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Topic: Famous pianists' slips during concerts  (Read 27873 times)

Offline pytheamateur

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Famous pianists' slips during concerts
on: March 26, 2012, 11:51:45 PM
I thought I'd start a thread posting links to Youtube videos of famous pianists' wrong notes while playing live.  This is not meant to be a revelation of any kind and no disrespect is intended at all.  In the age of digital recordings, we certainly need more doses of these real performances.  By listening to them, I hope fellow amateurs will take heart and get less worked up about the mistakes they make when playing live and focus instead on making music.

Evgeny Kissin:



at 11:16, playing the moonlight sonata.

Wilhelm Kempff


at 0:40, 1:25, 2:06, 2:38, 3:59, 5:08 to 5:11, 6:42, also playing the moonlight sonata.


Sviatoslav Richter

at 15:06, 15:27, 16:04, 17:11, playing Beethoven's Sontata op 2, No 1.

Daniel Barenboim

at 2:41, also playing Beethoven's Sonata Op 2, No 1.
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline 49410enrique

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #1 on: March 27, 2012, 01:40:39 AM
this is a wonderful dose of reality thread. thanks for starting it. i don't have one at the moment but will post up when i come across one.

Offline johnmar78

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #2 on: March 27, 2012, 07:48:51 AM
seeing a live concert is differnt hearing from CD's. have you noticed some professional cd's has got no slips at all. But when comes to live concert, its a differnt story ;D. These days in digital world , you can even raise or lower a note when you make slips or even replace the whole sound samples from an upright to wrold class piano. Sometimes, I wondered, would you rather be an audio engineer or a TRUE concert pianist. 

Offline nearenough

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 05:37:40 PM
At a Rubinstein concert he got completely lost in the start of the development section of the 1st mvmt of Chopin's 2nd piano sonata A complete memory slip. So he simply played a succession of plausible chords for about 10 seconds and picked up the piece successfully a few yards down the pike. I thought his improvising somewhat more amazing than the piece itself. I asked several attendees about it during intermission and no one else had noticed a thing!

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #4 on: March 28, 2012, 06:26:52 PM
My teacher always tells me not to worry about hitting wrong notes every once in a while.  He actually gets pretty mad whenever I get upset for hitting a wrong note.

"If someone gets mad at you for hitting a wrong note, screw them!  You're not a robot, they can listen to a CD or a synthesia!"

But that's the second time I've heard Kissin make a mistake!  There's a video of him on youtube playing La Campanella hitting EF in stead of just an E in bar 31 lol.
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Offline jugular

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #5 on: April 02, 2012, 12:37:50 AM


1:41

I remember showing this to my friend and hearing her scream "HE IS HUMAN AFTER ALL!!"

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #6 on: April 02, 2012, 12:52:53 AM
this is a wonderful dose of reality thread. thanks for starting it. i don't have one at the moment but will post up when i come across one.

Have you guys never been to concerts or something? People are pointing a finger at the most minor slips imaginable and this is supposed to be some kind of revelation? Most concert pianists make such tiny errors regularly. Many make notably more severe ones.

Offline marik1

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #7 on: April 02, 2012, 05:12:27 AM



Sviatoslav Richter

at 15:06, 15:27, 16:04, 17:11, playing Beethoven's Sontata op 2, No 1.


I always thought of this particular performance as a pinnacle of Beethoven interpretation--utmost pianistic and musical perfection. I am glad there is somebody who found some mistakes over there (I admit, I would never pay attention to those, or will ever be able to have any desire to detect them on my own).

Best, M

Offline pytheamateur

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #8 on: April 02, 2012, 09:25:41 AM
I always thought this thread will be considered superficial by some.

It seems the people who are really obsessed with these minor slips are none other than those pianists making them.  Otherwise, why are they routinely releasing digitally edited recordings?
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline pianoman53

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #9 on: April 02, 2012, 06:07:05 PM
Well, a digital recording is different from a live one. It would be weird if you could change a wrong note into a right one, without doing it.. or at least I would think so.

Since you can't do that on live concerts, no one really cares about it...

Offline piano_vs_science

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 09:27:07 AM
imagine a pianist just made 1 mistake and he ignores it cuz he ignores every single mistakes he make. If ignoring a mistake is a mistake, how many mistakes does he make?
this is just me messing around with philosophy when i'm bored ;)
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Offline lovevision

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 12:55:40 PM
:-*

Offline precipitato

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 10:56:16 AM
horowitz tokyo recital 1983

Offline pytheamateur

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #13 on: April 06, 2012, 10:10:26 PM


Ah, found the video.  I don't know the piece and not having listened to all of it, I don't know what types of mistakes he made.

Of course, he must have been in his eighties then.  Just wondering whether the slips were due to his old age and were the "normal" ones that one would expect from a conert pianist playing live.
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #14 on: April 06, 2012, 10:36:25 PM
Horowitz was on heavy medication at that point in his life. Poor guy, I don't know why it is that these videos make it online. He's some distance from being my favourite pianist, but he was a true great and out of respect for him I wish the videos from that concert were suppressed.
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Offline pytheamateur

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #15 on: April 07, 2012, 09:29:56 AM
Horowitz was on heavy medication at that point in his life. Poor guy, I don't know why it is that these videos make it online. He's some distance from being my favourite pianist, but he was a true great and out of respect for him I wish the videos from that concert were suppressed.

I read from the original poster of that video on Youtube that the video has actually been edited by him to remove the slips.  How naive was I to think that it is not possible to edit a video of live performance.
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline precipitato

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #16 on: April 07, 2012, 01:27:17 PM
That was Schumann's Carnaval op.9. yeap, quite serious slips for a pianist of such stature (i know as i studied the work before). However, like what ronde_des_sylphes stated, he was under heavy medication. however, he returned to tokyo in 1986, and that is more like Horowitz.

Offline slobone

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #17 on: April 08, 2012, 02:01:54 AM
Ugh, I think I'm going to hate this thread. So I'll just be here long enough to say, Wilhelm Kempff's wrong notes sound a lot better than the right notes from a lot of today's pianists.

Offline marik1

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #18 on: April 08, 2012, 06:56:21 AM
That was Schumann's Carnaval op.9. yeap, quite serious slips for a pianist of such stature (i know as i studied the work before). However, like what ronde_des_sylphes stated, he was under heavy medication.

Indeed, that entire recital was quite a disaster. On the other hand, still, in every single note one could recognize those were slips of a great artist and one of the greatest music personalities. Considering circumstances I gladly forgive those--not that somebody as Horowitz needs it.

Best, M

Offline minor9th

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #19 on: April 08, 2012, 04:54:07 PM
I don't have a video of it, but Richter's live "Hammerklavier" on a BBC Legends CD contains fistfuls of wrong notes, especially the fugue. I appreciate the intensity but the wrong notes make it hard to listen to it repeatedly.

Offline haydnseeker

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #20 on: April 09, 2012, 11:34:42 AM
At a Rubinstein concert he got completely lost in the start of the development section of the 1st mvmt of Chopin's 2nd piano sonata A complete memory slip. So he simply played a succession of plausible chords for about 10 seconds and picked up the piece successfully a few yards down the pike. I thought his improvising somewhat more amazing than the piece itself. I asked several attendees about it during intermission and no one else had noticed a thing!

How old was Rubinstein at the time?  His last public performance was in 1976 at age 89.

I suppose that sort of thing is more likely from elderly players.  I recall a Festival Hall recital by Rudolf Serkin where in the recapitulation of the 1st mvmt in Schubert's Sonata in A D959 he mistakenly re-played the exposition's modulation to the second subject and had to recover from the wrong key, though I can't now remember exactly how he did it.  But he was 75 then.

Offline haydnseeker

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #21 on: April 09, 2012, 11:46:05 AM
I don't have a video of it, but Richter's live "Hammerklavier" on a BBC Legends CD contains fistfuls of wrong notes, especially the fugue. I appreciate the intensity but the wrong notes make it hard to listen to it repeatedly.

I remember a remarkable incident in a performance of the Hammerklavier by Charles Rosen in the 1970s.  After making a complete mess of the first two movements he got up from the piano, and from the front of the platform he asked a person in one of the front rows to stop following the performance from their score.  He then completed the performance with no further accidents, and he was equally secure in the Diabelli Variations in the second half of the programme.

Offline pytheamateur

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #22 on: April 09, 2012, 05:04:59 PM
I remember a remarkable incident in a performance of the Hammerklavier by Charles Rosen in the 1970s.  After making a complete mess of the first two movements he got up from the piano, and from the front of the platform he asked a person in one of the front rows to stop following the performance from their score.  He then completed the performance with no further accidents, and he was equally secure in the Diabelli Variations in the second half of the programme.

What an unreasonable demand to make.  The member of audience was perfectly entitled to do who he was doing.  If that pianist was not ready to give a reasonably accurate performance from memory, he should have played with the score, or even asked to borrow the score from that person.
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline turangalila

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #23 on: April 11, 2012, 07:40:04 PM
I remember a remarkable incident in a performance of the Hammerklavier by Charles Rosen in the 1970s.  After making a complete mess of the first two movements he got up from the piano, and from the front of the platform he asked a person in one of the front rows to stop following the performance from their score.  He then completed the performance with no further accidents, and he was equally secure in the Diabelli Variations in the second half of the programme.

Rosen mentions this incident in his great book Piano Notes:

Quote
It is not only by coughing and rattling programs that the audience can be a distraction. Following the score during a performance is perfectly legitimate, and I do not at all mind that some amateurs or students think it worthwhile to keep tabs on my interpretation. It is when they do this in the centre of the first row that attracts my attention, so that I am aware of each page turn. This bothers me only because they rarely have the same edition that I have used, and when the page turn occurs in an unaccustomed place, I momentarily lose concentration, wondering if I have made a slip of memory or speculating on which edition they can be looking at. I have on two occasions stopped a performance between the movements to ask a front-row page turner to look for a more distant seat. I give all these details to make the simple point that the less one is aware of the audience, the greater the chance of a deep immersion in the music that results in a more satisfactory performance.

Offline pytheamateur

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #24 on: April 11, 2012, 08:38:27 PM
That's interesting.  Thanks for quoting.

Well obviously it had been a long time since he had played in an exam.  Don't examiners follow the score in an exam when a student plays?  So, it's not just students or amateurs.

To be playing professionally he obviously did very well playing in exams.  If he did it ok then playing to experts scrutinising the score, how could he have a problem many years later when the same was done by some "amateurs" or "students"?  

The paragraphs he wrote seems to me to be a poor attempt to explain away a poor performance by himself.  Making such a mess in a concert must be quite something at that time.  Now more than 30 years on, hardly anyone cares about this: the harsh fact is he is pretty much forgotten as a concert pianist, so his motivation behind writing those paragraphs may not be obvious to others now.

Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline pytheamateur

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #25 on: April 11, 2012, 09:00:01 PM


1:41

I remember showing this to my friend and hearing her scream "HE IS HUMAN AFTER ALL!!"

Interesting.  Where he slipped was hardly the most difficult part of the piece.  Of course, Kissin having such a great technique, I doubt any slips of his are due to technical imperfection.

I raise this point because when I play my slips can also occur in random places, not just in technically difficult passages.  If even great pianists aren't immune from these, then there really seems to be nothing that we can do to eliminate them in our own playing: certainly not by practising more!

Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline kevinatcausa

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #26 on: April 21, 2012, 07:34:08 PM
On the whole "slips in random places" thing: Richter's 1958 Sofia recording of "Pictures at an Exhibition" features a noticeable fluff during the opening Promenade in what should be one of the easiest parts of the work (about 45 seconds into the video).  Richter then barnstorms through the rest of the performance to produce what some consider the greatest recording of the piece ever. 



Offline nearenough

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #27 on: April 26, 2012, 07:19:20 PM
Rubinstein: His memory slip was about 10 years before he retired so it was in his late 70s. I have to reiterate his recovery was something special to watch. Unforgettable, and I give the master great credit for handling it so well.

Horowitz: Yes he was on antidepressants and alcohol as well -- a double whammy, PLUS having stage fright (as always) for possibly not living up to expectations. But in the Carnaval one can get a good idea as to how he would have played under better conditions. If you just put the gaffes behind you, enjoy the good parts; they are quite tantalizing.

BTW he did play the Carnaval (and the Chopin "Octave" etude as well) in NYC, so there must be a tape of it in the secret vaults somewhere. I will always wonder why he waited so long in life to put that etude "on the air" since he was known especially for his octave prowess.

Offline alfrunner440

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #28 on: April 28, 2012, 03:46:25 PM
Hi all,

I know what people mean by using the digital medium to correct mistakes. I have an ensemble piano that allows me to do so. But let us all be realistic, if anyone of us could attain the stature of these musicians and make a few mistakes here and there, or even more than our share, we would all give everything to do so. I would love to play like any of them, bumps, warts, mistakes, and all

Offline black_keys

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #29 on: May 09, 2012, 11:27:41 AM
Hi, here is Marc-andre hamlein makes two mistakes while playing the 3rd mvt from Alkan piano concerto


at 3:30 and 3:34

Offline lousyplayer

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #30 on: May 10, 2012, 09:47:59 AM
most of these guys are old folk really... and they know how to get away with it.

Offline piano6888

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #31 on: June 20, 2014, 08:27:01 PM
My teacher always tells me not to worry about hitting wrong notes every once in a while.  He actually gets pretty mad whenever I get upset for hitting a wrong note.

"If someone gets mad at you for hitting a wrong note, screw them!  You're not a robot, they can listen to a CD or a synthesia!"

But that's the second time I've heard Kissin make a mistake!  There's a video of him on youtube playing La Campanella hitting EF in stead of just an E in bar 31 lol.

Your teacher would be my hero.  ::) +1 for your teacher and you as well. :)
I'd love to have that kind of criticism, focus on the interpretation, and less of the notes.  Now I'm not trying to say that missing notes often is ok; note accuracy is important, but not THE most important thing in a piece, but rather the interpretation as a whole.
-

Offline coherence

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Re: Famous pianists' slips during concerts
Reply #32 on: June 23, 2014, 03:30:17 AM
Robert Philip's book Performing Music in the Age of Recording gives a really thorough look at how recordings (both analog and digital) have changed our expectations for performances. Being shocked by this kind of "mistake" is just one change. Folks 100 years ago would be shocked to hear today's performers, too...
 

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