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#2140657 - 08/29/13 11:24 AM How do you Feel about Applause?
laguna_greg Offline
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Registered: 04/02/13
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How do you feel about applause? Do you like it?

I've worked with a lot of singers professionally, and everyone of them thinks that singing is what you do in between applause. Of course, they are also the first people to tell you how happy you are that they came to your party. (sigh...)

At the other extreme, I've know some very sensitive souls who play exceptionally well, and are very good performers, but don't like being applauded and prefer to run off stage the instant it starts. They like to receive their accolades from behind a screen.

Where do you fit in this spectrum? Any good stories to tell? And of course, more jokes about singers (or other performers) are always welcome!
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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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#2140690 - 08/29/13 12:06 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
Polyphonist Offline
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Applause is fine, as long as it doesn't happen between movements. (Argh! mad )


Edited by Polyphonist (08/29/13 12:06 PM)
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#2140695 - 08/29/13 12:10 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Offline
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I'm almost disappointed when they don't applaud between movements of certain pieces. grin

Answering the OP: I think applause are a good indicator of what we've done -- I mean how well we played, how well we communicated -- provided we take other things into account and adjust our judgment according to that. Like, you expect more for a "fast and loud" ending, less for others, and so you judge in a way that takes such things into account.

P.S. You also have to take into account how much of the audience is your friends. ha

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#2140700 - 08/29/13 12:16 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: Mark_C]
laguna_greg Offline
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Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Mark,

Are you really saying that we have to bribe our friends to both

1- come to our concerts, and

2- applaud when they're supposed to?

I don't think I can raise that kind of money...
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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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#2140703 - 08/29/13 12:18 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
Mark_C Offline
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Looks like you misunderstood most of what I said. smile

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#2140705 - 08/29/13 12:18 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: Mark_C]
laguna_greg Offline
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Posts: 1382
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Please! I was making a joke!
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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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#2140720 - 08/29/13 12:33 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Please! I was making a joke!

Yes, I know -- but it doesn't work except by a misreading of what I said.

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#2140747 - 08/29/13 01:12 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
FSO Offline
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Loc: UK, Brighton
When I first started performing personal compositions in school concerts the audience would *so* often start applauding in pauses...but, um, that'd teach me for putting them there laugh I don't mind applause between movements, I think we *should* express ourselves mid performance (maybe not with a ringing "bravo!" in the middle of a crescendo, but, um, sighs and sobs shouldn't be contained...), whether the audience or performer, all that, theoretically, is just dandy...um...when it came to the end of my performance, however, I was minorly known for only half-bowing as I turned quickly away, almost running from the sound of applause, getting up before the fist clap fell, if possible...just...we're all wired differently. Some of us...I don't know smile Remembering praise does not make me squirm, but receiving it...in that moment...makes me want to sabotage *everything* someone might praise me for grin Harsh, unforgiving criticism is definitely preferred! Yes, it's silly, um, yes, it's ridiculous, but it's like...so long as they're focusing on the music you're safe....as soon as they're directing something at *you*? shocked sick And all my pianist friends would take a big bow...and talk before performing! Pffft...... laugh
Xxxxx
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#2140748 - 08/29/13 01:13 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
Derulux Offline
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I'll take applause whenever I can get it. If I hit a wrong note, and you want to clap, I am perfectly okay with that. wink
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#2140752 - 08/29/13 01:16 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
Nikolas Online   content
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I love being applaud... Why on earth not?

I remember one time in Syria (back in 2000 or so, when things were fine there), I went with a violinist to play a piece, and I literally butchered the piece! Yet the Syrians and French (it was the ECUME meeting) were clapping like nuts. I wanted to die, but the violinist was loving it and thus we just went in and out about 5 times...

Then I got scolded by our teacher that we should enjoy it... and that's what I've been doing ever since! laugh
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#2140753 - 08/29/13 01:17 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
BruceD Offline
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I like applause, particularly from informed audience members (who are not just "being polite"), because it indicates to me that I have communicated something which is, isn't it, the main goal of our public performances?

I've accompanied singers who have requested no applause between a set of numbers. That I understand, fully; the numbers are often conscientiously programmed to set a mood or to convey an atmosphere which can be broken by applause.

Regards,
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#2140754 - 08/29/13 01:20 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
FSO Offline
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Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
Oh...and....yes; A pianist and singer are rehearsing Autumn Leaves for a concert and the pianist says:
"OK. We will start in G minor and then, on the third bar, modulate to B major and go into 5/4. Retaining the vibrato, when you get to the bridge modulate back down to F# minor and alternate a 4/4 bar with a 7/4 bar, emphasising the off-beats. On the last A section go into double time and slowly modulate back to G minor." To which the singer says, looking down at the sheet music, a little bite on the lip:
"Wow, I don't think I can remember all of that." The pianist looks across the body of the piano, his fingers trace the keys:
"Well, that's what you did last time."
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#2140755 - 08/29/13 01:21 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: Nikolas]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
....I literally butchered the piece!

I bet you didn't. smile

Why?
Because you're a terrific musician.

I'm guessing you mean mainly that there were wrong notes (including some awful ones), maybe also that sometimes you weren't exactly together with the violinist. But I'm guessing also that you played with excellent RHYTHM (because you DO!), which I think is really the very most important thing (underrated!), that you captured the essence of the pieces, that you were mostly together with him/her, and (maybe the very most important thing for chamber music) that your balance with the violinist was good.

I think we usually put way too much emphasis on "mistakes" in our feelings about how we played. I'm sure that to many people this will seem ridiculous, but.....provided that there's a general accuracy to the playing, how we play the notes (dynamics, balance) and when we play them (rhythm, pulse) are more important than what notes we play, and go further toward making the music. Or at least more important than we give those things credit for.

I would have applauded you too.

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#2140760 - 08/29/13 01:28 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
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Registered: 02/15/12
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We once had opera subscription tickets with big opera fans from Italy, and he said that in Italy it was far more common to be loud and effusive than it was here. I have no way of knowing if he was right or wrong.

As for me, I like applause but the only applause I receive is from the kids. My four year old applauds instinctively every time he hears a cadence of any sort followed by a pause, haha.

I could make a million mistakes, but as long as I hit the last big tonic chord, somewhere in the house I can hear applause.
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#2140762 - 08/29/13 01:29 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
Michael Sayers Offline
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I like applause because one can discern from its qualities if the majority of an audience is really enjoying themselves and also how many encores to dish out - I did seven of these after a home recital in December 2001, Leschetizky's Intermezzo in Octaves Op. 44 No. 4 became the only work involved with the encores as they kept asking me to repeat it over and over, but eventually I became a bit weary to keep going with it at full intensity ad infinitum!


M.

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#2140765 - 08/29/13 01:34 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: FSO]
laguna_greg Offline
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Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted By: FSO
Oh...and....yes; A pianist and singer are rehearsing Autumn Leaves for a concert and the pianist says:
"OK. We will start in G minor and then, on the third bar, modulate to B major and go into 5/4. Retaining the vibrato, when you get to the bridge modulate back down to F# minor and alternate a 4/4 bar with a 7/4 bar, emphasising the off-beats. On the last A section go into double time and slowly modulate back to G minor." To which the singer says, looking down at the sheet music, a little bite on the lip:
"Wow, I don't think I can remember all of that." The pianist looks across the body of the piano, his fingers trace the keys:
"Well, that's what you did last time."


LOL

..can I quote you on that? It's happened on more occasions than I care to remember.
_________________________
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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#2140767 - 08/29/13 01:40 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
jdw Online   content
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Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 997
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I like applause, but I like even better when people come to express appreciation afterward. I play in a church, so they often do. You can tell when it's really sincere. It's very hard to judge from your own feeling about the playing (and the mistakes etc.) what you've conveyed to the listeners. As Mark said, I think players (including me) tend to be excessively self-critical.

And this is all a joke about the singers, right? (As a sometime singer myself, I could take umbrage but won't.)
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#2140768 - 08/29/13 01:44 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: Mark_C]
Nikolas Online   content
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Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5300
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
....I literally butchered the piece!

I bet you didn't. smile

Why?
Because you're a terrific musician.

I'm guessing you mean mainly that there were wrong notes (including some awful ones), maybe also that sometimes you weren't exactly together with the violinist. But I'm guessing also that you played with excellent RHYTHM (because you DO!), which I think is really the very most important thing (underrated!), that you captured the essence of the pieces, that you were mostly together with him/her, and (maybe the very most important thing for chamber music) that your balance with the violinist was good.
Actually I stopped twice... Left the violinist playing on his own... No other wrong notes or anything. but stopping for me is the apotheosis of errors! You lose the rhythm, the flow, the continuity, the essence of music is you stopped. And I did it twice!

(thanks btw... I honestly appreciate your post).

And while watching my post I remember another thing I did wrong, while I KNOW IT!

But here's Oatmeal to explain it better:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/literally

I didn't literally butcher anything! I've never butchered anything in my life! literally! wink

But for everything else you say, by all means YES! In fact it's one of my pet peeves (after that incident). So much that I've had this weird idea to compose a piece of piano music, sounding bad on purpose. This would include the irony of the audience thinking the pianist is doing a bad job, while the pianist would be excellent in his job! And the title would be "Vstra Cupla" (YOUR fault)... Never came to fruition and now that I think about it, I think that no pianist would ridicule his self for such a reason! grin


Edited by Nikolas (08/29/13 01:46 PM)
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#2140770 - 08/29/13 01:47 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: Nikolas]
laguna_greg Offline
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Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Nikolas,

Thanks for that. That is the most fun!

"...weird idea to compose a piece of piano music, sounding bad on purpose. "

Sorry, but several other people have beat you to it.


Edited by laguna_greg (08/29/13 01:48 PM)
_________________________
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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#2140771 - 08/29/13 01:48 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: Nikolas]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
....I didn't literally butcher anything! I've never butchered anything in my life! literally! wink

I noticed your choice of words ha ....Luckily for you, I think everybody knows that the word "literally" is rarely meant literally. grin

Like, how's this: "He literally tore my head off...."

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#2140778 - 08/29/13 01:57 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: Nikolas]
FSO Offline
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Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Actually I stopped twice... Left the violinist playing on his own...

Pfft, that's just called not being a greedy glory hog, surely? grin And I'd second (hopefully at least third or fourth) what Mark said...typed; from what sadly little I've heard, you are nothing if not a competent pianist. I mean...um...I'm sure you played those silences better than I would have laugh Besides...you stated yourself how much applause you received. I will literally feel a little bit sad if you don't consider that in and of itself a success...not too much, I mean, the tears won't cut gorges out of stone but...a little...literally laugh Laguna...um...quote what you will; I'm only sorry we're not getting at the drummers and the cellists...because oh my...oh my laugh
Xxx
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Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3

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#2140781 - 08/29/13 02:02 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: FSO]
laguna_greg Offline
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Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Them too! Let's also not forget the bass baritones. Have you ever heard the one about how a soprano walks into an audition and...
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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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#2140786 - 08/29/13 02:06 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
Nikolas Online   content
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Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5300
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Sorry, but several other people have beat you to it.
What?!?!? Who?!?! What?!?! When?!?? Where's my lawyers?!?! :P

FSO: Thank you ^_^

Well... ok... it felt bad for my standards (but I've lowered them ever since, I learned to take in advice on the actual place I play, do more rehearsals, etc...) grin
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#2140792 - 08/29/13 02:19 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
Lowering your standards is the fastest way to becoming the perfect musician! grin I mean...you *could* be the last desk of the second violins, but if you lower your standards you can be principal cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic... laugh Laguna, delight me; walk? I thought sopranos were carried everywhere by their admirers? wink Um...perfect pitch; being able to get the sax in the dumpster without hitting the sides laugh
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Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3

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#2140800 - 08/29/13 02:30 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
bennevis Offline
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Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5265
Applause is always good - especially when it is unexpected. Because, the chances are, it wasn't dutiful (i.e. the audience felt it was expected of them) but spontaneous, and therefore shows real approval for the performer.

I've heard such spontaneous applause rarely in piano recitals - the most frequent being after the March of Schumann's C major Fantasy, when the pianist has negotiated the treacherous leaps with great aplomb. (I've never seen any pianist who didn't appear appreciative for that).

In my own case, the one that gave me the most satisfaction was a lecture-recital I once gave at a hospital's lecture hall, where normally the great and learned give learned expositions on the latest advances in laparoscopic/robotic surgery etc, to, er, the great and learned. And afterwards, some robust questions and discussions, all very civil. Applause wasn't encouraged, nor proper. But on this occasion, an ancient six-foot grand in good condition was wheeled in, rather than a patient, and I was going to give a talk on classical music grin . I'd no idea how many people were going to turn up for such a non-medical talk, nor what sort of reception I'd get. Nor how much the audience knew about classical music, or want to know. After all, it was held during lunch hour.

I started getting excited and nervous at the same time, when I saw the hall filling up, such that extra chairs had to be brought in. It seemed to me like all the hospital staff had abandoned their patients in order to come and hear me speak and play grin. Originally, I'd intended to play mostly excerpts rather than complete movements or pieces, to illustrate my talk. But seeing the audience looking expectantly at the piano from behind the curtain, I decided I wasn't going to short-change them, and would play everything complete, apart from the three arrangements of orchestral and vocal music that I'd prepared (as the lecture was supposed to be about classical music through the ages, not just piano music).

Inevitably, the talk-with-music-illustrations turned into a recital-with-explanatory-talk, and I overran my allotted time by half an hour. But nobody left early (meaning that everyone missed lunch....), and spontaneous applause broke out at the end, which was gratifying to me grin. But even better, several people stayed behind to ask me questions about the music I played, and their composers. I might even have converted a few sceptics to the pleasures of classical music......
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"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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#2140803 - 08/29/13 02:32 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
Nikolas Online   content
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Registered: 11/26/07
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Loc: Europe
bennevis: Such a cool story! Thanks for sharing! ^_^
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#2140807 - 08/29/13 02:39 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
carey Offline
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Originally Posted By: laguna_greg

I've worked with a lot of singers professionally, and everyone of them thinks that singing is what you do in between applause. Of course, they are also the first people to tell you how happy you are that they came to your party. (sigh...)


ha thumb
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#2140809 - 08/29/13 02:42 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: FSO]
laguna_greg Offline
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Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
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Originally Posted By: FSO
Lowering your standards is the fastest way to becoming the perfect musician! grin I mean...you *could* be the last desk of the second violins, but if you lower your standards you can be principal cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic... laugh Laguna, delight me; walk? I thought sopranos were carried everywhere by their admirers? wink Um...perfect pitch; being able to get the sax in the dumpster without hitting the sides laugh


...crying...can't stop hugging myself...sniff...

I think we definitely need a thread about jokes, don't you think?

And sopranos aren't carried anywhere by their admirers. They are carried by slaves and minions (preferably naked when the weather is warm) bought and paid for by their admirers. A fine point they all insist on.
_________________________
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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#2140810 - 08/29/13 02:44 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: Nikolas]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
bennevis: Such a cool story! Thanks for sharing! ^_^


+1
_________________________
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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#2140819 - 08/29/13 03:18 PM Re: How do you Feel about Applause? [Re: laguna_greg]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5265
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
bennevis: Such a cool story! Thanks for sharing! ^_^


+1


Thanks! smile

I realized afterwards that there are many people who never thought that classical music was for them, but only because they haven't been exposed to it in a manner they are familiar with. On that occasion, I actually got more satisfaction from 'converting' people to it than from knowing that I'd played better than I'd ever done at any previous public performance.
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"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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