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#444749 - 01/06/07 09:18 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3534
Loc: US
Hi Bruce,
I can't speak for Carly but I've wondered this as well for a couple of reasons. First, it gives some small comfort to those of us who can't get through a performance of any sort without making mistakes! I also think it might be a better gauge of "actual" performance as we've become so used to hearing the airbrushed perfection of many recordings that it's easy to forget how difficult it is to play high level repertoire "perfectly". I'll take an expressive, emotionally communicative performance that has some mistakes in it any day over a technically perfect but sterile one.

Sophia

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#444750 - 01/06/07 11:59 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18869
Loc: Victoria, BC
Sophia :

Your posing of the question seems to be a valid one, in that we are all encouraged when we realize that - pardon the cliché - " no one is perfect," and that therefore we shouldn't be distressed if we have a slip up in performance. What I didn't understand in Carly's post was the statement that s/he was not interested in minor mistakes, but rather "...like a major mistake type of thing", and I just couldn't see why one would be interested in making a list of which pianists make "major mistakes" in performance. Don't they all, at one time or another in their performance careers? Don't we all?

To me the question is so symptomatic of what is purportedly one of the latest crazes in US TV "reality" shows: the apparent delight in picking out the weakest, nerdiest, most vulnerable and holding them up to ridicule before throwing them out with the garbage.

We all make mistakes; we all know that. What's the point of trying to make a list of pianists who make the most/biggest musical or artistic mistakes if it's not to hold them up to some form of public ridicule?

Carly?

Regards,
_________________________
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Estonia 190

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#444751 - 01/06/07 12:19 PM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
Hank Drake Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1690
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
"For a few false notes, no one was put in jail."
Arturo Toscanini
_________________________
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

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#444752 - 01/06/07 03:03 PM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
buxtehude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 499
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Interesting angle to the discussion, BruceD. Though it can be twisted yet another turn: getting derailed happens for everybody once in a while - getting back on tracks shows the true master. My reverence for Rubinstein became even bigger when I read his account once of getting totally lost in Islamey for more than a minute. What did he do? He improvised (!) until he came to a spot where he could get back again on track. Now that's a master!

My son's teacher shows my son to choose several spots in the score from where he would be able to start when woken up in the middle of night. At least one spot for every four or five bars. He introduced it as way of getting over your fear of black-outs (the fear that often causes the memory-lapses) - and it has been a great succes. My son never experience total derailment any more. Wrong notes, lapses, yes, but he stays on the tracks, on beat.

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#444753 - 01/06/07 03:11 PM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3916
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by argerichfan:
...Even more amazing, [Schnabel's] Liszt was considered exceptional.... [/b]
I heard an interview with Clifford Curzon, who heard Schnabel's recording of the Schubert D. 959 (A maj op. posth.) sonata and immediately went off to study with him. With regard to Liszt, he said that Schnabel could give as good a lesson as anyone on the B minor sonata.
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#444754 - 01/06/07 11:20 PM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
Deus ex Pianoforte II Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 1
 Quote:
Originally posted by Requiem Aeternam:
Iamcanadian used to post a recording of Michelangelli playing some concerto (can't seem to remember which it was) where he bungles an entire passage [/b]
Haha, I remember that. It was the Rach 4th.

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#444755 - 01/07/07 12:18 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3916
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
I think the situation would be helped if more pianists would play using the score.
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#444756 - 01/07/07 02:00 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
I will ask my teacher more about Michelangeli. He studied with Michelangeli about the same time as Martha Argerich.

Michelangeli was human and as such he made mistakes. However, it's not letting 99.9% of the people who listen, hear the mistake that is the hallmark of greatness.

Michelangeli exuded greatness.

Here is my teacher Prof. Renato Premezzi playing La Valse by Ravel and Hungarian Rhapsody No. 3 by Liszt. He recorded this in the late 70's / early 80's. It was on vinyl and I digitized it for him. These recordings were done in one take. No editing of any kind.

Ravel\'s La Valse

Liszt\'s Hungarian Rhapsody 3

Here is Renato at lesson with Michelangeli



We have recorded more pieces recently using modern digital equipment which we hope to release soon. Renato has some of his own compositions which I hope to record this year.
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#444757 - 01/07/07 02:07 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22770
Loc: Oakland
What makes a musician great is the ability to play through mistakes so that the audience does not notice them.
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Semipro Tech

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#444758 - 01/07/07 06:13 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
buxtehude,

My son's teacher shows my son to choose several spots in the score from where he would be able to start when woken up in the middle of night.[/b]

This is what my and daughter's teachers would call des points de repère. Upon googling this phrase, I came across the following interesting article about memorisation from a bilingual Canadian classical music website. The author is a specialist in piano memorisation techniques, and wrote his doctoral thesis on the subject. There is also an English version on the same site.

-Michael B.
_________________________
There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.

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#444759 - 01/07/07 08:25 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
"If you count all the wrong notes i played, you will make a concerto."
Artur Rubinstein

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#444760 - 01/07/07 11:31 PM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
Music Lover Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 200
Loc: USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by markjpcs:
I will ask my teacher more about Michelangeli. He studied with Michelangeli about the same time as Martha Argerich. Michelangeli was human and as such he made mistakes. However, it's not letting 99.9% of the people who listen, hear the mistake that is the hallmark of greatness. Michelangeli exuded greatness.
Nobody is questioning Michelangeli's greatness. In Italian history, he is probably second only to Busoni.

No offense intended toward anyone--but it is quite simply a bit naive (I'm not referring to you), to believe that he never made a single mistake in his entire career as a concert pianist.

Michelangeli might have made fewer mistakes than most, but he still made them. And it must also be noted that for a concert pianist of his stature, his repertoire was limited. Which naturally helped him keep his mistakes to a minimum.

Pianists who presented a broader repertoire, would naturally have a greater chance of making mistakes. I say none of this to bash Michelangeli, whose greatness is indisputable.

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#444761 - 01/07/07 11:58 PM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
What makes a musician great is the ability to play through mistakes so that the audience does not notice them. [/b]
This is where the real talent and artistry comes into play.
I was at a piano recital listening to Leon Bates perform Rhapsody in Blue. During one of the cadenzas he completely forgot where he was, but kept on going, playing a g minor scale until he found his way back to the music to then finished the piece with the orchestra without a hitch.
I noticed it, like, "this isn't how it goes", but the most of the audience didn't.
Later, backstage, we met Mr. Bates and he told us what had happened. My daughter was taking piano lessons at the time. And he said, "know your scales!! Thank goodness for me knowing my minor scales, it saved my performance!
_________________________
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#444762 - 01/08/07 12:03 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9072
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Music Lover:
Nobody is questioning Michelangeli's greatness. In Italian history, he is probably second only to Busoni.

If indeed Busoni ultimately considered himself "Italian". That is open to debate. Most of his writings are in German and when he returned to Berlin in the early '20's, it was as a German (though he took no sides during the Great War.)

I will never question Michelangeli's "greatness", only to ask if "greatness" applies to a pianist that was so utterly cold and calculating. Have you heard his Beethoven 1st Concerto lately? His one time student, Martha Argerich, should have returned the favour and given life to the corpse.
_________________________
Jason

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#444763 - 01/08/07 12:25 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
Iain Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/06
Posts: 545
Loc: London, UK
Scathing indeed -- but I cannot really disagree. I wonder if our perception would be different if we had never SEEN him play (on video of course). He is certainly a cold fish on stage. (Also what comes to my mind right now is the opening to his recording of the Bach/Busoni Chaconne. what was Michelangeli thinking?)

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#444764 - 01/08/07 01:07 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
Oh yeah. It's much better to see someone like Lang Lang gyrating, scowling and grimacing then to witness a master of concentration and nuance.

:rolleyes:
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#444765 - 01/08/07 02:00 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
eric_626 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 173
Loc: Vancouver, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by Carly:
@Sophial

Yeah, Lang Lang too. Don't know about Yundi Li. [/b]
Yundi Li too. I remember him making slight slips in the development of the Mozart K. 330 first movement at a recital here in Vancouver last year. Gave me a chuckle because it was the same passage that I found hardest from that section of the piece as well. But of course his playing still beats mine anyday :p .
_________________________
My YouTube videos:
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#444766 - 01/08/07 06:34 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
Music Lover Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 200
Loc: USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by argerichfan:
If indeed Busoni ultimately considered himself "Italian". That is open to debate. Most of his writings are in German and when he returned to Berlin in the early '20's, it was as a German (though he took no sides during the Great War.)
Busoni was a cosmopolitan chap, but the hard fact remains that he was Italian. He was born in Empoli, and raised primarily in Trieste.

I challenge anyone to find any respected music encyclopedia/biographical dictionary/history book, that identifies him as anything but Italian.

The Busoni International Competition/Festival has always been and still is held in Italy. Interestingly, Argerich first met Michelangeli at the Busoni International Competition in 1957. Which she won, by the way.

I have little doubt that his alleged comments about Argerich were "tongue in cheek", the words of an instructor who was probably momentarily frustrated and/or angered by his student. But there is no doubt he was aware of her substantial talent, since she won at least two major international competitions in 1957.

P.S.--Germany and Italy fought on the same side during WWII, so there was no need to choose between the two countries.

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#444767 - 01/08/07 09:09 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9072
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Music Lover:
Busoni was a cosmopolitan chap, but the hard fact remains that he was Italian. He was born in Empoli, and raised primarily in Trieste.

I challenge anyone to find any respected music encyclopedia/biographical dictionary/history book, that identifies him as anything but Italian.

P.S.--Germany and Italy fought on the same side during WWII, so there was no need to choose between the two countries.
I'm not trying to claim that Busoni wasn't Italian, just that he identified more with the Germans. Germany & Italy did fight on the same side in WWII, but since Busoni died in 1924, I assume you meant WWI. But Italy joined on the side of the Allies in May 1915. Busoni spent the war years in Zurich.
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Jason

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#444768 - 01/08/07 09:42 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
Has anybody listened to the Michelangeli recording described here (I haven't):

"There is an interesting 2-CD set on Testament that has a 32-minute recording of a sound check before a recital, where [Michelangeli] tried out fragments from several Debussy and Schumann pieces. In my opinion, this contains Michelangeli's most awe-inspiring performances. The virtuosity, the sweep, the precision, the perfect volume control, and the sensitivity, all of them are of the highest order. The same set also has the recording of the actual recital. I listened to the sound check first, and when I listened to the recital afterwards, I was a little disappointed. Many of Michelangeli's close friends said that he played the best when he was playing for a few people in private or when he was practicing. This Testament recording is a good testament indeed!"

http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/Strasse/8618/top10_pianists.html

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#444769 - 01/08/07 10:20 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9072
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by markjpcs:
Oh yeah. It's much better to see someone like Lang Lang gyrating, scowling and grimacing then to witness a master of concentration and nuance.

:rolleyes: [/b]
Hah- and many thanks for adding the emoticon!! (Almost had me worried...) I've seen a really cool video of Michelangeli playing the Ravel G major. It is indeed a demonstration of "concentration and nuance".
_________________________
Jason

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#444770 - 01/08/07 10:29 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
Iain Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/06
Posts: 545
Loc: London, UK
 Quote:
Originally posted by markjpcs:
Oh yeah. It's much better to see someone like Lang Lang gyrating, scowling and grimacing then to witness a master of concentration and nuance.

:rolleyes: [/b]
Absurd. My favourite pianist happens to be Horowitz who is certainly not a Lang Lang.

I agree with the master of concentration, but nuance?

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#444771 - 01/08/07 10:34 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9072
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Iain, I think markjpcs's post was meant to be facetious. That is[/b] true, Mark?
_________________________
Jason

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#444772 - 01/08/07 10:42 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
Iain Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/06
Posts: 545
Loc: London, UK
I think so too. I just got so shocked that anyone might think I liked pianists who undulate and heave at the piano like a floor standing punching bag (I don't mean L.L. specifically, but the floppers and moaners).

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#444773 - 01/08/07 10:44 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
paul milando Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/06
Posts: 265
Loc: westfield Indiana
If you make a mistake once, frown at the drummer.
If you make a mistake twice, frown at the bass
player.I you make a mistake again, repeat it,
add harmony and call it jazz.
_________________________
Talking about music is like dancing about art. If the truth will set you free, what do prunes do?

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#444774 - 01/08/07 10:50 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9072
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Iain:
I just got so shocked that anyone might think I liked pianists who undulate and heave at the piano like a floor standing punching bag.
Iain, your metaphorical powers are brilliant! \:D Can I borrow that?
_________________________
Jason

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#444775 - 01/08/07 10:52 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9072
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by paul milando:
If you make a mistake once, frown at the drummer.
If you make a mistake twice, frown at the bass
player.I you make a mistake again, repeat it,
add harmony and call it jazz.
Huh? Are you in the right forum? ;\)
_________________________
Jason

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#444776 - 01/08/07 12:03 PM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
Has anybody listened to the Michelangeli recording described here (I haven't):

"There is an interesting 2-CD set on Testament that has a 32-minute recording of a sound check before a recital, where [Michelangeli] tried out fragments from several Debussy and Schumann pieces. In my opinion, this contains Michelangeli's most awe-inspiring performances. The virtuosity, the sweep, the precision, the perfect volume control, and the sensitivity, all of them are of the highest order. The same set also has the recording of the actual recital. I listened to the sound check first, and when I listened to the recital afterwards, I was a little disappointed. Many of Michelangeli's close friends said that he played the best when he was playing for a few people in private or when he was practicing. This Testament recording is a good testament indeed!"

http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/Strasse/8618/top10_pianists.html [/b]
There seem to be four copies available:

http://www.amazon.com/Arturo-Benedetti-Michelangeli-Schumann-Debussy/dp/B000003XKI/

Disc 2, track 9...

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#444777 - 01/08/07 01:44 PM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
Fleeting Visions Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 1501
Loc: Champaign, IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Requiem Aeternam:
Iamcanadian used to post a recording of Michelangelli playing some concerto (can't seem to remember which it was) where he bungles an entire passage [/b]
Canadian uses this forum?

Cheers.
_________________________
Amateur Pianist, Scriabin Enthusiast, and Octave Demon

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#444778 - 01/09/07 12:50 AM Re: World class pianists make mistakes in concerts?
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
 Quote:
Originally posted by argerichfan:
Iain, I think markjpcs's post was meant to be facetious. That is[/b] true, Mark? [/b]
No. I meant what I said.

nuance |ˈn(y)oōˌäns| noun a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound.

fine distinction, subtle difference; shade, shading, gradation, variation, degree; subtlety, nicety, overtone.
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