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 Post subject: Re: Audition- Mozart C minor Sonata First movement
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:11 am 
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richard66 wrote:
A performance and a recording are not the same thing, not as I see it. I can perfectly well record a whole sonata by bits and pieces, some today, some tomorrow, and then glue them together. Is that a performance?
Now I see what you mean. I forgot about the editing aspect. Ideally we should be able to give a complete start-to-finish performance in a single take, especially if the piece is short. But where random mistakes are inevitable and editing is an available tool for getting rid of them, then one might as well take advantage of it. I'm not so sure it's a good idea to spread activity over several days. In the case of a sonata with separate movements, yes, OK, because in a way the movements are different pieces. But you wouldn't want to spread the recording of just one movement over several days, would you? It makes more sense to just play it in a single recording session. When you notice yourself making a mistake, you can either just carry on as if nothing had happened (which is what you would do in a live performance), and then play it all again and hope you make different mistakes this time; or else you could just stop, backtrack a bit, and carry on (hoping not to make the same mistake again), all without stopping the recorder. Then you can cut out the mistakes in your editing session later. This is much better than splicing together fragments which were recorded on different days, because in the end you want to produce a recording which "could have been" a one-take performance, and unless you work with click-tracks (which are the devil's own invention) you'll never get tomorrow's tempo to be the same as today's, and tempo isn't the only thing that will be different.
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For me the performance is the way the musician interprets the work.
I only partly agree with this. For me, interpretation is a matter of feeling, crassly put it is how you think it should go, or how you want it to go or wish it would go. Performance is how it actually goes, and is subject to any accidents which get in the way of translating your mental artistic image into a physical rendition.
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We should be able to judge if a recording has artistic merit and then, and only then, point out the flaws.
I think opinions are divided (and rightly so) on that. Often the flaws are so prominent that what merit there is is beyond recognition.
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A great teacher is not necessarily scarce with praise, but he will praise what is good and then attack pitilessly what he sees as wrong.
I'm not convinced that is a good teaching technique. I think the "attack" should be less pitiless, less destructive, it is after all a tool for improvement, not a weapon of destruction. And the praise should be less glowing, we should generally avoid superlatives. Let's reserve praise for when things are really good, not for when they're just "sort of OK". Praising that is harmful. Praising (or at least recognising) improvements, is important, though, especially where previous criticisms have been acted upon.
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What should you do? I believe you should first offer an overall review: is it expressive? Is the pianist tranquil? Is he too agitated? Is his technque up to the challenge? Is it musical? Than yes, by all means, point out any errorrs that you detect, because at this jucture, he knows where he stands as far as the interpretation goes and can concentrate on polishing the mistakes or deciding to rehaul the piece.
I'm not sure it's quite as simple as that. Praise is a good reward for improvement, but is perhaps out of place for stuff that is just sort of OK at the outset. And praiseworthy musicality really wants to shine through before it's praised, and it can fail to do that if it's obscured by technical problems. Eddy is right here; the technical stuff needs to be conquered before very much is done on the musical side. I think the notion of "knowing where he stands as far as the interpretation goes" and then concentrating on getting rid of the mistakes is the wrong way round. It is not before all the mistakes have gone, and you are technically on top of things, that you are free to concentrate on what really matters: the artistry.


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 Post subject: Re: Audition- Mozart C minor Sonata First movement
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:19 am 
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richard66 wrote:
To Monica: you have improved even in the short period in which I have been a member and, as I prefer to listen to the whole rather than the notes that make it up, I have only now and then been able to offer you comments about lack of tranquility or little dynamic contrast (this one I remember saying that it sounded convincing, though)!


I wasn't referring to how often you listen to or not listen to my recordings....I meant I was disturbed by the fact that you complained (on behalf of the the original poster) about how we critique recordings when you yourself have benefited greatly from it. Also, we don't want to lose anybody! Let's just keep discussing classical piano music and how to play it.

There....now, let's all form a circle, hold hands, and sing Kumbaya, okay? :) :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Audition- Mozart C minor Sonata First movement
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:03 am 
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pianolady wrote:
There....now, let's all form a circle, hold hands, and sing Kumbaya, okay? :) :lol:

What a good idea... and more fun than trying to get the last word on this elusive subject.
Except I can't sing :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Audition- Mozart C minor Sonata First movement
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:12 am 
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Well, I said my say and will not carry on, but I do hope this discussion has opened eyes a little and that we may all benefit from it.

Just one little pont I would like to make to Rainer: maybe when you feel too many errors are getting in the way of appreciation, I believe you should say so on the lines, "I listened to your recording but quite frankly I believe you still need to master some (or many) technical aspects before I can give you an opinion on youe performance."

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 Post subject: Re: Audition- Mozart C minor Sonata First movement
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:10 pm 
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
richard66 wrote:
Just one little pont I would like to make to Rainer: maybe when you feel too many errors are getting in the way of appreciation, I believe you should say so on the lines, "I listened to your recording but quite frankly I believe you still need to master some (or many) technical aspects before I can give you an opinion on youe performance."
Well, clearly that would be more gentle than giving too long a list of mistakes. Whether it is best to be gentle is a question to which we can find no universal answer, and we don't want to continue with that aspect of the discussion since it appears to be ultimately unresolvable.

Instead, let me say that I feel there is a problem with your suggested wording, namely that it amounts to saying "There is lot wrong with this, but I'm not telling you what." That would be unhelpful destructive criticism. Don't you agree that pointing out exactly what is wrong, and making specific suggestions for improvement is more constructive and therefore more helpful? Another small problem with your wording is that it contradicts itself: the second part says "I can't give an opinion on your performance", while the first part has done just that. :)

Perhaps if I were not to list too many mistakes all at once, would that be a compromise to win your approval?


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 Post subject: Re: Audition- Mozart C minor Sonata First movement
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:49 pm 
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rainer wrote:
Perhaps if I were not to list too many mistakes all at once, would that be a compromise to win your approval?

My approval! You make me sound so important! :lol:

I remember that was the approach some of my teachers (of music, languages and painting took). Of course if there are wrong notes those need to be corrected before any rhythmic problems in the same passage are tackled and these casnnot be done if one is also having voicing problems. Think of what it would be to learn German: you cannot possibly concentrate on pronunciation, gender, accusative, dative and verb order (Ich gebe dir das Buch, dass Helga gestern gefaute hatte...) all in one go! If you try to correct all five at the same time you only confuse the speaker and eventually discourage him.

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: Audition- Mozart C minor Sonata First movement
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:15 am 
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Sorry I take so long to respond. I am currently a student in my second year in college. I recorded those pieces while in highschool. I didn't record them in a digital piano, I guess it was some noise in the recording studio.
I been studying piano for about 10 or 11 years now- I am just 19. I am going around trying to find criticism and help with my playing. I currently study classical but I am also very fond and passionate about Tango music. Hopefully I will start working on Tango very soon. I got refereed to this site by a friend who is already part of the pianists catalogue. My favorite composer is Brahms, which most people find odd hahaha.
Well, Please let me know if there are any other questions.


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