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Chopin waltz in a minor

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pepasch, May 17, 2015.

  1. pepasch

    pepasch cooperation is a profession Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Monica and Chris,

    I don think i can do a better job. I think i am not suited for it. And besides, i wouldn't have time for it. What i am good at, is organizational stuff. Like cooperation in groups and such.

    What is see is two people who have given much time to a project. And because of that, they feel attached to it. And so they won't let it go. But both of them are tired of their tasks and responsibilities. And they are even openly admit that they feel exhausted by it. They feel that the whole project will fall apart as soon as they withhold their energy from it. What has given you so much, should never be abandoned.

    The thing is, that such holding on to ones child often causes stagnation. It would be better to find a way of letting it go. Your child should find its own way into the world. So instead of putting all this energy into the project, into keeping it alive, you should put your energy into building the community. If you succeed in that, others will start to support you. There are many open source communities out there that can serve as example. Linus Torvald started the Linux project with just a few bystanders. The Linux community now counts over ten thousand active participants. You know why? Because he put his energy in building the community, in finding the right form of cooperation. He adopted the proper license, found distribution mechanisms and so fort.

    Now this might sound like stirring trouble or feel like arrogance, and in a sense it is, but i am sincere in what i mean. And i do not claim to have earned my right in saying so by having participated in the PS projected in any substantial manner. Far from it. I just use my brains and my guts and these are telling me - on the basis of what i experience here on this site - that you should turn your focus towards building the community if you want to keep the project alive. And then be prepared to let your responsibility go. To share it with the community.

    So do with this advice what you want. If you want to go in that direction, then i can help.

    Greetings from Holland.
     
  2. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Lots of interesting points.

    Firstly though, the recording (initial one). I wouldn't want to be the one making a decision here. I don't care for the piano sound and there are audible inaccuracies and smudges, but it's not incompetent. The point that the piece is well-known and not particularly difficult, thus greater accuracy is required, is probably a fair one.

    I do like the adherence to standards here. I think it sends a very positive message to other internet pianists, namely that people who are virtually unknown are capable of producing good, and on occasion, very fine recordings. There certainly are regrettable issues regarding this site, of which the low participation rate is one. Part of the problem, imo, is because there have been a number of posters who have used the site shamelessly and selfishly, as a storage facility for recordings, accepted plaudits, then disappeared, never to be seen again. This is particularly disappointing because such people clearly have the knowledge to enhance the site, critique recordings and offer constructive advice. I think Chris and Monica do a wonderful job and have a very impressive corpus of work between them, so whilst it is possible that the site admin/non-admin hierarchy and "king of the castle" syndrome may discourage fresh posters, I would be loath to criticise their administration of the site unless I had a very clear alternative in mind - see below.

    True insofar as they do all the admin work, but, speaking personally, I disagree fundamentally with the last three sentences. I'm as certain as it's possible to be online that my musical values and Chris's are pretty much diametrically opposed (if he cares to comment I suspect he'll agree!) but that doesn't prevent us from being able to discuss and appreciate each other's recordings; it's called open-mindedness and I think it's a quality that the regular posters also possess.
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    We have very different tastes in repertoire but apart from that I would not say that our musical outlooks are so radically opposed. I think we both share the wish to perfect our playing. In the cavalcades of notes and chords you play, a few slips are hardly significant. Not that you make (m)any, but you get the point. In the simpler stuff I play every mistake grates, at least to my ears. Hopefully I will one day be able to produce an interesting and musical recording.... However I will never use that as an excuse to play sloppily. I do believe that piano playing can be both interesting and accurate.
     
  4. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Agreed with much of that. Every bit of fumbled passagework irritates me more and more as time goes on! We have different outlooks on how to make a recording interesting I suspect, I've a tendency to kitschy gestures and you're more of a purist, but I agree, conflating sloppy and interesting is dangerous excuse-making. A few sloppy recordings are genuinely interesting, but to remain so they have, imo, to present increasingly remarkable music-making or thought-provoking ideas.
     
  5. pepasch

    pepasch cooperation is a profession Piano Society Artist

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    Andrew,

    My point is not so much about site administration. It is about community building.

    Site administration is about registration and making people conform to rules. Community building is about activating people, make them participate, create ownership, etc..

    It seems the site-administrators focus on the first, whereas the development stage of PS asks for a focus on the latter.

    Greetings,
    Peter
     
  6. MarkieUK

    MarkieUK Member Piano Society Artist

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    There do have to be people who decide a standard of pieces which are acceptable for the site; otherwise, it couldn't function. The site administrators are proficient pianists and it's not like an arbitrary standard has been set. I think people will always disagree with what is/what isn't acceptable.

    You could say that having quite a strict technical requirement for an amateur site makes it a lot more presentable and impressive to visitors and, like I said in a previous post, I think some of the recordings on here show a professional standard of playing.
     
  7. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Aww come on Chris - this from the man who did the Peter Grimes fantasy not long ago? You are just fishing here!
     
  8. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    You see, I think this is very telling. I agree talking about music with like-minded people is great, and there are already two large online sites with exactly that remit. The last sentence is very much an unambitious, amateurish ethos. {Edit for the sake of clarity - "amateurish", used pejoratively, as opposed to "amateur", which need not be negative.} There's nothing wrong with that per se, and many people are happy to do exactly that, half-learn pieces and put something shoddy up on youtube which then attracts a modicum of praise. I'm guilty of that too (the average level of what I put on youtube is clearly lower than what I upload here). But what is unusual about this site is the way in which it does encourage people who put that extra bit of effort, and attempt to collate good(ish) playing, and if that's a sign of exclusivity, equally it's a sign of weeding out the dross.

    I don't agree. Opinions are formed on the sly anyway and for some sort of official hierarchy of pianists to be formulated is unnecessary and probably the sort of thing that will attract the worst in human nature, vanity, envy, and probably. ultimately. excessive/fraudulent editing!

    This is a fair comment, and the community is smaller than healthy. A central problem is that someone has to do the admin of evaluating recordings. It can be argued (harshly imo) that the admin's large body of recordings places them in an awkward dual-function position, whilst on the other hand the site is not active enough for there to be regular alternative evaluators (which would also increase inconsistency). For what it's worth, I would allow your recording, but with reservations, and there are some which have gone up in the past that I wouldn't have allowed up (probably, thinking retrospectively, a couple of my own!).
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Haha, you are just too perceptive :lol:
     
  10. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    Hello Chris,

    Please be assured that the only thing that still bothers me about the Aufschwung conversation is that the re-record is still waiting for comments after 2 years or something! I don't recall being particularly upset by that conversation, just surprised that there were that many problems I wasn't hearing. We can all afford to become better listeners certainly, and the main benefit to sharing recordings is that others will hear things we ourselves do not. That being 2 years ago or so, it's not what I mean by recent.

    It is interesting that you mention posting recordings as a positive gesture toward artists -- I was thinking more of the commentary made in the discussions, and not about the fact that you do in fact go and put in the effort to process (and sometimes fix all the tags) and post people's recordings. To those of us non-admins in the community, we don't see that behind the scenes work, we just see the discussion. So on the one hand we can forget to thank you for the behind the scenes work. But on the other hand, the nature of the discussion, both how people are treated and what the musical priorities appear to be, may matter more to us than it does to admins. Anyhow, I'll get off my soapbox now, I do thank you and Monica for all the work you do here, and I'll try to just contribute feedback about recordings and performers from my point of view, rather than making further negative comments about how things are done.
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I remember you saying you planned to redo it, but I don't recall that you actually did and posted a new version. I believe I would have commented on it. But perhaps I missed it - two years ago there was more going on than these days. By all means post it again then, if you think it is an improvement on the first version.

    <rant>
    You mentioned submitters being subjected to what you call "intense criticism". I don't see it as intense. I honestly do not understand why such a point is being made of pointing out wrong notes. People do it to me, and I'm grateful for it and more often than not, re-record because of it. But I believe in honesty. I someone drowns a piece in pedal I will not say "you might use a little less pedal", if someone makes mistakes every bar I will not say "I noticed a couple of slips". That is not going to help either PS or the artist. There is no point in suggesting that something is passable when it isn't. People who can't take that are better off on YouTube where just about everything is considered awesome and amazing. Monica is maybe a little less radical but ultimately of the same disposition.
    </rant>
     
  12. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    "intense criticism"

    I have to say that I've attended masterclasses where my playing has been submitted to, in the nicest possible way, either (depending on how you wish to look at it) intense or painfully comprehensive criticism - where every single bar is dissected and every error, whether it be a reading error, rhythmical, tempo, dynamic, even philosophical/interpretative, drawn to my attention. I don't think I've ever seen criticism of that thoroughness here. So I would dispute that; however I do think that there may be a conflict between expectations of some posters and the standards the forum is trying to uphold. Actually, I believe it's quite a difficult and murky issue.

    Perhaps it would be worth stating the musical priorities in a sticky post in the audition room? I found this on the front page, but people accessing the forum probably won't read it. "Your recordings will be evaluated by the administrators, and when accepted, added to the site along with the biographical information and photo you provide. Recordings do not need to be of professional quality but must be reasonably accurate and error-free and have decent sound without too much hiss and extraneous noises." I would change "when accepted" to "if accepted" tbh.
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Excellent point Andrew. "When" may indeed be raising the wrong expectations. I will also add that we take into account any feedback from forum members. This is true - I am more inclined to put up something I don't personally agree with when other long-standing members consider it good. Not that we have as many of those as I would like.... but the aficionados we do have left certainly are listened to.
    But yes it is a murky area. I find so-called objective criteria, such as bad sound, erratic tempi or lots of read errors, fumbles or hesitations, easier to apply than more subjective ones, like trying to determine whether a recording is "interesting" or not. That, I mostly feel, is not for me to decide, unless I was a great artist giving a masterclass. What is interesting for one person can well be horrible to another.
     

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