Classical Music Stars

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Fluter
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Classical Music Stars

Post by Fluter » Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:53 am

In the books, Who Killed Classical Music?, No Vivaldi in the Garage, Classical Music in America: A History of Its Rise and Fall etc... the modern culture of mass marketing classical music with the "stars" have been criticized as killing classical music. The fact is very obvious, if you observe rationally, people like Lang Lang, Hillary Hahn, etc... are distinctly different from people like the Cafe Zimmermann group, Kei Koito, Robert Hill etc... No matter how you explain this difference you must acknowledge that it's there.

So this thread is to discuss on the exact nature/worth/integrity of these "popish" classical musicians. How good, (not just playing the notes, but how musical, deep etc...) they are, their integrity etc...

I personally have a very dim view of people involved in this kind of marketing, managers and artists alike. Classical music is art, it is not math where written in any language it still has the same implication. So the culture and etiquette involved are very important, good artistic ability does not blend well to a contrived, deceitful and mean character. Saying that Mozart and Beethoven weren't so etiquette isn't an excuse here because they are bad personal habits, likely self unnoticed, instead of the cunning and deliberate attempts at marketing and packaging classical music. Right now I outright consider these classical music stars to be fake artists, which I never buy a single CD of. Having a picture of Karajan conducting is one thing, but having a young guy/woman dressing like some kind of supermodel for classical "fans" to drool over just invalidates their status. And these new "stars" tend to be very, very snobby. Maybe it's contrived so they can have a strong "character". Also, all of these "stars" seem to involve them selves in fake charity, and voice that heavily. Classic villains.

Now on to the music they produce. I only listen to early music, so I can't judge the people who only do romantic showpieces (which is a sign of their lack of scholarship). I have listened to Hillary Hahn's Bach violin concertos, it was very, very contrived. I had more fun letting my computer software playing a few lines of the piece. I have similar experiences with many other recordings of bach's concertos, where the front picture of the artist already tells you what it's going to sound like, all very fake.

All opinions are welcome.

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Re: Classical Music Stars

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:58 am

Fluter wrote:I only listen to early music
Wow! This must be a first: an EMer who shows his colors in his first post! Well, welcome, Fluter. Kick your shoes off and set a spell. We've been hashing some of your issues out on a couple of other threads around here. I will say that while music is an art, it's also a profession and people gotta eat. If they don't put butts in the seats, they don't eats. So marketing is a necessary evil.
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piston
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Post by piston » Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:31 am

Welcome! I hope you enjoy the community and become an active participant. It's a bit like an ungovernable classroom here :wink: .

I have not acquired or listened to any music by these so-called classical pop stars (Lang Lang, Church, Rieu, Hahn, etc.) If my consumer behavior is at all indicative of how classical music lovers respond to this marketing trend, it would suggest that the marketing in question serves mainly to draw consumers who would not normally purchase classical music or would only do so because they've read it's good for their children, and so forth.

I beg to differ with you about displaying attractive artists on CD covers, etc., like movie stars. It does not change anything to the artistic quality of an Hélène Grimaud or an Anne-Sophie Mutter but, then, I'm a bit of a voyeur myself. :!:
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Post by diegobueno » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:22 am

I've heard nothing but superlatives from musicians whose opinions I trust on Hillary Hahn's recording of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas. In fact I think it terribly unfair to lump her in the same class as Andre Rieu and Charlotte Church. Hahn is the real deal, a true artist. I've heard her in person playing an excellent Prokofiev 1st concerto, and all reports indicate her rendition of the Schoenberg concerto makes it sound as lyrical and beautiful as Mendelssohn.

Fluter
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Post by Fluter » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:27 am

Thanks for the welcomes.

This must be a first: an EMer who shows his colors in his first post!
Do people usually hide that here? I think it's great to focus on a specific genre in to greater depth than sampling everything, listening to only the popular showpieces of each era. :)

I will say that while music is an art, it's also a profession and people gotta eat. If they don't put butts in the seats, they don't eats. So marketing is a necessary evil.
I generally despise them because I consider classical music to be a culture and heritage, that can't be just replaced with a modern pop culture playing the same notes. According to the books I listed, the past artists like Karajan were also very greedy, but I personally feel that at least they have the classical and dignified persona I can get along with them. Another thing about this is: don't these classical celebrities steal business from the more serious artists? Because that would be a bad thing, if a layperson wants to explore classical music, instead of buying something from Hogwood they will probably pick up something from Lang Lang because his poster is on the store's window. And when these more high-brow musicians are forced out of business, and the new generations into other careers because they see this business is guaranteed doom, then who is left to play classical music?

If my consumer behavior is at all indicative of how classical music lovers respond to this marketing trend, it would suggest that the marketing in question serves mainly to draw consumers who would not normally purchase classical music or would only do so because they've read it's good for their children, and so forth.
Well, those people could have instead picked up a naxos CD or one of those budget eloquence series that re-releases the recordings done by old masters like karajan and bohm. That would at least serve a proper introduction for them to classical music, instead of misdirecting them at the very first step. This reminds me of the movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and all of the other of such movies. They paint a false picture of the Chinese culture for the audiences who are not knowledgeable in the field. This would be misdirecting and miseducating the public, which artists, philosophers, politicians have a moral duty as educators even though there is no law that requires them to. I remember on TV a fan was interviewed walking out of the cinema and was like "wow, I never knew that the Chinese had such a profound culture, I really learned a lot and am really amazed" after watching crouching tiger.

It does not change anything to the artistic quality of an Hélène Grimaud or an Anne-Sophie Mutter but, then, I'm a bit of a voyeur myself.The biggest point I argue for is that music, like any art, is tied to the culture and etiquette. Technology doesn't have such borders, Nazi tanks were even better than allied tanks, the Uboats gave the allied a really hard time, their rockets were the cutting edge experimental weapons then. But music is much more discriminating, being cultivated and deep, with good, moral and dutiful integrity is necessary for success in the field (not business). This is the theory I propose for discussion here. So I would say that being really showy and acting like a movie star works against artistic quality.

Now I would have been confounded if Hahn's playing is among the top of the world, but listening to her just validated my theory for me.


So I started this thread for all of us to reflect on how good these artists who chose this kind of a path are. Both just in absolute terms, as how well they play the music, and in comparative terms against the more traditional and scholarly artists.

I chose to open the topic here because people here are more knowledgeable, on Youtube I see a lot of death threats being tossed around by the fans. Their common arguments are:

1. Personal lifestyles and looks doesn't have a relation to the quality of music they produce. When I hear their performances I deem it to be the greatest performance of some uh... like 20 that I have listened to and studied closely.

2. The stars are young and need to mature.

3. People who criticize them are jealous, these stars have too much success so that attracts jealousy.

4. The "shallow" performances are actually just idiosyncrasies, that means these artists are bold and daring to innovate. People who don't like these performances are close minded to progress.

5. They are too good for you guys to understand. Only very learned professionals can understand their interpretations. They (I think most have) have won competitions so they must be good.

My rebuttal would be:

1. Already mentioned above. I have discovered that most of these fans are lying about hearing multiple recordings, they only heard that one and pretends to have listened to so many recordings. Hence their general reviews all with praises and flattering towards the star instead of actual assessment and detailed comparison like the reviews people such as Goebel receives.

2. That is not how any professional field works, either you are already matured and are able to produce good music, or you can go home and do your homework and then come out. Computer programmers can't have half of the knowledge and asks companies (with very tight development cycles) to accommodate them as they learn while working. Waiting and monitoring the progress of an artist is only the job of his family and teacher, the academic world and consumers judge the result, not their life story. And many masters in the past and today were already mature by a very young age, musicians are like athletes, they master all of the techniques and skill at a very early age. Pierre Hantai produced the goldberg variations at a very early age, same with the recordings of Gould, etc... Reinhard Goebel's recordings of Telemann's work in the early 80s were as deep and technically perfect as the last one (flute quartets) released in 2005 before the group disbanded. So this is not a valid excuse here.

3. First time I have heard such a defense in such an academic field. People who criticize Einstien, Beethoven, etc... were never given simple responses of jealousy. Many people criticize Goebel to play too light and fast, with very little weight and solemnity, his supporters (me included) never argue that his critics were jealous. He was reputed to be the best second-violinist in the world.

4. This is more like saying a synthesizer version of the Goldbergs is just another flavor, if music is so relative then all pop music is equal to classical music. Dungeons & Dragons would equal Homer and such. This is hard to "prove" in the academic sense, but I believe an impartial listener will quickly realize that those performances are not valid idiosyncrasies like Goebel's fast playing.

5. Contests, especially in the music field proves very little. From Pierre Hantai's Goldberg's sleeve notes I discovered that he won many international prizes when he was a student, he just doesn't boast as much as Lang Lang. They didn't even name them, because they didn't want to show off with a list of awards. And many contests of all kinds are very rigid and uncreative, with strict rules that surveys a very narrow scope. This would be exploited by people who would train on the techniques useful for the specific competition and ignore the soul of the music. I don't know exactly how much weight do each competition put onto each area, but I highly doubt that that is the case. If I'm wrong I would be glad to be corrected. If I'm right, then that does not represent the entire quality of a musician, because sight-reading, improvising like the baroque musicians which HIP performers does a lot of (which requires a genuine understanding of the history, people and theory of music), having a broad knowledge in music by studying deeply about the history and philosophy of western music and being able to play multiple instruments, are also important. But a competition might be just too restricted to give these qualities the proper value. And beside, I reiterate that the non-showy musicians have also won many prizes, but would rather keep quiet.

Despite that, all views and comments are welcome.

Edit: I trust there won't be as many flame balls thrown here as on Youtube and Amazon.

Edit2:
I've heard nothing but superlatives from musicians whose opinions I trust on Hillary Hahn's recording of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas.
I and many others tend to disagree.

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Post by diegobueno » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:37 am

Fluter wrote:
I've heard nothing but superlatives from musicians whose opinions I trust on Hillary Hahn's recording of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas.
I and many others tend to disagree.
Many more musicians agree with me. This is not likely to convince you, nevertheless keep it in mind, and keep listening. Some day you will discover your error.

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Post by piston » Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:01 am

My comment about H. Hahn is only that I have not purchased her cds or heard her perform, nothing more. After reading your reply, diegobueno, I did check how her recordings have been received at Classicstoday and the reviews are really excellent, invariably so. Quite a lively debate occurred on another c.m. site, less than two years ago, as to whether she had been "formatted" so much, as a very young musician, that, while technically excellent and playing all the right notes, she still lacked a personality of her own. The pro-Hahn postings won by far over the few who assumed she was a deficient artist.

So, you are correct. I should not have put her in the same category as Rieu and Lang Lang and I should listen to an artist before making such assumptions. Mea culpa!
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Fluter
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Post by Fluter » Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:05 am

diegobueno wrote:
Fluter wrote:
I've heard nothing but superlatives from musicians whose opinions I trust on Hillary Hahn's recording of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas.
I and many others tend to disagree.
Many more musicians agree with me. This is not likely to convince you, nevertheless keep it in mind, and keep listening. Some day you will discover your error.
That is a pretty confident remark in such concise statement. Like the comments to the negative reviews I read on Amazon...

I'm not going into a contest with you on who can pull out the most names to support our own views.

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Post by diegobueno » Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:28 am

piston wrote:
So, you are correct. I should not have put her in the same category as Rieu and Lang Lang and I should listen to an artist before making such assumptions. Mea culpa!
Plus, if flash and marketing is all she's about, what's she doing playing the Bartók, Stravinsky and Schoenberg concertos? That kind of rep doesn't make for good crossover sales.

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Post by karlhenning » Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:30 am

Even if, Fluter, you disagree on the merits of Hillary Hahn's recording of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas, you must admit that she inhabits some other category than André Rieu! :-)

Cheers,
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Post by Lance » Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:15 am

Fluter, welcome to CMG! You have chosen a good subject to introduce yourself.

Marketing has always been dominant in the sales of anything, including classical recordings, jazz, pop or whatever. In the case of classical, in the past there has always been more "reserve" in how the internationally known (and totally accepted) artists have been accepted by the public, the Rubinsteins, Heifetzes, Toscaninis, Furtwänglers, Milsteins, etc., et al. The closer we moved to the 21st century, concepts in advertising have changed dramatically. They may have had to in order to complete and "sell" the product. One thinks of cellist Ofra Harnoy, for example, whose sexy covers on CDs were quite to the edge. I would not buy her recordings for the covers, but only for the music contained in the recording. [Something has to attract the buying public!] Do I always like her? No, the only criteria for me is the music she plays. She happens to play Vivaldi concertos quite beautifully and with top-notch ensembles and collaborating artists. She has recorded all the Vivaldi cello concertos, which indicates she has more than a mere "casual" interest in the repertoire.

As a veteran collector, for me it is always the music first and foremost. Then comes along someone like pianist Lang Lang where Deutsche Grammophon's "hype" went way beyond the norm in terms of advertising and etiquette (your word). He doesn't particularly "look" the part of a serious classical musician, and frankly, I am not personally enamoured with much of his playing. It's crystal clear, beautifully recorded, but in many cases says not much musically (latest case, his Beethoven concerto recording with Eschenbach conducting, which did really nothing for me). The glamorous photos of someone like Renée Fleming is quite different. Opera stars fit the more "glamorous" category. Those in the know, however, can tell instantly whether a performing artist touches them in any way and just how in-depth the musicianship really is. Fleming does "touch" one most of the time, IMHO. Myriad examples could be used.

As for Hilary Hahn, I approached her with some trepidation initially. It wasn't until I heard her DGG recording of Bach's concertos with Kahane conducting that I was truly impressed with her playing and performance. I would have never mentioned her name alongside André Rieu's or Andréa Bocelli's! [The latter is a truly "touchy" artist for me to name.] After hearing her Paganini #1 and Spohr concertos, I am totally convinced we have another great "star" in our midst. And we need these stars if classical music is going to thrive in the future. But, we also have to be selective in the process. For me, Hilary has proven herself.

We are living in changing times and the recording business is not exempt in any way. I should have copied your original post so I could remember what else to address here. But at least you have some other thoughts on the matter.

Again, welcome aboard. We hope you visit regularly!
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Post by Haydnseek » Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:00 pm

Let’s face it, it’s a threat to one’s self image as a person possessing superior taste and special knowledge when an artist becomes widely popular. That artist MUST be inferior if those sorts of people enjoy him, right? Best to declare him "shallow" or "superficial" and get that feeling of comfort back as fast as you can.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:23 pm

diegobueno wrote:I've heard nothing but superlatives from musicians whose opinions I trust on Hillary Hahn's recording of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas. In fact I think it terribly unfair to lump her in the same class as Andre Rieu and Charlotte Church.
Probably true about the lumping. Questions were raised by members of the old MSN forum about her as a product of a teacher she once had (don't know if she still does). The focus of the criticism appeared to be that she was a typical product of that teacher and as such was more form than substance. But hey! The kid was just a kid then and perhaps her earliest output was hyped beyond its worth. I haven't heard that specific criticism in many years, so maybe she has matured as an artist and found her own "voice" as they say.
Fluter wrote:Do people usually hide that here? I think it's great to focus on a specific genre in to greater depth than sampling everything, listening to only the popular showpieces of each era.
Well, no to your question. It's just that we don't have that many. Check out the EM sticky and you will see all of them in one place. I don't think we have ever had a member who focused on EM exclusively, not even yours truly. I'm sure you and Rod will enjoy each other a lot. Check out his Beethoven on OI and say 'howdy!'

I don't think one way of listening is better than another. A lot of folks come to classical on the basis of one piece or one composer and follow their bliss. Better that than no familiarity at all. However, it makes for curious lacunae in a person's experience. I do think the enjoyment is increased by broader more disciplined knowledge of the genre and its history than specializing, at least in the beginning. We get a fair number of excited newbies here who want to know what to do next. I always recommend listening to everything they can get their hands on, and then drilling down on a developing list of favorites. A general history of musical styles will always stand one in good stead. Beyond that you have to do what you like, not what others think is good for you. I like EM. I'll always be a booster. But I'm not going to tell anyone that they are not entitled to like X unless they hear it in an HIP or OI performance - that's too exclusive and cuts out a lot of pleasure from recordings of the past before the authenticity bug bit everyone.
Fluter wrote:I generally despise them because I consider classical music to be a culture and heritage, that can't be just replaced with a modern pop culture playing the same notes.


Well, that's very purist of you, but someone's got to foot the bill for this exercise in worship of the past. I would rather people prefer Björling to Bocelli, but if eliminating Bocelli means I don't get Björling, I'll suffer the lumpencrossover successes.
According to the books I listed, the past artists like Karajan were also very greedy, but I personally feel that at least they have the classical and dignified persona I can get along with them.


One of the problems presented to today's artists is that they have to live with museum pieces that established a standard that rebukes the younger artists. It's not that the latter are completely suffocated; it's that they are constantly measured against the legacies of the long dead and usually found wanting. I don't know how Lang Lang feels about being compared a Schnabel or a Richter or even a younger Brendel but I would find it pretty daunting. According to one writer, Timothy Day, the legacies themselves have produced a more or less featureless fungible artist today lacking in regional piquancy that gives the legacy artists their unique characters.
Another thing about this is: don't these classical celebrities steal business from the more serious artists?
Do you have some empirical evidence to back up this conjecture? Because I would say that's impossible as long as the record companies have vaults and reissue recordings every few years.
Because that would be a bad thing, if a layperson wants to explore classical music, instead of buying something from Hogwood they will probably pick up something from Lang Lang because his poster is on the store's window.


Well, assuming that these two artists would ever cross repertoire, it might be remotely possible, but given the wholly different genres in which these two artists exist, I think the idea that Lang Lang is going to drive Hogwood out is you just scaring yourself because you can. A lay listener probably has no idea what OI and HIP are, so why would same go looking for Hogwood or buy Hogwood on a whim? And if same wants Mozart in OI/HIP, he would not be a lay listener any more.
And when these more high-brow musicians are forced out of business, and the new generations into other careers because they see this business is guaranteed doom, then who is left to play classical music?
Okay, now you are starting to sound like my philosophy-major officemate who liked to spin unlikely scenarios just to see who would lend them legitimacy by discussing his propositions.
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Post by Fluter » Mon Aug 06, 2007 1:51 pm

Ok, I have said all there is to be said. We'll just leave it as agreeing to disagree (at some points).

The above sarcastic poster, your input was neither funny nor clever. You twisted my words and the verbal attacks make you unworthy to join in this discussion.

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Post by absinthe » Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:25 pm

I hadn't intended to join this "discussion" but, come on, nothing wrong in the big pronouncements of your first posts but is this abruptness aimed at those who disagree warranted? I happen to agree with Corlyss_D et al. Like it or loathe it, these pop classical artists do introduce a huge number of people to the presence of classical music when they otherwise wouldn't be interested...often because classical music simply isn't street. But I'll bet posters of Vanessa Mae and the Bond Quartet adorn a few adolescent bedrooms.

I can see the marketeers viewpoint. The classical guys are trying to use the same ad strategies as the pop departments that have shown they can sell music. You don't try to sell a product, you sell an idea; you "awaken latent desires". In the case of popular music you sell not music but a lifestyle. I doubt the focus of classical sales is quite that yet but they're trying to apply some of the lessons. Vanessa Mae (not quite my proclivity) but...s.e.x sells... well the idea of erotic promise does... She has what it takes and she can play. So they exploit these qualities. The balance in the General Ledger is healthier for her presence than some highly specialised artist who sells maybe 250 CDs. For that matter, popular music has long propped up the cost of much classical recording among the larger companies.

So it's probably that you'd get far less of those you class as true artists were it not for the more popular figures who capitalise on more than musical talent (or perhaps compensate for lack of talent). Simple as that.

Sometimes glamour and artistry co-exist well. Have a look at Cinzia Forte in Rossini's "La Gazzetta". She sings to me in my sleep!!
Last edited by absinthe on Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Donald Isler » Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:36 pm

An artist's popularity has nothing to do with his/her quality. I am utterly uninfluenced by such superficiality; have known great artists who never received the recognition they should have, and lesser accomplished musicians whose careers went farther ahead.

How good are they? That's all that's important to me.
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Post by Fluter » Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:42 pm

absinthe wrote:I hadn't intended to join this "discussion" but, come on, nothing wrong in the big pronouncements of your first posts but is this abruptness aimed at those who disagree warranted?
No, it was a response to Haydnseek. I already said I'll leave it at this and I'm not going to argue more.

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Post by Fluter » Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:45 pm

Donald Isler wrote:An artist's popularity has nothing to do with his/her quality.

How good are they? That's all that's important to me.
You misread my post, it's not about popularity, it's about their personal styles.

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Post by absinthe » Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:47 pm

Fluter wrote:
absinthe wrote:I hadn't intended to join this "discussion" but, come on, nothing wrong in the big pronouncements of your first posts but is this abruptness aimed at those who disagree warranted?
No, it was a response to Haydnseek. I already said I'll leave it at this and I'm not going to argue more.
Okay... I hadn't asked you to do that. No argument from here.

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Post by absinthe » Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:56 pm

deleted
Last edited by absinthe on Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by piston » Mon Aug 06, 2007 4:10 pm

Well, this thread is really about marketing and marketing experts aren't always interested in either talent or artistic excellence. There have been some really atrocious marketing ideas such as this one:
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Post by Donald Isler » Mon Aug 06, 2007 4:11 pm

I am ABSOLUTELY right, concerning how I judge artists. (I'm not speaking for anyone else, however.) Ive known, and heard enough musicians over many years, from great to mediocre. And nothing influences what I think of their artistry except how they play. Period.
Donald Isler

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Post by absinthe » Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:04 pm

Donald Isler wrote:I am ABSOLUTELY right, concerning how I judge artists. (I'm not speaking for anyone else, however.) Ive known, and heard enough musicians over many years, from great to mediocre. And nothing influences what I think of their artistry except how they play. Period.
Yes, of course you have your absolute right to your opinion. But I'm not in the mood to get bitten for tentative agreement with someone to whom I have the manners to respond in discussion. Therefore I'll delete the post that incited your explication of your absolute right!!! Good on ya, matey. Be a great judge!

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Post by Donald Isler » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:20 pm

Same to you!
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Post by slofstra » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:10 pm

Fluter,

I have a sense that your perspective is not a North American one. That's not a criticism, but you're evaluating something most of us take for granted or have given up on ever solving.

Artistic and commercial success are, unfortunately, too often at odds. You can't always blame the artist for their image, as often as not, they are not in control of it - the marketing machine takes care of that. It's very unfortunate when someone who is not mature as an artist is typecast in a certain way because it can ruin a career.

I don't think I'd worry about commercial success taking away earnings from artistic ones. It's not a zero-sum equation. In fact, a group like Bondo or El Deviant can be a gateway into classical from pop for some listeners.

And you have to admire what Andre Rieu is doing, I think.

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Post by Fluter » Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:37 pm

slofstra wrote:Fluter,

I have a sense that your perspective is not a North American one. That's not a criticism, but you're evaluating something most of us take for granted or have given up on ever solving.
I don't really consider myself as having an European view, because I don't know how this is exactly categorized. I have only through discussing on this forum today realized that most of these stars are in the States. Well, that is just another evidence that they are the problem, not that the people who don't like them are "elitist, narrow minded".

Artistic and commercial success are, unfortunately, too often at odds. You can't always blame the artist for their image, as often as not, they are not in control of it - the marketing machine takes care of that. It's very unfortunate when someone who is not mature as an artist is typecast in a certain way because it can ruin a career.
That excuse get used too much by the supporters of the stars, and such excuses have been used too much history to justify evil. If they weren't the sellout type the businessmen wouldn't have laid eyes on them in the first place. And deciding to choose that kind of a path is a deliberate choice, they have not been captured and hypnotized by anyone. (this is not a rant directed against you)
I don't think I'd worry about commercial success taking away earnings from artistic ones. It's not a zero-sum equation. In fact, a group like Bondo or El Deviant can be a gateway into classical from pop for some listeners.
Hmm... so you are saying that the popish classical performers are not artistic? Then I don't see what we are arguing about here because we are sort of in agreement.
And you have to admire what Andre Rieu is doing, I think.
Rieu is not a classical musician, he is an entertainer. And for the purpose he is doing a very good job. He is very pleasant, always in a good mood. I enjoy watching his shows when they are shown on PBS, mostly re-runs. His shows are a play instead of just about the music, it's like going to a comedian+light music+dancing and entertainment+splendor of the fake dresses and 19th century atmosphere combined into 1 show. I like that guy because I don't consider him to be a classical musician, kind of like that Richard Clayderman guy.

Seiji Ozawa was famous partly because he wore tuxedos or other old fashioned clothing to concerts, people back then had the taste to appreciate that kind of etiquette. It's like watching one of those modern day re-enactment of the early dances like the Folias. It's beyond me why people would go to a superstar concert playing fake music with colorful stage lights, instead of going to one of those historical re-creations, even if done by amateurs in a community college.

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Post by Ken » Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:47 am

Just out of curiousity, does anyone else see a slight resemblence between Andre Rieu and Nicolo Paganini?

Image Image

They're brothers separated by two centuries. :lol:
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Post by Werner » Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:24 am

Yes - they're both holding a violin.
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Post by karlhenning » Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:56 am

Yeesh, Rieu looks so pleased with himself.
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Post by absinthe » Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:17 am

If they're playing the same thing then Paganini is the more magical - he doesn't even need to place his bow on the strings....

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Post by Ken » Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:27 pm

Werner wrote:Yes - they're both holding a violin.
Come, now -- the high cheekbone, the happy smirk, the long luscious locks, the evening wear, the ever-present sound of the Blue Danube Waltz... Oh, wait a minute. That's just Rieu.
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Post by slofstra » Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:05 pm

Fluter wrote:Then I don't see what we are arguing about here because we are sort of in agreement.
Substantially, I would say that is correct. I admit that I do like Andre Rieu. Anyone that can fill a stadium playing 'The Blue Danube' has something going for him.
Also, I wish our local symphony players dressed half as well as his do.

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