Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE

Posted by: abcdefgh

Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 01:03 PM

LINK


This is fascinating, she has a live stream of her practicing all this week.

Her usual 14 hours a day will be broadcast live!
Posted by: GeorgeB

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 01:06 PM

Amazing
Posted by: JGonzalezGUS

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 01:24 PM

Wow! Thanks for posting. I always wondered HOW great ones practice!
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 01:35 PM

Thank you *so much* for this link. I've never seen anything like it, and I find it so entertaining and informative. This is one of my favorite internet things, ever.

-J
Posted by: BenPiano

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 01:37 PM

This is really cool!

She practices a lot different than I do - in the video I don't see any beer around whatsoever.
Posted by: Mattardo

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 01:42 PM

All I keep thinking is: "Finish the piece already! And...stop mumbling to yourself..."

It's interesting, though. Not many people would feel comfortable being filmed like that, especially with people like me making silly comments the whole time.

It's too bad I had to keep clicking the X Button to get rid of those damned advertisements. Why does it seem that every single video site forces you to watch commercials? If they can't afford the site by putting them on the left and right, like every other single site in the world, they need to find a new and less annoying way.
Posted by: John Joe Townley

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 01:49 PM

You say one week. Will she take it down at the end of the week? If we e-mail her en mass and beg her to leave it up maybe she will.
Posted by: ChibiSF

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 01:58 PM

Between work, school, and generally trying to be a normal 24 year old, if I get 14 hours of practice throughout the week, I'm happy. 13-14 hours a day, wow.
Posted by: lilylady

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 03:37 PM

Fascinating....

Perfection even in practicing.
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 05:58 PM

What is that... thing in her piano? Some kind of... rug?

-J
Posted by: MikeN

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 06:54 PM

From what I've seen I don't like the way she practices. It leaves to much room for mistakes in my opinion.
Posted by: stores

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 07:48 PM

Originally Posted By: MikeN
From what I've seen I don't like the way she practices. It leaves to much room for mistakes in my opinion.


LOL
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 07:53 PM

Her hands look extremely relaxed. Isn't she sitting a little low?
Posted by: Kuanpiano

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 07:59 PM

Is that pillow thing meant to dampen the sound to protect her ears?
Posted by: Damon

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 08:02 PM

Originally Posted By: MikeN
From what I've seen I don't like the way she practices. It leaves to much room for mistakes in my opinion.


Are you serious?
Posted by: chopinizmyhomeboy

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 08:16 PM

Originally Posted By: MikeN
From what I've seen I don't like the way she practices. It leaves to much room for mistakes in my opinion.


It's your opinion on whether you like a practice style or not; however, I think she is certainly doing a darn wonderful job (in her peformances) with that practice style you don't like lol grin.
Posted by: chopinizmyhomeboy

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 08:38 PM

Originally Posted By: BenPiano
This is really cool!

She practices a lot different than I do - in the video I don't see any beer around whatsoever.


lol grin
Posted by: MikeN

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 10:13 PM

Well yea, because it works for her.

I didn't say she was practicing badly. I just said I personally do not like the style, and I wouldn't adopt it for myself.

What did you expect me to do, worship the ground that the great Valentina Lisitsa walks on. To me that's far more laughable than my personal comment. Seems some people are blind to the fact that their watching flesh and blood, talented flesh and blood, but flesh and blood none the less.
Posted by: whatevsyo

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 10:43 PM

This is so cool! Thanks a bunch for sharing!! It's really interesting to observe a concert pianist practicing instead of performing. And WOW! How does she go on for so long..?
Posted by: Ridicolosamente

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 11:08 PM

Originally Posted By: MikeN
From what I've seen I don't like the way she practices. It leaves to much room for mistakes in my opinion.
I understand why you'd say that, but from where I stand (or sit,) I'm pretty sure she knows what she's doing... smile

-Daniel
Posted by: Butters109

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 11:09 PM

I've checked back on this periodically throughout the day... and she's been practicing every time. True dedication.
Posted by: sarah_elizabeth

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 11:26 PM

I've enjoyed watching her today. I wonder how she can practice that long without doing some sort of injury to herself... apparently the long hours don't faze her! A lot to admire in the plucky woman.
Posted by: MathGuy

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 11:26 PM

When I was watching Lisitsa earlier, she was practicing Chopin's E-flat waltz (Op. 18) in what to me was a surprising mode: she was playing it at pretty much full speed, but would frequently interrupt the flow to repeat a short phrase over and over - still at tempo - in the midst of it. For those who remember the LP era (or earlier), you could call it a needle-stuck-in-the-groove effect.

Up until now, I've always instinctively separated up-to-tempo playthroughs from the repetitous work of polishing rough spots, and in fact considered it a sign of immaturity to mix the two the way Lisitsa was doing (possibly because I've often heard young children play that way). However, now that I've heard a real artist do it I guess I'll have to reconsider that position.

Just out of curiosity, though, do others on the forum use this "stuck needle" practice mode?
Posted by: sarah_elizabeth

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/28/10 11:42 PM

I've done it before, but like you I prefer to separate playthroughs from segment practice. I quit the "stuck needle" method precisely because it would get stuck of its own accord at exactly the wrong moment. wink You have to use the method that works for you, though, and that way of practicing apparently works for her!
Posted by: BenPiano

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 12:04 AM

I have to say I was inspired by this behind the scenes practice and had a fairly good (while short) practice tonight. Thanks for the peek, Val!
Posted by: Lone Starr

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 12:37 AM

This is really cool. Being able to chat with other viewers is also a great feature. I watched her go through the entire Chopin Op. 10 and 25 Etudes. I think she was reviewing the pieces, and not really practicing, but nonetheless was very informative. She even chatted with us after she was done playing, and answered some questions. I hope more concert pianists start doing this. =D

I need to start practicing more. blush
Posted by: whatevsyo

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 12:41 AM

I chatted with Val and wished her goodnight! laugh

I've noticed she doesn't spend very much time on each piece. Of course, she has 55 pieces to work on...
Posted by: Sabre2552

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 02:24 AM

Aww, I missed the chat at the end. I watched her go through the Chopin Op. 10 etudes, though, which was a treat. I actually fell asleep to them; that's why I wasn't there at the end. :P It's refreshing to see that she's as human as each of us, and that though her skill is very refined, she has to practice as well to keep it in top condition and improve herself. It gives inspiration to me seeing a professional go through similar steps to what I go through!
Posted by: chopinizmyhomeboy

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 02:31 AM

Originally Posted By: MikeN
Well yea, because it works for her.

I didn't say she was practicing badly. I just said I personally do not like the style, and I wouldn't adopt it for myself.

What did you expect me to do, worship the ground that the great Valentina Lisitsa walks on. To me that's far more laughable than my personal comment. Seems some people are blind to the fact that their watching flesh and blood, talented flesh and blood, but flesh and blood none the less.


I understood exactly what you are saying; however, from your context of that last response you seem to be implying, from my perspective, that I overly "worship" Mrs. Lisitsa. I do not, however, I respect her and fancy some of her recordings of particular pieces. The reason why I replied to you in the first place is the fact that you left your comment a little "vague": "From what I've seen I don't like the way she practices. It leaves to much room for mistakes in my opinion." It could have been taken in any kind of way. I'm sorry I offended you or whatnot.
Posted by: stores

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 04:14 AM

Originally Posted By: MikeN
From what I've seen I don't like the way she practices. It leaves to much room for mistakes in my opinion.


Can you, perhaps, expound upon your statement?
Posted by: John_B

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 05:56 AM

The live video feed is fascinating, though I have only briefly viewed it.

A few questions spring to mind:

Does VL usually practise this intensively, for 14 hours a day or is it a 'big surge' in preparation for a series of concerts?

Is this sort of practise normal for established concert pianists? I seem to remember, from long ago, a TV programme on Rubinstein in which he said that his daily practise was much less than that - I think it was about 3 hrs maximum (although others commented that he used his practise time very efficiently). But then again - the pressures on concert artists were probably much less in those days.

Lastly, in general, such sustained practise a good thing over the long term (I'm not referring to VL)?
Posted by: Andromaque

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 06:39 AM

It looked mind numbing to this very humble amateur pianist. The woman clearly knew most (all) the repertoire she was "practicing" and was just "running" through it, often listlessly. Obviously this window into her practicing life is nonetheless limited. But I do wonder if this style is conducive to great music making eventually. I tuned into the channel intermittently and mostly late in the evening, and frankly the quality of the practicing, as opposed to its duration, was not intensive. She repeated a few fragments of passages a tempo and moved on through an enormous list of pieces.. She looked exhausted and on auto pilot. It is hard to imagine that this could be very effective at her level, whereby what is needed is deeper insight into the music. Granted, she could be simply refreshing her memory. She did say that she has to practice 55 pieces towards upcoming performances, which is hard to imagine unless You Tube is included..
As I said, my perspective is limited since I am not a performer. So, as suggested above, it would be interesting to hear it from those who do perform..
Posted by: John_B

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 07:23 AM

About the 55 pieces that VL is working up.

Out of curiosity I checked on the concert schedule for Mitsuko Uchida (available on her website). She is performing a total of 21 pieces (including concertos and chamber works) during the period from May of this year to February 2011.

Often she will work up one programme (with a few alternative pieces) and then tour with it.

This seems far more 'sensible' (not that I am in anything like a position to judge). But then Uchida is a tremendously respected performer and draws large audiences where ever she plays, so she can set her own terms.

(Luckily, I see that Uchida is visiting St George's, Bristol this autumn. St. George's is a beautiful 'shoebox' Georgian church converted into an 800 seat concert hall. It is often used by recording companies and is absolutely perfect for chamber music - there is the feeling of intimacy which you rarely get in the standard 2000/3000 seat hall.)
Posted by: LuvLiszt

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 09:17 AM

My wife and I have been Valentina's hosts on several occasions. Once, when staying with us she played four different concert programs in six days (duo with Alexei, Tchaikovsky 1 & two completely different recitals). On two occasions when I went in to listen to her practice, she was reading "The History of Civilization" while playing. To answer John B's question, I think this is a "big surge" to be prepared for awhile. Once she has a piece "in hand," she doesn't need to practice it again for quite a long time.
Posted by: apple*

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 09:22 AM

darn.. i cannot sign up for the chat. (who's reading it anyway).

i love her relaxed low arms
Posted by: timmyab

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 10:06 AM

I watched her practising Brahms 2nd concerto last night.Wow, that things a monster isn't it.
I'd be interested to know what the 55 pieces comprise of.I wonder if she's counting Chopin's op 10 as one piece or twelve.
Posted by: MikeN

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 10:24 AM

To expand on my former statement my dislike for her methods was the fact that she's seemingly charging into pieces that are very rusty from the looks of it at a relatively high tempo which makes some passages full of hiccups.


I don't know her memorization method when she goes about first studying a piece although I know that she holds pieces in finger memory which must take some time.

In my opinion it seems that practicing in the start stop method at the point pieces were (mind you I did not see her begin on a new piece) would give to much room for holes. While on the other hand it's a very effective method for refreshing pieces that aren't so far gone or ironing out the kinks. If I remember correctly Lugansky give an example of this on the four Rachmaninoff Concertos.

Just for the record, I meant no disrespect or was I offended by any of the posted comments. I also apologize, because I realize that such a short comment leave a lot of room for a misunderstanding in the tone.



Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 10:33 AM

Originally Posted By: MikeN
To expand on my former statement my dislike for her methods was the fact that she's seemingly charging into pieces that are very rusty from the looks of it at a relatively high tempo which makes some passages full of hiccups.
Rusty? Hiccups? I barely noticed a wrong note in her practicing.
Posted by: Andromaque

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 10:43 AM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Rusty? Hiccups? I barely noticed a wrong note in her practicing.


Me neither.. which is why I wondered about the purpose. She also did not dwell on or repeat entire pieces, during the periods I watched.
Posted by: MikeN

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 10:45 AM

Really, in the Brahms Concerto in seemed that she was stopping and even practicing hands separately. Although in the couple of Chopin Etudes I saw, it seemed that they weren't nearly as far gone.
Posted by: Andromaque

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 10:50 AM

did not see the Brahms. Mostly CHopin.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 10:55 AM

Originally Posted By: MikeN
Really, in the Brahms Concerto in seemed that she was stopping and even practicing hands separately. Although in the couple of Chopin Etudes I saw, it seemed that they weren't nearly as far gone.
What does stopping and practicing hands separtely have to do with anything?

It just means she felt a passage needed that kind of practice. It doesn't mean there were hiccups(whatever that means) or wrong notes. Many pianists do this kind of practicing all the time, no matter what stage of learning a piece is at including "finished".
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 10:57 AM

Anyone else having problems with the audio today? I can't get any sound at all, only the picture.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 11:02 AM

Originally Posted By: MikeN

I don't know her memorization method when she goes about first studying a piece although I know that she holds pieces in finger memory which must take some time.
How do you know how she memorizes?
Posted by: MikeN

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 12:06 PM

There's an interview on youtube where she's asked about her photographic memory where she says she prefers to use muscle memory because if she uses a different score than she risks having a blank.

Here's the interview if your interested.
Posted by: Teodor

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 01:00 PM

She is live right now.
Posted by: lilylady

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 01:30 PM

Originally Posted By: LuvLiszt
My wife and I have been Valentina's hosts on several occasions. Once, when staying with us she played four different concert programs in six days (duo with Alexei, Tchaikovsky 1 & two completely different recitals). On two occasions when I went in to listen to her practice, she was reading "The History of Civilization" while playing. To answer John B's question, I think this is a "big surge" to be prepared for awhile. Once she has a piece "in hand," she doesn't need to practice it again for quite a long time.


What a privilege that was! I met her at a masterclass / party after her concert in Washington DC and was very impressed. Not only as a concert artist but as a very comfortable person to be around. She popped into Cathy Harl's store (where the party / master class was being held) and like a magnet, the pianos drew her to sit down and play! There is a thread here at PW in the party section. About 2 yrs ago now.

Cherished memories. She even taught me during the master classes! She was so patient and gave such good advice.

I have her practicing in the background while I work at the computer for the week.

We can support her by purchasing her tapes/CD's, DVD's and attending her concerts!
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 01:46 PM

Originally Posted By: MikeN
There's an interview on youtube where she's asked about her photographic memory where she says she prefers to use muscle memory because if she uses a different score than she risks having a blank.

Here's the interview if your interested.
Actually she says that photographic memory has advantages and disadvantages for her. Then she says that photographic memory is "definitely a plus". And she starts mentioning muscle memory after a question about fingering.

Finally, all pianists use muscle memory to some extent and few, if any, professional pianists use it exclusively. So I can't see what point you were trying to make by talking about her "holding a piece in muscle memory which must take time". Everyone does it and it "takes time" for everyone.
Posted by: PianonaiP

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/29/10 02:33 PM

what is she playing right now?
Posted by: Jamerz

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/30/10 10:57 AM

Well I'm not sure what she was playing then but right now (7:58 Pacific time) she's playing Chopin's 4th scherzo. :]
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/30/10 11:36 AM

She's practicing the Emperor concerto now (6/30 8:30 am PST).

I know this sounds crazy but... I find this more exciting than an actual performance would be.


-Jason
Posted by: MegumiNoda

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/30/10 11:59 AM

It's totally hypnotic. I often meant to just check in for a few minutes but ended up staying for hours. In a way, I'm glad that the live feed will end by July 4th. This is interfering with my (already scant) practice time!
Posted by: Mattardo

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/30/10 01:06 PM

Originally Posted By: MegumiNoda
It's totally hypnotic. I often meant to just check in for a few minutes but ended up staying for hours. In a way, I'm glad that the live feed will end by July 4th. This is interfering with my (already scant) practice time!


I know this is off-topic, but is your icon from Nodame Cantabile?
I think many people on this forum would really like that series!
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/30/10 01:15 PM

I think I'm also experiencing a childhood-nostalgia affect. I grew up with my father playing several hours a day. He's not at professional level, but he did work up things like the Prokofiev 8th sonata and the Diabelli variations, and hearing this kind of practicing, with its starting and stopping rhythms, brings those days back a bit.

-J
Posted by: MikeN

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 06/30/10 09:35 PM

The point I was trying to make that the method she uses, in my experience, creates a blank spot in muscle memory, but if she uses her photographic memory first and overtime moves the pieces to muscle memory then it's very effective.

Also yes she mentions her use of muscle memory after asked about fingering, but she still said she preferred muscle memory. Whether or not she meant that she prefers to use muscle memory over photographic I'll allow you to decide.

I've found in my very short time of studying that, your right, it's highly ineffective if not impossible to use exclusively muscle memory.


Now I think I've poked enough holes in my statements to satisfy all of the fans and debators.
Posted by: Mostly

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/01/10 05:49 AM

Now this looks mighty interesting, I need to catch the stream live - doesn't seem recorded "shows" are available.
Posted by: JGonzalezGUS

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/01/10 08:29 AM

I have watched Ms. Lisitsa on and and off the past few days and have truly enjoyed her practice.

I have a comment, tough, on music scores, which I feel is going to draw fire, but this is just my opinion:
The other day she commented online chat that she was looking on the Internet to download the score of Chopin’s ‘La Ci Darem la Mano’ Op.2 Variations and mentioned that she had never had that score before.

I don’t know whether because I’m old (and old fashioned) or maybe my university background, but I had in my mind the view that professional concert pianists (i.e. Brendel, Schiff) are very picky about their scores and go thru great lengths to verify accuracy, good sources, etc. Also, at least in my mind, pianists get acquainted with a lot of music, eventually having sight-read all available music by at least all mainstream composers. So maybe Ms. Livitsa just wanted to sight-read that score.

But, if like she had posted on the live practice Website, she needs to prepare 55 pieces, some brush-up, some new (and Chopin Op.2 is apparently new to her repertoire), I was shocked to see that a professional pianist will simply go on the Internet and download what he/she may find instead of carefully reviewing sources and getting Henle, Peters, etc.

Just my opinion. (now shoot me).
Posted by: debrucey

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/01/10 08:58 AM

Chopin Op.2 isn't new, she released a DVD of it a couple of years ago. It is an excellent performance, but as far as authenticity to the score goes it isn't particularly accurate. This fact does not bother me in the slightest. laugh

Also, she was talking about finding the score to buy on the internet, not to download.
Posted by: JGonzalezGUS

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/01/10 09:08 AM

Yes, debrucey. You are right. That music is not new to her. I happen to have the DVD blush I just un-earthed it after your comment reminded me of it (Black and Pink - Liszt Don Juan the best in it in my opinion).
What threw me before was the comment (I know I read it correctly) that she had never owned the Chopin Op.2 score.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/01/10 09:12 AM

Originally Posted By: MikeN
The point I was trying to make that the method she uses, in my experience, creates a blank spot in muscle memory, but if she uses her photographic memory first and overtime moves the pieces to muscle memory then it's very effective.

Also yes she mentions her use of muscle memory after asked about fingering, but she still said she preferred muscle memory. Whether or not she meant that she prefers to use muscle memory over photographic I'll allow you to decide.

I've found in my very short time of studying that, your right, it's highly ineffective if not impossible to use exclusively muscle memory.


Now I think I've poked enough holes in my statements to satisfy all of the fans and debators.

It's not a choice of one or the other. She uses photogrpahic memory, muscle memory, melodic memory and maybe other kinds also. Everyone uses at least the second and third appropaches. I'm quite sure she uses harmonic analysis memeory also since a person at her level would automatically be able to analyze a piece that way without almost any speicial thought.
Posted by: Ridicolosamente

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/01/10 09:53 AM

Originally Posted By: JGonzalezGUS
Yes, debrucey. You are right. That music is not new to her. I happen to have the DVD blush I just un-earthed it after your comment reminded me of it (Black and Pink - Liszt Don Juan the best in it in my opinion).
What threw me before was the comment (I know I read it correctly) that she had never owned the Chopin Op.2 score.
She's been playing the Chopin Op 2 since at least the late 90s, so it's definitely not new or unfamiliar to her.

-Daniel
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/01/10 11:49 AM

Her energy, focus, capacity, and endurance during those practice sessions is unlike anything I could imagine.

Not only is it an inspiration for me to practice with greater focus, but what a joy it is to watch and listen to such a gifted pianist play all those pieces. Look forward to a time when she comes to Denver!

Glen
Posted by: RonaldSteinway

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/01/10 01:49 PM

No wonder she is so good. Since I came to the office, I turned on her practicing website. I have been working more than 4 hours, and she is still practicing....

This is the way to improve!!
Posted by: ABC Vermonter

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/01/10 04:24 PM

Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
No wonder she is so good. Since I came to the office, I turned on her practicing website. I have been working more than 4 hours, and she is still practicing....

This is the way to improve!!


There is no reason for me to doubt that this is the way "for her" to improve. But I think one needs to be a bit more careful about generalizing it. At least, according to his one of his DVDs, Hamelin would spend some time just walking and thinking about his music. Or, Richter stated that he would almost never practice more than 3 hours each day.
Posted by: jazzyprof

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/01/10 04:43 PM

Originally Posted By: ABC Vermonter
Or, Richter stated that he would almost never practice more than 3 hours each day.

But Richter was no ordinary mortal.
Posted by: ABC Vermonter

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/01/10 05:50 PM

Originally Posted By: jazzyprof
Originally Posted By: ABC Vermonter
Or, Richter stated that he would almost never practice more than 3 hours each day.

But Richter was no ordinary mortal.


I am not going to assume that she is ordinary mortal. If both she and Richter are no ordinary mortal, there seems to be a difference in their attitudes toward practice time.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/02/10 03:22 AM

Richter said that but apparently Nina Dorliak said different.
Posted by: MikeN

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/02/10 03:54 AM

Considering Richter, I believe Nina.
Posted by: Euan Morrison

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/02/10 04:12 AM

Originally Posted By: MikeN
Considering Richter, I believe Nina.


Definately smile In his DVD he mentions the 3hrs thing, then the interview cuts to her laughing at that quote and doesn't she mention that he did '8-9hrs'? Then the camera cuts back to Richter and he then has to concede:

"...well, sometimes... if I had to learn something at short notice".

So from that, I would believe Nina also!
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/02/10 12:56 PM

Her technique is fluid and relaxed but does anyone else find her dynamics rather flat?
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/02/10 01:00 PM

Originally Posted By: gooddog
Her technique is fluid and relaxed but does anyone else find her dynamics rather flat?


I would venture to guess that that is an artifact of the compressed internet stream. wink
Posted by: LisztAddict

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/02/10 01:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Her technique is fluid and relaxed but does anyone else find her dynamics rather flat?


I would venture to guess that that is an artifact of the compressed internet stream. wink


I think you are right. Last night I compared a video I posted on youtube with the original file I have, the one on youtube clearly does not sound as good as the original file.
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/02/10 02:38 PM

Originally Posted By: gooddog
Her technique is fluid and relaxed but does anyone else find her dynamics rather flat?


Also, she *is* practicing. She's making music out of it, of course, but maybe there's a layer of expression that she's holding back on, at least for some of the session.

Still the coolest and most illuminating thing I've seen online in years.


-Jason
Posted by: lilylady

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/02/10 03:25 PM

Originally Posted By: gooddog
Her technique is fluid and relaxed but does anyone else find her dynamics rather flat?


She is PRACTICING, not performing.

I find it all very intriquing.

PL, last nite she verified your note on all three being used in her playing at the same time - in a chat session at midnight.
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/02/10 03:30 PM

Such a gift this is... Astonishing!

Glen
Posted by: cscl

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/03/10 09:33 AM

Last weekend for this, don't miss it if you haven't seen it already. Last two days!
Posted by: Arabesque

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/04/10 09:36 AM

I also think anyone can set up this kind of thing. Nice piece of furniture at the moment and as I'm going to bed too, that's fine by me.
Posted by: EJR

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/04/10 09:51 AM

This was very inspirational. One thing I found interesting was Val's explanation for the big cussion on top of the piano - to protect her from broken strings - apparently she broke 15 learning Prok second. I was guessing she probably slept there!

I wonder how many others at her level do 12 hours+ practice (but just don't admit it)..
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/04/10 10:43 AM

Originally Posted By: EJR
I wonder how many others at her level do 12 hours+ practice (but just don't admit it)..


Most of them.
Posted by: wr

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/04/10 06:36 PM

Originally Posted By: EJR

I wonder how many others at her level do 12 hours+ practice (but just don't admit it)..


Maybe that's the definition of her level. The ones above that level don't need to.

Didn't Chopin say that more than 3-4 hours was useless and harmful? Not that his is the only word on the matter, but I really don't think that many of the top level pianists go in for that kind of grueling schedule unless it is some kind of extraordinary situation, and then they only do it for a short period. At least that's the impression I get from the ones I've known, and from reading what various top pianists and teachers have to say about practice.

To my ear, Lisitsa's YouTube performances (I've never heard her live) have an oddly mechanized quality that can come from over-practice, and I don't think it does much for the music.
Posted by: Andromaque

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/05/10 11:58 AM

Originally Posted By: John_B
About the 55 pieces that VL is working up.

Out of curiosity I checked on the concert schedule for Mitsuko Uchida (available on her website). She is performing a total of 21 pieces (including concertos and chamber works) during the period from May of this year to February 2011.

Often she will work up one programme (with a few alternative pieces) and then tour with it.

This seems far more 'sensible' (not that I am in anything like a position to judge). But then Uchida is a tremendously respected performer and draws large audiences where ever she plays, so she can set her own terms.



I heard once from an acquaintance who works in the music "industry" that many rising pianists learn and maintain vast amounts of repertoire so as to be able to jump in as replacement for a more prominent artist. Often this affords them a great opportunity for future bookings if things go well. Apparently organizers at large venues favor minimizing additional disruptions to the program and prefer to replace their canceled artist by either an equally famous pianist or a more obscure one who would stick to the announced program.
I don't know how universally true that is or if it even applies to Ms Lisistsa's 55 pieces. But nobody plans to perform that many different pieces in a single year, to my knowledge (and I often scour concert schedules )..
Posted by: jdhampton924

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/05/10 12:31 PM

She probably does plan to perform that many pieces in a year, some pianists like to have many different programs.

Remember when the rolling stones said during one tour no two concerts would have the same set. Though, it is probably difficult to maintain that number of pieces, hence the crazy practice schedule. Or maybe the opportunities to practice won't be there on the road.

I do not think it speaks to how good or bad she is as a pianist, we all see how good she is, and it is up to each of us to form our own opinion of that. How she maintains that in the end is her own business.

My own personal opinion was I did not like watching someone else practice. Two things go through my head, first and foremost, why am I not practicing? The second is I sometimes feel that it is simular to the magician who reveals how to do his tricks, it takes away more in the end. It takes away of the amazment I have of the performer. This is still true, despite me knowing how to practice, or at least know a way that has worked for me. Each pianist is unique and brings something new to the table, something to be amazed of.
Posted by: Numerian

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/05/10 01:56 PM

There is something missing here. Her performances are much more musical and nuanced than these practices, which tells me these are really efforts to maintain note-perfect performances and maintain a memory of these pieces. Where does she get the time, then, to work on the music? It just doesn't appear magically after doing 14 hours of practice like this every day.
Posted by: Andromaque

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/05/10 03:17 PM

Agree with Numerian. I remember reading somewhere (and being told by my teacher) that Neuhaus often recommended that his students visit museums, read world literature, music history etc so as to enrich their artistry. At some point, there has to be more than note readiness. I am not saying Lisitsa does not seek to enrich her artistic side. I simply do not know much about her, but surely occupying oneself with this practice for 14 hours a day leaves little time for much else.

I also wonder when does a performing pianist really put together a piece, ie architecture, tempo modulation and other nuances. Does it simply occur at the time of performance or does she /he "plan" it or study it ahead of time? Or, as is more liekly the case, does it vary among pianists?
Posted by: Crit

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/05/10 03:35 PM

She mentioned in a chat session after one of her practices that she likes to read; in fact she likes to read history. Maybe influence of Neuhaus.
Posted by: PianonaiP

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/05/10 04:17 PM

After that much practice and complete technical mastery of the pieces she is playing, all that is left to focus on in concert is the musicality of the piece.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/05/10 04:18 PM

Perhaps when ones technique is as formidable as Lisitsa's and one's memory as prodigious, its far easier for one to be spontaneously musical.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/05/10 04:47 PM

Once you can play the notes with the speed, dynamics, and accuracy that you want, the musicality should be easy (not to mention, subjective).
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/05/10 05:32 PM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
Perhaps when ones technique is as formidable as Lisitsa's and one's memory as prodigious, its far easier for one to be spontaneously musical.


Yes. And furthermore, this was only one week. I don't think we can assume that every week for her is like this one. I'm sure she will have plenty of time on airplanes and in hotel rooms to practice away from the score and work on the things that aren't physical.
Posted by: euler

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/06/10 02:49 PM

Was anyone else surprised by the level of (un)readiness of Brahms PC2, given that she'll be performing it in 1 week? It's amazing to me how quickly someone like that can bring up a piece to performance level. I know she's played it in the past, but from her schedule it looks like the first performance of the piece in 2010.
Posted by: Why

Re: Valentina Lisitsa in Practice.... LIVE - 07/06/10 06:46 PM

One of the professors at my university is a big advocate of avoiding spending too much time perfecting each musical element of a piece. Rather, he says, one should have the technique to be able imagine as they play, while freely transferring your imagination to the piano. So, one should never really play the piece exactly the same every time.

I think Valentina actually has a more flexible approach too playing her pieces than most - just look at the different renditions of Rach's op. 36 no. 6.