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Music Composers Unite!

This is the first blog bost I write here, so I believe some kind of introduction is in order...Nah, screw that, I bet you already know my name, it is somewhere around the page you ae reading right now.

Writing down thoughs is what I pan to use this blog space, starting with this post. Read at your own risk-I am not to be held responsible for any exessive boredom this posts cause.


I just fired up a beethoven sonata while thinking about this blog post, the 13th, performed by Barenboim. I disagree with the choice of speed in the 3rd part, but hey this is Barenboim, who am I to complain. It brought me memories of a performance of this piece I listened to this year at a conservatorium concert hall back in Patra. If you wonder where that is, google map it.

And it was one excelent performance, the skill of the pianist (whose name I do not recall I admit) was undeniable. BUT, as there is always a but lurking in the shadows,  he did something I hate. Showing off. Theatrical, wide movements of the hands when not playing, bringing the hand (the left usually) in front of his mouth while it wasn't playing, looking up, as if there where stains on the ceiling, and all that. This my fellow composers and performers, I call show off. 

I am a pianist, of medium level, but still a pianist,  I understand the wide movements, lifting gracefully a hand to let it take a "breath" and then stike the keys again, minor movements of the body to help you bring our emotion, or even help keep the right balance of your hands while playing. But the show off I cannot understand it. 

I guess it's something that has it's roots in the belief that the audience will think you "sifisticated", "touched by the music", "expert of bringing emotion to your playing" and so on. I strongly disagree with that, I always despised the attempts to create a small, or even larger, show when perforiming any type of music, from classical to rock.  Because hey, I'm here for the MUSIC. If I want show, I can always go to a circus, are you going to leave them unemployed? Evil bastards, you want the acrobats to go hungry!

You see, what I admire in music as an art form, is the capability to bring out not specific images, but emotions, through a very primitive sense, that of hearing. It is something that demands full concentration, it demands you, the listener, and me the performer, to be focused on the music, to open their ears and suck it all in (I won't allow any dirty thoughs sir, stop smiling at that). and the show doesn't help that. 

I have come to terms with the fact that not all people understand or are touched by all types of music, but in which part do you get music when the performer dances around half naked in a stage? Surely, it's a great idea for a sophisticated porn clip, but music performance? Imagine beethoven conducting running around naked. I bet you would love that too, huh? Or when the band wears disturbing masks (not to mention the horrible screams, someone please get them out of the torture chambers)?

I believe we got it all wrong-show is for the circus and music is for the concerts, not the other way around.


Let's try to learn a thing or two from Horowitz.

I love that performance so much.


PS: Note that those don't include music comedy, which is great and I will not accept anything against it. And excuse my spelling, it's horrible every time. 

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Comment by Matthew Pelandini on July 15, 2011 at 12:55am
Well said.
Comment by Spiros Makris on July 14, 2011 at 6:20pm

It indeed was bizzare. I;ve seen pianists showing off a bit, but that was beyond most examples I could find in youtube! Still, the performance was excelent, yet he did get carried off by the music and made some mistakes (which I did notice since I know that sonata well enough). 

At first it made me laugh a bit, but under the gaze of the people around me I had to suppress that :D

Comment by Ann Rodela on July 14, 2011 at 2:53pm

I got reaquainted to playing the keyboard last Christmas when I got my new keyboard.

What a joy it is to be able to play better each day.  When I don't use my left hand I try to keep it near the keyboard ready to to strike the keys.

I can't imagine a reason for showing off.  I almost wish I witnessed the bizarre act. Golly.

There are so many nuances one can add while playing that would add to to the sound. 

Golly.  :)


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