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An Antidote to Extreme Piano (Read 1555 times)

Offline octave_revolutionary

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An Antidote to Extreme Piano
« on: May 22, 2016, 05:19:03 PM »
O.K. forum, now that I've secured your attention, stirred up a dirtload of controversy and pissed off a lot of people with my "piano-circus"-style stunts, I can finally get down to what I always intended to do - make music.

Of course, high, perhaps excessive levels of virtuosity do not necessarily detract from musical content; simply to some people it appeals, and to others it does not. I'm not ashamed of anything I've posted on my new Youtube channel, and I certainly don't intend to take anything down. But here's a video showing my "other side"- a pensive, melancholic, somewhat languid part of one of Haydn's sonatas that has nothing at all to do with virtuosity. I don't usually post videos like this on the Internet, as I believe this kind of music is geared to more intimate settings, and the performances of such music should be heard rather than seen, but just for you haters out there that doubt that I can play softly or delicately at all (you know who you are  ;)), I hope this convinces you that I can actually turn around and surprise you in the most unlikely of ways.

Here's the link:



Of course, there will always be people who, out of sheer jealousy, will belittle everything I ever venture to do at the keyboard, and there's nothing I can do about that. So if you happen to be one of them, you can have fun now bashing my interpretation.   8)

Not that I care in the least.

Offline jimroof

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #1 on: May 22, 2016, 05:45:27 PM »
Antonio,

That was lovely.  Thank you for recording it and posting it. 

Why not take this same musical sensitivity and marry it to your virtuosity and let the two coexist?  I think you would get much further as a musician by taking that approach.

I now know that you can play in a musically sensitive manner.  But, please, as a fellow pianist (and now, MUSICIAN), consider that it was just NOW that I became aware of the music in you...
Chopin Ballades
Chopin Scherzos 2 and 3
Mephisto Waltz 1
Beethoven Piano Concerto 3
Schumann Concerto Am
Ginastera Piano Sonata
L'isle Joyeuse
Feux d'Artifice
Prokofiev Sonata Dm

Offline octave_revolutionary

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #2 on: May 22, 2016, 06:11:49 PM »
Well, jimroof, I'm certainly glad you liked it! I confess, until today I was considering sending you some hate-messages to your gmail account!   :P ;D

You know, there's a particular reason I stooped to the level of "circus-pianist/stuntman" which, I feel, is not appropriate to discuss within the ambience of this forum, nor is it quite the right time. I will explain my actions and postures to the world when I finally get the respect that I feel I deserve as a pianist. I feel that if I were to list all the reasons here now, I would, almost doubtlessly, not only spark the animosity and hostility of many forum members, but I would be grossly misunderstood and fall constantly under attack. And I actually have managed, in the past, to successfully combine virtuosity with musicality and insight- simply it hasn't gotten me anywhere. I will eventually open another thread dealing with this sad state of affairs, but meantime....  no hard feelings!  :)

Cheers, Octave

Offline preludetr

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #3 on: May 22, 2016, 06:45:02 PM »
I'm glad to hear that you really can play with sensitivity, and I imagine some people will take you more seriously after listening to this.

Offline georgey

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #4 on: May 22, 2016, 07:16:48 PM »
I’ve been following this starting about 20 minutes ago.  First I found the revolutionary etude in octaves on youtube.  This performance showed to me that you are musical and like to show off.  I then listened to the Haydn here and was NOT surprised at the good musicality.  I then listened to 1 other item on youtube: Chopin etude #2 op 10 played in 60 seconds.  It looks like you like to show off.  

When I was maybe 13 years ago old (about 45 years ago) I got a recording of Lazar Berman playing the transcendental etudes of Liszt.  I wish I could find this recording.  I now have a live recording that he did but this is not nearly as good as the version I remember.  I’m going to shop on amazon now for this now and hopefully I can find the recording I had.  It was played both extremely musically and extremely flashy.  I LOVE flashy playing when done musically.  

Did you ever try to record the transcendental etudes of Liszt AS WRITTEN and at reasonable tempo to allow your musicality to come through?  How about his sonata? Liszt is not flashy enough for you?   You are a very talented player though with amazing technique.  I would not buy a CD of the work you have on youtube.  This is just me though.


Offline mjames

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #5 on: May 22, 2016, 08:15:08 PM »
I liked it, I guess.  But I don't get what the controversy is. No one on this site hates virtousity, it's boring virtousity mechanical drivel that most of us dislike. Instead of ruining Chopin's etudes, why not take a real technical and musical challenge? Alkan's concerto, Medtner's, Scriabin's, and Rachmaninov's sonatas...etc  

There's plenty of 'extreme' piano music that requires tons of 'musical' talent as well. I don't get what you or everybody else is complaining about. With so much 'extreme' and 'sensible' (after all that's what real virtousity is) literature out there, I honestly don't understand why you go for boring shenanigans (a la X etude under 60secs). ::)

Here's a real challenge: Medtner's nightwind.
Composing/improvising

Chopin's 4th ballade and 3rd sonata.
Scriabin Op. 42 no. 1, 2, and 3.
Bach Partita No.4

Offline georgey

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #6 on: May 22, 2016, 08:24:43 PM »
You know, there's a particular reason I stooped to the level of "circus-pianist/stuntman" which, I feel, is not appropriate to discuss within the ambience of this forum, nor is it quite the right time. I will explain my actions and postures to the world when I finally get the respect that I feel I deserve as a pianist. I feel that if I were to list all the reasons here now, I would, almost doubtlessly, not only spark the animosity and hostility of many forum members, but I would be grossly misunderstood and fall constantly under attack. And I actually have managed, in the past, to successfully combine virtuosity with musicality and insight- simply it hasn't gotten me anywhere. I will eventually open another thread dealing with this sad state of affairs, but meantime....  no hard feelings!  :)

Cheers, Octave

Sorry, I just read this now.  I didn't want you to think that I was intentionally ignoring this thought.  I just listened and then commented.  You are very talented.  My thought is at least 90% of your or anyone's playing piano should be ONLY for the reason that you love doing it.  I believe that EVERYONE who plays piano should be playing at least 90% for the reason that they love playing.   I wish you great luck.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #7 on: May 22, 2016, 10:02:05 PM »
Antonio...

I would rather listen to this:



a thousand times over, before wishing to listen to this:





The Haydn was rather lovely.

Offline georgey

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #8 on: May 23, 2016, 05:31:12 AM »
Sorry, I just read this now.  I didn't want you to think that I was intentionally ignoring this thought.  I just listened and then commented.  You are very talented.  My thought is at least 90% of your or anyone's playing piano should be ONLY for the reason that you love doing it.  I believe that EVERYONE who plays piano should be playing at least 90% for the reason that they love playing.   I wish you great luck.

Just a further explanation on what I said.  This may be a complete oversimplification, but it might shed some light.

Example 1:  You are playing piano 30% because you love it and 50% because you want to be famous (get the respect that you feel you deserve) and 20% to get rich. Until you become famous and rich (if ever) you will be very disappointed.  Look at all the work you are doing and yet you are only getting the 30% satisfaction from the love of playing.

Example 2:  You are playing piano 90% because you love it and 5% because you want to be famous (get the respect that you feel you deserve) and 5% to earn a living.  You will be fine now because I’m sure you are good enough to earn a living mostly or entirely with music.  You are 95% satisfied in this example.

Charles Ives was a great American composer who earned 100% of his living as an actuary. He was co-owner of one of the largest insurance companies in the USA – Ives & Myrick of New York City. Ives used to pay publishers to publish his music and then he would send free copies to everybody with hopes that someone would play his music.  Most of his music was never heard until many decades after he wrote it.  It wasn’t until John Kirkpatrick made the premier of his Concord piano sonata in 1939 that Ives started to get any real recognition.  His symphonies were not performed until a few years before he died.  His music was largely ignored until after his death in 1954.

Luck can also be a factor.  Mahler happened to see a copy of Ives 3rd symphony in 1911 while he was conductor of the New York Philharmonic.  Mahler was going to take the symphony on his tour of Europe that year but Mahler died in 1911 before this happened.  Ives music career may have been completely different had Mahler not died.

Be patient and keep playing, but not the crazy fast stuff.  Play for the love of music.  See you guys later.

Be patient and keep playing the music that you like to play.  Play for the love of music.  See you guys later.

Offline kalospiano

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #9 on: May 23, 2016, 04:46:26 PM »
I hope not to create any controversy here, but I feel that I need to say something.
My humble opinion is that it shouldn't really matter whether octave can or cannot play "sensitive" music. What should really matter is respect towards other players.

The behavior of some users in this forum has honestly baffled me.
Some people hasn't shown the slightest respect for the OP just because of the music he played. Some people didn't hesitate to use insults in their messages. And the main reason is that he was playing stuff that was too fast and technical. With no regards to musicality, some might say? Maybe, maybe not, it really depends on the listener, but still it's no excuse for the insulting behavior that some people had around here.
When someone is able to do something as technical as the OP, I can understand that some people might not like it, but I really don't see how anybody (probably much less technically gifted than him?) might insult his playing.

And it's not like this was the only case I've seen this kind of stuff. I have been attacked too for some of my questions or opinions. A lady in another thread asked for advice on a piece and people simply decided to tell her simply not to play that piece, without knowing anything at all about her background (the same people disappeared instead of giving any actual advice after it turned out that the lady was apparently much more experienced that everybody was initially assuming).

This is a forum of musicians, with lots of knowledgeable people, of which many are adults, and I would have expected a more civilized behavior. It looks like everybody is on a troll hunt that ends up hurting real users instead.

Still, I have received a lot of good advice in here and I'm grateful to many people in this forum, but I wanted to share my surprise in finding such an aggressive behavior in many occasions around here.


Having said this, Octave, as you might have seen in previous threads, I liked your "crazy fast" work, and I also appreciate this other piece, so I really won't tell you, as other users are doing, to stop playing that "crazy fast" stuff that you like so much. Play what you love and play it good. I'll be glad to hear it.


If I might add one last note, it looks to me like everybody is going for a "fast=bad - slow=good" interpretation of music. I've seen a video of Lang Lang playing a crazy fast Turkish March, which received tons of criticism for his uselessly showy technicalities, as opposed to a slow version by Gould which received much praise for his original interpretation. Both versions are different from what intended by Mozart, so why exactly Lang Lang's fast version should be considered bad while Gould's should be considered good? Why is slow considered sensitive while fast is considered emotionless? Where does this aversion to speed come from? I love both versions equally and for the life of me I can't understand how one could appreciate one and hate the other.

Offline georgey

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #10 on: May 23, 2016, 05:14:38 PM »
You know, there's a particular reason I stooped to the level of "circus-pianist/stuntman" which, I feel, is not appropriate to discuss within the ambience of this forum, nor is it quite the right time.

Octave_revolutionary:  I meant no disrespect when I said "crazy fast" in my prior post.  I have not read much of the prior posts on this forum that you and others have made so I am not sure what was said before about how you feel about your fast playing.  

The above quote that I show implied to me that you also believe it is "crazy fast".  You use the words "stooped" and "circus-pianist/stuntman". I thought you were referring to the very high speed and editing the notes of a piece to make it more difficult and flashy (what I call "crazy fast").  Sorry about that if "crazy fast" is not what you meant.

Offline georgey

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #11 on: May 23, 2016, 05:58:10 PM »

Having said this, Octave, as you might have seen in previous threads, I liked your "crazy fast" work, and I also appreciate this other piece, so I really won't tell you, as other users are doing, to stop playing that "crazy fast" stuff that you like so much. Play what you love and play it good. I'll be glad to hear it.

When Octave_revolutionary said “I stooped to the level of "circus-pianist/stuntman", I thought he was saying that he did NOT like to play extremely fast and he did NOT like to edit notes to make the music more difficult to play and flashy.  Perhaps you missed seeing him say this?  Maybe he can clarify what he meant by this at a later time. Again, I have pretty much just read this thread and maybe a couple other posts in another thread to figure out what pieces he played so I could listen to them.  Best wishes to you.

Offline kalospiano

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #12 on: May 23, 2016, 08:43:57 PM »
Hi georgey, sorry if it seemed that I was referring to you in my post. Even if I used your words "crazy fast" to explain my point, I was talking about some offensive old posts in previous threads. Peace to you :)

Offline klavieronin

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #13 on: May 24, 2016, 01:11:40 AM »
I hope not to create any controversy here, but I feel that I need to say something.
My humble opinion is that it shouldn't really matter whether octave can or cannot play "sensitive" music. What should really matter is respect towards other players.

The behavior of some users in this forum has honestly baffled me.

While I personally try to be more tactful with my criticism it doesn't surprise me at all that other members here are so candid with their opinions. Brutal honesty, while difficult to swallow at times, is often an entirely appropriate response and I dare say that given the OP has now felt the need to display his more musically sensitive side, that honesty has actually done some good.

For me at least, honesty, no matter how candid, is a mark of respect.

Offline outin

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #14 on: May 24, 2016, 02:59:54 AM »
Some people hasn't shown the slightest respect for the OP just because of the music he played. Some people didn't hesitate to use insults in their messages. And the main reason is that he was playing stuff that was too fast and technical. With no regards to musicality, some might say? Maybe, maybe not, it really depends on the listener, but still it's no excuse for the insulting behavior that some people had around here.

Respect has to be earned IMO. I'd say if someone willingly publishes his playing on the internet, it's appropriate to offer criticism, whether good or bad. For me the value of a musical performance is judged after it hits my ears and it makes little difference to me what kind of technical tricks someone can do. If I don't like the musical result, then I see no reason not to voice my opinion. Anyone who has trouble digesting other people's opinion and feels insulted by them should probably stay away from show business...or at least the internet ;)

Offline georgey

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #15 on: May 24, 2016, 03:08:23 AM »
Hi georgey, sorry if it seemed that I was referring to you in my post. Even if I used your words "crazy fast" to explain my point, I was talking about some offensive old posts in previous threads. Peace to you :)

Great.  Thank you!  :) It looks like Octave may be planning on opening up a new discussion topic at some point.  I may not be here for the discussion, so here are thoughts that I currently have.

You said earlier in this thread to Octave: “I really won't tell you, … to stop playing that "crazy fast" stuff that you like so much.”  Did Octave say that he very much likes to play what I will now respectfully refer to as “Octave virtuoso performances”?  If yes, how does he explain his statement also in this thread:  “I stooped to the level of "circus-pianist/stuntman"?

If Octave really does like to play his Octave virtuoso performances, I would say continue recording these.  By “really like”, I mean he genuinely likes to play and listen to his performances as opposed to liking the attention that it gives him.  But I would also suggest adding in a few more traditional performances.  I would love to hear a performance of a complete Beethoven sonata (not including op 49 or op 79).

If Octave does NOT like to play his Octave virtuoso performances (“I stooped to the level of "circus-pianist/stuntman”), I might suggest that he at least consider limiting the recording of these and focus instead on recording traditional performances of works that he likes.  I’m not sure if he will be advancing his career by making these Octave virtuoso performance recordings.  I very well could be wrong though. 

This is a piano discussion board. Happy discussing!

Offline adodd81802

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #16 on: May 24, 2016, 11:31:42 AM »
I have had many discussions with Kalospiano to why his/her views are wrong, and their statements in this post are no exception ;)

There's not much point me throwing a big argument for/against as Greg has done most of the work and rightly so.

Here's a few thoughts. When we compare pianists, amateur, professional or alike online, we compare them to the best we have seen online. The more educated will be able to appreciate online - is NOT real life. Many times recordings have been edited, embellished or amended in some form to create what the listener wants to hear.

Example being Octave has already admitted to editing his videos (not taking away the skill of his playing here)

In real life we have much better appreciation when we watch somebody play, hear somebody play, we have much more tolerance for bad notes because the whole experience is much more real.

With this in mind it can be a shock for anybody who are new to posting auditions / recordings on the internet that have NOT been edited to get a wave of negative of critical comments because the bar is being set so much higher, even for WIP pieces. The OP must be prepared that the mindset of many listeners is usually 80% neg 20% pos feedback ratio, because you're now being compared to every other ONLINE performance.

For this reason, although I have never done it personally, there is nothing wrong with editing your recordings to take the best bits to really show what you could theoretically achieve, rather than trip through it, upload a mediocre performance and cry that people aren't dubbing you the next Cziffra or Horowitz etc.

Lastly this ridiculous mindset of slow interpretations = better, fast = worse. Let's not confuse one major point here. Nobody is criticizing the Revolutionary etude as the main example from Octave's uploads. The revolutionary Etude is a virtuoistic piece in it's own right, it loses it's musicality when one starts hammering down octaves where there should be single notes.

Whether a piece is designed to be slow, or fast, as long as there is a steady rhythm and a logical idea behind the interpretation, the performer can often take many liberties. 'Logic' being the main point here, take the 10-2 etude that's also been posted by Octave, I just see no logic in going "well it's usually done in 1 min 30, but here i can do it in 58 seconds"... why?

Here's the revolutionary etude in octaves. There are many other etudes designed for octaves, and many other octave orientated pieces, but I've changed this one for what reason?

Octave is an extremely talented and technically capable pianist, far more than myself however those examples seem designed to make your eyes focus more than your ears. I would love to hear those 2 pieces as they were designed to be played.

To conclude let me just put a question to Octave - it seems piano schools have not accepted you, I am yet to see you in any major concert and you have received a lot of criticism to your ideas behind your own admitted "circus" style performances. With your ability however, have you not just considered teaching for a living? I mean on a large scale, your own teaching school?

"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline octave_revolutionary

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #17 on: May 24, 2016, 06:29:33 PM »
When Octave_revolutionary said “I stooped to the level of "circus-pianist/stuntman", I thought he was saying that he did NOT like to play extremely fast and he did NOT like to edit notes to make the music more difficult to play and flashy.  Perhaps you missed seeing him say this?  Maybe he can clarify what he meant by this at a later time.

@georgey I have played 6 out of the 12 Transcendental Etudes, and even recorded a few (including 2 on video) but the reason why I haven't uploaded them to my channel is that the equipment that I had at my disposal at the time was of appalingly bad quality, and I wouldn't think of putting them alongside my other vids. Someone also asked me in a previous thread, why don't I post something like the "Erlking", which has a lot af octaves, instead of the rewriting the 'Revolutionary'. The reason is that there are already so many great interpretations of the Erlking on the Net, I don't see any reason or merit in adding just one more, especially if I don't feel like contributing anything new to it, although I also have played the Erlking in the past. Glenn Gould felt that if you can't do something differently in music, just don't do it at all. I pretty much feel the same way. If you do something that isn't new or innovative, there's no point in doing it- it would amount to nothing more than cloning whatever had been done previously by someone else.

And no, I don't take ANY offense to your use of the phrase "crazy fast" at all!!!  :) What's wrong with playing crazy fast anyway, as long as it doesn't detract from the content of the work being performed?! Having said that, my 60-second version of Op. 10,#2 was never intended to be taken seriously as a musically valid performance to begin with; it is simply a response to a challenge that has been circulating in the pianistic community for, as I understand, a few years now, and if I'm not mistaken, even surfaced a few years ago on this forum. As for my other stunts, when I say "stoop" and "circus-pianist/stuntman", this is what I mean:

OF COURSE, I'd rather be happier combining hair-raising virtuosity and fertile, hearty musicianship and using my technique to captivate the hearts and minds of listeners the world over, than convert compositions that are technically relatively difficult to near-impossible, titanic, borderline circus stunts; after all, the amount of time and resource I had to invest in this venture has been simply mind-boggling. As for playing Chopin's 'Revolutionary' etude in octaves, it is simply the practical realization of a legend that has existed in piano lore for over a century and a half, and is widely documented to be true:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Dreyschock

As far as I know, however, I am THE FIRST pianist in history to have actually recorded it, unless you consider this next video to be a valid claim:  :-\




I SINCERELY prefer the octave-doubled version of Chopin's Revolutionary Etude (though in a musically acceptable tempo!!  ::)) to the original, but I CERTAINLY don't consider it being anywhere near among my greatest MUSICAL achievements.

Anyway I'll explain more on detail about why I've gone down this road more in detail some day without fail, not necessarily on this forum, but stick around for a few weeks (or months!!) and you'll find out.

Regards,

Octave

Offline octave_revolutionary

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #18 on: May 24, 2016, 07:58:34 PM »
@kalospiano thanks for sticking up for me so much on this forum; looks like I've gained a true hard-core fan!   :) I might continue to do some more "stunts"; however, I feel that soon I will be able to go back to my style of fusing virtuosity with exalted musical expression. I've become used to dealing well with criticism over the years, and you have to take into account the fact that some people (especially older people) tend to get irritated by high extra-verve-charged virtuosity, what they might deem to be "excessive" or "exaggerated". Some of my stuff is done for visual effect, some is simply to prove a point. But I can't help it that I was a star athlete in grade school, or that I've always had a fascination with speed and things that move at high velocity- and thus I tend to push the physical aspect of piano-playing to the limit at times.

No one on this site hates virtousity, it's boring virtousity mechanical drivel that most of us dislike.


I certainly hope that's the case.

Regards,

Octave

Offline georgey

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #19 on: May 24, 2016, 08:07:15 PM »
Octave:  Then it appears you have a successful model in history that is inspiring you:  Alexander Dreyschock.  

The Wikipidia article (part of it is shown below) mentions “stunts” and “tricks”, similar to what you are doing it looks like.  Let’s say you are able to do the stunts and tricks as good as or better than this guy.  We live in a different time now and performance preferences, etc., etc. change with time.  What was stylish popular (in-vogue) in the mid-1800’s may no longer be of great interest today. You will note that Dreyschock gave many concert tours starting at age 20 and later taught at a conservatory.  If you are unable to achieve doing some of these or similar things in the next few years (assuming you have not already), you may want to reconsider what you are doing.  

As I said earlier, if you are playing piano and the kind of music you like for at least 90% the reason that you love doing it, you should be happy and I believe do VERY well.  Again, best of luck to you!!!


Alexander Dreyschock (October 15, 1818 – April 1, 1869) was a Czech pianist and composer.

By the age of twenty, Dreyshock undertook his first professional tour in December 1838, performing in various northern and central towns in Germany. Subsequent tours saw Alexander visiting Russia (1840–42); Paris (spring 1843); London, the Netherlands, Austria and Hungary (1846); and Denmark and Sweden in 1849. Elsewhere he caused a sensation with prodigious execution of thirds, sixths, and octaves, plus other tricks. When he made his Paris debut in 1843 he included a piece for the left hand alone. Dreyschock's left-hand was renowned, and his most famous technical stunt was to play the left-hand arpeggios of Chopin's Revolutionary Étude in octaves. Observers of the time report that he played it in correct tempo, and it is known that he programmed it in all of his recitals.

In 1862 Dreyschock became a staff member at the newly founded St. Petersburg Conservatory at Anton Rubinstein's invitation.

Offline kalospiano

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #20 on: May 24, 2016, 08:43:22 PM »
Respect has to be earned IMO.
I believe only admiration should be earned.
Respect should be granted to everybody right from the start, unless it's not received in return.
I doubt that you would go around insulting people in real life. I doubt that you'd be disrespectful to a musician in real life even if you don't like what he played. You would try to present your criticism with more tact and not with a blunt "you really play like crap".
But here in the internet we seem to be both physically and emotionally distant from the people we talk to, so we feel protected and we don't seem to really care much about the others.
Everybody's free to do as they please, but I personally believe that even online respect should important.


If I don't like the musical result, then I see no reason not to voice my opinion.
of course everybody should voice their real opinion, but there are many ways to do this.
"this is sh*t" and "I would hit you if you played this on my piano" have a totally different meaning and objective compared to "I didn't like this particular version because of this" or "maybe you should try to do this and this instead".
The first two cases are gratuitous insults which don't try to do anything but to hurt the person we're talking to, the other two are constructive criticism that can actually help the other person.



given the OP has now felt the need to display his more musically sensitive side, that honesty has actually done some good.
the same result could have been obtained by tactfully doing this request, I guess...


I have had many discussions with Kalospiano to why his/her views are wrong I personally don't agree with his opinions
there, adodd, I fixed it for you  ;D


"well it's usually done in 1 min 30, but here i can do it in 58 seconds"... why?
I guess it's just a technical challenge with himself. I see no point in pondering too much over the use for it.


@octave: since many people reacted to your video of the revolutionary etude in octaves suggesting you to play some already challenging work instead of modifying an existing one, might I propose a piece myself? :) speaking of fast chords, ever thought about trying out Cziffra's version of the Flight of the Bumblebee?

Offline octave_revolutionary

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #21 on: May 24, 2016, 10:31:36 PM »

@octave: since many people reacted to your video of the revolutionary etude in octaves suggesting you to play some already challenging work instead of modifying an existing one, might I propose a piece myself? :) speaking of fast chords, ever thought about trying out Cziffra's version of the Flight of the Bumblebee?


Hehe, Cziffra's version of Bumblebee is ALSO a modified version of an existing piece!!

And no, I wouldn't play it because Volodos has already done a magnificent job on it.  I just don't think I'd have particularly much to contribute to it.  I could certainly play it faster, but why?  Op. 10,#2 in 60 seconds runs at about the same tempo, i.e. + or - MM=100 (!)

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #22 on: May 24, 2016, 11:02:12 PM »
Someone also asked me in a previous thread, why don't I post something like the "Erlking", which has a lot af octaves, instead of the rewriting the 'Revolutionary'. The reason is that there are already so many great interpretations of the Erlking on the Net, I don't see any reason or merit in adding just one more, especially if I don't feel like contributing anything new to it (...)

AMEN. I could not agree more completely.

I would encourage you, when it comes to flashy pieces - write your own. I find paraphrases or arrangements to be especially effective. It's a great way to play to your strengths, and I firmly believe that there's often a lot more subconscious conviction about the performance of self-penned material.

Outside of that, I wouldn't mind seeing what you could do with the end of Alkan's Le Preux.


As for playing Chopin's 'Revolutionary' etude in octaves, it is simply the practical realization of a legend that has existed in piano lore for over a century and a half, and is widely documented to be true:


And I see nothing wrong in celebrating that accomplishment, seeing as it is a part of historical legend.


As far as I know, however, I am THE FIRST pianist in history to have actually recorded it, unless you consider this next video to be a valid claim:  :-\




Which it obviously isn't. I could do that. I can't do what you've done (I know, because I did try, out of curiosity, a few years ago). Btw did you know that when Liszt heard about Dreyschock's feat he allegedly played the 25/2 etude with both hands in octaves at his next recital?


Offline octave_revolutionary

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #23 on: May 24, 2016, 11:08:35 PM »
With your ability however, have you not just considered teaching for a living? I mean on a large scale, your own teaching school?


@adodd81802 I have to say NO, and for one simple reason:

I do not know how to teach. Simple as that.

I am almost convinced that a lot of people reading this will smirk and giggle and say at this point, "Hahahah, so can do all those crazy octaves, scales, and chords, but you can't TEACH???!!! Come on - get serious!!!!!!!"

That is simply the state of affairs. Ever hear the maxim that "those who can't do, teach"? Well, for some, including myself, the postulate "those who CAN do, can't teach", also applies. And it's not a question of not wanting to- although I'm really not attracted to the idea of teaching at all.

It is known among musicians,although I don't know how widely, that some of the greatest performers in history were notoriously bad teachers. The legendary Paganini, probably the most famed and mythical violinist of all time, had only one student, who dubbed him as being "the world's worst teacher". And I once had a conversation with a prominent violinist and pedagogue, who pointed out to me that Jascha Heifetz, arguably the greatest violinist of the 20th century, had no idea of how to teach; which seems to be self-explanatory to anyone who takes the trouble to watch the classes he gave, presumably at the University of Southern California, now available on Youtube. True, they happened to be violinists, but for pianists the same principle surely applies.

Teaching just isn't my calling. I don't think I could teach on an advanced level, as I'm not particularly good at communicating what I think or feel in words. And, if you feel, at this point, inclined to argue that I should thus content myself with teaching beginners, I can tell you that SURE, I could teach them how to place their hands on the keys, master the art of playing scales, arpeggios, chords, etc. - but why should I, after having dedicated all of my teenage years and adult life to performing some of the most finger-breaking (as well as musically complex!) things ever composed, and struggling to help spread the literature of the king of the instruments, just settle down and content myself to a reclusive and boring life of teaching??

I was meant for other things. I have a musical mission to accomplish, and I will not stop pursuing my goals until I have achieved them, or at least partially fulfilled them - which might be never.

Teaching is a special gift- either you have it, or you don't. I don't. And showing a student how to do something and simply expecting him or her to imitate you, in my mind, simply isn't teaching at all- it's nothing more than a form of zombification. Unfortunately there are a lot, and I mean A LOT of "teachers", who do just that. How they could actually think that they have the right to earn a living from exercising such activity is beyond me.

Offline octave_revolutionary

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #24 on: May 24, 2016, 11:16:22 PM »
@ronde_des_sylphes, Yeah, I heard about that Liszt stunt!!!!! - although I believe he played the octaves in only the right hand. And I can't wait to replicate it as soon as I get the chance, just to piss off even more jealous people!!!!  ;D ;D ;D ;D. Unfortunately, my poor piano has taken such a beating over the past year, that it needs thousands of Euros worth of technical service, before I could even start to approach those kinds of speeds on it again. The hammers need re-shaping, the action is half-stuck , uneven, and too sluggish and heavy to do much of anything on it, now :-[ :-[

I wouldn't mind seeing what you could do with the end of Alkan's Le Preux.

And YEAH, I JUST CAN'T WAIT EITHER to learn Le Preux, when I get my piano fixed 8) Man, I'm gonna smash those octaves faster and harder then Michael Nanasakov  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Offline outin

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #25 on: May 25, 2016, 03:36:21 AM »
I believe only admiration should be earned.
Respect should be granted to everybody right from the start, unless it's not received in return.
I doubt that you would go around insulting people in real life. I doubt that you'd be disrespectful to a musician in real life even if you don't like what he played. You would try to present your criticism with more tact and not with a blunt "you really play like crap".

Well, I just disagree with you about respect then. But maybe it's because you seem to mean just good manners towards people while I meant REAL respect.

I do tend to voice my opinion with some tact (unless I am not fully serious), and I do not act any different in virtual reality than I do in real life. I am just very straightforward. A bit too much sometimes for people from cultures that put more stress on the way of delivery than the substance itself. That's not how I was raised, so they just have to deal with it ;)

Then again I do understand people who don't take foolishness well and resort to bluntness or sarcasm...

Offline isaacmalitz

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #26 on: May 25, 2016, 06:17:18 AM »
I liked it, I guess.  But I don't get what the controversy is. No one on this site hates virtuosity, it's boring virtousity mechanical drivel that most of us dislike. Instead of ruining Chopin's etudes, why not take a real technical and musical challenge? Alkan's concerto, Medtner's, Scriabin's, and Rachmaninov's sonatas...etc  

There's plenty of 'extreme' piano music that requires tons of 'musical' talent as well. I don't get what you or everybody else is complaining about. With so much 'extreme' and 'sensible' (after all that's what real virtousity is) literature out there, I honestly don't understand why you go for boring shenanigans (a la X etude under 60secs). ::)

I'm pretty much of the same mind as MJAMES, but I'm going to articulate in a little more detail.

I happen to enjoy certain kinds of "extreme" music a great deal. But my conception of "extreme" is that it saturates the neurons in as many ways as possible..

Examples of this kind of  (good) "extreme":
[1] When I was a student at Oberlin, the pianist John Perry requested to take up one of our music theory classes, he wanted to try out a performance of Beethoven Op. 106. So there were about 20 of us in a small classroom, and Perry digging into this work with the utmost concentration and intensity. By the end, we were all dripping with exhaustion. *That* was an unforgettable experience! In the musical realm, it was life, death and everything imbetween in about 55 minutes.

[2] Several years ago I attended a concert in Los Angeles, part of the www.MondayEveningConcerts.org series. It was an all-Ustvolskaya concert, led by the great Marino Formenti. If you are not acquainted with Ustovlskaya: She started out as a student of Shostakovich, but early on Shostakovich declared U to be the better composer. U dedicated her life to composing a small number of masterpieces. These works are extremely demanding of both the listener and the performer, they are extreme and uncompromising (also beautifully crafted). The best are comparable to late Beethoven (IMHO). But they sort of start from where the Grosse Fugue left off! A sample Ustovolskaya work:  

Formenti is renowned as an ultra-gifted, intense and dedicated performer. This performance left the audience exhausted, and elated !!

Examples of the wrong kind of "extreme":
[3] "Its a Small World" music at Disneyland

[4] Stuff from the ExtremePianoChannel such as


The problem with [3] and [4] are: A tremendous amount of stimulation in a narrow spectrum.
In both cases, the result is a rapid onset of boredom followed by annoyance
The pianism in the youtube example is uneven, unpolished, just not interesting. Loud, who cares.

An analogy to [3] and [4] in the world of food might be:

[5] a big mouthful of sugar  (or a mouthful of salt)

Offline josh93248

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #27 on: May 25, 2016, 06:24:44 AM »
Isaac, can I ask you an honest (and I hope you don't find rude) question?

Why do you write such lengthy in depth responses? It seems like you kind of go over the top... Also, where does your expertise come from?
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 isaacmalitz

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #28 on: May 25, 2016, 06:53:29 AM »
Isaac, can I ask you an honest (and I hope you don't find rude) question?

Why do you write such lengthy in depth responses? It seems like you kind of go over the top... Also, where does your expertise come from?

You asked two questions!

[1] Why such a lengthy response?

I think the underlying topic is: "What is good? What is really good?" That is a very interesting and important topic. So I think it deserves an in-depth answer.

If I were just going to register a like/dislike for an extremepiano performance, I would have done that in a few words.

[2] My expertise comes from: Musical background + background in philosophy/technology + a long research project. In a little more detail:

- As a pianist, I studied at Oberlin, then at UCLA and Aspen. My principal teacher was Aube Tzerko, who was one of Schnabel's top students. (One of Tzerko's students was Leon Fleisher). Tzerko put me through the wringer for 6 years.
        
- My official career has not been as a pianist, I never wanted to be a professional pianist. At UCLA I did a PhD in Philosophy/MathematicalLogic with a segue into computer science and AI. And I went into the software business. With occasional research projects into various deep waters. Some mathematical concepts have been named in my honor.

- About 10 years ago, I and a small team began a project to develop a way to model music from an experience PointOfView . We have succeeded in doing this. The model (see www.OMSModel.com ) draws on material from the Great Traditions of western music, and then turbocharges those ideas with a new model, and some present-day technology ideas. The result is natural and powerful. Sort of Schenker on steroids, but a much more wide-ranging aesthetic than Schenker. Take a look at the website and you will see what I mean. The website is mainly an easy read.

I'm not offended by your questions. Please respond freely !


  

Offline josh93248

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #29 on: May 25, 2016, 07:38:12 AM »
Thanks for responding Isaac, I guess you're just a verbose kind of guy!

I took a little look at your site and it was a bit interesting but I don't really have time to go into too deep of a detailed look at it and I already have my own philosophies regarding music, I don't really have need of someone else's. Nevertheless I will give you credit in that you are a thoughtful and educated person, welcome to the forum at any rate.

Okay, sorry for derailing the thread....


Actually, no I'm not that sorry........ Considering what this thread has become.
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 isaacmalitz

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Re: An Antidote to Extreme Piano
«Reply #30 on: May 25, 2016, 04:10:45 PM »
Thanks for responding Isaac, I guess you're just a verbose kind of guy!

... not always.   ;D