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#467911 - 08/27/01 10:40 AM International Piano Competitions - Masters Reincarnated
Samejame Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 808
Loc: NL, Canada
An interesting thought just came to me while reading the posts on the period pianos thread. Let me pose this question, and see what you think.

If masters such as Chopin, Tchaikovsky et al were reincarnated and turned up to play at the competitions for which they were so named, albeit under a different alias, would they win?

"A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing" Oscar Wilde.

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#467912 - 08/27/01 10:56 AM Re: International Piano Competitions - Masters Reincarnated
magnezium Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 722
Loc: Singapore
i don't think so... take the Chopin competition for example... ppl like Martha Argerich win... i'm not saying she isn't good or anything but she doesn't play chopin like it should be... she's a little too extroverted... Chopin would be a lot less virtuosic and generally he wouldn't have much appeal really... he would probably play with a lot more subtlety... the people who win nowadays seem to have much more showmanship than anything else...

just my $0.02...

[ August 27, 2001: Message edited by: magnezium ]

#467913 - 08/27/01 08:26 PM Re: International Piano Competitions - Masters Reincarnated
Hank Drake Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1708
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Playing styles have so radically changed in the last 100+ years that no great pianist of the 19th or early 20th century would get past the preliminaries.

This is not to say that Liszt or Chopin were not top level pianists, quite the opposite. But that their individuality would offend too many jury members to get them a prize. If you listen to the recordings of Rachmaninoff--arguably the most "straightforward" of the Romantic Era pianists--you here much that is controversial by today's standards.

Nevertheless, I'll take my old scratchy Rachmaninoff recordings over the latest flavor of the month.
Hank Drake

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

#467914 - 08/28/01 12:40 AM Re: International Piano Competitions - Masters Reincarnated
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
I don't know if you can definately say that pianists from the era of Chopin and Liszt were as free with their interpretations as the pianists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I remember reading that late in his life, Chopin thought other pianists took too many liberties with his music, despite his care to write detailed instructions into the score. And later you read about Busoni (if I remember correctly) reporting that he thought Liszt was "cold" (i.e. boring?) in his interpretation of Beethoven's 4th concerto. Comments like these have long made me wonder if the Chopins and Liszts of that time period were more controlled than the Rachmaninoffs and Hofmanns of the later period. Styles did radically change over the past 100 years, but I wouldn't be surprised if they also radically changed over the previous 100 years as well. Styles and tastes tend to be cyclical...

Personally, as much as I appreciate Rachmaninoff's playing (and he does make my jaw drop repeatedly), I tend to gravitate more towards playing that follows the composer's instructions.


[ August 28, 2001: Message edited by: ryan ]


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