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How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique? (Read 11554 times)

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
« on: November 10, 2018, 12:08:28 AM »
Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin are both some of the most recognizable, and famous classical pianists, yet they are bashed for their lack of musicality, and criticized for priortizing showing off in their concerts.

I personally would never listen to either's record for enjoyment's sake, but I have to say, I believe their techincal mastery of the piano and their repertoire, are right up there with the greats. especially when you see them in live performances, or videos of such recitals.

Yuja Wang is often praised for her virtuosity, but I find her nowhere near Lang Lang or Kissin's level, she plays wonderfully Volodos's Transcription of Turkish March, and Cziffra's Transcription of The Flight of Bumblebee, I bet she worked on those piece for a long time.

but Yuja Wang struggles badly to play Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto, don't even get me started on her performance of Prokofiev's 2nd Piano Concerto, horrible!

Piano Street's Digital Sheet Music Library

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto 3, opus 26
piano sheet music of Piano Concerto 3


Offline outin

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #1 on: November 11, 2018, 08:55:28 AM »
Who cares about their technique? I find Kissin so much more pleasurable to listen to. His playing style suits my favorite kind of music very well...

Offline louispodesta

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #2 on: November 11, 2018, 06:47:50 PM »
Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin are both some of the most recognizable, and famous classical pianists, yet they are bashed for their lack of musicality, and criticized for priortizing showing off in their concerts.

I personally would never listen to either's record for enjoyment's sake, but I have to say, I believe their techincal mastery of the piano and their repertoire, are right up there with the greats. especially when you see them in live performances, or videos of such recitals.

Yuja Wang is often praised for her virtuosity, but I find her nowhere near Lang Lang or Kissin's level, she plays wonderfully Volodos's Transcription of Turkish March, and Cziffra's Transcription of The Flight of Bumblebee, I bet she worked on those piece for a long time.

but Yuja Wang struggles badly to play Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto, don't even get me started on her performance of Prokofiev's 2nd Piano Concerto, horrible!
I don't know what Press Agents concocted these so-called legitimate posts, but I'll bite
1)  For those who have read anything about Lang Lang in the last year, they would know that he is permanently injured.  And, that (as I have recently stated) is due to an injured ulnar nerve in his left hand.  The man continually mashed chords in his left hand, and it has finally caught up with him.  If anyone out there knows of any piano teacher on this planet who considers this to be proper technique, please let me know.
2)  By his own admission Kissin only plays about 13 concert dates a year.  It is pretty hard to get beat up physically with that kind of schedule.  Next, every one I know teaches their students to strike a key from the surface of the key.  Kissin's fingers are flying all over the place, which is not good technique.
Finally, if you think that Lance Armstrong and every Professional Athlete on earth are the only ones who use performance enhancing drugs, think again.  Why else would pianists (like Olga Kern) play superhuman in contest, and then when you hear them (personally) in recital, it doesn't even sound like the same pianist.
It is high time for the music critics of this world to cut the Hype and then start telling the real truth about all these so-called Herculean superstar pianists.

Offline mjames

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #3 on: November 11, 2018, 06:57:22 PM »
Who cares about their technique? I find Kissin so much more pleasurable to listen to. His playing style suits my favorite kind of music very well...

Since technique is a huge reason behind the sound they make you probably should care.

Offline louispodesta

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #4 on: November 12, 2018, 12:33:14 AM »
Since technique is a huge reason behind the sound they make you probably should care.
With all due respect, my late teacher (Robert Weaver- Ithaca) spent 15 years teaching me for free how to effectuate a "singing tone."  Lang Lang or Evegeny Kissin do not have a singing tone!

Their, as you phrase it, "sound," is nothing more than a Deuthche Grammaphone manufactured illusion.  It is not how they sound like in live performance.

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #5 on: November 12, 2018, 12:34:13 AM »
if you think that Lance Armstrong and every Professional Athlete on earth are the only ones who use performance enhancing drugs, think again.  Why else would pianists (like Olga Kern) play superhuman in contest, and then when you hear them (personally) in recital, it doesn't even sound like the same pianist.
It is high time for the music critics of this world to cut the Hype and then start telling the real truth about all these so-called Herculean superstar pianists.

No wonder... I bought "Yundi Li, Seiji Ozawa & Berlin Philharmonic's Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2", It's impeccable and super fast, but in yundi's other recorded performamces of the concerto, particularily the one in Hong Kong, was an absolute trainwreck, you would think it's played by an amature!!!

But would you say Argerich's high when performing? she's always fast!!!

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #6 on: November 12, 2018, 12:41:55 AM »
Their, as you phrase it, "sound," is nothing more than a Deuthche Grammaphone manufactured illusion.  It is not how they sound like in live performance.

I agree with you 100%, i think recent classical piano records are becoming more like taylor swift's singing, auto-tune, auto-tune, and more auto-tune, in deustche grammaphone's case, i belive they have pianists record each passage of a piece seperately, before editing the preferred ones together into the final record.

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #7 on: November 12, 2018, 12:46:48 AM »
live performances and studio records sound nothing alike from the same artist, the latter almost always sound worse.

Do you guys know Post Malone? he's all hype, he's singing in live performance is worse than worst.

Compare it to last century's pop singers like freddy mercury, ours today should really just call themselves entertainers.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #8 on: November 12, 2018, 02:03:45 AM »
Caring only about technique is to me like caring about the technique people use in some sort of art and not actually worrying about what is there. It has become an annoying trend that good music depends on how accurate and fast and clear you can play, have they forgotten about the emotional language within music? Some people need to be told what is good music to listen to so they will follow whoever releases albums, whoever gets good reviews, whoever is popular etc etc. Great music can be found thriving in many quiet places too, some people are just too afraid to go out into their very own community!
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Offline adodd81802

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #9 on: November 12, 2018, 09:21:51 AM »
Their, as you phrase it, "sound," is nothing more than a Deuthche Grammaphone manufactured illusion.  It is not how they sound like in live performance.

So when are your albums going to be released if our ears have been so deprived over the years?
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline outin

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #10 on: November 12, 2018, 02:34:42 PM »
Since technique is a huge reason behind the sound they make you probably should care.

Whatever *physical* technique they use to produce the musical and tonal outcome they do is irrelevant. You are of course right if we consider technique in the wider sense, but this does not seem to be what the OP referred to...

Offline maxim3

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #11 on: November 13, 2018, 08:56:30 PM »
2 points:

1. With regard to Auto-Tune: This technology can be used in a live setting. If I understand correctly, a singer's pitch can be corrected instantly, that is, while actually in performance; and the 'correction' is extremely hard to discern if the original pitch error is not overly large. I think most of the pop singers use Auto-Tune in live performance now.

There is no equivalent for playing live piano, as far as I know. That is, there at present no use of any technology which will allow instantaneous, undetectible correction of piano errors of any kind in the course of a performance.

I can picture one, however. In order to understand this, you must know what MIDI is and how it works. In this scenario, the pianist is playing something like a Steinway Spirio, which is a genuine Steinway grand piano; the difference is that MIDI information can actually operate the hammers and dampers, making it a MIDI player piano.

Imagine an app where the music to be played by the pianist (on a Spirio) is also a MIDI score. So the pianist is following an existing MIDI score. The programming is such that no MIDI information will be engaged when the pianist plays exactly the MIDI score. In other words, if the pianist plays 'correctly,' only the real, live pianist will be heard. But if the MIDI score is not followed precisely, the programming will instantly replace whatever is being humanly played (or not played) with the MIDI notes.

So when the pianist follows the score, you will hear the actual live pianist. When he deviates from it, the technology mutes his playing and replaces it with the 'correct' MIDI version as written.

With this principle, a very large range of mistakes might be imperceivably corrected.

(Yes I see at least one potential problem: the significant lapse of time between the player's wrong note, which by definition has already been played, and the MIDI correction. But recall that a key has to travel downward more than a centimetre before the hammer is engaged; that centimetre is more than enough to trigger the sending of MIDI information. Even the velocity at which the key is moving downward is part of MIDI information. So the mistake can be detected BEFORE IT IS PLAYED, during the 'attack' phase, not afterwards. See the excellent GIF of the grand piano's mechanism elsewhere in this forum -

https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=64233.0

or here -

https://imgur.com/F67xGD6

I'm no technician, so the whole magilla here is doubtless vastly more complicated and problematic than I can imagine; in fact, just studying this GIF I can see more potential difficulties -- stopping a launched hammer at the last millisecond before impact, pre-empting the damper, etc. But in the end it's all just a question of engineering.)

No spontaneity during performance?

First, the player could be playing a MIDI interpretation that he himself previously recorded, allowing him to express his vision; he could even change his MIDI score before a live performance. So the final result may be a unique, totally characteristic expression of a pianist's individual style and interpretive choices -- only that all those artistic decisions were made before the live performance.

And at the touch of a button, the MIDI circuit could be toggled on or off at any time, to allow a confident pianist to play something spontaneous without fear of interruption from the MIDI player.

2. Lang Lang's injury may be totally cured, for all we know. It is very possible that great advancements have made in the last decade or so in the treatment of such injuries, and Lang Lang can certainly afford the finest in the world. L. Podesta seems to be suggesting that Lang Lang's evil, shadowy 'handlers' will successfully deceive the world into thinking a complete cure has been effected even if it hasn't. I fail to see how that deception could succeed in the context of a live performance -- and remember that LL will be performing all five of Beethoven's piano concertos next May.

With such repertoire, is it REALLY possible to keep a crippling hand injury secret from live witnesses who are themselves professional pianists?

As this is an extraordinary claim, it requires extraordinary evidence, or at least comprehensive, rational explication. Otherwise it's just 'Web wind' (I just made that up, I think.)

Imagine that LL plays all 5 Beethoven concertos with his usual thundering style or whatever, with no discernible difference from his pre-injury days. If that happens, some will say: "He is successfully hiding his injury."  Others, more rational, will say: "There now seems to be no evidence of injury."

Myself, I think a more realistic scenario is that LL has made a partial, even 'almost complete' recovery, and will change his playing style for certain repertoire, so as to continue his career. Most of his legions of fans will not be able to tell the difference, and they won't care what the critics say.

Say what you like about L Podesta. I agree with him at least that this whole issue is very very important. Here's a worst-case scenario: Suppose Podesta is correct that LL's injury is permanent and incurable, AND that he somehow manages to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. What kind of dangerous example does that set for young pianists? The message would be: "Don't worry about piano injuries, they're all curable nowadays! Look at Lang Lang! So mash your chords to your heart's content!"

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #12 on: November 14, 2018, 03:47:23 AM »
If the kind of MIDI thing you said exist, or is gonna be built soon, then it's a very sad thing for us music lovers who prefer authenticity, I bet pianists who use such advanced correctional technology, will include 1 or 2 mistakes in their MIDI file, for the sole purpose of giving the impression that, they are actually playing this on their own.

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #13 on: November 14, 2018, 04:03:22 AM »
I personally think technical mastery and musicality cannot be seperated if one wishes to achieve the pinnacle of piano performance.

I would say the majority of performance oriented compositions written for the piano, are technically demanding. I would never vote David Helfgott's Rach 3 as the greatest intepretation of all time, even if it has musicality. (Sadly, it doesn't either.) One must as least master all the technical demands of one's chosen repertoire.

I mean, can you name one musically satifying concert pianist that lacks in skill?

Rubinstein, Argerich, Zimmerman, are all musicians with superhuman brain power and Cyborg fingers.

Offline adodd81802

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #14 on: November 15, 2018, 11:38:36 AM »
Maxim, I like your post.

One thing to note is that, no matter how right you do something, too much of it is bad for you. That can be said with any physical activity.

Take Tennis or 'soccer' (football for us Brits) There are so many injuries in these sports all the time. For professionals at the top, who are just pushed too far.

'Tennis Elbow': an injury even given to the sport itself, because it is so common. Because despite you hitting the ball the right way, do it too much and you're still going to get injured sooner or later.

Sure, that could be some correlation with Lang Lang's flamboyancy at the piano, in relation to the injury he received ("mashing at chords"), BUT, let's just say it's nothing to do with that.

Could this REALLY be to do with the amount he has practised and played that's been the real issue.

And so all he really needs is
1. Time of to recover the injury - as you rightly said he probably has some of the best healthcare in the world
2. Take the foot off the pedal with the amount of practising he does because despite what anybody tells you, most pianists at his level will be practising for 8-10 hours a day at times.
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Offline louispodesta

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #15 on: November 16, 2018, 12:18:51 AM »
No wonder... I bought "Yundi Li, Seiji Ozawa & Berlin Philharmonic's Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2", It's impeccable and super fast, but in yundi's other recorded performamces of the concerto, particularily the one in Hong Kong, was an absolute trainwreck, you would think it's played by an amature!!!

But would you say Argerich's high when performing? she's always fast!!!
I have an 81 year old Tuner/Technician, and I have a 40 year old DMA Concerto Technique Coach.  They only agree on one thing.  And, that is every "New" Competition Winner Pianist they listen to plays way to fast.  There is no musicality, but only "Supposed" Herculean technique at the piano.

Once again, this is all Hype, and worse.  For those who want to prove me false, just "Put Up Or Shut Up."

You pick the time, place, and the group of Pianists, and then we will just see what is truth and then what is reality!

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #16 on: November 27, 2018, 05:42:17 AM »
I have an 81 year old Tuner/Technician, and I have a 40 year old DMA Concerto Technique Coach.  They only agree on one thing.  And, that is every "New" Competition Winner Pianist they listen to plays way to fast.  There is no musicality, but only "Supposed" Herculean technique at the piano.

Once again, this is all Hype, and worse.  For those who want to prove me false, just "Put Up Or Shut Up."

You pick the time, place, and the group of Pianists, and then we will just see what is truth and then what is reality!

You’re the biggest Lang Lang fan lol
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Offline soultrap

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #17 on: December 13, 2018, 11:11:21 PM »
Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin are both some of the most recognizable, and famous classical pianists, yet they are bashed for their lack of musicality, and criticized for priortizing showing off in their concerts.

I personally would never listen to either's record for enjoyment's sake, but I have to say, I believe their techincal mastery of the piano and their repertoire, are right up there with the greats. especially when you see them in live performances, or videos of such recitals.

Yuja Wang is often praised for her virtuosity, but I find her nowhere near Lang Lang or Kissin's level, she plays wonderfully Volodos's Transcription of Turkish March, and Cziffra's Transcription of The Flight of Bumblebee, I bet she worked on those piece for a long time.

but Yuja Wang struggles badly to play Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto, don't even get me started on her performance of Prokofiev's 2nd Piano Concerto, horrible!

This is a highly controversial topic.

What even is the definition of technique? If it's playing every note, with 100% accuracy, and also incredibly fast, then Lang Lang and Kissin are top notch. Yuja Wang too, although sometimes she struggles.

It's really not worth debating over who's technique reigns supreme. I personally enjoy Kissin's playing over Lang Lang's, and have saw him in a live recital. That recital blew my mind. He played a few chopin nocturnes, but then he shook the entire audience with a brilliant Schumann sonata no.3 and an astonishing set of Rachmaninoff preludes.

They both have great technique. It doesn't matter if their fingers fly everywhere - if it works for them, it works for them.

The bottom line is this. There is no need to obsess over technique. Frankly, any technique a human could utilize, a robot could, but better. The music is what's important.
Pieces I'm working on:
Beethoven op. 109
Chopin Etudes op.10
Tchaikovsky Seasons June & October
Tchaikovsky Russian scherzo op. 1 no. 1
Tchaikovsky concerto 1
Mozart K 488
Rachmaninoff sonata 2

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #18 on: December 13, 2018, 11:44:04 PM »
Name one pianist that you enjoys listening to, who have subpar technical mastery.

These are the pianists that I listens to the most:

1. Marc-andre Hamelin (Absolute Favorite.)
2. Krystian Zimmerman (Used to worship him.)
3. Maurizio Pollini (Mixing Delicacy with Passion.)
4. Valentina Lisitsa (Best Liszt Interpreter in my opinion.)
5. Daniel Barenboim (Best Mozart and Beethoven Interpreter in my opinion.)

All of whom possess supreme virtuosity.

Offline soultrap

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #19 on: December 14, 2018, 03:45:13 AM »
Name one pianist that you enjoys listening to, who have subpar technical mastery.

These are the pianists that I listens to the most:

1. Marc-andre Hamelin (Absolute Favorite.)
2. Krystian Zimmerman (Used to worship him.)
3. Maurizio Pollini (Mixing Delicacy with Passion.)
4. Valentina Lisitsa (Best Liszt Interpreter in my opinion.)
5. Daniel Barenboim (Best Mozart and Beethoven Interpreter in my opinion.)

All of whom possess supreme virtuosity.

There's a reason why in order to pronounce Lisitsa's name, one must say "Liszt"!  ;D
Pieces I'm working on:
Beethoven op. 109
Chopin Etudes op.10
Tchaikovsky Seasons June & October
Tchaikovsky Russian scherzo op. 1 no. 1
Tchaikovsky concerto 1
Mozart K 488
Rachmaninoff sonata 2

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #20 on: December 14, 2018, 09:11:36 AM »
There's a reason why in order to pronounce Lisitsa's name, one must say "Liszt"!  ;D

that's brilliant, I never thought of that haha! I will tell that to my friends, hope they understand english wordplay  ;D

I love Valentina's recording of Liszt's Ballade No. 2 in B minor, it literally inspired me to practice 6 hours a day!

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #21 on: December 15, 2018, 05:55:23 PM »
Name one pianist that you enjoys listening to, who have subpar technical mastery.

5. Daniel Barenboim (Best Mozart and Beethoven Interpreter in my opinion.)


Well done. You have just named one.

Thal
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Concerto Preservation Society

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #22 on: December 15, 2018, 11:40:51 PM »
I have to disagree with you, have you heard barenboim's hammerklavier? he have serious technical mastery!

check out Daniel Hill's recording of Prokofiev's second piano concerto, with the sydney symphony orchestra, that is what the lack of technical mastery sounds like, it's ugly, I can't imagine one enjoy anything musical from that record, it's the worst professional recording of classical music I've ever heard.

before you look up for daniel hill though, listen yundi li's prokofiev no. 2 recorded with seiji ozawa, that's what the concerto is suppose to sound like, thunderous and diabolical, I don't know if it's heavily edited because I can't make out a single wrong note, anyway, it's near perfection in my opinion.

Offline virtuoso80

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #23 on: January 08, 2019, 04:39:02 AM »
There technique is certainly fine, however you named perhaps my two least favorite pianists out there. Kissen plays like he's never experienced a bad day in his life, and all of his music sounds...shiny, for lack of a better word. Not my thing at all.

Offline timothy42b

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #24 on: January 08, 2019, 01:42:00 PM »
If the kind of MIDI thing you said exist, or is gonna be built soon, then it's a very sad thing for us music lovers who prefer authenticity,

Not necessarily.  I don't care if it's "authentic" if it sounds good.

Do we sneer at singers who, horrors, use a microphone in a large venue, rather than learning to scream like an opera singer?   

Simple avoidance of mistakes is not what we could gain from MIDI. I can envision music written with MIDI in mind that a mortal pianist with only two hands could not play - sort of a hybrid instrument that enables the composer to transcend the limits.  It would be an intermediate stage between a solo piano and a full orchestration. 

Some of the things MIDI could maybe do:  trills when you only have one finger free.  Doubled octaves - as many as you want.  Preprogrammed scale passages.  Chords with more notes than available fingers. 
Tim

Offline maxim3

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Report: "Lang Lang still struggling"
«Reply #25 on: January 08, 2019, 05:19:04 PM »
Report from Slipped Disc, online 'cultural website,' Dec. 19 2018:

"In order to ensure maximum recovery time from tendinitis of the left arm, pianist Lang Lang very much regrets that he can only proceed with two performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2, instead of the previously announced five concertos for the upcoming Lang Lang and Beethoven series at Walt Disney Concert Hall."

Offline themeandvariation

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #26 on: January 08, 2019, 05:53:31 PM »
MIDI offers much more that  just a thickening agent - as Timothy mentions - for that, all the composer need do is simply add a 2nd, or 3rd, etc,  pianist part - for massive octaves chords and trills - oh my...
The idea of note correction offered by the OP, is a minimal (if possible) adjustment - (where I could see other problems arising). 
But in a larger context of electronic enhancement - things like alternative tunings (and micro intervals) portamento, and the triggering of very complex rhythmical renderings, as well as extending the range as far as the imagination demands are possible, as well as affecting the timbre, as well as other stuff, to be sure..
 Electronic 'enhancement' definitely plays more to the pursuits  of modern compositional expanded palette.  In this area is where the biggest benefits of such can be utilized..
4'33"

Offline keypeg

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #27 on: January 19, 2019, 05:11:05 PM »

Do we sneer at singers who, horrors, use a microphone in a large venue, rather than learning to scream like an opera singer?   

One might sneer at an opera singer who "screams",or at least worry about that person's vocal help before s/he does serious damage.  (We're back to technique. ;) )

Offline pianoworthy

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #28 on: January 19, 2019, 08:19:25 PM »
Name one pianist that you enjoys listening to, who have subpar technical mastery.

These are the pianists that I listens to the most:

1. Marc-andre Hamelin (Absolute Favorite.)
2. Krystian Zimmerman (Used to worship him.)
3. Maurizio Pollini (Mixing Delicacy with Passion.)
4. Valentina Lisitsa (Best Liszt Interpreter in my opinion.)
5. Daniel Barenboim (Best Mozart and Beethoven Interpreter in my opinion.)

All of whom possess supreme virtuosity.
My favorites:

1. Marc-andre Hamelin (My absolute favorite as well.)
2. Arcadi Volodos (Superhuman perfection and attention to detail, while still being delicate and passionate.)
3. Mikhail Pletnev (Raw musical ability and technique. Never lets me down.)
5. Andras Schiff (Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms interpretations near magical in their effectiveness.)
5. Daniil Trifonov (Lively and playful piano playing, not afraid to take risks and breath new life into classic repertoire.)

Offline louispodesta

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #29 on: January 19, 2019, 11:56:58 PM »
No wonder... I bought "Yundi Li, Seiji Ozawa & Berlin Philharmonic's Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2", It's impeccable and super fast, but in yundi's other recorded performamces of the concerto, particularily the one in Hong Kong, was an absolute trainwreck, you would think it's played by an amature!!!

But would you say Argerich's high when performing? she's always fast!!!
Thank you for your "Laid Bare" observation.  It takes "guts" to do this.

1)  For the record, Martha Agerich announced a few years back that she would no longer be performing Solo Recitals.

2) Per the OP, Mr. Kissin has stated publicly that he plays no more than 13 Solo Recitals a year.

3)  Specific to your question, because a particular pianist sits (dressed like a "Homeless Person") does not mean that her body has not been "juiced" by some foreign substance.

4)  I have Low-Level Parkinson's Disease, and I have to take a very low dosage medication so I can play without trembling.  Maestro's Argerich situation is not even remotely the same.  Accordingly, her Youtube Live recording of the Prokofiev 1st Concerto is way to fast.

Finally, the importance of your post is that many in the piano musical world have very much noticed that every one is getting faster and faster.  And, they do not like it!

Offline maxim3

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #30 on: January 21, 2019, 05:05:28 AM »
So the newest generation of pianists is tending to play faster and faster? Include me among the displeased. But it's really a matter of taste, and if the culture is moving that way, it's hard to stop.

I was about to write that modern digital-playback software allows one to slow down recordings a little, while maintaining the original pitch, with no audible loss in quality. Alas, this is not yet the case; I just tested it with a hi-res, extremely recent recording of a live pianist and VLC's (www.videolan.org) 'time-stretching audio' feature. My ears are not the best but I could plainly hear distortion with even a little slowing down. If you want slowdown without distortion, it's still possible, but you are still faced with the old problem of pitch drop. (Remember Mel Blanc doing Bugs Bunny's voice when Bugs is clubbed in the head while singing "I dream of Jeannie, she's a light brown hare"?)

So the best I can offer is this: One could write snotty letters to offending recording artists and their management, saying one was forced to use technology to slow the beeyotch down to a tasteful speed, and that the results, though no longer in the correct key, were still superior to the disgusting rush job foisted upon the public. Or somesuch.

Offline timothy42b

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #31 on: January 22, 2019, 02:48:38 AM »
Yes.  I have tried Audacity and a couple of other freeware slowdown programs, mainly to transcribe the notes in a fast riff or lick.  The distortion was intolerable.

Perhaps the paid software is better, I haven't tried it. 
Tim

Offline william_ni_guang_xin

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #32 on: August 04, 2019, 03:19:09 AM »
My favorites:

1. Marc-andre Hamelin (My absolute favorite as well.)
2. Arcadi Volodos (Superhuman perfection and attention to detail, while still being delicate and passionate.)
3. Mikhail Pletnev (Raw musical ability and technique. Never lets me down.)
5. Andras Schiff (Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms interpretations near magical in their effectiveness.)
5. Daniil Trifonov (Lively and playful piano playing, not afraid to take risks and breath new life into classic repertoire.)

I feel we share the same taste for classical music somehow, haha! I love all the pianists you mentioned!

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #33 on: August 06, 2019, 01:55:58 PM »
I feel we share the same taste for classical music somehow, haha! I love all the pianists you mentioned!
I don't. Hamelin ruined the Henselt Concerto, turned Alkan into super Czerny, made painting a fence more exciting than the Reger/Telemann variations and took the Rubinstein 4th Concerto out of circulation for a generation.
All fingers no brain.
Schiff is all brain no fingers.
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Offline ahinton

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #34 on: August 06, 2019, 07:05:00 PM »
I don't. Hamelin ruined the Henselt Concerto, turned Alkan into super Czerny, made painting a fence more exciting than the Reger/Telemann variations and took the Rubinstein 4th Concerto out of circulation for a generation.
All fingers no brain.
Schiff is all brain no fingers.
I don't agree about Hamelin as he is now. At all. What, for example, might you suppose that he uses to compose? An amusing take on Schiff, though!...

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Offline malcolmdominique

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #35 on: August 09, 2019, 12:16:32 AM »
I don't. Hamelin ruined the Henselt Concerto, turned Alkan into super Czerny, made painting a fence more exciting than the Reger/Telemann variations and took the Rubinstein 4th Concerto out of circulation for a generation.
All fingers no brain.
Schiff is all brain no fingers.

I love Hamelin because his playing can be so even that his fingers are like a machine. He can play lightning fast passages almost like a robot!

For me, I appreciate every pianist for what they bring to the table. I rarely find that I "hate" any particular pianist.

There are some pianists that can make a piece sound so lyrical and colorful like you never imagined. There are pianists that are so accurate with leaps its almost scary and its hard to believe the recording isn't edited. There are pianists that can play rapid scales and thirds so fast and evenly that it makes me think they have cyborg fingers. There are pianists that can put on a show and just seem to have an energy that lights up the room even if they don't play that well.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #36 on: August 09, 2019, 06:34:25 AM »
I love Hamelin because his playing can be so even that his fingers are like a machine. He can play lightning fast passages almost like a robot!

That is exactly why i dont like him.
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Offline ahinton

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #37 on: August 09, 2019, 11:33:46 AM »
That is exactly why i dont like him.
I could understand that in principle but I don't agree that such a description fits him.

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Offline timtim

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #38 on: August 13, 2019, 08:57:15 AM »
My favorites:

1. Marc-andre Hamelin (My absolute favorite as well.)
2. Arcadi Volodos (Superhuman perfection and attention to detail, while still being delicate and passionate.)
3. Mikhail Pletnev (Raw musical ability and technique. Never lets me down.)
5. Andras Schiff (Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms interpretations near magical in their effectiveness.)
5. Daniil Trifonov (Lively and playful piano playing, not afraid to take risks and breath new life into classic repertoire.)

Both of you have very bad nr1. Hamelin started to be popular on unhumanly difficult pieces like Alkan and Godowsky Studies, for which he can be told to be non plus ultra. However, he fails in classical repertoire. I was on his recital like two months ago, and really, I do not find any need to listen to him anytime more. Nothing interesting in listening to him. He is just good pianist, who started to fade when he moved to playing Chopin and such things. It’s unimaginable how anyone can rate him higher than Zimerman, as there is a level or even more of difference between them.
He has great technique, but he really is far from being great pianist, and his recording I find much better than piano recital I attended.

Month before I was on Nikolai Lugansky Recital, who was plying Debussy, Scriabin and Rachmaninov. And while he has too heavy  hands and uses too much pedal for Debussy, his Rachmaninov (while I do not agree with few of his idea) is striking and want you to have more and more. Same with Scriabin. With Hamelin there was really nothing that made me wanting him to listen again.

Pletnev is great, but had legal problems, went also more to unducting, I hope he is well now and will play more and more piano.  Trifonov is great as well, so focused and intimate, while still playing fast.

The only pianist that really striked me during last few years, is Kholodenko. I started to listen him not so long ago, but oh god, there is so much music in his playing. I sometimes wonder why he is not recording for DG (but I do think that yellow label has its owns big limitations and there are many great artists who on purpose do not want to record for them). He plays slowly (as for todays manners). But there is so much music in his playing. I also agree vastly, that most of todays mass-produced pianists sounds the same, but its also effect of how they are being thaught.

I am not a fan of Lisista, Kissin and Lang. Yundi Li is so so, but him playing Prokofiew concerto with full force…. It doesn’t sound authentic, as he is not athlete type of pianist.
Still probably Sokolov is highly underrated, as his piano recital was probably the best I attended.

Offline cuberdrift

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #39 on: August 20, 2019, 08:45:33 AM »
A lot of people's idea of technique is about hitting the right notes.

Not me. Or at least, before.

For example. I never understood why people thought Horowitz is not "technical". To me, his ability to seamlessly produce unique, distinct sounds on the keys display a unique and unmatched pianistic technique. For me, technique was the physical movement - and the ease of such - to achieve desired sounds.

The fact that Horowitz was, therefore, able to make those sounds seemingly effortlessly for me was amazing. Horowitz made mistakes? Okay. But his correct notes might sound a thousand times more interesting than the thousand correct notes that any competition winner today does. If so, then he is "technically" superior.

But then there are various people that claim that Chopin is nothing to Liszt technically, or that Beethoven id technically harder than Mozart without question. So it dawned on me that what they meant, was the ease of which the right notes were pressed.

Anyway, in both cases Lang and Kissin indeed are supreme technicians. But note that when I said sound, I did not necessarily mean "emotion". From my perspective, it is entirely possible to produce interesting sounds without necessarily evoking a strong emotional stimulus fron a listener.

There are various pianists I could nane who I think often touch me more emotionally than Horowitz. I think that Horowitz, was somewhat of a great showman in this regard - he could thrill listenees with "what he could do". It is still about pianism, and how good are you at the keys.

There are people like Kempff, Cziffra, Arrau, de la Roccha who from my perspective are more emotional than Horowitz. But "technically" Horowitz to me is more impressive

Same goes for many pianists today, especially Lang, Kissin, Lisitsa, Hamelin, etc. Though I might say Kissin is a little more emotional than them. They make impressive sounds. They play fast abd dazzlingly. That to me is technical virtuosity.

Again, this is all only from my perspective.

In my opinion also, it is silly to pretend that technical showmanship is not part of music. Music is entertainment. Why did Liszt shift the piano's position to face the audience? So the viewers could see what his fingers were doing. If you listen to a lot of his early paraphrases, to me it's hard to appreciate them from a purely aural point of view. They're not THAT interesting imo. But see the player's hands fly? Boy, what a devil!

Virtuosity - showmanship - the fact that the player seems to be doing the impossible, by the VIRTUE of having practised a lot to achieve it - is inherenr in music. Maybe not in all music, but the concert stage? Obviously so.

Offline ahinton

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #40 on: August 20, 2019, 09:45:14 AM »
Yes, far too many people's view of what constitutes impressive "technique" is a depressing assessment of the correct note quantity, in the face of which I have on occasion been known to retort that Shura Cherkassky (whose facility at the height of his powers was nothing short of tremendous) sometimes played wrong notes in his latter years but they were invariably more interesting than most people's right ones.

Here's another example:


The fact that Martha's mécanique is mind-boggling is so obvious that as barely even to warrant comment, but I find it hardly noticeable beause the way she plays this piece is so overwhelmingly fine that such considerations seem almost to pale into insignificance. This performance dates from almost 60 years ago and, when on top form, she remains a formidable force of nature today yet, when she played Tchaikovsky's B flat minor Concerto at a London Promenade concert a few days ago under the baton of her old friend Daniel Barenboim, there were a few complaints about some wrong notes; there's obviously no pleasing some people!

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Offline timtim

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #41 on: August 20, 2019, 11:30:31 AM »
Very valid points by both of you. Many musiacians today can play impressively fast, perhaps thousands more than many years ago in their age. However, it all sounds the same, and more important - technique should be only a WAY to achieve the goal, and not the goal itself.

Horowitz is a legend, because he was one a a very few in history, who perfectly matched top skills with incredible musicality and understanding of music. Just listen to his Scriabin preludes or Etudes - pure poetry. But these are geniuses of their own class, of whom very few were living and even though they died decades ago, we are coming back to them.

Or listen to Samson Fracois. He is one of the best examples of what technique is for. If you listen to him on the surface, one would think that he plays "squarely", or I do not know how to name it. I mean, that his music is made of squares instead of flow of music, and that he fights with technical struggles in whatever he plays. But listen deeper and deeper and you will soon find out that his technique was absoutely superb, his rubatos, melody and so on... it's all unhumanly good and he was one of that kind that ever existed.

Arrau is his young years, and even later on concerts, is told to be, that was playing much faster that on late recordings.

And Zimerman. He is also one of a kind. In his own galaxy. I never experienced this with any other pianist. He can play absurdly fast and complicated pieces, but you still hear that this is all under control, and there is time for everything. He can play 50% faster than 99% pianist on the globe, and you still feel that peace of him and calmness and feel safe and secure, even though there is thunderstorm happening. I do not know any other pianist, living or not, who's technique was delivering such experience.

Offline cuberdrift

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Re: How good is Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin's technique?
«Reply #42 on: August 20, 2019, 03:31:49 PM »
Very valid points by both of you. Many musiacians today can play impressively fast, perhaps thousands more than many years ago in their age. However, it all sounds the same, and more important - technique should be only a WAY to achieve the goal, and not the goal itself.

Horowitz is a legend, because he was one a a very few in history, who perfectly matched top skills with incredible musicality and understanding of music. Just listen to his Scriabin preludes or Etudes - pure poetry. But these are geniuses of their own class, of whom very few were living and even though they died decades ago, we are coming back to them.

Or listen to Samson Fracois. He is one of the best examples of what technique is for. If you listen to him on the surface, one would think that he plays "squarely", or I do not know how to name it. I mean, that his music is made of squares instead of flow of music, and that he fights with technical struggles in whatever he plays. But listen deeper and deeper and you will soon find out that his technique was absoutely superb, his rubatos, melody and so on... it's all unhumanly good and he was one of that kind that ever existed.

Arrau is his young years, and even later on concerts, is told to be, that was playing much faster that on late recordings.

And Zimerman. He is also one of a kind. In his own galaxy. I never experienced this with any other pianist. He can play absurdly fast and complicated pieces, but you still hear that this is all under control, and there is time for everything. He can play 50% faster than 99% pianist on the globe, and you still feel that peace of him and calmness and feel safe and secure, even though there is thunderstorm happening. I do not know any other pianist, living or not, who's technique was delivering such experience.

Nice to know there are others who think along the same lines.

Perhaps it also has something to do with recent trends in music. The way I understand it is there is a tendency for the artist to be somehow less and less intimate with the music over time. The classical works grow more and more distant, while seemingly ever so bright also a glimmer of the past, something to be comprehended only ro a minimal degree by our fast paced competitive world today.

Add to the fact that the focus on performance and competition is so strong, and its divorcing from tbe compositional and improvisational avenues of the true musician. The tendency might favour the cold, precise approach. No more the colourful and inspirational one.

Not to put down anyone of course. But it's something we're missing. The intimacy with the music, the drive to express yourself the way you want to. Music does not have to be athletics. Let it be art, let it be fun and spontaneous.