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#2272565 - 05/07/14 09:48 PM Some Thoughts on Musicality
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 293
Loc: United States
This past weekend, I played in a local, rather low-stakes competition. I competed with Chopin Etude Op. 10 no. 1 as well as Beethoven's 32 variations in c minor.
My point?
I did not play as I would have liked. To be honest, my etude was rather poorly played, and some parts of my Beethoven were also messy.
However, I poured out my heart into, at the very least, the Beethoven. The judge was rather impressed, and in fact, said I "nailed it." I do not want to brag; that is not my message. My message, instead, is that a lot of us worry about performing because we know we're not going to hit 100% of the notes, like Kissin or Haochen Zhang-we feel insecure about our playing because our technique is not where we want it.
I just want to point out that, YES, notes ARE important, and I always practice with the intent of missing none; BUT, if we ever do miss notes, it is definitely not the end of the world. Musicality trumps technique, in my opinion.
Thoughts?
Thanks for reading! smile
_________________________
Currently working on:
Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
Beethoven Sonata Op. 53
Prokofiev Sonata Op. 83
Bach Prelude and Fugue in f# minor, WTC II
Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3

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#2272567 - 05/07/14 10:01 PM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
Getting the notes right is the last thing on the agenda. To me, that's polish; from what I gather it's only in recent times that mistakes matter (the recording age?). Um...I've often thought that *any* arrangement of notes can be played beautifully; articulation is the cornerstone of what is played well. I've also often thought that there is *no* arrangement of notes that will sound beautiful every time. As a result, um, I've come to the conclusion that the best pianists are those that can take the worst pieces and make them sound wonderful; in this context, putting a "wrong note" into the score and making it work...um...as with all things, music is not made of individual notes, only sounds are; music is an intricate web of convictions, motivations and emotions (well...and notes... laugh )...and each web is unique and uniquely beautiful with any combination of these; none alone make sense.
Xxx
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#2272568 - 05/07/14 10:03 PM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
ChopinAddict Offline
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Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6160
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Even great pianists miss a note now and then... Many people in the audience won't even notice. But they will notice musicality and how beautifully you play.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2272590 - 05/07/14 11:31 PM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
Francisco Scalco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 381
I agree 100%. Music is about communication, I believe, not about getting notes "right". And quite often this struggle with perfection ends up getting in the way of music. The most famous example is Cortot: one of the best musicians I've ever heard, yet he really didn't mind the occasional "slip". I go as far as saying that one of the reasons he was such a great musician was -because- he didn't rank accuracy as the most important issue.


Edited by Francisco Scalco (05/07/14 11:32 PM)

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#2272639 - 05/08/14 05:35 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
wouter79 Online   content
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Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3636
IMHO It's neither about 'getting all notes right' nor about 'pouring in your emotions'.

It's about bringing a solid total interpretation. A few missed notes may be irrelevant. Phrasing, articulation, style, rythm, dynamics, overall line, that kind of things is what the general public will pick up.

BTW "pouring in your emotions" probably will make you play worse, not better.
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#2272684 - 05/08/14 08:15 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
jdw Offline
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Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1038
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Pianorigami, Thanks for this message. I think it's one a lot of people need to hear. We probably need to hear it over and over, because the obsession with perfection is so pervasive.

BTW, I took 'pouring your heart into it' to mean totally focusing on the musical message--which I think is bound to make you play better. Wouter seems to be talking about something else, excessive emotionalism that could become a distraction.
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#2272721 - 05/08/14 09:28 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
wouter79 Online   content
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Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3636
Yes I suppose "pouring in emotions" means the player is experiencing a lot of emotions.
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#2272725 - 05/08/14 09:32 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: wouter79]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
That doesn't necessarily mean the audience is experiencing them, though. This is what the best performers understand - that communicating an emotion is different than feeling one.

Originally Posted By: wouter79
Yes I suppose "pouring in emotions" means the player is experiencing a lot of emotions.
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#2272738 - 05/08/14 09:56 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
KWBach Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/08/14
Posts: 2
I think "musicality trumps technique" mainly depends on one's approach to practice. One can easily use this to not be thorough in their practicing and expect problematic passages to fix themselves. But your story is a healthy reminder that our job is to make music, not to make technique. smile
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#2272753 - 05/08/14 10:30 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 293
Loc: United States
Just to clarify, when I "poured" emotion, I didn't suddenly say, "Oh okay I'm gonna try to fake this all." Instead, what I meant, is that I just sat and enjoyed what I was playing. I believe that if you feel a genuine connection with your piece, the audience will feel it, too.
And also, I meant emotionally involved. I still had an interpretation ha


Edited by pianorigami (05/08/14 10:32 AM)
_________________________
Currently working on:
Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
Beethoven Sonata Op. 53
Prokofiev Sonata Op. 83
Bach Prelude and Fugue in f# minor, WTC II
Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3

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#2272758 - 05/08/14 10:39 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: Kreisler]
Morodiene Offline
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[quote=Kreisler]This is what the best performers understand - that communicating an emotion is different than feeling one.

+1 !!! smile

Communicating emotions in your playing is a skill just like acting. Actors don't actually feel what they are doing all the time they are acting. Otherwise, it wouldn't be called "acting". The same is true for musicians communicating emotion through sound. You do the things to the music that allude to that particular affect, but not necessarily feel that feeling while playing. You'd be an emotional wreck after a recital otherwise.
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#2272759 - 05/08/14 10:40 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
Francisco Scalco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 381
I believe "playing emotionally" is something that requires practice as well. I don't believe one can study a piece mechanically, get on stage and suddenly be able to say something with it.



Edited by Francisco Scalco (05/08/14 10:45 AM)

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#2272777 - 05/08/14 11:14 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: Kreisler]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
That doesn't necessarily mean the audience is experiencing them, though. This is what the best performers understand - that communicating an emotion is different than feeling one.
Could you explain more about the difference between these two?

Do you think in certain cases(like Daniil Trifonov)obvious display of his genuine involvement with the music can help the audience feel the emotion the pianist is trying to communicate? I also think that far less overt displays of involvement with the music(see my comment on Brendan's Barber song performance)can help the audience experience the emotion the performer is trying to communicate.


Edited by pianoloverus (05/08/14 11:18 AM)

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#2272781 - 05/08/14 11:20 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
bennevis Online   content
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Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5553
Originally Posted By: pianorigami
I just sat and enjoyed what I was playing. I believe that if you feel a genuine connection with your piece, the audience will feel it, too.
And also, I meant emotionally involved. I still had an interpretation ha

What Kreisler meant is that just because you feel the connection, doesn't mean that the audience will feel it too.

It doesn't work like that. You have to work at bring out what you feel about the music to your audience, not assume that if you feel it, they will. Or that if you enjoy it, they will too.
_________________________
"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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#2272792 - 05/08/14 11:41 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: bennevis]
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 293
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: pianorigami
I just sat and enjoyed what I was playing. I believe that if you feel a genuine connection with your piece, the audience will feel it, too.
And also, I meant emotionally involved. I still had an interpretation ha

What Kreisler meant is that just because you feel the connection, doesn't mean that the audience will feel it too.

It doesn't work like that. You have to work at bring out what you feel about the music to your audience, not assume that if you feel it, they will. Or that if you enjoy it, they will too.


I'll think about that.
I guess I think that if I feel a certain way, it will definitely affect how I play. Now, I can see how that doesn't mean it makes it how I want it to be.
And of course, what I enjoy will be different than the audience. BUT, conversely, if I feel nothing, neither will the audience. Therefore, one needs to at least be involved. And I think that it frequently translates, assuming one is a practiced performer and knows his/her piece.
_________________________
Currently working on:
Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
Beethoven Sonata Op. 53
Prokofiev Sonata Op. 83
Bach Prelude and Fugue in f# minor, WTC II
Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3

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#2272802 - 05/08/14 12:07 PM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5553
Originally Posted By: pianorigami

And of course, what I enjoy will be different than the audience. BUT, conversely, if I feel nothing, neither will the audience. Therefore, one needs to at least be involved. And I think that it frequently translates, assuming one is a practiced performer and knows his/her piece.

That doesn't necessarily hold true either.

I remember hearing an interview with a well-known pianist celebrated for her intense interpretations who said that sometimes she'd switch off while performing, thinking about what she'd be having for dinner later etc, or let her mind wander while she continued playing on auto-pilot. Yet the audience wouldn't hear any different, because her playing had been so well-practised that she could afford not to keep focusing on what she was doing....

In the end, we need to know what we want the audience to get from our playing, and make sure that your playing conveys that intention - in your phrasing, choice (and variety) of tone color, dynamics, rubato, articulation, pedaling.....
_________________________
"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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#2272878 - 05/08/14 03:26 PM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianoloverus]
wouter79 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3636
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
That doesn't necessarily mean the audience is experiencing them, though. This is what the best performers understand - that communicating an emotion is different than feeling one.
Could you explain more about the difference between these two?

Do you think in certain cases(like Daniil Trifonov)obvious display of his genuine involvement with the music can help the audience feel the emotion the pianist is trying to communicate? I also think that far less overt displays of involvement with the music(see my comment on Brendan's Barber song performance)can help the audience experience the emotion the performer is trying to communicate.


Exactly what he says. For instance Lang Lang's hystrionics may be totally played and studied for maximum effect. He may not at all feel what the public may think he feels, or what the public feels. And, has it ever be checked if there even is a single consistent 'emotion' in the public? Everyone may feel something different with the same gestures?
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#2272920 - 05/08/14 04:54 PM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
doctor S Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/12
Posts: 152
Loc: Western PA
There is a video by Rubinstein re: "how the [Winter Wind] Chopin Etude should go..." He first demonstrates how he played it at a teenage Paris(?) debut missing a great many notes, for which he received a wild ovation which he now confesses was undeserved, then he plays it with more of the notes as written. I don't think the Paris audience consisted of gullible fools. (Present audiences may be poorer for being less capable of appreciative "foolishness").

There are "scientific" studies of say, the emotive power of classical music and performers. One is Manfred Clynes (see Grand Obsession) and his measurement of "sentic" (his term) patterns supposedly present as a reproducible pattern or wave, the same for all the music of each specific composer, regardless of performer. He also made similar measurements of people thinking a specific emotion (one of 7: ie joy, grief, reverence, love, etc) while pushing on a computer-linked lever; supposedly the same emotion wave could be generated for each specific emotion by persons regardless of education or culture, worldwide.

There is a thread now on Harold Bauer who supposedly created his technique by translating the motions of dancing into his fingers (!). I don't know if Lang Lang's histrionics are "dancing", but to the extent that the motions are not off-putting to us puritanical robotists, the motions might add to the emotive effect. I also recall a study in Scientific American on the quality of classical performer vs. performer; one of the distinguishing characteristics was intensity of dynamic contrasts (the more the better); the best example was supposed to have been Horowitz.

I don't recommend missing notes, but perhaps there is some reality to the notion that the best performances best transmit the composer's unique emotional signature, evoking emotions most intensely, and the evocation may not be lost (or may possibly even be enhanced) by a few crunchies.
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#2272946 - 05/08/14 06:12 PM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: doctor S]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5553
Originally Posted By: doctor S
...... of classical performer vs. performer; one of the distinguishing characteristics was intensity of dynamic contrasts (the more the better); the best example was supposed to have been Horowitz.

I don't recommend missing notes, but perhaps there is some reality to the notion that the best performances best transmit the composer's unique emotional signature, evoking emotions most intensely, and the evocation may not be lost (or may possibly even be enhanced) by a few crunchies.

One of the distinguishing features that mark out more experienced (for want of a better term) classical performers from lesser ones is their greater willingness to use big contrasts: especially in dynamic and tonal ranges. And the sheer variety they use in their playing.

Of course, the level of technical accomplishment of the respective performers play a big part in this: you can't play very softly as well as smoothly if you don't have sufficient keyboard control, and your fff will sound brittle and clangorous if you don't have the technical means to voice the chords appropriately when playing loudly and fast.

The really great pianists know how to project their vision of the music they're playing to their audience. They know that it's not enough just to feel the music themselves, as they're playing. They're not playing for themselves; they're involving the audience in what they feel.

I feel sorry for people who only see what they term as 'histrionics' by pianists they dislike, and let that color their judgement on their actual playing, rather than actually listening to their performances. Music - classical music, that is - is an auditory experience. What a performer has to do to achieve what he does to give me that auditory experience is OK, in my book. I'm not watching a pop singer who can't sing in tune making up for that lack by prancing around and wearing outlandish garb (and people don't go to pop concerts just for the music either).

Boring musicians are boring, whatever stage antics (or lack of them) they exhibit. If a pianist beams beatifically into the ether while playing something dreamy and slow (as Trifonov does), so be it, as long as he conveys that in his actual playing and the sound he produces. (If that's off-putting, I can always look away, into the ether.) But if he doesn't, he's still a boring pianist.
_________________________
"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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#2273018 - 05/08/14 10:20 PM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: bennevis]
prout Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 902
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: doctor S
...... of classical performer vs. performer; one of the distinguishing characteristics was intensity of dynamic contrasts (the more the better); the best example was supposed to have been Horowitz.

I don't recommend missing notes, but perhaps there is some reality to the notion that the best performances best transmit the composer's unique emotional signature, evoking emotions most intensely, and the evocation may not be lost (or may possibly even be enhanced) by a few crunchies.

One of the distinguishing features that mark out more experienced (for want of a better term) classical performers from lesser ones is their greater willingness to use big contrasts: especially in dynamic and tonal ranges. And the sheer variety they use in their playing.

Of course, the level of technical accomplishment of the respective performers play a big part in this: you can't play very softly as well as smoothly if you don't have sufficient keyboard control, and your fff will sound brittle and clangorous if you don't have the technical means to voice the chords appropriately when playing loudly and fast.

The really great pianists know how to project their vision of the music they're playing to their audience. They know that it's not enough just to feel the music themselves, as they're playing. They're not playing for themselves; they're involving the audience in what they feel.

I feel sorry for people who only see what they term as 'histrionics' by pianists they dislike, and let that color their judgement on their actual playing, rather than actually listening to their performances. Music - classical music, that is - is an auditory experience. What a performer has to do to achieve what he does to give me that auditory experience is OK, in my book. I'm not watching a pop singer who can't sing in tune making up for that lack by prancing around and wearing outlandish garb (and people don't go to pop concerts just for the music either).

Boring musicians are boring, whatever stage antics (or lack of them) they exhibit. If a pianist beams beatifically into the ether while playing something dreamy and slow (as Trifonov does), so be it, as long as he conveys that in his actual playing and the sound he produces. (If that's off-putting, I can always look away, into the ether.) But if he doesn't, he's still a boring pianist.

I never watch performers during a live performance of music. I find it distracting. If a performer has to resort to acting to convey the intent of the music, they have failed as a musician.

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#2273019 - 05/08/14 10:22 PM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
noobpianist90 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 412
Loc: India
You're right bennevis. However, non musicians get carried away by visual displays rather than just an auditory experience.
For example, If I play music from my phone recorded by me, people don't seem very interested in listening to it, but if I show them a video of the same recording, they seem to enjoy it a lot. I don't think lay people listen as intently, so they seem to enjoy a visual display to accompany the music. Perhaps this visual display helps them feel the emotion of the music?

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#2273045 - 05/09/14 12:14 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
Fiona0424 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/29/14
Posts: 217
I agree with you 100%! I loved this post! You worded my very beliefs totally!
At one of my college auditions, I was so nervous that I messed up on my Chopin Ballade 3, like... really bad. I played it off of course, but I did strike a wrong chord or two and it was definitely obvious to the trained ear. But there's something about Chopin... And I just played it with all I had, with LOTS of emotion and musicality.
And the judges, as in your experience, loved it! I don't mean to brag either, but I was told that my audition was "the most unique" and I was praised for being "bizarrely different" in my interpretation. At first I thought it was a bad thing, but they quickly cleared up that they loved my interpretation. And even more surprisingly, I met one of the judge personally at a music event at which he recognized me and congratulated me again on my ballade.
So yes, I believe that notes aren't everything. Music is art. And even art is not a perfect picture of "what is written on the page". Sometimes I believe the best form of art is when it is filled with emotion, passion, and flawed humanity. smile
_________________________
*Fiona*

"If music be food of love, play on!"
P.S. I am in love with Beethoven, infatuated with Liszt, and crazy about Chopin!
And when he behaves, Rachmaninoff is my darling! ;p

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#2273049 - 05/09/14 12:24 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1788
Loc: California
Do you understand how the audience felt? Did you ask them later, or could you tell?
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Poetry is rhythm.

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#2273051 - 05/09/14 12:29 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: phantomFive]
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 293
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: phantomFive
Do you understand how the audience felt? Did you ask them later, or could you tell?

I had a very positive reaction from the audience, actually.
Also, two teachers came up to me and were extremely kind.
If I didn't connect, they wouldn't have said what they said ha
_________________________
Currently working on:
Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
Beethoven Sonata Op. 53
Prokofiev Sonata Op. 83
Bach Prelude and Fugue in f# minor, WTC II
Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3

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#2273052 - 05/09/14 12:31 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: Fiona0424]
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 293
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: Fiona0424
At one of my college auditions

So did you get in? laugh
And I'm glad you liked it!

I hope people realize I'm not saying, "notes mean nothing." That's not what I mean. Just that, if you practice A LOT and, for whatever reason, miss a couple notes, it is not so bad after all.
_________________________
Currently working on:
Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
Beethoven Sonata Op. 53
Prokofiev Sonata Op. 83
Bach Prelude and Fugue in f# minor, WTC II
Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3

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#2273054 - 05/09/14 12:35 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
Fiona0424 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/29/14
Posts: 217
I did! And with an awesome scholarship!!! laugh
And no, I totally understand that you're not meaning that "notes mean nothing" because that's just ridiculous. Music is BUILT with notes, so how could they be unimportant...? But musicality is what makes what we've built into a masterpiece!
_________________________
*Fiona*

"If music be food of love, play on!"
P.S. I am in love with Beethoven, infatuated with Liszt, and crazy about Chopin!
And when he behaves, Rachmaninoff is my darling! ;p

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#2273055 - 05/09/14 12:35 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: bennevis]
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 293
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: pianorigami

And of course, what I enjoy will be different than the audience. BUT, conversely, if I feel nothing, neither will the audience. Therefore, one needs to at least be involved. And I think that it frequently translates, assuming one is a practiced performer and knows his/her piece.

That doesn't necessarily hold true either.

I remember hearing an interview with a well-known pianist celebrated for her intense interpretations who said that sometimes she'd switch off while performing, thinking about what she'd be having for dinner later etc, or let her mind wander while she continued playing on auto-pilot. Yet the audience wouldn't hear any different, because her playing had been so well-practised that she could afford not to keep focusing on what she was doing....

In the end, we need to know what we want the audience to get from our playing, and make sure that your playing conveys that intention - in your phrasing, choice (and variety) of tone color, dynamics, rubato, articulation, pedaling.....

Well I think that's an absolutely horrible comparison. I doubt you can say that it's a good thing to go on auto-pilot. There is SO much that can go wrong, then.
And of course I understand the need to use the list (tone, rubato, etc.) above...


Edited by pianorigami (05/09/14 12:36 AM)
_________________________
Currently working on:
Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
Beethoven Sonata Op. 53
Prokofiev Sonata Op. 83
Bach Prelude and Fugue in f# minor, WTC II
Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3

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#2273056 - 05/09/14 12:40 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
Fiona0424 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/29/14
Posts: 217
"Well I think that's an absolutely horrible comparison. I doubt you can say that it's a good thing to go on auto-pilot. There is SO much that can go wrong, then."

Yup. I thought the same thing. Auto-pilot TERIFIES me!
_________________________
*Fiona*

"If music be food of love, play on!"
P.S. I am in love with Beethoven, infatuated with Liszt, and crazy about Chopin!
And when he behaves, Rachmaninoff is my darling! ;p

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#2273075 - 05/09/14 01:47 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1788
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: pianorigami
Originally Posted By: phantomFive
Do you understand how the audience felt? Did you ask them later, or could you tell?

I had a very positive reaction from the audience, actually.
Also, two teachers came up to me and were extremely kind.
If I didn't connect, they wouldn't have said what they said ha

Excellent
_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

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#2273152 - 05/09/14 08:01 AM Re: Some Thoughts on Musicality [Re: pianorigami]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1038
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Originally Posted By: pianorigami
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: pianorigami

And of course, what I enjoy will be different than the audience. BUT, conversely, if I feel nothing, neither will the audience. Therefore, one needs to at least be involved. And I think that it frequently translates, assuming one is a practiced performer and knows his/her piece.

That doesn't necessarily hold true either.

I remember hearing an interview with a well-known pianist celebrated for her intense interpretations who said that sometimes she'd switch off while performing, thinking about what she'd be having for dinner later etc, or let her mind wander while she continued playing on auto-pilot. Yet the audience wouldn't hear any different, because her playing had been so well-practised that she could afford not to keep focusing on what she was doing....

In the end, we need to know what we want the audience to get from our playing, and make sure that your playing conveys that intention - in your phrasing, choice (and variety) of tone color, dynamics, rubato, articulation, pedaling.....

Well I think that's an absolutely horrible comparison. I doubt you can say that it's a good thing to go on auto-pilot. There is SO much that can go wrong, then.


I think in show business they call this "phoning it in."

Hard for me to believe it really wouldn't make a difference in the performance if the player is that disengaged. I also can't help thinking, why bother performing music if you're going to be thinking about dinner? (ok, maybe you'll be paid and that'll buy you dinner, but there are easier ways to make a living.)

On the other hand, as an amateur, maybe I just don't have a sense of how routine it can get. I don't want it either! To me the moment of performance still has a kind of heightened reality, with a little feeling of magic in it.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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