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Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?

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  • #31
    Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?

    [quote user="Etienne"]


    I couldn't disagree more. I don't go to a performance to be 'entertained.' I go to a performance to hear music. Sometimes I even close my eyes and let it flow through me.</P>


    Antics on the part of the performer are a distraction. Flourishes and gestures while changing stops come across as phony.</P>


    You state that performance is all about drama. That is patently untrue, unless you are speaking of Opera.</P>


    As for your 'rock star' examples, the less said the better.</P>


    [/quote]</P>


    I take it you dont go to many Vocal Recitals or choir concerts.....</P>


    Tho If you dont like how one is performing you can always "close your eyes". </P>


    I thinkmost performers are just moved by the music. How could anyone not be? But on the flip side... some people do indulge themselves at times. </P>


    As long as the music is performed well... I dont mind. But if they are stiff as a board... I wonder how much tension is building up in their body. And that is not a good thing for ones technique. </P>

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    • #32
      Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?

      [quote user="mpsnknox"][quote user="Etienne"]


      I couldn't disagree more. I don't go to a performance to be 'entertained.' I go to a performance to hear music. Sometimes I even close my eyes and let it flow through me.</P>


      Antics on the part of the performer are a distraction. Flourishes and gestures while changing stops come across as phony.</P>


      You state that performance is all about drama. That is patently untrue, unless you are speaking of Opera.</P>


      As for your 'rock star' examples, the less said the better.</P>


      [/quote]</P>


      I take it you dont go to many Vocal Recitals or choir concerts.....</P>


      Tho If you dont like how one is performing you can always "close your eyes". </P>


      I thinkmost performers are just moved by the music. How could anyone not be? But on the flip side... some people do indulge themselves at times. </P>


      As long as the music is performed well... I dont mind. But if they are stiff as a board... I wonder how much tension is building up in their body. And that is not a good thing for ones technique. </P>


      [/quote]</P>


      I have been to a great many vocal recitals and even more choir concerts over the decades. And I have been a member of any number of choirs and choral groups.</P>


      Performers, be they solo or ensemble, can be 'moved by the music' without detracting from the listener's enjoyment with their carryings on.</P>


      On the other hand, a conductor who uses a bouncy, enerjetic conducting style can be interesting.</P>


      If you are a member of the choir in a performance of say, the Mozart 'Requiem,' you don't want to call attention to yourself. You need to blend in with the group just as your voice blends in with your fellow singers.</P>
      <P mce_keep="true"></P>
      <P mce_keep="true"></P>

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      • #33
        Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



        I don't suppose anyone was thinking of wild performances by choir members. I think that would be fairly unusual. But soloists can be rather too much. I went to a jazz concert given by a female vocalist. She was amazing. I have never, ever, seen a body contorted in so many ways. She bent left, she bent right, she bent over forward and backward, her head swivelled as if she were auditioning for a scene from the Exorcist, her hands flew everywhere and she posed and posed with perhaps 4 distinct hand positions for each syllable...it was completely and utterly distracting. I regularly go to jazz venues and I've never seen anything remotely like this. Just incredible...and fortunately rare.</P>


        Rob</P>

        Comment


        • #34
          Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?

          [quote user="Etienne"]


          I couldn't disagree more. I don't go to a performance to be 'entertained.' I go to a performance to hear music. Sometimes I even close my eyes and let it flow through me.</P>


          Antics on the part of the performer are a distraction. Flourishes and gestures while changing stops come across as phony.</P>


          You state that performance is all about drama. That is patently untrue, unless you are speaking of Opera.</P>


          As for your 'rock star' examples, the less said the better.</P>


          [/quote]Wow ... y'know Metamucile might be of some help ... just sayin'. [:)]</P>


          I go to performances to hear music as well. Live, in the moment, music. And yes, any performance is about dramatizing an emotion, carrying through a feeling, speaking within universal languages. Most times that I've seen a lot of inspired drama (as opposed to rehearsed/scripted drama) the musical performance that acompanied it was stratospheric. Sometimes more is better, other times it's not as appropriate. Depends on who you ask I guess, and what their expectations were going into the theater as opposed to what was delivered.</P>


          While my examples may not be what you might call "on topic", they are valid nonetheless. If you ask me (and the OP did) the waving of hands up in the air and that sortof silliness during traditional and classical organ pieces is absolutely ridiculous, and adds little to the credibility of the genuine-ness of the player's performance, and should be saved for movies with Vincent Price and Bella Legosi. But .. does it look cool? Yup. So I suppose it depends on where you musical heart is if you find that sort of rebelious behavior pertinent or quaint.</P>


          Jerry Lee Lewis is just as genuine as Liberace .. and both had their own forms, no doubt. Flamboyance becomes fake when it no longer is a component of the performance and only a means of getting attention.</P>
          <P mce_keep="true"></P>

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



            While my examples may not be what you might call "on topic", they are valid nonetheless. If you ask me (and the OP did) the waving of hands up in the air and that sortof silliness during traditional and classical organ pieces is absolutely ridiculous, and adds little to the credibility of the genuine-ness of the player's performance</P>


            I thought that was what we were talking about.</P>

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



              Here's an interesting example of what you might call a 'moderately' dramatic performance:</P>


              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71f2fahFhDE</P>


              The pianist is Fazil Say, who was born in Turkey.</P>
              <P mce_keep="true"></P>

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



                If I can raise a related issue, what about performances where the motions are unconscious?  A good example would be Ton Koopman:</p>

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PH8Z6cmlts </p>

                 </p>

                Also, what about when musicians choose dramatic camera angles and styles in their music.  Is THAT too dramatic too?   </p>

                 </p>

                It is my impression that most of our best players move with the music in some way or other.  Is this different from your 'dramatic performance'?? </p>

                 While most of us are taught that extraneous motion=bad, I think it's more to discourage bad habits than to eliminate it entirely!  We're PERFORMERS.</p>

                Other examples: Daniel Roth:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKImiR7a4zw</p>

                 </p>

                Paul Jacobs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-Sos...eature=related </p>

                 Diane Bish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4URAu...eature=related</p>

                (she's more gentle, but the extraneous movement is still there)</p>

                Cameron Carpenter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HrhZ1-cPJE </p>

                 </p>

                 </p>

                And just to counter all of that and say that it isn't necessary, here's Olivier Messiaen improvising: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSH9sVjpy8g </p>

                Also, the late John Balka: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t38aWitpVXQ </p>

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?

                  I have to admit that this was the first I've ever seen or heard of Cameron Carpenter. He's quite dexterous. Quite a showcase arrangement for his abilities. But I think he's looking for a very different crowd than that of a classical presenter. I didn't find Daniel Roth's or Diane Bish's presentation at the console melodramatic in the least. Paul Jacobs' performance was a bit of a push, but not too much so -- it was apparent in the video that he was more after the filming of his "style" than the music. Unnecessary movements but nothing too flashy. I think more of what I didn't like about Jacobs presentation was his use of the expression shades in playing Bach. Now that was nasty!

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



                    I think part of what we need to remember in this discussion is that we all have different tastes. I'll use me and my 14-year old sister as an example.</p>

                    1) We decide to eat rice for lunch.
                    A. She eats plain white rice with soy sauce.
                    B. I eat some Uncle Ben's flavored wild rice mix with Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce mixed in. </p>

                    2. Fragrances
                    A. She maintains that as long as she is clean she does not need any perfume. She prefers to be scentless.
                    B. On ordinary days I cover myself in Old Spice Aqua Reef body spray. On special days and for church, out comes the German 4711 cologne from my grandfather. (4711.com)
                    </p>

                    All that to say that we do not need to kill each other over a subjective issue. Comparing rock with classical music is an <span style="font-style: italic;">objective</span> issue-there are readily apparent differences that any musician can discern. SB32 and other pros correct me, but does it really matter if you sit stock-still while playing or make dramatic gestures, provided you play the song right and make a beautiful sound?
                    </p>

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                    • #40
                      Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



                      I was a bit uncomfortable watching the Ton Koopman video, even though I enjoyed his playing. I suppose the question is: do we really know that those movements are unconscious? The head-shaking at the cadence seemed particularly mannered.</P>


                      I can only speak for myself: I have been trained to be very still at the piano; it is about economy of motion. When I play the organ I try to maintain that sense of composure. I equate composure with elegance (I'm thinking of Artur Rubenstein's magisterial aura at the piano).</P>


                      Howevera quiet and composed approachdoes not mean to be as rigid as possible! There must be some fluidity and ease;the player must berelaxed. Softer gestures are expressed when I lift my hands at cadences.</P>


                      I only use my torso when attacking a large, loud chord or at the final release. This issometimes 'for show', but I try to be tasteful about it. [:)] A heavy action requires a bit more movement.</P>


                      It's not surprising that I like that John Balka video; ourstyles are quite similar ... I knew him well.</P>

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: Dramatic Performance Style: like it or not?



                        I agree with Philip. I certainly understand soubasse32's comment about economy of motion, but if someone is capable at the keyboard, I see no reason why they should not express themselves physically. For me, extreme theatricality is off-putting, but so is watching someone who looks like a statue when they're performing.
                        </p>

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Economy of motion is certainly a Widorian concept. As a rule, flamboyant playing often comes with flamboyant interpretationI suspect. Not my preference. Although Cameron Carpenter did amaze me when I saw him play Bach's Fantasia (and fugue) in G Minor. In the Fantasia, he played each contrapuntal line on a seperate division during the imitative episodes (amazing). But then he destroyed the fugue. I am happier playing it than listening to him play it.

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