With respect, I'm not sure that is being "down-to-earth" as such, and frankly it is not an attitude that I would much admire from, for example, the International Olympics Committee
. Of course the methods by which results are achieved are not to be overlooked in any creative (or indeed sporting) activity.
The Olympics Committee?! Oh come on, then pianists like Sofronitsky, François, and I suspect more than a few other ones, should have been banned for doping. After all, indeed pianists ought to be treated like sportpersons, that's why records are called that way.
Sorry, with as much respect, I think that your analogy doesn't work.
The answer is no, but I suppose I can't really see the point of it either. It seems like a monumental waste of time and effort; perhaps he was a data-entry clerk in a previous job, or something that started as an experimental hobby then became an obssession. Why bother spending thousands of hours producing what are ultimately fairly mediocre representations of the composers' musical efforts, in spite of (or perhaps due to) the recourse to technological wizardry, rather than sticking to repertoire that one is technically capable of playing at the indicated tempo, and maybe even introduce a little personal interpretation and feeling?
That's my view too, but I believe everyone is entitled to do whatever he or she likes according to the harm principle (oh boys, I'm quoting Mill against a Brit), and I don't see any harm in Colombo's conduct.
OK, these files are free for the most part, so but is a lot of other material on the internet these days. Free sites like here provide hobbyists and artists the chance to interact with others and even to promote themselves, but the material provided is assumed, on trust and by evaluation, to have some kind of artistic integrity.
I don't think so. On PS we have at least 2 examples of (more or less heavily) MIDI sequenced music. John Grant's Well Tempered Clavier is one of the finest interpretations I know and I know a couple of dozens ("interpretation" and not "performance" to stick to your judicious remark). Teppei Yamada-Scriba conceives his musical ideas out of thin air and then renderes them on his disklavier. Are they cheating? Again, I don't think so. They state what they try to achieve and the way they do it. You can just decide if you take it or leave it.
I could not agree more. That of course doesn't stop me having an opinion about it
. Paying for the output of a real artist (either a CD or buying a ticket to a live recital), or indeed learning and performing the music oneself, are certainly more admirable options than downloading computer-generated representations, if indeed we wish the arts to continue with some kind of valid manner.
What about art design? Objects are manufactured by machines, designed with CAD or, better, VR systems and just the concept, which is of course the best part and the one that makes an item unique, pertains to a human being (for now
Even those who retreated exclusively into the recording studio (e.g. Gould) had shown for many years their live performing abilities.
You won't really appreciate GG's late recordings only on the basis that he formerly proved to be a great live performer, will you? No, don't tell, I'm afraid of what I may hear.
I suppose the most notable example of a 'recording-only' artist would be the (in)famous Joyce Hatto
Quite unfair of you. Joyce Hatto was not at all a recording artist, but a fraud perpetrated by a man, as someone jokingly said, who mistook his wife for a Hatto. So I have to dismiss it as not relevant here.