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Thoughts on AuthenticPiano? (Read 1176 times)

Offline jhrsatlow

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Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
« on: June 24, 2020, 01:09:21 PM »
I recently came across the youtube channel "AuthenticPiano." In this channel, he argues that the tempi that are written on our classical music today are actually double the speed that the artist intended. I would recommend you watch his videos for his reasoning. I'm curious what your thoughts are of his argument. He also performs many sonatas at the tempo he believes to be correct.

Offline jhrsatlow

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #1 on: June 24, 2020, 01:12:14 PM »
Sorry, I meant "AuthenticSound"

Online perfect_pitch

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #2 on: June 24, 2020, 01:47:59 PM »
He also performs many sonatas at the tempo he believes to be correct.

Very easy - I find them to be total sh*t. Most of the tempi he performs at really destroy any emotional intensity (especially in Beethovens works), and given that the fortepianos Beethoven performed on had a lighter touch than todays pianos, I feel that playing them slow does not fit the picture of a man who was trying to push the technical limits of what the keyboard instrument could achieve above and beyond what they were for his lifetime...

Don't believe me? Listen to the last movement of the Appassionata and tell me that it ISN'T the slowest most languishing wreck you've ever heard. There's no depth, no passion and no fury for something marked PRESTISSIMO.

This unfortunately reminds me of another poor arsehole shithead poser who claimed that Schumanns Traumerai was meant to be played at half speed, and unfortunately the idea was laughed at by anyone in the academic world. There are many users who CLAIM they know the true meaning of music, tempo etc... but most of it is just for popularity and to try and isolate themself from the mass of pianists who do make a name for themselves performing.

I genuinely wouldn't give him the time of day, or the views on YouTube. The idea is idiotic, because no matter what piece you listen to - it sounds dry, stifled and haggard because of the slow tempo.

Also, I know you are new to the forum, and may think my post is a little curt, but you haven't been here as long as I have... heck - there are some users who have been here longer than me as well and can tell you the same.

Offline medtnerfan

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #3 on: June 24, 2020, 01:55:28 PM »
A while back I was following Wim Winter's Youtube channel and was heavily interested in this topic. For a while I was convinced by the idea he was putting forward (the idea that metronome marks corresponded to a back and forth swing as opposed to the click, during the late classical to early romantic periods), but as I was reading more and more it became less and less convincing to the point where I don't believe this concept ever existed. Here are some examples

- Maelzel's instructions for the metronome point to the normal reading of metronome marks
- Performances of orchestral works in the romantic period (ex: Wagner conducting Beethoven symphonies) were being played in slower tempos than before, not faster
- Instances of durations in historical performances (ex: Beethoven's 1808 concert that premiered his 5th symphony and other works) points to the opposite of what the double beat theory suggests
- For keyboard works, the tone on pianos of Beethoven's time decayed quicker than the pianos of the romantic period, and even more so than the modern piano of today. This probably prompted quicker tempos when playing on those older instruments (think of the slow movements), so saying that historically these pieces were played in the slower tempos that is suggested by this theory, doesn't make sense

Offline edwincurrent

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #4 on: June 24, 2020, 11:21:33 PM »
REDONKULOUS!!!

I really think he's just a troll. In 1 of his 2 videos where claims Lisitsa plays Moonlight 3rd at double speed, he tries to imply his interpretation of the tempo for 32nd tuples is correct because he speeds up. He doesn't speed up, he just ignores the fermatas.

fyi-The Rubinstein recording of 3rd is played at same tempo as Lisitsa. Rubinstein was a pedagogical descendent of Beethoven, Liszt and Czerny through his instructor Barth.

Offline cuberdrift

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #5 on: June 25, 2020, 02:58:34 AM »
This is the only piece I know where his double beat theory should probably apply.


Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #6 on: June 25, 2020, 03:47:24 AM »
Maybe he just wants an excuse to be able to sight read all the works at half tempo and claim it is the authentic speed so he doesn't feel so bad?

One only needs to use their ears to understand cutting tempo by 50% pretty much always will create a dragging sound which doesn't improve anything at all, you simply sound like you are still practicing the piece!
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Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #7 on: June 25, 2020, 07:36:32 AM »
I don't know whether he genuinely believes what he says, or if it's just an attempt to earn through having monetised his absurd attention-seeking theories, but whatever. There are many documented accounts of concert tempi, and if we are to believe that Liszt caused hysteria by performing virtuoso pieces at practice tempi, then that is the very embodiment of musical gullibility.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bzDN0OSHoGCP50B8tgiFYbYxaWfK6whJ/view

We also have historical recordings from the likes of Saint-Saens and Charles Plante, who were alive in 1850 and thus directly experienced 19th century performance practice. It's not credible to claim that they suddenly started playing twice as fast as the norm and absolutely no musicologists thought it worthy of note.

Good sightreaders can play prima vista many of the pieces on his channel if they reduce the tempi to what he chooses.

If his arguments are correct, then a logical conclusion would be that thousands and thousands of today's pianists have technique which makes Liszt look like a child.

Also, his playing is awful.

Offline pianoman53

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #8 on: June 27, 2020, 12:37:54 PM »
I just made my first video about him. I even think we posted about him on the same day😅

He's very good at cherrypicking, and has absolutely no shame in doing so, thus presenting "good evidence" for those who believes him, or don't have the means to find out for themselves.

His theory is bonkers, and there are only a handful of pieces that are in his favour.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #9 on: June 27, 2020, 12:53:18 PM »
Just one example of many, this abomination.



The opening figure is an example of "Mannheim Rockets", see approximate contemporaries such as Stamitz et al: not Mannheim snails.

If 32.16 is a prestissimo, then I genuinely don't know what to say.

Online perfect_pitch

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #10 on: June 28, 2020, 02:07:13 AM »
His theory is bonkers, and there are only a handful of pieces that are in his favour.

You think there are pieces that are better at half speed??? Like what?!?    ::)

Online perfect_pitch

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #11 on: June 28, 2020, 02:09:08 AM »
If 32.16 is a prestissimo, then I genuinely don't know what to say.

It's pathetic... Kovacevich plays it in 16 mins, Brendel in 20, and YET this guy managed to make it stretch out longer than the Rach 3.

It IS pathetic.

[Whooops - didn't mean to double post]

Offline claudioportella

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #12 on: June 28, 2020, 02:44:22 PM »
I remember he talked about a Czerny etude (with repeated notes). He said that it was impossible to be played at the tempo indicated because of the escapment mechanism of the time. What do you think about that?

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #13 on: June 28, 2020, 03:22:12 PM »
The first double escapement was patented by Erard in 1821, and I think the vast bulk of Czerny etudes date from the 1830s and 1840s. He has a peculiar fixation with maintaining that they can't be played at or near the quoted tempo despite there being video of them being played a tempo.

Online brogers70

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #14 on: June 28, 2020, 05:08:40 PM »
You think there are pieces that are better at half speed??? Like what?!?    ::)

Brahms D minor Piano Concerto, just ask Glenn Gould.

Offline pianoman53

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #15 on: June 28, 2020, 10:35:45 PM »
You think there are pieces that are better at half speed??? Like what?!?    ::)
Oh, I don't.  But some Chopin nocturnes are generally played far below the metronome mark, and, as some other pointed out, Czerny are sometimes beyond humanly possible...

Online perfect_pitch

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #16 on: June 29, 2020, 08:43:44 AM »
Brahms D minor Piano Concerto, just ask Glenn Gould.

Well... bollocks to that. I've heard the piece being played by 10 different pianists, and the best are Pollini and Kovacevich who play them at a brisk speed and just blow my load (so to speak).

You slow down in those pieces and you cause them to turn into a pasty mush.

Offline klavieronin

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #17 on: June 29, 2020, 09:58:07 AM »
Does anybody know if he has spoken about compound time signatures? From what I understand he thinks the metronome mark refers not to the beat but the subdivision of the beat, so does that mean for music in compound time signatures we a supposed to play 1/3 of the tempo? Or are we supposed to play in compound time while the metronome is ticking away in simple time?

Online j_tour

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #18 on: June 29, 2020, 09:05:49 PM »
Does anybody know if he has spoken about compound time signatures? From what I understand he thinks the metronome mark refers not to the beat but the subdivision of the beat, so does that mean for music in compound time signatures we a supposed to play 1/3 of the tempo? Or are we supposed to play in compound time while the metronome is ticking away in simple time?

Good question.

I was very happily unaware of this "idea," except vaguely, until now.

So, for this person's concept, in a similar way, how does he suppose to play "alla breve"?  You know, cut time.  Just point the metronome to, say, every eighth note?

Why is it these kinds of nuts aren't content to just limit themselves to an idiosyncratic interpretation of a given piece, or a section of a piece, but insist on inventing some kind of "system."

It sounds remarkably similar to the kinds of "thinking" that "inspires" people to imagine things about, like, famously, that movie The Shining.

I'm not a psychologist, but according to one understanding of "paranoia," namely, a "delirium of interpretation," such supposed mechanations explain a good bit. 

Add a dash of mania to the delirium, and voila, it seems all the ingredients are there for a good old fashioned freak-out "theory."  It would not surprise me a bit if the "author" of this little "idea" had similarly strange ideas about gray aliens, and governmental helicopters, and who knows what else.

I'm a little bit proud of the local community here for recognizing the problems with this self-styled preacher. 

Out of curiosity, who actually believes this garbage, anyway?  I'm picturing very ancient cranks with moss growing off the backs of the hands, probably self-sequestered in very modest private quarters, likely attended by some very averagely-paid nice people wearing clean, white uniforms and soft-soled shoes.

ETA to attempt to answer klavieronin's question, despite not being an adept at whatever witchcraft or voodoo this theory describes, yeah, it probably is something as ludicrous as that.  I'm 100% sure the this crank has some complicated way to deal with this, and equally so that it's absurd, and contrary to every bit of tradition.

Yeah, he's a regular Balboa, charting unknown paths to a new frontier.

I still want to know who is the audience for this ridiculous conspiracy-theorist-level nonsense?  Lonely housewives?  Fellow shut-ins?  It's almost unbelievable to me.
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Offline medtnerfan

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #19 on: June 29, 2020, 09:19:42 PM »
He has spoken about triple meter. His solution is something called tactus inaequalis which is I guess is an old practice. I'm actually working on a video debunking this double beat whole beat thing, we have description from Maelzel and Czerny about using the metronome that represent single beat. Wim Winters has ways of interpreting those texts as double beat, which I don't find convincing, but I'm also going to be using a compilation of recorded durations of historical performances linked here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OOQO6f031yENH1uUpbl9C87MfJ8KJLfP/view

Offline pianoman53

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #20 on: June 29, 2020, 09:46:20 PM »
He has spoken about triple meter. His solution is something called tactus inaequalis which is I guess is an old practice. I'm actually working on a video debunking this double beat whole beat thing, we have description from Maelzel and Czerny about using the metronome that represent single beat. Wim Winters has ways of interpreting those texts as double beat, which I don't find convincing, but I'm also going to be using a compilation of recorded durations of historical performances linked here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OOQO6f031yENH1uUpbl9C87MfJ8KJLfP/view
Welcome to the club! I'm working on a whole season of debunking videos. Tell me wjen you're done and published it :)

Online brogers70

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #21 on: June 29, 2020, 10:00:56 PM »
Well... bollocks to that. I've heard the piece being played by 10 different pianists, and the best are Pollini and Kovacevich who play them at a brisk speed and just blow my load (so to speak).

You slow down in those pieces and you cause them to turn into a pasty mush.

I guess I should have marked the sarcasm to make it clear. The conductor of Glenn Gould's half tempo performance actually apologized before beginning and said that he disagreed with Gould's eccentric tempo. I think it's pretty well agreed to have been a disaster. Thought it familiar enough that I didn't need to identify it as sarcasm.

Online perfect_pitch

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #22 on: June 30, 2020, 08:47:30 AM »
I guess I should have marked the sarcasm to make it clear. The conductor of Glenn Gould's half tempo performance actually apologized before beginning and said that he disagreed with Gould's eccentric tempo. I think it's pretty well agreed to have been a disaster. Thought it familiar enough that I didn't need to identify it as sarcasm.

I apologise for my outburst then... Unfortunately text doesn't help accentuate the undertones and context that accompanies it.

Offline pianoman53

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #23 on: June 30, 2020, 11:49:26 AM »
I know it was said in tongue and cheek, and shouldn't be taken literally. But whether we prefer slow or fast tempi is not the discussion. My favourite brahms is actually by Gould, but that's irrelevant. What Wim argues is not whether slow tempi are more beautiful than fast, but that the composers meant for them to be played half speed of what they actually wrote. That's a totally different discussion.

Online perfect_pitch

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #24 on: June 30, 2020, 12:05:51 PM »
What Wim argues is not whether slow tempi are more beautiful than fast, but that the composers meant for them to be played half speed of what they actually wrote. That's a totally different discussion.

Totally true.

Online brogers70

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #25 on: July 01, 2020, 10:04:43 AM »
Totally true.

Sure, it's true. But if your hypothesis is that the composers intended a tempo half as fast as the tempo we get by reading the metronome marks the more common way, and if that half-time tempo makes most things sound much worse, even taking into account that we might just have gotten used to the faster tempo, then maybe the hypothesis is wrong.

Offline medtnerfan

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #26 on: July 04, 2020, 07:20:13 PM »
Welcome to the club! I'm working on a whole season of debunking videos. Tell me wjen you're done and published it :)

I've been watching your videos, it's nice that you have been in contact with the youtube user "fafner888". I'm planning to use his compilation so I should probably contact him for the video I'm making as well. Hopefully I'll finish it this weekend.

Offline medtnerfan

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #27 on: July 17, 2020, 07:21:11 PM »
I know the last post on this was from 2 weeks ago, but I just finished and uploaded a video debunking the double beat theory. I tried my best to make it entertaining while still having useful information.



Offline Bob

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #28 on: July 17, 2020, 10:11:38 PM »
Just read the first post, sort of.

I'd go with the general world of music.  One youtuber, one person's opinion vs. the rest of the musical world.  People have probably devoted their lives toward one composer's works.  People write their thesis on a piece of music.  I doubt "everyone else" vs. one youtuber ends up with the youtuber being correct, esp if it's something like double or triple the tempo.  It's passed down over time, but some things aren't going to change that much, not double or triple. 

Even if something really did change, there's still the world of music influence.  If everyone says, "This is what a piece of art is, and this is how it should be played," then that's how it is.  You can do what you want, but it's an outlier, even if it's correct.  The world of music might see that you're correct and not care.  The work leaves the creator and becomes its own thing.
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Offline outin

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #29 on: July 18, 2020, 07:57:07 AM »
Well... bollocks to that. I've heard the piece being played by 10 different pianists, and the best are Pollini and Kovacevich who play them at a brisk speed and just blow my load (so to speak).


Can it be that we actually agree about something??
IMO the Kovacevich recording is one of the best of this concerto.

Online perfect_pitch

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #30 on: July 18, 2020, 01:30:03 PM »
Can it be that we actually agree about something??
IMO the Kovacevich recording is one of the best of this concerto.

Well... isn't that something - I turned an enemy into a friend. I have a frenemy...



Disclaimer: I'd like to point out that never in my life have I uttered that word in person, nor shall I. Typing it is completely different however.

And I did say Kovacevich AND Pollini... And sadly enough, I'm not sure if Kovacevich would have the No. 1 spot; Pollini is a genius.

Offline outin

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #31 on: July 18, 2020, 01:59:44 PM »
Well... isn't that something - I turned an enemy into a friend. I have a frenemy...



Disclaimer: I'd like to point out that never in my life have I uttered that word in person, nor shall I. Typing it is completely different however.

And I did say Kovacevich AND Pollini... And sadly enough, I'm not sure if Kovacevich would have the No. 1 spot; Pollini is a genius.

He is, but I have not had the pleasure of hearing him play this work. Something to be corrected I guess.

And I am sure you've been saying that word aloud secretly in a closet. The spiders heard you!

Online perfect_pitch

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Re: Thoughts on AuthenticPiano?
«Reply #32 on: July 19, 2020, 02:11:10 AM »
1) I don't hide in closets...
2) Because of 1), I've never had to come out of the closet
3) I have CANS of bug-spray at the ready. The spiders are TERRIFIED to enter my dominion.