Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

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Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by Lance » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:16 pm

This is a remarkable book that has been around for awhile, but this 2017 edition published in England by Biteback Publishing and is a 454 page compendium of many musical subjects. Critics have stated: "Brendel not only discusses the works in hand with his usual clarity and warmth but also sets them in a wider context with a wisdom that comes from being a musician rather than a mere academic ... An altogether remarkable book." —Grammophone. "The only danger for musicians in handling this book is a creeping sense of their own inadequacy as they see how they really dedicated go about things." —John McLachlan, Journal of Music. The book is basically presented in about 10-12 sections. For me, "Coping with Pianos" was most interesting (and we have all heard about Brendel and his pianos!]; then there is "Liszt Misunderstood," which should be read by anybody who thinks Liszt's music is superfluous or mere virtuosity. Heavy chapters on Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt, Busoni, performance, programmes and recording. You get your money's worth for this paperback edition. He talks about his Vox years, those first recordings made in the USA, the Vanguard, and the Philips/Decca years.

HIGHLY recommended.
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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by John F » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:27 pm

My copy is on the way from Barnes & Noble.
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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by Rach3 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:10 pm

If you have not heard these early Brendel recordings , all ca. 1955 I believe, worth a listen 👍

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FVaMxmZNmo ( Prokofiev , Piano Concerto No.5 )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfqVGWCYfw8&t=55s ( Mussorgsky, " Pictures " )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDGdthy9UIY ( Balakirev, " Islamey " )

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by Lance » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:56 pm

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com ... SY355_.jpg

Indeed, Brilliant gives us a 35-CD boxed set [93761] of all of Brendel's Early Vox and Turnabout recordings as well as those he did for Vanguard. It's hard to believe this set is now a bit over 10 years old in the Brilliant incarnation. I got mine for around $60 when first issued in 2008. I see Amazon has it now for $120. There is very much to enjoy in Brendel's youthful years just coming off his studies with the legendary pianist/teacher Edwin Fischer. For me, his early Schubert on Vox are some of the best recordings ever made in the days of audio tape. Brilliant also issued some other Brendel (all of which is in the 35 CD boxed set now), including "A Liszt Portrait" [94215], Brilliant's Schubert Edition (with many artists) [94870, 69 CDs], and two other Liszt sets [99273, 3 CDs; and 99936]. As someone stated above, most are stereo but a few in mono complete the set. Nice to have all these in one big set.
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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by barney » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:03 pm

I just ordered it now from the Book Depository, $16.60 incl. postage.

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by maestrob » Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:13 am

barney wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:03 pm
I just ordered it now from the Book Depository, $16.60 incl. postage.
Wow! A bargain for sure!

I just finished listening to the Brilliant set this past Spring, and, as Lance says, the Schubert is sublime, and the other solo works are just OK for a young artist, but the works with orchestra suffer from inadequate conducting (except for Mehta in Beethoven V). Overall I found the set worth listening to, but Brendel improved SO MUCH as an artist later on that I would say buy the Brilliant set for his Schubert Impromptus, and then hang on to your Phillips complete set, for it is there that Brendel's artistry matures and blossoms.

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:39 pm

John F wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:27 pm
My copy is on the way from Barnes & Noble.
Fortunately, I own a Nook, which is Barnes & Nobles superior answer to the Kindle. Therefore I just downloaded it.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by John F » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:38 am

My niece and her daughters have a Nook and like it very much; its advantage for them over the Kindle is that it does color, essential in children's books. For me the Kindle Paperwhite model, backlit, is superior because with it I can download New York Public Library's ebooks for free; they don't do the Nook format.
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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:07 am

John F wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:38 am
My niece and her daughters have a Nook and like it very much; its advantage for them over the Kindle is that it does color, essential in children's books. For me the Kindle Paperwhite model, backlit, is superior because with it I can download New York Public Library's ebooks for free; they don't do the Nook format.
The other advantage is that Nook is also a tablet, not that this does me much good, because the only time I would use it that way is at a school when I was sub teaching, and with exceedingly rare exceptions they don't give wi-fi access to a substitute teacher, not to mention the in-house computer network. I can't even use the Smartboard when I need to. You'd think that after all these years I might be a trusted exception, but no, and BTW, I would only use it during lunch or a planning period. Conscientiously yours, John B.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by John F » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:52 am

Eventually Amazon caught on and developed an e-reader cum tablet called Fire. Makes no difference to me as I don't carry a smartphone or tablet; at the library I can use the computer at the information desk pretty much without restrictions (except that I can't install software of my choice on it), and otherwise I'm at home most of the time.
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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by barney » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:20 pm

maestrob wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:13 am
barney wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:03 pm
I just ordered it now from the Book Depository, $16.60 incl. postage.
Wow! A bargain for sure!

I just finished listening to the Brilliant set this past Spring, and, as Lance says, the Schubert is sublime, and the other solo works are just OK for a young artist, but the works with orchestra suffer from inadequate conducting (except for Mehta in Beethoven V). Overall I found the set worth listening to, but Brendel improved SO MUCH as an artist later on that I would say buy the Brilliant set for his Schubert Impromptus, and then hang on to your Phillips complete set, for it is there that Brendel's artistry matures and blossoms.
Agree both about the Schubert and the later works in the big Philips set.

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by John F » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:16 am

In his preface, Brendel says: "In some of my essays and lectures I've tried to clear my own mind, explain things to myself, give myself advice, and provide answers to questions to which I couldn't find satisfying ones in the literature available to me at the time of writing." This modest statement of purpose is followed by an equally modest rationale for publishing his writings: "Simultaneously I entertained the hope that what I taught myself might be of some interest to others." You can't disarm criticism better than that! Nevertheless...

I've always found some of Brendel's writings not only interesting but enlightening. But coming back to them now, or most of them (some in this collection are previously unpublished), I'm a little disappointed. It's not just that Brendel's prose style in English is rather stilted and uninviting; as an achievement in a language not his own, it's impressive and can't be faulted. But it's not just how he says it but what he says that sometimes seems too abstract. He rarely gives specific examples of what he's talking about; he may not have needed to when explaining things to himself, but by publishing he has undertaken to explain things to us, and too often I can't come up with examples off the top of my head of what he's talking about. Obviously, common knowledge doesn't need to be spelled out, but Brendel's uncommon knowledge does need fuller explanations than he sometimes gives.

Even so, I'm grateful for Brendel's writings and glad to have them. In the preface he speaks of this as the "final compilation of my musical essays," meaning that he intends or at least expects to write no more. But if he does, I hope to read it.
John Francis

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:05 am

This is a complete change of subject, and you must feel free to ignore it and continue with the topic of the thread, but I can never hear about "stilted English" from a German speaker and not think of this, which Freud, who at the time had spent no period in an English-speaking country, wrote in better English than I can manage. I was once transfixed by the original at an exhibit at the Library of Congress, which owns it. One must remember that it was many decades later that the US medical community came around to the conclusion that homosexuality is a normal variation of human sexuality, and impossible to erase.

Dear Mrs. [Erased]

I gather from your letter that your son is a homosexual. I am most impressed by the fact, that you do not mention this term yourself in your information about him. May I question you why you avoid it? Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.) It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime and cruelty too. If you do not believe me, read the books of Havelock Ellis.

By asking me if I can help, you mean, I suppose, if I can abolish homosexuality and make normal heterosexuality take its place. The answer is, in a general way, we cannot promise to achieve this. In a certain number of cases we succeed in developing the blighted germs of heterosexual tendencies, which are present in every homosexual; in the majority of cases it is no longer possible. It is a question of the quality and the age of the individual. The result of treatment cannot be predicted.
Facsimile page 2

What analysis can do for your son runs in a different line. If he is unhappy, neurotic, torn by conflicts, inhibited in his social life, analysis may bring him harmony, peace of mind, full efficiency, whether he remains a homosexual or gets changed. If you make up your mind he should have analysis with me—I don’t expect you will—, he has to come over to Vienna. I have no intention of leaving here. However, don’t neglect to give me your answer.

Sincerely yours with best wishes,

Freud

P.S.

I did not find it difficult to read your handwriting. Hope you will not find my writing and my English a harder task.

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by John F » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:52 am

After drifting into discussion of Brendel's recordings, now we've left him behind and drifted further into bilingualism. I guess it's my fault for criticizing Brendel's prose style.

Writers who are fluent and even stylish in two or more languages are not so rare. The obvious example is Samuel Beckett, an Irishman who wrote many of his plays and novels in French, then recreated them in English. Another Irishman, Oscar Wilde, wrote his play "Salome" in French. Wilde said, "I have one instrument that I know I can command, and that is the English language. There was another instrument to which I had listened all my life, and I wanted once to touch this new instrument to see whether I could make any beautiful thing out of it. [...] Of course, there are modes of expression that a Frenchman of letters would not have used, but they give a certain relief or colour to the play. A great deal of the curious effect that Maeterlinck produces comes from the fact that he, a Flamand by grace, writes in an alien language... "

Freud's English is not quite idiomatic either. He wrote, "I am most impressed by the fact, that you do not mention this term yourself in your information about him." Neither you nor any native speaker of English would have inserted that comma. "May I question you why you avoid it?" A native speaker would have written "ask," not "question." And so on. The Wikipedia article on Freud says he was commissioned in 1879 to translate "four essays from John Stuart Mill's collected works," 56 years before writing that letter, and read Shakespeare in English for most of his life. Writing the letter to Mrs. ____ may not have been effortless but with the help of a dictionary, I don't suppose he sweated over it for hours.
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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by barney » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:37 pm

You are quite right, John, but - as a professional sub-editor for decades - I'd have been pleased to find that level of literacy among many native speakers. Some time I may post some of my favourite howlers, but most of them are not musical.

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by John F » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:08 am

Back when I was working in college textbook publishing, I had to edit some freshman composition textbooks by authors who couldn't write worth **** themselves. Major rewrite jobs required. I'm no brilliant stylist myself, I know what good writing is and how I fall short, but jeez!
John Francis

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by Belle » Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:30 pm

John F wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:16 am
In his preface, Brendel says: "In some of my essays and lectures I've tried to clear my own mind, explain things to myself, give myself advice, and provide answers to questions to which I couldn't find satisfying ones in the literature available to me at the time of writing." This modest statement of purpose is followed by an equally modest rationale for publishing his writings: "Simultaneously I entertained the hope that what I taught myself might be of some interest to others." You can't disarm criticism better than that! Nevertheless...

I've always found some of Brendel's writings not only interesting but enlightening. But coming back to them now, or most of them (some in this collection are previously unpublished), I'm a little disappointed. It's not just that Brendel's prose style in English is rather stilted and uninviting; as an achievement in a language not his own, it's impressive and can't be faulted. But it's not just how he says it but what he says that sometimes seems too abstract. He rarely gives specific examples of what he's talking about; he may not have needed to when explaining things to himself, but by publishing he has undertaken to explain things to us, and too often I can't come up with examples off the top of my head of what he's talking about. Obviously, common knowledge doesn't need to be spelled out, but Brendel's uncommon knowledge does need fuller explanations than he sometimes gives.

Even so, I'm grateful for Brendel's writings and glad to have them. In the preface he speaks of this as the "final compilation of my musical essays," meaning that he intends or at least expects to write no more. But if he does, I hope to read it.
Many of your second paragraph comments are exactly my own complaints about Charles Rosen!!! English, of course, was his first language.

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:03 pm

Belle wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:30 pm
Many of your second paragraph comments are exactly my own complaints about Charles Rosen!!! English, of course, was his first language.
Rosen has to be taken as a whole. In his book on Romantic music, he doesn't even mention Brahms, the greatest composer chronologically after Beethoven. Yet it is clear from later, shorter writings that he revered Brahms. I have never found anything wrong with his writing style.

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by barney » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:59 am

Does "after Beethoven" include Schubert (born later, died a year later)?
That's a possibly contentious claim, John. Verdi, Wagner, Mahler, Stravinsky, Shostakovich would all have their advocates, don't you think. Or others perhaps.

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by John F » Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:35 am

Belle wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:30 pm
John F wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:16 am
[Brendel] rarely gives specific examples of what he's talking about; he may not have needed to when explaining things to himself, but by publishing he has undertaken to explain things to us, and too often I can't come up with examples off the top of my head of what he's talking about. Obviously, common knowledge doesn't need to be spelled out, but Brendel's uncommon knowledge does need fuller explanations than he sometimes gives.
Many of your second paragraph comments are exactly my own complaints about Charles Rosen!!! English, of course, was his first language.
I don't know what you can mean by this. Rosen always provides specific examples to illustrate and make clear what he's saying. And he goes far deeper into the music and its style than Brendel's essays mostly do. On the other hand, Brendel was the finer pianist... :)

To jbuck919: "The Romantic Generation" Rosen is writing "on music from the death of Beethoven to the death of Chopin," and he says, "I have limited myself to those composers whose characteristic styles were defined in the late 1820s and early 1830s." The omission of Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and their contemporaries, or for that matter Beethoven and Schubert, is not an oversight, for they were of other generations and outside the declared scope of his book, which nonetheless is 700 pages long.
John Francis

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:56 am

John F wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:35 am
Belle wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:30 pm
John F wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:16 am
[Brendel] rarely gives specific examples of what he's talking about; he may not have needed to when explaining things to himself, but by publishing he has undertaken to explain things to us, and too often I can't come up with examples off the top of my head of what he's talking about. Obviously, common knowledge doesn't need to be spelled out, but Brendel's uncommon knowledge does need fuller explanations than he sometimes gives.
Many of your second paragraph comments are exactly my own complaints about Charles Rosen!!! English, of course, was his first language.
I don't know what you can mean by this. Rosen always provides specific examples to illustrate and make clear what he's saying. And he goes far deeper into the music and its style than Brendel's essays mostly do. On the other hand, Brendel was the finer pianist... :)

To jbuck919: "The Romantic Generation" Rosen is writing "on music from the death of Beethoven to the death of Chopin," and he says, "I have limited myself to those composers whose characteristic styles were defined in the late 1820s and early 1830s." The omission of Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and their contemporaries, or for that matter Beethoven and Schubert, is not an oversight, for they were of other generations and outside the declared scope of his book, which nonetheless is 700 pages long.
I was aware of Rosen's intention. I simply thought he limited himself too much. I mean, chronologically, from Beethoven to the death of Chopin and eliminate Schubert? Tchaikovsky does not count. Though a few of his works are magic, I doubt that Rosen thought more of him than I do, and to my knowledge never wrote about him.

Was Brendel the greater pianist? Long ago I posted that I heard a radio broadcast of a performance by him of the later Haydn Sonata in E-flat that was full of errors. I could have played it better, and have done. He was probably sick, but my God, you would not believe how awful it was. On the other hand, I would give anything to have a recording by Rosen of Chopin, who unlike most pianists had deeply researched him for appropriate and glorious performances.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by Belle » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:50 am

John F wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:35 am
Belle wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:30 pm
John F wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:16 am
[Brendel] rarely gives specific examples of what he's talking about; he may not have needed to when explaining things to himself, but by publishing he has undertaken to explain things to us, and too often I can't come up with examples off the top of my head of what he's talking about. Obviously, common knowledge doesn't need to be spelled out, but Brendel's uncommon knowledge does need fuller explanations than he sometimes gives.
Many of your second paragraph comments are exactly my own complaints about Charles Rosen!!! English, of course, was his first language.
I don't know what you can mean by this. Rosen always provides specific examples to illustrate and make clear what he's saying. And he goes far deeper into the music and its style than Brendel's essays mostly do. On the other hand, Brendel was the finer pianist... :)

To jbuck919: "The Romantic Generation" Rosen is writing "on music from the death of Beethoven to the death of Chopin," and he says, "I have limited myself to those composers whose characteristic styles were defined in the late 1820s and early 1830s." The omission of Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and their contemporaries, or for that matter Beethoven and Schubert, is not an oversight, for they were of other generations and outside the declared scope of his book, which nonetheless is 700 pages long.
Brendel has no pretensions to be a Charles Rosen scholarly pianist. He talks about his own understandings from knowing and playing the works. Ergo, he doesn't use specific musical examples - just general understandings of the nature of a work, such as are found in his book on music which is on my shelf. Rosen, on the other hand - and as I've said before - writes very dense syntax which isn't readily accessible and often drifts into a stream-of-consciousness style. When I've provided specific examples in the past these have been explained away with "well, you've got to read the whole". No, actually, you can look at one page of any author's work to see how effectively, or otherwise, his writing style communicates to the reader. Sometimes I've found Brendel obtuse but I put that down to his native language being German and not English and the fact that he writes as he speaks - not always a good thing to do. They are two very discrete forms of communication, writing and speaking. In short, Brendel's writing reminds me of somebody who has dictated his ideas and then copied them onto the page.

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:45 am

Primarily to Belle:

As the only possessor here of two degrees in music theory, I assure you and everybody that there are only a very few great music theoreticians since Renaissance times, and Rosen is one of them. (Others are Fuchs, Schenker, Tovey, believe it or not Leopold Mozart, CPE Bach, and Quantz, who wrote the standard methods for their respective instruments, Schoenberg, and oddly Brahms whose Oktaven und Fünften has never received an engraved edition, plus a handful of others of whom you would never have heard.) I am sorry that you have these difficulties with him, but they are your difficulties, not his.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by maestrob » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:30 am

In defense of Charles Rosen as a pianist, I must say that his only failure in the studio was the Beethoven Op. 111. In other repertoire, he did very well, IMHO, with excellent performances of Haydn, at a time when both Richter and Horowitz were just beginning to explore that composer.

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:39 am

maestrob wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:30 am
In defense of Charles Rosen as a pianist, I must say that his only failure in the studio was the Beethoven Op. 111. In other repertoire, he did very well, IMHO, with excellent performances of Haydn, at a time when both Richter and Horowitz were just beginning to explore that composer.
I still own his recording of the late Beethoven sonatas. Unfortunately, I cannot listen to them because of the clutter under which my turntable is concealed in an outbuilding. Exactly what do you think was was wrong with the Opus 111, when there are far more difficult passages in the late sonatas?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by maestrob » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:49 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:39 am
maestrob wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:30 am
In defense of Charles Rosen as a pianist, I must say that his only failure in the studio was the Beethoven Op. 111. In other repertoire, he did very well, IMHO, with excellent performances of Haydn, at a time when both Richter and Horowitz were just beginning to explore that composer.
I still own his recording of the late Beethoven sonatas. Unfortunately, I cannot listen to them because of the clutter under which my turntable is concealed in an outbuilding. Exactly what do you think was was wrong with the Opus 111, when there are far more difficult passages in the late sonatas?
In the second movement, there are passages that don't flow properly, with an awkward transition of tempo in at least one spot where he seems to struggle with the fingering. Unfortunately, I don't have a score: perhaps you or JohnF can find it on youtube and post it for us. I'm no good at that. :(

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by Rach3 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:24 pm

maestrob wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:30 am
In defense of Charles Rosen as a pianist, I must say that his only failure in the studio was the Beethoven Op. 111. In other repertoire, he did very well, IMHO, with excellent performances of Haydn, at a time when both Richter and Horowitz were just beginning to explore that composer.
Rosen’s 1966 (?) lp “Virtuoso “ :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBEcaHb ... F610ACAA45

YT sound not great. Bit overtaxed at times ? ( Who would not be ! )

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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by Belle » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:34 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:45 am
Primarily to Belle:

As the only possessor here of two degrees in music theory, I assure you and everybody that there are only a very few great music theoreticians since Renaissance times, and Rosen is one of them. (Others are Fuchs, Schenker, Tovey, believe it or not Leopold Mozart, CPE Bach, and Quantz, who wrote the standard methods for their respective instruments, Schoenberg, and oddly Brahms whose Oktaven und Fünften has never received an engraved edition, plus a handful of others of whom you would never have heard.) I am sorry that you have these difficulties with him, but they are your difficulties, not his.
Music theory books are difficult to read in toto. Schenker was nearly impossible. These arcane texts are only for musically educated people; don't use them to GET an education. Same for Rosen. You won't learn anything unless you already have a significant understanding. There is no reason to make it any more difficult than it already is. In the case of Rosen it is his tendency to make sweeping statements which he doesn't develop.

barney
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by barney » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:51 pm

It is entirely possible for Jbuck and Belle both to be right: he may be a great theorist and a dense, complicated writer. Academia simply abounds with examples, particularly in the areas I studied of philosophy and theology. Hegel, anyone?
Rosen has been on my shelf for decades, but I haven't gone back to him - not because I don't like him but because other books keep emerging.

Belle
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Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by Belle » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:52 pm

barney wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:51 pm
It is entirely possible for Jbuck and Belle both to be right: he may be a great theorist and a dense, complicated writer. Academia simply abounds with examples, particularly in the areas I studied of philosophy and theology. Hegel, anyone?
Rosen has been on my shelf for decades, but I haven't gone back to him - not because I don't like him but because other books keep emerging.
Our lecturer on Thursday, a medical specialist and PhD in music (!!) said that most books on 'symmetry in music' are gobbledygook!! This would, no doubt, contain a lot of theory too. He smiled as it said it, reassuring us that there are indeed some which are lucid and valuable!!

barney
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by barney » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:25 am

Belle wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:52 pm
barney wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:51 pm
It is entirely possible for Jbuck and Belle both to be right: he may be a great theorist and a dense, complicated writer. Academia simply abounds with examples, particularly in the areas I studied of philosophy and theology. Hegel, anyone?
Rosen has been on my shelf for decades, but I haven't gone back to him - not because I don't like him but because other books keep emerging.
Our lecturer on Thursday, a medical specialist and PhD in music (!!) said that most books on 'symmetry in music' are gobbledygook!! This would, no doubt, contain a lot of theory too. He smiled as it said it, reassuring us that there are indeed some which are lucid and valuable!!
What an opportunity! Obviously you asked him which camp Rosen falls into? :D

Belle
Posts: 1394
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 am

Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by Belle » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:52 am

barney wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:25 am
Belle wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:52 pm
barney wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:51 pm
It is entirely possible for Jbuck and Belle both to be right: he may be a great theorist and a dense, complicated writer. Academia simply abounds with examples, particularly in the areas I studied of philosophy and theology. Hegel, anyone?
Rosen has been on my shelf for decades, but I haven't gone back to him - not because I don't like him but because other books keep emerging.
Our lecturer on Thursday, a medical specialist and PhD in music (!!) said that most books on 'symmetry in music' are gobbledygook!! This would, no doubt, contain a lot of theory too. He smiled as it said it, reassuring us that there are indeed some which are lucid and valuable!!
What an opportunity! Obviously you asked him which camp Rosen falls into? :D
Camp? Mmmm. No, we didn't discuss Rosen and camp!! :wink:

John F
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Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Brendel's book: "Music, Sense and Nonsense"

Post by John F » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:00 am

I haven't thought about it much, but there's a lot of music that is not conspicuously symmetrical, not according to what I understand by "symmetry."


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sASvtTNEDc

No doubt your lecturer defined and illustrated what he meant by "symmetry." Can you share some of that with us? It's an interesting topic.
John Francis

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