not necessary.


I was MOST disappointed with that article. I was expecting new photos of her in London and all they did was get a few shots off the internet and talk to her on the 'phone in Paris!

Fanny Waterman gave the left hand advice many years ago too.

That said. the content of the interview was OK. That issue of "Pianist" sold out very quickly, I got the last one in my town on the 3rd day of publication.

Not sure an article about Hakki would have the same pull.


I'm a huge Lisitsa fan, but come on: that shot at the OP was unnecessary.

He wasn't being disrespectful at all, he just doesn't agree with you.

Make the debate as fiery as you want. Get dirty about it. But restrict the debate to the music and musicians . . . leave the cheap-shots out of it.


Get a sense of humour.... It's what is sometimes called, "a joke".

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#2138819 - 08/25/13 02:49 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 376
Loc: Dorset, England
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
What on earth are you going on about, "Russian School" and Valentina Lisitsa for?

This seems a remarkable lack of knowledge of the subject.

You do KNOW....... don't you?


I'm afraid I have no idea what it is I'm supposed to know here.

But then again it's often less about the answer than the general desire to shame unsophistication when one asks a question and purposefully withholds the answer. Otherwise one would just simply share what it is they know and are sure you don't.

That much I know.



I'm a huge Lisitsa fan, but I am not bothered about people who don't like her, it's a big world, we are all different, fair enough.

But if somebody starts a post that is at the very least not complimentary about a performer, excuse me, but I think they SHOULD KNOW what they are talking about.

The OP plainly doesn't and as you have proved and admitted, neither do you.

But it really doesn't bother me at all.

I know why I like her and know the inaccuracy of the OP, that is good enough for me.

I do not wish to shame anybody and neither I do not wish to read misinformed and inaccurate opinion either.

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#2138826 - 08/25/13 02:57 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2738
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
What on earth are you going on about, "Russian School" and Valentina Lisitsa for?

This seems a remarkable lack of knowledge of the subject.

You do KNOW....... don't you?


I'm afraid I have no idea what it is I'm supposed to know here.

But then again it's often less about the answer than the general desire to shame unsophistication when one asks a question and purposefully withholds the answer. Otherwise one would just simply share what it is they know and are sure you don't.

I'm not sure that slipperykeys knows what he/she's talking about either. Flat fingers are what was advocated by Josef Lhevine in his book Basic Principles in Pianoforte Playing. Whether this is the quintessential Russian School of piano playing I don't know, but Lhevine was definitely Russian and definitely well known as a piano pedagogue. You can't tell me otherwise, I own the book.

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#2138827 - 08/25/13 02:57 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Hakki]
TwoSnowflakes Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1223
But I am a huge Lisitsa fan myself; I've got tickets to go see her opening night at the 92nd Street Y that I'm very much looking forward to.

But I still don't know what you're referring to, and chances are, I'd like to, if I don't know it already. Which I can't tell because I seriously have no idea what you're referring to.

Care to elaborate?
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2138833 - 08/25/13 03:03 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 376
Loc: Dorset, England
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
But I am a huge Lisitsa fan myself; I've got tickets to go see her opening night at the 92nd Street Y that I'm very much looking forward to.

But I still don't know what you're referring to, and chances are, I'd like to, if I don't know it already. Which I can't tell because I seriously have no idea what you're referring to.

Care to elaborate?


OK, all fair comment. I actually spent nearly an hour on my original post to this but decided I was time wasting. (Not ALL Hakki's fault, of course!)

So here goes, this is an old post, I am surprised you haven't seen it but perhaps you have forgotten it?

Go to about 6 mins 20 secs...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1VnAdqEjRs

I am (again) not trying to be rude, but you are aware of how the "satellite states" hated the USSR?

It is very political.



Edited by slipperykeys (08/25/13 03:04 PM)

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#2138840 - 08/25/13 03:14 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5123
I think the gist of this is that Lisitsa is from the Ukrainian school of piano-playing, not Russian.... grin
_________________________
"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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#2138841 - 08/25/13 03:14 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: slipperykeys]
TwoSnowflakes Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1223
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
But I am a huge Lisitsa fan myself; I've got tickets to go see her opening night at the 92nd Street Y that I'm very much looking forward to.

But I still don't know what you're referring to, and chances are, I'd like to, if I don't know it already. Which I can't tell because I seriously have no idea what you're referring to.

Care to elaborate?


OK, all fair comment. I actually spent nearly an hour on my original post to this but decided I was time wasting. (Not ALL Hakki's fault, of course!)

So here goes, this is an old post, I am surprised you haven't seen it but perhaps you have forgotten it?

Go to about 6 mins 20 secs...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1VnAdqEjRs

I am (again) not trying to be rude, but you are aware of how the "satellite states" hated the USSR?

It is very political.



Quite. Being Jewish of "satellite state" regional extraction certainly does not lend me with particular interest in wanting to identify anything as "Russian" when it's not, but I'm not sure Lisitsa and the OP are talking about the same thing.

Lisitsa is arguing that it's kind of a waste of time to definitively say one way or another that something is or is not part of a certain school, and for precision's sake, do not call her Russian. But I am quite sure she would not argue that as a very general matter, styles can have regional similarities.

My own teacher is Ukrainian (as well as Jewish) and when huge precision is not required (as it never is when you're talking general styles) she refers to the way she plays as "Russian." In fact, she has more than once referred to herself as a "Russian immigrant" when she's simply trying to evoke an idea rather than a particular principle or political statement.

When asked what MY heritage is, I have described it as "Jewish. Shtetl-y. You know, Russianish, pass the borscht."

Ask me politically what I think of Russia? You'll get a very different answer.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

Top
#2138842 - 08/25/13 03:15 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Steve Chandler]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 376
Loc: Dorset, England
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
What on earth are you going on about, "Russian School" and Valentina Lisitsa for?

This seems a remarkable lack of knowledge of the subject.

You do KNOW....... don't you?


I'm afraid I have no idea what it is I'm supposed to know here.

But then again it's often less about the answer than the general desire to shame unsophistication when one asks a question and purposefully withholds the answer. Otherwise one would just simply share what it is they know and are sure you don't.

I'm not sure that slipperykeys knows what he/she's talking about either. Flat fingers are what was advocated by Josef Lhevine in his book Basic Principles in Pianoforte Playing. Whether this is the quintessential Russian School of piano playing I don't know, but Lhevine was definitely Russian and definitely well known as a piano pedagogue. You can't tell me otherwise, I own the book.


I won't tell you otherwise. I am glad you have such a book. Good for you, I don't know if I have that book myself, being a man I might have spilt beer over it after a drunken night's carousing and wenching.
(We do a lot of that in England, if we are lucky enough!)

But that isn't the point, the point is Valentina Lisitsa and her style, or claimed lack of it.

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#2138864 - 08/25/13 04:13 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Hakki]
Cherub Rocker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/06
Posts: 471
Loc: North Carolina, USA
I think this is what Hakki refers to when he talks about pianists playing very legato and deep into the keys. This is how you achieve a lovely luminous singing tone!




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#2138867 - 08/25/13 04:18 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Hakki]
Eduard Hanslick Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/13
Posts: 528
Originally Posted By: Hakki
I find her style rather superficial. Which I myself tend to do as well.

That is, playing over the keys, with flat fingers, not pressing the keys all the way down, not holding full note values and not playing with true legato, instead using the sustain pedal excessively for these kind of passages. She plays as if she is just taking the dust over the keys with her fingers.
I find this style contrary to the Russian school of playing.

Whereas, Kissin, Khozyainov, Kholodenko, etc. from this generation and Richter, Gilels from the past all seem to play with finger tips, pressing the keys firmly to the key bed, with power and solid tone, following the traditional Russian style.

What do you think?


Totally agree with everything you said. It's bothered me from the first time I ever saw her play. I've watched some (not many, because I'm not a fan) of her Youtubes, and also seen her play live, and in both cases she plays this way.

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#2138874 - 08/25/13 04:31 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: gooddog]
Eduard Hanslick Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/13
Posts: 528
Originally Posted By: gooddog
I find her playing lacks "teeth".


I find this too.

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#2138875 - 08/25/13 04:32 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Piano*Dad]
Eduard Hanslick Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/13
Posts: 528
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Visually, I have always been struck by how she appears to paw at the piano.


Yes. I mean, I love the cat videos where the cats get up on the bench and paw at the piano. Love them. But when humans do it it's not as appealing.

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#2138935 - 08/25/13 06:40 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Hakki]
Numerian Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 1075
I just heard her live in the Rachmaninoff 2nd. She really accented the melodic line and kept an excellent rapport with the conductor. It was an outdoor concert and the piano was nicely miked, so this was not an opportunity to hear the subtleties of her performance. Instead, by focusing so much on the melody she showed herself to be very adaptable to the outdoor circumstances (including fighting screaming ambulances).

I doubt she ever had any intention of being a Russian pianist. She is Ukrainian, which might as well be on the other side of the world from Russia. I think that helped her establish an individual style, and the OP is quite correct in pointing out she is not a deep-in-the-keys, full tone type of pianist. That's fine with me. Her motions are graceful, and obviously economical or she would be making a lot of mistakes. Her technique is certainly adequate, and she has built up an amazing repertoire at this stage of her career. She is not a super-technician like Katsaris or Hamelin or even Kissin, but there is not much in the repertoire beyond her. What I really like about her playing is her tonal balance, especially the ability to pull out the melody in impossible pieces like the Schubert-Liszt songs. This is only possible because of her careful use of weight, which is more of a French school technique than from the Russian school.

The fact she has made a major career on her own through the internet - one of the first concert pianists to do so - will always be cited in her biographies.

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#2138985 - 08/25/13 10:03 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Hakki]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3327
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Lisitsa often plays Bosendorfer. The others you mention more often played Steinway when they could ( Russians got stuck with some funky pianos )

Bosendorfer action and sound does not work well when playing it in a " Traditional Russian Style". On a Steinway, you can play through the point of sound. I am not sure if this makes sense to everyone here. On a Bosendorfer, and several other European style instruments, you have to play right at the point of sound. If you play a Bosendorfer with a Steinway approach, it chokes.

You can see Lisitsa playing Hamburg Steinways in her Rach concerto recordings. She is more than capable of doing exactly what she wants on either piano.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#2139009 - 08/25/13 11:21 PM Re: Lisitsa's style [Re: Hakki]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7605
Loc: New York City
I'm not concerned with deciphering someone's technique and style at this level. Either they move you or they don't.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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