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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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    Eddy, I cannot boast the loftly biography you have and have not trained with the pianistic gods at whose temples you worship, but I have heard of this very thing which you deny, like Thomas, from my one and only teacher. I am just sorry I did not persue it at the time! May it not come to pass that you be rebuked by the Master himself (and here I mean Chopin)!
     
  2. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    :?: Wow Richard, I really don't think you mean what you said. I dare say that any and every work (even a moto perpetuo by anyone) is subject to rubato. I personally would find any work of any era played without some rubato, to be ... well, unmusical, and unhuman. Just me speaking here, but rubato (the plain-old-one that we all know and love) is used to color emotional content and to help demarcate structure/form in a piece (at least that's how I use it). What piece of music ever composed is devoid of emotional content or structure/form? None. I do agree with you that one would not play that Mozart first movement (KV 545, i) with any "moderate" amounts of rubato, but to play with none at all, so that every beat is metronomically placed from beginning to the end, without regard to the changing elevations and curves and scenery? I think that performer would be criticised quite substantially, and rightly so. However, your reply also seems to suggest that some works or composers are not subject to certain musical parameters, like rubato. This was one of the arguments I made very early on regarding the Chopin rubato (not to be confused with rubato in Chopin), that if it were genuine then it would be a musical parameter suitable for all music (symphonies, string quartets, etc.), just like plain rubato, dynamics, accents, articulations, etc., are.

    Wow, we (or I) can add Chopin rubato to religion, politics, evolution and abortion. Never did I imagine I would stimulate such heated debate. It's good that we're all still cyber friends. :D Even Joe and I have been together on this one! :wink:
     
  3. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    You don't understand the issue so you can't limit it properly.

    You provided a questionable entry from the Harvard Dictionary of Music. At music school you learn that this sort of thing is insufficient for research. Most music schools don't even use it; they use Grove's instead, and any research prof will tell you not to ever use Grove's as a source - only use the bibliography for each entry as a starting point. My excerpts from Eigeldinger refute the suggestion that 'rubato' was never meant to indicate tempo fluctuations; even in the sense they use, 'rubato' was always meant to indicate both time and dynamic fluctuations - passionate speech. I suggest reading the Eigeldinger quotes again; it's ridiculous to suggest that a term that means 'stolen time' doesn't refer to stolen time in Chopin's music, especially when his most reliable students attest to the fact that it does in fact refer to stolen time.
     
  4. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Wow. We must be speaking different languages. Where in the world did you ever get that I made "the suggestion that 'rubato' was never meant to indicate tempo fluctuations"? Terez, I'm saddened that your tone has also taken a turn towards the mean and insulting with: "it's ridiculous to suggest that a term that means 'stolen time' doesn't refer to stolen time in Chopin's music." I never said nor implied such a naive notion. This again makes me feel that you and I haven't communicated a single word to eachother this entire time. I'm curious (given what you've just written): what do you think that I am saying?
     
  5. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Take a step back and examine the tone of your last few posts.
     
  6. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Richard,
    Sorry I missed your question earlier. I'm not sure if you're being rhetorical or not so I will answer this. Though there are compositional devices like rhythmic modulation, rubato is not composed, though it may be indicated by the composer. This is true not only when a composer writes "rubato," but also any of the directions to bend the tempo: meno mosso, piu mosso, poco ritardando, and the like. Another way to consider it is to look at the WTC of Bach as an example. I don't think you will find the instruction "rubato" anywhere (at least I can't think of one off the top of my head in an urtext edition) but the music (all of it) is certainly performed with rubato as part of every artist's interpretation. So my final answer is, a composer may indicate rubato, but rubato is chiefly therefore the domain of the interpreter. (IMO).
     
  7. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Ok, I did and I think I behaved myself as a gentleman. :)
    I for one think so. :(

    My last word to Terez: I think Beyonce is a fine singer, but Christina, IMO, is a vocal virtuoso. Like many virtuosos, she is sometimes not very musical. I find some of her very best artistry to be on the CD that she cut in Spanish, and in her guest spot with Andre Bocelli on his Spanish album Amore. :wink:
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I myself - gotta love that :lol:
     
  9. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Gotta love Dutchies nitpicking our English, anyway. :wink:
     
  10. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    So many words, so few mistakes! :wink: At least I did do a ... whatever.
    Redundancy, there was done (unknowingly) with poetic liscense, for purpose of emphasis. :mrgreen:
    (I still haven't figured out the Mr. Green thingy)
     
  11. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yes, Eddy, you stirred a hornet's nest! I have many thoughts on this I would like to share with you, but I want you first to promise that you will not take them personally, because I feel no animosity whatsoever to you!

    I would not add rubato to Mozart, but I do add the odd ritenuto at the end of phrases and things like that, of course. I meant playing Mozart as if he were Rachmaninoff!

    I have a recording of Chopin's songs, which I quite enjoy. Some are quite lovely:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgYUMOr1 ... re=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVd6NIe9 ... re=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9UYoQ2a ... re=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=204RoKZajTw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH1xfZYR ... 56C636A0C7

    On the record sleeve there was a long article on Polish song and of its importance in order to understand Chopin. Maybe these songs offer a clue?
     
  12. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    It's too bad the Schumann wasn't responsible for this "2-layered rubato thingy." If he were it would be totally understandable. Eusebius keeping exact time in his left hand, Floristan doing his own thing in his right, and Master Raro getting the two in sync from time to time.

    Scott
     
  13. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    :lol: :lol: That would have been too easy! We would just assign it to mental imbalance, bipolar disorder and/or schizophrenia.
     
  14. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Richard,
    Thanks for the links. I listened to them all. I would never have thought these to be Chopin. My knowledge of Polish or slavic tongues in general is nill, except that I understand the Russian alphabet a bit. Chopin's style in these songs, to me, is so different from how I know him as the composer of piano music. BTW, the singer (a lovely brunett) does a great job. I have no idea what these songs are about, but the are most soul-full.

    Your having posted songs, has caused me to realize that right from my original post on this thread, with my reference to singing, etc., I wonder if I inadvertently pointed the discussion in the wrong direction, because my intended theme was tempo shifts (rubato) of melody vs accompaniment in composed piano solo works. It is evident that many folks contributed with references to singers and vocal music, etc. which of course meant nothing to me seeking a discussion in application of rubato to piano literature. I'm not wanting to rehash anything, just making the observation that It probably would have been better if I had never made any reference to singers, accompaning singers as analogy, etc.
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I wouldn't dream of nitpicking anyone's English here.
    It just struck my funnybone that someone would write "I myself". AFAIK that's a first on this forum. It had to be Eddy of course :p
     
  16. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Also, many English translations of the Bible start Romans 15:14 with "I myself ...", so the next time you need a little emphasis, throw in a good reflexive pronoun. :wink:
     
  17. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yea, verily. What is good enough for St. Paul is good enough for PS :lol:
     
  18. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    This is a worrying attitude. If you cut the piano solo repertoire off from the rest of the musical tree, it will eventually wither and become dry and meaningless. We should be learning as much as we possibly can from singers and other instrumentalists. And if you hear a duo or ensemble doing something interesting, you should ask how much of it you can possibly imitate on the piano.
     
  19. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I had that in mind, but I was wondering if these might shed some light on his solo piano music and how it should be played. These are Poles, by the way. Can it not be that these intimate pieces, never intended to be published or played in public and to be burnt after his death, give us a key how Chopin felt his music should be played?

    I often wonder also, supposing he were not known by one and by all (Poles apart and no pun intended!) as Frédéric François Chopin but as Fryderyk Franciszek Krzyżanowski (His mother's maiden name) would people not play his music differently?

    Can you really disassociate ensemble from solo music? In what way would rubato change anything? If it works for a singer and a pianist why can in not for a pianist or, if it becomes a mess, does it make any difference how many people make it?

    I liked these so much that I ordered a copy of the CD (same versions as on You Tube).
     
  20. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    What is good enough for SP is good enough for PS... :roll:
     

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