The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

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Tonit
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Tonit » Sun May 12, 2019 11:35 pm

Hi bodhisattva,
bodhisattva wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 10:28 pm
I did NOT write those remarks. All those remarks was written by Bryan Townsend.

Please read his full article here:
http://themusicsalon.blogspot.com/2015/ ... -fisk.html
Thank you for inviting.
I guess I knew who wrote all that by the time I responded.
I incorporate the same to whoever listed these, knowing that you have bought it.
Hopefully my so doing will let you explore by yourself without prejudging based on the list, if EF or whoever is significant in your life before copy-and-pasting the article like FB or otherwise.

Basically there has been a rivalry at the backdrop if you noticed that won't give him the best position to write about EF in the first place.

Sorry but I cannot and should not agree with the list, and rather can and should recommend you to dismiss it for your own benefit, because what it basically says is, you are wasting time listening to him, which I oppose in my belief that the critics never do the job for you to find something of value out of the pool. You can listen to critics like car radio that you don't care so much, but finally you yourself have to do it always with extensive efforts. Here we have discussions and dialogues in a constructive manner hopefully, not just criticizing or taking votes.

I would rather write and write again but have no time so please understand there is highly likely politics and business coming as a set with critics. Even some shootings near your town could be used for politics that might affect gun businesses as the news media would decide not to work as your eyes and ears in a desired impartial manner.

Cheers,

Stephen Faulk
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Stephen Faulk » Mon May 13, 2019 1:00 am

I noticed a few things:

The blogger seemed pretty intent on writing a 'hit' piece on Fisk.

Two things that flagged me, among about ten or a dozen other things he wrote that seemed odd. He cited comments on You Tube to rate a performance, something I would never do. You Tube users can't be vetted for knowledge of the subject and a recording of a live performance often doesn't communicate what the artist was doing. So even if you are discontented by a performance, writing about without having actually been there is a dubious take on the situation.

He mentioned that, or boasted that he and Fisk come from the first generation of Westerners that went to Europe to study and came back to begin guitar programs. That is not true and without getting into the facts of why, it disqualified him as a reliable narrator to a great degree in my mind because the comment was untrue and set up the critique as competitive. The competitiveness continued as a subtext in the writing.

On the guitar, I would have to hear Fisk play that particular guitar in a room with the player playing to that room, and then hear a few recordings of the same guitar recorded by different equipment to get an idea of how the guitar should actually sound in a good recording. You Tube is notorious for dumbing down the sound of instruments, especially if recorded live at a college by student engineers who might not even be guitar savvy on how to record a live instrument. Guitar are difficult to record in uncontrolled conditions.

On the Britten, hey I have heard people go after the Ginastera Sonata in a crunchy way and no one will think twice. Considering that Britten lived through the Blitz, like thousands of other artists from Britain and that London and environs still bear scars of the bombing, that the fear of it is still in living memory I have no problem with any artist going after Britten with that kind of anxiety displayed in certain passages. My imagination is elastic enough to go with that. And I think of Britten as an edgy sounding composer in many works. We don't ask Lucian Freud or Francis Bacon to be less discordant, why do we think Britten is all sweetness and light?


Mainly my unanswered question is about the guitar, I'd be happy to hear it in person.

Ah let me not forget the old canard, the blogger states that Fisk must me a horrible teacher and is a crime he's let loose on students- I already addressed that earlier saying that many of the great teachers don't always play the way you assume they should. Some of the artists that we think are spot on with interpretation aren't good teachers. So that argument gets thrown out of my court, it's too much to assume.

These are all cautionary flag points about why bringing judgment from You Tube video is problematic. Whether or not anyone likes Fisk at this point is not even interesting to me ; The problem is more about the willingness to condemn based on You Tube video evidence. It's third hand information.
Patience at the bending iron pays in rounded dividends!

bodhisattva
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by bodhisattva » Tue May 14, 2019 1:25 am

Stephen Faulk wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 1:00 am
I noticed a few things:
The blogger seemed pretty intent on writing a 'hit' piece on Fisk...
He mentioned that, or boasted that he and Fisk come from the first generation of Westerners that went to Europe to study and came back to begin guitar programs. That is not true and without getting into the facts of why, it disqualified him as a reliable narrator to a great degree in my mind because the comment was untrue and set up the critique as competitive. The competitiveness continued as a subtext in the writing.
1/ Bryan Townsend wrote: "Eliot Fisk and I come from the same generation of classical guitarists, that is, the first generation of players from the Western Hemisphere to study in Europe as students and come back to initiate guitar programs in the Americas. In Eliot's case, he was a student at Yale and was later asked to begin a guitar program there. In my case, I was a student at the University of Victoria and was later asked to begin their guitar program."

What is "not true" about it? Please explain.


2/ By the way, Bryan Townsend is not only a "blogger".
He is a guitarist and composer who wrote a large set of songs for voice and guitar on poems by Robert Graves, Wallace Stevens, Victor Hugo, Rilke, Aristophanes, Anna Akhmatova, Roethke, Li Po, John Donne and Philip Larkin. Catalogue includes two suites for solo guitar, chamber music for violin, viola and guitar, two guitars and harpsichord and other combinations including three pieces for guitar orchestra published by Guitarissimo of Stockholm, Sweden. He also wrote an overture and three symphonies. Bryan Townsend is also an author whose publications include two books of pedagogy for guitar, one on technique and the other on playing Bach, which included eight new transcriptions for guitar. Et cetera.

Stephen Faulk
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Stephen Faulk » Tue May 14, 2019 3:03 am

bodhisattva wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 1:25 am
Stephen Faulk wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 1:00 am
I noticed a few things:
The blogger seemed pretty intent on writing a 'hit' piece on Fisk...
He mentioned that, or boasted that he and Fisk come from the first generation of Westerners that went to Europe to study and came back to begin guitar programs. That is not true and without getting into the facts of why, it disqualified him as a reliable narrator to a great degree in my mind because the comment was untrue and set up the critique as competitive. The competitiveness continued as a subtext in the writing.
1/ Bryan Townsend wrote: "Eliot Fisk and I come from the same generation of classical guitarists, that is, the first generation of players from the Western Hemisphere to study in Europe as students and come back to initiate guitar programs in the Americas. In Eliot's case, he was a student at Yale and was later asked to begin a guitar program there. In my case, I was a student at the University of Victoria and was later asked to begin their guitar program."

What is "not true" about it? Please explain.


2/ By the way, Bryan Townsend is not only a "blogger".
He is a guitarist and composer who wrote a large set of songs for voice and guitar on poems by Robert Graves, Wallace Stevens, Victor Hugo, Rilke, Aristophanes, Anna Akhmatova, Roethke, Li Po, John Donne and Philip Larkin. Catalogue includes two suites for solo guitar, chamber music for violin, viola and guitar, two guitars and harpsichord and other combinations including three pieces for guitar orchestra published by Guitarissimo of Stockholm, Sweden. He also wrote an overture and three symphonies. Bryan Townsend is also an author whose publications include two books of pedagogy for guitar, one on technique and the other on playing Bach, which included eight new transcriptions for guitar. Et cetera.

The Western Hemisphere includes Mexico,Central and South America, so if he’s positive that South Americans didn’t go study with people like Pujol for example and begin academic programs in Mexico etc. then ok - and the first American from the US won Compostela competition in 1968 and returned to begin a program in the US. And so on.

Anyone who is that good aught to know better than to cite You Tube- you why arguments in a academia are so petty? It’s because the stakes are so low.

Sometimes blogs are just opinions published in public and they are causal talk, not fact checked, fast and loose. Nothing wrong with that, over all you get a flavor for the writers way of reading the world. It doesn’t mean a blog is gospel, it’s just a fragment of the way someone thinks.

And finally, it reeks of sour grapes in the sense that he tears him down as a teacher without having been in contact with him and only meeting him once 35 years ago.

I’m just keeping it real. I’ve worked in academia too, I know how it is. Brilliant people have insecurities and foibles and it doesn’t make their accomplishments any less interesting or positive. Artists are generally messed up people. I’ve worked in departments with other professors who are raving mad, arrogant, frauds, mean, generous, loving and super neurotic. They are just artists in a world that pretty much doesn’t want us.
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Dirck Nagy
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Dirck Nagy » Wed May 15, 2019 4:51 pm

bodhisattva wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 1:25 am
...
2/ By the way, Bryan Townsend is not only a "blogger".
He is a guitarist and composer who wrote a large set of songs for voice and guitar on poems by Robert Graves, Wallace Stevens, Victor Hugo, Rilke, Aristophanes, Anna Akhmatova, Roethke, Li Po, John Donne and Philip Larkin. Catalogue includes two suites for solo guitar, chamber music for violin, viola and guitar, two guitars and harpsichord and other combinations including three pieces for guitar orchestra published by Guitarissimo of Stockholm, Sweden. He also wrote an overture and three symphonies. Bryan Townsend is also an author whose publications include two books of pedagogy for guitar, one on technique and the other on playing Bach, which included eight new transcriptions for guitar. Et cetera.
OK, he has credentials. So what? It still reads like a "hit piece."
Tonit wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 10:51 am
...remarks that you have compiled would be more likely to be dismissed by many guitarists who are aware of some things are "too good to be true" and the others are "too bad to be true" out of any critics.
Stephen Faulk wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 3:03 am
...And finally, it reeks of sour grapes in the sense that he tears him down as a teacher without having been in contact with him and only meeting him once 35 years ago...
.
I read the blog entries relating to Eliot Fisk, and this was my reaction too. Unfortunate, because Mr Townsend seems to be an active writer, and could possibly have informative insights. But I don't have the time for the rivalries of jealous sopranos, so I'll direct my energies elsewhere, thank you very much.

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guitarrista
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by guitarrista » Wed May 15, 2019 8:43 pm

Agree with Stephen and Dirk.
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Lawler
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Lawler » Wed May 15, 2019 10:31 pm

Dirck Nagy wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 4:51 pm
...I don't have the time for the rivalries of jealous sopranos, so I'll direct my energies elsewhere, thank you very much.
Well said. I'm going to save that in my Quotes to Remember file.

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Peter Lovett
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Peter Lovett » Thu May 16, 2019 5:00 am

The following is a comment posted on a video on YouTube of John Williams playing the Chaconne and I copy it here not to highlight the comments about Williams or his playing but the comments regarding the Chaconne itself and the context in which it was written:
There is an underlying sadness to this music. Bach had returned to his home after a period away to find that his wife had died and had already been buried. This music was written in the time just after this loss and it is evident in almost every note. Many guitarists view, and use, this music to demonstrate their enviable skill on the guitar. Here John Williams is aloof, almost a spectator to his own playing; sitting outside himself guiding his spirit through his hands, unwavering and faithful, to the what is essentially an expression of deep sorrow by the composer; it really shows itself from 6:40 forward in just a few notes where this musician gives us here a hint of the loss felt by the composer at its writing. The volume of the strongest and the faintest notes in the score are delivered in such a way that one is never startled by some unexpected burst, a very difficult level of control to master. Around 10:40 and for several following bars the notes are almost caressed as wind would caress the leaves on a tree. The tempo is not leaping off the page but fading as if written in invisible ink and transferred magically to the strings under the guitarists fingertips. Having listened to this piece played by almost twenty different guitarists it is this particular playing of the piece, this particular video in fact, that comes right from the heart of Bach. It is only the humility and skill of Mr. Williams that is in the performance here, no pushing to the fore of self. A truly subtle performance of a truly magnificent piece of music by a truly gifted composer.
The comments were made by L.P. Pacelli.

When one applies that context to the performance by Mr Fisk one is forced to think that the underlying theme displayed is of anger rather than sadness and therefore the interpretation is wrong. Again, that is an opinion but at least it is one based on some substance.
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slidika
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by slidika » Thu May 16, 2019 11:10 am

I have watched a few vids of Mr. Fisk playing, and, generally speaking, don't care for his . . . um . . . style. As far as the Chaconne piece goes, my favorite version is Raphaella Smits' playing it on an 8-string guitar. Just my 2 cents . . .
Whenever I am not ready for my music lesson, I call it 'facing the music'.

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lagartija
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by lagartija » Thu May 16, 2019 12:31 pm

Peter Lovett wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 5:00 am

When one applies that context to the performance by Mr Fisk one is forced to think that the underlying theme displayed is of anger rather than sadness and therefore the interpretation is wrong. Again, that is an opinion but at least it is one based on some substance.
First, I do not like EF’s interpretation. That being said, I still offer the following thought.

People respond to grief in various ways. Who is to say that Bach was not angry in his grief as many are when someone they love and treasure has been taken from them? No one alive now was there at the time to witness his reactions and I haven’t in my reading of his biography got to that point in his life to see if any documents exist from those who knew him.
Like many people, when I listen to music and know a story about the composer, I still interpret the feelings the music evokes from how *I* would feel under the same circumstances as the composer. Perhaps EF pondered this and his anger is how *he* would have felt finding out his wife died and was buried while he was on tour.
This is why I don’t think his interpretation can be “wrong “, only one that I don’t share.
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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Thu May 16, 2019 12:56 pm

lagartija wrote:This is why I don’t think his interpretation can be “wrong “, only one that I don’t share.
That's probably as much as any of us can ever say.

It's also worth reminding the funerary elegy crowd that this idea is a modern construction, based on cirumstantial evidence long after the fact and not substantiated.

Criticism of a performer for apparently not founding their interpretation on such a speculative artifice is beyond pointless.

SteveL123
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by SteveL123 » Thu May 16, 2019 2:15 pm

lagartija wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 12:31 pm
(..................)
People respond to grief in various ways. Who is to say that Bach was not angry in his grief as many are when someone they love and treasure has been taken from them? (...............)
No one will know how Bach felt, if the story is true. Have you seen anger at funerals? I have not. Only someone deranged will, IMO.

Stephen Faulk
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Stephen Faulk » Thu May 16, 2019 3:50 pm

OMG!

Composers that didn’t annotate texts or scores didn’t leave any hints about how they felt! It’s complete speculation.

It’s no sound history to assume something about a historical figure felt about anything if they didn’t leave documentation.
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Tonit
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Tonit » Thu May 16, 2019 4:17 pm

Stephen Faulk wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 3:50 pm
OMG!

Composers that didn’t annotate texts or scores didn’t leave any hints about how they felt! It’s complete speculation.

It’s no sound history to assume something about a historical figure felt about anything if they didn’t leave documentation.
Right.

But even if the speculation is not right on the spot, isn't it close enough shooting from 3 centuries away?
It's not like a 6y.o. singing about breaking up with a girlfriend at least.
It's not the most disastrously off the mark, isn't it?

BTW I was furiously angry overwhelming sorrow upon two recent funerals.

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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by lagartija » Thu May 16, 2019 4:28 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 2:15 pm
lagartija wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 12:31 pm
(..................)
People respond to grief in various ways. Who is to say that Bach was not angry in his grief as many are when someone they love and treasure has been taken from them? (...............)
No one will know how Bach felt, if the story is true. Have you seen anger at funerals? I have not. Only someone deranged will, IMO.
At the funeral, no....but in the loneliness of the home when everyone else has gone back to their own lives ...yes.
Do you think what people show at the funeral is the extent of the feelings they have?
Are they deranged? No, of course not.
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