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Lisitsa "technique" proliferating (Read 1397 times)

Offline mrcreosote

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Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
« on: June 16, 2017, 06:39:20 AM »
When I came across L on youtube, I was mesmerized by her "hand ballet" technique - caressing, pawing, sliding - stuff you would never find Horowitz or Rubinstein doing.

She said all her teachers tried to "correct" her technique, but she says she basically ignored them.

Recently I went to a local college recital and saw a high school student that played with that same fluid "ballet" style - only more so - imagine an over the top version of Lisitsa's.

And then another youngster in a Katsaris masterclass for Chopin's Mazurka op33 #4.

QUESTION:  This is obviously a specific style.  Is there a name for it?  Any info on who started it, who is using it, and just how effective is it?  My initial impression is that it is a "show business" since much of the "grace" is the letting go of the keys (where grace has no effect other than to keep tension down.)


Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #1 on: June 16, 2017, 06:46:01 AM »
My initial impression is that it is a "show business" since much of the "grace" is the letting go of the keys (where grace has no effect other than to keep tension down.)
WRONG!  As a famous pianist (from Schonberg's book) once told me "Any one can put a key down, it's what you do afterwards that's most difficult."
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Offline adodd81802

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #2 on: June 16, 2017, 08:46:12 AM »
Good response. Agreed.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline mjames

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #3 on: June 16, 2017, 01:18:18 PM »
Well i disagree. How you press and release a key are both important to producing a good tone on a piano. Extremely subtle differences in pressing keys can make the difference between a rough amateurish  and professional touch.

About Lisitsa's technique I heard from one of her comments in one of her videos that that it always allows her to play free of tension. I think her explanation is party bull and partly true. My teacher actually showed a similar to technique to help me play "a very soft pianissimo sound but with tension in the music too" for a particular section of music, although it was much less exaggerated than Lisitsa's version. Part of the reason why I think it's bull is because she tends to do it EVERY two notes and she only does it for "simple" music, her "special technique" seems to vanish when she plays harder music - which leads me to believe she's being superficial (faking it); not as necessary as she makes it out to be.
Composing/improvising

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

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #4 on: June 16, 2017, 01:43:40 PM »
And which page of The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present are you on?
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Offline mrcreosote

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #5 on: June 16, 2017, 02:05:37 PM »
 "Anyone can put a key down..."  is a ridiculous statement.

I said my "initial impression" was that key release was "show business" but just a little thought on the matter, the release velocity controls the damper.

I cannot stress enough the "extreme exaggeration" of this extremely gifted high school student.

I'm also assuming it's being taught or mimicked because if it was a superior method, or one with merits, it would be adopted by more of the mature virtuosos and not just Lisitsa.

This is what I'm talking about when I say exaggerated:  this girl is very good.  Check out 1:43 in the Katsaris masterclass I mentioned:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqUPlR6KKMs&t=826s

You can see a "modicum of this grace" in Katsaris' playing, but nothing even close to calling one's attention to it.

Obviously, people are focusing on this style and therefore most likely given it a name, maybe not totally unlike "playing out" in jazz.

Offline adodd81802

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #6 on: June 16, 2017, 02:11:25 PM »
And which page of The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present are you on?

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

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #7 on: June 16, 2017, 02:26:14 PM »
As long as there's no damage being done just close your eyes and listen to the music.  There are all sorts in this world, who are you to throw stones?
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Offline mjames

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #8 on: June 16, 2017, 02:30:10 PM »
And which page of The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present are you on?

Joseff Lhevinne, Cortot, and Arthur Rubinstein all agree that "just pressing a key" is important too. Just because you agree with one famous pianist's ideas about piano playing doesn't mean that every other alternative is wrong, or at least warrants your idiotic condescension.

I expected more from PF. I guess stupidity really does permeate all corners of the world.
Composing/improvising

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

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #9 on: June 16, 2017, 03:26:01 PM »
Joseff Lhevinne, Cortot, and Arthur Rubinstein all agree that "just pressing a key" is important too. Just because you agree with one famous pianist's ideas about piano playing doesn't mean that every other alternative is wrong, or at least warrants your idiotic condescension.

I expected more from PF. I guess stupidity really does permeate all corners of the world.
Hey keep your shirt on, I'm just the messenger :)
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Offline mrcreosote

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #10 on: June 16, 2017, 06:18:44 PM »
No comment on he Katsaris clip?  It's obviously her method but all that caressing/flapping before anything happens?  High school kid was same way. 

It's a Movement I tell ya'.

My statistical sampling is very small:  Lisitsa, one community recital, and one video.  Should sample some piano competition videos - if it is a New Thing, it will be there, obviously not in some Oldster's like Yuja or LL.  (although LL frolics a bit on the keys...  Yuja is all business which really sets off those outfits.)

The Katsaris girl does look elven though - maybe it's an Elven Technique from Middle Earth (or is it Mars?)

Myself, I'd prefer to master Rubinstein's High Altitude Full Arm Weight Aerial Bombardments which turn an easy unhurried common loud note into a Leap.  The ONLY way to play Dance of the Knights - but nobody has the stones (or stupidity) to play it thus - but what a sight it would be...

Offline anamnesis

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #11 on: June 16, 2017, 07:02:34 PM »
Well i disagree. How you press and release a key are both important to producing a good tone on a piano. Extremely subtle differences in pressing keys can make the difference between a rough amateurish  and professional touch.

About Lisitsa's technique I heard from one of her comments in one of her videos that that it always allows her to play free of tension. I think her explanation is party bull and partly true. My teacher actually showed a similar to technique to help me play "a very soft pianissimo sound but with tension in the music too" for a particular section of music, although it was much less exaggerated than Lisitsa's version. Part of the reason why I think it's bull is because she tends to do it EVERY two notes and she only does it for "simple" music, her "special technique" seems to vanish when she plays harder music - which leads me to believe she's being superficial (faking it); not as necessary as she makes it out to be.

It's also about the "spacing" of tones.  Slower music allows more "physical space" to be taken up as you have more "time".

In faster music, the "long rhythmic line"  absorbs more notes and contains more elaborations; thus you would see the same gestures more likely to correspond to higher structural levels rather than just two notes on the surface level.

Gestures in faster music are thus more likely to relate notes that on the surface are further apart, but are actually more structurally related.

(slight edit above for clarification)

---

Interesting quote relevant to this thread:

For the pianist there must be a rhythm somewhere other than in the hitting process. It can easily happen with the push-offs, with top arm plus the torso. Then the pianist, too, can control phrase-wise modeling with the magic of a rhythm which absorbs key hitting.

A primary difficulty in piano playing is making this physical relationship realistic and clearly identifiable. But that is only because there is a welter of established methods dealing with proper ways of hitting the keys, and no such preponderance of emphasis on how to deal with and develop an emotional rhythm. Even when key hitting does not have any relation to the production of dynamics, as in the case of the harpsichord or the organ, it still receives all too much emphasis. And the activity which deals with creating a fundamental rhythm--top arms and the activity against chair seat--isn't recognized as a crucial factor in playing. Yet, only this fundamental rhythm can create a spacing between tones which produces a phrase that is breathtaking in its beauty.

This kind of spacing cannot be produced by the ear alone; even the best of ears are insufficient. Spacing involves a timing of action of the sort which develops world's-record makers in the field of sports. There is always a follow-through in rhythmic progression which absorbs and governs all the complexities in action.

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #12 on: June 16, 2017, 07:20:07 PM »
No comment on he Katsaris clip?
Got better things to do than watch youtube.  How many times have I googled something only to find the answer's a youtube clip! when a few words would suffice?
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Offline timothy42b

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #13 on: June 16, 2017, 07:26:06 PM »
It's also about the "spacing" of tones.  Slower music allows more "physical space" to be taken up as you have more "time".

In faster music, the "long rhythmic line" contains more notes and elaborations and thus you would see the same gestures more likely to correspond to higher structural levels rather than just two notes on the surface level.   


Yes.  The flowing motion helps her timing, I think.

I'm not talking about note values, but the subtle undetectable but perceivable differences in overlap between notes and voicings, and that's on both the press and the release of the note.

I believe that to be if not the sole element of touch, then at least 98% of it. 
Tim

Offline anamnesis

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #14 on: June 16, 2017, 08:09:10 PM »
Yes.  The flowing motion helps her timing, I think.

I'm not talking about note values, but the subtle undetectable but perceivable differences in overlap between notes and voicings, and that's on both the press and the release of the note.

I believe that to be if not the sole element of touch, then at least 98% of it.  

That's also true, but as I clarified above, it also relates longer tonal relations that aren't directly adjacent on the surface (while also artistically absorbing the elaborative or ornamental notes in a coherent manner).  

Faster music always should have a slower underlying structure that is always felt and used as reference points for the superficial notes, and it is at that level that you will almost see the same gestures that are seen more obviously in slower music.  Expert timing relates the slower, more tonal-rhythmically important notes, and elegantly spaces out the elaborations.  

On a more technical level, timing of articulation and release of individual notes are related to efficiently working with the mechanism of the piano (a see-saw canon!) while they are absorbed by the continuous, forward-moving, long-line rhythm of both the score and its physical counterpart in a total, centralized coordination. To speak of mere pressing of individual notes or even their release does not embody the full picture. For example...what of rests or different rubatos?  

The problem of gestures, slower music, and long held notes are also related to the rests and rubatos like retards . From the same writer I quoted above:

Are rests an interruption of rhythmic continuity?


They certainly should not be. Rests should be as full of action toward the desired goal as the held tone should be. Probably that is a bad simile, for too many pianists unfortunately rest on held tones. Say, rather, as full of progression as is the body of the polo pony when its feet are off the earth, as we see it in a slow-motion picture.

...

Ends of phrases should not let down -- they should carry over. Rests in the music are places to hold the power at attention not for a release of power and a cessation of the rhythmic follow-through. Nothing is more harmful to a musical performance than letting each phrase die at the end. Retards are only vitally effective when they are played in such a manner that the audience waits with bated breath for what is about to follow. Only one retard should be final in its conception and that is the one at the close of the composition. Only it basic rhythm can make retards exactly right. If a retard is felt between articulations rather than as an extended holding of the phrasewise rhythm it will never have any convincing emotional quality.

...

The problem of activity in the upper arm (both for power in producing tones and continuity in activity between tones) as it heads for the musical destination is one which needs to be dealt with in a very detailed manner.

Beware forever of the held tone! If it is held with static power there will, of necessity, be a fresh use of power for the next tone and, thereby, a frustration of the greatest subtlety in modeling the phrase. Static holding means static listening, and a performance of the utmost sensitivity cannot take place under those circumstances.

Teaching must be concerned primarily with implementing a continuity in power (activity in the upper arms) which is active from the first tone through every tone until the musical message has been projected. Rests, as well as tones, must be filled with activity.

...

Even independence between the arms is a false concept.  Both arms are dependent upon the torso for its acting as a fulcrum and for its emotional response to the music. If one arm picks up preponderantly the emotional quality of the torso, there will result an inadequate performance which lacks subtlety in expressing the mood of the music. Even rests should be played by both arms consistently; there should never be relaxation during rests, a letting-down or letting-go of the musical mood. (Bold my emphasis) Quite the reverse: Both arms are always alive and subject to the same emotional current from the torso. When this is not the case, and one arm rests in between activity for tone production (in other words, does not stay active in between articulations and during rests), there is never the same kind of control in dynamics which is produced when there is constant tapping of the emotional current of the torso by both arms.

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #15 on: June 17, 2017, 06:48:19 AM »
Is that all Abby Whiteside?
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #16 on: June 17, 2017, 10:30:30 AM »
It's like a sports star, each one has their own quirks and similarities in their movements but the end result is very much the same.
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Offline anamnesis

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #17 on: June 17, 2017, 01:11:11 PM »

Offline mrcreosote

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #18 on: June 18, 2017, 06:10:46 AM »
Discussion of the merits of this technique is not what I'm trying to find out.

Has anyone else noticed this style trending?  and in forms much more exaggerated than Lisitsa?

NOTE:  Katsaris sure doesn't use it in the video.

Offline cuberdrift

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Re: Lisitsa "technique" proliferating
«Reply #19 on: June 20, 2017, 03:01:47 PM »
Are you sure it's for showmanship purposes?

Before I myself attempted to achieve a certain graceful tone on certain passages in certain pieces, and the appearance of my hands' motions did remind me of Lisitsa videos. So perhaps there is a real purpose after all.