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Imitating pianists (Read 4170 times)

Offline nad

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Imitating pianists
« on: January 21, 2004, 01:52:34 AM »
Hello,

I was wondering, how everyone here plays their pieces. I mean, how do you interpretate a piece, and where do you base that on?
Like the title says, there are also a lot of pianists who simply try to copy the way of playing by their favorite pianist. How do you give your own sound to a piece?
I'm very curious!

Nad

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Imitating pianists
«Reply #1 on: January 21, 2004, 07:12:36 PM »
There is absolutely nothing creative about imitating the way your favourite pianists play. The wonder in music comes from being able to create something unique - you wouldn't see an artist copying the Mona Lisa to become as well loved as Da Vinci!
Ed

Offline bernhard

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Re: Imitating pianists
«Reply #2 on: January 21, 2004, 11:00:56 PM »
Quote
There is absolutely nothing creative about imitating the way your favourite pianists play. The wonder in music comes from being able to create something unique - you wouldn't see an artist copying the Mona Lisa to become as well loved as Da Vinci!
Ed


Although this is true, it is also true that if you don't have a clue and want to learn about interpretation, imitating different styles of different pianists can be an eye (ear) opener.

In fact both aspiring wirters and art students do copy the old masters in order to learn how to eventually do it on their own.

So, yes, if you do not know how to start, go ahead and copy what is around.

But of course, at some stage you must do as Ed says.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: Imitating pianists
«Reply #3 on: January 22, 2004, 05:34:15 AM »
When I decide that I want to learn a piece, I try to listen to a couple of recordings by pianists of good reputation.  That gives me a general idea of what it should sound like, but honestly, I rely more on those for how a passage should sound technically than how it should sound musically.  As I listen, I think about what I agree with about their performance, and also about what I don't agree with.  Then, I kind of hear in my mind what the music should sound like as an improvement on what I hear, then try to transfer that to playing the piece.  Really, forcing a certain interpretation doesn't work well, let the interpretation flow the way you think it should sound.  Imitating a pianist is not good, because not only will one certainly fail (it's their personal interpretation, not yours, and so if you try to copy it the impression will be a shallow one), but one will lose the aspects of your own performance that would have otherwise been truly unique.

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Imitating pianists
«Reply #4 on: January 22, 2004, 04:32:21 PM »
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When I decide that I want to learn a piece, I try to listen to a couple of recordings by pianists of good reputation.  That gives me a general idea of what it should sound like


Surely you have already heard the piece before you decide to learn it though,
Ed

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: Imitating pianists
«Reply #5 on: January 22, 2004, 09:09:20 PM »
Almost always.  Occasionally, I have heard good things about a piece from others, then purchase the score to practice from, and see if I like what I hear.  But yes, I first hear a piece, and decide I like it, then I listen to more recordings.  I have to watch what I say around here. :)

Offline Roberto

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Re: Imitating pianists
«Reply #6 on: February 03, 2004, 01:43:11 PM »
I think that "autoimitation" is more dangerous than "imitation"...;~))
good luck!
roberto

Offline krenske

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Re: Imitating pianists
«Reply #7 on: February 04, 2004, 08:53:19 AM »
i agree with Bernhard..
my friend and i [both pianists] both went through a Horowitz period [unfortunately the BAD parts of Horowitz, like mannerisms, and weird stuff] followed by a Richter phase [purity and more purity] followed by a Kapell phase [exciting tempos, with great clarity].
I suppose by developing all these aspects of playing [and many others] you take the best from each, and find what really does it for you...
after all, you only live once, and
THERE IS NO MUSICAL JAIL
[thats gaol for some of you out there]
"Horowitz died so Krenske could live."

Offline Beet9

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Re: Imitating pianists
«Reply #8 on: February 09, 2004, 05:09:29 PM »
Why would you want to imitate other pianists?  Your interpretation is one of the most valuable things.  Read your music away from the piano.  Think.  How does this piece make me feel?  What can I do to evoke this feeling?  Or have a story or picture in your head that fits the piece.  Imagine different characters: the dreamy one, the angry one etc, and imagine them conversing with one another.  
If you do this you will develop your own, individual style and you won't have to copy other pianists.
"what's with all the dumb quotes?"

Offline bernhard

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Re: Imitating pianists
«Reply #9 on: February 10, 2004, 12:12:12 AM »
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Why would you want to imitate other pianists? †


Because it is a great learning tool.

If you go to art school, you will get assignments to copy masterpieces. This will teach you a lot about the craft of painting. No one is suggesting that you should then become a forger. That is not the end goal. It is a means to finding your own expressivity.

If you are learning composition a superb exercise is to write music in the style of the great composers. Again, no one is suggesting that you should now start composing music in Mozartís style and claiming Mozart dictate it to you from the grave.

Likewise, playing Bachís Prelude in C in the manner of Glenn Gould, Jacques Loussier, Rosalyn Tureck and Edwin Fisher (to name just four very distinct interpretations) will teach and inform you. Of  course, you should go on and find out your own way.

Apply the same reasoning to this situation: you go to the dentist, and he informs you that he didnít really attend any classes at dentist school because he wanted to develop his own approach and he did not want to imitate other dentists. Would you proceed with the treatment?

Incidentally, it is not really possible to imitate another pianist, as it is not possible to replicate the Mona Lisa. Still, trying to do it will teach you a lot.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline chopiabin

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Re: Imitating pianists
«Reply #10 on: February 10, 2004, 12:38:19 AM »
I agree with Bernhard and Lisztman. Listening to a great pianist can help because you can find the things that you don't particularly find pleasing about his performnace. Take Arrau's nocturnes, for instance, in working on the op41#1nocturne I found that I really did not like the way he did not do much of a crescendo before the rolled chords or his first few chromatic octaves, so I did them the way I felt they should sound.

One can listen to the masters to get ideas and then modify them to create your own interpretation of a piece.

Offline anda

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Re: Imitating pianists
«Reply #11 on: February 24, 2004, 04:38:14 PM »
i don't think it's best to start by listening to recordings - especially since if you decided to learn this or that work, you must have heared it someplace and loved it.

i know i start by reading the work several times, i get my own ideas, i learn it, and i start listening to other's versions only after i have a pretty clear personal image on the work - recordings can always provide you with good ideas, but all should be filtered by an awakened conscience.

also, i think that stealing ideas is just fine, as long as you know how to do it - you like that, fine, do it, but do it as if you were the first ever to think about it. (and don't ever think that you're the only one to do it - just listen to recordings played by great pianists, the similarities are just as obvious as the differences)

Offline scriabinsmyman

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Re: Imitating pianists
«Reply #12 on: March 12, 2004, 08:04:41 PM »
i dont think imitating anyone-even horowitz- is a good approach to playing music...of course, i listen to a variety of artists for ideas, but making a piece truly your own makes it special.  when i interpret a piece, i think of the personal emotions it ellicits, or what i first think when i hear that piece. try any ideas you may have-even the crazy ones- you might end up w/ something great!

Offline trunks

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Re: Imitating pianists
«Reply #13 on: April 12, 2004, 09:27:41 PM »
When playing music, each individual has his unique 'signature' that is unimitable. You can absorb what you like and shape it into your own style, but there is no way and no point exactly imitating another artist.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Shagdac

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Re: Imitating pianists
«Reply #14 on: April 13, 2004, 10:48:20 AM »
Usually, I learn a piece because I've heard it, and was intrigued by the beauty, complexity or any of a number of things....can't get it out of my head, and end up feeling like I have to get that score. Once I do, yes, I listen to several different recordings, but mostly for technical purposes, not to (copy) the artists style. However, I have found myself thinking when listening to a recording of a piece I love..."I only hope I can play it just like that". But I don't mean it to "copy" the pianist style, more out of admiration, because I am so moved by their rendition of the piece, I only hope to play it as well.  No matter how much I admire Uchida's Mozart....( and I would looooovvvveee to play JUST like her) I never will play exactly like her, so it's not a problem. Same with Horowitz, Agerich or anyone else. No matter how many pianist play the same piece....it will never be EXACTLY identical. Everyone has their own style and technique. It may be similar...and there's nothing wrong with trying to imitate greatness.....but it still won't be the same. If it were possible to imitate, we would only need 1 recording of each piece! How wonderful it is that
the same piece can be played by 1,000 different people and be special every time!!!

Shag :)