Rognvald wrote: ↑Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:01 pm"Hi Rognvald - Which classical musicians specifically are you referring to? Professional ones? for example Classical Guitarists? Pianists, Violinists? Conductors? Composers? " Cipher
Great question and now I really bit off a hunk of bistec! I'm going to try to keep this simple because I could write a book about my feelings on this subject.
Music is communication. Unless it is computer-generated, Music is created by human beings. If you are a human being who "plays" music, your music should be distinctive . . . just like the human voice. As a young arrogant person(who me?) in my youth, I believe I had a natural talent for performance and even at a young age, a unique sound/voice. At age 12, I played my first live performance(s) and no . .. I was NOT a child prodigy--I just had a feel for the music!
In fact, in my arrogance as a young person, I believed quite soon that I knew better than my teachers and after taking lessons for a short while on guitar and saxophone, I quit formal study and began working on my own. I obsessively listened to the musicians I Ioved in Jazz and R and B(at that time) and tried to emulate them while working with many different bands. It was in these early years that I realized that when we play a musical instrument we are, in fact, speaking with our own unique voice, albeit, through a musical instrument.
In my early twenties, I experienced some of the shortcomings of being largely self-taught and returned with a vengeance to study Classical performance(sax/flute) as well as Theory, Composition, and Arranging at the Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt University in Chicago as a non-degree student and it was at this time that I noticed there was a great deal of difference between the Classical guys at Roosevelt I was meeting and those I performed with musically.
The first thing I noticed was that when they talked, it was always about conquering this piece or that piece as if the music was a mountain or playing a certain difficult passage at a breakneck tempo. As they paraded their repertoire, it was always about its technical difficulty as a composition not as the beauty or magic of the composer's voice and what they could say in its performance. And, for the most part, it was not instrument-selective although I would say some of the violinists/cellists and one pianist did not fall into that pejorative category. And, as I advanced with my studies, I was even more convinced that Music is Communication, not gymnastics.
So, I could write a list of active CG's, Conductors, Composers, musicians, in general, who have achieved great success I do not like, but I would rather tell you who I do admire and consider musicians so that you can see, musically, where I fall:
Guitarists: Roland Dyens, Marcin Dylla, Yamandu Costa, Ricardo Gallen, Judicael Perroy, Pavel Steidel, Segovia, Per-Olav Kindgren, The Assads, Edson Lopes;
Pianists: Rubenstein,Freddy Kempf, Horowitz, Wilhelm Kempff; Violinists: Heifitz, Kreisler, Stern;
Cello: Casals, Rostropovich;
Conductors: Fritz Reiner, Bruno Walter, Furtwangler, Toscanini; Composers: Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Wagner, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Paganini, Tarrega, Villa Lobos, Sor, Mertz, Aguado, Ponce, Barrios, Albeniz, etc.
These are the voices that represent my concept of Music. I'm certain I missed a few but I think you will get a good idea of where I stand. I hope this answers your question, Cipher. Playing again . . . Rognvald
Rognvald thank you for such a great personal and informative post!
From your initial words about classical musicians lacking feeling I was scared that you were going to say you don't like any classical musicians and composers at all but then you listed so many great ones and I'm totally relieved! All I can say is you have excellent taste! All the musicians you listed I love and admire as well.
I was at Freddy Kempf's first debut recital over 20 years ago for Young Concert Artists when he won back in the 1990's - I'll never forget how beautifully he played that evening, truly a moving emotional experience!
I noticed that you didn't list Herbert Von Karajan as one of your favorite conductors - may I suggest listening to his 1971 recording of Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony #6 with the Berlin Phil, a truly unforgettably gorgeous & powerful performance that will stay with you forever!
Thanks again, Cipher