The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
gilles T
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:11 pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by gilles T » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:01 pm

Hello,

Although I disapprove any form of "artist-bashing", I think it's legit to discuss such videos because we have a lot to learn from bad performances, too.

Mr Fisk is certainly a great artist but this very performance of Bach's masterpiece displays a perfect example of a performer at war with the work he is supposed to convey with humility.

We can hear him fight against the music; just as an actor would say a wonderful poem without any breathing, at a pace which rivals an automatic assault gun. That said, this performance is very useful because it teaches us what NOT to do while attending the Chaconne.

And it is sometimes useful to remind anyone that it's very hazardous to climb Himalaya with a pair of sneakers.

Regards,
Gilles

celestemcc
Posts: 1240
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by celestemcc » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:28 pm

Some while back I heard a former student of Mr. Fisk's play the Chaconne. It's a work I'm ashamed to say I didn't know much about. The interpretation was very similar, which makes sense. Anyway, after hearing this (accomplished) player I went home and listened to Raphaella Schmidt play it. Listening to her was like hearing a different piece: it made sense to me, I understood why it's so monumental, and so beloved.

Fisk and his students are fine players: I'm not trashing them. But it's a matter, I guess, of what interpretation speaks to you. I confess the former's didn't for me; Schmidt's did. This is always the case, with Bach in particular, I guess.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

User avatar
guitarrista
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:00 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by guitarrista » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:43 pm

Lovemyguitar wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:53 pm
joachim33 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:14 am
I think this kind of mockery isn't really constructive in any way...
I agree -- it is cheap and low.
Me three.
Konstantin
--
1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

User avatar
joachim33
Posts: 835
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:21 pm
Location: Scania

Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by joachim33 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:07 pm

celestemcc wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:28 pm
Some while back I heard a former student of Mr. Fisk's play the Chaconne. It's a work I'm ashamed to say I didn't know much about. The interpretation was very similar, which makes sense. Anyway, after hearing this (accomplished) player I went home and listened to Raphaella Schmidt play it. Listening to her was like hearing a different piece: it made sense to me, I understood why it's so monumental, and so beloved.

Fisk and his students are fine players: I'm not trashing them. But it's a matter, I guess, of what interpretation speaks to you. I confess the former's didn't for me; Schmidt's did. This is always the case, with Bach in particular, I guess.
It was composed for violin. The guitar transcription typically have more tones, since we have more strings and most of us play with 4 fingers instead of a single bow. The transcription Fisk is playing has many more notes than the guitar transcriptions I am used to.

One of my favourite recordings is the YouTube by Marc Teichholz on a Hauser I. Here are many threads discussing Chaconne recordings. I like Raphaella Schmidt’s recording as well.

User avatar
David Norton
Posts: 4597
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:12 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by David Norton » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:07 am

The best adjective for either player's interpretation is "angry". Barely controlled rage.
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT
First person to complete the Delcamp "Let's Learn Sor's Opus 60" project

User avatar
John Oster
Posts: 631
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:59 pm

Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by John Oster » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:12 am

David Norton wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:07 am
The best adjective for either player's interpretation is "angry". Barely controlled rage.
His playing is often a bit aggressive, but yes, that performance does seem plain angry. As others have suggested, he might have not been feeling well or something. I've heard him play it live twice, and both were much more expressive and far cleaner, not to mention before he started playing Connor guitars! (They do sound a little better live--I just don't think they record well.)

I also agree that bashing a video like this is not the least bit constructive. Those of you who have made some harsh comments should post a live, unedited video of you playing it and let us critique it.
Kolya Panhuyzen 2012 cedar/Br

bodhisattva
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:32 pm

Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by bodhisattva » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:03 am

To whom it may concern,
1/ There is no mockery. There is no artist-bashing. My opinion is totally an honest expression of my thought about such a disastrous performance of "Chaconne".
2/ Before one can use the term "interpretation", the piece should at least be played with accurate notes. This performance contains so many broken notes, deaf notes, blurred notes and wrong notes (not to mention so many problems in tempo, phrasing, tone color, dynamics, etc...). So please don't pretend to say that this disastrous performance is a personal or unique "interpretation"!
Last edited by bodhisattva on Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Denian Arcoleo
Composer
Posts: 6293
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 3:39 pm
Location: Somerset, England

Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:24 am

This idea that criticism of a performance should only be engaged in by those capable of performing better is quite simply childish.

Rasqeo
Posts: 475
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:51 am

Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Rasqeo » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:56 am

Denian Arcoleo wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:24 am
This idea that criticism of a performance should only be engaged in by those capable of performing better is quite simply childish.
True. At the same time though, there will be some people here criticising who are completely ignorant. Like people who criticise a great piece of modern art because they “don’t get it”. Their opinion reveals nothing but their own ignorance and in fact it’s not really criticism in any meaningful sense. It’s more a banal exhortation, like when someone says, “I don’t like tomatoes”. Okay, but so what?

The idea that someone should only criticise if they are capable of performing better presumably comes from a desire that the person prove their credentials, i.e. that they show they might at least have some idea of what they are talking about. One of the problems with people posting anonymously on the internet is that literally anyone can be an armchair critic. The opinion of a complete beginner who has heard the Chaconne a handful of times is not as equally valid as someone who has spent their whole life studying and performing the piece. However, many people nowadays seem to think their opinions are equally valid, even if they are complete nonesense.

Rather than wasting their time expressing their ignorant opinions on the internet those people would do well to to try to understand what Fisk might be doing with this interpretation, even though it might not be to their taste.

Dirck Nagy
Posts: 885
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:47 pm
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Dirck Nagy » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:39 am

Rasqeo wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:56 am
...At the same time though, there will be some people here criticising who are completely ignorant. Like people who criticise a great piece of modern art because they “don’t get it”. Their opinion reveals nothing but their own ignorance and in fact it’s not really criticism in any meaningful sense. It’s more a banal exhortation, like when someone says, “I don’t like tomatoes”. Okay, but so what?
Well, not understanding a work of Art is a little more complicated than not liking tomatoes. The concept of Art usually implies some sort of communication between the artist and their audience. They may not "get it", but that's not always their problem! Criticism by the "ignorant" can still contain some very profound meaning: "You failed to engage me" is a serious allegation!

What can we say of the artist's own expectations and discernment when they (metaphorically) try reading the Kalevala to a Sanskrit scholar?


cheers!
dirck

Rasqeo
Posts: 475
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:51 am

Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Rasqeo » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:49 am

Dirck Nagy wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:39 am
Rasqeo wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:56 am
...At the same time though, there will be some people here criticising who are completely ignorant. Like people who criticise a great piece of modern art because they “don’t get it”. Their opinion reveals nothing but their own ignorance and in fact it’s not really criticism in any meaningful sense. It’s more a banal exhortation, like when someone says, “I don’t like tomatoes”. Okay, but so what?
Well, not understanding a work of Art is a little more complicated than not liking tomatoes. The concept of Art usually implies some sort of communication between the artist and their audience. They may not "get it", but that's not always their problem! Criticism by the "ignorant" can still contain some very profound meaning: "You failed to engage me" is a serious allegation!

What can we say of the artist's own expectations and discernment when they (metaphorically) try reading the Kalevala to a Sanskrit scholar?


cheers!
dirck
Depends what the intentions of the artist are. Not all is meant to to be easy to understand or to even be understood at all in any literal way. But I take your point general point. You could argue that if Fisk were a little more concerned with precision in his playing he might reach more people who are otherwise alienated from the start. I do wonder how many people actually watched the full performance of his Chaconne rather than dismissing it after the first opening few bars.

User avatar
Denian Arcoleo
Composer
Posts: 6293
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 3:39 pm
Location: Somerset, England

Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:54 am

.
Last edited by Denian Arcoleo on Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

Rasqeo
Posts: 475
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:51 am

Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Rasqeo » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:46 am

It’s clear to me that the performance is all about intensity and drama and this is achieved through the high dynamic level and tempo. I hear more dynamic variation than you suggest but I agree he is pushing the limits of the instrument. However, I would not describes these as musical ‘problems’. Are you suggesting Denian that they are not intentional interpretative musical choices by Fisk?

User avatar
Denian Arcoleo
Composer
Posts: 6293
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 3:39 pm
Location: Somerset, England

Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:14 am

.
Last edited by Denian Arcoleo on Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

Rasqeo
Posts: 475
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:51 am

Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Rasqeo » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:46 am

It wouldn’t rate as one of my favourite performances of the piece but for people to dismiss it as “nonesense” and “disastrous”, especially when some of those people are fellow musicians and performers who should frankly know better, is pretty shameful. I wonder how they would feel if people were equally rude and dismissive of their work. Who needs enemies, eh, when you’ve got people on Internet forums spewing crap about your work?

Return to “Public Space”