Thank you to those who donated to Piano Society in 2017.

Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Anonymous, Jan 28, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Wright
    First Name:
    Andrew
    Youtube:
    alkanliszt
    Of course there can be artistic and/or creative merit in how you edit the initial takes: it should be obvious that one person might edit it and produce a thoroughly unmusical result whilst another person with superior musical sensibilities could produce something worthwhile. I'm afraid, however, that I can't ignore the question of how much enhancement has gone on: it seems to me that is an intrinsic hazard of the process being undertaken. Life is unfair as well, because it's very difficult for you to answer that question convincingly.

    The other problem you have, as I see it, is that you have effectively almost unlimited editing capability and with that in mind some might consider it reasonable to expect that - if you have sufficient musical insight and editing skills - you might produce something which is a truly artistic interpretation and worthy of comparison with great recordings of yesteryear. I don't think you've done that (though I accept that what constitutes the above is a subjective matter): in part because in honesty I don't think the qualities of tone and colour are good enough. I suspect that pedalling may be an issue. I don't want to dismiss your efforts out of hand simply because of the context in which they have been made, but whilst there is merit in what you have done, to my mind there is also something missing.
     
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    First of all, I say they are competent recordings and on the interpretation side it's as good and better than some of the best recordings out there, because in some case, such as Op 25 No 6 (thirds) I don't think any pianist could reach that degree of softness and fluidity at that speed and in thirds, and too me, that's what makes this Étude, the same for Op. 25 No 2. But that's me. But I don't want to debate the wrong thing here, I was just interested in a final result that one would listen without knowing anything about it and sound like a credible good quality recording played live. Now, of course, it doesn't have the same color as a real piano, but I wasn't trying to go that far. I can hear the difference myself, the lack of overtones, color, timbre, etc I know it's not the same. so there should be clear nuances between what I expected and what people thought I expected.
     
  3. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Wright
    First Name:
    Andrew
    Youtube:
    alkanliszt
    I'm not sure I would agree with the sentiments about interpretation in your first sentence which I find a rather sweeping statement. Listen to Friedman's 25/6. However, you're right, that is probably a side-issue.
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Ok, so his version is excellent although with a very annoying hiss. But what are you getting at with this?
     
  5. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Wright
    First Name:
    Andrew
    Youtube:
    alkanliszt
    I'm using his recording as a comment on what you said about 25/6. Plus in more general terms it might be of interest.
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Well we differ, for you that example may mean a lot, but for me, no.

    Guy
     
  7. johnlewisgrant

    johnlewisgrant Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Toronto
    Last Name:
    Grant
    First Name:
    John
    Call me a philistine, but I don't think there's much at issue. Midi-editing has as its goal the making of an interesting, convincing, and aesthetically pleasing final product. That's not unlike the goal of a piano performance. So the end product, one might say, is the same.

    What is clearly different is the PROCESS or means of arriving at the end-result. Pianists analyze and practice at the piano to realize a particular conception (to put the process in very general terms). Midi artists also have a conception... but they arrive at it by a fundamentally different process: manipulating note intensity ("velocity), duration, pitch, and tempo.

    Many pianists say "Midi is a Cheat." Well, that's only the case if you try to pass off midi manipulation as practice at the piano. The latter is, in my own view, more difficult, much more time-consuming, but also more rewarding and fun. (That's a personal judgement.) It has, I think, higher social status for sure. So it is very tempting for midi-artists to suggest that much of their work is simply playing in the piece at a high standard, at the outset. The midi-editing is 10%, at best. That may be the case. But, quite significantly as you suggest above, it may NOT be the case. And to be honest, once you start midi-editing, the slope away from the initial recorded performance is very slippery. As well, it is really IMPOSSIBLE TO TELL, on the basis of the finished product, how much is midi editing and how much is the midi-artist's pianist ability.

    Of course, the really important thing about midi-editing is that one need not have ANY piano skills at all. One can always step input a Chopin Nocturne, note by note, and start editing towards a convincing mock-up from there.

    Ergo: piano technique is a sufficient condition of making a midi interpretation of Chopin (for example) but by no means a necessary one.

    The conclusion follows easily that where a site like this one (and others) exists to discuss the PROCESS of making music at the piano, that discussion cannot benefit in any necessary way from a conversation with a midi artist. To the extent that the artist is a pianist by training AND exploits some of the relevant principles of piano performance in his midi-editing, there can be useful discussion, I suppose. But the all important physical aspect of technical analysis, so central to piano technique, cannot of course be discussed, because the midi-artist does not physically train at the piano or make technical changes to a piece at the keyboard. His or her "keyboard" is at the computer, not at the piano.

    JG
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    You said a lot of interesting things. For now I just want to address this statement you made. I have to say that is not true. Technically I imagine it's possible, but I've yet to hear a Chopin piece programmed with the mouse, from A to Z, and that sounded credible to my ears. In my process after the recording of a passage, if the expression isn't there or I don't feel it, it's almost a lost cause, no amounts of mouse clicks will save it. So for me the initial recording is critical and must have all the expression there before even touching your mousse.

    I agree very much with what you said about anything we alter of a played passage is a very dangerous slope, and this is where the art on enhancing a passage comes in.
     
  9. johnlewisgrant

    johnlewisgrant Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Toronto
    Last Name:
    Grant
    First Name:
    John
    I have personally encountered plenty of mechanical Chopin midi files: we don't like them (and that's putting it kindly), but believe or not, many listeners do! Since music (and all art) is a matter of personal taste, I can't fault them, I can only provide alternatives and hope for the best! (This is less a difficulty for Bach's music, some think; it seems to wear different garb quite happily.)

    But, you see, we are focussing on the PRODUCT in this instance, when we talk about WHAT sounds good, as opposed to HOW it is made to sound good.
    In THAT respect, what pianists at THIS site are mainly interested in is the PROCESS, the pianist's TECHNIQUE if you will, not the technique of the midi-artist (who may or may not be a gifted pianist). That's just a pragmatic thing, not a matter of principle. It's not saying, in other words, "we have no respect for midi" (although that may be true); it's just saying "Midi technique is not our bag here at Piano Society".

    JG
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Right on :!: :)
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Got it!
     
  12. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,251
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Physician, Chief Medical Officer
    Location:
    Biloxi, MS, USA
    Last Name:
    Del Rio
    First Name:
    Eddy
    This is not pianism, and it isn't real. Just because the original project was done by someone who can play the piano, or on a subject of great value, in no way transmits warrant or validity to the end product. This is like so many other pretensions in society today. We know what a sound engineer is. What you are doing is performance engineering. Everyone knows the sound engineer is not the performing artist; a performance engineer is not a performing artist. No piano student would go to a performing engineer to learn the piano, but a performance engineering student can go to a pianist to learn musicianship -- but only of the particular works investigated! After that, the performance engineer knows nothing again. In your case you may embody both functions, but only one is a performing art, the other is a technical, artificial and pretensious application. This is artificial because it does not test against the limits of human capacity, just imagination. I continually suffer disapointment due to the difference between my imagination and my capacity and work hard to close the gap. A performance engineer never need work hard, just more. Just because we love [science] fiction, doesn't mean it's real. In fact, this is what you are attempting to sell: fictional music. Imagine fictional dance or fictional sculpture or fictional painting. No one will value fictional perfroming arts, at least not artists (except by deception).
     
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Ok, well I was already told that samples isn't your thing here, so we'll leave it at that.
     
  14. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,251
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Physician, Chief Medical Officer
    Location:
    Biloxi, MS, USA
    Last Name:
    Del Rio
    First Name:
    Eddy
    Behold the hand of God! Be amazed and wonder with genuine awe at the possibility of a great artist!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XCj-j7TBTY



    No apology for my bias here. 8)
     
  15. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boston
    Last Name:
    Vosgerichian
    First Name:
    George
    Lhévinne's fluidity rivals the spilling of liquid mercury over the keyboard... No MIDI in 1935; not until 1983.
     
  16. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I'm sorry, I didn't mean to insecure anybody.
     
  17. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,152
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Chief Operating Officer, retired
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Last Name:
    April
    First Name:
    David
    Frankly, I was dismayed by Guy's posting. I might be called a purist or reactionary (or worse), but I personally don't believe that MIDI realizations have a legitimate role to play as piano performances at Piano Society. In Guy's initial post he did not at the outset mention "MIDI realizations" (it was only added later once controversy erupted). It was instead implied to be postings of actual piano performances. Without the benefit of that caveat of MIDI realizations , it was misleading to say the very least. The real agenda was Vienna Imperial 1.1 software, that is to say, promoting a commercial product.

    Bottom line, I know that accomplished pianists put a huge amount of work into preparing repertoire for recordings. They use their piano technique to convey musical intent, mental imagery and emotion to interpret the music and serve the composer, and to put it across to an audience. If there is any post-editing required, pianists here keep it to an absolute minimum.

    Playing the piano is a lofty endeavor, one steeped in rich traditions and performance practices. So when one sits at a PC using note sampling, sequencers, etc. to construct a mechanical MIDI performance, and then have the audacity to consider it as artistic, authentic pianism, personally I draw the line which is why I refute it here. I believe that for many of the serious pianists here, a MIDI realization not immediately acknowledged as such in a posting is an affront to the performing art and to those who work so hard to produce quality, authentic recordings.

    Because we humans are mere mortals, we never produce perfection in our piano playing as much as we strive to attain it. Horowitz used to say that if a pianist could draw close enough just once in his career to almost be able to reach out and touch perfection (but not quite), it would be a lifetime achievement. But he added that attaining perfection would itself be imperfection. As much as we admired Michelangeli's precision, he was never satisfied with his own performances. Yet with the computerized capabilities of MIDI, synthetic perfection is now at hand to be pawned off on its listeners as true performing art. Until there is not a single tree left standing anywhere in the world from which to fashion a piano, I reject MIDI realizations. At best they might be electronic constructs mimicking the real art of piano, but true art they will never be!

    David
     
  18. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Ok, let's say there's a piano work you have been listening to for the last 3 years, and love it! Then someone tells you: "Surprise, it's been dome through midi samples!"
    Are you then going to reject this piece and never listen to it again now that you have this knowledge?
     
  19. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    If I didn't know better by now I'd almost think you were starting to understand :D

    I would happily listen to a good midi rendition if it was a work that nobody played, or perhaps nobody could play well enough. To get to know a work, there is nothing wrong with artificial rendering. But to pick a set that is so well-known, has been recorded so marvellously by so many great pianists, and then claim that they are as good or even better than any of these interpretation-wise, smacks of deceit and pretense. That you may have played many of these in concert, as you claim, does change anything to that. I do not believe that any serious pianist who can perform Chopin etudes in concert would sit down at the computer and spend countless hours to create an idealized e-version of them. I also can't believe that any serious pianist would take this enterprise seriously, except maybe from a purely technical view if they are interested in that kind of thing.

    IIRC you wrote on Piano World that you had received very positive feedback on FaceBook from many people including concert pianists.
    Being the suspicious-minded stalker without a life that I am, I immediately go check that of course. The adulating oneliner raves are funny, but more funny are the repeated calls for concert pianists to come forward. None did so far and I do not expect anybody will. There is the deceit thing again, which is why I can not take any of this seriously anymore. It may be me but I can not engage with someone I cannot trust. Not very objective, eh :?:

    But I won't kill the thread this time as long as it does not get too violent.
     
  20. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Wright
    First Name:
    Andrew
    Youtube:
    alkanliszt
    Personally, I wouldn't. I'd be impressed that someone had made midi sound that good. Sorry, but (due to the limitations of colour etc, which you yourself acknowledge) your recording is not at that level.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page