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What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella? (Read 10092 times)

Offline jzp93

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What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
« on: July 03, 2011, 03:48:45 AM »
I'm not a professional but I thought it's beautiful and very expressive.
So I dont get it why people criticize him so much and say he doesn't play with emotion.
I can hear the emotion in his music. Maybe I'm deaf? I saw others play it including Yundi Li
but I like Kissin's the most. The mistakes...it was an encore and he's probably tired? With his sweat all over the piano the keys are slippery? Anyway, dont concert pianist make mistakes?
I just dont understand why he's criticised so much when all his concerts are sold out.

Offline scott13

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #1 on: July 03, 2011, 09:35:44 AM »
The youtube comments section should be disabled on classical performances. To often the ignorant leap to assert their "correct" view and normally it is never backed up by substance. Bottom line don't read to much into these (pun intended) and base your opinion of a performer on how well and how emotively you think he plays.

Offline gerryjay

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #2 on: July 03, 2011, 08:14:57 PM »
Dear JZP,
Kissin is a most controversial pianist. I am no particular fan of his playing, but I will not deny the career he built. Nevertheless, I find it very difficult to find anything of interest in his interpretations. Imho, there is nothing wrong about him, but there is nothing out of the ordinary either.

Best regards,
Jay.

Offline jzp93

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #3 on: July 03, 2011, 10:45:00 PM »
Dear JZP,
Kissin is a most controversial pianist. I am no particular fan of his playing, but I will not deny the career he built. Nevertheless, I find it very difficult to find anything of interest in his interpretations. Imho, there is nothing wrong about him, but there is nothing out of the ordinary either.

Best regards,
Jay.

Jay, I can understand that. What  I dont understand is when people start being mean by getting personal and making negative comments about his personality, lack of girlfriend,
living w family, even his hair, almost hateful. I've seen hurtful comments to other performers
as well but not half as much as Kissin and I dont think they really know him personally to judge
his character.

 ;D JZP

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #4 on: July 03, 2011, 10:50:34 PM »
Jay, I can understand that. What  I dont understand is when people start being mean by getting personal and making negative comments about his personality, lack of girlfriend,
living w family, even his hair, almost hateful. I've seen hurtful comments to other performers
as well but not half as much as Kissin and I dont think they really know him personally to judge
his character.

 ;D JZP


Sorry, to be blunt, but his personal demeanour and life story represents everything about classical musicians that gives us a bad name. It shouldn't be referred to maliciously, but frankly I do resent the idea that he should be a figure head for pianists. He perpetuates the idea that pianists are abnormal people.

Offline gerryjay

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #5 on: July 04, 2011, 02:39:01 AM »
Jay, I can understand that. What  I dont understand is when people start being mean by getting personal and making negative comments about his personality, lack of girlfriend,
living w family, even his hair, almost hateful. I've seen hurtful comments to other performers
as well but not half as much as Kissin and I dont think they really know him personally to judge
his character.

 ;D JZP

Dear JZP,
I think that nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies an ad hominem argument. It is below being rude: it is being an idiot, and screaming that to the world. Basically, behaving like an ass.

If we dig into the very personal aspects of the life of the artists, we will find anything. To some people, this is important, because - according to them - it reveals inner secrets in the compositions, or performances, or writings, or whatsoever. I just can't agree with that, because it only enhances one's own and previous beliefs.

Can you tell wether it is a man or a woman playing without knowing it beforehand? Or if it is a young or old person?

Let me use Kissin as an example. If I think his playing is not interesting, so, his life must not be interesting as well. If I prove that, my statement must be true. That would be perfect provided it would not destroy to the ground the validity of the premise at the same time.

Best regards,
Jay.

Offline gerryjay

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #6 on: July 04, 2011, 02:44:39 AM »
He perpetuates the idea that pianists are abnormal people.
I find that interesting, because I have never had - fortunately - any sort of experience relating to that. In my perspective, classical musicians in general have at worst a nerdish image, but that is respected as a serious life choice. But it may be just my perception.

Best regards,
Jay.

Offline redbaron

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #7 on: July 04, 2011, 06:40:10 PM »
Sorry, to be blunt, but his personal demeanour and life story represents everything about classical musicians that gives us a bad name.

When you say personal demeanour and life story, what specifically are you referring to? I'm not very familiar with Kissin in this regard although I don't particularly like his playing.

Offline mcdiddy1

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #8 on: July 04, 2011, 07:17:21 PM »
Nothing is wrong with playing. He is phenomanly gifted at the piano, superb technique and excellence musicianship. His style may not resonate with others for multiple reason (personality, demeanor,) but it does not take away from his skills as musician.

Offline gerryjay

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #9 on: July 04, 2011, 07:44:56 PM »
He is phenomanly gifted at the piano, superb technique and excellence musicianship.
I can't agree with you. In my opinion, though not a bad pianist, Kissin is anything but superlative.
Best regards,
Jay.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #10 on: July 04, 2011, 07:56:26 PM »
He perpetuates the idea that pianists are abnormal people.

I think pianists are abnormal. It requires dedication from an early age and only death brings retirement for most. You spend all your childhood playing scales whilst your friends play computer games, you spend your adult life living in hotels and getting flamed in the papers and if you live long enough, you peak in your 80's.

What the hell is normal about that ;D

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline mcdiddy1

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #11 on: July 04, 2011, 09:29:26 PM »
I can't agree with you. In my opinion, though not a bad pianist, Kissin is anything but superlative.
Best regards,
Jay.

Depends on who you compare him to. If you compare him to the average pianist, he is incredibly gifted. We wish our students played even close like him. If you compare him to the greatest pianist in history, he may not be near the top but the fact he put himself in a position to be measured to these artist means he is much better than ordinary.

After being a child prodigy, playing with major orchestras at 10, grammy awards, and multiple awards and global recognition  I think he has done pretty well for himself. Not like his interpretation is very different from not having superb skills as a pianist.

I think pianists are abnormal. It requires dedication from an early age and only death brings retirement for most. You spend all your childhood playing scales whilst your friends play computer games, you spend your adult life living in hotels and getting flamed in the papers and if you live long enough, you peak in your 80's.

What the hell is normal about that ;D

Thal

Ouch, thats all pianist have to look forward to? Who would want to play piano?

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #12 on: July 04, 2011, 11:55:32 PM »
I think pianists are abnormal. It requires dedication from an early age and only death brings retirement for most. You spend all your childhood playing scales whilst your friends play computer games, you spend your adult life living in hotels and getting flamed in the papers and if you live long enough, you peak in your 80's.

What the hell is normal about that ;D

Thal

The majority of pianists may well have been through a notably different life from a "regular" person. However, in many cases you wouldn't know if from chatting to them over a beer. I struggle to believe that Kissin could ever fall into that category. He speaks like some kind of a robot and seems entirely humourless in interviews. Aside from his piano playing (which I often find extremely unmusical and clangorous) I don't think he's a good ambassador for what classical music is all about. He perpetuates the idea that it's for oddballs- not regular people.

Offline gerryjay

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #13 on: July 05, 2011, 03:15:04 AM »
Depends on who you compare him to. If you compare him to the average pianist, he is incredibly gifted. We wish our students played even close like him. If you compare him to the greatest pianist in history, he may not be near the top but the fact he put himself in a position to be measured to these artist means he is much better than ordinary.

After being a child prodigy, playing with major orchestras at 10, grammy awards, and multiple awards and global recognition  I think he has done pretty well for himself. Not like his interpretation is very different from not having superb skills as a pianist.
Dear Mc,
We seem to have very different views of what superb skills are. But that is a dead end, we would never reach anything in a discussion about that.

Let me comment on your second paragraph, because there is the point I see about him. Kissin career was based - as his official bio proudly attests - on the image of an enfant prodige. This is, in my humble but serious opinion, an indulgence to people who do not have a clue about what music is and keep searching for the lost new mozart. In that sense, he is such a remarkable case, because after his early twenties, he simply was not that interesting anymore.

Am I exaggerating? As much as everybody says he is a great artist based on what he did as a child, I think not. Sorry to take you as an example, but everything you said (being a child prodigy, playing with orchestra at age 10, winning prizes) he did before he completed 25. Why am I not impressed? Why I don't care about that? Because behind the pixie dust there is very little, as his recent recordings and recitals do confirm.

Of course, "very little" as compared to pianists of the stature he is promoted to be. He is not a bad pianist, as I said before, but there is a problem with the balance between what is said (and wrote) about him, and his actual piano playing.

Finally, and that is sad, if Kissin is really remarkable about what he did as a child and teen, then he must retire and we should focus on a new child or teen that plays Liszy at the piano while painting a portrait using his/her feet.

Best regards,
Jay.

Offline mcdiddy1

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #14 on: July 05, 2011, 03:40:13 AM »
I am not a Kissian fan but I feel people judge him more on outside aspects rather than his skills as a pianist. I don't see how his background as being promoted as a prodigy or being eccentric in his personal life has to do with his music.

. Why am I not impressed? Why I don't care about that? Because behind the pixie dust there is very little, as his recent recordings and recitals do confirm.

Of course, "very little" as compared to pianists of the stature he is promoted to be. He is not a bad pianist, as I said before, but there is a problem with the balance between what is said (and wrote) about him, and his actual piano playing.


I try not to judge pianist on their interpretation because it continues to develop as we get more mature and wiser.

The pianist who do not fit our model of what a pianist should act or look like including Lang Lang and Kissin are often criticized over more restrained performers such as Argerich and such. I am not saying you are judging them as such just they are overall more criticized because of their looks, personality, and style of performance rather than on their music making.

 If people took out the visuals and all the other aspects and listen to only the music and interpretation without knowing who played what I think people would be surprised how much they might actually like the playing of pianist who they say they do not care for.

Offline gerryjay

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #15 on: July 06, 2011, 03:02:08 AM »
The pianist who do not fit our model of what a pianist should act or look like including Lang Lang and Kissin are often criticized over more restrained performers such as Argerich and such. I am not saying you are judging them as such just they are overall more criticized because of their looks, personality, and style of performance rather than on their music making.
You are right. The "being different" aspect is an important issue, and the fact that is increasing the good looking of the young pianists who stomp in the media. Did you noticed that? It is not enough to play anymore, you must look good too. Perhaps I'm very wrong, but it seems preety much that way.

If people took out the visuals and all the other aspects and listen to only the music and interpretation without knowing who played what I think people would be surprised how much they might actually like the playing of pianist who they say they do not care for.
That is quite an exercise. I actually used to do it with my undergrad students, not because of the visuals, but of prejudice and misconception. The exercise was based on ten (or so) recordings of the same work, but they did not know previously who was playing each. Then, every student must stand for his/her opinions. It was a mind opener thing, because there was only on your own self to rely on, not a label or a pedigree to solve everything.

Best regards,
Jay.

Offline jzp93

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #16 on: July 08, 2011, 07:37:16 PM »
Dear JZP,
I think that nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies an ad hominem argument. It is below being rude: it is being an idiot, and screaming that to the world. Basically, behaving like an ass.

If we dig into the very personal aspects of the life of the artists, we will find anything. To some people, this is important, because - according to them - it reveals inner secrets in the compositions, or performances, or writings, or whatsoever. I just can't agree with that, because it only enhances one's own and previous beliefs.

Can you tell wether it is a man or a woman playing without knowing it beforehand? Or if it is a young or old person?

Let me use Kissin as an example. If I think his playing is not interesting, so, his life must not be interesting as well. If I prove that, my statement must be true. That would be perfect provided it would not destroy to the ground the validity of the premise at the same time.

Best regards,
Jay.

Gerryjay-I agree with what you said above.
McDiddy-I agree with you except that I am a Kissin fan :). I dont like some of his interpretations of certain pieces...other performers I like play them better....  but I am still a fan. 
Thal- you are funny lol
nyiregyhazi -I get the message.


Offline jzp93

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #17 on: July 08, 2011, 07:54:27 PM »
Sorry, to be blunt, but his personal demeanour and life story represents everything about classical musicians that gives us a bad name. It shouldn't be referred to maliciously, but frankly I do resent the idea that he should be a figure head for pianists. He perpetuates the idea that pianists are abnormal people.

A lot of people like Kissin despite of his life story and all the negative things written about him.
Speaking of life story - A lot of composers have very interesting life story...lol

Offline lelle

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #18 on: July 08, 2011, 10:52:53 PM »
I detest Kissin's Chopin but I think his Liszt is worth a listen or two

Offline omar_roy

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #19 on: July 09, 2011, 10:11:55 PM »
nothing, justifies an ad hominem argument. It is below being rude: it is being an idiot, and screaming that to the world. Basically, behaving like an ass.

 ;D

Offline noambenhamou

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #20 on: July 11, 2011, 04:51:10 PM »
get a life. It's just hair. And besides that, a great marketing strategy. If you think Kissin is dumb enough to have that hair on accident think again. It's his calling card, and it's easy to tell. It's a fantastic marketing strategy to get people to talk about him. Good vs Bad publicity is still publicity.
It might not be his idea directly, but probably his publicist or manager.

As far as his playing - I can at least tell you this, his technique is absolutely amazing! Me studying the campanella myself, there are places where I couldn't imagine any pianist hitting ALL the notes at the correct tempo.

at 2:05

so I recorded from youtube all the great pianists even rubinstein and I played it back in slow motion. I was correct. ALL OF THEM are neglecting a couple of notes. Kissin neglects 1 note. Rubinetsein is in 2nd place neglecting to hit about 3 notes, and the rest are really struggling. Yundi Li was just plain SLOPPY.

Kissin, it even being a LIVE performance is doing better technically than Rubinstein who is at an actual recording studio and might have had multiple "takes" at La-Campanella.

Listening to Kissin at slow motion, everything is so exact and in tempo. As if you listening to him practicing at 1/2 tempo. His technique is amazing!

Not to say that hitting all the right notes is the only thing that makes a pianist great, but I certainly expect it from a great pianist.

If you want good music, you might want to just listen to the music. If you want good looks and great personality, watch the tonight show at 10:30pm

Offline nanabush

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #21 on: July 12, 2011, 12:39:40 PM »
Damn, I find it annoying when people say that there's a model we should follow to be a concert pianist.  Let them play their damn music; I liked Kissin's La Campanella, but I'm not going to go around saying people are wrong in thinking it sucks.  He's got an amazing technique, and plays it convincingly for me, so I enjoy it.   

I'm really fed up that the forum has gotten to a point where people bust out 'fallacies' in other peoples' probably quickly posted replies,  or where a simple thread turns into a gigantic argument where one person is convinced they are right!  You don't even have a face, we can't take you seriously whatsoever; going to extreme limits to prove someone wrong bothers the hell out of me.  Go to a debate forum, or create a debate thread, and stop flaming these damn threads with bullshit.

Interested in discussing:

-Prokofiev Toccata
-Scriabin Sonata 2

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: What is wrong with Kissin's La Campanella?
«Reply #22 on: July 12, 2011, 01:37:14 PM »
I'm probably not the one to talk, since I've been bitching quite a lot the last weeks. But damn! Even a thread about kissin turns into some expert debate with sides arguing who's right and who's wrong - about taste! Dammit people! =/