Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition

Posted by: Ralph

Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 11/30/12 03:19 PM

Supposedly this is the piece that brought Pogo down in 1980. Did Argerich say he was a genius or unique? She said it in French so the translation has been spun through the years.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9a2xbG9igU
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 11/30/12 04:23 PM

I don't think Argerich would leave the jury in protest had she thought Pogorelich was just "unique". His performances at the ICC were absolutely extraordinary in my opinion and I presume that Martha felt the same way.

As far as "the piece that brought Pogo down" - I don't think there was one. I think it was collectively how he presented himself. His unorthodox playing, his hair, the chair, his seemingly snobby attitude, the gum chewing, etc.. none of that phases me. In fact, I love it. But for whatever reason the jury just couldn't see past it I guess. A shame if you ask me.
Posted by: fnork

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 11/30/12 05:35 PM

I found myself in agreement with my teacher when we discussed Pogorelich's playing some weeks ago - some sort of manual abilities are there for sure, but his artistry is fake and cheap. On top of that I find him more or less an arrogant narcissist. I can't remember last time I heard a record of his without having an urge to turn it off soon, and I can't remember seeing an interview with him where I haven't felt the same. He plays a somewhat central role in a movie I saw on competitions recently, and my god, it's just hilarious to watch this entire movie full of humble musicians and human beings who like everyone else have had more and less successful competitions and one douchebag that totally thinks that it was his right to win the Chopin competition. His narcissism comes out rather well in his playing. Also, I find it really annoying that he started this false tradition of making Scarbo into a Prokofiev Toccata with no respect for dynamics, details and articulations from the composer. And rarely a dynamic below forte, for a piece that's, to a great extent, in the p - ppp area.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 11/30/12 06:23 PM

How could the performance of one prelude be of any significance in terms of the result for the Chopin competition? I also don't see anything very unusual about that particular performance except for the horrendous sound quality.
Posted by: fledgehog

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 11/30/12 07:15 PM

Pogo is a hit-and-miss musician for me. Most of his recent stuff is miss, unfortunately. His tempi are horrendously dragged out to the point where the music loses all direction and momentum (and this is coming from someone who likes most of Leonard Bernstein's late recordings). Some of the worse selections available on youtube include the 50-minute reading of the Liszt sonata, the 10 minute recording of Ravel's Ondine, 16-minute performance of Mephisto Waltz no. 1 (and he is reading from the score in this performance).

But before he went completely crazy musically, he recorded a lot of absolutely brilliant stuff. His Beethoven 111 for DG is brilliant, I love his Chopin preludes, his earlier recordings of Gaspard and his Pictures at an Exhibition for DG.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 11/30/12 09:04 PM

Originally Posted By: fledgehog
Pogo is a hit-and-miss musician for me. Most of his recent stuff is miss, unfortunately. His tempi are horrendously dragged out to the point where the music loses all direction and momentum (and this is coming from someone who likes most of Leonard Bernstein's late recordings). Some of the worse selections available on youtube include the 50-minute reading of the Liszt sonata, the 10 minute recording of Ravel's Ondine, 16-minute performance of Mephisto Waltz no. 1 (and he is reading from the score in this performance).

But before he went completely crazy musically, he recorded a lot of absolutely brilliant stuff. His Beethoven 111 for DG is brilliant, I love his Chopin preludes, his earlier recordings of Gaspard and his Pictures at an Exhibition for DG.


I agree with most if not all of this. His playing has gone down hill for me. But I do think he still has a lot of good recordings out there. All of his ICC footage, and a few of his albums from the early 80's are worth buying in my opinion.

His preludes album is.. dare I say.. a perfect album? (for me at least)
Posted by: Ralph

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 11/30/12 10:38 PM

His Scarlatti are, in my opinion, the gold standard for Scarlatti. His recording of K.87(L33) in B minor is by far the best I've heard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvzK4idIK2U

I think his entire recordered performance of the 1980 competition is just terrible. Listen to some of it.

http://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?p=pogorelich+1980
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 11/30/12 11:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Ralph


I think his entire recordered performance of the 1980 competition is just terrible. Listen to some of it.

http://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?p=pogorelich+1980


I'm pretty sure anyone participating in this thread has heard the '80 ICC recordings. Why do you think they are terrible?
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 11/30/12 11:30 PM

I didn't know if there was a "piece" that brought him down, but I think he was truly "unstoppable" and on his way to being one of the legends on par with the legends that came a generation and a couple generations before him. It breaks my heart so much what has happened to him and his playing recently. frown
Posted by: ScriabinAddict

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 11/30/12 11:41 PM

One thing's for certain, his interpretation of Scarbo is one of the most electrifying I've ever heard.
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/01/12 03:01 AM

S.A. YES IT IS!!

I love Martha, but I love Pogo even more in Gaspard.
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/01/12 03:06 AM

Pogo's early Gaspard would be my hands down favorite if Samson Francois had never existed. His Chopin Third Sonata is my absolute favorite. His recent recordings and performances, though, are utter garbage.
Posted by: ando

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/01/12 11:41 AM

I don't know what it is about the Japan 1983 recording but there is a certain intensity in him that is hard to describe. The closeups of his face at times show him so immersed in the music it's spellbinding. It's like it's the last time he'll ever play the piano or something. The stage is so bare too - like it's the last concert of the world. The performance has a few slip ups and the audio/video quality is poor, but it's my favourite of his just because of the intensity of his demeanor. Very haunting. Maybe it's only me, but it has a weird effect on me.

Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/01/12 12:39 PM

^ ^ My all time favorite Gaspard!!
Posted by: Keith D Kerman

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/01/12 12:47 PM

I love Ego Pickelrelish' Gaspard, and find it inspiring. At the same time, I don't think he evokes the meaning behind the poetry at all. But, it is still thrilling playing.
Posted by: Ralph

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/01/12 02:53 PM

Ivo hit too many wrong notes for me to overlook during his performances in 1980. It's just that simple. Since then I have admired much of what he has done.
Posted by: Ian_G

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/01/12 03:43 PM

If narcissism were a legitimate criterion in finding for or against a pianist, our ranks would be thin, indeed.

The contrast of his early DG recordings and the latest youtube debacles is certainly the most extreme drop-off in quality from a musician I've ever heard.
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/01/12 06:44 PM

Yes, it is very sad how personal problems compromised his career. frown
Posted by: celegorma

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/03/12 01:08 AM

You got to show you know the rules of music before you try to break them. A competition is no place for one to display individuality and eccentricity.
Posted by: Tim Adrianson

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/03/12 11:39 AM

Having just now listened to the recording, I would say there is simply too much percussive pounding at too many points in the Prelude. Although I'm sure he saw it as giving full vent to the passionate aspect of the piece, for me his approach actually diminshes the full potential of passionate expression. It comes across more like Bartok than Chopin in this performance, and I certainly wouldn't have given a prize based on this.
Posted by: Ralph

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/03/12 02:22 PM

Interestingly, without looking it up, who did win the 1980 Chopin competition?
Posted by: Keith D Kerman

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/03/12 03:40 PM

Wasn't it a Viet Namese Pianist? I can't remember his name right now.
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/03/12 03:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Ian_G
If narcissism were a legitimate criterion in finding for or against a pianist, our ranks would be thin, indeed.

The contrast of his early DG recordings and the latest youtube debacles is certainly the most extreme drop-off in quality from a musician I've ever heard.


Nyiregyhazi.

Posted by: JoelW

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/03/12 03:55 PM

Originally Posted By: celegorma
You got to show you know the rules of music before you try to break them. A competition is no place for one to display individuality and eccentricity.


And exactly what "rules" did he break?
Posted by: Damon

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/03/12 04:23 PM

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: Ian_G
If narcissism were a legitimate criterion in finding for or against a pianist, our ranks would be thin, indeed.

The contrast of his early DG recordings and the latest youtube debacles is certainly the most extreme drop-off in quality from a musician I've ever heard.


Nyiregyhazi.



It should be noted that this is a piano roll.
Posted by: Ralph

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/03/12 04:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
Wasn't it a Viet Namese Pianist? I can't remember his name right now.



Right! Dang Thai Son
Posted by: wr

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/04/12 05:54 AM

Originally Posted By: Ian_G
If narcissism were a legitimate criterion in finding for or against a pianist, our ranks would be thin, indeed.



+1

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that there are NO famous pianists who are not also world-class narcissists, either overtly or covertly. It's a job requirement.

To me, the ones who do that "it's all about the music and not about me" thing are the worst, because it is dishonest. If you step in front of an audience, it's about you, pure and simple. There's just no way around it. Yes, I understand a love of the music, and how people are motivated to share it, etc. etc. etc. But when you get down to the nitty-gritty, it's still the (narcissistic) performer in front of an audience.
Posted by: AldenH

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/04/12 10:05 AM

wr: Thank you for saying that! I've never seen it explicitly stated, but I feel the same way. Except in very unusual cases, the monk-like attitude of subsuming the self into the music seems fake to me - but they've put on a show of it so many times that they begin to believe the noble poppycock they espouse.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/04/12 10:29 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Ian_G
If narcissism were a legitimate criterion in finding for or against a pianist, our ranks would be thin, indeed.



+1

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that there are NO famous pianists who are not also world-class narcissists, either overtly or covertly. It's a job requirement.

To me, the ones who do that "it's all about the music and not about me" thing are the worst, because it is dishonest. If you step in front of an audience, it's about you, pure and simple. There's just no way around it. Yes, I understand a love of the music, and how people are motivated to share it, etc. etc. etc. But when you get down to the nitty-gritty, it's still the (narcissistic) performer in front of an audience.
I think there's a difference between ego and narcicism. I also think the above is just speculation unless you personally know 100+ world class pianists.
Posted by: Ralph

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/04/12 10:48 AM

This thread is going a little astray, but I can't help but to think about those great pianists that could not perform in public such as Glenn Gould and even Rachmaninov and wonder if they lacked the narcissistic qualities necessary for a concert career.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/04/12 11:03 AM

Originally Posted By: Ralph
This thread is going a little astray, but I can't help but to think about those great pianists that could not perform in public such as Glenn Gould and even Rachmaninov and wonder if they lacked the narcissistic qualities necessary for a concert career.


Sometimes one wonders how (and why) pianists who suffer terribly from nerves keep giving concerts, e.g. Clifford Curzon. You only have to listen to his two live recordings of the Liszt Sonata (compare them to his studio recording made at the same time) to hear what happens. But as to whether he was narcissistic or egoistic.....
Posted by: landorrano

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/04/12 11:30 AM

Originally Posted By: wr


In fact, I'd go so far as to say that there are NO famous pianists who are not also world-class narcissists, either overtly or covertly. It's a job requirement.


That's silly. Pogorelich himself doesn't strike me as narcissistic, from what I know of him he seems like a quite nice and interesting chap.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/04/12 11:39 AM

Originally Posted By: bennevis

Sometimes one wonders how (and why) pianists who suffer terribly from nerves keep giving concerts, e.g. Clifford Curzon. You only have to listen to his two live recordings of the Liszt Sonata (compare them to his studio recording made at the same time) to hear what happens. But as to whether he was narcissistic or egoistic.....

From what I have read about Curzon, neither word would seem applicable.

Curzon evidently had problems with nerves in the studio as well. Reportedly, the opening of the 3rd movement of the Decca Brahms D minor required many, many takes before he could get it down accurately. Otherwise, the recording is something of a classic. And we certainly know what a fine chamber musician Curzon was.
Posted by: ando

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/04/12 01:23 PM

Narcissism is not the same as having an ego. Narcissists have a pathological devotion to themselves, they lack empathy for others, they see others as tools for their own purposes. I think that's far too strong for our concert performers. I think performers usually have large egos - some very large, but I don't think they could be considered pathological.

The list of common symtoms of narcissistic personality disorder from Wiki:

-Reacting to criticism with anger, shame, or humiliation
-Taking advantage of others to reach their own goals
-Exaggerating their own importance, achievements, and talents
-Imagining unrealistic fantasies of success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance
-Requiring constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
-Becoming jealous easily
-Lacking empathy and disregarding the feelings of others
-Being obsessed with oneself
-Pursuing mainly selfish goals
-Trouble keeping healthy relationships
-Becoming easily hurt and rejected
-Setting goals that are unrealistic
-Wanting "the best" of everything
-Appearing unemotional
Posted by: asthecrowflies

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/07/12 05:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
^ ^ My all time favorite Gaspard!!


+1. The texture of his right hand playing is magical. I still prefer Martha's Scarbo though.
Posted by: asthecrowflies

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/07/12 05:39 AM

Originally Posted By: ando
Narcissism is not the same as having an ego. Narcissists have a pathological devotion to themselves, they lack empathy for others, they see others as tools for their own purposes. I think that's far too strong for our concert performers. I think performers usually have large egos - some very large, but I don't think they could be considered pathological.

The list of common symtoms of narcissistic personality disorder from Wiki:

-Reacting to criticism with anger, shame, or humiliation
-Taking advantage of others to reach their own goals
-Exaggerating their own importance, achievements, and talents
-Imagining unrealistic fantasies of success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance
-Requiring constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
-Becoming jealous easily
-Lacking empathy and disregarding the feelings of others
-Being obsessed with oneself
-Pursuing mainly selfish goals
-Trouble keeping healthy relationships
-Becoming easily hurt and rejected
-Setting goals that are unrealistic
-Wanting "the best" of everything
-Appearing unemotional



Wait, sorry, were we discussion musicians or every one of my ex-es? I forget.
Posted by: ando

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/07/12 05:57 AM

Originally Posted By: asthecrowflies
Originally Posted By: ando
Narcissism is not the same as having an ego. Narcissists have a pathological devotion to themselves, they lack empathy for others, they see others as tools for their own purposes. I think that's far too strong for our concert performers. I think performers usually have large egos - some very large, but I don't think they could be considered pathological.

The list of common symtoms of narcissistic personality disorder from Wiki:

-Reacting to criticism with anger, shame, or humiliation
-Taking advantage of others to reach their own goals
-Exaggerating their own importance, achievements, and talents
-Imagining unrealistic fantasies of success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance
-Requiring constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
-Becoming jealous easily
-Lacking empathy and disregarding the feelings of others
-Being obsessed with oneself
-Pursuing mainly selfish goals
-Trouble keeping healthy relationships
-Becoming easily hurt and rejected
-Setting goals that are unrealistic
-Wanting "the best" of everything
-Appearing unemotional



Wait, sorry, were we discussion musicians or every one of my ex-es? I forget.


Yikes, sounds like you went through some tough times!
Posted by: landorrano

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/07/12 06:59 AM

Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: asthecrowflies
Originally Posted By: ando
Narcissism is not the same as having an ego. Narcissists have a pathological devotion to themselves, they lack empathy for others, they see others as tools for their own purposes. I think that's far too strong for our concert performers. I think performers usually have large egos - some very large, but I don't think they could be considered pathological.

The list of common symtoms of narcissistic personality disorder from Wiki:

-Reacting to criticism with anger, shame, or humiliation
-Taking advantage of others to reach their own goals
-Exaggerating their own importance, achievements, and talents
-Imagining unrealistic fantasies of success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance
-Requiring constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
-Becoming jealous easily
-Lacking empathy and disregarding the feelings of others
-Being obsessed with oneself
-Pursuing mainly selfish goals
-Trouble keeping healthy relationships
-Becoming easily hurt and rejected
-Setting goals that are unrealistic
-Wanting "the best" of everything
-Appearing unemotional



Wait, sorry, were we discussion musicians or every one of my ex-es? I forget.




Yikes, sounds like you went through some tough times!


What would the "ex-es" say? Maybe it's they who went through some hard times!
Posted by: landorrano

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/07/12 07:06 AM

As for "Gaspard dans la nuit", it must be heard live in a hall. It is physical, three-dimensional, no recording can bring this out no matter the player and I am indifferent to all that I have heard. I have been absolutely spellbound by it in concert on several occasions.
Posted by: wr

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/07/12 08:12 AM

Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: wr


In fact, I'd go so far as to say that there are NO famous pianists who are not also world-class narcissists, either overtly or covertly. It's a job requirement.


That's silly. Pogorelich himself doesn't strike me as narcissistic, from what I know of him he seems like a quite nice and interesting chap.


There's no rule that says that narcissists can't be nice, nor interesting. In fact, the best narcissists probably flatter themselves over having those very qualities.

But to qualify just a little - when I wrote that, I was thinking of performers specifically in their role as performers, rather than about their entire 24/7 persona.
Posted by: wr

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/07/12 08:21 AM

Originally Posted By: ando
Narcissism is not the same as having an ego. Narcissists have a pathological devotion to themselves, they lack empathy for others, they see others as tools for their own purposes. I think that's far too strong for our concert performers. I think performers usually have large egos - some very large, but I don't think they could be considered pathological.

The list of common symtoms of narcissistic personality disorder from Wiki:

-Reacting to criticism with anger, shame, or humiliation
-Taking advantage of others to reach their own goals
-Exaggerating their own importance, achievements, and talents
-Imagining unrealistic fantasies of success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance
-Requiring constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
-Becoming jealous easily
-Lacking empathy and disregarding the feelings of others
-Being obsessed with oneself
-Pursuing mainly selfish goals
-Trouble keeping healthy relationships
-Becoming easily hurt and rejected
-Setting goals that are unrealistic
-Wanting "the best" of everything
-Appearing unemotional



"Narcissist" as a usage predates the invention of "narcissistic personality disorder" by quite a while, I think, and they aren't the same thing. If I think performers are, pretty much by definition, narcissists, it doesn't mean I think they all have the clinical disorder. Of course, they might have it, but that's not what I was saying.
Posted by: landorrano

Re: Pogo in 1980 Chopin competition - 12/07/12 10:33 AM

I think the opposite as you, WR. An artist cannot be narcissistic or egoistic when he is playing, even if he is in "real life". For the time of a subject and a counter-subject he is worlds beyond that.

Originally Posted By: wr
In fact, the best narcissists probably flatter themselves over having those very qualities.


You've really got it in for those poor spring flowers! smile