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#527215 - 11/29/07 07:27 PM Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
This came up in the Lang Lang thread, but it really is a topic of it's own. So let's talk about Lang Lang there, and I'll copy the little beginning of a discussion on a different topic here:

 Quote:
posted by Jeff135:[/b]

It is the artists' job to interpret the music and make it his/her own, but the artist is never and should never feel that he/she is above the composer.
 Quote:
posted by pianojerome:[/b]

Why not? Is there a reason why the performer should always be/feel subservient to the composer?
 Quote:
posted by pianoloverus:[/b]

So if Beethoven writes "p" you think it's OK to play "f"? My interpretation of Jeff's statement is that he thinks the performer should follow the composer's markings in the score (which I totally agree with).
 Quote:
posted by pianojerome:[/b]

If, after much careful consideration, the performer thinks that 'p' is much better (as my teacher strongly believes about the ending of Tchaikovsky's dumka (marked ff), or if Horowitz thinks that Mendelssohn's Variations should end FFF instead of pp), then all the power to him. Why?

1. There is no risk of offending the composer. (if that is an important concern) Mendelssohn is dead, so he won't know how Horowitz played his Variations Serieuses ending.

2. Mendelssohn could be wrong, too -- fff might sound better than pp in this context, and if that's the case, then we shouldn't play it the "worse" way simply because Mendelssohn made a mistake. We should, of course, play it the "better" way.

3. There are multiple ways of interpreting music, and people prefer different interpretations -- we agree on this -- and it would be just as incompatible to say that Mendelssohn's way is the only correct way, just as it would be to say that Horowitz's or Thibaudet's or Perahia's way is the only correct way. We might reasonably disagree with Horowitz's ending -- not simply because it's different from Mendelssohn's ending -- just as we might reasonably disagree with Mendelssohn's ending.

4. Composers have been known to change their minds. Horowitz made suggestions to Rachmaninov for significant alterations, and Rach approved some of them. Bartok recorded his "6 Romanian Dances" (which were actually not his own tunes anyway) at least 3 times, for 3 different instrumentations, and he made all sorts of rhythmic/note/register changes each time. It's obviously much more politically correct if the composer can approve the changes; but if the composer is dead, then that doesn't change the notion that he might not have minded various changes.... if that is actually important.


There are 4 reasons. I'm not suggestion making these changes willy-nilly -- no, of course not. But after careful study and thought about the music, one feels a change would improve the music, there are 4 reasons why I think the change isn't so blasphemous.


So now, I'll ask you (and others):

If, after careful consideration, the performer feels 'ff' would be better than the composer's written 'pp', then why should the performer necessarily conform to the composer's notation?

Please be specific. I know that "the composer is the composer" -- that's quite obvious! :p
 Quote:
posted by Janus Sachs[/b]

I hate to say this, but since recording was made a reality in the late 19th century some have wondered if the composer would always be more important than the performer. At this day and age, it seems clear that the performer has overthrown the composer, especially since recording has made it possible to preserve a performer's work for eternity. I don't like it, but I've almost resigned myself to this. So yes, people can disregard god knows what markings in a score, and no one will be the wiser, and performers will be immortalized anyway. Alas.
 Quote:
posted by pianojerome:[/b]

I don't think anyone needs to overthrow anyone. Just play the music and have a good time.

So Horowitz played the end of Variations Serieuses at fff, instead of pp.... but, he played all of Mendelssohn's notes. He played of Mendelssohn's harmonies and rhythms. I'm not arguing about the significance of the change -- I'm just pointing out that not only did he change something, but at the same time he kept to a lot.

People don't complain as much about "overthrowing the composer" when the change is an added accelerando, or a little extra rubato. People complain about dynamics. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, right?
....
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Sam

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#527216 - 11/29/07 07:32 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
Interpritations change.

At the end of one of Griegs lyric pieces, I really wanted to play in pp instead of f to get a dying away feeling.

Couldn't a change in the instrument also effect interpritation over time? Mozart's piano is NOT like ours today.

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#527217 - 11/29/07 07:36 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5306
Loc: Europe
As a composer I have no worries of getting overthrown by the performer.

In fact I have many problems with recorded music, which I don't consider it "art" in it's owm merit (it's a long story, so I won't go into details).

The performer should be able to merge the will of the composer, which comes to him through the score, and his own personality. Dynamics is not a vastly important matter, although in solo music the performer has greater power than an orchestra has (not necessarily but usually).

Changing more and more things doesn't invade, sort of, the will of the composer, who shouldn't mind really, but if I spent all my life studying and create my masterpiece, I'm not sure I'd like to have everyone coming and taking their own ideas on pitches[/b]...

I guess the same thing would be if a performer, captured a brilliant recording, only to be taken by a DJ and thrown into a sampler. How would the pianists feel with this idea? (not exactly the same, I know, just saying...)

Nice subject. \:\)
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#527218 - 11/29/07 07:39 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
playadom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/06
Posts: 1366
Loc: New Jersey
 Quote:
Originally posted by Debussy20:

Couldn't a change in the instrument also effect interpretation over time? Mozart's piano is NOT like ours today. [/b]
While that is true, that doesn't justify some changes.

For example, in the 3rd mvt. of Beethoven's op.53: People play it way too slowly, and many 'cheat' on the octave glissandi.

They claim that the stiffer action won't let them play quickly, and that it makes octave glissandi impossible.

IMO, they're just lacking finger strength. I can play octave glissandi, in both directions, with both hands. (No, it's NOT impossible to do an ascending RH octave glissando, contrary to popular belief. Nor is it hard.)
_________________________
Practice makes permanent - Perfect practice makes perfect.

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#527219 - 11/29/07 07:40 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1710
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
Copied from the other thread:

Well, agogic nuances are a lot harder to indicate precisely, and what's more, every period in music history has a different approach to indicating (if at all) and performing agogic nuances. But on that note, have you heard Richard Strauss's Die Zauberflote overture? That is one case of agogic schizophrenia.
And regarding dynamics, they can make a world of difference. The one dynamic "tradition" that irks me is the very end of Schumann's Fantasy, where one is supposed to maintain a forte level until the final two C major chords, which are piano. Almost everyone puts a decrescendo and drops down to piano a few measures early!
Now, I agree with you that in most music, pitches and rhythms, i.e. the structural components in music, are the most important. But that doesn't mean that the secondary components (tempo, dynamics, articulation, etc.) are not. I would say, take leeway where there is ambiguity, but don't contradict the score outright (i.e. forte means forte, not piano).
_________________________
Die Krebs gehn zurcke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

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#527220 - 11/29/07 07:51 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
newport Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 492
Wow, pianojerome is so eloquent ..

I remember reading about this story. A performer had painstakingly learned a new piece that a composer had just written, and fretted endlessly about not adhering to the composer's score accurately enough. The performer then played the piece for the composer, did a terrible job at that (in terms of following the scores, you know how difficult those contemporary pieces can be), and the composer couldn't care less about any of these minor details. The composer was just estatic that someone, anybody, was actually playing his work! (The performer was furious.)
_________________________
Chopin Op.51
John

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#527221 - 11/29/07 07:55 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1710
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
Also, if there are valid alternatives beyond the score, such as:

Debussy's structural changes in some of his Preludes as demonstrated in his recording of them;

Rachmaninov's one measure extended forte ending to his own G minor Prelude -- again a recording;

those Horowitz alterations that Rachmaninoff approved of (mentioned above);

then sure, I feel those are valid alternatives to the score. But ultimately there must be some kind of approval coming from the composer directly.
_________________________
Die Krebs gehn zurcke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

Top
#527222 - 11/29/07 08:02 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by Janus Sachs:
But ultimately there must be some kind of approval coming from the composer directly. [/b]
Why?

I apologize for repeating this simple "why" so often, but the answer you gave is really just a restatement of the question.
_________________________
Sam

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#527223 - 11/29/07 08:27 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1710
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
One reason is the slippery slope -- if we start changing the score one way or another, and those changes accumulate, over time the piece will certainly become a completely different monster from what the composer intended. One of the wonderful things about the original instruments movement is that the interpreters would often try to get rid of some of these awful traditions, such as the re-orchestrations of Beethoven symphonies (some of which are still done, alas!) and reveal something which hasn't been heard in centuries -- and arguably something closer to the thing itself.
Another is that, since the composers are dead and we can't hold seances, any guess on what alterations the composer might approve of would be guesses at best and presumptuous at worst. So follow the sources (the score, composer approved alterations, etc.). We know Mahler altered his own scores (even structurally!) to suit particular performance venues, but can we say what alterations (if any) he would do for a venue he never performed in?
Of course, changes can be made can be very effective if done tastefully, however that opens up the floor for tasteless alterations, and of course there is no guarantee that performers will have taste to begin with. So if in doubt, go back to the score.
Honestly, "why" is of course the hardest question to answer, if it is at all answerable. The integrity of a piece of music is embodied in the score and how the composer/period expected it to be realized. I'm really not convinced you can be convinced otherwise, pianojerome. So, please go ahead, change dynamics, registers, add cadenzas, and play like a drunken sailor. And put those mustaches on the Mona Lisa.
_________________________
Die Krebs gehn zurcke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

Top
#527224 - 11/29/07 08:30 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5306
Loc: Europe
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
Why?

I apologize for repeating this simple "why" so often, but the answer you gave is really just a restatement of the question.
Well, because, for example, I've been studying for many years composition, and supposedly (which is an exxageration some times) every pitch, every dynamic, everything has it's place for a reason that the performer may not get. The performers are not there to analyse every corner of the piece, but to perform it. Being able to "unravel the thread" of the composition, in order to add or substract something, doesn't seem necessary.

but in all honesty, composers do seem to do a better job composing, than the performers, that's why they're called composers. And usually (not always) there is a reason that things are where they are and they are as they are.

But again, the performer's personality should also be present, even if it means bypasing certain things.

And certainly one cannot get permition from Bach, or Vivaldi, or heck Ligeti, so no reason for permition really.
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#527225 - 11/29/07 08:46 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
 Quote:
Well, because, for example, I've been studying for many years composition, and supposedly (which is an exxageration some times) every pitch, every dynamic, everything has it's place for a reason that the performer may not get.
Woah. We're approaching some scary territory here.

Composers are not gods or superhuman beings, they are/were regular people just like you and me who had a talent in composing music. The fact that they are composers who are now gone does not make them perfect and the idea that all the composers have great grand plans in their music to every exact detail, that we mere mortals cannot understand, is a stretch. It is foolish to understate the talent and ability in the great composers but that doesn't mean we should start overstating it and talking about their ultimate plan for the universe (I mean music).
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#527226 - 11/29/07 09:24 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by Janus Sachs:
I'm really not convinced you can be convinced otherwise, pianojerome. [/b]
If I couldn't, then I wouldn't ask the question. ;\)

It's actually a very good point you raise about the slippery slope. At what point can we still call it "Beethoven's Sonata" or "Mendelssohn's Variations", before necessitating "Mendelssohn-Horowitz"? (But, of course, it's not as much of an issue when a performer is only making one or two tasteful changes.)

In other words, yes, I can definately be convinced otherwise. As a composer myself, I am not at all closed-minded on this important topic.

Here is a disclaimer: whenever you read any post of mine, in any discussion, know that it isn't a trap. I'm always thinking and changing my views, and even if I don't change my stance on something, there's always room for more perspective.
_________________________
Sam

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#527227 - 11/29/07 09:56 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1710
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
There are of course special cases. Here's one: we know that when Mozart revived his K. 459 Piano Concerto for a festive concert, he added trumpets and timpani parts to the orchestra, however those parts don't survive. So would it be wise to reconstruct those trumpet and timpani parts? I would say sure, as long as one has a thorough knowledge of Mozart's use of those instruments in his orchestration -- and it also helps that trumpets and timpani were the most limited instruments in Mozart's orchestra. And the trumpet and timpani (and clarinet) additions to Mozart's Eb Double Concerto made for the same concert survive, which gives a reconstructor more guidance.
What about all those alterations that Chopin made for his students? One striking example is the forte ending to the Eb minor Polonaise, which is of course the opposite of the score's piano ending. Is such an alteration justified, even if the character is greatly changed?
It's perhaps more of a case to case thing than anything else, but one thing for sure is that any changes to the score must be made with a thorough knowledge of the work, the composer, the period, performance practice of the composer/period, etc. to help increase the chances of any alterations being "tasteful", that intangible which cannot be pinned down but which must be present, or at least attempted.
_________________________
Die Krebs gehn zurcke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

Top
#527228 - 11/29/07 10:00 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17786
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Great thread, Sam! And I suspect you would get a very different reaction if you posted it on the nonclassical forum, where most of the replies would be along the lines of "huh? what's the big deal? Sure you can play it differently..."

George Winston, for example, has offered as one reason he resisted releasing sheet music for so long the fact that he plays his own compositions differently at each performance. So not even he feels that there is a single "right" way to perform his work.

I like the analogy from theater... a playwright puts directions in the script, but performances can vary considerably depending on the interpretations voiced by the actors and actresses. And it's not at all unheard of for actors and actresses to ad lib or change the words while on stage. Nobody cries foul there, although I suppose they would if the "interpretatons" are violently opposed to the author's original intent (Romeo and Juliet live! The Salesman doesn't die!).
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#527229 - 11/29/07 10:11 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1710
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
Here's another case -- Andreas Staier's daring recording of Mozart's famous Turkish rondo. Are the changes to the score idiomatic? Tasteful? True to the period and/or the composer? I'd be curious what others think of this unique take on such an overplayed piece.
_________________________
Die Krebs gehn zurcke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

Top
#527230 - 11/29/07 10:21 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
It's been probably 6 months since I heard it, but I remember he added quite a bit. On the one hand, it almost sounds like a transcription or arrangement of Mozart -- on the other hand, the music almost begs such elaboration. It's not a complicated piece of music -- harmonically very simple, lots of exact and short repetitions, and the Turkish topic was something very exotic and even circus-like. I'd love to hear the piece with little knee-activated cymbals, as Mozart allegedly played it. The character of the music is very playful.

But would Staier do that with the 3rd movement of Chopin's 2nd Sonata? I doubt it.

So I did enjoy hearing his recording, as shocking as it was -- I wouldn't play it that way myself, because I'm not Staier (I seem to recall he added a lot to other pieces as well), but I don't mind hearing it.

Let me say this: I would not hold up Staier's recording as a "definitive", "benchmark" "reference." It's fun to listen to it and enjoy it, but certainly we should learn well what's written before making any (if any) alterations.
_________________________
Sam

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#527231 - 11/29/07 10:31 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1710
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
But would Staier do that with the 3rd movement of Chopin's 2nd Sonata? I doubt it.[/b]
Here's another case then -- do you think it is right to play the return of the A section of the funeral march forte instead of the indicated piano, which was apparently a long tradition? Even the not-too-old Katsaris recording (early 90s I believe) does it.
_________________________
Die Krebs gehn zurcke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

Top
#527232 - 11/29/07 10:35 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
I imagine that it could be played convincingly either way -- well, if it's "a long tradition", then apparantly a lot of people were convinced enough to play it that way! But as for whether it is "right" -- I don't know the piece well enough to say, but I would venture to suggest that there might (or might not) be more than one "right" way of playing it.

You're bringing up some interesting examples.
_________________________
Sam

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#527233 - 11/29/07 10:52 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1710
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
The rationale behind that Chopin tradition is extra-musical: the march approaches from a distance and thus gets louder (first A section), the listener/spectator momentarily gets lost in a daydream/reverie (B section), but reality and the march shatters the dream (A section return), thus the forte alteration. It makes sense extra-musically, but I wonder (scholar that I am) if Chopin himself gave this as an alternative (given the Eb minor Polonaise example above).
And from the same sonata's finale, Chopin indicated from a student's copy that a particular passage is to be repeated "two or three times", though I don't have access to the score so I can't recall the bar numbers. Hardly anyone does that alternative.
I suppose I'm just trying to tell myself that it really is a case to case issue, and that scholarship should not equal stuffiness. Still, it's better to be safe than sorry. Especially in competitions, I would expect. ;\)
_________________________
Die Krebs gehn zurcke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

Top
#527234 - 11/29/07 10:58 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
In a competition, all individuality goes out the window. Of course. ;\)

The extra-musical rationale is interesting, and it's mainly geared towards an intellectual, musical audience -- but how about the non-scholarly, non-musical crowd? Without a pre-concert lecture explaining that the march is or is not getting closer, they might simply enjoy it either way, simply because it sounds aesthetically pleasing either way.

This is part of the trick here -- something that makes no logical sense to the musician can still sound aesthetically pleasing. But we can set the bar as high as possible, of course.
_________________________
Sam

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#527235 - 11/29/07 11:55 PM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
epf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 658
Loc: Central Texas
There is a saying that fools jump in where angels fear to treat...so here I am.

The basic question posted by the OP seems to have altered from whether or not a performer should feel subservient to the composer to whether or not it is right to change a score.

My opinion (and everybody is free to have an opinion) is that we are, pretty much, bound by what the composer indicates is his/her desire as reflected by the score. Let me take a very simple example. In Chopin's Prelude, Op. 28, No. 4 I almost never hear this played as scored. Rather, there are a number of places in the piece that are played as if there were a ritardando noted -- yet there isn't. The only change noted in the score is the smorzando in the last five measures. Clearly, then, most people feel that they can change that aspect of the score.

So, is this an iron-clad rule? No, obviously not. Still, I think that such changes need to be more than just the whim of the performer. There needs to be a reason for any such change, and any change should not alter the underlying structure or feel for the composition.

Ed
_________________________
"...a man ... should engage himself with the causes of the harmonious combination of sounds, and with the composition of music." Anatolius of Alexandria

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#527236 - 11/30/07 02:19 AM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5306
Loc: Europe
 Quote:
Originally posted by Theowne:
 Quote:
Well, because, for example, I've been studying for many years composition, and supposedly (which is an exxageration some times) every pitch, every dynamic, everything has it's place for a reason that the performer may not get.
Woah. We're approaching some scary territory here.

Composers are not gods or superhuman beings, they are/were regular people just like you and me who had a talent in composing music. The fact that they are composers who are now gone does not make them perfect and the idea that all the composers have great grand plans in their music to every exact detail, that we mere mortals cannot understand, is a stretch. It is foolish to understate the talent and ability in the great composers but that doesn't mean we should start overstating it and talking about their ultimate plan for the universe (I mean music). [/b]
Hem...

If you had quoted my whole post you would see that I mentioned that it is an exxageratio, that maybe it happens, etc, with all reasonable doubt then.

I'm not implying anything about better or worst, or god and mortals or anything and please don't take my words and half my posts out of context. What I'm saying is that a composer has a different job than a performer, if this makes sense to you and is not insulting. Because it shouldn't be insulting.

And, well, just because any performer wants to start doing things to compositions, I don't exactly see the point after a certain extend. And by all means, again, in the end it's all music you can do whatever you like and put drums in Stravinsky (I have, for fun! \:D ). He won't be mad now, would he?

But I think that you are talking about "smaller" (with "") stuff, in which case I can excuse pretty much anything since it's also the personality and the opinion of the performer that needs to be seen.


On topic now, since I stretched it a bit already:

Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, they are long[/b] gone. They wrote music which was contempary at their time. Now it is outdated (how weird does this sound?????!?!!? \:D ) but in all it is rather out of context, and I would expect that a performer should not follow "religiously" the way that... Bach should be played (for example which is how I've been taught). If one wants to put pedal, by all means, if one needs to exxagerate on the dynamics or switch them around, I have much of a problem in the idea. But, again, up to a point.
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#527237 - 11/30/07 03:02 AM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Jeff135 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/05
Posts: 912
Loc: Oregon
You misinterpret what I say.

I never stated that a performer should follow the score entirely and NEVER sway away.

I just don't believe a performer should say "Hmm... I would rather play this Forte than Piano."

Why bother writing music with dynamic markings if they are simply there to be ignored?
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#527238 - 11/30/07 03:08 AM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5306
Loc: Europe
Jeff,

Are you talking to me? Because I agree with you partly (mostly rather).
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#527239 - 11/30/07 03:10 AM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Jeff135 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/05
Posts: 912
Loc: Oregon
No, with Pianojerome.

Yes, many of the composers are dead. The piece, however, is not. The piece was written with an intention, a thought and an emotion. A performer should bring out that in their own way. However, radical changes for the hell of it is not something that should be done.
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#527240 - 11/30/07 03:19 AM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5306
Loc: Europe
If I may budge in, since it interests me greatly.

"For the hell of it", no, and certainly not out of ignorance.

But Mozart is long dead and his music, I can't see it fit to todays time. It is out of date. So one could very well take the pieces and perform them as they will. Chances are that an educated performer will not do as he pleases really. Because, as I said, composers have a reason to put things where they put them (not always, ok? \:\) ) so chances are that tempering with something will result in... something worst.

In that effect I have to admit that I've never liked Goulds performances of Bach (and Beethoven actually). Maybe I'm too much classically trained, but... This is my little "secret" (way to go for keeping a secret: Post it in a public forum! \:D \:D \:D )
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#527241 - 11/30/07 03:24 AM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Jeff135 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/05
Posts: 912
Loc: Oregon
Out of date?

What does this mean?

Mozart's music was written to fit specific constraints in terms of style and available instruments. His music was written to sound light and to do otherwise would completely ruin the piece. Taking a piece that was written under these constraints and 'modernizing' it would be impossible to do so well.

I am not a fan of Gould either. In fact, I am not a big fan of Horowitz either.
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#527242 - 11/30/07 03:30 AM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5306
Loc: Europe
Well it means that Mozarts music was written with a society in mind, sort of speak.

Remember I do not wish to be absolute.

But it's been SO long since Mozart wrote what he wrote that his music seems to be like a museum. "Don't photograph", "don't eat while in the museum", etc...

I do realise and respect his options and his will in the end and I, as a pianist, never went to any extend to modernize anything. Instead I went to composition. ;\)

But it is interesting that his music should remain for all time as it is. People today are different, people act differently, think differently, have vastly different (and many more) inputs and incoming messages. Shouldn't that be reflected in someone's performance?

Should we hang on to a style which "belongs" (notice the ", I'm not so sure how else to say it) to an era long dead?

On the other hand, especially in the case of Mozart, who is respected almost like "god" I have to say that if you move anything the whole thing crumbles and falls. Mozart is... "perfect".

(heh... on the other hand, I'm wondering if anyone, even the composer, would realise someone playing a few wrong pitches in a serial piece... like one of Boulezes for example! \:D \:D hahaha)
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#527243 - 11/30/07 03:36 AM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Jeff135 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/05
Posts: 912
Loc: Oregon
I do not feel Mozart is outdated at all. In fact, I don't believe there is a such thing as outdated music, at least not for the sole reason that it is old.

Differing interpretations of a piece is fine, as I have stated numerous times. However, if an interpretation contradicts the original intent of the piece, then there is a problem.
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#527244 - 11/30/07 03:42 AM Re: Hello, Mr. Composer. I'm going to overthrow you now, if you don't mind.
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5306
Loc: Europe
I am probably looking at it too much as a composer... :-/

I do agree with you actually (as I did state a few posts back).

Now after 2 days of registration and 41 posts ,it's time to relax, stop being such an overposter and go to my college for a change...

This, so far, has been a most enjoyable discussion. \:\)
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