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My leave of Pianosociety, which is no more one!

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by musicusblau, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    My dear friends,

    I have to say, that I´m weary of criticism, be it in the positive or be it in the negative way.
    I really don´t see too much sense in it any more. So I have decided to leave PS.

    I only can wish you all here and the site, that there will not come more members like Joe Renouf, which are so unripe.
    I fear, other decent members could leave the site. To lock a thread doesn´t help here anything.

    I was not only offended by his "brutally honest" way to do criticism, like he called it, which is nothing else than claim absolute right to personal taste, but I was also frightened by the fact, that Chris has used the same expression concerning his behaviour against Sandro Bisotti, who has left this site some times ago.

    I thank you all very much for the rich time here, for very interesting and deep feedbacks and discussions. I hope, you can understand me a bit!
     
  2. pianolady

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

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    Oh, Andreas - I am very saddened by this. You just can't leave - please!!!

    Look for an email from me tomorrow.

    :( :( :(
     
  3. Jan

    Jan Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,

    I'm sad to hear you want to leave. Can't you think about it once more?

    with best wishes

    Jan
     
  4. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,

    I'm very saddened at the news of your leaving Piano Society. I have a high respect for your many wonderful recordings here in terms of both your artistry and the quality of those recordings. You've added much to the permanently archived repertoire here at PS. And you've often helped me with your encouraging comments, and I'll certainly miss that. Perhaps, Andreas, you can reflect more on your decision and hopefully revise it? You know the old saying, "Never say never". Or can we somehow dissuade you from taking this drastic course?

    David
     
  5. rsmullyan

    rsmullyan New Member Piano Society Artist

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    For Heavens sakes, can't you simply ignore the criticisms? To hell with them! You should really rise above all this petty nonsense, and continue to grace us with your music. Please!!
     
  6. mgasilva

    mgasilva New Member

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    Dear Mr. Pfaul,

    I too wish you would not leave! Personally, first of all I would like to thank you for all the times in the past your comments were so useful for improving my recordings.

    Let me remind you that some criticism has to be ignored from time to time, when it stops being helpful or is simply nonsense.

    All that being said, I realize it still is a very personal decision to remain in the society and wish you good luck if that is the way you decide to go.

    Marcelo
     
  7. Nicole

    Nicole New Member

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    Hi Andreas

    I'm glad that you bring this topic up. I know of at least one member other than myself who has withheld submitting further recordings to the site over the past few years due to the often negative and seemingly-hurtful tone that the "Audition Room" has taken on. I hope that the spirit of things will change.

    Thanks for putting forth your concerns.
    Nicole Muller
    Canada
     
  8. Didier

    Didier Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Oh, that's so sad. :cry:

    Andreas, I thank you very much for you help in playing better the few pieces that I submitted here. I strongly regret your decision.
     
  9. Syntaxerror

    Syntaxerror New Member

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    I strongly agree! And I hope that my (partly ironic) comment in the latest "quarrel thread" did not act as a catalyst for your decision.
     
  10. Mr Duffy

    Mr Duffy New Member

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    Re: My leave of Pianosociety!

    dear Andreas,
    i enjoyed so much listening to your recordings, and particularly to your Well-Tempered Clavier! i liked watching you in youtube, with the nice surprise of you and Chris playing together. but all in all, i think the most important gift i got from you is your dedication to music, which showed in your warm and heartfelt comments. i always found your encouraging way as something precious. i regret your decision and i hope you will think over it...
    Mr Duffy
     
  11. MarkB

    MarkB Member Piano Society Artist

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    Dear Andreas,

    don't quit !

    You will never please everybody and some people do go a little far with their criticism. But, you are a good pianist and people appreciate your recordings.

    It is clear, (certainly when I have put recordings on here), which comments are useful and made with real knowledge and experience and those which are not. So, I just take heed of the useful ones and ignore the rest.

    When thinking of critics, I often think of this quote from Brendan Behan :

    "Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how its done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves".

    Regards
    Mark B

    http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2459
     
  12. rsmullyan

    rsmullyan New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Dear Andreas,

    Some wise person once said: " When someone insults me, I think to myself that he is either right or wrong. If right, I can benefit from the criticism, and if wrong, then it's his problem! "

    Wise words indeed!
     
  13. s_winitsky

    s_winitsky Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Re: My leave of Pianosociety!

    I certainly hope you do not leave. Your feedback has always been extremely kind, helpful and encouraging.

    I think also no one will deny you are an extremely fine and accomplished musician. I have always admired your recordings, your vast repertoire and your playing style.

     
  14. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    My dear friends,
    I see that I have very dear and sympatico (likeable) friends here and I´m so happy about all your positive reactions! :D

    When I have made my decision it was not only an emotional and spontaneous one, just perhaps I was angry about the very insulting critique of Joseph Renouf, I´m thinking since a longer time about the issue of criticism. I have to admit, that the cases of Joseph Renouf (his critiques on my Bach-recordings with very rude words) and the still ruder and also very insulting comment of seijra on my YouTube-channel brought forward my thoughts concerning this issue (also your "half-ironic" statement, dear Syntaxerror, for which I thank you a lot).

    I´m convinced, that all what we think and write has an effect in the atmosphere, the negative things like the positive ones. The positive things depend on the negative and reverse, that´s the system, there wouldn´t be any positive if there wouldn´t be also the negative. Criticism always is unsacred, because it´s egocentric. If we don´t like an interpretation, we begin to think negatively like "Oh, he could play this passage with more forte" or "why doesn´t he do more cresendo" or whatever and most of us are not conscious, that all these thoughts are just a matter of personal taste and personality, that means a matter of our ego. Our personality depends on much influences like nature (estimation), education, coinage etc. and egocentric as we are most of us think: sure, I have learned it, I know how it has to be played! Some even are so blinded in their delusion, that they claim, that even their personal, that means egocentric taste could be considered as an absolute "rule" or "doctrin" and because of that, they believe to have the right to be "brutally honest" to use the words of Chris and Joseph Renouf. So our poor egocentrism harms the human rules of cordiality, harmony, openness for the other and the ability to listen to the other, which we all should consider to be sacred, also here on Pianosociety! :!:

    And I agree absolutely to what Nicole wrote above: there sometimes is a more or less harsh respective offending tone here on PS. And in former times (I´m here since one year and nine month) I very often have thought of leaving PS because of it (also because of some harsh and insulting expressions of Chris then, and I know, that one member -not me- still feels like this sometimes).

    I know, that we also have very dear and good members here, who do not go over the limits and insult others and that there only are some few, who really do that, but from a deeper view every criticism has an egocentric reason and so we should be very attentive with each kind of criticism.
    So everyone (that´s me including, of course) has to examine himself respective herself concerning that issue.

    You all see now how sensitive I have become for the issue of criticism generally and principally!

    Of course, there are some musical basics like to play the right notes and the right rhythm. So, if I want to be helpful, I can say f.ex. "in bar 10 you have played a d instead of a d-sharp" or so. I was always very thankful for such advices concerning mistakes and read-errors. (Or if I have teached my pupils a certain stuff f.ex. and I´m doing an evaluation of (training) learning success and correct them, this kind of criticism isn´t bad, but necessary, of course.)

    Concerning the interpretation of music the issue of criticism becomes quickly personal. It begins with the tempo, continues with dynamics and articulation and much more. We all know this.
    And even if someone likes to play an Adagio like an Allegro and to do other curiosities (like Sandro f.ex.) he is free to do this, if it´s not an examination and if he wants to publish it on an amateur-site like PS for free. Tastes and feelings are very different in times of today!

    My wishes for the site in future would be:
    1) to exclude members and site-administrators, which do use rude and insulting words like "crude", "bad", "abhorrent" and what can be found in this direction. It should be forbidden to write in negative thoughts! (Like I have done also a bit in the case of Joseph Renouf, at least in my second comment.) The main-tendence has to be always positive.

    (But it should be allowed to write f.ex. "I personally have the imagination of to interprete Bach with more rhythmical bite and less dynamic, so you could do more staccato there or play with more rhythmical precision here. That´s just my concept of interpretation, but I see you have another, which is also positive and is a beautiful artistic ensemble and so your details fit into the whole concept, in my concept, of course, the details would completely change.)

    I think, with such a rule we all would be much more attentive! :)

    2) Chris should invite Sandro Bisotti to publish his recordings again in Audition Room and not do any word of negative criticism to his recordings in the way I mentioned above! We should tell him, that the mind here has changed.

    If I will stay? Well, indeed it´s unwise to say "never more", like my dear friend David mentioned. And I absolutely agree to Raymonds wise sentence above, thanks for that, my friend. (I knew it before, but it´s a good timing to read it again.)
    I really don´t know at this time, in every case I need a break and I will see what happens here!

    Thank you all for your appreciation, which I do return thoroughly!
     
  15. Syntaxerror

    Syntaxerror New Member

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    Kindergarten. :roll: My opinion is: He/She who does not want to be criticized, should not post his/her recordings here! If I could expect that all reactions to my recordings be positive, then I wouldn't read them anymore. I cannot comment on statement 2), but statement 1) is really ridiculous. No negative thoughts? :shock:
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I'm a bit late to this discussion as I was out most of the day and only had time to reply to Andreas' mail which he sent me privately.

    Andreas, I am as surprised and shocked about your sudden move as the others. As I wrote youalready, PS would be a poorer place without you, and I ask you to reconsider this decision which I think is emotional and rash. It seems to me you are far too easily wounded. Life on the Internet requires a thicker skin. You'll get that in due time, I believe.

    If more people agree that my offending, harsh, and insulting comments as an admin/critic are driving people away and spoiling the nice atmosphere of the site, then maybe it is time that someone else volunteers, someone who says only nice things and puts everything on the site without any form of judgement. I'd be quite happy not to have to evaluate all manner of recordings being thrown at us (some of it seriously bad, pardon the word), and not to have to try and maintain a quality standard which we believe to be reasonable. Or maybe we should dispose with the concept of Audition Room, if a honest opinion is not allowed there seems little point in it. Whatever the case I would never put up or praise recordings which I found unacceptable, so if value judgement was no longer allowed, that would be the end of me as an admin.

    As for the Bisotti case, Monica and I were unanimous that his latest submissions were weird and did not in any way serve the music. I do not feel that we must praise recordings that deliberately ignore what the composer wrote, and are only meant to showcase the interpreter's original, unique and creative mind. I would rather shut up completely than not being allowed to speak my mind in a case like this. Why would one person be allowed to trash a piece of beautiful music, but someone else not be allowed to condemn that ? Sometimes there's just no nice way to say something.....

    I did not ask Sandro to leave so I am not sure why I should have to invite him back. He's as welcome as ever, but should not expect me (or anybody) to applaud recordings like the Chopin 17.1 Mazurka which I called a total parody - a comment I still stand by. I would never put such a recording on the site, or if I did, I would deny having done it. If value judgement is not allowed then AR has no purpose and we could put anything at all on the site as long as the notes are right.

    Hm, I seem to have rambled on long enough here... back on topic now.

    Don't leave !!!! You will miss PS as much as we'll will miss you.
     
  17. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Techneut wrote:
    If you would have read well above you could have recognized that is was quite well reflected.

    No, that´s not the problem, my skin is thick enough and I have proved this more than onetimes.

    To the rest of your reply I do say only: if you think so, you think so, and I have not said, that you should accept recordings, which do not comply with the basics I have mentioned.

    Just seems to me as if you haven´t understand anything of what I have written above!
     
  18. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi, this is Joe Renouf here.

    I am deeply sorry that anything I may have said could cause this trouble. That was not at all my intent.

    However, I must say that I find Andreas's use of my (and Chris's) names on this particularly public thread inappropriate at best. I am not going to descend to the level of such ad hominem attacks. Lest I be thought of a villain here, I can only attempt to defend myself against these attacks so that you all get a more complete picture of the story here.

    First, I in no way sought out Andreas's recordings first to comment on them or criticize them. Andreas commented first on my recordings of the Bach D Minor Prelude and Fugue from Book I. He commented for instance that "In the fugue I do bring out better the voices of the subject and some counterpoints than you do IMO" (seems a bit confrontational and a strange thing to say about one'e own playing, don't you think?) Also "there is too little voicing in your recording of the d-minor-fugue and too little consciousness about it."

    At that point I reviewed his C# Major Prelude and Fugue in return. Here's a sampling of my comments there: "In the fugue, I think you have much good musical expression and generally voice it well (though perhaps in certain of the melodic passages, the voicing is just a tad uneven). Again. similarly to my comments on the prelude, I would favor a bit more bite on those descending sixth bass notes. Overall, it sounds just a little bit careful to me tempo- and touch-wise." On the whole, however, I was basically positive and constructive in that review (the evidence is there if you want to review it), merely nitpicking at a few details.

    He then commented on my C# major and minor pairs in return. I have to admit that I didn't much care for this tone there. He stated that my performance had "no special or interesting aspects" on the C# Major and stated that my fugues had a "lack of voicing." At that point, I did decide that I was going to be completely honest about what I really thought about his playing of the D Minor prelude and fugue, and this is where the controversy started.

    Regarding my comments there, I would like to begin by saying that (1) it is only my, admittedly, very limited personal opinion and (2) remind all of you that I did not seek out his recordings first, but vice versa.

    This brings me to the subject of criticism in general. I thoroughly agree with Syntaxerror's recent statement that anyone who submits recordings, or anything else for that matter, into the public eye has to be prepared for whatever criticism may come of it. As long as the critiquer (1) does not use profanity and (2) limits his discussion to the playing and does not attack someone's person, anything goes, regardless of the motive or the intent of such criticism. The "critiquee" in a forum of this nature then, I believe, has several options, three of which are the following: (1) argue with the the criticism outright by responding to the critiquer, (2) ignoring the criticism, (3) deciding that maybe there is a "kernel of truth" in some or all of the things that are said and trying to work on them.

    I can further illustrate my points here by way of personal example. I admit that I have at times become a little frustrated with Chris's comments on some of my playing, sometimes not, I find, being too constructive and mostly negative. Here are some ways he has at times described my playing: "noisy," "workmanlike," "ugly," "heavyhanded," "lacking in refinement," and "leaden." However, he has also praised it at other times, calling it "grand and sonorous," "having great style and beautiful touch," "solid," and "excellent by all standards."

    Such is the nature of the beast. People like certain things and dislike others. If I think about it logically, I can in no way fault Chris for his manner of criticism, and to use his words, maybe I have been a little "prickly" about it from time to time. And, after simmering down about it a bit, I generally admit that there are definitely kernels of truth in what he said (this is part of the reason I , for instance, decided to redo my Liszt Jeux D'Eau) :wink: The only thing I sometimes question in his approach and that causes me to bristle, I suppose, is that sometimes his remarks lack specificity (i.e, pointing to specific details), but it is what it is.

    Anyway to make a long story short, criticism is part of reality and life. If one just wants to play for one's friends and receive generally just blanket praise, one should not submit recordings over the Internet. My words may have come across as harsh and rude, and I'm sorry for that, but I cannot apologize for my action per se, because all I did was to give my honest opinion. But let it be noted that I in no way intended for my words to have the effect they did. It's only my trivial, inconsequential, and spontaneous critical reaction. But as Chris pointed out, if one can't stand the heat, he or she should get out of the kitchen.
     
  19. rsmullyan

    rsmullyan New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Andreas, When you say "The others? I see only one other." Don't you realize that although only one person used those actual words, all of us who expressed disappointment at the thought of your leaving were certainly shocked and surprised, even though we didn't use those actual words? I for one was certainly most shocked and surprised--indeed, I really felt horrible! Just think of how you would feel if someone whose personality and playing you loved were to leave! For Heavens sake,don't you realize how much suffering it would cause us if you do leave? Please, have a heart!
     
  20. rsmullyan

    rsmullyan New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Andreas, let me put it another way: Why should those of us who are decent, be penalized because of the misbehavior of a few?
     

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