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That 2-layered rubato thingy

Discussion in 'Technique' started by musical-md, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It just goes to show that all that the wisecracks who affirm Chopin wanted his works to be played as if meter were nonexistent is twaddle. The more I see of "authentic performance" the more I realise this means no more than "performance taking into account all modern prejudices" and that "authentic performances of the 2010s are more authentic than authentic performances of the 1950s."

    Thank you Eddy for looking this up!
     
  2. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Indeed, but Żynwy was not a pianist, and neither was Elsner. Żynwy had some facility with piano, but he was a violinist, and he mostly guided Chopin by giving him music to play. All accounts agree that little Chopin came up with his own fingerings, and Żynwy didn't object.

    For the curious, there's a section in Eigeldinger's 'Chopin: Pianist and Teacher' on what Chopin's students had to say about Chopin's rubato - how he played, and how he taught.
     
  3. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It is a battle that cannot be won.
     
  4. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Battle?
     
  5. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Well, I think this has been a fine discussion [thus far]! It was certainly stimulating to me. I think that we can all agree on certain principles:
    1. Rubato is intrinsic to human-performed music, and will always be a desired characteristic in music.
    2. As per No.1, this is one characteristic that results in unique interpretations of works, which is also a desired result in music.
    3. As with any other component of aesthetics, there shall always be differing opinions as to what is beautiful and what is not.
    4. The pursuit of beauty is fun :D
     
  6. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    And a civil discussion at that, which is always a good thing.
     
  7. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    A losing battle

    Yes: when one is dealing not with facts which can be proved but with opinions, each of us will in the end remain steadfast.
     
  8. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    and
    Hmm, Richard, a little dissocciated are we? :lol:
     
  9. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    My thoughts exactly. :wink: As for facts, most of Chopin's students are in agreement on his feelings about rubato, which is why I referenced Eigeldinger. I could type some of them out if anyone is interested.
     
  10. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It might be interesting, yes, to know what his thoughts were on rubato. Just do not make too much trouble for yourself if they are too long.
     
  11. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Not really, because I was thinking of the expression, losing battle, not of any fight, verbal of physical. If you could kindly cite me an equivalent expression I will surely rephrase what I said.
     
  12. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I came across this discussion, which might be interesting. I happen to belong to that forum, though I only posted once a couple of years ago and no one ever bothered to reply.
     
  13. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Some are a little long, but I type quickly so it's no big deal. I get to practice tonight, though, so I will have to type them later (maybe when I get home).
     
  14. pianolady

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

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    I am on the train and listening to Carlos Antonio Jobim sung by Gilberto (love this) in order to clear my head and calm my nerves after a busy day
    at the office, and I just thought of our rubato discussion. Very often Gilberto sings something like two or three beats ahead of the accompaniment.. Is that rubato too?
     
  15. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Na. That's just a singer that can't read music. :p
     
  16. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    Maybe it's a singer who can read music but chooses not to. Some of them are gentlemen ;-)
     
  17. pianolady

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

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    Well, whatever you call it, I'm glad I don't have to lip-sync those songs. It would probably come off like the old King Kong vs. Godzilla movies where the mouth moves and then a second later you hear the voice. :lol:

    p.s. Alexander, I don't get the gentlemen thing...
     
  18. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I didn't either :oops:
     
  19. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    From Eigeldinger, Chopin: Pianist and Teacher (an indispensable book for the Chopin-lover; keep in mind this is only a small tidbit from the book). I will also give the footnotes since they are so instructive.

    Pauline Viardot was a famous singer, Chopin's favorite, and also a pianist and sometimes student of his. As for this playing one hand after the other thing - I listened to Lang Lang playing Chopin 27/2 recently (a different performance than the one I was looking for), and he does this sometimes. Very annoying. Also, for those who think this type of rubato is specific to only one composer (Chopin), it appears as though Saint-Saëns at least related to it quite well from the above quote. See note 95 for a quote from Mozart also supporting it, and Chopin recommended playing Weber's music in this way in the next quote (after the footnotes).

    I hadn't previously read this footnote. ^^ It's nice to see an echo of my own thoughts here.

    Hey, that's our great-great grandteacher there! (Many of us, if I recall.)

    Some references are omitted or truncated.
     
  20. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Herculean (mouse wheels sigh at your posts :lol: )! And thank you for those snatches. So, since words cannot really give us back what Chopin really did at the piano, what are the closest aural documents to Chopin's pianism? Saint-Saens's?
     

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