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 Post subject: Re: Josef Hofmann
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:01 am
Posts: 53
alf wrote:
Chopaninoff wrote:
His ballade no 1 from Chopin...Just horrible. How he adds those low notes it just an offense to Chopin! They block out the melodic notes..And the coda he played extremely fast...It does say Presto Con Fuoco...But it doesn't mean to be rushed through and play random notes staccato. It all has to do with a matter of taste. For example, I think Horowitz does a fine job. He is able to play all the little notes or "not so important" notes quietly, while leading the main melody notes.
I listened to his Chopin Nocturne op 27 no 2 and the left hand which is marked Sempre Legato and Dolce....He does the opposite. With his random accents and unnecessary staccato...Ruins the whole flow of the "nocturne" I will list some times for you...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cw1Yqja ... re=related I am following that link....
:31 -:34
staccoto when marked with a legato and crescendo
:45-:46- makes a minor change in the score and adds an extra note(s) in the right hand
1:01- Another slip/ or change in the score
1:22-1:24- more staccato when marked legato
2:07-2:10: that WHOLE bar is played detached when Chopin marks a Leggierissimo ( very light) and several legato marks
2:40-2:57: misses out the WHOLE crescendo....Misses out on 4 Sforzando and then when Chopin marks a FFF (rare for a nocturne) he plays it piano...
there are just few examples. YES I AM EXTREMELY PICKY I am aware. I do not think he is a bad pianist....



Now that you've torn apart Hofmann as a pianist you're ready for our Audition Room. We need brave men like you, Nikolai. :lol:


I have clearly mentioned that I am aware of how picky I am and that I do not think he is a bad pianist. I pointed out what he does wrong and what I do not like, and I gave prime examples of it with a video and times, and other users on here pointed some of the same stuff that I have said, except I went further and showed examples. No need to call me up to the audition room and challenge me. Also, I play that same nocturne in Db major...Not saying I can better...But as an executor of this piece I have a right to criticize his playing...being that it IS a discussion page of him. Can I please know the exact information of his concert? I know that he studied at the Milan Conservatory in Milano...If he performed the etudes AT the conservatory than it does not count as a concert for public. It must have been for exams. Like for example Horowitz, played Rachmaninoffs 2nd piano concerto at the conservatory, but never performed it at the concert stage. I may be wrong. But please send me a link proving that I am wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Josef Hofmann
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:08 am
Posts: 59
Chopaninoff wrote:

I do not think he is a bad pianist.


Thank you for giving Hoffmann at least that credit. Rachmaninov actually, thought of him as pianist no. 1 in the world... or is it that Rachmaninov just was not as picky? Heh, go figure...

Chopaninoff wrote:
I pointed out what he does wrong...


I am so glad that finally, there is somebody here who knows EXACTLY what is right and what is wrong :roll: .

Chopaninoff wrote:
I know that he studied at the Milan Conservatory in Milano...If he performed the etudes AT the conservatory than it does not count as a concert for public. It must have been for exams.


I was unaware Hoffmann ever studied in Milano. Any points as for where did you find this information? Not sure which etudes are in question, however, going on stage Hoffmann usually was asking his manager: "What do I play today?"

Best, M


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 Post subject: Re: Josef Hofmann
PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:01 am
Posts: 53
Marik wrote:
Chopaninoff wrote:

I do not think he is a bad pianist.


Thank you for giving Hoffmann at least that credit. Rachmaninov actually, thought of him as pianist no. 1 in the world... or is it that Rachmaninov just was not as picky? Heh, go figure...

Chopaninoff wrote:
I pointed out what he does wrong...


I am so glad that finally, there is somebody here who knows EXACTLY what is right and what is wrong :roll: .

Chopaninoff wrote:
I know that he studied at the Milan Conservatory in Milano...If he performed the etudes AT the conservatory than it does not count as a concert for public. It must have been for exams.


I was unaware Hoffmann ever studied in Milano. Any points as for where did you find this information? Not sure which etudes are in question, however, going on stage Hoffmann usually was asking his manager: "What do I play today?"

Best, M


I really do not appreciate your sarcasm. Rachmaninoff ALSO said that Horowitz played his concerto better than he did! Rachmaninoff was very open with compliments and appreciated other pianists. I was talking about Pollini who studied in Milano and we are talking about the Chopin etudes. I would appreciate it if you would tone it down a little bit and be aware of what are debating on before replying to me. As for Hoffman I stated my opinion that I do not like him as a pianist and I showed exactly why. No need to get all defensive.
Nikolai


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 Post subject: Re: Josef Hofmann
PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:08 am
Posts: 59
Chopaninoff wrote:

I really do not appreciate your sarcasm.


Well, then maybe next, when you publically tear apart somebody of Hoffmann's magnitude you might 1) think about historical context, 2) understand the style (both of romantic pianism of that era and also of that of Chopin), 3) consider the fact that artists are judged by their highest achievements, and 4) have enough humility not to start judging, pretending you know what's right and what's wrong.

Chopaninoff wrote:
Rachmaninoff... was very open with compliments and appreciated other pianists.


I'd suggest to study the topic little deeper, particularly read Rachmaninov's letters and memoirs about him. You will be quite surprised as for your findings.

In any case, the fact Rachmaninov dedicated his 3rd Concerto to Hoffmann, as well as called him "Pianist number One" speaks little more that just giving a mere compliment.

Chopaninoff wrote:
I was talking about Pollini who studied in Milano and we are talking about the Chopin etudes. I would appreciate it if you would tone it down a little bit and be aware of what are debating on before replying to me.


Sorry, from your original message it was extremely unclear that you were debating about Pollini, as his name was not mentioned anywhere in that post. All the reference I saw was "his". Since we were talking about Hoffmann I believe it was fair to assume you were referencing to him. Of course, I think it is understandable I had no idea that in fact, you were referencing to Pollini (again, since his name was not in that message at all). I am not sure how I'd be aware of what is "debating on" and what do you mean by "tone it down" in respect to that?

Chopaninoff wrote:
As for Hoffman I stated my opinion that I do not like him as a pianist and I showed exactly why. No need to get all defensive.


First of all, it seems in fact, it were you, who was defensive... but this is not of importance.

All I can say, even though it is your right not to like Hoffmann (and of course, it is your right), that man was an important part of our past. Moreover, I can say I don't like some aspects about his playing myself. However, it really does not matter, as the main thing is to understand that historically, he was a titanic figure... God of piano, somebody of probably... Michael Jackson's stature of that time. In a sense, Hoffmann was a bridge to a modern pianism.

Without understanding this, without coming back to his recordings, listening, rewinding and listening again, analyzing, thinking, trying to understand what was so special about him, what made him to be a cult for entire generation... without all of that we cannot understand piano and piano performance of today, as (as we all aware) without knowing our past and understanding history we cannot understand today and go into tomorrow.

Best, M


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 Post subject: Re: Josef Hofmann
PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:02 pm
Posts: 1167
Location: Piemonte, Italy
Chopaninoff wrote:
No need to call me up to the audition room and challenge me.


The AR joke was meant as a listener and critic not as a player (which would be indeed a cheap shot on you, speaking of Hofmann, and however you play). But I was also a tad serious, since a Beckmesser like you is probably more at ease in AR than here finding faults with Hofmann's interpretations.


Chopaninoff wrote:
Also, I play that same nocturne in Db major...Not saying I can better...But as an executor of this piece I have a right to criticize his playing...being that it IS a discussion page of him.


Marik said it all. What's the next step? To censure Beethoven's parallel fifths and respell Joyce's Finnegans Wake?


Chopaninoff wrote:
Can I please know the exact information of his concert? I know that he studied at the Milan Conservatory in Milano...If he performed the etudes AT the conservatory than it does not count as a concert for public. It must have been for exams. Like for example Horowitz, played Rachmaninoffs 2nd piano concerto at the conservatory, but never performed it at the
concert stage. I may be wrong. But please send me a link proving that I am wrong.


AFAIK, it was a recital, not a student concert, and was held at "Circolo della Stampa" in Milano. Does it make any difference? Ah, forgot you're picky...

_________________
"A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking" - Anonymous

Alfonso Bertazzi, amateur pianist.


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 Post subject: Re: Josef Hofmann
PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:01 am
Posts: 53
alf wrote:
Chopaninoff wrote:
No need to call me up to the audition room and challenge me.


The AR joke was meant as a listener and critic not as a player (which would be indeed a cheap shot on you, speaking of Hofmann, and however you play). But I was also a tad serious, since a Beckmesser like you is probably more at ease in AR than here finding faults with Hofmann's interpretations.


Chopaninoff wrote:
Also, I play that same nocturne in Db major...Not saying I can better...But as an executor of this piece I have a right to criticize his playing...being that it IS a discussion page of him.


Marik said it all. What's the next step? To censure Beethoven's parallel fifths and respell Joyce's Finnegans Wake?


Chopaninoff wrote:
Can I please know the exact information of his concert? I know that he studied at the Milan Conservatory in Milano...If he performed the etudes AT the conservatory than it does not count as a concert for public. It must have been for exams. Like for example Horowitz, played Rachmaninoffs 2nd piano concerto at the conservatory, but never performed it at the
concert stage. I may be wrong. But please send me a link proving that I am wrong.




AFAIK, it was a recital, not a student concert, and was held at "Circolo della Stampa" in Milano. Does it make any difference? Ah, forgot you're picky...


Marik wrote:
Chopaninoff wrote:

I really do not appreciate your sarcasm.


Well, then maybe next, when you publically tear apart somebody of Hoffmann's magnitude you might 1) think about historical context, 2) understand the style (both of romantic pianism of that era and also of that of Chopin), 3) consider the fact that artists are judged by their highest achievements, and 4) have enough humility not to start judging, pretending you know what's right and what's wrong.

Chopaninoff wrote:
Rachmaninoff... was very open with compliments and appreciated other pianists.


I'd suggest to study the topic little deeper, particularly read Rachmaninov's letters and memoirs about him. You will be quite surprised as for your findings.

In any case, the fact Rachmaninov dedicated his 3rd Concerto to Hoffmann, as well as called him "Pianist number One" speaks little more that just giving a mere compliment.

Chopaninoff wrote:
I was talking about Pollini who studied in Milano and we are talking about the Chopin etudes. I would appreciate it if you would tone it down a little bit and be aware of what are debating on before replying to me.


Sorry, from your original message it was extremely unclear that you were debating about Pollini, as his name was not mentioned anywhere in that post. All the reference I saw was "his". Since we were talking about Hoffmann I believe it was fair to assume you were referencing to him. Of course, I think it is understandable I had no idea that in fact, you were referencing to Pollini (again, since his name was not in that message at all). I am not sure how I'd be aware of what is "debating on" and what do you mean by "tone it down" in respect to that?

Chopaninoff wrote:
As for Hoffman I stated my opinion that I do not like him as a pianist and I showed exactly why. No need to get all defensive.

thinks
First of all, it seems in fact, it were you, who was defensive... but this is not of importance.

All I can say, even though it is your right not to like Hoffmann (and of course, it is your right), that man was an important part of our past. Moreover, I can say I don't like some aspects about his playing myself. However, it really does not matter, as the main thing is to understand that historically, he was a titanic figure... God of piano, somebody of probably... Michael Jackson's stature of that time. In a sense, Hoffmann was a bridge to a modern pianism.

Without understanding this, without coming back to his recordings, listening, rewinding and listening again, analyzing, thinking, trying to understand what was so special about him, what made him to be a cult for entire generation... without all of that we cannot understand piano and piano performance of today, as (as we all aware) without knowing our past and understanding history we cannot understand today and go into tomorrow.

Best, M


I think both of you are straying off. You claim he is a great pianist. Ok I'll agree with you. But please show me a piece where he is SOMEWHAT loyal to the composers dynamics. Saying that he is good and this and that and that Rachmaninoff thinks highly of him is not enough. Because a great composer said hes a great pianist does not mean everyone should think that. For instance, Scriabin hated Brahms. From an article I read. " Scriabin's later works strike out on their own, in a manner more similar to Brahms late piano works where the composer is really speaking from his own psyche. Scriabin hated Brahms, chastising the young Rubinstein who, much to Scriabin's distant admitted his fondness for Brahms piano music. " Scriabin is beside the point. But its an example that just because a great composer like Scriabin hated Brahms, does not mean everyone should. Which ties back with Rachmaninoff saying Hoffman is great. And we can not really judge Hoffman based off of his recordings because I think you will agree with me, they are horrible. not his fault though. What Im saying is that it is not wise to judge Hoffman based off what other pianists from his era said. And just because I do not like Hoffman does not mean other people should not either. Do not get me wrong. I am merely showing what he does wrong, and stuff that I, nor do other people do NOT like. Show me a piece where you feel he truly is able to capture your attention. I really would like to understand what people love about this pianist. I have listened to his Chopin Nocturnes, Ballades, Rachmaninoff prelude (which is extremely rushed) the C sharp minor one, The g minor one as well (which was on a piano roll which cannot be judged at all) Liszt libestruam no 3 which was also rushed and not even at all! etc etc etc. I apologize for my English, it is hard to convey what I am saying from Russian.
Nikolai


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 Post subject: Re: Josef Hofmann
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:08 am
Posts: 59
Chopaninoff wrote:

But please show me a piece where he is SOMEWHAT loyal to the composers dynamics.


Nikolai,

I am not sure why you are so concerned with his dynamics (esp. in relation to Chopin). There were numerous versions of the same piece with completely different dynamic marks. Very often in the same place you can find pp in one version and ff in another.
Every time Chopin re-wrote pieces for his students he would change notes, dynamics, harmony, etc. etc. etc. His music is essentially improvisatory and in that era it was customary to be "inventive". On the other hand, you are saying how "horrable" Hoffmann was doubling low octaves and say that this is an "offense to Chopin." At the same time you praise Horowitz for his Scriabin (which I completely agree), but conveniently "forgetting" that he was doing the same, and often even worse, re-writing entire sections, doubling things, etc. etc. etc.
Or care to listen Sofronitsky's Scriabins Waltz with score?

So at least it would be nice to be consistent.

Chopaninoff wrote:

Saying that he is good and this and that and that Rachmaninoff thinks highly of him is not enough. Because a great composer said hes a great pianist does not mean everyone should think that...


Not sure why you keep bringing up Rachmaninov again and again. As I stated, Rachmaninov was not alone and Hoffmann was a cult figure for entire generation. For a record it is not even my opinion--for strarters I'd recommend to read some Harold Schoenberg, Abram Chasins, heck--or at least David Dubal (and yes, I am aware Soviet musicology tend to belittle Hoffmann, calling him "old fashioned" and "forgotten").

Chopaninoff wrote:
...Show me a piece where you feel he truly is able to capture your attention. I really would like to understand what people love about this pianist. I have listened to his Chopin Nocturnes, Ballades, Rachmaninoff prelude (which is extremely rushed) the C sharp minor one, The g minor one as well (which was on a piano roll which cannot be judged at all) Liszt libestruam no 3 which was also rushed and not even at all! etc etc etc.


While I disagree the Rachmaninov's Prelude (and Liszt Libestraum) are rushed, I will post just a few examples which capture (at least) my attention:
Chopin-Liszt, The Maiden's Wish (I personally think nothing matches it... even Rachmaninov's version):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G14YEue6XVg

Chopin Concerto no. 1, 3rd Movement (unfortunately Concerto no. 2 is not on youtube):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec9qn3H2 ... re=related

Beethoven, Sonata no. 18, Scherzo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt3yXoKDsp4

There is much more from him I like, but it is not on youtube, so make your own research and judge for yourself.

Best, M


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 Post subject: Re: Josef Hofmann
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:01 am
Posts: 53
Marik wrote:
Chopaninoff wrote:

But please show me a piece where he is SOMEWHAT loyal to the composers dynamics.


Nikolai,

I am not sure why you are so concerned with his dynamics (esp. in relation to Chopin). There were numerous versions of the same piece with completely different dynamic marks. Very often in the same place you can find pp in one version and ff in another.
Every time Chopin re-wrote pieces for his students he would change notes, dynamics, harmony, etc. etc. etc. His music is essentially improvisatory and in that era it was customary to be "inventive". On the other hand, you are saying how "horrable" Hoffmann was doubling low octaves and say that this is an "offense to Chopin." At the same time you praise Horowitz for his Scriabin (which I completely agree), but conveniently "forgetting" that he was doing the same, and often even worse, re-writing entire sections, doubling things, etc. etc. etc.
Or care to listen Sofronitsky's Scriabins Waltz with score?

So at least it would be nice to be consistent.

Chopaninoff wrote:



Saying that he is good and this and that and that Rachmaninoff thinks highly of him is not enough. Because a great composer said hes a great pianist does not mean everyone should think that...


Not sure why you keep bringing up Rachmaninov again and again. As I stated, Rachmaninov was not alone and Hoffmann was a cult figure for entire generation. For a record it is not even my opinion--for strarters I'd recommend to read some Harold Schoenberg, Abram Chasins, heck--or at least David Dubal (and yes, I am aware Soviet musicology tend to belittle Hoffmann, calling him "old fashioned" and "forgotten").

Chopaninoff wrote:
...Show me a piece where you feel he truly is able to capture your attention. I really would like to understand what people love about this pianist. I have listened to his Chopin Nocturnes, Ballades, Rachmaninoff prelude (which is extremely rushed) the C sharp minor one, The g minor one as well (which was on a piano roll which cannot be judged at all) Liszt libestruam no 3 which was also rushed and not even at all! etc etc etc.


While I disagree the Rachmaninov's Prelude (and Liszt Libestraum) are rushed, I will post just a few examples which capture (at least) my attention:
Chopin-Liszt, The Maiden's Wish (I personally think nothing matches it... even Rachmaninov's version):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G14YEue6XVg

Chopin Concerto no. 1, 3rd Movement (unfortunately Concerto no. 2 is not on youtube):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec9qn3H2 ... re=related

Beethoven, Sonata no. 18, Scherzo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt3yXoKDsp4

There is much more from him I like, but it is not on youtube, so make your own research and judge for yourself.

Best, M


Thank you. I will listen to these links. I hope no one was offended by my remarks, and I wish you a good night.
Nikolai


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