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The greatest sightreader out there? (Read 3924 times)

Offline sevencircles

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The greatest sightreader out there?
« on: May 24, 2006, 01:51:18 PM »
I have heard reports that John Ogdon could play anything at first sight if he played it slowly and the work wasn´t too demanding when it comes to finger- and handindepence.

Any groupings of notes and any timesignature you can imagine and he could still read both the left and righthand part at ones after seeing the work for the first time.

Can anyone else do this, of todays virtuosos?

Offline franz_

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #1 on: May 24, 2006, 01:55:24 PM »
I ever heard that Liszt played Brahms concerto for the first time by sightreading. Or it was the opposite. If it is true I don't know. Also I heard that Alfred Brendel is a bàd sightreader.
Currently learing:
- Chopin: Ballade No.3
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Offline anda

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #2 on: May 24, 2006, 02:03:36 PM »

i read that clara schumann sight-read perfectly chopin ballade no.2 in tempo.

also, gieseking writes in his book that he used to sight-read at tea-parties "for fun" - that composers brought him modal and atonal works they had just written and he had no problem playing them at first sight.  :o

these days, i suppose professional accompanists should be best sight-readers.

Offline dnephi

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #3 on: May 24, 2006, 03:14:08 PM »
I ever heard that Liszt played Brahms concerto for the first time by sightreading. Or it was the opposite. If it is true I don't know. Also I heard that Alfred Brendel is a bàd sightreader.
No, that was the Grieg concerto that Liszt sightplayed.  It's not "too bad" of a concerto  ;D.
For us musicians, the music of Beethoven is the pillar of fire and cloud of mist which guided the Israelites through the desert.  (Roughly quoted, Franz Liszt.)

Offline thracozaag

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #4 on: May 24, 2006, 03:35:21 PM »
 The two best sight-readers I've personally seen in action are Cyprien Katsaris and Francesco Libetta--they're ridiculous.

koji
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline dnephi

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #5 on: May 24, 2006, 03:38:08 PM »
I sightplayed passacaglia by Handel  ::) :-X :P :-[
For us musicians, the music of Beethoven is the pillar of fire and cloud of mist which guided the Israelites through the desert.  (Roughly quoted, Franz Liszt.)

Offline mephisto

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #6 on: May 24, 2006, 04:36:21 PM »
The two best sight-readers I've personally seen in action are Cyprien Katsaris and Francesco Libetta--they're ridiculous.

koji

What did they do?

Offline d.shosty

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #7 on: May 24, 2006, 04:53:48 PM »
Saint Saens was apparantly the greatest sight reader ever. 

A passage from "The Great Pianists" by Schonberg:

Von Bulow, St. Saens and Wagener were all in conversation.  Saint waens, who could not follow in  German became bored and piecked up a full-score manuscript of Siegried, not yet completed, put it on the piano and began to play.  Wagner and Von Bulow stopped talking.  Never, said von bulow, had he heard such score reading, it was all at first sight.  Scarecely an effect was lost, the player seemed intuitively to grasp the whole structure of the work and he reporduced it in its transformed shape without a second's hesitiation.  Wagner was speechless.  "I too can play from score," said von bulow, "but neither I nor any living man could have performed that feat after Saint saens.  he is the greatest musical mind of our time."

Offline henrah

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #8 on: May 24, 2006, 05:17:30 PM »
My dad is a pretty insane sight reader, yet it is a disadvantage to him because he finds it incredibly hard to memorise a piece. I am completely the opposite: crap sight reader, but excellent memoriser. It's so useful that I don't have to take my scores with me to school to practice as all I have to do is play through it at home and I can practice it at school no problem. Great benefit 8)

But it takes yonks to get a piece up to playing. Sure I can remember the notes, but not necessarily how to play them :P
Henrah
Currently learning:<br />Liszt- Consolation No.3<br />J.W.Hässler- Sonata No.6 in C, 2nd mvt<br />Glière- No.10 from 12 Esquisses, Op.47<br />Saint-Saens- VII Aquarium<br />Mozart- Fantasie KV397<br /

Offline nicco

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #9 on: May 24, 2006, 06:32:36 PM »
My dad is a pretty insane sight reader, yet it is a disadvantage to him because he finds it incredibly hard to memorise a piece. I am completely the opposite: crap sight reader, but excellent memoriser. It's so useful that I don't have to take my scores with me to school to practice as all I have to do is play through it at home and I can practice it at school no problem. Great benefit 8)

But it takes yonks to get a piece up to playing. Sure I can remember the notes, but not necessarily how to play them :P
Henrah

I could never do that. Memorizing notes: no problem, but memorizing all the p's, f's, crescendos, ritardandos, phrases, accents, staccatos, etc etc is something i wouldnt do. I find it ALWAYS an advantage to have the sheets in front of me, regardless of how good i know the notes or how long ive played it.
"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline sevencircles

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #10 on: May 24, 2006, 07:16:49 PM »
Quote
Saint Saens was apparantly the greatest sight reader ever.
Quote

Would he be able to play for instance Ligeti´s or Xenakis´s hardest works at sight?

Not so sure about that.

He was a genius though

Saint Saens was said to be able to play almost anything after hearing it ones and that includes Liszt´s hardest works (and a lot of  Alkan too I believe. They were from same city)

Do you know any player out there right now who can play the true virtuoso works after hearing them only ones?

It sounds like a superhuman feat but remember that Sain-Saens could play all of Beethoven´s sonatas at the age of 11.


Offline avetma

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #11 on: May 24, 2006, 07:47:48 PM »
Liszt sightreaded Grieg's piano concerto! :o

And my teacher says to me that I am one of the best sightreaders she has ever seen. Far the best in my music school, and I can be compared to three best academy-students sightreaders along many of them that she teached. I am so proud at that ;D

Still, I am not as good as liszt were haha
I can sightread pieces like 2nd movement rach2 in tempo, chopin's 25/6 (little slower ;D), liszt's HR 2 and 13, any of chopin waltz's or nocturnos. I am aware that this sounds really conceited, but I just had to.

But remember, even the easiest music has to be played, not sightreaded.

Offline henrah

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #12 on: May 24, 2006, 08:07:19 PM »
Does your sightreading come as an advantage or disadvantage when studying for a recital or exam? I can imagine it being a huge advantage as you would be able to play it pretty much instantly, and work more on perfecting it. But it could also be a disadvantage if you have trouble memorising it because you are sightreading it, which is a problem my dad comes across often. Is it the case with you also?

I agree with you about 'even the easiest music has to be played, not sightreaded' but I'd like to amend it with 'every piece of music has to be played, and sightreading it can come as something extra for fun&games or to help with something, but definately not for performing'. Just wanted to add that tid-bit lol 8)

But 25/6 is pretty impressive! Though surely every time you play it, it's becoming less and less of a sightread as some might stick in your memory?
Henrah
Currently learning:<br />Liszt- Consolation No.3<br />J.W.Hässler- Sonata No.6 in C, 2nd mvt<br />Glière- No.10 from 12 Esquisses, Op.47<br />Saint-Saens- VII Aquarium<br />Mozart- Fantasie KV397<br /

Offline mike_lang

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #13 on: May 24, 2006, 11:27:03 PM »
You know, Bolet sight read Mephisto Waltz and had it completely memorized within an hour and a half.

Offline henrah

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #14 on: May 24, 2006, 11:47:16 PM »
I think that given an hour and a half, and intensly concentrating, I think I might be able to memorise the Mephisto Waltz to the point that I'd be able to go away to a piano somewhere else, or if the score was taken away from me, I'd be able to play all the notes. Not necessarily to performance standard, and I most certainly won't be able to sightread much of it (in fact hardly any except the slow part, which might be possible) but I'm quite sure that I'll be able to remember it.


Though maybe my ego is just showing up now hehe 8) Here he comes!
HenraH-the-MagiX
Currently learning:<br />Liszt- Consolation No.3<br />J.W.Hässler- Sonata No.6 in C, 2nd mvt<br />Glière- No.10 from 12 Esquisses, Op.47<br />Saint-Saens- VII Aquarium<br />Mozart- Fantasie KV397<br /

Offline kriskicksass

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #15 on: May 24, 2006, 11:56:23 PM »
When my teacher was studying with Jorge Bolet, Bolet read Debussey's "What the West Wind Saw" for him to demo at a lesson. Bolet's reading was so superior to my teacher's practiced playing that he said he wanted to quit.

Offline henrah

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #16 on: May 25, 2006, 12:06:32 AM »
That Bolet must have had such a lazy career at times. He could easily organise a concert and do no work up for it whatsoever, and completely sightread the entire concert.
Currently learning:<br />Liszt- Consolation No.3<br />J.W.Hässler- Sonata No.6 in C, 2nd mvt<br />Glière- No.10 from 12 Esquisses, Op.47<br />Saint-Saens- VII Aquarium<br />Mozart- Fantasie KV397<br /

Offline bach-liszt

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #17 on: May 25, 2006, 12:16:22 AM »
Sight reading is one of my strengths.  I also have good photographic memory which helps me greatly in memorizing. 
Music is at its best when it is played for God's glory and for man's good!

Offline da jake

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #18 on: May 25, 2006, 12:24:53 AM »
Pshaw. I sightread the Scherzo of the Mendelssohn C Minor Trio...at tempo...flawlessly!

Then, for fun, I sightread Chopin B minor Sonate Finale...crosshanded.  8)
"The best discourse upon music is silence" - Schumann

Offline henrah

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #19 on: May 25, 2006, 12:30:38 AM »
Heh, shu'up you di'ain't
Currently learning:<br />Liszt- Consolation No.3<br />J.W.Hässler- Sonata No.6 in C, 2nd mvt<br />Glière- No.10 from 12 Esquisses, Op.47<br />Saint-Saens- VII Aquarium<br />Mozart- Fantasie KV397<br /

Offline da jake

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #20 on: May 25, 2006, 12:31:38 AM »
* PLEEEZ

Y'ALL NO KNOW ME...SIT DOWN... >:( >:(

 8)

PS: I also played the Tchaikovsky/Feinberg/Attwood/Oakley/McCartney/Tupac Scherzo Transcription with my toes...cross footed.  ;D
"The best discourse upon music is silence" - Schumann

Offline nedgerhart

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #21 on: May 25, 2006, 04:36:36 AM »
I have heard reports that John Ogdon could play anything at first sight if he played it slowly and the work wasn´t too demanding when it comes to finger- and handindepence.

Geez. Everyone on this thread seemed to miss the part about "if he played it slowly".

You, too, can play almost anything perfectly if you play it at a tempo you can deal with the first time through.  How else to practice? If you play things too fast out of the box, you end up teaching yourself wrong notes, and you rob yourself of the opportunity to really hear what is being said by the composer -  at a speed which you are capable of understanding.

Ned

Offline avetma

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #22 on: May 25, 2006, 10:06:24 AM »
Does your sightreading come as an advantage or disadvantage when studying for a recital or exam? I can imagine it being a huge advantage as you would be able to play it pretty much instantly, and work more on perfecting it. But it could also be a disadvantage if you have trouble memorising it because you are sightreading it, which is a problem my dad comes across often. Is it the case with you also?

I agree with you about 'even the easiest music has to be played, not sightreaded' but I'd like to amend it with 'every piece of music has to be played, and sightreading it can come as something extra for fun&games or to help with something, but definately not for performing'. Just wanted to add that tid-bit lol 8)

But 25/6 is pretty impressive! Though surely every time you play it, it's becoming less and less of a sightread as some might stick in your memory?
Henrah

For me it is advantage. I have more time to spend on perfecting piece.
Yes, every time I play 25/6 again it is easier and easier. I have memorised that piece in 2 days * maybe 2 hours of practising. So I guess I am not bad memoriser... ::)

Offline henrah

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #23 on: May 25, 2006, 01:32:32 PM »
Danm you and your thirds!! Any chance of a recording?
Currently learning:<br />Liszt- Consolation No.3<br />J.W.Hässler- Sonata No.6 in C, 2nd mvt<br />Glière- No.10 from 12 Esquisses, Op.47<br />Saint-Saens- VII Aquarium<br />Mozart- Fantasie KV397<br /

Offline avetma

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #24 on: May 25, 2006, 08:13:48 PM »
I dont think so ;D It is still relative slow and without pedal or any musical 'styling'. It is just for practising RH thirds.

Offline harukipiano

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #25 on: May 07, 2021, 04:07:07 PM »
John Ogdon is THE best sight reader out there. He sight read Sorabji's Opus Clavicembalisticum, which I don't see how anyone can sight read that, so if you sight read the thing perfectly, than you can say that you're the best sight reader, so all of you people who are saying that they can sight read Liszt, Ravel, or anything should try reading that. Then, they can say they are the best sight reader. Also, sight reading is useless if you don't actually play the piece so if you can actually play that crazy piece, then upload it on youtube or something, no one seems to play it.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #26 on: May 07, 2021, 11:39:33 PM »
Did you seriously necro a 15-year old thread???

C'mon man, let it die. Bring yourself to the present.

Online lelle

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Re: The greatest sightreader out there?
«Reply #27 on: May 10, 2021, 05:48:18 PM »
I personally don't mind necros of threads that are interesting. But it's still fun to call out when somebody answers someone who's been gone for 15 years  ;D