It's Never Really Finished!

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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For discussion of studies, scales, arpeggios and theory.
Rognvald
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It's Never Really Finished!

Post by Rognvald » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:03 pm

Back from our Summer sailing adventure and returning to Music, I read a brief review of British classical pianist Paul Lewis- a Beethoven specialist who studied with Alfred Brendel: "Paul Lewis: virtuoso who came up the hard way" written by Ivan Hewett in The Telegraph. In the article, Hewett quotes Lewis about playing Beethoven's music. He states: "So, if Beethoven and Schubert are so awkward, why stick with them? “But that’s the fascination! There are some pieces, like the not-so-great pieces of Liszt, where you can say, 'Yes, I’ve cracked it. I know how to play this.’ But, with really great music, there’s no true way to play it, no perfection that’s waiting to be discovered. It’s constantly unfinished business.” And, doesn't the music morph as we become better players . . . gain greater life experience . . .develop new and interesting nuances and perceptions? How can any musician truly say that he/she has mastered a piece? It is naive arrogance since the music and the musician are not finite but continually germinating? What do you think? Rognvald . . . still shaking off the salt.
"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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Rick Beauregard
Student tutor
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Re: It's Never Really Finished!

Post by Rick Beauregard » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:56 pm

Welcome back Rog. Just returned from Desolation Sound myself, AND I think I sold my boat, so my sailing days may be finished but not really.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

Wuuthrad
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Re: It's Never Really Finished!

Post by Wuuthrad » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:14 pm

I am a Master of All, and a Master of None

To master the pursuit of perfection,
Becoming familiar with failure,
Embracing imperfection,

Achieving Excellence even in wrong notes
And the perceptions of others.

It is not Mastery that matters
But the truth of creation,

The vibration of Sound
Speaks for itself.
"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." -Jean Sibelius

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Christopher Langley
Student of the online lessons
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Re: It's Never Really Finished!

Post by Christopher Langley » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:51 pm

The work is never done.

Always room for improvement, as they say.
Wuuthrad wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:14 pm
...
Beautiful.
I am grounded. I am humble. I am one with everthing.

Wuuthrad
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Location: USA

Re: It's Never Really Finished!

Post by Wuuthrad » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:57 am

Christopher Langley wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:51 pm

Wuuthrad wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:14 pm
...
Beautiful.
:merci:
"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." -Jean Sibelius

Rognvald
Posts: 667
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:21 am

Re: It's Never Really Finished!

Post by Rognvald » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:27 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:56 pm
Welcome back Rog. Just returned from Desolation Sound myself, AND I think I sold my boat, so my sailing days may be finished but not really.

Rick,
They say the two happiest days of a boat-owner's life is when he buys the boat and when he sells the boat. For me, it is still a inescapable addiction ,as is music, and we hope to sail until the bones no longer work. Thanks for the welcome! But, back to the subject . . . I have had quite a bit of time to think about music and little time to play since June but the concept of maturation and personality have become increasingly more evident for me in the life of a performing musician. When we think of Art with the German Expressionists, the lush colors and mystery of Gauguin's Tahitian paintings, the grotesque depictions of humanity by Hieronymous Bosch and the stunning portraits of the Renaissance Painters, we can see how maturation and personality are necessary to create a personal Art. Some in music tend to forget that although time in a practice room is necessary to achieve skill . . . without growing as a human being and becoming a sensorium for the world around you, your Art will be dry, lifeless and without color. One of my favorite performance pieces is Beethoven's "Pathetique." And, the reason is that every time I play it some new insight uncovers. It is not a dead blot of notes on a page but a living, breathing organism that awaits release from the paper. We Classical Guitarists, in my opinion, are very different from other musicians in that many of us tend to think we can exist in the vacuum of a practice room and then bloom on the stage. This, of course, goes against reason and is evident when many perform. When we look at the great artists of the past who lived wide and varied lives it becomes even more apparent. So, when we are aware that a piece of music is never really finished, we understand that a good musician is always evolving and will never reach a complete understanding of serious music. 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

Marshall Dixon
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Re: It's Never Really Finished!

Post by Marshall Dixon » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:36 pm

Just read the book 'Evenings with Horowitz" by David Dubal, who writes:

"Horowitz had often talked to me about the art of the interpreter. He said the greater the music, the more ways it can be illuminated. Every phrase has countless alternatives to touch and tempo. The artist must be convinced that his choices are the best, the only way. But down deep, he must also be aware that interpretation is a matter of choice that sacrifices other ways... records are terrible things. You change but they stay the same. The recordings live on to haunt you. Even worse are these videos..."

Scott Phillips
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Re: It's Never Really Finished!

Post by Scott Phillips » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:53 am

Hey Rog,
Glad you are back. These last few months have been increasingly dull without your discussions.

SleepyheadRooster
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Re: It's Never Really Finished!

Post by SleepyheadRooster » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:23 am

Great post!

It reminds me that, while working through my current piano and guitar anthologies, I put a little date and checkmark on each page when I have worked a piece up to tempo with no mistakes. I always feel a little guilty doing this because I know it implies completion - and I am nowhere near mastery of these things. There is always improvement and discovery to be found; there is always work to do even on the simplest music.
Best,
Chuck

Rognvald
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:21 am

Re: It's Never Really Finished!

Post by Rognvald » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:35 pm

Scott Phillips wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:53 am
Hey Rog,
Glad you are back. These last few months have been increasingly dull without your discussions.
Thanks, Scott for the kind words! So, when Marshall talks about Horowitz, his message is one that CG's need to take to heart. Unless one has no aspirations of public performance and envisions CG as one might a game of checkers or Parchisi for Juniors, then we cannot ignore the seasoning that well played music requires. And, one does not have to be an "artist" in order to take an artist's approach to their music. How can any musician exist in a void without the experiences of his/her life reflecting in their music? And, CG's need to listen to great pianists. It is through their music and interpretation that we can truly understand the connection between melody and harmony and how it applies to the CG. And, when we have listened to the various interpretations of the literature, we will have the ability to reflect on our vision of a piece which continues to morph and season with time. Music is like Philosophy: it changes with age. 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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