Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

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Rognvald
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Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

Post by Rognvald » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:36 am

O.K. . . . I finally found one of Tarrega's compositions that is immeasurably more annoying to ME than "Recuerdos." I was prepping my garage overhead door for final paint tomorrow and WNIU classical radio played Tarrega's "Variations on the Carnival of Venice." Of all the beautiful pieces written by T, this was especially annoying with the ham bone guitaristic "tricks" in the middle section reminiscent of Jose Feliciano's frenetic performance of "Flight of the Bumblebee" on the Ed Sullivan show. I suppose the piece was intended to be "humorous" but I cannot fathom why a serious CG would include this in a performance. Please tell me why I' wrong. Playing again . . . Rognvald P.S. I have purposely not included a video performance of the piece to avoid any insult to the performer.
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:28 am

Rognvald wrote:O.K. . . . I finally found one of Tarrega's compositions that is immeasurably more annoying to ME than "Recuerdos."
Each to their own Rognvald - just out of interest, what would your ideal recital look like? Both halves.

I attended one that I consider close to perfection recently - nobody came - I mean really, there were three or four paying customers (ironically I wasn't one of them) and this outcome was predicted by a very experienced promoter.

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

Post by Adrian Allan » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:48 am

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:28 am
Rognvald wrote:O.K. . . . I finally found one of Tarrega's compositions that is immeasurably more annoying to ME than "Recuerdos."
Each to their own Rognvald - just out of interest, what would your ideal recital look like? Both halves.

I attended one that I consider close to perfection recently - nobody came - I mean really, there were three or four paying customers (ironically I wasn't one of them) and this outcome was predicted by a very experienced promoter.
That's very sad and surprising; I visited York recently and it came across as very cultural and almost bourgeois in outlook.
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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:03 am

There's probably a reason that in the big scheme of things its far less popular among players - and listeners - than things like Capricho and Recuerdos. There are few big names players on YT playing it and they are all merely in the few tens of thousands (except the one video that succeeds in fooling people its Tarrega playing, by the thumbnail). Even my Capricho video is well over 200K.
In attending concerts, reviewing and buying CDs, listening to radio, I have virtually never come across it.
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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:19 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:That's very sad and surprising; I visited York recently and it came across as very cultural and almost bourgeois in outlook.
There's a surprising amount of smoke and mirrors, cliques and snobbery involved up here.

Stepan Rak played his own compositions to a handful of us whilst the likes of Giulio Tampalini and Craig Ogden can sell out pretty much every time with standard repertoire.

We have the "National Centre for Early Music" here, and the annual early music festival draws in predictable numbers but ... it isn't really advertised to locals. I suppose that the organisers are secure in the knowledge that the lute and viol playing "in-crowd" communicate amongst themselves and that any shortfall in ticket sales will be picked up by grants (though I'm speculating a bit). Choral events and more theatrical acts like "Red Priest" seem to fare well but lute concerts are still pretty thinly attended in my experience.

I do believe that the audience is there yet, somehow, it is not always tapped.

For instance - I went to hear Sean Shibe just this week (a short drive to a nearby village). I'd estimate 50 to 60 people made the effort. On the other hand I supported Juan Martin a while ago - the venue actually broke fire regulations squeezing people in - they were standing on window ledges, out in the corridors, on the stairs - anywhere they could fit (how Juan would have fared had I not been billed alongside is of course anybody's guess).

Sean was very good by the way - drew out the French character in some of Bach's dance movements in a way that I've not heard anyone else do quite so convincingly, and he approaches Villa-Lobos with a fresh ear - no "Chinese whispers" for him.

Rognvald
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Re: Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

Post by Rognvald » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:37 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:28 am
Rognvald wrote:O.K. . . . I finally found one of Tarrega's compositions that is immeasurably more annoying to ME than "Recuerdos."
Each to their own Rognvald - just out of interest, what would your ideal recital look like? Both halves.

I attended one that I consider close to perfection recently - nobody came - I mean really, there were three or four paying customers (ironically I wasn't one of them) and this outcome was predicted by a very experienced promoter.
Hi, Mark,
Although I am not exclusively a classical guitar player and come to the table with a Jazz/Bossa background, my ideal CG concert would be a mix of pieces that say something to me and hopefully will speak to others(how's that for vague!). They would include Bach(Lute Suites), Mertz(Schubert Songs), Paganini(Romanza), Giuliani(variations), Beethoven(Pathetique),Tarrega(Marieta/Cajita de Musica), Villa-Lobos(Preludes/Etudes), etc. all of which I consider to be serious, moving works. In regards to your second comment, I have a very dour view of not only the future of the CG performance but also of all serious music(classical, jazz and Bossa/tango) in general. And, it's not just lack of exposure that is to blame. We live in a world where instant gratification, material obsession, superficial image and a lack of general seriousness is epidemic. We see it in the insipid and hollow movies, TV, popular music and mind-numbing obsession with Facebook that aims at a decidedly adolescent view of human existence where a human's life is defined by the number of "likes" they receive after their robotic and mindless posts. We live in a world where only a handful of people worldwide read serious literature, philosophy, Science or history and few, if any, even know the current events of the countries in which they live. The future of Man is indeed bleak and our decline unstoppable and the view of humanity portrayed by George Orwell's novel "1984" moves closer to reality with the passing of each day. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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Re: Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

Post by astro64 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:22 pm

Rognvald wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:36 am
O.K. . . . I finally found one of Tarrega's compositions that is immeasurably more annoying to ME than "Recuerdos." I was prepping my garage overhead door for final paint tomorrow and WNIU classical radio played Tarrega's "Variations on the Carnival of Venice." Of all the beautiful pieces written by T, this was especially annoying with the ham bone guitaristic "tricks" in the middle section reminiscent of Jose Feliciano's frenetic performance of "Flight of the Bumblebee" on the Ed Sullivan show. I suppose the piece was intended to be "humorous" but I cannot fathom why a serious CG would include this in a performance. Please tell me why I' wrong. Playing again . . . Rognvald P.S. I have purposely not included a video performance of the piece to avoid any insult to the performer.
Oh yes, the theme is not much to begin with and the piece is challenge on one's patience to listen to. I don't have much love for the Gran Jota either.

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Re: Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

Post by SteveL123 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:03 pm

Rognvald wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:36 am
O.K. . . . I finally found one of Tarrega's compositions that is immeasurably more annoying to ME than "Recuerdos." I was prepping my garage overhead door for final paint tomorrow and WNIU classical radio played Tarrega's "Variations on the Carnival of Venice." Of all the beautiful pieces written by T, this was especially annoying with the ham bone guitaristic "tricks" in the middle section reminiscent of Jose Feliciano's frenetic performance of "Flight of the Bumblebee" on the Ed Sullivan show. I suppose the piece was intended to be "humorous" but I cannot fathom why a serious CG would include this in a performance. Please tell me why I' wrong. Playing again . . . Rognvald P.S. I have purposely not included a video performance of the piece to avoid any insult to the performer.
I've never heard Tarrega's "Variations on the Carnival of Venice." before (thanks for bringing it up) so searched youtube and this one came up first https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Anysj0oIdQ0

I listened to it a few times and think it is a nice and enjoyable piece, well played by K. Muraji. I am curious what part of it you found annoying? Recuerdo is also annoying? I'd also like to know what makes it annoying. I love Recuerdo and learning to play it. This goes to show music is so subjective.

Rognvald
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Re: Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

Post by Rognvald » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:28 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:03 pm
Rognvald wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:36 am
O.K. . . . I finally found one of Tarrega's compositions that is immeasurably more annoying to ME than "Recuerdos." I was prepping my garage overhead door for final paint tomorrow and WNIU classical radio played Tarrega's "Variations on the Carnival of Venice." Of all the beautiful pieces written by T, this was especially annoying with the ham bone guitaristic "tricks" in the middle section reminiscent of Jose Feliciano's frenetic performance of "Flight of the Bumblebee" on the Ed Sullivan show. I suppose the piece was intended to be "humorous" but I cannot fathom why a serious CG would include this in a performance. Please tell me why I' wrong. Playing again . . . Rognvald P.S. I have purposely not included a video performance of the piece to avoid any insult to the performer.
I've never heard Tarrega's "Variations on the Carnival of Venice." before (thanks for bringing it up) so searched youtube and this one came up first https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Anysj0oIdQ0

I listened to it a few times and think it is a nice and enjoyable piece, well played by K. Muraji. I am curious what part of it you found annoying? Recuerdo is also annoying? I'd also like to know what makes it annoying. I love Recuerdo and learning to play it. This goes to show music is so subjective.

Hi, Steve,
I will refer you to the exact time frames and the guitaristic technique/explanation: 4:06 and 4:56 hammer-ons; 5:57 glissando/portamento: 7:74 challenging the patience and manners of a polite man. If these were intended as humor, I'm not amused. If these were intended to thrill a half-dead audience . . .nothing short of the apocalypse will accomplish this task. As far as "Recuerdos," it's a personal thing. I don't really have a problem with the melody, it's the tremolo/technique that makes me think of grandma's pancakes. And . . . I have never criticized a performing musician in my life to others in a performance or later in print although I have very strong convictions concerning musicality and interpretation and have strong likes and dislikes among musicians. This is why I was reluctant to provide an example of what bothers me from the list of performers available on YT. So, please understand I am not criticizing the guitarist but the piece. One last remark: it is very difficult to gauge a musicians sound when they are playing a "non-standard" instrument. Several of the remarks that followed the performance made mention of this fact and I think it is quite credible. It would be comparable to comparing Wes Montgomery's L-5 CES Jazz archtop to Segovia's Hauser . . .it's a different breed. Playing again . . . Rognvald P.S. And good luck, Steve with "Recuerdos."
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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Re: Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

Post by astro64 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:36 am

It's variation upon variation seemingly more for technical demonstration's sake than out of musical interest, that is my objection to these pieces. I think Rognvald raises the same issue. It is built out of what are essentially technical exercises to somehow make it into a 9 min concert piece. Not that it doesn't take great skill to play them, they are just not interesting to me. There are others like it in the repertoire...

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Re: Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

Post by dory » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:57 am

What is annoying about Recuerdos, I think, is that it is played so iften you get sick of it. I have stopped playing Lágrima for the same reason, even though I think it is beautiful. However, I am not wild about La Gran Jota either and it is NOT overplayed. Probably just my own weird tastes.
Dory

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Re: Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

Post by Chris » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:32 pm

I also get that dreadful feeling with the Gran Jota. Some of the works can perhaps seem a little trivial to a modern guitarist's ear. But I think he was good at giving people what they wanted, and the pieces that work within that context are really lovable. I still love Capricho, Recuerdos and many of those beautiful little miniatures including the Mazurkas. And people like them too, don't they?

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Re: Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

Post by Rognvald » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:41 pm

Chris wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:32 pm
I also get that dreadful feeling with the Gran Jota. Some of the works can perhaps seem a little trivial to a modern guitarist's ear. But I think he was good at giving people what they wanted, and the pieces that work within that context are really lovable. I still love Capricho, Recuerdos and many of those beautiful little miniatures including the Mazurkas. And people like them too, don't they?

Hi, Chris,
To deny the gifts of Tarrega to the CG one would have to be blind, deaf and dumb. My comments in no way seek to disparage this wonderful composer and arranger but rather to give discussion to my recent experience with his "Carnival of Venice." Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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Re: Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

Post by xionc_proboszcz » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:43 am

Isn't it the problem with most of the virtuosi of the 19th century? I mean - Tárrega is not that untypical. Those concert pieces are more or less only shows of musically empty technical prowess. Just from my background as a woodwind player, I remember practicing e.g. the variations by Pasculli, and it was the same thing all over again: nightmare, as far as the technique goes, but without significant depth.
I think it is ok to play that stuff - it is pleasant, it captures the audience easily, but we have to consciously interpret it as a steroid-buffed salon music, so to speak. ;-)

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Re: Can Tarrega Really be Annoying?

Post by zupfgeiger » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:39 am

SteveL123 wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:03 pm
Rognvald wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:36 am
O.K. . . . I finally found one of Tarrega's compositions that is immeasurably more annoying to ME than "Recuerdos." I was prepping my garage overhead door for final paint tomorrow and WNIU classical radio played Tarrega's "Variations on the Carnival of Venice." Of all the beautiful pieces written by T, this was especially annoying with the ham bone guitaristic "tricks" in the middle section reminiscent of Jose Feliciano's frenetic performance of "Flight of the Bumblebee" on the Ed Sullivan show. I suppose the piece was intended to be "humorous" but I cannot fathom why a serious CG would include this in a performance. Please tell me why I' wrong. Playing again . . . Rognvald P.S. I have purposely not included a video performance of the piece to avoid any insult to the performer.
I've never heard Tarrega's "Variations on the Carnival of Venice." before (thanks for bringing it up) so searched youtube and this one came up first https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Anysj0oIdQ0

I listened to it a few times and think it is a nice and enjoyable piece, well played by K. Muraji. I am curious what part of it you found annoying? Recuerdo is also annoying? I'd also like to know what makes it annoying. I love Recuerdo and learning to play it. This goes to show music is so subjective.
Sorry for being off topic with this question, but is Kaori Muraji playing a Romanillos with Tornavoz?
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