A little test

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
oc chuck
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Re: A little test

Postby oc chuck » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:17 am

90 posts in 4 days! WOW....


Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:56 am.
"The clue was in the whimsical title of the thread - clearly an error on my part. I should have called it, "Please tell me what you hear?" or something equally direct and maybe avoided the student discussion altogether (though that was what prompted me)."

On first listen I found his playing too harsh.
On the 3rd listen I found a lot to like. I heard more variations in tone volume
and pacing and less harshness. It's not my favorite rendition but well worth several
plays, listening for the variations.

Nick Clow
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Re: A little test

Postby Nick Clow » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:32 am

It was intended as a joke. Do you think I seriously believe that free speech has its last bolthole in the UK? My pet hate is taking offense at every opportunity...there's a lot of it about. A sense of humour is required.


Just exercising my freedom to take offence. If I offend you I promise I won't come up with 'free speech' or 'I was joking'.

You and others are making light of this. Yes, I do have a sense of humour, but I am honestly really uncomfortable with this thread.

I am sure you would be fine with it if someone criticised your playing in a similar way because you seem like a robust person and, in any case, from what I have seen your playing is quite amazing.

However, the Internet is real life and can hurt some people. Aside from the fact that it really ill-becomes an elite player to run-down someone else's playing, I do not like to see victimisation taking place. There are plenty of places on the Internet where people pile in on a victim. You don't expect that here. Yes, the thread should have been deleted long ago.
Last edited by Nick Clow on Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:44 am, edited 8 times in total.
formerly Edward Frillypants

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bacsidoan
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Re: A little test

Postby bacsidoan » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:45 am

Joe de V wrote:Mr. Mark Clifton-Gautier: In view of your expert review and as a self identified CG teacher it would be appreciated by a few of us to have the privilege to hear your own playing of this piece so we can learn the "proper" interpretation of it. Thank you,


A good critic of any subject does need good knowledge, but does not have to be a great performer. For example, do you think any of the film critics can direct a good movie? A good sports commentator always has to be a great player of that sport?

khayes
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Re: A little test

Postby khayes » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:02 am

bacsidoan wrote:
Joe de V wrote:Mr. Mark Clifton-Gautier: In view of your expert review and as a self identified CG teacher it would be appreciated by a few of us to have the privilege to hear your own playing of this piece so we can learn the "proper" interpretation of it. Thank you,


A good critic of any subject does need good knowledge, but does not have to be a great performer. For example, do you think any of the film critics can direct a good movie? A good sports commentator always has to be a great player of that sport?

...or that a man can't be a good obstetrician unless he has a baby? :D
Ken

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: A little test

Postby Denian Arcoleo » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:36 am

I actually don't see what the fuss is about. The video in question is quite well played, with some timing issues and a few harsh sounds. But the player is committed and engaged; it's certainly not terrible. Plus, everyone has off days, I've certainly given some sub-standard performances in my time.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: A little test

Postby Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:29 am

May I point out one last time that, in my initial post, I wrote:
Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:I don't want to get involved in a discussion of Mr. Fletcher's work in general - I have never seen him perform elsewhere and he obviously has some facility.

and then:
Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:I am therefore not in the position to give any deep criticism of his guitar playing skills, have offered none and at no point (even now) indicated any specific failings, simply asking the opinion of other forum members on how Bach is generally performed.

I’d be happy if someone can explain how that is not perfectly clear.

I accept that it would be disingenuous to pretend that I don’t find some fault in this particular video, why would I have raised the question otherwise? But I have not indulged in any “player-bashing” or victimisation. As far as I recall the only direct comment that I have made is in describing the interpretation as "loose".


On topic:
The fact that several respondents don’t even appear to know what I’m querying does in fact answer my question to a large degree. Nevertheless I hope that the thread remains open and intact. I’m certainly not offended by any of the comments and anyone that reads the whole thing may draw their own conclusions. My contributions remain complete and unedited.


Off topic:
Joe de V wrote:In view of your expert review ...

What review?? Please quote it.

bacsidoan wrote:
Joe de V wrote:... it would be appreciated by a few of us to have the privilege to hear your own playing of this piece so we can learn the "proper" interpretation of it. Thank you,

A good critic of any subject does need good knowledge, but does not have to be a great performer. For example, do you think any of the film critics can direct a good movie?

Well, I am a performer, but I don't see how my rendering (be it worse or indeed better) would make any difference whatsoever to the discussion. Joe - if you can't hear what I'm asking about in one recording why would you assume that you will hear it in mine, or any other? Still - as you ask so politely and, because it's something that I've been intending to do for some time now, I will look into buying a recording device. How long can you hold your breath?

Pat Dodson
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Re: A little test

Postby Pat Dodson » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:43 am

A Helpful Tone?

"Do too many today have loose metrical sphincters?"
"That's not a nice thing to say!
A player might have many things that can hinder
Their performance on any one day."

"Acknowledged but really that's not what we asked
Our question related to pulse."
"Maybe, but our answers relate to to the way
Evisceration makes us revulse."

"Excuse me," a third voice interjects from afar
"As your debate grows more lengthy and fruitier
Have you thought of the chap who made the guitar
And considered the plight of the luthier?"
Last edited by Pat Dodson on Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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petermc61
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Re: A little test

Postby petermc61 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:51 am

Very witty Pat.

Joe de V
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Re: A little test

Postby Joe de V » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:20 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:May I point out one last time that, in my initial post, I wrote:
Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:I don't want to get involved in a discussion of Mr. Fletcher's work in general - I have never seen him perform elsewhere and he obviously has some facility.

and then:
Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:I am therefore not in the position to give any deep criticism of his guitar playing skills, have offered none and at no point (even now) indicated any specific failings, simply asking the opinion of other forum members on how Bach is generally performed.

I’d be happy if someone can explain how that is not perfectly clear.

I accept that it would be disingenuous to pretend that I don’t find some fault in this particular video, why would I have raised the question otherwise? But I have not indulged in any “player-bashing” or victimisation. As far as I recall the only direct comment that I have made is in describing the interpretation as "loose".


On topic:
The fact that several respondents don’t even appear to know what I’m querying does in fact answer my question to a large degree. Nevertheless I hope that the thread remains open and intact. I’m certainly not offended by any of the comments and anyone that reads the whole thing may draw their own conclusions. My contributions remain complete and unedited.


Off topic:
Joe de V wrote:In view of your expert review ...

What review?? Please quote it.

bacsidoan wrote:
Joe de V wrote:... it would be appreciated by a few of us to have the privilege to hear your own playing of this piece so we can learn the "proper" interpretation of it. Thank you,

A good critic of any subject does need good knowledge, but does not have to be a great performer. For example, do you think any of the film critics can direct a good movie?

Well, I am a performer, but I don't see how my rendering (be it worse or indeed better) would make any difference whatsoever to the discussion. Joe - if you can't hear what I'm asking about in one recording why would you assume that you will hear it in mine, or any other? Still - as you ask so politely and, because it's something that I've been intending to do for some time now, I will look into buying a recording device. How long can you hold your breath?


Hello bacsidoan, Thank you for your observations on my comments. Based on the original "opinion" as written, Mr. Clifton-Gautier is a tutor-teacher of CG and as such he indicated that he would not have a student of his perform in such manner. That to me sounded like a very strong statement regarding the performer.He does not have to be a concert-level performer but he appears to indicate that he knows what a concert-level performance of a piece should sound like. For that reason alone I would like to hear/see him or one of his students perform the piece in the manner that is acceptable to him. To be truthful, I would consider Mr. Clifton-Gautier as a possible teacher who would expect and demand of me, were I to be his student, nothing but the best of my ability and skills . My log only addressed his "strong" views of the video performer's skill.

Regarding Mr. Clifton-Gautier inquiry about ..."what review"? ;In his comments he did did say ...I am not in the position to give any "deep criticism" of his guitar playing skills-have offered none... :?: I take that statement to mean that his remarks were a simple- not- too-deep opinion of the performer.I can now imagine what he would have said if he wanted to make it a "deep" opinion. I am not a very good CG player I play for my own enjoyment but I am reasonable good in interpreting written language. Maybe i missed the real message he was making in his log.

TheCardMaker
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Re: A little test

Postby TheCardMaker » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:57 pm

Ugh... this thread is ugly

I'm shocked that an individual would be used as an example like this. It's so sad that technique is seen as something like a currency, I picture the critics with fat cigars in their mouths as they scoff over a good mans livelihood

As if a student needs to understand the shortcomings of this particular performance, the discussion has not been about poor technique but about aspects which (evidently) lots of players cannot even hear. I think the whole 'don't show it to my students' line is a smokescreen personally. You should be ashamed of yourselves, a forum is a place where we support each other, not put each other down

Just my opinion

Joe de V
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Re: A little test

Postby Joe de V » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:35 pm

This thread started with a simple message indicating how it came about. An e-mail link with a titled "Bizarre". Mr. Clinton -Gautier was the recipient and he proceeded to verse his opinion of it. That is a reasonable action on his part. What I believe started the long and winded discussion was the content of his views about what he heard and observe on the video. From a teacher point of view I can certainly understand his response - If I were to be his student I would expect a truthful answer to my performance.good-bad-or very different. The possible problem I see is that his opinion was one that was published here for everyone to read. A more cautious response would have been to address the sender of the ""Bizzare" video.
I would certainly expect as my teacher to tell me what he felt was missing on my playing - this would be a one to one conversation between teacher and student. I believe most of us can accept a tutor in any situation involving teacher-student to do us the favor by correcting and indicating our apparent deficiency in this case playing a musical instrument, however I would not want him to publish any criticism of my playing to the public.
What appears to be the somewhat negative response from some of us readers was that it was made public in this forum instead than responding directly to the sender.

Nick Clow
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Re: A little test

Postby Nick Clow » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:40 am

Good grief.

Mark

Whilst I have been concerned about the possible distress or damage caused by this thread to Peter Fletcher, I am now more concerned at the damage to your standing.

It is a car crash of a thread. No conciliation appears possible. One vote for its deletion.
formerly Edward Frillypants

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: A little test

Postby Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:10 am

Nick Clow wrote:Good grief. Mark
Whilst I have been concerned about the possible distress or damage caused by this thread to Peter Fletcher, I am now more concerned at the damage to your standing. It is a car crash of a thread. No conciliation appears possible. One vote for its deletion.

Ha ha. I have no standing to worry about Nick - but I do thank you very sincerely for your concern.

I value free, open and honest discourse - therefore I would not like to see this or any thread in which the contributors have offered their true opinions deleted. Whilst it's true that a certain misapprehension became manifest thus drawing some critical comments from others, I stand by my assertion that I have at no point made any derogatory assessment of PF's general abilities as a performer.

I even tried to distract attention away from PF and on to my query:
Back on page 3 Mark wrote:I'm surprised that the prevalent topics are still Mr. Fletcher's tone, or the recording quality, or interpretation - none of which have any significance.

... and how could I be any more clear than this?
Still on page 3 Mark wrote:Please forget Peter Fletcher - it's us the listeners and our perception that I'm questioning.

But to little avail.

I did draw attention to a short passage of just a few measures displaying certain characteristics (which I would not allow to go unaddressed in a student) and asked firstly, do others perceive these characteristics and if so, is it acceptable to them? Perhaps naively I was expecting straightforward replies along the lines of:

"Yes, I hear it but it doesn't detract from the experience for me.", "Yes, I hear it and it really bothers me." or "This is great, I can't hear anything wrong."

and so on. If anyone still doesn't understand that then I throw the towel in.

As I commented before - I do at least have an answer of sorts which appears to be that a majority have no idea what I'm talking about.

Pat Dodson
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Re: A little test

Postby Pat Dodson » Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:34 am

Hi Mark

The difficulty is that by the end of the thread's second page pretty much all response to your actual question had dried up. Much of the focus then turned to whether it was right to conduct such a discussion at all because in raising your interesting general point you used this specific PF example. Many, though not all, are uncomfortable with this because of the implied criticism of PF. Although you certainly didn't make any derogatory comments about PF's general abilities as a performer and did indeed attempt to deflect from the particular example to your more general question, you have acknowledged in your last post that you:

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
....did draw attention to a short passage of just a few measures displaying certain characteristics (which I would not allow to go unaddressed in a student)....


That phrase in brackets does imply criticism of PF's performance of that passage. Unfortunately many here are now more focussed on that, and whether you should have raised your question through posting the video, than on your question itself.

My tutor felt that limited rubato and expression when playing Bach were only acceptable against a background of strict control of note values, tempo, pulse and rhythm and that parts should be well articulated and balanced. I remain uncomfortable when I hear a performance that deviates much from that but I acknowledge that's just my training and preference.

Like you I would not want to see the thread deleted and I hope we can move more to the substance of your question but if the debate continues to revolve only around whether the thread should exist then it will become very uncomfortable and unproductive and perhaps should be brought to a close (rather than deleted.) Fingers crossed.

michael_barre
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Re: A little test

Postby michael_barre » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:37 pm

The first thing I noticed was his right hand technique is poor. In the scalar passages he moves his fingers too far from the strings and doesn't keep them curved. He would benefit from studying Christopher Berg's book, "Mastering Guitar Technique: Process & Essence."


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