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#2169729 - 10/21/13 07:45 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: bennevis]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7850
Originally Posted By: bennevis

Like almost every pianist, her playing won't be to everyone's taste in everything she plays, but what isn't in question is her technical facility and musicianship.


I think her musicianship is very much in question.

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#2169732 - 10/21/13 07:50 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: frenchflip]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7850
Originally Posted By: frenchflip


Tommasini was a bit hard on Valentina, IMHO ... she deserves more respect.


Maybe you are not quite clear about a critic's job? It is not about some kind of "respect" for simply being able to play the notes.

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#2169743 - 10/21/13 08:18 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: wr]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5133
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: bennevis

Like almost every pianist, her playing won't be to everyone's taste in everything she plays, but what isn't in question is her technical facility and musicianship.


I think her musicianship is very much in question.

Who by - just you? And Tomasina (or whatever he/she's called)? 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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#2169770 - 10/21/13 09:42 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: bennevis]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: bennevis

Like almost every pianist, her playing won't be to everyone's taste in everything she plays, but what isn't in question is her technical facility and musicianship.


I think her musicianship is very much in question.

Who by - just you? And Tomasina (or whatever he/she's called)? grin


You can include me in that group.
_________________________

"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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#2169798 - 10/21/13 10:49 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: stores]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: bennevis

Like almost every pianist, her playing won't be to everyone's taste in everything she plays, but what isn't in question is her technical facility and musicianship.


I think her musicianship is very much in question.

Who by - just you? And Tomasina (or whatever he/she's called)? grin


You can include me in that group.


Me too. I know it's not really a good thing to compare artists, but try listening to Rubinstein or Cherkassky play the D Flat Nocturne, then Lisitsa.

Also, compare her La Campanella to, oh I don't know, maybe de Larrocha, who convinces me that La Campanella IS a fine concert etude that is satisfying enough musically for its purposes, and quite thrilling.

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#2169808 - 10/21/13 11:19 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Orange Soda King]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3466
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: bennevis

Like almost every pianist, her playing won't be to everyone's taste in everything she plays, but what isn't in question is her technical facility and musicianship.


I think her musicianship is very much in question.

Who by - just you? And Tomasina (or whatever he/she's called)? grin


You can include me in that group.


Me too. I know it's not really a good thing to compare artists, but try listening to Rubinstein or Cherkassky play the D Flat Nocturne, then Lisitsa.

Also, compare her La Campanella to, oh I don't know, maybe de Larrocha, who convinces me that La Campanella IS a fine concert etude that is satisfying enough musically for its purposes, and quite thrilling.


At the risk of piling on, you can add me to the group.

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#2169810 - 10/21/13 11:22 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: sophial]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7605
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: sophial
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: bennevis

Like almost every pianist, her playing won't be to everyone's taste in everything she plays, but what isn't in question is her technical facility and musicianship.


I think her musicianship is very much in question.

Who by - just you? And Tomasina (or whatever he/she's called)? grin


You can include me in that group.


Me too. I know it's not really a good thing to compare artists, but try listening to Rubinstein or Cherkassky play the D Flat Nocturne, then Lisitsa.

Also, compare her La Campanella to, oh I don't know, maybe de Larrocha, who convinces me that La Campanella IS a fine concert etude that is satisfying enough musically for its purposes, and quite thrilling.


At the risk of piling on, you can add me to the group.

And me. grin
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2169833 - 10/22/13 12:37 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: sophial
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: wr


I think her musicianship is very much in question.

Who by - just you? And Tomasina (or whatever he/she's called)? grin


You can include me in that group.


Me too. I know it's not really a good thing to compare artists, but try listening to Rubinstein or Cherkassky play the D Flat Nocturne, then Lisitsa.

Also, compare her La Campanella to, oh I don't know, maybe de Larrocha, who convinces me that La Campanella IS a fine concert etude that is satisfying enough musically for its purposes, and quite thrilling.


At the risk of piling on, you can add me to the group.

And me. grin


Me too.

But, I do admire a lot of what she does - just the sheer repertoire she keeps all the time, I wish I could do that. And the ease she plays with. I always struggle with everything in the beginning..
_________________________

'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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#2169881 - 10/22/13 04:59 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Pogorelich.]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5133
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: sophial
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: stores

You can include me in that group.


Me too. I know it's not really a good thing to compare artists, but try listening to Rubinstein or Cherkassky play the D Flat Nocturne, then Lisitsa.

Also, compare her La Campanella to, oh I don't know, maybe de Larrocha, who convinces me that La Campanella IS a fine concert etude that is satisfying enough musically for its purposes, and quite thrilling.


At the risk of piling on, you can add me to the group.

And me. grin


Me too.

But, I do admire a lot of what she does - just the sheer repertoire she keeps all the time, I wish I could do that. And the ease she plays with. I always struggle with everything in the beginning..

Wow!!

And I thought this thread was for Lisitsa's fan club.... wink
_________________________
"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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#2169918 - 10/22/13 08:21 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
Ken Knapp Online   content



Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2239
Loc: Pennsylvania
Monday morning quarterbacking...

I think I'll ask Frank Baxter to add another forum to Piano World. We can call it, "The Gong Show".
_________________________
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#2169934 - 10/22/13 08:57 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: bennevis]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: bennevis

Wow!!

And I thought this thread was for Lisitsa's fan club.... wink


I wish it were! I like Lisitsa very much. She's a wonderful pianist and has done amazing things to promote our art to a wider public. Why anyone would want to find fault is beyond me.

It's also proof of how much easier it is to cut someone down than build someone up. If some of these people really cared about the art they profess to care so much about, they'd spend more time promoting what they like instead of taking the low easy road criticizing what they don't.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2169976 - 10/22/13 10:36 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: bennevis]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6149
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: sophial
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: stores

You can include me in that group.


Me too. I know it's not really a good thing to compare artists, but try listening to Rubinstein or Cherkassky play the D Flat Nocturne, then Lisitsa.

Also, compare her La Campanella to, oh I don't know, maybe de Larrocha, who convinces me that La Campanella IS a fine concert etude that is satisfying enough musically for its purposes, and quite thrilling.


At the risk of piling on, you can add me to the group.

And me. grin


Me too.

But, I do admire a lot of what she does - just the sheer repertoire she keeps all the time, I wish I could do that. And the ease she plays with. I always struggle with everything in the beginning..

Wow!!

And I thought this thread was for Lisitsa's fan club.... wink


I like her, even if I don't agree with all her musical choices. I don't know of an artist where I do.
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2169999 - 10/22/13 11:28 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I never think about my own choices when listening to others. I listen to their choices - it's how I grow and remain inspired.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2170003 - 10/22/13 11:32 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Kreisler]
evamar Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 541
Loc: Spanish living in UK
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: bennevis

Wow!!

And I thought this thread was for Lisitsa's fan club.... wink


I wish it were! I like Lisitsa very much. She's a wonderful pianist and has done amazing things to promote our art to a wider public. Why anyone would want to find fault is beyond me.

It's also proof of how much easier it is to cut someone down than build someone up. If some of these people really cared about the art they profess to care so much about, they'd spend more time promoting what they like instead of taking the low easy road criticizing what they don't.


Personally I really like how she connects with the piano so easily, and she is one of the reasons I took the decision to learn piano, she makes it look so effortlessly! It is not!!! smile

I like that she doesn't stick to the sheet music and there's always something new to listen to. I cannot say that she is the greatest performer alive or anything like that, among other reasons because musically I'm extremely ignorant. But I do like her because I cannot see just somebody hitting keys as they are expected to do, she can connect with the public and transmit feelings, which many performers cannot.

I really would love to be able to one day play ONE piece the day she does... but I'm sure that my fingers will give up to arthritis or whatever before I manage to do that!

I cannot see a lot of "famous" performers doing this on the streets and stations, great way of getting people into music!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D2lPocwncs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qho0KhaE1Cc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTAFIwhmDN8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5et8SKcddi8

Completely unexpected, unfamiliar piano, lots of people around, cameras on her face... well done!
_________________________
Serious since Dec 2013. March 2014, Kawai CA95!

Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted



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#2170009 - 10/22/13 11:43 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
According to this link http://chopinsociety.org/ola-kern.html

Kern is going to play Op. 35, nos. 3 and 4. At least in that specific concert. Maybe she has others, too. I'm very interested to hear those, especially. I bet her tremolos in No. 4 will be amazingly light, effortless, and, well, FAST. ha

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#2170013 - 10/22/13 11:48 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Orange Soda King]
Tararex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 408
Loc: Middle Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King

Me too. I know it's not really a good thing to compare artists, but try listening to Rubinstein or Cherkassky play the D Flat Nocturne, then Lisitsa.


I did. I find her interpretation considerably more valid than most. Chopin's music is too often (almost always) manipulated with such overwrought, overcooked and over-melodramatic styling as to be rendered non-listenable. It's lovely to hear a poetic, intimate, salon presentation. I suspect Chopin would have been appalled at the tear-jerking dampness applied to his works these last two centuries.
_________________________

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#2170023 - 10/22/13 12:06 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Kreisler]
Brendan Online   content



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5317
Loc: McAllen, TX
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I wish it were! I like Lisitsa very much. She's a wonderful pianist and has done amazing things to promote our art to a wider public. Why anyone would want to find fault is beyond me.


I agree. She comes off as a much more serious artist than recent commercial types (LL, Yundi Li, and Yuja Wang to an extent) and isn't afraid to do things off the beaten path. Her Ives CD with Hilary Hahn is great. One could make the analogy that the online buzz that her videos have created is the modern equivalent of the Cliburn ticker-tape parade.

And by all accounts, she's a tremendously nice person, unlike most others in her tier.
_________________________
http://www.BrendanKinsella.com

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#2170029 - 10/22/13 12:14 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Orange Soda King]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7605
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
According to this link http://chopinsociety.org/ola-kern.html

Kern is going to play Op. 35, nos. 3 and 4. At least in that specific concert. Maybe she has others, too. I'm very interested to hear those, especially. I bet her tremolos in No. 4 will be amazingly light, effortless, and, well, FAST. ha

I'm going to be there.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2170031 - 10/22/13 12:16 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
What's wrong with people expressing their preference? It's not about finding a "fault". I mean, there's plenty of people who hate my playing - whatever..
_________________________

'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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#2170045 - 10/22/13 12:39 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Kreisler]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19352
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: bennevis

Wow!!

And I thought this thread was for Lisitsa's fan club.... wink


I wish it were! I like Lisitsa very much. She's a wonderful pianist and has done amazing things to promote our art to a wider public. Why anyone would want to find fault is beyond me.

It's also proof of how much easier it is to cut someone down than build someone up. If some of these people really cared about the art they profess to care so much about, they'd spend more time promoting what they like instead of taking the low easy road criticizing what they don't.
Agree totally especially with your second paragraph. A few of those most critical on this thread are among the PW posters who routinely criticize almost every pianist, whether professional or amateur PW member.

I think some who find her unmusical say this just because her interpretation is different from their own. If Lisitsa or another professional pianist makes a musical choice that I don't like, I usually try and figure why maybe that choice is reasonable as opposed to dismissing it out of hand.

I also thought the NY Times review was rather shallow. The reviewer mentions Lisitsa's "glamour" as being one main ingredient in her success, but totally leaves out/overlooks her personality and ability to connect with audiences, which is I think the absolute most important thing about her playing. He also criticizes her performance of some Nocturnes as being "assertive" in places, but don't many of the Nocturnes have assertive passages?

Although I wasn't there, I cannot imagine that Lisitsa would "mock" the program notes about the Shostakovitch Sonata she played. She may have disagreed with the program notes about this piece, but it would be highly uncharacteristic of her(or almost any pianist performing in an important venue) to mock them. Naturally, she had to quote them if she was going to express any disagreement with them. Perhaps she just thought it made sense to express her thinking about the piece she was about to perform since her concept was very different from the one in the program notes. My guess is the reviewer's description of her comments was far too strong, but I'd be curious to hear from any in attendance about this.

I do not love her interpretation of everything she plays, but I
think her contribution in terms of popularizing classical music is incredible. And she seems to accomplish this without the "extra stuff" that IMO diminishes the playing of you know who.


Edited by pianoloverus (10/22/13 01:04 PM)

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#2170120 - 10/22/13 03:06 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: pianoloverus]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7605
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Although I wasn't there, I cannot imagine that Lisitsa would "mock" the program notes about the Shostakovitch Sonata she played. She may have disagreed with the program notes about this piece, but it would be highly uncharacteristic of her(or almost any pianist performing in an important venue) to mock them. Naturally, she had to quote them if she was going to express any disagreement with them. Perhaps she just thought it made sense to express her thinking about the piece she was about to perform since her concept was very different from the one in the program notes. My guess is the reviewer's description of her comments was far too strong, but I'd be curious to hear from any in attendance about this.

Actually, the reviewer was pretty much spot-on. She did mock the program notes - she sarcastically quoted passages from them and laughed about their incompetency and over-technicality. However, I think that speech was one of the best parts of the concert - it was quite funny.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2170149 - 10/22/13 03:57 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Wait so what's the deal here, are we supposed to love every performer out there?
_________________________

'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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#2170161 - 10/22/13 04:25 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Pogorelich.]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7605
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Wait so what's the deal here, are we supposed to love every performer out there?

Yes. Including BachMach2.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2170180 - 10/22/13 05:24 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Kreisler]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 777
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: bennevis

Wow!!

And I thought this thread was for Lisitsa's fan club.... wink

I wish it were! I like Lisitsa very much. She's a wonderful pianist and has done amazing things to promote our art to a wider public. Why anyone would want to find fault is beyond me.

I have no problem with people "finding fault", if we mean disagreeing with interpretations. But what continues to puzzle me is the vitriol that seems to pour forth in this forum whenever people like Lisitsa or Lang Lang are mentioned (much more so in LL's case).

I think the problem is that people refuse to separate these artists' interpretive choices from their enormous contributions to classical music as a whole. Classical music is the only type of music where the personality of the performer is subservient to the music. In all other musical genres, the performer reigns supreme, so things like showmanship, marketing, self-promotion, etc. are a must. Likewise, a classical artist who sincerely wishes to introduce more people to classical music must also create and continually burnish a public persona. You can't lead people who are unfamiliar with classical music directly to Beethoven. But if you first bring them to Lisitsa or Lang Lang, you may just entice a few of them to give LVB a listen.

Yet the classical music establishment seems to want no part of this. They decry such crass commercialization and self-promotion as unseemly. And that's all well and good if our goal is to maintain the status quo and a sense of decorum by keeping the hoi polloi, the riffraff, the unscrubbed masses on the other side of the club gates. And, if the result is to consign Bach and Mozart to the ash heap of history in another generation or two, so what? At least we got ours.

So when I hear people pile on Lang Lang or Lisitsa, I'm always skeptical of the motivation. Is it really just the playing that bothers these critics? Or is it the fact that fame and fortune have smiled on these two young pianists, and they are seen as somehow undeserving of it? I suspect the latter, because the critics always seem to exude a personal animus towards them that far exceeds the usual bounds of musical criticism.

IMHO, both Lisitsa and Lang Lang are major talents, with prodigious techniques, who have a genuine love of music, and a genuine desire to share their music with as many as possible. No, they are not Argerich or Sokolov or Perahia. But they are ambassadors to a type of music that only a small minority knows much, if anything about. So I believe they are worthy of admiration, if for no other reason than they might be incubating a new generation of music lovers, who will become the future audiences of the next Argerich or Sokolov or Perahia.

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#2170212 - 10/22/13 06:20 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Of course it's great that they are classical musicians! Trust me, with the battles I'm among right now, it's SO good to remind myself that classical music hasn't died yet, and it is great that people are still interested in this genre.

But that isn't what the critics are concerned with in this case. Nor does it have to do with people's "fame and fortune" - people are talking about pure musicianship here, nothing else.

I mean, Jesus, I'd rather listen to any well-known classical musicians right now than the crap pop culture is vomiting on us. But that's not the point here..
_________________________

'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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#2170222 - 10/22/13 06:50 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Pogorelich.]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Wait so what's the deal here, are we supposed to love every performer out there?


Love, no.

Support, yes.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2170224 - 10/22/13 06:52 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Kreisler]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Wait so what's the deal here, are we supposed to love every performer out there?


Love, no.

Support, yes.


Why would someone support something they don't like? (not talking about myself here)
_________________________

'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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#2170225 - 10/22/13 06:53 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
And before you launch into the "classical music needs support" lecture, there are tons of artists that need/deserve our support, and there's nothing wrong with preferring one to another..
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#2170229 - 10/22/13 07:11 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Old Man]
toyboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 335
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: Old Man
You can't lead people who are unfamiliar with classical music directly to Beethoven. But if you first bring them to Lisitsa or Lang Lang, you may just entice a few of them to give LVB a listen.


not sure i can accept this logic for two reasons. it piles an awful lot of responsibility on two, or a few, charismatic musicians to "bring people into the fold". 2) it's a rather patronizing remark in that it assumes any given person needs an enticement as you suggest. In a media rich world that we're in, it only increases chance of immersion into "LVB" (assuming LVB is the pinnacle goal is suspect in my opinion but that's a whole other debate), however slight it might be. People heard Pachelbel's Canon back in the 70s from (I forget, a film?); Kubrick used classical music in many of his films; Yo Yo Ma has been ubiquitous. Whether any of these examples have caused "the riff raff" to attend more classical music is doubtful. But if a Person A heard Schubert's Impromptu in Barry Lyndon, bought the soundtrack album and took a liking to the Handel as well, I'd call that a day's work. But to worry about mass conversion into classical music, that's a bit rich.

Originally Posted By: Old Man
Yet the classical music establishment seems to want no part of this. They decry such crass commercialization and self-promotion as unseemly. And that's all well and good if our goal is to maintain the status quo and a sense of decorum by keeping the hoi polloi, the riffraff, the unscrubbed masses on the other side of the club gates. And, if the result is to consign Bach and Mozart to the ash heap of history in another generation or two, so what? At least we got ours.


mein gott, the cynicism that you throw out to the so-called hoi polloi is quite clever...and rude. At least we got ours? You're setting up quite a clever straw dog in this argument. Again, the future of classical music can hardly be dependent on two self-promoting artists. I say thank goodness because there are all sorts of other "invitations" out there: Matt Haimovitz playing in bars; the Poisson Rouge bringing the music down a notch; free lunch-time concerts seemingly everywhere; a guy I saw playing his cello out on the sidewalk for the patrons of the outdoor Italian restaurant to hear. At least we got ours? Are you sure about that?

Originally Posted By: Old Man
So when I hear people pile on Lang Lang or Lisitsa, I'm always skeptical of the motivation. Is it really just the playing that bothers these critics? Or is it the fact that fame and fortune have smiled on these two young pianists, and they are seen as somehow undeserving of it? I suspect the latter, because the critics always seem to exude a personal animus towards them that far exceeds the usual bounds of musical criticism.


That's just unfair to the professionality of the critic. My take-away from Tommasini's criticism is that this girl's got talent but fears she is distracting herself with alot of her audience gimmicks. I really fail to see any jealousy on his part.

But if you want to really understand Lisitsa's or Lang's methods of attracting audiences, compare their strategy to someone like Bernstein, who built an audience from the ground up with his young people's concerts; his sincerity and warm personality; and his otherwise conservative demeanor. I am fascinated by what Lisitsa is doing on YouTube, at least outside of it's use as self-promotion. Maybe, probably, Bernstein too would embrace YouTube as a mean to reach out but my guess is he'd be using it more as an educational tool, not simply as a popularity contest.


Edited by toyboy (10/22/13 11:43 PM)
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#2170257 - 10/22/13 08:03 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Pogorelich.]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 777
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Of course it's great that they are classical musicians! Trust me, with the battles I'm among right now, it's SO good to remind myself that classical music hasn't died yet, and it is great that people are still interested in this genre.

But that isn't what the critics are concerned with in this case. Nor does it have to do with people's "fame and fortune" - people are talking about pure musicianship here, nothing else.

I mean, Jesus, I'd rather listen to any well-known classical musicians right now than the crap pop culture is vomiting on us. But that's not the point here..

I agree that musicianship should be the focus of a music critic, and as I said, I believe that any artist's interpretation is always open to legitimate criticism.

When I said "critics", I was really talking about the critics right here at PW. Open up a Lang Lang thread and see what you get. Endless sniping and snarky comments about his leather pants and his smoke machine and his marketing, etc. It's perfectly fine to criticize his "La Campanella", but to go on and on about his clothes, his emoting at the piano, etc. is, I believe, born of a sense of injustice: Why does LL get all the packed houses and the fame and adulation, when so-and-so is a far superior musician?

But I think Lang Lang and Lisitsa are playing to two different audiences. Both accept many invitations to play with local orchestras for their season subscribers, and they play it straight up. I saw LL play Mendelssohn No. 1 in such a venue, and he was as traditional as any other pianist. He was dressed in customary concert attire, and while he couldn't resist his usual swaying and swooning on the bench, he delivered an impeccable performance. The audience, comprised, for the most part, of traditional concert goers, gave him multiple standing ovations.

But LL also plays at large, "non classical" venues, and here he is playing to the "hoi polloi". His intent is not to win over the local music critic (or the critics at PW), but to be a rock star: Black leather, smoke, and yes, maybe taking a lot of liberties with the music itself. But for people who are not familiar with classical music, this is what's required. He's simply using technology and pop culture to woo folks to a place they've never visited. The end result of his efforts may be that half a dozen people are "won over", so there are no great expectations here. But I do believe it's a worthy cause.

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