Not sure if this is the right thread, but I was having a discussion about performing and judges and whatnot.
not sure either. I think the best forum would be Repertoire.
I was saying (someone correct me if I'm wrong, as I'm still learning about these things, as the notion of the type of score you have is someone of an issue while I was in undergrad, as I'm trying to become a piano professor soon...) that there are many editions floating around nowadays and that a student may have a cheap Schirmer (sp?) edition while another has a Paderweski or Urtext edition of a Chopin work and that they may differ in certain markings or even sometimes notes. There are editions where there are editors and they add things that the performer may or may not do in their own performance. My point being, that as much as we would like to perform the work as close to what (say) Chopin wrote, we can't really, as we don't have the original score that was written reproduced for us. (Or maybe we do, and I am thinking of another composer who's works have been lost/deteriorated/not complete) Anyway, it's as if there is no way to know how Chopin or the composer would have performed a work unless they were alive today and we were to hear them or ask them, for them to approve of one's performance of their work (s). I know that there are Urtext editions that try to get as close to the manuscript exactly, but we, as performers today, can never know for sure what the composer intended...all we can do is perform what how we think it should sound...
The Chopin editions are a whole different thing from other composers' scores. Chopin himself has several versions of his pieces, and all of the published editions are wrong, according to Angela Lear. For example, etudes nos. 1 and 8 don't have any FORTE indication in the manuscripts, and no. 5 has no tempo indication. All the "mezzo forte" indications in all his pieces are misinterpretation of the "mezzo voice" from the manuscripts, etc.
One should always have the edition closer possible to the manuscript or the original edition. Any editor's addition (like phrasings, dynamics and pedalling) is confusing and worthless.
Perhaps I answered my own question, but does appearance play that big of a factor in judging as well?
well... asks Monica! she can give you tips about the dressing thing!
Earlier, I was talking about how there are differences in music score editions and I was saying that some pianists may be purists ("playing by the notes and what the composer wrote exactly") while others can be just by interpretation (I use the score as a guide, but play with more emotion, adding certain elements not written in here and there to reflect it).
I think this is the more important worry in your message. This is my opinion: there is no "two kinds of pianists" as you mentioned above. Even for the "purists" as you said, the score doesn't say a lot of things that should be done anyway. For example, the score doesn't say if the melody is on the right or the left hand, and which hand is more important so it should be louder. This is the kind of thing that you extract from an analysis of the piece. The analysis help you clarify, for example, what notes you should bring off (very often there are motivs transformations hidden into the accompaniment). So when the pianist shows lots of these structural things that are in the score (but not too explicitly marked), I wouldn't say he took liberties. In fact, he did what should be done, and any intelligent musician would do so. And the listener would usually enjoy this performance better, because it makes more sense than a flat one.
However, doing that may sacrify other aspects of the piece. If you are bringing of motivs in the left hand, in a piano passage, you'll have to play it louder (so it's not piano any more?). "Sacrifying" is not a good word, because no one knows exactly how loud a pianissimo really are, or how fast an allegro is. There is NO definitive answer for these, so one can't really say this pianist is not purist and is taking liberties, you know.
About the emotion and the subjective thing... yes, it's very important. It's the most important thing. But it's something we never talk about becuase it is... SUBJECTIVE! There will always be people who enjoy flat performances (yet super fast or technically flawless) and say there are lots of emotion there, while you don't feel anything. It's a discussion that goes nowhere. Let it for the psychologists (if one day they decide to study it...)
If we are about to discuss these "emotional" things, we'd better rationalize them and convert them into musical speech of the piece. For example... instead of saying "There should be more passion in this passage", I'd say "I do think we should play this passage louder, because the whole piece has a dynamic range between piano and meezo forte. Only in the climax there is indication of forte, so if we don't play it forte enough, people can't clearly notice it".