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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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    Oh, now I see, that I really have to apologize because of a missunderstanding of the English word "move", I have thought, that "move" refers to my explanations concerning the issue of criticism above and in this case, indeed, only one person, namely Syntaxerror, was "shocked" in the sense, that he disagreed. But now I have read in my dictionary, that move could also mean my decision to leave PS and indeed, I have seen with deep happiness, that I have much nice friends here. I will delete my quotation above.


    You have won, dear Raymond, I can´t resist these moving and touching words! I will stay whatever comes here! And I will do it for my friends, who appreciate me so much and who I do appreciate in the same way!
     
  2. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    rsmullyan wrote:
    You are right, my friend! In every case I´m strong enough! :D

    And I do nothing take back concerning my thoughts about the issue of criticism, Chris! :!:

    I have read, what jlr43 has written above! If he thinks so, he thinks so! It´s fine with me.
     
  3. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Didier wrote:
    Of course, you will get my further help here, Didier!
     
  4. Nicole

    Nicole New Member

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    Disposing of the Audition Room portion of the forum is not such a bad idea, although I am seeing that others disagree below this post. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the first few years of Piano Society, the Audition Room did not exist. It was Chris who was the one to make the decision as to whether each recording was acceptable enough or not for the site. Recordings were directly sent to him and his comments and decisions were then sent directly and privately to the pianist(s) who had submitted recordings. I preferred this more private way, but can see that some others may wish for the opportunity to congratulate the pianist or to give opinions on what they might have done differently in particular recordings. And I recognize that some pianists desire to have comments from the other pianists regarding their playing. With the PM private messaging system, those wishing to congratulate or express constructive opinions regarding the once-accepted new recording could easily locate the newest recordings of the day in the NEW RECORDINGS section, then use a PM to convey their their thoughts privately and directly to the pianist, instead of all kinds of opinions being publicly aired in an internet forum, which can be embarassing or hurtful to a pianist. For me, it is the aspect of the criticisms of the Audition Room being publicly published on the internet for every person to read that is the kicker -- if these criticisms (and praises) could still be conveyed, but privately, perhaps all people, including sensitive folks, would be more comfortable.

    Is the real issue here that some of the so-called "advice givers" simply need a public forum to pontificate, even if at others' expenses? If only given the option to PM opinions directly to a pianist but not have these opinions publicly aired, would these types then not bother to write their advice/opinions, because their true intent is more about themselves than an absolute desire to be helpful to another pianist? If so, one must ask just how helpful the "Audition Room" is versus how hurtful and insulting it can be when spoiled by even a small handful of unkind comments from time to time.

    Advice can be just as helpful when given in discretion rather than shouted out publicly.
     
  5. Tobias

    Tobias New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Dear Andreas, dear other PS friends,

    I'm coming late to this thread (and late at night it is as well here in Basel) and it saddens me to see the issues we are having here. Andreas, I'm sorry that you felt offended by criticism, but I'm very happy to read that you will stay with us here at PS! We are still a small family of piano-addicted enthusiasts, so every leaving of a member would be a big loss, especially of a friend with a history of so much nice mutual listening and commenting of recordings!

    Having said this, I would like to also say that personally I greatly value the feedback of Chris on my recordings, since there are not so many people who are willing to take the time and energy (and who are competent enough) to share not only praise but also really useful constructive criticism!!

    And please don't forget the most important thing: Learning to deal with criticism of our playing that we consider unfair, harsh, ill-founded, is an important part of growing as a pianist, and as a human being. When my teacher gives a concert, he reads the reviews in the local newspaper, often written by some smarta.. who has not much insight into pianism but pretends to have a lot. It's much more painful to learn to ignore such things when they are in the newspaper, as opposed to an internet forum. And yet he had to learn it. Another thing happened to me yesterday on another forum: some guy whom I didn't know so far commented on a video of mine in very insulting tone: "You are trying to make a big show. But your Schubert interpretation is very bad". We have to live with such comments as well. I read somewhere that 1% of the people in every audience just try to find something negative, no matter how good you play. So there will always be criticism that we consider ill-founded (though sometimes we may also be wrong ourselves in the assessment that it is illfounded :D).

    The bottom line: when we expose our recordings to the public (here, on Youtube, etc.) we have to live with the whole spectrum of comments. We should learn from the constructive feedback and try not to get hurt by negative or even offending comments. Please keep the audition room! :)
     
  6. rsmullyan

    rsmullyan New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Good God, of course you should keep the audition room! To me that is the soul of the Piano Society!!
     
  7. Syntaxerror

    Syntaxerror New Member

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    As far as I see, it was quite exactly two people who were pontificating to each other and who actually started this whole discussion.

    I agree.
     
  8. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Yes, please keep the audition room! I am looking forward to the day when I get some recording equipment and I can submit and be a real member. I am even looking forward to Chris's guaranteed dislike of my Bach! :lol:
     
  9. rsmullyan

    rsmullyan New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Terez,, You are as cute and lovely as usual!
     
  10. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    *hugs Ray*

    Cute and lovely, huh? :lol:
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I am not sure where you get that idea from Nicole :? It was never like this. Yes very occasionally one of the stalwart pianists sends a recording to me, Robert, or Monica and we put it up because it's as good as always. Apart from that, Audition Room has always been the vehicle to submit and evaluate/criticize recordings. I am not solely responsible for the admission decision, not would I want to be. Monica an I nearly always agree on the submissions so we trust each others' judgement without question. Robert is far more lenient but he's hardly ever here. Lastly, I usually lend an ear to what others say about a recording (and I would hope that others do). Some have gone up that I found wanting but were praised by others.

    I find that a bit suggestive. Have you got specific 'types' in mind here, apart from me ?
    Also keep in mind that comments are often incremental. One member points out one mistake, another member agrees with that and adds another (s)he spotted. Would be a lot of double work for the PM'ers.

    For some people it may not be helpful indeed, while for other it is. Some people are easily hurt and/or insulted even by something that was not worded or even intended like it. While I admit being blunt and maybe tactless on occasion, I do not recall being unkind or offending, unless using a strong and unequivocal adjective counts as such. When I believe something to be really bad, I will say so, and the person in question would probably be hurt whatever words I used.

    Absolutely. Then again I'd say that people who are so sensitive to criticism, should maybe not submit their recordings in Audition Room, and rather seek private advice from someone they feel they can trust. Maybe we should put a disclaimer in the forum description. I am a bit reminded of all these talent scouting telly programs, where contestants will cry if they are being rejected in clear terms. If you can't stand the heat, etc......
     
  12. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    I basically agree with all of Chris's points above. I would only add to this that I think the one who is being criticized also has every right to argue and disagree with certain points of what a certain admin says without the admin getting rather sulky-sounding and saying that he doesn't want to comment on the certain person's recordings any more because the argument is too prickly (though that's certainly the admin's prerogative). :wink:
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yeah allright, you got me there :lol: Admins are only human, too.

    Now let me add that this should work both ways. A submitter should be open to criticism, and be willing to entertain the notion that maybe there are indeed things to be improved in his recording. There's always a grain of truth in a criticism even if it is not as specific a you'd like it to be (but I do not feel like I always have to spell these things out to the bar number).

    To conclude (hopefully) the discussion, when I used the terms ugly and noisy they did refer to some very specific things, and were not a blanket characterization of your playing. Some other terms were, though, and you'll have to search yourself to find whether I had a point there or not.
     
  14. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    I agree.

    Sorry I'm not trying to protract the discussion (or be overly contentious, which I admit, can be my nature :D ), but would you say "usually" or "often" rather than "always" a grain of truth?

    Well taken. I would, however, say (and again, I'm merely questioning to arrive at understanding rather than prolonging the discussion or arguing for its own sake) is that sometimes (and perhaps some others might feel the same way) certain rather blunt and extreme adjectives can put people on the defensive and therefore make them less receptive to criticism (the overall goal, it seems, in this forum to try to be helpful and constructive). As an example, I would give my Liszt Jeux d'Eau, which btw I knew perfectly well when I originally submitted it was not quite what I wanted to do with it musically. You used the expressions "heavyhanded and lacking in sparkle," which came across to me, regardless of the truth of the overall generalization, as a bit nasty. After all, it leaves the submitter a bit confused (e.g., what can I really specifically do to improve my playing of it on the basis of that comment?) If you'd said something like (and this is only an example) "I think your tremolos overall should be lighter," which is still a generalization (and does not, as you say, point to any bar numbers) but much more connected to the actual music and doesn't come across (at least to me) as a rather more personal attack, I think I would never have gotten defensive and would have been much more open to your suggestions.

    Also, I might be a little careful about believing in the overall truth of generalizations (although I sympathize with your position of having to comment on so many recordings and not having the time to do it). The more likely "truth" is that in this piece or passage, it's "crude," for example, but in the next it's not or it's something else entirely, etc., etc. Overall impressions might mean something to you in terms of the way you feel, but they don't really mean much to the rest of the world, at least in a critical rather than an emotional vein (which is why IMHO much professional music criticism is poorly written bunk these days, since it attempts to appeal to peoples' emotions rather than logically persuade them).

    Anyway, these are just my own reflections and suggestions (sorry that I tend to be so long-winded :p ). I do hope you won't hesitate to comment on my recordings again, for I very much value your feedback, and I promise not to be prickly or defensive in my responses in future.
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Sure. Saying "always" is just as bad as saying "never".

    But why on earth do you perceive this as nasty, personal, and offensive ? What does that say about yourself ? This is just an observation from a listener who'd expected this particular piece to be lighter on its feet and more sparkling. If I am forbidden to say such a thing I might was well quit here and then. I believe any critic would have written the same, and in much the same terminology. What you can do with such a comment is play it lighter and more sparkling. I am not sure how much more detailed advice that would require, and as you say, we can't always get down to that level.
    I'd say that that a generic comment is better than none at all. Unless you generically disagree.
     
  16. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Now who's being defensive :wink: Chris, you're certainly not forbidden to say such a thing (you're the admin, after all!) and I find it logically a bit ridiculous for you to make a connection between possibly, just possibly, taking a suggestion to change your criticism a bit so that people don't get offended and saying you should quit :!: That's a rather infantile statement, it seems to me. As an objective observer of much "professional" criticism (and as one who has written professional reviews myself), I just don't happen to like this kingly assertive, overly wordly descriptive, non-musically-connected, and unspecific tone that a lot of reviewers use (it always, for me, makes me wonder whether the reviewer has some personal gripe or has his panties in a bunch on a given day). Also, don't you think it's better to give both the good and the negative? Wouldnt't that be more constructive criticism that would put people less on the defensive? Was there really nothing at all good in my Kinderszenen recording except that it was "competent"? I can certainly see your overall points looking at it now that I have let some time pass, and maybe it's my own egotism but I'm not sure how anyone could not see some interpretational good in it. But maybe there wasn't. So anyway, it may say something about me, or it may say something about you, but in any event, I think that's besides the point. I'm only giving my own limited two cents.

    Again, as with "always," how can it be true to say that "any" critic would have done so (and I happen to know that it's not)? And even if "any" critic would have done so, should you automatically jump off the same bridge?

    Well as I pointed out above, it's not just the level of detail I question. One can make a blanket statement and do it in a more musically connected or nicer way. I have asked some other people I know how they would perceive the word "heavyhanded" and it was unanimous that they would take offense. Doesn't mean that everyone would of course. And remember that unlike a critic writing about a performance in the newspaper, this forum (in particular, audition room) is on a more personal level where people are addressing each other by name. The whole thing seems a bit different to me than the "any critic" you allude to.

    Well as I said, Chris, I agree with much of what you have said and I value your feedback, and I am consigned to whatever kind of criticism you want to give, and I will try to be open about it and make the best of it and never get defensive about it again (for that doesn't show me in a good light either, of course). I was merely giving my suggestions. As to generic comments being better than none at all -- yes, perhaps that's true, although I think specific things that people can actually go and look to in the music are always the most helpful, since what is music, or anything for that matter, but an amalgam of various details that people work on?
     
  17. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Oh well, you have the last word Joe. I cowardly quit this discussion, being sick and tired of it all over again (just as it seemed to get a bit better). Call it infantile or whatever you want, I don't really give a toss.
     
  18. avguste

    avguste Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hello everyone

    I am myself joining this thread a bit late due to concerts engagements,however I would like to respectfully give my 2 cents:

    1.I believe the Audition Room is an important part of the Piano Society and it is what makes the Piano Society so famous and so much used.Recordings are being scrutinized and judged by the community.That is what makes our recordings database the best available on the internet

    2.I perfectly understand the feelings of those that are being criticized.One suggestion about judging a recording is to always start by the positive items of the recordings.Then only move in a respectful way to the items one considers negative.

    3. I also would like to submit the following idea for discussion toward an additional solution:
    -create a premium account for lets say $10/month and make the Audition room a premium feature only
    -Whenever someone wants to participate in the audition room,one would pay the monthly premium fee
    -those that are premium members would get a star next to their name in both forums and artist profile.

    Now obviously this raises the question of what to do with those not interested in participating in the Audition room.Simple:
    -keep adding their recordings to the database and available recordings

    However,make sure to indicate in the site FAQ that the Audition room(where recordings will get criticized) is a Premium feature.

    The above is just an idea
    ------

    To Andreas

    I am very happy to hear that you will remain and I encourage you to continue submitting recordings.

    To all members, please read again my 2nd point above.One of the very important things a teacher, a critic can do is begin by talking about the positive items in a performance/recording
     
  19. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yeah, because you leapt in and did the very thing you have rightly accused me of, with your supercilious tone and refusing to even really consider anything I said without jumping down my throat about it. Oh well, I guess certain people are going to act like kings and think their word is law no matter what you say to them.
     
  20. pianolady

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

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    Please, Joe- enough is enough! Stop arguing all the time - this issue was over a long time ago and you are only making everyone upset by your reiterating.
     

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