\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Highly Regarded, Dull Playing (Read 2129 times)

Offline josh93248

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 497
Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
« on: August 09, 2015, 07:41:21 PM »
Marc Andre-Hamelin is a fine pianist, he tries to promote tricky and rare repertoire and seems like a nice enough guy, yet... I find him so unengaging most of the time... I don't hate him at all, I just can't enjoy his dry, academic style.

Who do you personally find to be highly regarded but dull?
Care to see my playing?

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBqAtDI8LYOZ2ZzvEwRln7A/videos

I Also offer FREE PIANO LESSONS over Skype. Those who want to know more, feel free to PM me.

Offline evryali

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 49
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #1 on: August 10, 2015, 12:42:51 AM »
In my opinion Mark Andre-Hamelin is a very good and interesting pianist and is one of my favorites.
But now back to the real question one of the players that I consider unemotional and mechanical would be Arturo Michealangeli, he plays always perfectly no wrong notes, and perfect tempo I don't really accept his style but when it comes to his Debussy I feel his mechanical playing is perfect because it paints the picture than Debussy intended and lets it be clear to the listener what the pieces represents, but when it comes to his Chopin he butchers the pieces and his playing paint a unromantical and dry portrait of chopins music.
my best pieces
Islamey
Wtc prelude and fugue no.16
Chopin nocturnes op.48

Offline schumaniac

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 474
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #2 on: August 10, 2015, 01:01:08 AM »
Yes, Hamelin's playing is rather dull and "standard."
I feel the same with Berezovsky- wow! amazing technique! but ice-cold... e.g. in his Chopin Etudes and Liszt TEs.

Offline kawai_cs

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 573
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #3 on: August 10, 2015, 01:22:53 AM »
I do not like Ms Lisitsa playing Chopin. I mean, I enjoyed her playing e.g. some Liszt, but I just can't listen to her playing Chopin.
Chopin, 10-8 | Chopin, 25-12 | Haydn, HOB XVI:20

Offline outin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8213
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #4 on: August 10, 2015, 05:13:56 AM »
Hamelin...sometimes I agree with Josh, but then I occasionally hear something really great and expressive from him.

Michelangeli...I can only say that if someone thinks his playing is dull, they never really listened or just don't understand the music. HE does, the things he does with any piece may be subtle but they show a level of understanding of it that is really rare. He didn't get his fame from not making mistakes. The no mistakes part is just a side affect of his perfect knowledge of the music that cannot be achieved by just practicing the notes. If you read his accounts about the way he worked, it becomes clear that he went further than most pianists in trying to get to the core of the music and respect the composer. His playing may look dull compared to some other great pianists, but that's mainly because with his amazing technique and touch he didn't have to make any extra movements to create the sounds he wanted.

As for Chopin... He was heavily rooted in classism and IMO is ruined by an overly romantic approach. ABM may not be my favorite Chopin pianists, but all of his interpretations are well thought of and enjoyable.

Offline outin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8213
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #5 on: August 10, 2015, 05:47:50 AM »
Hamelin...sometimes I agree with Josh, but then I occasionally hear something really great and expressive from him.

Michelangeli...I can only say that if someone thinks his playing is dull, they never really listened or just don't understand the music. HE does, the things he does with any piece may be subtle but they show a level of understanding of it that is really rare. He didn't get his fame from not making mistakes. The no mistakes part is just a side affect of his perfect knowledge of the music that cannot be achieved by just practicing the notes. If you read his accounts about the way he worked, it becomes clear that he went further than most pianists in trying to get to the core of the music and respect the composer. His playing may look dull compared to some other great pianists, but that's mainly because with his amazing technique and touch he didn't have to make any extra movements to create the sounds he wanted.

As for Chopin... He was heavily rooted in classism and IMO is ruined by an overly romantic approach. ABM may not be my favorite Chopin pianists and I can see why many don't agree with his choices, but I find his interpretations of Chopin's music well thought of and enjoyable.

Offline chopinlover01

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2099
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #6 on: August 10, 2015, 05:55:51 AM »
Lisista, Hamelin oftentimes, Bang Bang (though he's not highly regarded around these parts), sometimes Barenboim.
Jazz Ambassador 8)

Offline mjames

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2497
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #7 on: August 10, 2015, 07:03:42 AM »
Yes, Hamelin's playing is rather dull and "standard."
I feel the same with Berezovsky- wow! amazing technique! but ice-cold... e.g. in his Chopin Etudes and Liszt TEs.


hamelin and berezovsky are great pianists. I mean have you ever listened to bere's performance of medtner's nightwind? sometimes i just think you guys are overly picky just for the sake of being picky.

I mean, arturo...emotionless? Lol it's like we're not even listening to the same pianist.

Offline outin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8213
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #8 on: August 10, 2015, 07:22:46 AM »

hamelin and berezovsky are great pianists. I mean have you ever listened to bere's performance of medtner's nightwind? sometimes i just think you guys are overly picky just for the sake of being picky.


I think it's more of not understanding and for that reason dismissing, something very human after all...

Also it seems many young people base their judgement on pianists on YT videos they listen to on some crappy computer speakers. High quality recordings and good equipment will reveal a lot more from the playing, even though not the same as hearing someone live. Or there might be one live recording from past pianists that everyone listens to and it's not necessarily even the pianists at his normal level.

Offline stevensk

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 641
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #9 on: August 10, 2015, 08:00:47 AM »


If you dont like a pianist, listen to the ones you like then. Whats the problem?

Offline josh93248

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 497
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #10 on: August 10, 2015, 08:05:34 AM »

hamelin and berezovsky are great pianists. I mean have you ever listened to bere's performance of medtner's nightwind? sometimes i just think you guys are overly picky just for the sake of being picky.

I mean, arturo...emotionless? Lol it's like we're not even listening to the same pianist.

I think it's more of not understanding and for that reason dismissing, something very human after all...

Also it seems many young people base their judgement on pianists on YT videos they listen to on some crappy computer speakers. High quality recordings and good equipment will reveal a lot more from the playing, even though not the same as hearing someone live. Or there might be one live recording from past pianists that everyone listens to and it's not necessarily even the pianists at his normal level.

You both make valid points. However I have become frustrated with the technical, dry and unimaginative culture that has developed around modern pianism. This veneration of an academic "accurate" approach is not so healthy for classical music I think.

There is a place for the aforementioned approach but whatever happened to those wild old times when composer-pianists ruled and music was full of adventure, freedom, creativity and excitement! Maybe I'm a romantic but I just dislike the current culture and think it is dooming itself to oblivion and taking a great deal with it.

I wanted to highlight and discuss this issue... Perhaps rather superficially and maybe I should've had more in the OP to remedy this. It has occurred to me that I should start a thread which is the opposite of this one, which I believe I will...
Care to see my playing?

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBqAtDI8LYOZ2ZzvEwRln7A/videos

I Also offer FREE PIANO LESSONS over Skype. Those who want to know more, feel free to PM me.

Offline outin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8213
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #11 on: August 10, 2015, 09:42:32 AM »
There is a place for the aforementioned approach but whatever happened to those wild old times when composer-pianists ruled and music was full of adventure, freedom, creativity and excitement!

What happened IMO opinion was the introduction of recorded music. Many old time greats hated recording because they had an adventurous way of playing that had worked well with audiences, but it suddenly didn't work that well on the recording era.

So now we have what we have... a public that expects to hear what they heard on a record... Can't turn the clock back I'm afraid :(

Offline josh93248

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 497
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #12 on: August 10, 2015, 01:52:45 PM »
What happened IMO opinion was the introduction of recorded music. Many old time greats hated recording because they had an adventurous way of playing that had worked well with audiences, but it suddenly didn't work that well on the recording era.

So now we have what we have... a public that expects to hear what they heard on a record... Can't turn the clock back I'm afraid :(

An interesting theory outin, it may be a contributing factor. I do however think that recording should be the new frontier for creative interpretation, I don't see why not.
Care to see my playing?

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBqAtDI8LYOZ2ZzvEwRln7A/videos

I Also offer FREE PIANO LESSONS over Skype. Those who want to know more, feel free to PM me.

Offline outin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8213
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #13 on: August 10, 2015, 03:13:08 PM »
An interesting theory outin, it may be a contributing factor. I do however think that recording should be the new frontier for creative interpretation, I don't see why not.

What may soon change is the dominance of big commercial labels. YT pianists are already numerous. And amateurs are free to make any kind of interpretations of course. I don't see the standard of professional playing changing as rapidly due to music institutions and competitions. The amount of "creative interpretation" accepted is limited. And usually before the pianists get to the level where they really have something to offer, they tend to be well groomed :)

Offline josh93248

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 497
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #14 on: August 10, 2015, 03:21:17 PM »
What may soon change is the dominance of big commercial labels. YT pianists are already numerous. And amateurs are free to make any kind of interpretations of course. I don't see the standard of professional playing changing as rapidly due to music institutions and competitions. The amount of "creative interpretation" accepted is limited. And usually before the pianists get to the level where they really have something to offer, they tend to be well groomed :)

I hate shaving...
Care to see my playing?

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBqAtDI8LYOZ2ZzvEwRln7A/videos

I Also offer FREE PIANO LESSONS over Skype. Those who want to know more, feel free to PM me.

Offline minor9th

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 686
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #15 on: August 10, 2015, 04:52:11 PM »
I recently saw Hamelin play the Ornstein Piano Quintet with the Johannes SQ--it was anything but boring or "standard"!

Offline ajlongspiano

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 691
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #16 on: August 14, 2015, 12:32:10 PM »
Listen to Hamelin's 4th Ballade. Not dry or academic at ALL

Offline josh93248

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 497
Re: Highly Regarded, Dull Playing
«Reply #17 on: August 14, 2015, 12:37:47 PM »
Listen to Hamelin's 4th Ballade. Not dry or academic at ALL



I'll give it a try when I've gotten over the Cortot ;)

But I do find he is sometimes quite good and I respect him.

Oh and good morning AJ ;) I'm still awake if you want to skype at all, or maybe you have school :P
Care to see my playing?

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBqAtDI8LYOZ2ZzvEwRln7A/videos

I Also offer FREE PIANO LESSONS over Skype. Those who want to know more, feel free to PM me.