The WORST live performance you have ever heard?

Posted by: JoelW

The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/16/12 06:23 PM

What is the absolute worst live performance by a renowned pianist you've ever heard?? (excluding Lang Lang, Yundi Li and Horowitz in his drugged up years)

I must say that personally, this rendition of the 4th ballade takes the cake. It's like he was utterly bored, or had the flu..

Posted by: Mark_C

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/16/12 06:40 PM

If you count seeing a video of it online, it's Argerich's performance of Chopin's 1st Ballade which (fortunately or unfortunately) has been taken down from youtube.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/16/12 06:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
If you count seeing a video of it online, it's Argerich's performance of Chopin's 1st Ballade...

The worst performance? I don't think so. Yes, it is fast and rather scrambled, but you don't criticize technical address on that level.

Sorry mate, perhaps Argerich had too much coffee, but she does not play badly. (Okay, not a performance I could live with, but no playing of Argerich is ever the 'the worst', IMO.)

wink
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/16/12 07:07 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
The worst performance? I don't think so....

Jason, it looks like your allegiance made you forget what the question was. smile

The worst live performance that we've heard by a renowned pianist.

And indeed I promise you that if seeing it online counts, indeed there has been none worse.
That I've heard.
Indeed. smile
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/16/12 07:31 PM

....oh....or maybe you weren't being really serious -- in which case I was too serious. smile
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/16/12 07:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C

The worst live performance that we've heard by a renowned pianist.

Okay, okay, fair enough. I was too busy with Fleisher. (BTW, you need to read that book!) smile

Yeah, it's Argerich at her most impatient. I've never liked it, truth to tell. And her live Tchaikovsky has none of the poise of the studio recording.

But Argerich is just... Argerich. Like Horowitz, she has her off days.
Posted by: Damon

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/16/12 08:03 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan

But Argerich is just... Argerich. Like Horowitz, she has her off days.


Puh-lease! laugh
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/16/12 08:15 PM

I fail to see the usefulness of making sport of putting people's bad days on display.

And seriously...calling that video of Berezovsky the worst rendition of something makes me want to never post a video of any of my playing here on PianoWorld ever.

The world is not a competition and we are not its jury. I'd hate to see PianoWorld become the same kind of adolescent cesspool of criticism that YouTube has become.

ugh...
Posted by: DameMyra

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/16/12 08:31 PM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I'd hate to see PianoWorld become the same kind of adolescent cesspool of criticism that YouTube has become.

ugh...


Thank you. I couldn't agree more.
Posted by: dsch

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/16/12 08:37 PM

I agree. I still want to have Berezovsky's baby. I don't care if his inspiration wanes from day to day. Nobody is perfect all the time. The up days are so magnificent. We should celebrate their glories and not focus on when they aren't so glorious.

As for me, I don't think I've ever witnessed a non-thrilling recital. But ticket prices being what they are, it's been a while since I've been to one.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/16/12 08:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I'd hate to see PianoWorld become the same kind of adolescent cesspool of criticism that YouTube has become.

But YouTube isn't moderated. I fail to see the comparison. (And PW is peaches compared to the Radio 3 Forum which is even more heavily moderated.)

Lots of nasty stuff on YT, but who cares? I only make a point of commenting positively, if I don't care for a recording, I move on.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/16/12 08:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I fail to see the usefulness of making sport of putting people's bad days on display.

And seriously...calling that video of Berezovsky the worst rendition of something makes me want to never post a video of any of my playing here on PianoWorld ever.

The world is not a competition and we are not its jury. I'd hate to see PianoWorld become the same kind of adolescent cesspool of criticism that YouTube has become.

ugh...
Exactly.

It's good for young and inexperienced musicians to ask questions, but the description of Berezovsky's performance the OP is frankly outrageous(even though I didn't like what I listened to in the first minute). Same comment for the title of this thread.

Start out with respect for a winner of the Tchaikovsky competition and even much "lesser" pianists. Then you will learn something about playing the piano.
Posted by: ando

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/16/12 09:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler


And seriously...calling that video of Berezovsky the worst rendition of something makes me want to never post a video of any of my playing here on PianoWorld ever.


I think most of us would love to have an "off day" like the one Boris is having there!
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/16/12 10:09 PM

Originally Posted By: DameMyra
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I'd hate to see PianoWorld become the same kind of adolescent cesspool of criticism that YouTube has become.

ugh...


Thank you. I couldn't agree more.


I agree too.
Posted by: newport

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/16/12 11:49 PM

Originally Posted By: mazurkajoe
What is the absolute worst live performance by a renowned pianist you've ever heard?? (excluding Lang Lang, Yundi Li and Horowitz in his drugged up years)

Welcome to the real world. Any other questions?
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/17/12 03:19 AM

Youtube isn't a cesspool of criticism it's a cesspool of nastiness. Criticism doesn't necessarily have to be nasty. I think the OP poses a genuinely interesting question and I'm sure we can all behave like adults while discussing it.
Posted by: -Frycek

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/17/12 05:37 AM

Meanwhile I'll go buy popcorn --
Posted by: Batuhan

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/17/12 09:54 AM



This! ha
Posted by: ando

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/17/12 10:26 AM

10 out of 10 for enthusiasm!
Posted by: BruceD

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/17/12 10:39 AM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
[...]I think the OP poses a genuinely interesting question and I'm sure we can all behave like adults while discussing it.


What is there to discuss? What is the point in highlighting bad moments in professional careers? It seems, at best, a rather puerile pursuit.

Regards,
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/17/12 11:10 AM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
...What is the point in highlighting bad moments in professional careers? It seems, at best, a rather puerile pursuit.

Well, for one thing, at least in the case of this thread, it helps increase the number of people in the world who know words like "puerile." ha
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/17/12 11:14 AM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I'd hate to see PianoWorld become the same kind of adolescent cesspool of criticism that YouTube has become.

But YouTube isn't moderated. I fail to see the comparison. (And PW is peaches compared to the Radio 3 Forum which is even more heavily moderated.)
I think Kreisler's point was that the topic itself was somewhat juvenile and inappropriate.

I think some posters(seemingly far more frequently those who are not particularly advanced)feel important when they criticize major pianists in immature ways. In my opinion they only look silly doing this.
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/17/12 11:53 AM

Also, I should probably make it clear - I was speaking as a forum member, not as moderator. I have no intentions of taking any moderator actions. I was just voicing my opinion as a regular human being. smile
Posted by: carey

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/17/12 12:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: BruceD
...What is the point in highlighting bad moments in professional careers? It seems, at best, a rather puerile pursuit.

Well, for one thing, at least in the case of this thread, it helps increase the number of people in the world who know words like "puerile." ha

True - I'm going to look it up now....... ha
Posted by: sandalholme

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/17/12 12:26 PM

I agree with the criticism of the thread itself. However, an anecdote associated with this gives another perspective. I am a hi-fi fan so benefit from good quality sound. Many years' ago I was listening to a live recital by Vlado Perlmeuter, whose first group of pieces was the first set of Chopin's Mazurkas. The audience settled down, he played a few bars and came to a halt. The audience quietened. He started again and broke down again. The audience went absolutely quiet. Again he failed. It was so quiet you could hear his footsteps as he left the stage. Cue audience shuffling and coughing, then quiet again as you heard his footsteps back to the piano. Perfect playing.

It was a riveting experience and demonstrates his professionalism. OK, he had a memory lapse, went off for a refresher from the score (presumably) and then delivered a fine performance.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/17/12 01:47 PM

Then there is competition failure, a very brief form of performance collapse. Mercifully brief, on occasion.




I'll bet the young fellow went home and launched into the piece with fury and abandon, perfectly.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/17/12 02:00 PM

poor guy! frown
Posted by: FSO

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/17/12 02:50 PM

I don't believe this thread has, by nature, no potential for value; is it not a similar question to asking what is the best performance you have heard? I mean...assuming that the comments are not out of nastiness or puerile, obsessive disillusionment with the point of music and, in general, discussion and the articles pertaining thereto, um, couldn't one say that by discussing the best that one is simply stating, in a more qualitative rather than quantitative sense, what they consider the important factors (which one may try to thereafter improve upon) and likewise by asking for the worst, what to avoid? Just a thought...
Oh, I love that Eisenstein recording by the way; I adore his passion, whether artificial or not.
Xxx
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/17/12 02:57 PM

Originally Posted By: FSO
I don't believe this thread has, by nature, no potential for value; is it not a similar question to asking what is the best performance you have heard? I mean...assuming that the comments are not out of nastiness or puerile, obsessive disillusionment with the point of music and, in general, discussion and the articles pertaining thereto, um, couldn't one say that by discussing the best that one is simply stating, in a more qualitative rather than quantitative sense, what they consider the important factors (which one may try to thereafter improve upon) and likewise by asking for the worst, what to avoid? Just a thought...
Oh, I love that Eisenstein recording by the way; I adore his passion, whether artificial or not.
Xxx


One can easily consider the important factors of music without highlighting someone's "bad" performances. It creates more negativity than the contrary.
Posted by: FSO

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/17/12 03:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Pogorelich

One can easily consider the important factors of music without highlighting someone's "bad" performances. It creates more negativity than the contrary.

I never said it was the best way, I'm only suggesting that, perhaps, we could try to take the best from the worst, if you will? There's no negativity spare when negativity is intended; an artist should be able admit their faults and we shouldn't feel ashamed for agreeing with them or pointing them out in the first place; I mean, um, when I foul up I don't mind being told so, I don't mind it being mocked even. Maybe I'm hasty in trying to defend views contrary to your own and for that I'm sorry, but...just consider that the negativity may not actually exist for some...
Posted by: Auntie Lynn

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/18/12 12:59 AM

Probably anything by that gawd-awful Vladimir Feltsman...
Posted by: BDB

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/18/12 01:42 AM

Abbey Lincoln, past what should have been the end of her career. Very sad!
Posted by: wr

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/18/12 05:54 AM

Originally Posted By: FSO
I don't believe this thread has, by nature, no potential for value; is it not a similar question to asking what is the best performance you have heard?


To me, it isn't all that much like asking about the best, because the kind of things that make for a great performance and the kind of things that make for a terrible one aren't really the same type of thing, at least not for the most part.

The performance I think of as the worst I've ever heard was the worst because the performer kept giving concerts even after the deterioration of old age had totally wrecked his ability to play. How that would constructively relate to the opposite question - what is the best performance I've ever heard - is difficult for me to wrap my mind around.

But there is one possible interesting comparison between the two ideas that comes to mind - I do have a strong "worst concert" candidate, but I don't have a clear winner in the "best concert" category.
Posted by: dolce sfogato

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/18/12 06:21 PM

the worst live performance I ever heard was me.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/19/12 11:13 AM

Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
the worst live performance I ever heard was me.


You stole my answer!
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/19/12 11:16 AM

Originally Posted By: FSO
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich

One can easily consider the important factors of music without highlighting someone's "bad" performances. It creates more negativity than the contrary.

I never said it was the best way, I'm only suggesting that, perhaps, we could try to take the best from the worst, if you will? There's no negativity spare when negativity is intended; an artist should be able admit their faults and we shouldn't feel ashamed for agreeing with them or pointing them out in the first place; I mean, um, when I foul up I don't mind being told so, I don't mind it being mocked even. Maybe I'm hasty in trying to defend views contrary to your own and for that I'm sorry, but...just consider that the negativity may not actually exist for some...


I never said you said it was the best way. I'm just saying that, um, perhaps we can focus on learning from positive things, instead of searching for holes in others' playing? No one is saying artists shouldn't admit to their faults, we all have faults, we're only human after all. Well, I don't know. I guess some people get pleasure out of watching others fall. Makes us feel superior and in control, hmm? Basic human nature.
Posted by: beet31425

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/19/12 11:41 AM

Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
the worst live performance I ever heard was me.


You stole my answer!


You've heard dolce play? That wasn't a nice thing to say!

Just kidding, and I completely agree with your thoughts about the negativity of looking for others' faults.

-J
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/19/12 11:45 AM

Haha, I am never nice.
Posted by: Kuanpiano

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/19/12 12:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Haha, I am never nice.

Lies!!! :P
Posted by: Hank Drake

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/19/12 01:16 PM

A graduate recital by a piano student at the Cleveland Institute of Music - who has no business even studying there much less graduating.

Oh, you mean by a well known pianist. Probably Claudio Arrau in Boston in the late-1980s. He got lost in Beethoven's Op. 10, No. 3 and sleptwalked through the rest. Even my piano professor, an Arrau partisan, thought it was time for Arrau to turn in his keys.
Posted by: Tararex

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/19/12 01:27 PM

I listened. And then pulled up four examples of this piece performed by my favorites to determine what was different.

Berezovsky presented a passively cool interpretation that was consistent throughout. Listening to it immediately evoked unexpected memories. Gray days in distant lands appeared in my thoughts. Memories of complex times far from friends and family and months where sanity demanded a complete tamping of emotions. I hadn't thought of those times in many years.

I'm having difficulty assigning a "worst" tag to a performance so powerful even if it doesn't adhere to the standard Chopin paradigm of emotionally lush melancholy.

Could it be that a "worst interpretation" is sometimes one that doesn't match the audience's interpretive expectations? And if so, does this actuality stifle a professional artist?
Posted by: toyboy

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/20/12 12:35 AM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I fail to see the usefulness of making sport of putting people's bad days on display.

And seriously...calling that video of Berezovsky the worst rendition of something makes me want to never post a video of any of my playing here on PianoWorld ever.

The world is not a competition and we are not its jury. I'd hate to see PianoWorld become the same kind of adolescent cesspool of criticism that YouTube has become.

ugh...


Hear hear! (no pun intended)
Posted by: wr

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/20/12 05:45 AM

Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Originally Posted By: FSO
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich

One can easily consider the important factors of music without highlighting someone's "bad" performances. It creates more negativity than the contrary.

I never said it was the best way, I'm only suggesting that, perhaps, we could try to take the best from the worst, if you will? There's no negativity spare when negativity is intended; an artist should be able admit their faults and we shouldn't feel ashamed for agreeing with them or pointing them out in the first place; I mean, um, when I foul up I don't mind being told so, I don't mind it being mocked even. Maybe I'm hasty in trying to defend views contrary to your own and for that I'm sorry, but...just consider that the negativity may not actually exist for some...


I never said you said it was the best way. I'm just saying that, um, perhaps we can focus on learning from positive things, instead of searching for holes in others' playing? No one is saying artists shouldn't admit to their faults, we all have faults, we're only human after all. Well, I don't know. I guess some people get pleasure out of watching others fall. Makes us feel superior and in control, hmm? Basic human nature.



It's starting to seem as if we're no longer talking about our all-time worst concert listening experiences, but about more general faults in people's playing. My feelings about talking about those are quite different than about talking about the worst ever musical disaster you've witnessed.

I think it can be useful and helpful to recognize and talk about what isn't good about various performances if we think there are problems with them, either technically or interpretively, or both. It's a way of learning what to do or not to do, and it is also, IMO, one of the best ways of refining listening skills and musical taste and intuition.

For example, it was invaluable to me when I was younger and much more likely to idolize performers to have people with more experience point out various problems with my idols' playing (even if they were sometimes rather brutal about it). And now, even if I'm past having those kind of youthful infatuations with performers, I think it is still healthy for me to hear negative opinions about performers and performances I admire. If nothing else, it reminds me that there are a gazillion points of view, and mine is only mine. Better, it seems to warn me about getting all lazy and comfy and self-satisfied about what I think matters in music - not that I always heed the warning, but I'm glad it is there.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 09/20/12 07:03 AM

He11, let's all just talk about times we've messed up.

I once performed Clair de lune and right into the body section (with the arpeggios) I totally gronked the second chord in the right. I was pretty pissed the rest of the night.
Posted by: jdott

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 01/18/13 12:05 PM

Absolutely-her recording of Rachmaninoff Op 30 was fabulous
Posted by: jawhitti

Re: The WORST live performance you have ever heard? - 01/18/13 12:20 PM

I once saw a very famous organist play the Widor Tocatta (a piece I love) far FAR too fast. About a minute in he just completely blanked and lost it. He started over and made it through but he still played it way WAY too fast.