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 Post subject: Re: Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:18 am 
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to insecure anybody.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:33 am 
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Frankly, I was dismayed by Guy's posting. I might be called a purist or reactionary (or worse), but I personally don't believe that MIDI realizations have a legitimate role to play as piano performances at Piano Society. In Guy's initial post he did not at the outset mention "MIDI realizations" (it was only added later once controversy erupted). It was instead implied to be postings of actual piano performances. Without the benefit of that caveat of MIDI realizations , it was misleading to say the very least. The real agenda was Vienna Imperial 1.1 software, that is to say, promoting a commercial product.

Bottom line, I know that accomplished pianists put a huge amount of work into preparing repertoire for recordings. They use their piano technique to convey musical intent, mental imagery and emotion to interpret the music and serve the composer, and to put it across to an audience. If there is any post-editing required, pianists here keep it to an absolute minimum.

Playing the piano is a lofty endeavor, one steeped in rich traditions and performance practices. So when one sits at a PC using note sampling, sequencers, etc. to construct a mechanical MIDI performance, and then have the audacity to consider it as artistic, authentic pianism, personally I draw the line which is why I refute it here. I believe that for many of the serious pianists here, a MIDI realization not immediately acknowledged as such in a posting is an affront to the performing art and to those who work so hard to produce quality, authentic recordings.

Because we humans are mere mortals, we never produce perfection in our piano playing as much as we strive to attain it. Horowitz used to say that if a pianist could draw close enough just once in his career to almost be able to reach out and touch perfection (but not quite), it would be a lifetime achievement. But he added that attaining perfection would itself be imperfection. As much as we admired Michelangeli's precision, he was never satisfied with his own performances. Yet with the computerized capabilities of MIDI, synthetic perfection is now at hand to be pawned off on its listeners as true performing art. Until there is not a single tree left standing anywhere in the world from which to fashion a piano, I reject MIDI realizations. At best they might be electronic constructs mimicking the real art of piano, but true art they will never be!

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:40 am 
Ok, let's say there's a piano work you have been listening to for the last 3 years, and love it! Then someone tells you: "Surprise, it's been dome through midi samples!"
Are you then going to reject this piece and never listen to it again now that you have this knowledge?


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:11 am 
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guybacos wrote:
Ok, let's say there's a piano work you have been listening to for the last 3 years, and love it! Then someone tells you: "Surprise, it's been dome through midi samples!"
Are you then going to reject this piece and never listen to it again now that you have this knowledge?

If I didn't know better by now I'd almost think you were starting to understand :D

I would happily listen to a good midi rendition if it was a work that nobody played, or perhaps nobody could play well enough. To get to know a work, there is nothing wrong with artificial rendering. But to pick a set that is so well-known, has been recorded so marvellously by so many great pianists, and then claim that they are as good or even better than any of these interpretation-wise, smacks of deceit and pretense. That you may have played many of these in concert, as you claim, does change anything to that. I do not believe that any serious pianist who can perform Chopin etudes in concert would sit down at the computer and spend countless hours to create an idealized e-version of them. I also can't believe that any serious pianist would take this enterprise seriously, except maybe from a purely technical view if they are interested in that kind of thing.

IIRC you wrote on Piano World that you had received very positive feedback on FaceBook from many people including concert pianists.
Being the suspicious-minded stalker without a life that I am, I immediately go check that of course. The adulating oneliner raves are funny, but more funny are the repeated calls for concert pianists to come forward. None did so far and I do not expect anybody will. There is the deceit thing again, which is why I can not take any of this seriously anymore. It may be me but I can not engage with someone I cannot trust. Not very objective, eh :?:

But I won't kill the thread this time as long as it does not get too violent.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:53 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
guybacos wrote:
Ok, let's say there's a piano work you have been listening to for the last 3 years, and love it! Then someone tells you: "Surprise, it's been dome through midi samples!"
Are you then going to reject this piece and never listen to it again now that you have this knowledge?


Personally, I wouldn't. I'd be impressed that someone had made midi sound that good. Sorry, but (due to the limitations of colour etc, which you yourself acknowledge) your recording is not at that level.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:01 am 
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techneut wrote:
But to pick a set that is so well-known, has been recorded so marvellously by so many great pianists, and then claim that they are as good or even better than any of these interpretation-wise, smacks of deceit and pretense.


I just find it a bit silly. Sure, if you really work on something, you can end up with intimate knowledge of the most minute details of a piece and a conviction that yours is the true way, but to state such is to open oneself to ridicule.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:50 am 
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Exactly. Silly it is, more than anything else.

Even sillier is to believe that people will not recognize from the first few notes that this is computer work rather than art.

But all these discussions in various forums are in a way publicity for VSL. Maybe that was the sole objective of the whole thing. Whether VSL should be happy with the way it's evolved, is another matter.... I don't think it will do them any favors. The VSL site is woefully vague about it all, starting off on the wrong foot with the proud header "Bacos Plays Chopin" and touting the same sort of blurb that Guy uses himself. Can't help thinking that maybe Guy is a major shareholder or something like that. Could just be that I need to get a life :)

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:53 pm 
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Posts: 97
Location: Toronto
musical-md wrote:
guybacos wrote:
My question to you is, do you believe there is a certain art in editing "artistically" some works such as the 24 Études or others of that caliber, and what value do you give it regardless of how close or far the original is from the final result?
This is not pianism, and it isn't real. Just because the original project was done by someone who can play the piano, or on a subject of great value, in no way transmits warrant or validity to the end product. This is like so many other pretensions in society today. We know what a sound engineer is. What you are doing is performance engineering. Everyone knows the sound engineer is not the performing artist; a performance engineer is not a performing artist. No piano student would go to a performing engineer to learn the piano, but a performance engineering student can go to a pianist to learn musicianship -- but only of the particular works investigated! After that, the performance engineer knows nothing again. In your case you may embody both functions, but only one is a performing art, the other is a technical, artificial and pretensious application. This is artificial because it does not test against the limits of human capacity, just imagination. I continually suffer disapointment due to the difference between my imagination and my capacity and work hard to close the gap. A performance engineer never need work hard, just more. Just because we love [science] fiction, doesn't mean it's real. In fact, this is what you are attempting to sell: fictional music. Imagine fictional dance or fictional sculpture or fictional painting. No one will value fictional perfroming arts, at least not artists (except by deception).


This is the heart of the matter. I agree almost entirely. I might quibble with the proposition that the end-result of midi-sculpting is not "real." Not a real performance; no question. But it is as physically real as an oil painting, but one that has not been "painted" in the usual manner. I think the "paint by numbers" analogy might be close, although not perfect. The process, means of production, is completely different. The skill involved is completely different. To call the result a "painting", one might even say, is misleading. But the end-result can, arguably, be indistinguishable from a professionallly pianted oil.

Therein lies one of th problems of talking about midi-editing. And you certainly do draw attention to it above. Midi editors talk in the language of music, using words like "performance." That kind of talk is hopelessly inaccurate; it is also deceptive and misleading, not because the product isn't potentially identical to a recorded performance (a midi device hooked up to a piano can do that), but because the process (like the paint by numbers painting} is totally different.

Perhaps there can be an "art" of painting by numbers and, consequently, the evolution of a "technique" specific to it; a language of criticism and evaluation unique to it; but its transparent that the language, even if it adopted the same words as the language of art criticism, would refer to completely and totally different techniques and cognitive processes.

There is, as well, an interesting half-way house between midi and true piano performance: imagine a very precise midi-player mechnism attached to a good Bos or Steinway D or Steingraeber, sitting in the best recording studio in the world. (A distasteful thought for many who may already realize where I'm going with this). Pollini enters the studio. Performs the entire set of Etudes (opus 10 and 48), which performance is completely recorded in midi. It is replayed to him in the studio, exactly as he played it on the instrument, and AT or BY that instrument as well, because remember... the instrument is hooked up to a midi player. Then Pollini says, hmmmm. I want to change this or that about his performance. The midi editor examines the midi record of Pollini's performance and fixes, say, one wrong note. Or speeds up an entire Etude. Pollini listens to the result, again played live in front of him on the Bos or the Steinway through the dead on accurate midi player. And says: "I like that." The mics are turned on. The result recorded.

This scenario puts the test to folks like me who want to draw a bright line between midi-editing and true pianism. I think there's an easy answer to this sort of challenge, but I'm not going to say what it is. Is it midi or real? Is it aesthetically less "valuable", for want of a better term. Is it qualitatively different from what, I'm told, sound engineers do to classical music?

JG

JG


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:54 pm 
Chris: :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:57 pm 
you may also want to check this thread:


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:10 pm 
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I dearly wish there was a line could be drawn between 'real' (i.e. fully acoustic and non-edited) and not real. It would make our lives ever so much easier. But there seem to be a zillion possibilities in between. We imagine a line somewhere but really it is a vast no-mans land. Ultimately the admins
get to decide on which side of the imaginary fence a submission sits. An ungrateful task because we can't be objective and whatever we decide it will be hotly argued by people from both sides of the camp. I don't at all enjoy steering this cramped course, but I do not even want to consider the two only possible alternatives:

1) Only allow acoustic non-edited recordings. That would lower both the quantity and quality of our recordings drastically (as many people only have a digital, and we don't want to hear tons of errors, bad sound, etc)

2) Allow anything at all. In that case we might as well dismantle PS and refer people to YT where anything goes.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:23 pm 
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guybacos wrote:
you may also want to check this thread:
http://www.vi-control.net/forum/viewtop ... 17#3611217

Looks like these may be the same people who commented on Facebook ? It stands to reason that people from the 'virtual scene' would have a different reaction than us traditional pianists here. I am amused by your signature saying 'Composer/VSL Demo Maker'. Modesty is such a virtue :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:49 pm 
There are so many things mentioned in the lasts few posts here that are totally erroneous, unfounded and cheap shots, stated in a way to make me look bad etc I could mention many of them, but it's not worth it. You guys are very upset I have my opinion of this, but I have the right to my opinion, yes or no? This doesn't represent VSL, it's my opinion only. Ok, you guys think I'm arrogant, I'm pretentious and whatever, that is your right as well. The fact that it is creating such controversy everywhere is a sign that i did my job more than well and that was the main goal. All the rest is just personal opinions, and if you don't respect that we each have the right to our opinions, than it's quite sad. This debate has become so repetitive, it's got quite boring now and everything has been said in every shape and color. I fooled the people here, that's all I wanted to do, for the rest you should not loose sleep over it, there are more important things in life. Move on!


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:56 pm 
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Fooled us here ? Not for a moment :) Kept us busy, sure. Yes, you have a right to your opinion - and so do we.

So if you feel your mission to be accomplished, rejoice and be happy and please do move on. I don't suppose you will be back here ?

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin's 24 Études (new approach on the realization)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:58 pm 
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I can't help but recall the moment that the great Wizard of Oz was revealed for what he really was; no wizard at all. Thank you Toto. Maybe in Oz there are wizards, but not in Kansas.

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Last edited by musical-md on Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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