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Pianomania – Love, Perfection and a Little Bit of Madness

“The tone isn’t breathing.“ – complains pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, distraught. This is a typical sentence in Steinway & Sons’ chief technician and Master Tuner Stefan Knüpfer’s normal work day. The film Pianomania takes the viewer along on a humorous journey into the secret world of sounds, and accompanies Stefan Knüpfer at his unusual job with world famous pianists like Lang Lang, Alfred Brendel, Rudolf Buchbinder, Till Fellner and Pierre-Laurent Aimard, among others. Read more >>

Poll
Question: are these the most impressive octaves you have ever witnessed
yes, best I've ever seen - 29 (37.2%)
I've seen equal to this, but no better - 8 (10.3%)
I've seen better - 41 (52.6%)
Total Voters: 78

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Author Topic: Alexei Grynyuk - the Octave Marvel  (Read 24571 times)
opus10no2
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« on: November 23, 2006, 07:09:54 PM »

Amazing, no?

Liszt Sonata climatic Octave section -

http://youtube.com/watch?v=1xjiIlc5VRI


Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody no6 climatic Octave section -

http://youtube.com/watch?v=-kv6v8Boh94
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piano sheet music of Sonata

piano sheet music of Hungarian Rhapsody
nicco
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2006, 08:39:04 PM »

How the HELL does he play those hr6 octs  Huh

im officially impressed
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2006, 08:55:08 PM »

This is great, but Argerich's are just as good, and cleaner....
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fingersflying
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2006, 09:55:31 PM »

it's fast but a little mess and emotionless
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opus10no2
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2006, 10:53:04 PM »

This is great, but Argerich's are just as good, and cleaner....

No, they are slower, and when pushed to similar speeds, messier.

it's fast but a little mess and emotionless

The emotion is known as fury, look it up.
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infectedmushroom
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2006, 11:45:01 PM »

Very impressive!
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m
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2006, 11:49:43 PM »

The emotion is known as fury, look it up.

Maybe you are right, however speed is only matter of reflexes, while fury (whatever you mean here) is a matter of internal energy and musicianship.

I saw Mr. Grynyuk at Rubinstein competition. He was quite ridiculous. The only thing he was concerned with was speed, to the point when his R.H. was way faster than L.H.
Half of the audience was laughing.
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thalbergmad
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2006, 12:01:39 AM »

Perhaps Dreyschock re-incarnate.

Impressive but possibly one dimensional?

Thal
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opus10no2
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2006, 12:03:49 AM »

his R.H. was way faster than L.H.
Half of the audience was laughing.

Clearly he has learnt from his mistakes, and his LH now matched his RH.

The audience laugh no longer, they come and applaud, in that order.
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m
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2006, 12:41:09 AM »

Clearly he has learnt from his mistakes, and his LH now matched his RH.


I don't see he learnt much since then. Although now his LH matches his RH, his general approach is still the same, i.e. unthoughtful, unmusical, with no personal emotional connection with what he is doing. I don't get much impressed with that.

As for your original question, I knew quite a few individuals who could play the HR6 at least as fast, but with more control and quality, and most of all much more interesting, musical, with more charm, grace, and abondon, this music asks for. 
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opus10no2
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2006, 01:19:08 AM »

Musical reservations are as irrelevant here as questioning the quality of dialogue in the latest seymour butts movie.

The point in foucs, is raw octave speed, and these 2 videos are, to mine and a number of others' knowledge, records.

You say others can play it 'at least as fast'?

Prove it.
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m
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2006, 02:43:08 AM »

Musical reservations are as irrelevant here as questioning the quality of dialogue in the latest seymour butts movie.

The point in foucs, is raw octave speed, and these 2 videos are, to mine and a number of others' knowledge, records.

You say others can play it 'at least as fast'?

Prove it.

Considering the whole silliness of your assertions about irrelevancy of musical reservations, I don't have to prove anything.

Originally you asked if "You've seen better", I am telling you: "Yes, I did". Whether take my word for it and go home, or live with that. Either way I don't care.

Oh yes, if you want to hear the "real" HR6, find an early recording of V. Bakk playing it. It is unmatched so far... at least in my book.
He starts the last movement quite slowly, gradually speeding up far above the point of human abilities, which enhances that feeling of "WOW" even more, when at the end audience just jumps up on the feet, histerically screaming.

And let me tell you, Mr. Grynyuk even in his dream hasn't seen the qulity of V. Bakk's fundamental octaves, which like a "laser" pierce the air, where sound of every single octave is an art in itself.
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opus10no2
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2006, 02:48:28 AM »

gradually speeding up to above the point of human abilities

The point is that every human has different abilities, and I seriously doubt this 'Bakk' can match Grynyuk in raw speed.

I may not be able to find the recording in question, so just time the corresponding section with this video, see who comes out on top.
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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2006, 03:15:19 AM »

The point is that every human has different abilities, and I seriously doubt this 'Bakk' can match Grynyuk in raw speed.


The fact that you refer to him as "this Bakk" makes me wondering, how one can "seriously doubt" someone's abilities without even knowing whom we are talking about??? Huh
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opus10no2
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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2006, 03:19:42 AM »

Unless Bakk has the fastest octaves ever, I think my assumption is pertinent.
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csy
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« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2006, 04:24:18 AM »

Well, the octaves are very fast. I am impressed with the sheer speed and power.
But I must way it is very mechanical playing and very very very boring. I just wonder what he is trying to express.
Anyway, regarding the Rubinstein competition, the winner is Alexander GAVRYLYUK, a very good pianist. Don't mix him up with Alexei Grynyuk.  Wink
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minor9th
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« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2006, 06:25:58 AM »

Well, the octaves are very fast. I am impressed with the sheer speed and power.
But I must way it is very mechanical playing and very very very boring. I just wonder what he is trying to express.
Anyway, regarding the Rubinstein competition, the winner is Alexander GAVRYLYUK, a very good pianist. Don't mix him up with Alexei Grynyuk.  Wink


Until I watched the video, that's who I thought you folks were talking about, and I was quite confused, as Gavrylyuk plays very impressively on the VAI DVD that I have! He too can play fast, but he's far more musical than this Grynyuk clown.
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csy
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« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2006, 08:20:50 AM »

Until I watched the video, that's who I thought you folks were talking about, and I was quite confused, as Gavrylyuk plays very impressively on the VAI DVD that I have! He too can play fast, but he's far more musical than this Grynyuk clown.
I have that DVD too.  Very impressive prokofiev sonatas and Brahms Paganini variations.
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ronde_des_sylphes
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« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2006, 11:19:24 AM »

The HR6 is fast for sure, but not 100% clean, and the overall sound produced is lacking in clarity (compare, for example, Cziffra's much drier sound). Might be impressive if you were watching live, but it's not (to me at least) if you're examining it in a more aloof manner.
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opus10no2
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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2006, 01:54:26 PM »

Excuse the lack of clarity in sound, it is mostly to do with the recording quality, it gives it a blurred effect.
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mephisto
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« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2006, 01:59:48 PM »

Libetta?

But this trutrumofo is insane, in the best sense of the word. How much faster is he than the rest like Argerich, Horowitz and Cziffra in those sections?
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ramseytheii
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« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2006, 02:30:54 PM »

I guess this will always be a controversial topic!  Personally I think these videos are the most impressive, with the sound off.  And I would like to see him in full-body X-ray playing the octaves, so we can watch this freakish skeleton smashing away full speed aheda!

Walter Ramsey
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m
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« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2006, 07:42:15 PM »


Anyway, regarding the Rubinstein competition, the winner is Alexander GAVRYLYUK, a very good pianist. Don't mix him up with Alexei Grynyuk.  Wink


Yes, Grynyuk played the competition when Korsantia won (some 8-10 years ago). Naturally, he did not pass even into the second round.
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arensky
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« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2006, 07:52:42 PM »

.

The emotion is known as fury, look it up.


This isn't furious. It's just fast and rather sloppy. Yes his speed is cool but I don't think he has much to offer besides that.
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« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2006, 08:14:27 PM »

Yes, Grynyuk played the competition when Korsantia won (some 8-10 years ago). Naturally, he did not pass even into the second round.
That was 11 years ago, in 1985.
And how old was he at that time? must be very young.
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opus10no2
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« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2006, 08:18:16 PM »


This isn't furious. It's just fast and rather sloppy. Yes his speed is cool but I don't think he has much to offer besides that.

It's the fastest ever, and not particularly sloppy.

Does he need anything more to offer?

There are way too many 'musical' pianists out there, we need more pianists with more tehcnical excellence and the abandom to unleash this kind of meteoric warpfactor 8 speed.
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ronde_des_sylphes
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« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2006, 08:37:04 PM »


There are way too many 'musical' pianists out there, we need more pianists with more tehcnical excellence and the abandom to unleash this kind of meteoric warpfactor 8 speed.

What is needed is pianists who are both "musical" AND have the technical excellence to unleash raw virtuosity whilst remaining "musical". I'd accept that sometimes pianists get classed as "musical" when they don't have that much to offer in a technical, ubervirtuoso sense.
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« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2006, 08:37:58 PM »

Is this the guy who was in the Van Cliburn documentary who's always a nervous wreck, burnt his hand with boiling water one year and had to opt out, now he brings his own piano bench around because he likes to sit lower?  Or was that Alexander Gavrylyuk?  Because if it's Grynyuk he played HR6 at that competiton and it was great, but this performance here actually blows that one away.
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arensky
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« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2006, 08:41:22 PM »

It's the fastest ever, and not particularly sloppy.

Does he need anything more to offer?

There are way too many 'musical' pianists out there, we need more pianists with more tehcnical excellence and the abandom to unleash this kind of meteoric warpfactor 8 speed.

Sorry dude; after the intial impression of the speed wore off, there wasn't anything there for me. Ah prefer this vid, as did my music appreciation class ( post high school kids), their mouths dropped and stayed that way. You could have heard a pin drop during this vid, usually there's rustling or whispered comments. Why, his accuracy? His speed? They are both extremely impressive, but that's not why. This man is comitted to the music and is saying something. In other words, this performance is "musical". Compared to this performance, Mr. Grinyuk's has about the same emotionalcontent level as if Myleene Klass or Atomic Kitten had performed it...

At least they are much more pleasant to look at...  Kiss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wnXcq8Gk7Y&mode=related&search=
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minor9th
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« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2006, 08:49:11 PM »

Is this the guy who was in the Van Cliburn documentary who's always a nervous wreck, burnt his hand with boiling water one year and had to opt out, now he brings his own piano bench around because he likes to sit lower?  Or was that Alexander Gavrylyuk?  Because if it's Grynyuk he played HR6 at that competiton and it was great, but this performance here actually blows that one away.

No, that was Stanislav Ioudenitch.
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opus10no2
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« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2006, 09:37:59 PM »

Sorry dude; after the intial impression of the speed wore off, there wasn't anything there for me. Ah prefer this vid, as did my music appreciation class ( post high school kids), their mouths dropped and stayed that way. You could have heard a pin drop during this vid, usually there's rustling or whispered comments. Why, his accuracy? His speed? They are both extremely impressive, but that's not why. This man is comitted to the music and is saying something. In other words, this performance is "musical". Compared to this performance, Mr. Grinyuk's has about the same emotionalcontent level as if Myleene Klass or Atomic Kitten had performed it...

At least they are much more pleasant to look at...  Kiss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wnXcq8Gk7Y&mode=related&search=

We are comparing artists with athletes.

As much as I prefer Cziffra artistically, with objectivity - he is the inferior athlete in this work.

If you question the lasting appeal of athleticism - ask yourself why millions times the amount of people watch the olympics and 'superboal' than those who watch videos of artists like Arrau and others.
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mephisto
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« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2006, 10:04:38 PM »

You might as well ask why more people like Rubinstein's Chopin Nocturne recordings more than Hamelin's Chopin  Godowsky etudes.

I do personally like em both.
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opus10no2
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« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2006, 10:34:24 PM »

You might as well ask why more people like Rubinstein's Chopin Nocturne recordings more than Hamelin's Chopin  Godowsky etudes.

I do personally like em both.

Sadly, they are comparable in NPS. Kiss
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m
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« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2006, 12:42:57 AM »

It's the fastest ever, and not particularly sloppy.

Does he need anything more to offer?


Obviously, we have different standarts. I consider that performance EXTREMELY sloppy and not for the reason of some missing notes, but the performance where the hardest part (anybody who plays this Rhapsody knows this spot on the last page, where both hands play the theme together) is completely messed up--he just cannot cop with his speed. NONE OF PROFESSIONALS would ever buy it.

And no, he does not need anything more to offer for mere reason of "he has nothing else to offer".

As for:
There are way too many 'musical' pianists out there, we need more pianists with more tehcnical excellence and the abandom to unleash this kind of meteoric warpfactor 8 speed.

As I see it, the problem is there are way too many modern pianists with "technical excellence" and way too few artists. That's the reason why music is in such state of crisis right now.

Your obsession with "raw speed" with no connection to music, is as silly as if somebody would start to be amazed by, let's say Michael Jordan, just for mere reason of how fast he moves his legs in the field.
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opus10no2
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« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2006, 01:07:49 AM »

I've never seen or heard anyone at that speed in those pieces, so it's hard to compare.
It's a bit sloppy, but who else could play at that speed at all?

The hands are the most complex movable parts of the human body...many people are amazed by fast runners, and speed is the essence of almost every sport.
I feel speed of the hands should be just as admired.

A wise man once said -

' Music is entertainment, Speed is art '

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opus10no2
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« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2006, 01:38:15 AM »

5 people have seen faster octaves? according to the poll.

Speak up and name names.
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csy
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« Reply #36 on: November 25, 2006, 04:06:59 AM »

Ok, he got fast and loud octaves.
But his playing is not inspiring.
It is definitely fine if you are looking for meaningless playing. Wink
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minor9th
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« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2006, 06:07:59 AM »

5 people have seen faster octaves? according to the poll.

Speak up and name names.

Is this guy a friend of yours? You seem so defensive toward him. OK, he's fast...I'm very happy for him.
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« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2006, 06:12:41 AM »

Is this guy a friend of yours? You seem so defensive toward him. OK, he's fast...I'm very happy for him.
`
Completely agree~~ Grin
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arensky
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« Reply #39 on: November 25, 2006, 06:27:39 AM »

5 people have seen faster octaves? according to the poll.

Speak up and name names.


The poll says "impressive octaves". Nothing about faster.  Smiley

I don't think I've heard it faster. But it didn't impress me much. He's shallow.

I admire good piano technique for it's own sake but if it's not connected to a musical intelligence or is somehow expressive it's just that, good piano technique. I would rather listen to someone who has both technique and musicality. Why shouldn't I buy the complete package...
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« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2006, 06:31:05 AM »

5 people have seen faster octaves? according to the poll.

I did not vote, but excuse me... where in the poll did you see the word "faster"?
Fortunately, for some people "better" does not nesseccarily mean "faster".

Edit: Oh Arensky, I see you posted while I was writing. Happy to see I am not alone Smiley
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« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2006, 12:34:22 PM »

I think the battle between musical and sportive fury is senseless. True artists have always had both. E.g Gilels and Richter. I enjoyed watching that video of Grynyuk though. I like speed. I find it amusing.
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« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2006, 01:56:47 PM »

Mother of Jefferson Davis!!  He's ahead of the fox!!  I can't even get near the "musicality" issue.  These are octaves to die for.  Just listened to them with my coffee here in NYC this morning.  I don't know which roused me awake more.  Thanks for the thrill-ride link.


Michael
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« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2006, 03:00:12 PM »

I've never seen or heard anyone at that speed in those pieces, so it's hard to compare.
It's a bit sloppy, but who else could play at that speed at all?

The hands are the most complex movable parts of the human body...many people are amazed by fast runners, and speed is the essence of almost every sport.
I feel speed of the hands should be just as admired.

A wise man once said -

' Music is entertainment, Speed is art '



But you just don't seem to care how anybody uses the gift of speed!  What if you had a friend with a superior intelligence, who was so "smart' that he could find a fault in every little thing you did.  The way you dressed, the colors you chose, the way you walked, the way you played the piano, your religion, your conversation, your other friends, your family, he criticized everything.  Would you say, "I think this person is amazing, and what an intellect!  I have never heard anybody with a faster wit, and if anybody says they have, they are lying." 

No - you would say, "Shut the *** up."  And a big collective voice from piano forum is wathcing this video, and seeing someone play fast at the service of nothing, and they are rising up to say, "Shut the *** up."  Nobody wants to see the things they love treated in this way, and you certainly wouldn't want yourself treated in this way, so what is to admire? 

Actually there is more to say, "He can play so fast - what a shame he plays like this."  That way you can admire the speed and feel the disappointment at the same time.

Walter Ramsey
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opus10no2
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« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2006, 03:04:12 PM »

Fortunately, for some people "better" does not nesseccarily mean "faster".

For shame, for shame.


But his playing is not inspiring.

I can understand this.

It's easy to be inspired by Arrau or Horowitz, because their speeds are acheivable.

But all Grynyuk inspires most people to do, is give up, because they don't have a chance in hell.


The poll says "impressive octaves". Nothing about faster. Smiley

I don't think I've heard it faster. But it didn't impress me much. He's shallow.

I admire good piano technique for it's own sake but if it's not connected to a musical intelligence or is somehow expressive it's just that, good piano technique. I would rather listen to someone who has both technique and musicality. Why shouldn't I buy the complete package...


The complete package evidently doesn't exist.

When a certain level of speed is achieved, musicality becomes irrelevant and it enters the realm of pianistic olympics.

To denounce a pianist with 'the fastest octaves ever' as 'not very impressive', is to(in my view) prove your lack of passion for the art of pianism, which is sandwiched between the reals of music and physical feat.

I can appreciate both, independantly.

Againt with the sports analogy, why should you be ANY LESS impressed by his octaves than people are by the fastest track athletes in the world?

I believe appreciation for technical merit can exist happily without the subjective distraction of 'music'.

The ideal for most, is a marriage of both, but for most people 'musicality' is a distraction from technical excellence.

Only those endowed with the mystical gift of 'fury' can happily form a symbiosis of music and athleticism, as their 'musical' instincts also tend to the higher warp factors.
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« Reply #45 on: November 25, 2006, 03:07:12 PM »

But you just don't seem to care how anybody uses the gift of speed!  What if you had a friend with a superior intelligence, who was so "smart' that he could find a fault in every little thing you did.  The way you dressed, the colors you chose, the way you walked, the way you played the piano, your religion, your conversation, your other friends, your family, he criticized everything.  Would you say, "I think this person is amazing, and what an intellect!  I have never heard anybody with a faster wit, and if anybody says they have, they are lying." 

No - you would say, "Shut the *** up."  And a big collective voice from piano forum is wathcing this video, and seeing someone play fast at the service of nothing, and they are rising up to say, "Shut the *** up."  Nobody wants to see the things they love treated in this way, and you certainly wouldn't want yourself treated in this way, so what is to admire? 

Actually there is more to say, "He can play so fast - what a shame he plays like this."  That way you can admire the speed and feel the disappointment at the same time.

Walter Ramsey


I can see the shame dripping from this post.

He is playing fast in service of the art of keyboard athleticism, noone is claiming otherwise.

This is as 'shallow' or 'enlightened' as any other person who persues technical excellence in any field.
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ramseytheii
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« Reply #46 on: November 25, 2006, 03:57:04 PM »

I can see the shame dripping from this post.

I don't have anything to be ashamed of.  It's you, who would attempt to make people feel shame when they do something so innocuous as speak their minds, that should be ashamed!  If you can't take the contrary view, better just not read them any more.

He is playing fast in service of the art of keyboard athleticism, noone is claiming otherwise.

That's my point exactly, it is athletic, and nothing otherwise, and I think many others point as well.  So when you watch the video, you are left being impressed with the athletic quality with which he played the octaves.  Great!  But most people don't think that was what Liszt had in mind, and therefore it just falls short.  We can't judge the pianist from a one-minute video, but we see this and must react.

But this is perhaps a personal matter above anything else.   I am more impressed with colorful sounds that create the impression of living, breathing characters, or actual singing, or actual speaking.  You get this in Horowitz, and I was going to ask the rhetorical question, that if there were a young pianist playing the Horowitz repertoire without the Horowitz mistakes, and faster than Horowitz, but without the characters, would you be more impressed, but then I was afraid you would actually say yes, and I didn't ask the question.   Grin

This is as 'shallow' or 'enlightened' as any other person who persues technical excellence in any field.

Thou sayest!

Walter Ramsey

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arensky
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« Reply #47 on: November 25, 2006, 07:07:24 PM »


The complete package evidently doesn't exist.

Cziffra Horowitz Hoffman Richter Gilels Sofronitsky Ashkenazy Kappel Viardo Sokolov Janis Berezovsky Rachmaninov Francois Argerich Lang Fiorentino Pogorelich Hamelin Zimerman Rubinstein Casadesus Attwood Katchen Pollack Perhaia Li Tiempo etc etc etc etc.

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When a certain level of speed is achieved, musicality becomes irrelevant and it enters the realm of pianistic olympics.

 Roll Eyes

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To denounce a pianist with 'the fastest octaves ever' as 'not very impressive', is to(in my view) prove your lack of passion for the art of pianism, which is sandwiched between the reals of music and physical feat.

In your view.  Smiley


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Againt with the sports analogy, why should you be ANY LESS impressed by his octaves than people are by the fastest track athletes in the world?

Why should I? Maybe I think track is one dimesional and boring, and I prefer to watch team sports that multi dimensional, involving and combining more than one skill and ability (including speed). Like most other people. The World Cup is for football, not track...  Wink


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The ideal for most, is a marriage of both, but for most people 'musicality' is a distraction from technical excellence.

This statement contradicts itself...  Roll Eyes

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Only those endowed with the mystical gift of 'fury' can happily form a symbiosis of music and athleticism, as their 'musical' instincts also tend to the higher warp factors.

If you start a "Church of Speed" you can live tax free; or you can here, anyway. Think about it!

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opus10no2
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« Reply #48 on: November 25, 2006, 07:51:04 PM »

Cziffra Horowitz Hoffman Richter Gilels Sofronitsky Ashkenazy Kappel Viardo Sokolov Janis Berezovsky Rachmaninov Francois Argerich Lang Fiorentino Pogorelich Hamelin Zimerman Rubinstein Casadesus Attwood Katchen Pollack Perhaia Li Tiempo etc etc etc etc.

It would be fine if they could manage to play this fast, but they didn't.

When people don't , it's easy to assume they can't, not that they simply 'choose not to'.
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mephisto
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« Reply #49 on: November 25, 2006, 07:57:54 PM »

Actually I can play faster than this, not in octaves when that is said(this is not supposed to be some bad joke).

And Hamelin may be able to play octaves this fast, he has the fastest HR2 octaves if I remember correctly.
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