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Unpopular Opinions (Read 4097 times)

Offline lettersquash

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #50 on: February 25, 2021, 08:46:36 PM »
I'm intrigued by the silent practice keyboard, too, ted. But surely (j_tour) there's a sweet spot between a sheet of felt and a concert grand. Surely all that's needed is either:
a) an electric keyboard with the power switch in the off position, or
b) any other keyboard of suitable length, with a spring mechanism under the keys for resistance. I reckon this could be about 1 1/2 inches high and 6-8 inches deep and wouldn't weigh much. I know - you can't get them off the shelf!

The latter could be constructed with an adjustment for the tension very easily (raising the board below the keys' springs) if that's needed. I don't suppose most EPs have a tension adjuster. But if you don't want to adjust the tension, you could find a cheap s/h EP, rip most of the guts out of it, just leaving the keyboard in, and Bob's yer uncle. Or am I missing something?
Schwencke dumped in the middle of Bach's Prelude, and Gounod tried to polish it.

Offline compline

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #51 on: February 25, 2021, 08:54:29 PM »
Quote
Music is not a language and transmits no meaning.  Meaning is imposed by the listening mind.



 




Hi Ted...


As I understand it, deconstructionism aims at taking a text of piece or music  and saying that it is the reader or the listener that imposes the meaning.  I tend to favour the more traditional view, which is that when we look at a book or piece of music , it is the author or the composer who is trying to convey something to us, and that is what we try to discover. So on that line, music has a language and a grammar that is set out by the composer  which it is up to us to try to understand.   I think it is a bit like the old argument about languages and history,  do you attempt to enter an ancient world on its terms, or do you try to impose your own view on things.   I myself do not find the deconstruction movement very helpful.


Offline j_tour

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #52 on: February 26, 2021, 02:31:35 AM »
But surely (j_tour) there's a sweet spot between a sheet of felt and a concert grand.
...
The latter could be constructed with an adjustment for the tension very easily (raising the board below the keys' springs) if that's needed. I don't suppose most EPs have a tension adjuster. But if you don't want to adjust the tension, you could find a cheap s/h EP, rip most of the guts out of it, just leaving the keyboard in, and Bob's yer uncle. Or am I missing something?

Yeah.  Well Ted's really the guy who knows about the Virgil Practice Clavier. 

Thinking more about it, although I have a Rhodes piano from 1976 with its infamously sluggish action (this particular example is actually pretty nice), but TBH, I never get around to playing on it unplugged (it makes a very faint sound from the mechanical tines (they're like tuning forks for each of the keys), overwhelmed by the mechanical sound of the action. 

Which isn't a bad action:  you can do repeated notes....well, quick enough for how I use them.

But, I guess in the end I like to have the ear-finger connection, to be able to hear physically what I'm playing. 

Probably because it's just plain nice sounding!  Well, you know, sometimes!

There's another long thread/argument/discussion about the limits of ear-training, but while I cherish being able to have developed a decent enough inner ear, I can't claim that I can hear any more than the average semi-competent musician by looking at a score.

About music as a language?  No, I'm not even getting involved in that discussion!  I don't actually know of any rigorous phenomenological analyses of music, besides some pages in Ingarden's studies, but, no, I just think music is music, and that's plenty for me.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline walther_von_stolzing

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #53 on: March 24, 2021, 08:08:49 AM »
Lots of interesting posts, even though I disagree with 99% of every opinion presented here :)
So here is an unpopular opinion of my own:

I strongly believe that the piano music of J.S Bach should be played without ornaments.
Of course there should be exceptions where the ornaments are “hard coded” into the music, but in every instance where there is a marking in the score of a “trill, mordent etc”, it should be ignored by the pianist.
Why?
Not only will the music be much easier to play, but it will also be MUCH more beautiful and mature. The insistence of realizing all the ornaments in Bach’s music is simply extremely childish and stupid. It shows not only a poor taste when it comes to performance , but also, more worrisome, a serious mental immaturity that that has infected even the most renown music establishments responsible for teaching the younger generation of pianist.

(I hope I don’t need to go into hiding after publicly stating this opinion)

Offline lettersquash

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #54 on: March 24, 2021, 11:10:00 AM »
Lots of interesting posts, even though I disagree with 99% of every opinion presented here :)

Hehe. I can't help discussing your opinion, which is obviously wrong! ;)

Quote
So here is an unpopular opinion of my own:

I strongly believe that the piano music of J.S Bach should be played without ornaments.
I view shoulds with suspicion, whether they tell me to do something or not do it. In my view, a should relates to an objective, whether we realise it or not. So you should/shouldn't play the ornaments depending on what your goals are for your Bach playing - if it's to pass an exam it'll be different from enjoying the odd tinkle on the ivories in private or developing a modern interpretation. Should/shouldn't one play Bach in a jazz style? I see no reason to deny ourselves freedom of expression in music, as we do in other art forms. The unstated objective or injunction is often something like, "to be true to how Bach wanted it to be played," but (a) we've a dim view of that and probably always will have, (b) maybe Bach wanted us to run with his inventions and make them our own, or (c) maybe Bach wanted everything nailed down and as he intended it, but - were he alive today - reverse that opinion and realise he was too up himself.

If we go with "how the master wanted it" - and I'm definitely no expert at all - I've read that JSB came from an older tradition that valued freedom of expression and the player's interpretive judgement, whereas the next generation began to want everything precise and wrote books about how everything should be played (CPE Bach, IIRC, was a stickler for the correct everything, from ornaments to fingering).

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Of course there should be exceptions where the ornaments are “hard coded” into the music, but in every instance where there is a marking in the score of a “trill, mordent etc”, it should be ignored by the pianist.
That leaves logical room for contradiction - unless you mean by "hard coded" the ones written in original scores, where we have them. "Should" we always use the autograph or check if the modern edition we've got matches it precisely?

Quote
Why?
Not only will the music be much easier to play, but it will also be MUCH more beautiful and mature.
Sometimes doing something hard is better, and beauty is in the ear of the beholder. It also depends on the instrument chosen, particularly what kind of sustain it has. I suspect that the preponderance of ornaments in Baroque music might be down to the popularity of the harpsichord, clavichord, lute and - as much of Bach's music was probably written on and for - the lute-harpsichord, with their relatively short sustain and little dynamic range, leaving rather boring holes in slow pieces unless an ornament is added to extend the note. Some Eastern string music - balalaika? - might play the same note repeatedly until it's time to change to the next one in the melody, but that's awkward on a keyboard. So, on a bowed instrument, a Sarabande can be gorgeous with minimal ornamentation - a long note can sweep in, sustain for seconds, even get louder to a final short stop - on a harpsichord it just goes plink. And you do want to cut through the murmuring of the restless bewigged throng in the drawing-room, after all.

Besides, the alternating notes of ornaments add to the harmonies that are playing and make a richer sense of it.

Quote
The insistence of realizing all the ornaments in Bach’s music is simply extremely childish and stupid. It shows not only a poor taste when it comes to performance , but also, more worrisome, a serious mental immaturity that that has infected even the most renown music establishments responsible for teaching the younger generation of pianist.

(I hope I don’t need to go into hiding after publicly stating this opinion)
I agree with your view that having to play them all is stupid, I just think reversing that is no improvement.
Schwencke dumped in the middle of Bach's Prelude, and Gounod tried to polish it.

Offline joe falchetto

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #55 on: March 24, 2021, 06:44:52 PM »
Current opinion of mine - it may change, I'm learning.

There are no specific pianistic techniques, every piece and situation is different and requires its own approach. There are however general principles (like efficient movements, no unnecessary tension) which, applied to the specific piece and the specific pianist, translate in one, or more, preferable way of executing a movement/passage.

Offline nw746

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #56 on: March 27, 2021, 03:42:38 AM »
I strongly believe that the piano music of J.S Bach should be played without ornaments.
Of course there should be exceptions where the ornaments are “hard coded” into the music, but in every instance where there is a marking in the score of a “trill, mordent etc”, it should be ignored by the pianist.
At least one famous pianist seems to have shared this opinion:


I think it sounds weird, but I guess I'm too used to hearing this piece on the harpsichord.

Offline j_tour

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #57 on: March 27, 2021, 03:54:44 AM »
I think it sounds weird, but I guess I'm too used to hearing this piece on the harpsichord.

I thought it sounded dastardly at first, but I don't know how I've never heard Kempff's version before.

It's oddly captivating. 

No, I wouldn't play it like that, but he hits the right notes!  I'd never even considered this option, even just fooling around.  Yes, for analysis, but not for actually playing the works this way.

What a strange idea, and yet I suspect that's how most people schematize these works in the subconscious:  thinking about structure and so on.

Odd.

But compelling.

I shall search out the rest of Kempff's solo keyboard works of Bach:  probably some good ideas to use in there.

////////////

Oh, in the spirit of the thread "unpopular opinions":  instead of acting upon the old maxim "love thy neighbor," one should instead adopt the notion that one should exact petty acts of vengeance upon thine literal neighbor. 

You know, for fun and all that.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline walther_von_stolzing

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #58 on: March 27, 2021, 05:34:30 AM »
At least one famous pianist seems to have shared this opinion:

Nice find!
I got an eerie feeling of "what have I done?" when I first listened to that :)

I guess the saying; "if you want it done right, you must do it yourself" applies to Bach more than any other composer.

Offline lettersquash

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #59 on: March 27, 2021, 06:58:38 PM »
Hmmm, very interesting. I miss the ornaments in the Aria, and yet I want to hear it with even fewer. It's a curious mix - some entirely dropped, the next, very 'Baroque', especially noticable at such a high tempo. But he's certainly not played the "hard-coded" ones.
https://christianbraumann.de/goldberg-variations_aria-autograph/
Schwencke dumped in the middle of Bach's Prelude, and Gounod tried to polish it.

Offline lelle

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #60 on: March 27, 2021, 11:56:28 PM »
Lots of interesting posts, even though I disagree with 99% of every opinion presented here :)
So here is an unpopular opinion of my own:

I strongly believe that the piano music of J.S Bach should be played without ornaments.
Of course there should be exceptions where the ornaments are “hard coded” into the music, but in every instance where there is a marking in the score of a “trill, mordent etc”, it should be ignored by the pianist.
Why?
Not only will the music be much easier to play, but it will also be MUCH more beautiful and mature. The insistence of realizing all the ornaments in Bach’s music is simply extremely childish and stupid. It shows not only a poor taste when it comes to performance , but also, more worrisome, a serious mental immaturity that that has infected even the most renown music establishments responsible for teaching the younger generation of pianist.

Care to explain why in more detail? Why would following Bach's instructions be any more childish than playing the notes he wrote into the score? After all, his ornaments are also the notes he wanted to be played, just written in a different way.

Offline nw746

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #61 on: March 29, 2021, 12:35:29 PM »
One difficulty is that, given the nature of Bach's often written-out ornamentation, there is often no right answer for what the "unornamented" version of (say) the Goldberg Variations might look like. I came up with this, quickly had second thoughts for individual bars, and also realised that if I put the task of producing an unornamented version of the aria to a class of thirty students I'd get thirty different answers.


Offline lettersquash

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #62 on: March 29, 2021, 04:45:21 PM »
One difficulty is that, given the nature of Bach's often written-out ornamentation, there is often no right answer for what the "unornamented" version of (say) the Goldberg Variations might look like.
I agree, and before that question is the question of why one would want to "dis-ornament" a master's work in the first place? I ask genuinely as I don't know - perhaps he wrote the ornaments in, but intended them to only be used on the second pass of the section (as players tend to increase ornamentation then), or just on Palm Sundays. If they are part of the structure of the work, removing them is a bit like removing notes from Beethoven or Britten, just because you can simplify it.

One thing I find odd/interesting about this is that ornaments are sometimes not just additional notes augmenting a "default" note, they adjust the timing of that note, changing the feel and musical sense of the phrase entirely. It's particularly true of grace-notes, where the grace note might be played at the beat instead of the final note, and the latter delayed, sometimes quite substantially, although in other pieces they seem to be played early and the landing note is as it's written. MIDI interpreters tend to assume the latter, which is crazy when the intention is the former. Hear attached - I don't think I can upload a MIDI file, so I recorded it to mp3 - enjoy!

Quote
...if I put the task of producing an unornamented version of the aria to a class of thirty students I'd get thirty different answers...
Indeed, as you would if you asked them to take notes out of a piece of Mozart or Mahler.
Schwencke dumped in the middle of Bach's Prelude, and Gounod tried to polish it.

Offline brogers70

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #63 on: March 29, 2021, 07:08:38 PM »
I agree, and before that question is the question of why one would want to "dis-ornament" a master's work in the first place? I ask genuinely as I don't know - perhaps he wrote the ornaments in, but intended them to only be used on the second pass of the section (as players tend to increase ornamentation then), or just on Palm Sundays. If they are part of the structure of the work, removing them is a bit like removing notes from Beethoven or Britten, just because you can simplify it.

I think the argument would be that Bach wrote the ornaments to make up for the harpsichords inability to change dynamics, so that rather than a sfzorzando he'd write in a mordent, say. So the ornaments would be primarily ways of making more noise in order to shape a phrase. Since you can control the volume on a piano, such things are not necessary and they just distract from the main line.

I don't agree with that argument at all. Singers (even singers singing Bach) ornamented a great deal, and they have no trouble controlling dynamics without ornaments; likewise wind and stringed instruments, so I think the premise, that ornaments are mainly there to make up for the harpsichord's inability to control volume is incorrect.


Offline lelle

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #64 on: March 31, 2021, 09:09:16 PM »
I think the argument would be that Bach wrote the ornaments to make up for the harpsichords inability to change dynamics, so that rather than a sfzorzando he'd write in a mordent, say. So the ornaments would be primarily ways of making more noise in order to shape a phrase. Since you can control the volume on a piano, such things are not necessary and they just distract from the main line.


Yeah, that's bollocks! :D The main line with the ornaments IS the main line. Else he wouldn't have written it with the ornaments.

Offline brogers70

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #65 on: March 31, 2021, 09:26:01 PM »
Yeah, that's bollocks! :D The main line with the ornaments IS the main line. Else he wouldn't have written it with the ornaments.

You know I agree with you, right?

Offline lelle

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #66 on: March 31, 2021, 09:35:02 PM »
You know I agree with you, right?

Yes, of course, sorry if that wasn't clear! I was taking aim at that opinion that you also disagree with, not you  ;)

Offline walther_von_stolzing

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #67 on: April 03, 2021, 11:17:29 AM »
So I didn't get much love from my first post about ornaments, but I won't let that stop me from sharing another unpopular opinion.

When playing a Bach fugue on the piano, you should NOT bring out, or emphasize the main subject, except at the very first exposition.
This annoys me to no end!
Why does everybody and their grandma, always emphasize the main subject? Are they worried the dimwitted listener had forgotten it already?  "What was the main subject again? Oh there it is ,thank God. Wait, I am confused, how did it go again? Ahh of course! Thank you for reminding me again, and again, and again..."

Bonus Opinion:

Each variation of Bachs "The Art of Fugue" is supposed to be performed in a different key. Every variation is written down in D minor, which makes it OBVIOUS that Bach intended the performer to play every variation in a key of his own choosing.
The most natural is to start the first variation in D-minor, and the go backwards through the circle of fifths. Or just follow the path from "The Well Tempered Clavier".  Sadly "The Art of Fugue" has just 14 variations, since Bach died before finishing. Most probable it would end up having 24 variations, which would give us the 12 major and 12 minor keys.

Offline brogers70

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #68 on: April 03, 2021, 08:34:38 PM »
When playing a Bach fugue on the piano, you should NOT bring out, or emphasize the main subject, except at the very first exposition.
This annoys me to no end!
Why does everybody and their grandma, always emphasize the main subject? Are they worried the dimwitted listener had forgotten it already?  "What was the main subject again? Oh there it is ,thank God. Wait, I am confused, how did it go again? Ahh of course! Thank you for reminding me again, and again, and again..."

Actually, I've been told that not only is your opinion about this not unpopular, but that it is in fact a longstanding, academic tradition of correct Bach interpretation at the piano that entrances of the subject in a fugue should never be "brought out" above the other voices. Even if, as seems to be your experience, almost every piano recording of a Bach fugue I've ever heard does indeed emphasize the subject somewhat whenever it appears.

Personally, I think that while anything can be overdone, there's no harm in subtly emphasizing the subject, particularly when it's been modified by inversion or augmentation or diminution. Banging it out to the exclusion of all else, of course, is crude.

Offline fierydog

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #69 on: May 25, 2021, 09:53:34 PM »
Quote
When playing a Bach fugue on the piano, you should NOT bring out, or emphasize the main subject, except at the very first exposition


Quote
academic tradition


Quote
correct Bach interpretation

This is everything that is wrong with the music community. There is only one definitive characteristic of music: there is nothing definitive in music. I welcome anyone to disprove this simple truth.

Imagine how Glenn Gould feels about the "correct" way to play Bach. Just listen to his Chopin. It's obvious he couldn't care less about being "correct" and because of that we have genuinely interesting recordings from him when he ventured outside his usual repertoire.

You see, my unpopular opinion is that pedagogues have set music back music 50 years. They have wasted so much time intellectualizing and theorizing about music and through their navel-gazing have lost their soul. Completely blind to their legalistic bias, they have helped facilitate an environment and culture in which most pianists we produce have the technique of Busoni, Liszt, Flier, Friedman and Hofmann yet are completely incapable of creating music with it.


Offline lelle

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #70 on: May 25, 2021, 11:00:04 PM »
You see, my unpopular opinion is that pedagogues have set music back music 50 years. They have wasted so much time intellectualizing and theorizing about music and through their navel-gazing have lost their soul. Completely blind to their legalistic bias, they have helped facilitate an environment and culture in which most pianists we produce have the technique of Busoni, Liszt, Flier, Friedman and Hofmann yet are completely incapable of creating music with it.


I think there is a value to researching and understanding style. The more knowledge you have of what the composer originally intended (what was in style at the time the music was written or what the composer has said about interpretation), the more informed interpretative decisions you can make. You can still deviate from the style, if you want, but then it's at least an informed, conscious choice you make.

I think there is a middle ground, where if you want to be an educated musician you learn about the different styles and how to emulate them, but at the same time there is not like a thought police that dictates what you can and cannot do. It's like learning the base techniques for how to paint natural looking humans in various stylistic idioms before deciding if you want to paint natural looking things or become Pablo Picasso.

Offline lettersquash

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #71 on: May 25, 2021, 11:26:39 PM »
I agree with both the last two posts. It's the insoluble riddle of art: what is most precious and moves us most is our intuitive, innocent response and natural expression, but we cannot preserve it. Just experimenting ourselves, developing our natural talent in whatever direction we want, we will learn, and learning will bring a filter, a refinement, and innocence will fade.

It is also true that creativity requires limitations. If nothing is definite, there is no unit to work with in composing new forms. And if music had no forms, nothing definitive, how would we know what it was? Would the sound of a dead tree falling be music?

I'd say the forms of music might be endlessly maleable, but before they've been messed with very much at all, I find them distinctly unmusical. There was a whole generation that threw out the rule book of music, and they just made more and more unmusical noises for the sake of art...for art's sake.
Schwencke dumped in the middle of Bach's Prelude, and Gounod tried to polish it.

Offline j_tour

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #72 on: June 15, 2021, 02:19:27 AM »
Anti-Vaxxers don't deserve to live.

QED.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #73 on: June 16, 2021, 09:26:40 AM »
Schumann is crap.
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline ivorycherry

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #74 on: June 16, 2021, 07:29:42 PM »
Schumann is crap.
I mean... That’s not that unpopular lol. I think he sucks tbh

Offline ranjit

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #75 on: June 17, 2021, 01:37:43 AM »
I mean... That’s not that unpopular lol. I think he sucks tbh
It's unpopular with me!    ;D

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #76 on: June 17, 2021, 03:00:56 AM »
Stop having favourite pieces, start loving wastefully. This is even more important when dealing with your fellow human.

"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."
www.facebook.com/groups/348933611793249/

Offline j_tour

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #77 on: June 18, 2021, 03:35:49 AM »
A test for incoming music students at a conservatory should comprise:  giving the student a firm apple, and demanding that they crush it to bits with one hand.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #78 on: June 18, 2021, 04:43:23 AM »
A test for incoming music students at a conservatory should comprise:  giving the student a firm apple, and demanding that they crush it to bits with one hand.
Lol, let's just have them count a 21:20 polyrhythm instead.

Offline imnotapianist

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #79 on: July 25, 2021, 07:25:04 AM »
Russian composers suck. Like Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, Korsakov. Shostakovich is the rare exception. And french composers too. All of them sound really superficial. Like french porn music.

And piano concertos suck compared to concertos of other instruments like violin and cello. Like, violin concertos just sound so much better than piano concertos. And this applies to literally every composer, like Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky.

And Helene Grimaud is the worst pianist ever. She plays like she just had an argument with someone backstage and was forced to play at the last moment. She talks so condescendingly and so detached from her own feelings and personality. It's to the extent where it's so infuriating. 
 

And I can't believe that Czech composers are so underrated. Like Vitezslav Novak is seriously one of the greatest composers of all time, and Pan Op.43 is so good it should be an all-time great piece. But I can't believe it's overlooked.



Offline imnotapianist

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #80 on: July 25, 2021, 10:37:22 PM »
and one more. Late Beethoven sonatas need to be played with rubato. Or else they don't work.

Offline lelle

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #81 on: July 25, 2021, 10:49:21 PM »
Russian composers suck. Like Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, Korsakov. Shostakovich is the rare exception. And french composers too. All of them sound really superficial. Like french porn music.

Ye gods, I actually agree to the part about russian composers, I thought I was the only one. I do like or even love a few pieces by Rach and Scriabin, but I find a lot of the popular Russian output to be a bit dull.

I do like some French composers, like Debussy, Ravel, and Franck. Do Chopin and Liszt count as French? I'm less drawn to Fauré and Saint-Saens or other, lesser known names. Do you not even like Ravel? :o

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And Helene Grimaud is the worst pianist ever. She plays like she just had an argument with someone backstage and was forced to play at the last moment. She talks so condescendingly and so detached from her own feelings and personality. It's to the extent where it's so infuriating. 

I've heard her live once, it wasn't to my taste unfortunately. I've not heard about her being condescending though.
 
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And I can't believe that Czech composers are so underrated. Like Vitezslav Novak is seriously one of the greatest composers of all time, and Pan Op.43 is so good it should be an all-time great piece. But I can't believe it's overlooked.

Is Novak the composer of Pan? Any recommended recordings?

Offline imnotapianist

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #82 on: July 27, 2021, 02:29:19 AM »
Chopin sounds more similar to Schumann, Beethoven, and Bach. It's more storytelling and expression than creating tones. I'm referring to his Ballades, Scherzos, and Nocturnes.

Liszt is more of an individual composer who had some works like the b minor sonata which does sound very Beethoven-like, obviously. His musical works like his ballades, fantasies, and consolations are more poetic, while his etudes are just in their own league.

Ravel sucks too. It's too sensual and superficial.

Pan Op. 43 by Vitezslav Novak:

&t=2497s

Offline joe000

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #83 on: July 27, 2021, 10:11:17 PM »
Unpopular opinion- Despite having played more Chopin than any other composer and despite liking some of his pieces - Chopin suck.

He's just so godamn popular!

Offline liszt123

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #84 on: July 29, 2021, 06:48:58 PM »
- Old pianists like Cortot and Horowitz are inferior to the newer "technicians" like Kissin and Zimerman. Pianists who play wrong notes all the time and don't follow the score (cough aLfREd CoRtoT cough) are messing what the composer intended.

- Gould is different for the sake of being different. See this:


- Schumann, especially his late works, is transcendental. Chopin is the epitome of romanticism.

- Wagner is funny.

- Atonal composers like Schoenberg and Stravinsky make my ears bleed >:( and people (snobs) who pretend to enjoy them while scoffing at new tonal composers to look smart are making classical music die. haha please don't flame me :/

Offline ranjit

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #85 on: July 29, 2021, 10:20:21 PM »
- Atonal composers like Schoenberg and Stravinsky make my ears bleed >:( and people (snobs) who pretend to enjoy them while scoffing at new tonal composers to look smart are making classical music die. haha please don't flame me :/
I think this is probably the majority opinion among piano students, lol. I think you need to hear enough tonal music that you get sick of it, before you can appreciate Schoenberg. I definitely prefer him to many other atonal composers. Weird music gives me ideas for composition/improvisation, and I daresay it's among those groups of people that you'll find the most appreciation for it.

Offline lelle

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #86 on: July 29, 2021, 10:41:34 PM »
- Old pianists like Cortot and Horowitz are inferior to the newer "technicians" like Kissin and Zimerman. Pianists who play wrong notes all the time and don't follow the score (cough aLfREd CoRtoT cough) are messing what the composer intended.

Noooo not poor Cortot :( If your only measuring stick for being a superior pianist is how many right notes you hit and how exactly you are following every detail in the score, then yes, Cortot and Horowitz are inferior to some modern pianists. But there is so much more to pianism than hitting the right notes. Both Cortot and Horowitz are infinitely more interesting to my ears, because they have access to so much more in terms of color, voicing, daring, spirit and personality. To do so, they sometimes sacrificed the right notes (or didn't care/became old etc). If I listen to Cortot playing the Ballades and then put on Zimerman, Zimerman sounds, despite playing way more right notes, very sterile and humdrum in comparison to the richness and excitement of Cortot's more splashy playing. What's the point of playing if it doesn't excite and move?

There is also a number of legit stuff you can do with the music that's not strictly in the score, such as rubato, orchestration, arpeggio/breaking between voices etc etc

(I also recommend you look up recitals from the 40's by a younger Horowitz - holy crap the guy had technique).

Online klavieronin

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #87 on: July 30, 2021, 12:21:43 AM »
- Gould is different for the sake of being different.

I always felt like Gould's performances where more like reimaginings of the original work than strict reconstructions. They almost become entirely new pieces and are wonderful if you can listen to them with an open mind.

- Atonal composers like Schoenberg and Stravinsky make my ears bleed >:( and people (snobs) who pretend to enjoy them while scoffing at new tonal composers to look smart are making classical music die. haha please don't flame me :/

I've never taken the time to listen to Schoenberg's music (though I have read some of his books on harmony and composition) but Stravinsky is brilliant. And I'm pretty sure I'm not simply pretending to like his music.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #88 on: July 30, 2021, 01:02:46 AM »
I've never taken the time to listen to Schoenberg's music (though I have read some of his books on harmony and composition) but Stravinsky is brilliant. And I'm pretty sure I'm not simply pretending to like his music.
Oh I completely forgot about Stravinsky. I think even laymen could appreciate him tbh. I don't know how representative it is, but his Petrushka sounds incredible (and very tonal!) to my ears.

Offline j_tour

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #89 on: July 30, 2021, 02:51:57 AM »
I always felt like Gould's performances where more like reimaginings of the original work than strict reconstructions. They almost become entirely new pieces and are wonderful if you can listen to them with an open mind.

Indeed.  And Gould's set of recordings are hardly monolithic.  I'm sure there are people who revere every fragment or alternate take, in the way that some people approach popular music "stars," but not every interpretation of Gould's was a success, IMHO.

They were experimental performances, though, of a sort that is rarely "permitted" among the mainstream conservatism of Western art music performance.

But he did put on a kind of brave effort, and his work in the studio was nothing if not innovative.  His written reflections on reception of music from a kind of vaguely sociological perspective are of interest in their own right, even if his ideas have a kind of fragmented, not overly rigorous feel to them.

I'm still shocked at how young he died:  you can see in various videos his visage and general physical condition absolutely bespeaks a kind of premature aging.  Same thing with Bill Evans, but in that case it's easier to ascribe Bill's haggard appearance to his heavy drug use.

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I've never taken the time to listen to Schoenberg's music (though I have read some of his books on harmony and composition) but Stravinsky is brilliant. And I'm pretty sure I'm not simply pretending to like his music.

Well, in some ways, for all of the brilliance of Stravinsky, he was at heart a neo-classicist, dedicated to exploiting tonal resources.

In a way that Schönberg and his "school" were not, for all of the erudition and respect for tradition that Schönberg possessed.

I don't actually know a great deal about Stravinsky, but I'd defend the second Viennese school any day of the week and twice on Sunday.  Although it's, for me, very difficult to internalize and reproduce at the keyboard, with any degree of authenticity or authority.

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For my own unpopular opinion, which seems to be not so unpopular, at least here, if I never hear Rachmaninoff again, ever, it will be too soon.  Scriabin (in his later works), Shostakovich, Prokofiev:  those were composers of command, rigour, and maturity.  Rachmaninoff was like a weeping teenage child in the throes of a tantrum on his best days.  There is absolutely nothing that will change that opinion.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline liszt123

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #90 on: July 30, 2021, 03:57:51 AM »
If I listen to Cortot playing the Ballades and then put on Zimerman, Zimerman sounds, despite playing way more right notes, very sterile and humdrum in comparison to the richness and excitement of Cortot's more splashy playing.
Hey, Zimerman is very rich and exciting too... My favorite "old" pianists are probably Kapell (so exciting!) and Michelangeli (so pure!)

I always felt like Gould's performances where more like reimaginings of the original work than strict reconstructions. They almost become entirely new pieces and are wonderful if you can listen to them with an open mind.
Yeah, but I find he's very hit or miss.

Oh I completely forgot about Stravinsky. I think even laymen could appreciate him tbh. I don't know how representative it is, but his Petrushka sounds incredible (and very tonal!) to my ears.
True, Stravinsky's more polytonal. Ig Petrushka sounds alright--though I'd much rather listen to say, a Mahler symphony, and his perpetual use of the octatonic scale drives me crazy. I stand by my opinion on Schoenberg though.

Scriabin (in his later works), Shostakovich, Prokofiev:  those were composers of command, rigour, and maturity.  Rachmaninoff was like a weeping teenage child in the throes of a tantrum on his best days.  There is absolutely nothing that will change that opinion.
But then wouldn't that make Chopin a weeping teenage as well (there are quite a few parallels between Chopin and Rach/early Scriabin)?

Offline j_tour

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #91 on: July 30, 2021, 04:46:47 AM »
But then wouldn't that make Chopin a weeping teenage as well (there are quite a few parallels between Chopin and Rach/early Scriabin)?

Yep.  That would be the case.  But I can grudgingly tolerate Chopin, in small doses, particularly the préludes (those that I'm capable of playing, anyway, which is by no means all of them).  He's no Schumann or Brahms, but he can be allowed.

I'm still traumatized that Debussy, whom I love, revered Chopin.  I like to think Debussy got over it, much like Scriabin healed himself from his miguided youthful enthusiasm.

My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #92 on: July 30, 2021, 10:56:58 AM »
Haha, I find Chopin too hackneyed for my taste as well, a lot of the time. He has his moments though, I love his second sonata. The first time I heard it, I was quite shocked that it was written by him.

Offline lelle

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #93 on: July 30, 2021, 12:51:28 PM »
You guys should check out some pieces by this composer called Liszt. There we can talk about hackneyed!

Offline j_tour

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #94 on: July 30, 2021, 03:13:32 PM »
You guys should check out some pieces by this composer called Liszt. There we can talk about hackneyed!

No, no.  He was just a morally offensive reprobate until he began composing serious music late in his life.

Not to worry:  I forgive him.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #95 on: July 30, 2021, 04:23:54 PM »
You guys should check out some pieces by this composer called Liszt. There we can talk about hackneyed!
I find him a better composer than Chopin.

Offline ivorycherry

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #96 on: July 30, 2021, 06:02:39 PM »
I find him a better composer than Chopin.

There’s no such thing as a „better composer”

If there would be though, Chopin would be the better one. He was almost revolutionary in his innovations and he greatly developed  music for the piano at the time.

Offline ivorycherry

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #97 on: July 30, 2021, 06:06:08 PM »
Haha, I find Chopin too hackneyed for my taste as well, a lot of the time. He has his moments though, I love his second sonata. The first time I heard it, I was quite shocked that it was written by him.

The reason he’s „too hackneyed” is because his music is just so good.

Offline ivorycherry

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #98 on: July 30, 2021, 06:07:13 PM »
For my own unpopular opinion, which seems to be not so unpopular, at least here, if I never hear Rachmaninoff again, ever, it will be too soon.  Scriabin (in his later works), Shostakovich, Prokofiev:  those were composers of command, rigour, and maturity.  Rachmaninoff was like a weeping teenage child in the throes of a tantrum on his best days.  There is absolutely nothing that will change that opinion.

Agreed

Offline j_tour

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
«Reply #99 on: July 30, 2021, 09:39:44 PM »
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.