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I had no idea how to phrase this differently.

What is something that you hear almost every pianist do in a certain piece, that pisses you off, or irritates you?

For me, it's everyone rushing through the "Appassionato possibile" arpeggios in the climax of the Liszt Norma paraphrase. Not just random pianists; great pianists.

Why, why, WHY is it necessary to rush through the most powerful moment (well, moments, because it happens twice) in the piece at 2x the speed than before? Why??? (Tozer does it the least, and I love him for that. William Wolfram, as far as I can remember, is also tremendous in this piece; his interpretations of Liszt paraphrases are divine.)

Anyway; i'm interested to see what everyone else's (or someone else's) pet peeves are.

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I wouldn't call it a "pet peeve" but I am aware - and not impressed when it's overdone - that some pianists are inclined to play the left hand a fraction before the right hand, even though both should come together, particularly on the beat. This happens more often in Romantic literature and, at times, can actually be effective when used quite sparingly. When overdone, it becomes a slightly annoying mannerism.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by BruceD
I wouldn't call it a "pet peeve" but I am aware - and not impressed when it's overdone - that some pianists are inclined to play the left hand a fraction before the right hand, even though both should come together, particularly on the beat. This happens more often in Romantic literature and, at times, can actually be effective when used quite sparingly. When overdone, it becomes a slightly annoying mannerism.
Are you thinking of pianists playing before the public now or mostly those from an earlier generation?

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I have a particular piece of music in mind, and I only really enjoy Pollini's interpretation of it. Brendel, for example, and he is not alone, ruins it. But I think this is highly personal.

I am also getting more and more annoyed with cloying sentimentality. I'm impressed when a performer maintains a near-danceable feel while also doing justice to the emotional content. I guess restraint is what I'm talking about.


Only in men's imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life. -Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski
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I do not like when people play too slowly. I tend to like tempos that are on the more aggressive side. I’m not saying that everything needs to be at breakneck speed, but I don’t like when things drag if that makes sense.

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Not enough 'dotting' of the dotted rhythms in the first section of Chopin's Fantaisie in F minor.

Most people don't even not-dot them enough; they play them as though they were flat-out triplets.

I know that some people think that's what the dotting means....

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........Having just held forth about a thing not being taken literally enough, here's one about a thing which IMO is taken too literally.
Or actually, I should say, too simplistically literally:

Playing the staccatos in the opening of Beethoven's 4th Concerto too much like staccato stacattos.

I don't think they are.

Like, this is with staccato staccatos, i.e. "wrong" (IMO), or maybe I should just put it this way: I don't like it. grin



(Ouch!!!!!!)


.....and here it is, "right," even though it's GLENN GOULD (for Chrissake!) playing it not "staccato staccato" -- Glenn Gould, of all people:



......although I could do without him playing it so FORTE.
I mean, looks to me like it says "p" and "dolce," but maybe that's just me. grin


Here's someone who 'doesn't do a bad job' putting it all together grin .....maybe another irony, what with the gentle staccato and the softer dynamic: It's Lang Lang.


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I dislike that in the Rondo movement of Beethoven's 'Waldstein' sonata, most pianists ignore the "Alegretto Moderato" marking and play it at a rushed, allegro tempo. This results in a horrid Cm episode that is blurred and the drama is diminished. Additionally, the prestissimo coda must be played at a ridiculous speed if it is to be as surprising as Beethoven likely intended it to be.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by BruceD
I wouldn't call it a "pet peeve" but I am aware - and not impressed when it's overdone - that some pianists are inclined to play the left hand a fraction before the right hand, even though both should come together, particularly on the beat. This happens more often in Romantic literature and, at times, can actually be effective when used quite sparingly. When overdone, it becomes a slightly annoying mannerism.
Are you thinking of pianists playing before the public now or mostly those from an earlier generation?

I am thinking of current generation pianists doing this. I realize that into the early part of the twentieth century this was an accepted performance practice, so it needs to be tolerated as such in its historical context.

Regards,


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Pointing at myself, I can sometimes rubato too much, and particularly when listening to a recording of my playing think "grrr...that is not an interpretation I enjoy hearing". So, work on taking some of that out.

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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
[quote=BruceD]I wouldn't call it a "pet peeve" but I am aware - and not impressed when it's overdone - that some pianists are inclined to play the left hand a fraction before the right hand, even though both should come together, particularly on the beat. This happens more often in Romantic literature and, at times, can actually be effective when used quite sparingly. When overdone, it becomes a slightly annoying mannerism.
Are you thinking of pianists playing before the public now or mostly those from an earlier generation?
I'm curious which present day pianist you feel do this LH before RH. I haven't really noticed it for this group of pianists although if a pianists does it only very occasionally I may not realize it.

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Tearing through a Joplin rag at breakneck speed. A few of them work at a pretty hot pace but most of them are better if you dial it back a bit and let the melodies sing.

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And the LH before RH idea, I noticed that on a recording of Rachmaninoff himself playing his Elegie Op 3 no 1. It adds a subtle textural dimension. He makes it work beautifully, but of course he's Rachmaninoff.

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At the end of the first movement of Saint-Saëns's 2nd piano concerto nearly nobody respects the rests and hurries towards the end.
At the beginning of Beethoven's op.111 nearly nobody seems to be able to count.
A lot of 'pianoplayers' try to improve on Liszt's sonata by adding bass octaves.
The same people play Bach with pedal.
'Allegretto' is mostly taken 'Presto' in the Passepied in Debussy's Suite Bergamasque.
In Chopin's 3rd Scherzo, 2nd theme, after the last note of the 'choral', nearly everybody starts one beat to late with the downward cascade.
In Liszt's Mazeppa, most play the melody, forgetting about the thirds in between: the horses hooves, the essence of the piece.
Not playing the repeats in Mozart/Haydn/Beethoven/Schubert is a common mistake.
The rhythm in Chopin's 3rd Ballade's main theme is not: ta-Boum ta-Boum ta-Boum, but the reverse, never done.
I won't go on, to many pet peeves.


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Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
The rhythm in Chopin's 3rd Ballade's main theme is not: ta-Boum ta-Boum ta-Boum, but the reverse, never done.

Well actually that is the "rhythm"!

I guess you mean it's not the "phrasing" -- and I agree with that.
But, I do usually hear it done that way -- i.e. the way I assume you mean it should be.
And when I've played it, I sure did.
Unfortunately I didn't do too much else..... ha

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Originally Posted by BruceD
I wouldn't call it a "pet peeve" but I am aware - and not impressed when it's overdone - that some pianists are inclined to play the left hand a fraction before the right hand, even though both should come together, particularly on the beat. This happens more often in Romantic literature and, at times, can actually be effective when used quite sparingly. When overdone, it becomes a slightly annoying mannerism.

Regards,

Questions regarding the "golden era" mannerism of left hand playing before right hand:

Do have to admit as long time advanced amateur pianist -- going to be turning 62 this month -- have somehow acquired this habit of the broken hands in my own playing over many years but was never really aware of doing it until it was pointed out to me in my recordings -- although take note I have never done this DELIBERATELY as a pianistic "effect" -- therefore, why exactly does this happen?

Here is my most recent recording of Chopin's Ballade No. 4 and one will hear this mannerism in the playing. I happen to have mostly Polish ancestry (i.e., like Paderewski and Chopin) and many of the older "golden era" pianists which include Paderewski have been noted for breaking the hands. Could this somehow be an ancestral and/or genetic fault that has carried over through the years?

Here is my recording and I do NOT deliberately or consciously make any decision to break the hands even though it is quite evident that I am actually doing so in many places:

https://fidbak.audio/grandbb71/player/31c8d859b116/e4731f5625ac

I consider it to be a rather strange and/or odd "habit" as such!

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Desynchronizing the right hand is actually a very old practice. Mozart mentions it already in the context of letting the right hand freely move against the regular beat pattern of the left hand. I think we have become way too metronomically rigid in the way both hands are necessarily aligned. As long as it does not become a mannerism, 8t can add a lof of expressiveness to a melodic line.

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Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
Not playing the repeats in Mozart/Haydn/Beethoven/Schubert is a common mistake.

Yes! I agree. As an example, take the 3rd movement of Haydn's Hob XVI/49. In my view Alfred Brendel ruins his performance of this by omitting the repeat of bars 61-68, when the theme moves into the minor. This section is in effect an exposition of the new minor tonality, and it needs its repeat. See here at 20.06.

What though about repeats of the development + recapitulation in typical sonata movements? They seem to be hardly ever played.

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I hate cliched use of rubato to "convey emotion". Of course I don't know the pianist's intentions, but when it gets to the point where the pulse of the piece is difficult to ascertain, I assume self-indulgence is the reason.

Rigid playing can be dreadful, but I usually think it's more pointless than irritating.

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Anything played too fast. I'm thinking especially of the 3d movement of Beethoven's Moonlight sonata. I know it's marked presto, but I hear a lot of prestissimo, so that you can't even really hear those dramatic repeated chords at the top of the opening runs.


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