Sorry this is a rant

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: Sorry this is a rant

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:45 pm

I just want to say that, despite the solo guitars limitations, a great duo removes most of those limits, if not all. For example, check out the Montenegran duo's amazing recent recording of Bach's English suites, fabulous stuff. The way a pianist plays these suites (eg Pogorelich) is simply impossible on one guitar, but these guys together can approach that level.

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Re: Sorry this is a rant

Post by Rognvald » Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:27 pm

I had a friend of mine that always dated short, voluptuous blondes. He eventually married one. Why should one's choice of a musical instrument be any different than one's choice of a partner? There are some who are captivated by the CG, others the piano. I don't think the vastness of piano literature or its loud, percussive potentials have anything to do with it. Some men prefer blondes, others brunettes. Playing again . . . Rognvald

P.S. And, in my opinion, the vastness and beauty of music written for CG could never be exhausted in any serious musicians lifetime.
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Francisco
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Re: Sorry this is a rant

Post by Francisco » Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:55 pm

I agree with the opening post that the frequent complaints about a destitute guitar repertoire and composers ignoring the guitar with such cruel scorn and so on, are groundless (and perhaps slightly reminiscent of whimpering children).

The question is, compared to what? Why compare it always to the piano? Does anyone know the suffering of xylophonists, accordionists, mandolinists, and countless other instruments, when in the long winter nights they reflect about the relative lack of solo repertoire for their dear instruments? Has anyone heard them complain?

By the way, once a popular song, or a piece of music written for another instrument, is competently arranged for guitar, it becomes also part of the guitar repertoire in its own right. So the notion that the guitar repertoire is anemic is not based on any factual reality.

In since the guitar lends itself very well to the friendly pilfering and arranging of music not directly written for her, the complainers should rather rejoice in this fact, instead of lamenting how poor the repertoire is. And those who truly feel dissatisfied with the available repertoire, should get to work if they have talent and start transcribing music for the guitar. Or even better, start composing.
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ddray
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Re: Sorry this is a rant

Post by ddray » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:26 pm

julian94 wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:02 am
If i'm my arguments are not enough to make you understand i can also quote other people: "Music should humbly seek to please; within these limits great beauty may perhaps be found. Extreme complication is contrary to art. Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part." C. Debussy
Debussy, the pianist, the composer of difficult and virtuosic piano works like the Preludes, Études and Estampes.
From my part i can fearlessly say that i "hate" virtuosity. It's the greatest enemy of music the same way as a lack of technique or impossibility to interpret a musical piece. In this respect, this kind of exuberant and virtuous romantic music for me, especially that embodied for a piano, is a big lie and a misleading gimmick.
You "hate virtuosity". So how do you feel about Bach's Goldberg Variations, English Suites and keyboard Partitas? How about the solo violin and cello works? What about Beethoven's piano sonatas? Chopin's preludes and etudes?

I love "music". I'm not a partisan for any instrument, although the piano is my "first love" in that that's what I first learned and what I know best. But that doesn't blind me to the piano's limitations, and I don't have to denigrate some other instrument in order to puff the piano up. Facts are facts. You can't *really* play legato on a piano. Really rapid tremolo is likewise problematic. At the same time, you can't play a complex six part fugue on guitar. Or a Beethoven or Haydn sonata, without having to do some disfiguring pruning to the music. It's just stupid and seems like sour grapes to try to minimize the piano repertoire, and the reason for it, just to try to maximize the guitar's greatness. It's also musically naive.

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Re: Sorry this is a rant

Post by julian94 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:12 pm

ddray wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:26 pm
You "hate virtuosity". So how do you feel about Bach's Goldberg Variations, English Suites and keyboard Partitas? How about the solo violin and cello works? What about Beethoven's piano sonatas? Chopin's preludes and etudes?
I "hate" virtuosity as long as it's the only thing i feel i'm supposed to admire. It may sound cliche but its just the same as always... technique and virtuosity should serve the music, not viceversa. I think its important to understand this. So I have no problem with virtuosity as long as im feeling the real musical experience. With piano and violin, too many times, the real difference is not clear for me. Something is missing. Well... l im honest enough to admit that in spite of Bach being the great composer of Goldberg variations, the french and english suites... I still get more musical experience and pleasure listening to Yepes, Segovia or Bream, for example. Maybe im just honest? or... Im only a bad listener who cant get real pleasure and concentration listening to the Goldberg variations or Chopin the same way as when i listen to Manen Fantasia op A- 22 played by Segovia, to put an example? Who knows.
ddray wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:26 pm
I love "music". I'm not a partisan for any instrument, although the piano is my "first love" in that that's what I first learned and what I know best. But that doesn't blind me to the piano's limitations, and I don't have to denigrate some other instrument in order to puff the piano up. Facts are facts. You can't *really* play legato on a piano. Really rapid tremolo is likewise problematic. At the same time, you can't play a complex six part fugue on guitar. Or a Beethoven or Haydn sonata, without having to do some disfiguring pruning to the music. It's just stupid and seems like sour grapes to try to minimize the piano repertoire, and the reason for it, just to try to maximize the guitar's greatness. It's also musically naive.
Im being 100% genuine. I love the piano and i even played it for a couple of years (compared to c. guitar playing the piano is a joke. Very easy). But the greatest and most genuine classical musical experiences ive ever had have been with the c. guitar AND (this has to be said) with the Big Three: Narciso Yepes, Julian Bream and Andres Segovia. (These are the important figures for me.)

Therefore, dont think of me as some kind of classical guitar fanatic of fanboy. Im just being genuine. I feel like c. guitar sound goes straight to my heart. I still dont really understand why or how. The key is that its an instrument that only admits pure music, without too many ornamentations and gimmicks. It knows how to exploit the power of simplicity (purity) to the maximum, and this also applies to virtuous c. guitar music, of course.

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Re: Sorry this is a rant

Post by Lovemyguitar » Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:42 pm

"When I meet people who are passionate about the guitar to the exclusion of every other kind of music, it irritates me profoundly, because guitar music is after all limited in its scope, musically speaking. There is no piece of guitar music that has the formal beauty of a piano sonata by Mozart, or the richly worked out ideas and passion of a late Beethoven string quartet, or for that matter the beautiful mellifluous poetry of a Chopin Ballade. The guitar literature is not something to extol, to cherish. But it is perfectly adequate, if you know how to handle it... For my own purposes, I don't need to perform profound music in order to say what I want to say. On the contrary, I find that simple guitar music is a good vehicle for my musical utterances -- such as they are. I know that I can invest unsophisticated, naive, even corny guitar music with a poetry which can entice the ear, and with it create an experience that is perfectly valid for present-day musical circumstances."

-- Julian Bream (p. 195, A Life on the Road)

:wink:

ddray
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Re: Sorry this is a rant

Post by ddray » Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:13 pm

julian94 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:12 pm

...
Im being 100% genuine. I love the piano and i even played it for a couple of years (compared to c. guitar playing the piano is a joke. Very easy).
Uh, hold up. :lol: I've seen that idea expressed quite a few times on this forum and what it tells me is that the one expressing it probably didn't go very far with the piano. They'll learn some scales and chords and think "wow, compared to the contortions you have to go through sometimes on a guitar, this is easy!" But easy stuff on a guitar is easy, and difficult stuff is difficult. Same with the piano. Believe me, playing this is *not* easy:


But the greatest and most genuine classical musical experiences ive ever had have been with the c. guitar AND (this has to be said) with the Big Three: Narciso Yepes, Julian Bream and Andres Segovia. (These are the important figures for me.)

Therefore, dont think of me as some kind of classical guitar fanatic of fanboy. Im just being genuine. I feel like c. guitar sound goes straight to my heart. I still dont really understand why or how. The key is that its an instrument that only admits pure music, without too many ornamentations and gimmicks. It knows how to exploit the power of simplicity (purity) to the maximum, and this also applies to virtuous c. guitar music, of course.
Well that is a matter of taste, and you're entitled to it of course. But I'd say there's some guitar music that isn't entirely "pure" and has its share of ornamentation and gimmicks. For example, some *could* consider rasgueado to be a "gimmick" just as you probably consider Liszt's rapid chromatic scales and octaves to be one.
(Edit)...we can go even further, come to think of it. Albéniz took what some could call a guitar "gimmick", imitated it in a piano piece, and then guitarists adapted it back to the guitar again. Which one is more "pure" and free from ornamentation? I'd say neither. I like both versions.

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: Sorry this is a rant

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:46 pm

julian94 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:12 pm

I "hate" virtuosity as long as it's the only thing i feel i'm supposed to admire. It may sound cliche but its just the same as always... technique and virtuosity should serve the music, not viceversa. I think its important to understand this. So I have no problem with virtuosity as long as im feeling the real musical experience. With piano and violin, too many times, the real difference is not clear for me. Something is missing. Well... l im honest enough to admit that in spite of Bach being the great composer of Goldberg variations, the french and english suites... I still get more musical experience and pleasure listening to Yepes, Segovia or Bream, for example. Maybe im just honest? or... Im only a bad listener who cant get real pleasure and concentration listening to the Goldberg variations or Chopin the same way as when i listen to Manen Fantasia op A- 22 played by Segovia, to put an example? Who knows.
It's love! You are in love with the sound and the feel of the guitar. I love it too (naturally) but as I've grown older I've also grown a little more objective. Check out Julian Bream's comment in the quote a few posts up. That's just realism.

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Re: Sorry this is a rant

Post by julian94 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:03 pm

ddray wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:13 pm

Uh, hold up. :lol: I've seen that idea expressed quite a few times on this forum and what it tells me is that the one expressing it probably didn't go very far with the piano. They'll learn some scales and chords and think "wow, compared to the contortions you have to go through sometimes on a guitar, this is easy!" But easy stuff on a guitar is easy, and difficult stuff is difficult. Same with the piano. Believe me, playing this is *not* easy:

Well... that's just too advanced. But in my case, for example, without ever having played the piano i managed to play the first part of the Allemande of Bach from BWV 826 without mistakes. It's true, i've had played the guitar before and i already had some experience for performing. But at that moment i realized how easy the piano is compared to other instruments like the guitar and also the violin. It's just a percussive instrument, just press the key. Almost as easy as using a keyboard. One only needs memory and coordination. I've NEVER ever played a guitar piece without making mistakes. Absolutely never. It's almost impossible for me.
ddray wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:13 pm
Well that is a matter of taste, and you're entitled to it of course. But I'd say there's some guitar music that isn't entirely "pure" and has its share of ornamentation and gimmicks. For example, some *could* consider rasgueado to be a "gimmick" just as you probably consider Liszt's rapid chromatic scales and octaves to be one.
(Edit)...we can go even further, come to think of it. Albéniz took what some could call a guitar "gimmick", imitated it in a piano piece, and then guitarists adapted it back to the guitar again. Which one is more "pure" and free from ornamentation? I'd say neither. I like both versions.
No, i'm seriously talking about purity. Guitar only admits pure music. Even bad or boring pure music. That's i thinkt he main reason of why the guitar has been so isolated. Because it's an extremely difficult instrument from a technical and musical point of view. And this not only for composing purposes of course but also for the performance.

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Re: Sorry this is a rant

Post by ddray » Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:22 pm

julian94 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:03 pm
One only needs memory and coordination.
That's all you need to play *any* instrument, except of course you also need breath for woodwinds and brass.
No, i'm seriously talking about purity. Guitar only admits pure music. Even bad or boring pure music. ...
Well now it appears you're close to saying that if it ain't coming from a guitar then it can't be "pure". Sorry, but I can think of some "impure" guitar music, and you can't get much more musically "pure" than the Goldbergs. If it's "bad or boring" I don't see how it can be "pure".
The bottom line is all instruments require skill, and those with any sort of repertoire will have their own subtleties.

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Re: Sorry this is a rant

Post by Francisco » Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:18 pm

No, i'm seriously talking about purity. Guitar only admits pure music. Even bad or boring pure music. ...
You keep talking about purity. It would be nice if there were some test we could use to determine if a given piece of music is pure or impure.

Purity is a useful concept especially in chemistry and fields related. It may protect consumers from being poisoned by greedy food makers, and that is very useful. But when the idea of purity is loosely applied to ethics and aesthetics, it quickly becomes meaningless (at best), and sometimes it can become very dangerous, it can in fact become a poison itself.

Here is a quote attributing Satanic origins to the notion of purity.
“Purity is the malign inversion of innocence. Innocence is love of being, smiling acceptance of both celestial and earthly sustenance, ignorance of the infernal antithesis between purity and impurity. Satan has turned this spontaneous and as it were native saintliness into a caricature which resembles him and is the converse of its original. Purity is horror of life, hatred of man, morbid passion for the void. A chemically pure body has undergone barbaric treatment in order to arrive at that state, which is absolutely against nature. A man hag-ridden by the demon of purity sows ruin and death around him. Religious purification, political purges, preservation of racial purity-there are numerous variations on this atrocious theme, but all issue with monotonous regularity in countless crimes whose favourite instrument is fire, symbol of purity and symbol of hell.”

Michel Tournier
The Erl-King, p. 70
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Re: Sorry this is a rant

Post by musicbyandy » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:38 pm

montana wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:09 am
I've read several times . .I wish guitar had as much beautiful music to offer as piano . Seriously . Does that mean you have mastered every piece of music in guitar. There are hundreds of guitar pieces that I would love to master. I will never play a fraction of them . So there might as well be 100,000 pieces because I will never play those either .
I do not believe that the statement, “I wish guitar had as much beautiful music to offer as piano.” means that a person has mastered every piece of music in guitar.

I think the statement might mean that a person doesn’t believe that guitar has as much beautiful music to offer as the piano has beautiful music to offer.

If one were to compare the number of pieces for piano quintet to the number of pieces for guitar quintet, it seems likely to me that the number of pieces for piano quintet is so much greater than the number of pieces for guitar quintet that the likelihood of a person who finds piano quintets to be beautiful will lead to the person finding more pieces for piano quintet that the person finds beautiful than the number of pieces for guitar quintet that the person finds beautiful.

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Re: Sorry this is a rant

Post by ddray » Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:51 am

julian94 wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:02 am
...
It's obvious that the piano has more power than the guitar. But good guitar recordings are just.... out of this world. It's music at its very very purest. In such cases the piano is obvious that will never be able to sing the same as the guitar. "The piano does not sing!" said Stravinsky. I couldn't agree more.
I would agree with that, but I'm not so sure that the guitar (or lute, for that matter) can "sing" much better. The two (or three) instruments share a weakness in a relatively quick note decay. The violin family instruments, with the bow serving as "breath", are singers par excellence. Some woodwinds too, like the oboe, flute and recorder, are much better "singers" than the piano and guitar. The guitar has a lovely tone though and is harmonically interesting. As *instruments* I'd say the cello and guitar are 1 and 2 for me, with piano in 3rd place. As *devices for playing music*, piano's on top because of the music available to play and the richer harmonic possibilities of the keyboard.

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Re: Sorry this is a rant

Post by Juan del Bosque » Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:10 am

Seems like guitar tremolo can sing with a depth unattainable on any other instrument..

As for piano, wasn't that one of Chopin's enduring legacies: pieces that--with a heck a lot of practice--give the piano a voice that soars?

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Re: Sorry this is a rant

Post by ddray » Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:13 am

Juan del Bosque wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:10 am
Seems like guitar tremolo can sing with a depth unattainable on any other instrument..
I don't think there's any way a guitar can compete with tremolo executed on a bowed instrument. It's a very good effect on guitar though and requires a lot of skill, obviously. But: I'm not so sure that tremolo has a "singing" quality, any more than an arpeggio played rapidly has.
As for piano, wasn't that one of Chopin's enduring legacies: pieces that--with a heck a lot of practice--give the piano a voice that soars?
I think Chopin gave the "illusion" of song-like, cantabile melody.

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