Piano Society
Free Classical Keyboard Recordings
It is currently Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:14 pm

All times are UTC - 1 hour




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Relaxation in Pianism
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:07 am
Posts: 10
Quote:
Well, perhaps fallacy is too harsh. But I would consider it to be an over-generalization. Inductive nor deductive reasoning can't take one fact involving a single variable in isolation and generalize on it when there is clearly a host of interacting and confounding variables present in the inquiry. That be as it may, that's why I mentioned the pianist as illusionist using all the many resources of the instrument and artistry. In all the many other instruments in a symphony orchestra, I believe that the piano is absolutely unique in this respect, especially for a percussion instrument. For me then, Ortmann's finding that he could produce a decent tone with the eraser end of a pencil is mostly irrelevant when I listen to a beautiful rendition of Ravel's "Ondine". I do accept that hammer velocity is the key to volume, which is definitely useful and actionable information. I believe it might have been Josef Lhevinne who used to encourage his students to think of raising the hammers, not depressing the keys in achieving dynamics.


But why would the fact it's a combination mean that the parts are not also of interest? In a recipe, the taste is the product of a big whole. But wouldn't you be interested to know whether a nicer tasting one was made with fresher ingredients, or whether it was down to a different blend? If you cook with rotten meat, no amount of blending gets tasty results. It's compromised by a disgusting component. That combinations are variable does not mean that there's no interest in whether the constituent parts have an inherent quality. When listening to Kissin in a concert hall, I've often been certain that I could hear the thuds in his playing. I could actually single them out from the sound of the strings. I'm certain it went beyond relativity. Some tests have supported the notion that thuds are audible- regardless of what some claim has been "proven". It stands to reason that playing many harsh notes would amplify the inherent harshness further still, compared to a lone note. Also, I read somewhere that Ortmann's findings are extremely dubious based on the evidence he took. It seems he was very liberal about deciding that recorded spectrums were "the same".


Quote:
My own way of dealing with this truth is to take advantage of every opportunity to rest the hands in the score. These are the lift-offs of the hand at the end of a phrase, observing a rest, fermata, ritardando, etc. I grant you that there are some pieces that are relentless and might not offer such opportunities. Your hand tightening technique is effective as it clearly works for you, but again reminds us that fingers always need to be taut, never droopy. The wrist though must usually be flexible (forearm octaves being an exception), and the arm mostly relaxed when not initiating deliberate movement.


I'd never refer to it as tightening, myself. It's always based on movement- not bracing. I do need to retain enough activity after the movement has been completed- in order to prevent drooping. However, even here I like to relate it to intent at movement- which largely means the intent to straighten the finger (although only just enough to balance, rather than actually cause further movement). I find this very effective at focussing a small effort into producing extreme stability- without any sense of stiffness. It's like when standing. You don't think of stiffening to stop gravity buckling your knees- you just push yourself up until balanced. Also, I'm increasingly realising that the arm can over-relax. My habit used to be vastly too much release in the shoulder- allowing my arm to slump in far too lazily. I actually had to a lot of work to get used to balancing it better- rather than keep relaxing to excess. I still have to be careful when relaxing, not to over-do it.

_________________
http://www.andrewthayer.co.uk/
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Relaxation in Pianism
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:00 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 1996
Location: U.S.A.
Hi nyiregyhazi

Quote:
But why would the fact it's a combination mean that the parts are not also of interest?


Yes and no. Yes it if turns out that one part is deleterious to the entire quality of performance. But more often no because the magic of the piano played with artistry produces not just a collection of parts adding up to a sum of those parts, but rather it produces a synergy where the total equals more than the sum of the parts due to the resourceful illusionist at the keyboard.

Quote:
When listening to Kissin in a concert hall, I've often been certain that I could hear the thuds in his playing. I could actually single them out


Do you attribute the thuds to too much relaxed arm weight (leading to crashing into the keyboard) or to deliberate movement of the arm? (Don't forget too that the problem might be mechanical--worn-out key punchings on the front rail of the piano no longer able to well absorb the the sound of the keys contacting the bottom of the key bed.)

l
Quote:
istening to Kissin


I've never much liked his tone either. Same with Argerich. Both seem to play sometimes using blunt force. It's unpleasant.

Quote:
You don't think of stiffening to stop gravity buckling your knees- you just push yourself up until balanced.


This very same principle can be applied to the relaxed arm to get it to optimal advantage in the playing.

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Relaxation in Pianism
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:07 am
Posts: 10
Quote:
Yes and no. Yes it if turns out that one part is deleterious to the entire quality of performance. But more often no because the magic of the piano played with artistry produces not just a collection of parts adding up to a sum of those parts, but rather it produces a synergy where the total equals more than the sum of the parts due to the resourceful illusionist at the keyboard.


Theoretically old ingredients could still make an acceptable meal. But wouldn't you rather it were produced with fresh ones? How do we know a decent whole can even be produced, with the wrong type of ingredients? Unless tone were 100% disproven (which it certainly hasn't been) we cannot say that the synergy is not in part due to absolute tone- especially in extremely loud passages.

Quote:
Do you attribute the thuds to too much relaxed arm weight (leading to crashing into the keyboard) or to deliberate movement of the arm? (Don't forget too that the problem might be mechanical--worn-out key punchings on the front rail of the piano no longer able to well absorb the the sound of the keys contacting the bottom of the key bed.)


Brute force (certainly not relaxed arm weight) and poor absorption at the key bed- due to a stiff hand and arm. I noticed the same thing in a competition once- where one pianist audibly hit the keybeds while another produced a bigger purer sound. I could literally isolate the thud from the musical tone, it was so loud, in the first player. The blog post I linked explains why there could be a notable difference- regardless of the state the piano is in. It's down to efficiency of energy transfer. I don't generally have the same problem with Argerich, myself. I think she absorbs impact rather well- although I never understood what is supposed to be so great about her Rach 3.


Quote:
This very same principle can be applied to the relaxed arm to get it to optimal advantage in the playing.


What do you mean? The same principle as pushing up with the legs? In what way? I'm not talking about free fall- but about movement in the opposite direction, to stop buckling under gravity.

_________________
http://www.andrewthayer.co.uk/
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Relaxation in Pianism
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:18 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 1996
Location: U.S.A.
On your last point, I reread your original comment and found that I had earlier misread it. I get it now.

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 1 hour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group