Piano Forum logo
July 24, 2014, 12:59:54 PM *
Welcome Guest!
You are currently viewing our forum as a guest with limited access.
If you join our community, you will be able to access member-only sections and features.
Registration as a Silver Member is simple, fast, and completely free.
Join us for free here and receive a special welcome gift!
   Forum Home   Help Search  


The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: G.D.Madge and the OC - Mr. Hinton, please read  (Read 6429 times)
JCarey
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 482


« on: August 24, 2005, 08:49:43 AM »

Dear Alistair,

It appears that you have defended this atrocity of a recording on several ocassions. While I do respect your opinion, I must disagree with you. In this post, I will provide solid evidence that Mr. Madge fakes his way through most of the OC. I hope you will reply to this post. I am very interested in hearing what you think.

Let's start at the very beginning. Madge does not play the first movement cleanly. The fact that he struggles with every note is evident. At least he is trying. With the second movement, it is pretty much the same problem, though on page 15, it is obvious he is improvising.



His recording

Now, let's listen to how Habermann plays this section. Habermann's Recording

Notice that there is a huge difference. Madge plays what the music looks like, but does not really care about the notes that Sorabji actually wrote. That is a scandal.

Now, I will jump to one of my favorite movements of the OC. A movement that I have entered into a musical notation program, note by note. I know what it is supposed to sound like. Madge doesn't, apparently.

Rather than dissecting the entire movement, which would take hours, I will only point out a few sections, first of all...



Madge's Recording

Here is the computer, playing the same section - http://www.johncareycompositions.com/madge/real2.mp3. You see how he simplified it for himself? I have no idea why he did this. This is certainly not one of the more difficult sections of the work. Now, you may be thinking, "Well, that's a very small section. Not much harm was done." However, further on, you reach this:





Madge's Recording

Here is the computer's recording - http://www.johncareycompositions.com/madge/real3.mp3

Hmm... how funny. I see/hear no clusters in there... how come Madge adds them, then? What a mystery...

And of course, as Etude pointed out in another thread, Madge's interpretation of this section is quite interesting...



Madge's Version
The Computer's Version

I must admit, I prefer the computer...

Now, we will move on to the Interludium Primum. We only have to examine one variation. #34.



Notice that the large, leaping chords are not dissonant. They are simple e major chords. Then, b diminished chords follow. Well, Madge apparently decided that that wasn't enought. The chords that Sorabji wrote didn't provide enough "oomph" for Madge, apparently. So he decided to change it a bit - http://www.johncareycompositions.com/madge/MadgeImprov5.mp3

Such beauty! Such passion! Such... noise. Enough said.

As much fun as this is, I think I'll end now with the Coda_Stretta. My, my, my, where to start? He practically improvises the entire movement. Let's start at the beginning -




http://www.johncareycompositions.com/madge/MadgeImprov6.mp3

Wait a minute! Where is that? I don't see that written anywhere! And neither does my computer - http://www.johncareycompositions.com/madge/real5.mp3

Here is another example that I had up here a while ago.



http://www.johncareycompositions.com/madge/Coda-Stretta (Madge).mp3

Play it slowly, or just look at it and imagine what it sounds like. Now listen to the recording.

The last two pages are so ridiculous, there is no point in analyzing them. I'd be surprised if he played 1/50 of the right notes. Even the VERY LAST CHORD is played incorrectly! I have played that chord myself, and what he plays is not the same.

So, I am curious as to whether or not you have noticed this yourself. What are your opinions?

Best regards,
John Carey
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

pianistimo
PS Gold Member
Sr. Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12143


« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2005, 08:58:56 AM »

i would say he tried to make it look more difficult than it actually is.  has anyone ever thought of just rewriting it out (via computer) and putting all the treble notes together.  no.  because they want to make it look unplayable.  my cat could play this.  i want something more difficult (wonders if there is anything more difficult?)

is sorabji supposed to be the most difficult composer to play?  why does it matter if people can't analyze the music.  how do you analyze this music.  what makes it tick?  what is important about dividing music into four staves and reading it.  this sounds like rediculosity.  i mean.  that's like taking your dinner and dividing on three plates (treble clefs) so you can eat more slowly, or enjoy certain sections, or have the piece analyzed for you.  (note:  you could color code the notes in the different staves before you put them together so you bring them out properly).  i see the top treble clef as the loudest, the second softer, and the third definately the softest unless you are on measure 82.  (ps did sorabji think of his personality as split?)
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
prometheus
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 3819


« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2005, 10:03:17 AM »

Madge did a lot of recordings of the less popular repetoire. I respect him for that. But frankly all of his recordings are lacking.

Maybe the OC should be recorded by a computer instead of using a human/piano. Smiley
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

"As an artist you don't rake in a million marks without performing some sacrifice on the Altar of Art." -Franz Liszt


The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

ahinton
PS Gold Member
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 9672


« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2005, 11:01:50 AM »

Dear Alistair,

It appears that you have defended this atrocity of a recording on several ocassions. While I do respect your opinion, I must disagree with you. In this post, I will provide solid evidence that Mr. Madge fakes his way through most of the OC. I hope you will reply to this post. I am very interested in hearing what you think...John Carey

Let me start by thanking you for going to considerable trouble you have on this issue; in so doing, you have indeed achieved something of value in drawing attention to quite a number of instances where you are convinced that Geoffrey Madge's recorded account of certain passages and the published score (its own myriad of errors notwithstanding) diverge wildly.

I do not have a sound card so cannot listen to your specific examples; however, this fact is of little consequence, since this archive possesses both of Geoffrey Madge's recordings as well as copies of (a) the composer's annotated "Working Copy" publication, (b) the original manuscript and (c) most of the proofs for publication.

It is not clear from which of these two recordings your examples are drawn but we assume them to be from the one currently available on the BIS label (the earlier one, on the Dutch RCS label, being on LP only and having long since been deleted). As you know, there have to date been three recordings of OC, two by Geoffrey Madge and one by John Ogdon, of which the first two were taken from live performances and the third was not; the pianists who have performed the entire work in public to date are the composer himself (once), Geoffrey Madge (6 times), John Ogdon (twice), Jonathan Powell (4 times) and Daan Vandewalle (once).

That's the background. Where I have to take issue with you is not in what you write about the divergences between the published score and Geoffrey Madge's recording but in your statement
It appears that you have defended this atrocity of a recording on several ocassions.
At the possible risk of sounding moralistic (which I do not of course seek to do), I feel certain of your understanding that it is, within reason, our duty and responsibility not to appear partisan in our observations about the relative merits or otherwise of different artists' performances and recordings of Sorabji's music; it therefore behoves me to be guarded in the opinions that I publish and I am accordingly unaware that we have either "defended" or described as "atrocities" either of Geoffrey Madge's recordings of OC.

From an historical standpoint, it may be worth mentioning that Geoffrey Madge began to perform OC complete in 1982, more than half a century after it had last been heard in public in its entirety; he had been playing its first two movements in public since some two years earlier. His public outings with Sorabji's work therefore date from relatively early in the history of the developing Sorabji performance tradition. Inevitably, then, we will today be considering his and other accounts of the work in the light of how those traditions have developed a quarter of a century on, as distinct from the perspective offered by his isolated early performances at the time he gave them. In so doing, we must bear in mind (a) that we now have a better (though still far from perfect) published score source than was available in those days, (b) that other pianists have since tackled OC and quite a few more Sorabji works in public and (c) the gradual emergence of accurate new editions of a substantial number of Sorabji's scores (albeit not including OC) since the composer's death; all of these three factors will have coloured not only our attitudes but also our expectations.

In the specific case of Geoffrey Madge's OC, it must also be borne in mind that his recordings are, as we have already stated, of live performances where the accuracy count is by definition at potentially greater risk (especially in a work as demanding as OC) than is the case with studio recordings which have benefited from subsequent editing.

I trust that you will not be offended that I do not propose to deal with your specific examples one by one, other than in the matter of the final chord, which is incorrect in the published score in any case; what notes do believe it should contain?

What I will say here is that, from the standpoint of textual accuracy alone, the public performances of OC given by Jonathan Powell (of which I have heard two, in addition to a private performance he gave at The Sorabji Archive) represent an immense leap forward and have already altered many people's expectations of what is possible with this work. Even Marc-André Hamelin (who, coincidentally, had acted as page-turner for Geoffrey Madge during one of OC's three parts in the 1984 Montréal performance) had long doubted that OC could be presented in live performance with an adequate degree of accuracy and - more to the point - such inevitable logic and lucidity until he heard Jonathan Powell's second live performance of it in New York last year. This supports my earlier comments about how Sorabji performances themselves - and their audiences' expectations - have developed over the three decades or so since the music began to be regularly presented in public.

I hope that this answers your detailed post adequately, even though it obviously eschews specific detailed response to your examples on a point-by-point basis.

Best regards,

Alistair
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive
ahinton
PS Gold Member
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 9672


« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2005, 11:11:01 AM »

Maybe the OC should be recorded by a computer instead of using a human/piano. Smiley
It most certainly should not! It should be recorded by Jonathan Powell - and I have no doubt that it will be as soon as he feels ready to do so (which he does not until he has given a few more public performances of the work - a perfectly understandable and sensible stance).

Best,

Alistair
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive
prometheus
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 3819


« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2005, 11:31:43 AM »

I was just joking.

The first and third fugue are so stunning, I just have to hear how Powell plays them.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

"As an artist you don't rake in a million marks without performing some sacrifice on the Altar of Art." -Franz Liszt
ahinton
PS Gold Member
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 9672


« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2005, 11:47:27 AM »

I was just joking.
Good! Believe me, however, some people would nevertheless have made this comment and meant it in all seriousness!

Quote
The first and third fugue are so stunning, I just have to hear how Powell plays them.
Quote
Indeed so - and i hope it won't be too long before you are able to do just that, although, as the recording itself has yet to be scheduled, you may have to content yourself in the first instance by trying to attend another of hispublic performances of it - and there are none of those scheduled just yet either, unfortunately...

Best,

Alistair
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive


The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

pianistimo
PS Gold Member
Sr. Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12143


« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2005, 01:50:53 PM »

by the time you get to the end, who cares what the last chord is, imo.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
Etude
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 908


« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2005, 03:56:47 PM »

best. thread. ever.

John, nice job on all the work you put into this post.  I agree 100%. 

I never imagined that anyone, would think it's okay to do this.  It's an important fact that Opus Clavicembalisticum is without a doubt Sorabji's most famous work.  So naturally it is the recording everyone buys first.  Allow me to quote a few posts from John's own forums:

Quote
Well, I have to admit, I'm not particularly fond of Sorabji's music either... it's just too out there for me. I think there is too much "banging" on the piano, and not enough slow, melodic parts. I own the Madge recording of the OC, and haven't listened to it all the way through, but I'm not sure I want to.

Quote
I once bought a CD of the OC...

It sounded like crap.  Roll Eyes

Quote
I tend to like his earlier stuff better, but hey, I have nothing against the OC. It is a bit too loud and violent for my liking

Quote
Ok, I can't claim to understand this guy's music. What I have heard of it sounds pretty much like organized chaos.


And on this forum....

Quote
THis thread is almost as annoying and tiresome as listening to Sorabji....

Quote
hay guyz look sorabji sux ok lolol blah blah blah etc.

Quote
I think clavicembalisticum is the stupidest pointless piece of crap ever recorded

Quote
I just think this is a very stupid piece of work, why spend all this time studying and recording such meaningless work, yes I have heard it, no I dont own the records.

Quote
i have the score and madge's rec of the opclav

and im like what

 
Quote
But I had a very high expection on the OC before, after spending hours to find it, and finally get to hear it... Spent me these many hours to listen.

Except the first 20 mins I was surised that someone can play these many notes and in a such a random rhythm at the same time, i don't feel much.

After this feeling wear off, I have to keep myself concentrated on score so I won't be lost, and I am starting to feel numb of these completely black sheet of music. It's just not fun or interesting or anything anymore. It's just plain annoying.

In my opinion, I don't think it's a good piece. Because for these many notes and these many hours of concentration on this music, I feel it has awfully little thing or musical ideas to offer me, it's pretty blatant, and not very creative (except all these condensed bunch of notes.) It feels like Sorabji just randomly splashed those notes onto the sheet and ask other people to play it. I am quite curious what was the response and how many right notes the composer hitted when he gave the first debut recital of this piece. And quite frankly, I don't think he cared about how many right notes he hitted, because it's impossible and pointless to hit the 'right' notes, as they were never intended to be play 'correctly'. It was just intended to increase the reputation of the composer because he has composed the most impossible piece of piano work in the human history. Bravo Sorabji!

Quote
Listened to some of OC.

Sounded like crap...

Quote
The best part of it is the wonderful silence that envelopes the listener after 4+ hours of cacophonous torture.

Quote
There is probably no [point], but to make it so hard, that only the finest pianists could play it ! I never heard it, so i don't know if those gigantic pieces sound good, but i just want to see how d**n hard they are!!

Quote
I don't want to disappoint you but I've heard the third mvmt. of the opus and it's pure garbage. 


Quote
i think we need to have the word "Clavicemballisticum" banned from this site

Quote
BTW my new plan is to compose a 24hr work.  If anyone calls it crap, I'll simply accuse them of not listening to it.  If they've done that, I'll say that it needs repeated listens to be appreciated, and if they still persist in their criticisms, I can simply respond that the recording that they listened to is unfaithful to the score.  Of course all recordings will be unfaithful to the score, as this piece will be impossibly difficult.  My plan is bulletproof.
   

So many people strongly dislike (or have disliked) the piece.  As I said before, OC is Sorabji's most famous work, so it is the recording everyone interested in hearing his music will probably buy first.  They usually go for the Madge recording, perhaps because it has previously been available online for download.  The result:

Quote
Listened to some of OC.

Sounded like crap...

It's clear that Madge's recording has repelled many people from the piece.  They dismiss it immediately as noise, or random notes, or 'crap'.  This kind of travesty is supposed to be bringing more people to Sorabji's music?  If anything it's driving them away!  What you, Alistair, said about the fact that it's a live performance affecting the potential for accuracy, while being true, overlooks the fact that, in many places during the performance, Madge doesn't even try to play the right notes!  This is clear from the final two of John's examples:

As much fun as this is, I think I'll end now with the Coda_Stretta. My, my, my, where to start? He practically improvises the entire movement. Let's start at the beginning -




http://www.johncareycompositions.com/madge/MadgeImprov6.mp3

Wait a minute! Where is that? I don't see that written anywhere! And neither does my computer - http://www.johncareycompositions.com/madge/real5.mp3

Here is another example that I had up here a while ago.



http://www.johncareycompositions.com/madge/Coda-Stretta (Madge).mp3

Play it slowly, or just look at it and imagine what it sounds like. Now listen to the recording.

Best regards,
John Carey

while I agree that the accuracy may suffer in a live performance, this is not even an ATTEMPT at playing this piece correctly.  It's simply inexcusable.  

I must admit, it only dawned on me yesterday when I was listening to the Fantasia just how bad Madge's performance is, when I heard this thing:


I'd say it's likely that almost all of his performance is faked.  He improvises virtually everywhere, even in places where it's difficult to notice.  In those places he seems to muddle the voices so that you have to listen closely to hear whether or not he is really playing what is written.  An example is the section of the fantasia above.

One thing I find interesting is that, although some sections are completely 'faked', he manages to make them sound as if it is actually played correctly.  It almost sounds as if he practiced the mistakes.  Whether this is true or not I don't know, but his improvisation skills are to be commended.  I've tried improvising sections of OC, and I can't make them sound as if they're correct like he does. 

However the most serious problem after the accuracy of the recording, is the fact that many people don't know any better and think that this is actually the piece that sounds bad.  In most movements Madge introduces a lot of dissonance to the piece that isn't in the score.  In the second section of the Coda-stretta, after the long pause on Madge's recording, he fills in the tonal chords in this section with dissonance, resulting in a terrible noise.  Since this is not a very well known piece, most people will believe that it's supposed to be like that, and it isn't.  The long list of quotes above shows just how many people have been fooled by this recording.  It's ruined many people's chances to like Sorabji's music.  Perhaps if they bought some of his shorter music that is played correctly, they would see Sorabji a LOT differently.  I know I did.  When you understand his music better than at first listening, it gives a whole new impression.

by the time you get to the end, who cares what the last chord is, imo.

I care. 

In Madge's recording the last chord is completely wrong.  It makes the piece sound like it's unfinished, while the printed chord does not.

Quote
in the matter of the final chord, which is incorrect in the published score in any case; what notes do believe it should contain?

About the final chord in the score...  I have a copy of Sorabji: A Critical Celebration.  It contains a letter by Sorabji that says:

Quote
With a racking head and literally my whole ody shaking as with ague I write this and tell you I have just this afternoon early finished Claviembalisticum (252 pages - longerthan Dies IRAE and immeasurably better... The final Coda Stretta is an acheivement with the 4 forms of each subject running through the fabric linked with quotations of earlier fugue subjects declaimed with massive vehemance.  The closing 4 pages are as cataclysmic and catastrophic as anything I've ever done - the harmony bites like nitric acid the counterpoint grinds like the mills of God to close finally on this implacable monosyllable:-

The chord is shown after this.  The notes are G-sharp, B, D-sharp, G-sharp, B,D,F,G,A,B.

Is this not correct?
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
JCarey
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 482


« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2005, 03:57:19 PM »

Let me start by thanking you for going to considerable trouble you have on this issue; in so doing, you have indeed achieved something of value in drawing attention to quite a number of instances where you are convinced that Geoffrey Madge's recorded account of certain passages and the published score (its own myriad of errors notwithstanding) diverge wildly.

True. I worked for two and a half hours, from 3 AM to 5:30 AM. Unfortunately, some of the samples of the published score are difficult to read. Apparently they were resized when I uploaded them on to the Internet.

Quote
I do not have a sound card so cannot listen to your specific examples;


That is a shame. At least others will be able to hear it.

Quote
however, this fact is of little consequence, since this archive possesses both of Geoffrey Madge's recordings as well as copies of (a) the composer's annotated "Working Copy" publication, (b) the original manuscript and (c) most of the proofs for publication.

Yes, but it does not contain my computer's "recordings", which will make it difficult to compare. It is a relief that Jonathan Powell is thinking of coming out with a CD. I'm very anxious to hear it.

Quote
It is not clear from which of these two recordings your examples are drawn but we assume them to be from the one currently available on the BIS label (the earlier one, on the Dutch RCS label, being on LP only and having long since been deleted). As you know, there have to date been three recordings of OC, two by Geoffrey Madge and one by John Ogdon, of which the first two were taken from live performances and the third was not; the pianists who have performed the entire work in public to date are the composer himself (once), Geoffrey Madge (6 times), John Ogdon (twice), Jonathan Powell (4 times) and Daan Vandewalle (once).

I am well aware of the fact that Madge recorded this piece twice. However, I have a hard time believing that the other could possibly be much better, if that is what you are implying, though I doubt it is.

Quote
That's the background. Where I have to take issue with you is not in what you write about the divergences between the published score and Geoffrey Madge's recording but in your statement
It appears that you have defended this atrocity of a recording on several ocassions.
At the possible risk of sounding moralistic (which I do not of course seek to do), I feel certain of your understanding that it is, within reason, our duty and responsibility not to appear partisan in our observations about the relative merits or otherwise of different artists' performances and recordings of Sorabji's music; it therefore behoves me to be guarded in the opinions that I publish and I am accordingly unaware that we have either "defended" or described as "atrocities" either of Geoffrey Madge's recordings of OC.

You have never described it as an atrocity. It was I who chose to use the word. However, back on Sorabji Group, you made the following remark, defending the recording, when I had previously described it as a "massacre":

"As I have already observed, anyone who can present a performance of OC at all has achieved something quite extraordinary;"

Now, I agree with you whole-heartedly, but if it were merely a matter of making mistakes here and there, I wouldn't have made this post. My concern, however, is that G.D.Madge often "improvises", playing random clusters of notes where none are written. If somebody doesn't even try to play the music correctly, they lose all of my respect.

Quote
From an historical standpoint, it may be worth mentioning that Geoffrey Madge began to perform OC complete in 1982, more than half a century after it had last been heard in public in its entirety; he had been playing its first two movements in public since some two years earlier. His public outings with Sorabji's work therefore date from relatively early in the history of the developing Sorabji performance tradition. Inevitably, then, we will today be considering his and other accounts of the work in the light of how those traditions have developed a quarter of a century on, as distinct from the perspective offered by his isolated early performances at the time he gave them. In so doing, we must bear in mind (a) that we now have a better (though still far from perfect) published score source than was available in those days, (b) that other pianists have since tackled OC and quite a few more Sorabji works in public and (c) the gradual emergence of accurate new editions of a substantial number of Sorabji's scores (albeit not including OC) since the composer's death; all of these three factors will have coloured not only our attitudes but also our expectations.

Absolutely, and I am currently the owner of nine Sorabji CDs, so I will obviously be more critical of another pianist's performance of his music.

Quote
In the specific case of Geoffrey Madge's OC, it must also be borne in mind that his recordings are, as we have already stated, of live performances where the accuracy count is by definition at potentially greater risk (especially in a work as demanding as OC) than is the case with studio recordings which have benefited from subsequent editing.

True, but that does not explain why he didn't even try in the samples I provided.

Quote
I trust that you will not be offended that I do not propose to deal with your specific examples one by one, other than in the matter of the final chord, which is incorrect in the published score in any case; what notes do believe it should contain?

Well that certainly makes more sense. I can't imagine why somebody would fake the last chord of a 4 hour work. The notes I have are G#, B#, D#, G#, B natural, D natural, F natural, A natural.

And no, I am certainly not offended. After all, you can't even listen to the samples I provided, so it would be quite impossible for you to address everything individually.

Quote
What I will say here is that, from the standpoint of textual accuracy alone, the public performances of OC given by Jonathan Powell (of which I have heard two, in addition to a private performance he gave at The Sorabji Archive) represent an immense leap forward and have already altered many people's expectations of what is possible with this work. Even Marc-André Hamelin (who, coincidentally, had acted as page-turner for Geoffrey Madge during one of OC's three parts in the 1984 Montréal performance) had long doubted that OC could be presented in live performance with an adequate degree of accuracy and - more to the point - such inevitable logic and lucidity until he heard Jonathan Powell's second live performance of it in New York last year. This supports my earlier comments about how Sorabji performances themselves - and their audiences' expectations - have developed over the three decades or so since the music began to be regularly presented in public.

If Powell ever comes to New York again, I will be there. All of his recordings are of the finest quality.

Quote
I hope that this answers your detailed post adequately, even though it obviously eschews specific detailed response to your examples on a point-by-point basis.

Absolutely. Thank you very much for taking the time to reply.

BR, John Carey
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

JCarey
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 482


« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2005, 04:09:25 PM »

I shudder when I read those quotes, Simon. Thank you for providing them. You have made an excellent point regarding the amount of people who hate the OC based on Madge's recording(s).

BR, John Carey
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged



Where is the Remote Control? and a World Record!

Alek­sey Igudes­man and Hyung-ki Joo are two clas­si­cal musi­cians who have taken the world by storm with their unique and hilar­i­ous the­atri­cal shows, which com­bine com­edy with clas­si­cal music and pop­u­lar cul­ture. Their clips on YouTube, to date, have gath­ered over 15 mil­lion hits, and they have appeared live on tele­vi­sion in sev­eral coun­tries, includ­ing an exclu­sive inter­view for CNN. Read more >>

Etude
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 908


« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2005, 04:22:52 PM »

Thank you.  Smiley

I'm still curious to hear Madge's 'other' recording, regardless of accuracy, it could be very different.  Different is good when it comes to the Chicago performance.  Wink
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
ahinton
PS Gold Member
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 9672


« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2005, 05:11:34 PM »

So many people strongly dislike (or have disliked) the piece.  As I said before, OC is Sorabji's most famous work, so it is the recording everyone interested in hearing his music will probably buy first.  They usually go for the Madge recording, perhaps because it has previously been available online for download.
It shouldn't be available in this form anyway and, even though it has been, I am not sure that this is necessarily true (although it cannot be proved one way or the other). John Ogdon's recording came out more than a decade before the Madge BIS CDs, so many people will have been able to hear that during that time.

This kind of travesty is supposed to be bringing more people to Sorabji's music?  If anything it's driving them away!
I am quite sure that people are being drawn to Sorabji's music by means of more recent performances and recordings by other pianists.

What you, Alistair, said about the fact that it's a live performance affecting the potential for accuracy, while being true, overlooks the fact that, in many places during the performance, Madge doesn't even try to play the right notes!  This is clear from the final two of John's examples:

while I agree that the accuracy may suffer in a live performance, this is not even an ATTEMPT at playing this piece correctly.  It's simply inexcusable.
I have never suggested that I am excusing it!

However the most serious problem after the accuracy of the recording, is the fact that many people don't know any better and think that this is actually the piece that sounds bad.  In most movements Madge introduces a lot of dissonance to the piece that isn't in the score.  In the second section of the Coda-stretta, after the long pause on Madge's recording, he fills in the tonal chords in this section with dissonance, resulting in a terrible noise.  Since this is not a very well known piece, most people will believe that it's supposed to be like that, and it isn't.
For a balanced view, the Ogdon recording must also be considered here, as it will have given some of its listeners an impression of OC not afforded by the Madge ones, although the level of textual accuracy (which is not everything but is nevertheless vitally important) has, as I have already observed, since been raised to the nth degree by Jonathan Powell.

The long list of quotes above shows just how many people have been fooled by this recording. It's ruined many people's chances to like Sorabji's music.
Although we can see that some negative comments have directly resulted from experience of Madge's recordings, we haven't considered those who may have come by the piece by other means than those.

Perhaps if they bought some of his shorter music that is played correctly, they would see Sorabji a LOT differently.  I know I did.  When you understand his music better than at first listening, it gives a whole new impression.
Agreed.

In Madge's recording the last chord is completely wrong.  It makes the piece sound like it's unfinished, while the printed chord does not.

About the final chord in the score...  I have a copy of Sorabji: A Critical Celebration.  It contains a letter by Sorabji that says:

The chord is shown after this.  The notes are G-sharp, B, D-sharp, G-sharp, B,D,F,G,A,B.

Is this not correct?
Yes, it is correct, although the second lowest note in the printed score has an incorrect # in front of it, which makes no sense at all.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive
ahinton
PS Gold Member
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 9672


« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2005, 05:18:04 PM »

I am well aware of the fact that Madge recorded this piece twice. However, I have a hard time believing that the other could possibly be much better, if that is what you are implying, though I doubt it is.
Then don't bother trying! The point I was making earlier is that Jonathan Powell's performances have superseded pervious ones in terms of textual accuracy, lucidity and, it has to be said, more general appeal to listeners.

You have never described it as an atrocity. It was I who chose to use the word. However, back on Sorabji Group, you made the following remark, defending the recording, when I had previously described it as a "massacre":

"As I have already observed, anyone who can present a performance of OC at all has achieved something quite extraordinary;"

Now, I agree with you whole-heartedly, but if it were merely a matter of making mistakes here and there, I wouldn't have made this post. My concern, however, is that G.D.Madge often "improvises", playing random clusters of notes where none are written. If somebody doesn't even try to play the music correctly, they lose all of my respect.
I know that I didn't use that word. The point here is that GDM managed to get through the piece and no one had ever even tried to do that in public for over half a century - but times have moved on.

Well that certainly makes more sense. I can't imagine why somebody would fake the last chord of a 4 hour work. The notes I have are G#, B#, D#, G#, B natural, D natural, F natural, A natural.
As you will see from my previous post, this is not so! There is no # before the low B! The printed score is wrong here!

If Powell ever comes to New York again, I will be there. All of his recordings are of the finest quality.
It would be well worth going anywhere to hear him play this work. At his NY performance, the audience included two people from UK, two from Denmark and three from Canada, so a long trip to hear this monumental masterpiece is not exactly without precedent!

Best,

Alistair
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive
ahinton
PS Gold Member
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 9672


« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2005, 05:20:01 PM »

Sincere apologies to all readers for my non-savvy misuse of the quote facility in my last two responses; I hope that this has not caused undue confusion in terms of who was supposed to be replying to whose comments!

Best,

Alistair
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive
pseudopianist
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 607


« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2005, 05:26:01 PM »

This has been by far the best thread on this entire board... ever!

Does anyone know when Powell will start recording the OC? I can barely wait

OMG SORABJI ROXXOR!!! 
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Whisky and Messiaen
ahinton
PS Gold Member
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 9672


« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2005, 05:31:56 PM »

This has been by far the best thread on this entire board... ever!

Does anyone know when Powell will start recording the OC? I can barely wait

OMG SORABJI ROXXOR!!! 
As we have already stated, there are no plans for Jonathan Powell to do this just yet, as he wants to have a few more public performance behind him before he will feel ready to do this. We must therefore wait for him to make his decision first, then the recording will need to be scheduled, made, edited and released. So, much as I would like to say that it will be out next week...

Best,

Alistair
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive


The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

raffyplayspiano
PS Silver Member
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 100


« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2005, 05:48:55 PM »

wow jcarey, i think you really stumbled onto somethinhBIG here!  (seriously)

i hope no one takes your credit for this discovery.

raffy
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

**Raffy plays the piano**
JCarey
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 482


« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2005, 05:53:04 PM »

Alistair, you said that the last chord was published incorrectly. I played it again, with the right note (B, instead of B#) and it really does not make much of a difference when compared to what Madge plays -

What Madge plays
What is written

They are not even remotely similar.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Etude
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 908


« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2005, 06:00:11 PM »

wow jcarey, i think you really stumbled onto somethinhBIG here!  (seriously)

i hope no one takes your credit for this discovery.

raffy

We (both me and jcarey) have known about this for quite a well.
anyone who has the score and the recording should be able to see something is going on.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
Etude
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 908


« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2005, 06:12:15 PM »

Alistair, you said that the last chord was published incorrectly. I played it again, with the right note (B, instead of B#) and it really does not make much of a difference when compared to what Madge plays -

What Madge plays
What is written

They are not even remotely similar.

Yes, true. 

I read the interview with Madge in Sorabji: A critical celebration, and he mentioned something like he wanted to just play it from start to finish:

Quote from: Madge
The first performance was a "total-line" performance more than a detailed one.  I wanted to bring out the line of the whole composition, to show what the architecture was, rather than be distracted too much by the "scenery".

Hmm...
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
prometheus
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 3819


« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2005, 06:25:18 PM »

Does anyone know if Sorabji had a harmonic design in his music? Especially in his fugues? How did he pick the starting note for his subjects?
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

"As an artist you don't rake in a million marks without performing some sacrifice on the Altar of Art." -Franz Liszt
pseudopianist
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 607


« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2005, 07:41:01 PM »

Sorabji follows classical counterpoint, atleast in his fugues.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Whisky and Messiaen
ahinton
PS Gold Member
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 9672


« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2005, 08:29:26 PM »

Alistair, you said that the last chord was published incorrectly. I played it again, with the right note (B, instead of B#) and it really does not make much of a difference when compared to what Madge plays -

What Madge plays
What is written

They are not even remotely similar.
I am not suggesting that they are; I merely point out the correct notes of which that final chord should properly consist.

Best,

Alistair
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive
ahinton
PS Gold Member
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 9672


« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2005, 08:33:07 PM »

Does anyone know if Sorabji had a harmonic design in his music? Especially in his fugues? How did he pick the starting note for his subjects?
The answer to this is something which I believe you should ideally try to discover for your own satisfaction from your own personal conclusions; in so doing, it might not be entirely wide of any mark that's going for you to consider the self-same question in respect of any composer who likewise wrote extensively in fugal mode at any time...

Best,

Alistair
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive


Mitsuko Uchida: Pianist-In-Residence

“Mitsuko Uchido is one of perhaps just a handful of classical pianists whose work can justifiably be mentioned alongside the great players of the past – Rachmaninov, Schnabel, Cortot, Michelangeli.” (ABC Radio National, Australia). Enjoy an excerpt from the third movement of the Schumann a minor Piano Concerto. Read more >>

stevie
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 2803


« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2005, 09:53:36 PM »

from what i know of madge, he seems like a person who cares less about the music he plays than his own ego.

he has great talent, especially as a sight-reader, but who in their right mind would butcher this work this way?

he assumed that noone else would tackle it and find him out, he assumed WRONG.

his chopin-godowsky studies are equally laughable, i mean he takes FOUR DISCS!

im not saying he doesnt have talent, i am just questioning his purpose.

he cares more about himself than the music of sorabji, im sure.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
Etude
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 908


« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2005, 10:02:05 PM »

from what i know of madge, he seems like a person who cares less about the music he plays than his own ego.

he has great talent, especially as a sight-reader, but who in their right mind would butcher this work this way?

he assumed that noone else would tackle it and find him out, he assumed WRONG.

his chopin-godowsky studies are equally laughable, i mean he takes FOUR DISCS!

im not saying he doesnt have talent, i am just questioning his purpose.

he cares more about himself than the music of sorabji, im sure.

I haven't heard his chopin-godowsky studies, however I've heard very bad things about them.  They aren't available at amazon, do you know where I can find them.  I'm curious to hear.

I have always wondered how he obtained the permission from Sorabji to perform OC in the first place if he improvised the majority of it. 
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
stevie
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 2803


« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2005, 10:18:23 PM »

i ahvent heard all the chopingodowksys actually, ive heard quite a few samples, and ive seen the timings listed, on this basis i dismiss them.

i find it wierd too, because as you probably know, sorabji was very fickle about the people who he allowed to play his works.

he mustve been desperate or something...
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
Etude
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 908


« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2005, 10:58:35 PM »

Sorabji believed it's better to have no performance than a bad one, so I doubt he would allow such a terrible performance to take place.  I don't think he was present at any of Madge's performances. 

Sorabji stopped performances of his music for decades so that this sort of thing wouldn't happen to his music.  From what I read, it was John Tobin, who drove Sorabji to do this by performing the pars prima of OC at half-tempo.  Decades later, he allows performances by someone he felt was capable of doing his music justice, and soon after, this happens.

Nice....

Still, it's really great that we're getting some more good recordings/performances now, like J. Powell's recording of the 4th sonata, which is excellent, it's become one of my favourite of Sorabji's works.  And hopefully, the OC will be on the way soon...
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
ramseytheii
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 2515


« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2005, 12:56:28 AM »

Madge did a lot of recordings of the less popular repetoire. I respect him for that. But frankly all of his recordings are lacking.

Maybe the OC should be recorded by a computer instead of using a human/piano. Smiley

I seriously agree with you.  Well in part; I don't see why a person shouldn't record it, but the sound samples John Carey provided from the computer sounded amazing, and much better than my entry-level notation program playback.  And if his program is anything like mine, he can easily balance the voices by applying dynamic markings, and basically make his own performance of the OC - if he wanted to type in every note.  Well I think someone should do that, and record it being played on the computer, or at least on a pianola (what do they call them these days? Disklavier?) hooked up to the computer.  All right ,maybe it will lack some of the subtlty of a human performance, but everyone will then get the chance to hear what it sounds like.

I agree that to judge S.'s music on Madge's recordings is unjust to the composer!  So I wholeheartedly support this computer venture even as one who wished he had never heard the name, Sorabji!

Walter Ramsey
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
stevie
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 2803


« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2005, 09:23:37 PM »

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/nov99/sorabji.htm

now THIS review is HILARIOUS

check out this quote -

'And I have to be honest, if there are any wrong notes in Madge's performance then I did not spot them! '

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH  Grin Grin Grin
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
ahinton
PS Gold Member
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 9672


« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2005, 09:51:06 PM »

I seriously agree with you.  Well in part; I don't see why a person shouldn't record it, but the sound samples John Carey provided from the computer sounded amazing, and much better than my entry-level notation program playback.  And if his program is anything like mine, he can easily balance the voices by applying dynamic markings, and basically make his own performance of the OC - if he wanted to type in every note.  Well I think someone should do that, and record it being played on the computer, or at least on a pianola (what do they call them these days? Disklavier?) hooked up to the computer.  All right ,maybe it will lack some of the subtlty of a human performance, but everyone will then get the chance to hear what it sounds like.

I agree that to judge S.'s music on Madge's recordings is unjust to the composer!  So I wholeheartedly support this computer venture even as one who wished he had never heard the name, Sorabji!

Walter Ramsey

No, Mr Ramsey, PLEASE no! - as I have already ventured more than once, please let us instead wait (and I apologise that we have to do so) for Jonathan Powell's recorded performance. This music is so full of humanity and expression of human (and, admittedly, also perhaps superhuman) emotion that nothing short of a live performance by a real human pianist - or, at second best, a first-class recording of such a pianist - will do. Now that - on the evidence of his existing Sorabji recordings - we indeed HAVE such a pianist who can do ample justice to these works as though it were second nature to him to do so, we should surely exercise a bit of patience and wait for the results from him...

Best,

Alistair
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive
Etude
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 908


« Reply #32 on: August 26, 2005, 12:35:36 AM »

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/nov99/sorabji.htm

now THIS review is HILARIOUS

check out this quote -

'And I have to be honest, if there are any wrong notes in Madge's performance then I did not spot them! '

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH  Grin Grin Grin



Indeed.  As I said on John's Forum:

Quote
Let this be a lesson.  Never review a 20th century piece if you don't have the score.



Quote
Finally we have a great recording of this spellbinding piece back to the repertoire. Sorabji's heinously difficult music is well-nigh unperformable, distinctly due to the composer's attitude to society in general which created a series of complex and mammoth compositions that remain unrecorded. In fact this is a live relay of the 1983 concert which Madge gave in New York, certainly one of his best performances of Clavicembalisticum. I remember being enthused by the piece when I read an extensive article in IPQ about John Ogdon's studio recording for Chris Rice's obscure label Altarus.

There I thought that the writer exaggerated his claim on the importance of that flawed recording, indeed it is dismissed in the notes for this release as plainly flawed, apparently Ogdon takes over an hour longer than Madge, surely too much. Indeed Madge had me completely breathless with his amazing and incredible virtuosity in this, the sine qua non of all piano repertoire. Some parts such as the massive Passacaglia in the Fourth part are altogether too difficult for comprehension, indeed one wonders what Sorabji was thinking about when writing such complex notes in such a dissident manner. However there are rewards to be had in the Third Partwhere the sheer overwhelming force of the Theme and Variations carries all before it in technical accomplishment and unuldarated mastery.

The introductory essays accompanying the booklet espouse on the writing of overlong works which can be explained in shorter terms and occasionally I really felt that Sorabji overstates some of the fugal passages to an impossible extent. And I have to be honest, if there are any wrong notes in Madge's performance then I did not spot them! BIS's packaging is the usual excellence with notes by Sorabji experts together with a short introduction from Madge who deserves the highest posssible praise for his incredible playing. The recording is also quite outstanding with a crystal-clear piano and minimal audience noise except the deserving and excruciating applause that concludes what must have been a memorable event. Reading some of Sorabji's venomous writings puts Opus Clavicembalisticum more into perspective, a work of huge and daunting proportions but one with a deep personal message behind it. Now, what would Sorabji say of that? I shudder to think!


The variations are in the third part.... right....

This is by far the most inaccurate thing I have ever read.   Roll Eyes
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
Etude
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 908


« Reply #33 on: August 26, 2005, 12:54:37 AM »

[removed]
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
happyface94
PS Silver Member
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 189


« Reply #34 on: August 26, 2005, 01:32:55 AM »

What soundfont are you using (or gigsample wtv) for your computer recordings?
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
JCarey
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 482


« Reply #35 on: August 26, 2005, 01:48:09 AM »

What soundfont are you using (or gigsample wtv) for your computer recordings?

Garritan Personal Orchestra

It comes with a sampled Steinway piano that can be used with Finale, Sibelius, and other music notation programs.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Etude
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 908


« Reply #36 on: August 26, 2005, 02:47:04 AM »

It's excellent quality.  IN the case of OC, the whole thing would take a very long time to create, and as Alistair explained we are hoping have a third and superior recording of OC in the near future, which may possibly be available before the computer version is complete.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged


The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

happyface94
PS Silver Member
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 189


« Reply #37 on: August 26, 2005, 04:14:01 AM »

Aw too bad, I cant afford this soundfont. I personally use a free one and it does not even come close to the quality (even if its 200 meg). However, it is the best one I've ever used.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
liszt1022
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 439


« Reply #38 on: August 26, 2005, 04:58:18 AM »

There's something I don't understand about some classical musicians: they seem to think opinions can be wrong. If the music reviewer likes a recording that you don't, then that's his opinion. How many people walked away from a Madge concert, thinking that they had just been blown away by the sheer power of the piece as a whole? Would you tell them that no, it was played very badly and just forget you heard it? Too bad you didn't have the score with you? I'm not defending Madge, I just think our ears are so used to perfection that we get from so many studio recordings of standard repertoire that we forget about the big picture- what does the listener walk away with? This is a question my university teachers tell the students so they can care more about interpretation than exact notes during performance. But in the classical recording world, almost exact doesn't cut it.
Think about this: classes can have a 10-point grading scale, with 90-100 being an A, 80-90 being a B, and so on. A classical musician who hits 99% of the "correct" notes is considered a disaster. In the case of Opus Clav, one missed note every three measures or so is often well above 99% accuracy.
Is Madge's recording really that much of a travesty? Does it not do Sorabji justice? Are the sonic effects drastically different, when he deviates from the score, does that cause the piece to collapse? Would you even know, if you didn't have a score in front of you?
I'm tired... more later maybe
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
JCarey
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 482


« Reply #39 on: August 26, 2005, 05:55:09 AM »

There's something I don't understand about some classical musicians: they seem to think opinions can be wrong. If the music reviewer likes a recording that you don't, then that's his opinion. How many people walked away from a Madge concert, thinking that they had just been blown away by the sheer power of the piece as a whole? Would you tell them that no, it was played very badly and just forget you heard it? Too bad you didn't have the score with you? I'm not defending Madge, I just think our ears are so used to perfection that we get from so many studio recordings of standard repertoire that we forget about the big picture- what does the listener walk away with? This is a question my university teachers tell the students so they can care more about interpretation than exact notes during performance. But in the classical recording world, almost exact doesn't cut it.
Think about this: classes can have a 10-point grading scale, with 90-100 being an A, 80-90 being a B, and so on. A classical musician who hits 99% of the "correct" notes is considered a disaster. In the case of Opus Clav, one missed note every three measures or so is often well above 99% accuracy.
Is Madge's recording really that much of a travesty? Does it not do Sorabji justice? Are the sonic effects drastically different, when he deviates from the score, does that cause the piece to collapse? Would you even know, if you didn't have a score in front of you?
I'm tired... more later maybe

Though you make a good point, the result of what Madge does is not beautiful/enjoyable. It is noise. It is unpleasant to listen to, and makes the moments where Madge plays well forgettable. It is not Sorabji's music. Anybody who has heard Sorabji's other music would know that Sorabji would never have written what Madge plays.

The OC, based on what I have heard through the computer and in Habermann's recording of the first two movements, is a beautiful piece, and must be an amazing, thrilling experience when played correctly. In moments of Madge's recording, we catch a glimpse of the beauty of the work, but unfortunately, these moments are soon forgotten when he reaches particularly difficult passages. Then he returns to improvising the music again. I noticed that what he often does in the fugues, is either leave entire staves out all together, or fill in the middle with random notes.

I wish I could ask him why he did this. If he were to acknowledge the fact that he faked most of the recording, then I would have more respect for him. But since he pretends that he really knows what he's talking about, and has learned the piece to the best of his ability, I regard him as a liar. His recording is a scam, designed to make people believe that he is a great pianist, to have learned such a piece. But what he has done is an insult to Sorabji, to his audience, and to himself.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

ahinton
PS Gold Member
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 9672


« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2005, 07:21:06 AM »

At the risk of repeating myself (and at the sme time reiterating the sentiments of other contributors to this thread), what is sorely needed right now is for organisations to be persuaded to mount public performances of OC by Jonathan Powell.

In the meantime, my best suggestion (although this does not help the OC case per se) is for people to go out and purchase Jonathan's five Sorabji CD recordings that are already out there, as these contain some seven hours of music in total and demonstrate to perfection Mr Powell's unprecedented command of an immensely wide range of Sorabjian expression. These are all on the Altarus label and are, in chronological order of release:

AIR-CD-9067      Passeggiata Veneziana / Villa Tasca*
AIR-CD-9068      Toccata 1*
AIR-CD-9069(3)  Piano Sonata No. 4* (a 3-CD set for the price of 2 CDs)
AIR-CD-9084      Fantasia Ispanica*
AIR-CD-9083      Rosario d'Arabeschi* / Gulistan

* recorded première

We have all of these items in stock except AIR-CD-9083 which we anticipate receiving within a few days.

Whilst these are all studio recordings, there has already been ample evidence that Mr Powell seems to have no problem whatsoever in givign excellent performances of all of  these works (as well as OC, of course) live.

Best,

Alistair
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive
JCarey
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 482


« Reply #41 on: August 26, 2005, 07:36:43 PM »

Excellent recommendations, Alistair. Powell's recordings are wonderful.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Etude
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 908


« Reply #42 on: August 26, 2005, 08:37:26 PM »

Quote
I wish I could ask him why he did this. If he were to acknowledge the fact that he faked most of the recording, then I would have more respect for him. But since he pretends that he really knows what he's talking about, and has learned the piece to the best of his ability, I regard him as a liar.

He has a website with contact information, if you REALLY want to ask him.  Search "GD Madge pianist" in google. 

Quote
But what he has done is an insult to Sorabji, to his audience, and to himself.


I absolutely agree.  He insults Sorabji.  After going to all the trouble to obtain permission to perform it, and convincing Sorabji that he could do the piece justice, he completely ruins it in public. 

He insults his audience,  the people who PAY MONEY to see a good performance of what is in my opinion one of the greatest pieces ever written, not to mention the many people who buy his recording. 

Whether or not it is his true opinion, his performance suggests that he thinks those whospend time and money to listen to his performance are idiots and it doesn't matter what notes they hear because it won't make any difference as they don't know any better. 

His performance also suggests that he considers Sorabji's piece worthless.  Sorabji didn't spend half a year working on this piece to have someone come onto the stage and give a performance that makes putting it under the same title as Sorabji's masterpiece complete and utter cheek.   

Quote from: ahinton
Yes, it is correct, although the second lowest note in the printed score has an incorrect # in front of it, which makes no sense at all.

I wouldn't say it makes no sense.  Michael Edwards thought it might be "a modern version of a "Tierce de Picardie"". Although we  know this is incorrect it's an intelligent suggestion, so it does make some sense as Michael Edwards' list of errors could support the sharp in some way.

Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
ahinton
PS Gold Member
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 9672


« Reply #43 on: August 27, 2005, 07:50:45 AM »

Michael Edwards thought it might be "a modern version of a "Tierce de Picardie"". Although we  know this is incorrect it's an intelligent suggestion, so it does make some sense as Michael Edwards' list of errors could support the sharp in some way.

It would surely thus be one of the most bizarre examples of a Tierce de Picardie in existence!Problem is, it's not supported by the ms. which, whilst it does indeed have some kind of mark before the said B, it does not appear to have anything as clearly obvious as a sharp in that position...

Best,

Alistair
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive
Etude
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 908


« Reply #44 on: August 27, 2005, 08:44:29 AM »

Hm, I need to get a copy of the manuscript at some point.  Smiley
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
ahinton
PS Gold Member
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 9672


« Reply #45 on: August 27, 2005, 09:05:57 AM »

Hm, I need to get a copy of the manuscript at some point.  Smiley

Well - at least you'll know in advance where to source one!...

Best,

Alistair
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive
kelly_kelly
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 831


« Reply #46 on: August 31, 2005, 01:38:50 PM »

Although I don't know much about Sorabji or the OC, this thread has been highly entertaining.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

It all happens on Discworld, where greed and ignorance influence human behavior... and perfectly ordinary people occasionally act like raving idiots.

A world, in short, totally unlike our own.
JCarey
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 482


« Reply #47 on: September 04, 2005, 03:44:02 AM »

Although I don't know much about Sorabji or the OC, this thread has been highly entertaining.

I'm glad you found it entertaining. Entertainment was one of my main objectives.  Smiley
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  


Most popular classical piano composers:
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

o