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Inactivity or death?

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  • John Duffy
    Is this site just inactive, or is it permanently dead? Johnd012033
    Message 1 of 16 , Mar 3, 2010
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      Is this site just inactive,
      or is it permanently dead?
      Johnd012033 << johnduffy@... >>
    • Richard Simnett
      Hopefully only on hiatus. Richard
      Message 2 of 16 , Mar 3, 2010
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        Hopefully only on hiatus.
        Richard
      • Richard A Mathisen
        My thanks to John Duffy for his question about the status of this meeting and to Richard Simnett for his compliment -- he hopes the lack of activity is only a
        Message 3 of 16 , Mar 4, 2010
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          My thanks to John Duffy for his question about the status of this meeting and to Richard Simnett for his compliment -- he hopes the lack of activity is only a "hiatus." What I appreciate is that both of them care about this meeting.
           
          I would like to receive any suggestions or comments about how this meeting could be more useful to its members. I want to re-activate it, but I'm concerned about the relatively low level of participation. Perhaps I have not structured the meeting in the best way, or perhaps I have not done the best possible job as moderator. Any thoughts are welcome. You can post them publicly here or, if you desire, you can send any comments to me personally at richard.a.mathisen@....
           
          My vision when I started the meeting was to gather a group of people who cared about recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas, in order to discuss the recordings that each of us had found to be their "favorites." I found it necessary to do this one sonata at a time. It seemed to make sense to start with sonata #1. (Perhaps I should have started with the popular sonatas?)
           
          The situation, as I envisioned it, is that many or most members of this meeting would be in the same situation as I was eight years ago. I owned several complete cycles of the 32 sonatas plus quite a few individual cd's. So, for any one sonata, I would have from three to seven recordings. My hope was that members of the group would try to rank the recordings they owned in terms of how well they liked each recording, from least favorite to most favorite, if they were willing to do so. Then the members could post these lists of favorite recordings. If they felt willing to do so, they could also try to articulate why they favored one recording over another. Then we could discuss our favorites and try to learn from each other. I tried to start the discussion on each sonata by posting my own list of my own top 15 favorite recordings for that sonata.
           
          Well, it hasn't exactly worked out the way I hoped. We have indeed gathered a good group of persons who care about recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas (some 80 or so). We did have some good discussions at the beginning, but participation has dropped off greatly. Meanwhile, I have become obsessive about obtaining every recording of every Beethoven piano sonata and tried to compare and evaluate all of them. A few other participants have been very good about posting their own lists of favorites. But the overwhelming majority of group members have been "lurkers." I consider "lurking" an honorable status. I'm delighted to have "lurkers." However, I don't get much sense of what the members of this group want or would like to see. I feel like I'm off doing my own thing without much feedback about how it is being received by the other members of the group.
           
          This group could move in one of several direction. We could keep going in the same direction with the same modus operandi as we have in the past. We could change the emphasis to find ways to promote more participation and perhaps more discussion. I'm open to suggestions.
           
          I do want to thank all who are part of this group. I've learned a lot so far and hope to continue to learn more!
           
          Dick Mathisen
          Moderator
           


           
          On Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 11:38 AM, Richard Simnett <richard.simnett@...> wrote:
           

          Hopefully only on hiatus.
          Richard


        • Lisa Hirsch
          Some thoughts - Getting organized to listen to multiple recordings of a work is very likely difficult for many of us. I work full time and have a long commute;
          Message 4 of 16 , Mar 4, 2010
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            Some thoughts -

            Getting organized to listen to multiple recordings of a work is very likely difficult for many of us. I work full time and have a long commute; I'm busy a couple of evenings a week at least, whether attending concerts or singing or going to martial arts classes. Weekends I have errands to do and people to see. I have few long stretches when I can just sit and listen and take notes.

            And Dick, since I've joined the list, each of the discussions have started with your ranked list of up to 30 performances of each sonata. It's hard to know what to say in response to such a list. I don't own all of the recordings you do. I personally find review-like descriptions of what a pianist does with a particular sonata both useful and interesting, lists not very. What succeeds, what fails in a particular interpretation? Which performances do you immediately put on to hear again and which do you throw with glee off a high building?

            Here's an analogy. An opera lover I know used to be fond of saying that however many sopranos had recorded "D'amor sull'ali rosee" (from Il Trovatore), only Ponselle sang what was written.

            In some sense, this might be true; she observes the score markings very carefully. But it's not a very good performance! She was young and didn't really have much of a feel for Verdi at that point, however  beautiful the voice was. The performance is rhythmically stiff, has little dynamic variation, and no heart at all. The listener gets no sense of what the character is feeling. there's no sense of words lifted on the night air, reaching for an imprisoned lover.

            I have a tape someplace of about 15 sopranos in the same aria. I could easily make a chart of various characteristics of each performance: does the soprano trill? which version of the cadenza does she sing? does she take the high Db? observe the dynamic markings? But I'm not sure that would tell you much about how convincing each singer is in the aria. I can, however, write a narrative saying things like "Surprisingly, one of the most moving recordings is that of Kiri te Kanawa, a soprano who would never have attempted the complete role on stage, because she simply hasn't got the right kind of voice for Verdi's spinto roles. But she has the right sense of line and sustains the aria beautifully; she can lift easily and without struggle to the high notes; she has a beautiful trill and a flexible sense of rhythm and phrasing. On the other hand, a famous stage interpreter of the role, Zinka Milanov, comes to grief in a number of places. She can't sing the high [something, not the Db] softly and it comes out as a blasted interruption of the line. Her trills feel like an interruption rather than a decoration of the line. Her phrasing seems coarse compared to te Kanawa's, and there's little sense of repose."

            It's possible to have that kind of discussion about pianists and the Beethoven piano sonatas. Who would like to start?

            -- Lisa

            On Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 7:50 AM, Richard A Mathisen <richard.a.mathisen@...> wrote:
             

            My thanks to John Duffy for his question about the status of this meeting and to Richard Simnett for his compliment -- he hopes the lack of activity is only a "hiatus." What I appreciate is that both of them care about this meeting.
             
            I would like to receive any suggestions or comments about how this meeting could be more useful to its members. I want to re-activate it, but I'm concerned about the relatively low level of participation. Perhaps I have not structured the meeting in the best way, or perhaps I have not done the best possible job as moderator. Any thoughts are welcome. You can post them publicly here or, if you desire, you can send any comments to me personally at richard.a.mathisen@....
             
            My vision when I started the meeting was to gather a group of people who cared about recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas, in order to discuss the recordings that each of us had found to be their "favorites." I found it necessary to do this one sonata at a time. It seemed to make sense to start with sonata #1. (Perhaps I should have started with the popular sonatas?)
             
            The situation, as I envisioned it, is that many or most members of this meeting would be in the same situation as I was eight years ago. I owned several complete cycles of the 32 sonatas plus quite a few individual cd's. So, for any one sonata, I would have from three to seven recordings. My hope was that members of the group would try to rank the recordings they owned in terms of how well they liked each recording, from least favorite to most favorite, if they were willing to do so. Then the members could post these lists of favorite recordings. If they felt willing to do so, they could also try to articulate why they favored one recording over another. Then we could discuss our favorites and try to learn from each other. I tried to start the discussion on each sonata by posting my own list of my own top 15 favorite recordings for that sonata.
             
            Well, it hasn't exactly worked out the way I hoped. We have indeed gathered a good group of persons who care about recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas (some 80 or so). We did have some good discussions at the beginning, but participation has dropped off greatly. Meanwhile, I have become obsessive about obtaining every recording of every Beethoven piano sonata and tried to compare and evaluate all of them. A few other participants have been very good about posting their own lists of favorites. But the overwhelming majority of group members have been "lurkers." I consider "lurking" an honorable status. I'm delighted to have "lurkers." However, I don't get much sense of what the members of this group want or would like to see. I feel like I'm off doing my own thing without much feedback about how it is being received by the other members of the group.
             
            This group could move in one of several direction. We could keep going in the same direction with the same modus operandi as we have in the past. We could change the emphasis to find ways to promote more participation and perhaps more discussion. I'm open to suggestions.
             
            I do want to thank all who are part of this group. I've learned a lot so far and hope to continue to learn more!
             
            Dick Mathisen
            Moderator
             


             
            On Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 11:38 AM, Richard Simnett <richard.simnett@...> wrote:
             

            Hopefully only on hiatus.
            Richard



          • Richard A Mathisen
            Lisa, A few quick comments. 1. I love your idea of the type of discussion to have! I think that s what I was hoping for. I m assuming you mean having this
            Message 5 of 16 , Mar 4, 2010
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              Lisa,
               
              A few quick comments.
               
              1. I love your idea of the type of discussion to have! I think that's what I was hoping for.
               
              I'm assuming you mean having this discussion on a sonata by sonata basis, but I don't want to put words in your mouth.
               
              2. I have no vested interest in proceeding with the sonatas in numerical order. I'd be happy to start the discussion with whatever Beethoven sonata the group wants to discuss. Or we can make suggestions or even vote on what order to proceed in.
               
              3. I have often wondered if my posting my "Top 15" was a help or a hindrance. I'm happy to not do it. Or, perhaps I should do more to make clear that my list is only my own preferences? Or perhaps I should try to indicate my reasons for preferring one recording over another?
               
              The situation, realistically, is that prior to opening this meeting I had spent over five years listening to recordings of all the Beethoven sonatas and analyzing them. The "Top 15" list comes from the background. That's doesn't make me the final word in any sense, but it is something I bring to the meeting, for better or for worse. Is that information and my preferences helpful to others at the start? Or should I save it for later?
               
              Thanks for your comments!
               
              Dick Mathisen

              On Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 11:23 AM, Lisa Hirsch <lhirsch@...> wrote:
               

              Some thoughts -

              Getting organized to listen to multiple recordings of a work is very likely difficult for many of us. I work full time and have a long commute; I'm busy a couple of evenings a week at least, whether attending concerts or singing or going to martial arts classes. Weekends I have errands to do and people to see. I have few long stretches when I can just sit and listen and take notes.

              And Dick, since I've joined the list, each of the discussions have started with your ranked list of up to 30 performances of each sonata. It's hard to know what to say in response to such a list. I don't own all of the recordings you do. I personally find review-like descriptions of what a pianist does with a particular sonata both useful and interesting, lists not very. What succeeds, what fails in a particular interpretation? Which performances do you immediately put on to hear again and which do you throw with glee off a high building?

              Here's an analogy. An opera lover I know used to be fond of saying that however many sopranos had recorded "D'amor sull'ali rosee" (from Il Trovatore), only Ponselle sang what was written.

              In some sense, this might be true; she observes the score markings very carefully. But it's not a very good performance! She was young and didn't really have much of a feel for Verdi at that point, however  beautiful the voice was. The performance is rhythmically stiff, has little dynamic variation, and no heart at all. The listener gets no sense of what the character is feeling. there's no sense of words lifted on the night air, reaching for an imprisoned lover.

              I have a tape someplace of about 15 sopranos in the same aria. I could easily make a chart of various characteristics of each performance: does the soprano trill? which version of the cadenza does she sing? does she take the high Db? observe the dynamic markings? But I'm not sure that would tell you much about how convincing each singer is in the aria. I can, however, write a narrative saying things like "Surprisingly, one of the most moving recordings is that of Kiri te Kanawa, a soprano who would never have attempted the complete role on stage, because she simply hasn't got the right kind of voice for Verdi's spinto roles. But she has the right sense of line and sustains the aria beautifully; she can lift easily and without struggle to the high notes; she has a beautiful trill and a flexible sense of rhythm and phrasing. On the other hand, a famous stage interpreter of the role, Zinka Milanov, comes to grief in a number of places. She can't sing the high [something, not the Db] softly and it comes out as a blasted interruption of the line. Her trills feel like an interruption rather than a decoration of the line. Her phrasing seems coarse compared to te Kanawa's, and there's little sense of repose."

              It's possible to have that kind of discussion about pianists and the Beethoven piano sonatas. Who would like to start?

              -- Lisa



              On Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 7:50 AM, Richard A Mathisen <richard.a.mathisen@...> wrote:
               

              My thanks to John Duffy for his question about the status of this meeting and to Richard Simnett for his compliment -- he hopes the lack of activity is only a "hiatus." What I appreciate is that both of them care about this meeting.
               
              I would like to receive any suggestions or comments about how this meeting could be more useful to its members. I want to re-activate it, but I'm concerned about the relatively low level of participation. Perhaps I have not structured the meeting in the best way, or perhaps I have not done the best possible job as moderator. Any thoughts are welcome. You can post them publicly here or, if you desire, you can send any comments to me personally at richard.a.mathisen@....
               
              My vision when I started the meeting was to gather a group of people who cared about recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas, in order to discuss the recordings that each of us had found to be their "favorites." I found it necessary to do this one sonata at a time. It seemed to make sense to start with sonata #1. (Perhaps I should have started with the popular sonatas?)
               
              The situation, as I envisioned it, is that many or most members of this meeting would be in the same situation as I was eight years ago. I owned several complete cycles of the 32 sonatas plus quite a few individual cd's. So, for any one sonata, I would have from three to seven recordings. My hope was that members of the group would try to rank the recordings they owned in terms of how well they liked each recording, from least favorite to most favorite, if they were willing to do so. Then the members could post these lists of favorite recordings. If they felt willing to do so, they could also try to articulate why they favored one recording over another. Then we could discuss our favorites and try to learn from each other. I tried to start the discussion on each sonata by posting my own list of my own top 15 favorite recordings for that sonata.
               
              Well, it hasn't exactly worked out the way I hoped. We have indeed gathered a good group of persons who care about recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas (some 80 or so). We did have some good discussions at the beginning, but participation has dropped off greatly. Meanwhile, I have become obsessive about obtaining every recording of every Beethoven piano sonata and tried to compare and evaluate all of them. A few other participants have been very good about posting their own lists of favorites. But the overwhelming majority of group members have been "lurkers." I consider "lurking" an honorable status. I'm delighted to have "lurkers." However, I don't get much sense of what the members of this group want or would like to see. I feel like I'm off doing my own thing without much feedback about how it is being received by the other members of the group.
               
              This group could move in one of several direction. We could keep going in the same direction with the same modus operandi as we have in the past. We could change the emphasis to find ways to promote more participation and perhaps more discussion. I'm open to suggestions.
               
              I do want to thank all who are part of this group. I've learned a lot so far and hope to continue to learn more!
               
              Dick Mathisen
              Moderator
               


               
              On Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 11:38 AM, Richard Simnett <richard.simnett@...> wrote:
               

              Hopefully only on hiatus.
              Richard




            • Richard Simnett
              I hope that you just volunteered! It makes sense, and does not contradict Mr Mathison s vision either, to share enthusiasms and dislikes. However, we could
              Message 6 of 16 , Mar 4, 2010
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                I hope that you just volunteered!  It makes sense, and does not contradict Mr Mathison's vision either, to share enthusiasms and dislikes. However, we could try to do better than e.g. Amazon reviewers.
                I have found the lists helpful as a starting point, if intimidating. Likewise, the tempo measurements for the different recordings are illuminating. 
                My first set of the sonatas was Barenboim, in its first LP release on EMI.  I then heard many others courtesy of the Oxford University Gramophone Society, and was truly shocked at the huge variations in approach between reputable performers.  I learnt the same lesson in much the same way about any other pieces of music that interested me, but I've never been able to figure out why some approaches 'just do it' for me and others don't (apart from special cases of unlistenable recordings like Ciani's set of the Beethoven sonatas).
                I am still hopeful that discussions can help me find other recordings that will appeal strongly.
                Richard

                On Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 11:23 AM, Lisa Hirsch <lhirsch@...> wrote:
                 

                Some thoughts -

                Getting organized to listen to multiple recordings of a work is very likely difficult for many of us. I work full time and have a long commute; I'm busy a couple of evenings a week at least, whether attending concerts or singing or going to martial arts classes. Weekends I have errands to do and people to see. I have few long stretches when I can just sit and listen and take notes.

                And Dick, since I've joined the list, each of the discussions have started with your ranked list of up to 30 performances of each sonata. It's hard to know what to say in response to such a list. I don't own all of the recordings you do. I personally find review-like descriptions of what a pianist does with a particular sonata both useful and interesting, lists not very. What succeeds, what fails in a particular interpretation? Which performances do you immediately put on to hear again and which do you throw with glee off a high building?

                Here's an analogy. An opera lover I know used to be fond of saying that however many sopranos had recorded "D'amor sull'ali rosee" (from Il Trovatore), only Ponselle sang what was written.

                In some sense, this might be true; she observes the score markings very carefully. But it's not a very good performance! She was young and didn't really have much of a feel for Verdi at that point, however  beautiful the voice was. The performance is rhythmically stiff, has little dynamic variation, and no heart at all. The listener gets no sense of what the character is feeling. there's no sense of words lifted on the night air, reaching for an imprisoned lover.

                I have a tape someplace of about 15 sopranos in the same aria. I could easily make a chart of various characteristics of each performance: does the soprano trill? which version of the cadenza does she sing? does she take the high Db? observe the dynamic markings? But I'm not sure that would tell you much about how convincing each singer is in the aria. I can, however, write a narrative saying things like "Surprisingly, one of the most moving recordings is that of Kiri te Kanawa, a soprano who would never have attempted the complete role on stage, because she simply hasn't got the right kind of voice for Verdi's spinto roles. But she has the right sense of line and sustains the aria beautifully; she can lift easily and without struggle to the high notes; she has a beautiful trill and a flexible sense of rhythm and phrasing. On the other hand, a famous stage interpreter of the role, Zinka Milanov, comes to grief in a number of places. She can't sing the high [something, not the Db] softly and it comes out as a blasted interruption of the line. Her trills feel like an interruption rather than a decoration of the line. Her phrasing seems coarse compared to te Kanawa's, and there's little sense of repose."

                It's possible to have that kind of discussion about pianists and the Beethoven piano sonatas. Who would like to start?

                -- Lisa



                On Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 7:50 AM, Richard A Mathisen <richard.a.mathisen@...> wrote:
                 

                My thanks to John Duffy for his question about the status of this meeting and to Richard Simnett for his compliment -- he hopes the lack of activity is only a "hiatus." What I appreciate is that both of them care about this meeting.
                 
                I would like to receive any suggestions or comments about how this meeting could be more useful to its members. I want to re-activate it, but I'm concerned about the relatively low level of participation. Perhaps I have not structured the meeting in the best way, or perhaps I have not done the best possible job as moderator. Any thoughts are welcome. You can post them publicly here or, if you desire, you can send any comments to me personally at richard.a.mathisen@....
                 
                My vision when I started the meeting was to gather a group of people who cared about recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas, in order to discuss the recordings that each of us had found to be their "favorites." I found it necessary to do this one sonata at a time. It seemed to make sense to start with sonata #1. (Perhaps I should have started with the popular sonatas?)
                 
                The situation, as I envisioned it, is that many or most members of this meeting would be in the same situation as I was eight years ago. I owned several complete cycles of the 32 sonatas plus quite a few individual cd's. So, for any one sonata, I would have from three to seven recordings. My hope was that members of the group would try to rank the recordings they owned in terms of how well they liked each recording, from least favorite to most favorite, if they were willing to do so. Then the members could post these lists of favorite recordings. If they felt willing to do so, they could also try to articulate why they favored one recording over another. Then we could discuss our favorites and try to learn from each other. I tried to start the discussion on each sonata by posting my own list of my own top 15 favorite recordings for that sonata.
                 
                Well, it hasn't exactly worked out the way I hoped. We have indeed gathered a good group of persons who care about recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas (some 80 or so). We did have some good discussions at the beginning, but participation has dropped off greatly. Meanwhile, I have become obsessive about obtaining every recording of every Beethoven piano sonata and tried to compare and evaluate all of them. A few other participants have been very good about posting their own lists of favorites. But the overwhelming majority of group members have been "lurkers." I consider "lurking" an honorable status. I'm delighted to have "lurkers." However, I don't get much sense of what the members of this group want or would like to see. I feel like I'm off doing my own thing without much feedback about how it is being received by the other members of the group.
                 
                This group could move in one of several direction. We could keep going in the same direction with the same modus operandi as we have in the past. We could change the emphasis to find ways to promote more participation and perhaps more discussion. I'm open to suggestions.
                 
                I do want to thank all who are part of this group. I've learned a lot so far and hope to continue to learn more!
                 
                Dick Mathisen
                Moderator
                 


                 
                On Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 11:38 AM, Richard Simnett <richard.simnett@...> wrote:
                 

                Hopefully only on hiatus.
                Richard




              • Isleif Karl-Heinz
                Hello Richard, you come across as a learned and decent person; nothing has been wrong with your approach. The mistake lies in your original target, which is
                Message 7 of 16 , Mar 4, 2010
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                  Hello Richard,
                  you come across as a learned and decent person; nothing has been wrong with your approach.  

                  The mistake lies in your original target, which is the evaluation of music by quantitative means.   It is one of the bigger mistakes of our world to believe everything were subject to analysis.    Music, like love, or beauty, defies logic.   Music is not track and field.  The stopwatch that appears to be in the center of  your thoughts about Beethoven's sonatas is alien to music per se.   It raises questions about your musicianship, too, no matter how good a pianist you may be.  I for one have bailed out, because I see the measuring of music not only as a waste of time, but as a method of killing it.

                  Karl


                  On 2010/03/05, at 0:50, Richard A Mathisen wrote:

                   

                  My thanks to John Duffy for his question about the status of this meeting and to Richard Simnett for his compliment -- he hopes the lack of activity is only a "hiatus." What I appreciate is that both of them care about this meeting.
                   
                  I would like to receive any suggestions or comments about how this meeting could be more useful to its members. I want to re-activate it, but I'm concerned about the relatively low level of participation. Perhaps I have not structured the meeting in the best way, or perhaps I have not done the best possible job as moderator. Any thoughts are welcome. You can post them publicly here or, if you desire, you can send any comments to me personally at richard.a.mathisen@ gmail.com.
                   
                  My vision when I started the meeting was to gather a group of people who cared about recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas, in order to discuss the recordings that each of us had found to be their "favorites." I found it necessary to do this one sonata at a time. It seemed to make sense to start with sonata #1. (Perhaps I should have started with the popular sonatas?)
                   
                  The situation, as I envisioned it, is that many or most members of this meeting would be in the same situation as I was eight years ago. I owned several complete cycles of the 32 sonatas plus quite a few individual cd's. So, for any one sonata, I would have from three to seven recordings. My hope was that members of the group would try to rank the recordings they owned in terms of how well they liked each recording, from least favorite to most favorite, if they were willing to do so. Then the members could post these lists of favorite recordings. If they felt willing to do so, they could also try to articulate why they favored one recording over another. Then we could discuss our favorites and try to learn from each other. I tried to start the discussion on each sonata by posting my own list of my own top 15 favorite recordings for that sonata.
                   
                  Well, it hasn't exactly worked out the way I hoped. We have indeed gathered a good group of persons who care about recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas (some 80 or so). We did have some good discussions at the beginning, but participation has dropped off greatly. Meanwhile, I have become obsessive about obtaining every recording of every Beethoven piano sonata and tried to compare and evaluate all of them. A few other participants have been very good about posting their own lists of favorites. But the overwhelming majority of group members have been "lurkers." I consider "lurking" an honorable status. I'm delighted to have "lurkers." However, I don't get much sense of what the members of this group want or would like to see. I feel like I'm off doing my own thing without much feedback about how it is being received by the other members of the group.
                   
                  This group could move in one of several direction. We could keep going in the same direction with the same modus operandi as we have in the past. We could change the emphasis to find ways to promote more participation and perhaps more discussion. I'm open to suggestions.
                   
                  I do want to thank all who are part of this group. I've learned a lot so far and hope to continue to learn more!
                   
                  Dick Mathisen
                  Moderator
                   


                   
                  On Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 11:38 AM, Richard Simnett <richard.simnett@ gmail.com> wrote:
                   

                  Hopefully only on hiatus.
                  Richard




                • wkasimer@comcast.net
                  Dick et al - I think that a lot of the issue is that the membership is really all over the map in terms of level of expertise. There are skilled pianists,
                  Message 8 of 16 , Mar 4, 2010
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                    Dick et al -

                    I think that a lot of the issue is that the membership is really all over the map in terms of level of expertise. There are skilled pianists, some professional (I assume) who have studied carefully and played many of these works. There are committed Beethovenians who own dozens of recordings of these works. There are omnivores whose knowledge is broad but not particularly deep. And there are those who don't know much about the sonatas but want to learn more, and learn who plays them well, and what characterizes "well" to those who are more knowledgeable.

                    As I see it, the biggest problem is that very, very few have access to enough recordings to provide a meaningful ranking. I think that I have about a dozen at the moment, several of them purchased in response to postings on this forum, or to prepare for future discussion/comparison, and even that collection is really not sufficient for meaningful rankings. Without some way to make the most important/illustrative recordings available to the general membership of the forum, I'm not sure how much input is possible from the rest of us.

                    Actually, I found the hiatus useful, since I delved into the LvB string quartets...

                    Bill

                    =============
                    William D. Kasimer
                    wkasimer@...
                    william_kasimer_md@...
                  • Richard A Mathisen
                    Karl, I m not sure I understand what you object to. If we can pinpoint the problem more specifically, I would be happy to discuss it further. Here is a series
                    Message 9 of 16 , Mar 6, 2010
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                      Karl,
                       
                      I'm not sure I understand what you object to. If we can pinpoint the problem more specifically, I would be happy to discuss it further. Here is a series of statements about this meeting. Perhaps you can indicate which statement presents a problem for you.
                       
                      1. A person may like one recording of a particular piece better than another recording, so they consider it their "favorite." 
                       
                      2. A person may share information about a recording they consider their "favorite" with other people.
                       
                      3. A person may have more than one favorite recording of a particular piece.
                       
                      4. A person may attempt to rank multiple favorite recordings of a particular piece according to which ones they like best.
                       
                      5. A person may share information with other people about how they might rank multiple favorite recordings.
                       
                      I have difficulty seeing any problem in the five steps above, which seem to me to be a complete description of what this group is about. I certainly don't see how any of those steps might "kill" music. But if you can pinpoint the problem in the steps above, I would be happy to discuss it further.
                       
                      You seem to be especially concerned about a focus on quantitative analysis, and you mention a "stopwatch." I assume you are referring to the tempos I try to measure.
                       
                      Tempos are a relatively objective measurement about a recording, unlike most reactions to music which are subjective. Tempos are a tool of analysis. I find them useful for certain purposes. Anyone is free to ignore them.
                       
                      In over six years of comparing recordings of a specific piece, I have found tempo to be the single most important factor that affects my own reaction to a recording. I find that to be true about the starting tempo for a movement, but it is also very significant in regard to the tempo changes and fluctuations. Again, it is merely a tool.
                       
                      Ultimately, "favorite" recordings are recordings which give a person pleasure. The primary value of this group, from various comments made, is to help the members locate recordings which they might eventually acquire and might eventually give them pleasure. If the group accomplishes that even in some slight way, I would be delighted.
                       
                      Dick Mathisen

                      On Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 4:18 PM, Isleif Karl-Heinz <isleif@...> wrote:
                       

                      Hello Richard,

                      you come across as a learned and decent person; nothing has been wrong with your approach.  

                      The mistake lies in your original target, which is the evaluation of music by quantitative means.   It is one of the bigger mistakes of our world to believe everything were subject to analysis.    Music, like love, or beauty, defies logic.   Music is not track and field.  The stopwatch that appears to be in the center of  your thoughts about Beethoven's sonatas is alien to music per se.   It raises questions about your musicianship, too, no matter how good a pianist you may be.  I for one have bailed out, because I see the measuring of music not only as a waste of time, but as a method of killing it.

                      Karl


                      On 2010/03/05, at 0:50, Richard A Mathisen wrote:

                       

                      My thanks to John Duffy for his question about the status of this meeting and to Richard Simnett for his compliment -- he hopes the lack of activity is only a "hiatus." What I appreciate is that both of them care about this meeting.
                       
                      I would like to receive any suggestions or comments about how this meeting could be more useful to its members. I want to re-activate it, but I'm concerned about the relatively low level of participation. Perhaps I have not structured the meeting in the best way, or perhaps I have not done the best possible job as moderator. Any thoughts are welcome. You can post them publicly here or, if you desire, you can send any comments to me personally at richard.a.mathisen@....
                       
                      My vision when I started the meeting was to gather a group of people who cared about recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas, in order to discuss the recordings that each of us had found to be their "favorites." I found it necessary to do this one sonata at a time. It seemed to make sense to start with sonata #1. (Perhaps I should have started with the popular sonatas?)
                       
                      The situation, as I envisioned it, is that many or most members of this meeting would be in the same situation as I was eight years ago. I owned several complete cycles of the 32 sonatas plus quite a few individual cd's. So, for any one sonata, I would have from three to seven recordings. My hope was that members of the group would try to rank the recordings they owned in terms of how well they liked each recording, from least favorite to most favorite, if they were willing to do so. Then the members could post these lists of favorite recordings. If they felt willing to do so, they could also try to articulate why they favored one recording over another. Then we could discuss our favorites and try to learn from each other. I tried to start the discussion on each sonata by posting my own list of my own top 15 favorite recordings for that sonata.
                       
                      Well, it hasn't exactly worked out the way I hoped. We have indeed gathered a good group of persons who care about recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas (some 80 or so). We did have some good discussions at the beginning, but participation has dropped off greatly. Meanwhile, I have become obsessive about obtaining every recording of every Beethoven piano sonata and tried to compare and evaluate all of them. A few other participants have been very good about posting their own lists of favorites. But the overwhelming majority of group members have been "lurkers." I consider "lurking" an honorable status. I'm delighted to have "lurkers." However, I don't get much sense of what the members of this group want or would like to see. I feel like I'm off doing my own thing without much feedback about how it is being received by the other members of the group.
                       
                      This group could move in one of several direction. We could keep going in the same direction with the same modus operandi as we have in the past. We could change the emphasis to find ways to promote more participation and perhaps more discussion. I'm open to suggestions.
                       
                      I do want to thank all who are part of this group. I've learned a lot so far and hope to continue to learn more!
                       
                      Dick Mathisen
                      Moderator
                       


                       
                      On Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 11:38 AM, Richard Simnett <richard.simnett@...> wrote:
                       

                      Hopefully only on hiatus.
                      Richard





                    • Richard A Mathisen
                      Bill, Thanks for your comment! I agree that the membership of this group is really all over the map in terms of level of expertise. And that most people cannot
                      Message 10 of 16 , Mar 6, 2010
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                        Bill,
                         
                        Thanks for your comment! I agree that the membership of this group is really all over the map in terms of level of expertise. And that most people cannot afford to purchase many complete cycles or individual CD's. (It's been a big strain on my own budget!)
                         
                        My hope was that even persons who have only a few different recordings of a particular sonata could join in by indicating their favorites among those recordings they own. I'm sorry if I have intimidated anyone by posting my own list of my own Top 15.
                         
                        I wonder if we should start (continue) with the more popular Beethoven sonatas, such as the Moonlight, Waldstein, Appassionata, or Op 111? Then group members would be more likely to have multiple recordings to discuss? And perhaps a stronger motivation to learn or participate?
                        Lisa has suggested review-like descriptions of how different pianists play a particular work. I think that's a great idea! I hope she will wade in with any more thoughts she has about how to proceed.
                         
                        The main question right now, I think, is which Beethoven piano sonata to discuss next. If we follow my previous procedure, it would be sonata #9, Op 14-1. However, I'd be happy to discuss another one if the group would find that more helpful. (I want to eventually discuss all 32, but I don't have any strong preferences as to the sequence.)
                         
                        Any comments are invited!
                         
                        Dick Mathisen

                         
                        On Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 5:14 PM, <wkasimer@...> wrote:
                         


                        Dick et al -

                        I think that a lot of the issue is that the membership is really all over the map in terms of level of expertise. There are skilled pianists, some professional (I assume) who have studied carefully and played many of these works. There are committed Beethovenians who own dozens of recordings of these works. There are omnivores whose knowledge is broad but not particularly deep. And there are those who don't know much about the sonatas but want to learn more, and learn who plays them well, and what characterizes "well" to those who are more knowledgeable.

                        As I see it, the biggest problem is that very, very few have access to enough recordings to provide a meaningful ranking. I think that I have about a dozen at the moment, several of them purchased in response to postings on this forum, or to prepare for future discussion/comparison, and even that collection is really not sufficient for meaningful rankings. Without some way to make the most important/illustrative recordings available to the general membership of the forum, I'm not sure how much input is possible from the rest of us.

                        Actually, I found the hiatus useful, since I delved into the LvB string quartets...

                        Bill

                        =============
                        William D. Kasimer
                        wkasimer@...
                        william_kasimer_md@...


                      • Cosmin Hănulescu
                        ... Dear Dick and all I am one of those who joined to listen the discussion between those more knowledgeable. I have a few cycles of the sonatas that I
                        Message 11 of 16 , Mar 6, 2010
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                          On 3/6/2010 2:23 PM, Richard A Mathisen wrote:  
                          Bill,
                           
                          Thanks for your comment! I agree that the membership of this group is really all over the map in terms of level of expertise. And that most people cannot afford to purchase many complete cycles or individual CD's. (It's been a big strain on my own budget!)
                           
                          My hope was that even persons who have only a few different recordings of a particular sonata could join in by indicating their favorites among those recordings they own. I'm sorry if I have intimidated anyone by posting my own list of my own Top 15.
                           
                          I wonder if we should start (continue) with the more popular Beethoven sonatas, such as the Moonlight, Waldstein, Appassionata, or Op 111? Then group members would be more likely to have multiple recordings to discuss? And perhaps a stronger motivation to learn or participate?
                          Lisa has suggested review-like descriptions of how different pianists play a particular work. I think that's a great idea! I hope she will wade in with any more thoughts she has about how to proceed.
                           
                          The main question right now, I think, is which Beethoven piano sonata to discuss next. If we follow my previous procedure, it would be sonata #9, Op 14-1. However, I'd be happy to discuss another one if the group would find that more helpful. (I want to eventually discuss all 32, but I don't have any strong preferences as to the sequence.)
                           
                          Any comments are invited!
                           
                          Dick Mathisen


                          Dear Dick and all

                          I am one of those who joined to "listen" the discussion between those more knowledgeable. I have a few cycles of the sonatas that I listen to, but I haven't came up with a top of preferences, be it for the sonatas themselves or the interpretations.

                          The whole idea of having a discussion group focused on this monumental body of works is great and I don't think it should be questioned. Maybe the recent silence, as one pointed out, is the hiatus from which a seminal discussion certainly will emerge.

                          Regards,
                          Cosmin
                        • Isleif Karl-Heinz
                          Richard, Sorry, I can t pinpoint the problem in the steps above . May I use my own terms ? Even then, a second explanation is usually also the second
                          Message 12 of 16 , Mar 6, 2010
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                            Richard,
                            Sorry, I can't  'pinpoint the problem in the steps above'.   May I use my own terms ?   Even then, a second explanation is usually also the second best.    Still, here it is in another nutshell:  What I meant was that art cannot be measured by quantitative means.   And that I think it useless if not harmful to discuss music on the basis of quantitative evaluations.

                            Tempi, in music, are extremely important to me, too.  Important in terms of what they are: elements of quality, not quantity.   Time and tempo are not the same.   Nor are tempo and speed.   No objective units exist in the tempo of a piece of music that a watch could measure.    Time may consist of measurable quantitative elements  (which is something nobody knows).    Tempi do not consist of such elements.   A watch measures the units in which we divide time: seconds, minutes.  They then relate to speed or velocity, which are important at the racetrack, but have nothing to do with any kind of art.    

                            Saying the 3rd movement of this or that sonata was 15 seconds too long, and therefore its 'ranking' l must be lower than that of another sonata is (to me!) like judging a book by its weight, or a picture by the diameter of its frame, etc.  (Only trying to be clear.   Nothing personal meant or implied.)

                            Karl


                            On 2010/03/06, at 20:53, Richard A Mathisen wrote:

                             

                            Karl,
                             
                            I'm not sure I understand what you object to. If we can pinpoint the problem more specifically, I would be happy to discuss it further. Here is a series of statements about this meeting. Perhaps you can indicate which statement presents a problem for you.
                             
                            1. A person may like one recording of a particular piece better than another recording, so they consider it their "favorite." 
                             
                            2. A person may share information about a recording they consider their "favorite" with other people.
                             
                            3. A person may have more than one favorite recording of a particular piece.
                             
                            4. A person may attempt to rank multiple favorite recordings of a particular piece according to which ones they like best.
                             
                            5. A person may share information with other people about how they might rank multiple favorite recordings.
                             
                            I have difficulty seeing any problem in the five steps above, which seem to me to be a complete description of what this group is about. I certainly don't see how any of those steps might "kill" music. But if you can pinpoint the problem in the steps above, I would be happy to discuss it further.
                             
                            You seem to be especially concerned about a focus on quantitative analysis, and you mention a "stopwatch." I assume you are referring to the tempos I try to measure.
                             
                            Tempos are a relatively objective measurement about a recording, unlike most reactions to music which are subjective. Tempos are a tool of analysis. I find them useful for certain purposes. Anyone is free to ignore them.
                             
                            In over six years of comparing recordings of a specific piece, I have found tempo to be the single most important factor that affects my own reaction to a recording. I find that to be true about the starting tempo for a movement, but it is also very significant in regard to the tempo changes and fluctuations. Again, it is merely a tool.
                             
                            Ultimately, "favorite" recordings are recordings which give a person pleasure. The primary value of this group, from various comments made, is to help the members locate recordings which they might eventually acquire and might eventually give them pleasure. If the group accomplishes that even in some slight way, I would be delighted.
                             
                            Dick Mathisen

                            On Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 4:18 PM, Isleif Karl-Heinz <isleif@...> wrote:
                             

                            Hello Richard,

                            you come across as a learned and decent person; nothing has been wrong with your approach.  

                            The mistake lies in your original target, which is the evaluation of music by quantitative means.   It is one of the bigger mistakes of our world to believe everything were subject to analysis.    Music, like love, or beauty, defies logic.   Music is not track and field.  The stopwatch that appears to be in the center of  your thoughts about Beethoven's sonatas is alien to music per se.   It raises questions about your musicianship, too, no matter how good a pianist you may be.  I for one have bailed out, because I see the measuring of music not only as a waste of time, but as a method of killing it.

                            Karl


                            On 2010/03/05, at 0:50, Richard A Mathisen wrote:

                             

                            My thanks to John Duffy for his question about the status of this meeting and to Richard Simnett for his compliment -- he hopes the lack of activity is only a "hiatus." What I appreciate is that both of them care about this meeting.
                             
                            I would like to receive any suggestions or comments about how this meeting could be more useful to its members. I want to re-activate it, but I'm concerned about the relatively low level of participation. Perhaps I have not structured the meeting in the best way, or perhaps I have not done the best possible job as moderator. Any thoughts are welcome. You can post them publicly here or, if you desire, you can send any comments to me personally at richard.a.mathisen@ gmail.com.
                             
                            My vision when I started the meeting was to gather a group of people who cared about recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas, in order to discuss the recordings that each of us had found to be their "favorites." I found it necessary to do this one sonata at a time. It seemed to make sense to start with sonata #1. (Perhaps I should have started with the popular sonatas?)
                             
                            The situation, as I envisioned it, is that many or most members of this meeting would be in the same situation as I was eight years ago. I owned several complete cycles of the 32 sonatas plus quite a few individual cd's. So, for any one sonata, I would have from three to seven recordings. My hope was that members of the group would try to rank the recordings they owned in terms of how well they liked each recording, from least favorite to most favorite, if they were willing to do so. Then the members could post these lists of favorite recordings. If they felt willing to do so, they could also try to articulate why they favored one recording over another. Then we could discuss our favorites and try to learn from each other. I tried to start the discussion on each sonata by posting my own list of my own top 15 favorite recordings for that sonata.
                             
                            Well, it hasn't exactly worked out the way I hoped. We have indeed gathered a good group of persons who care about recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas (some 80 or so). We did have some good discussions at the beginning, but participation has dropped off greatly. Meanwhile, I have become obsessive about obtaining every recording of every Beethoven piano sonata and tried to compare and evaluate all of them. A few other participants have been very good about posting their own lists of favorites. But the overwhelming majority of group members have been "lurkers." I consider "lurking" an honorable status. I'm delighted to have "lurkers." However, I don't get much sense of what the members of this group want or would like to see. I feel like I'm off doing my own thing without much feedback about how it is being received by the other members of the group.
                             
                            This group could move in one of several direction. We could keep going in the same direction with the same modus operandi as we have in the past. We could change the emphasis to find ways to promote more participation and perhaps more discussion. I'm open to suggestions.
                             
                            I do want to thank all who are part of this group. I've learned a lot so far and hope to continue to learn more!
                             
                            Dick Mathisen
                            Moderator
                             


                             
                            On Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 11:38 AM, Richard Simnett <richard.simnett@ gmail.com> wrote:
                             

                            Hopefully only on hiatus.
                            Richard










                          • dmitri knessin
                            I am a member of  4 mailing lists.... and the problem I see is that it is mainly used to tell of new recordings or of new concerts by an artist. discussions
                            Message 13 of 16 , Mar 7, 2010
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                              I am a member of  4 mailing lists.... and the problem I see is that it is mainly used to tell of new recordings or of new concerts by an artist.

                              discussions are rare because a discussion needs two different points of view to make sense and in mailing lists eveybody tends to agree.... and if not.... then people get angry and the person who takes a critical position is booood of the stage.

                              the worth of this particular group for me is the lists that are presented. I would like to see this knowledge in wikipedia articles. that would probably be the ideal place for such a project.

                              but to discuss the lists on this forum is impossible because 90 % of the recordings that are mentioned I am not familiar with so I do not feel qualified to make comments. I want to know what the good recordings are but I am not prepared to listen to all those recordings myself.

                              I love Richter.... and Wilhelm Kempff..... what more can I say ?  I am not fond of Schnabel or Backhaus.

                              what I want to see in a wikipedia article is more systematic. a list in itself does not tell me much. I want to know what the canonical recordings are.... what the best of those recording are... and why....  I want to see the pianists presented in schools. 78rpm era. LP era. CD era. new recordings. the outsiders presented separately. otherwise I just don't know what to do with it.

                              tempo is not a very important issue for me. nor is the repeats. I would not dismiss a recording because of it.

                              for me the most important thing is the classical german philosophical protestant vibe of a recording (and the artist)... so Beethoven by John Do (Emanuel Ax),  a smooth dandy, a superior russian competition god or a new asian diva will not do for me.

                              well.... but again.... the lists itself are the raw material and can not be presented in such a way on wikipedia I think. you need to make it into a story. a historical presentation.


                              Dmitri
                               


                               



                            • George
                              Hi Dick! While I admire the fact that you are taking into account other people s criticism of the group, I see nothinmg wrong with the current course we are
                              Message 14 of 16 , Mar 7, 2010
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                                Hi Dick!

                                While I admire the fact that you are taking into account other people's criticism of the group, I see nothinmg wrong with the current course we are on. I say continue in order of opus number, as we have bee doing.

                                George





                                --- In beethovensonatas@yahoogroups.com, Richard A Mathisen <richard.a.mathisen@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Bill,
                                >
                                > Thanks for your comment! I agree that the membership of this group is really
                                > all over the map in terms of level of expertise. And that most people cannot
                                > afford to purchase many complete cycles or individual CD's. (It's been a big
                                > strain on my own budget!)
                                >
                                > My hope was that even persons who have only a few different recordings of a
                                > particular sonata could join in by indicating their favorites among those
                                > recordings they own. I'm sorry if I have intimidated anyone by posting my
                                > own list of my own Top 15.
                                >
                                > I wonder if we should start (continue) with the more popular Beethoven
                                > sonatas, such as the Moonlight, Waldstein, Appassionata, or Op 111? Then
                                > group members would be more likely to have multiple recordings to discuss?
                                > And perhaps a stronger motivation to learn or participate?
                                > Lisa has suggested review-like descriptions of how different pianists play a
                                > particular work. I think that's a great idea! I hope she will wade in with
                                > any more thoughts she has about how to proceed.
                                >
                                > The main question right now, I think, is which Beethoven piano sonata to
                                > discuss next. If we follow my previous procedure, it would be sonata #9, Op
                                > 14-1. However, I'd be happy to discuss another one if the group would find
                                > that more helpful. (I want to eventually discuss all 32, but I don't have
                                > any strong preferences as to the sequence.)
                                >
                                > Any comments are invited!
                                >
                                > Dick Mathisen
                                >
                                >
                                > On Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 5:14 PM, <wkasimer@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Dick et al -
                                > >
                                > > I think that a lot of the issue is that the membership is really all over
                                > > the map in terms of level of expertise. There are skilled pianists, some
                                > > professional (I assume) who have studied carefully and played many of these
                                > > works. There are committed Beethovenians who own dozens of recordings of
                                > > these works. There are omnivores whose knowledge is broad but not
                                > > particularly deep. And there are those who don't know much about the sonatas
                                > > but want to learn more, and learn who plays them well, and what
                                > > characterizes "well" to those who are more knowledgeable.
                                > >
                                > > As I see it, the biggest problem is that very, very few have access to
                                > > enough recordings to provide a meaningful ranking. I think that I have about
                                > > a dozen at the moment, several of them purchased in response to postings on
                                > > this forum, or to prepare for future discussion/comparison, and even that
                                > > collection is really not sufficient for meaningful rankings. Without some
                                > > way to make the most important/illustrative recordings available to the
                                > > general membership of the forum, I'm not sure how much input is possible
                                > > from the rest of us.
                                > >
                                > > Actually, I found the hiatus useful, since I delved into the LvB string
                                > > quartets...
                                > >
                                > > Bill
                                > >
                                > > =============
                                > > William D. Kasimer
                                > > wkasimer@... <wkasimer%40comcast.net>
                                > > william_kasimer_md@... <william_kasimer_md%40sshosp.org>
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                >
                              • David Elliott
                                Do you remember the scene in Dead Poets Society? The Robin Williams character says, Now I want you to rip out that page. Go on, rip out the entire page. You
                                Message 15 of 16 , Mar 7, 2010
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Do you remember the scene in Dead Poets Society? The Robin Williams character says,

                                  "Now I want you to rip out that page. Go on, rip out the entire page. You heard me, rip it out. Rip it out! ... Gentlemen, tell you what: don't just tear out that page, tear out the entire introduction. I want it gone, history. Leave nothing of it. Rip it out. Rip! Begone .... It's not the Bible. You're not going to go to Hell for this. Go on, make a clean tear. I want nothing left of it."


                                  Karl wrote:
                                  >Sorry, I can't 'pinpoint the problem in the steps above'. May I
                                  >use my own terms ? Even then, a second explanation is usually also
                                  >the second best. Still, here it is in another nutshell: What I
                                  >meant was that art cannot be measured by quantitative means. And
                                  >that I think it useless if not harmful to discuss music on the basis
                                  >of quantitative evaluations.
                                • Richard A Mathisen
                                  George, I want to thank you and all the other members of the group who offered thoughts and suggestions! So far no one has suggested an alternative to
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Mar 7, 2010
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    George,
                                     
                                    I want to thank you and all the other members of the group who offered thoughts and suggestions!
                                     
                                    So far no one has suggested an alternative to continuing in opus number order, so I anticipate we will continue in that way unless someone offers a superior idea.
                                     
                                    I will be away for a few days at a conference, but then I will review the suggestions offered and decide how to move forward.
                                     
                                    Again, thanks to all who have commented so far. It means a lot to me just to know that you care about this meeting.
                                     
                                    Dick Mathisen

                                    On Sun, Mar 7, 2010 at 5:12 AM, George <gperkins151@...> wrote:
                                     

                                    Hi Dick!

                                    While I admire the fact that you are taking into account other people's criticism of the group, I see nothinmg wrong with the current course we are on. I say continue in order of opus number, as we have bee doing.

                                    George



                                    --- In beethovensonatas@yahoogroups.com, Richard A Mathisen <richard.a.mathisen@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Bill,
                                    >
                                    > Thanks for your comment! I agree that the membership of this group is really
                                    > all over the map in terms of level of expertise. And that most people cannot
                                    > afford to purchase many complete cycles or individual CD's. (It's been a big
                                    > strain on my own budget!)
                                    >
                                    > My hope was that even persons who have only a few different recordings of a
                                    > particular sonata could join in by indicating their favorites among those
                                    > recordings they own. I'm sorry if I have intimidated anyone by posting my
                                    > own list of my own Top 15.
                                    >
                                    > I wonder if we should start (continue) with the more popular Beethoven
                                    > sonatas, such as the Moonlight, Waldstein, Appassionata, or Op 111? Then
                                    > group members would be more likely to have multiple recordings to discuss?
                                    > And perhaps a stronger motivation to learn or participate?
                                    > Lisa has suggested review-like descriptions of how different pianists play a
                                    > particular work. I think that's a great idea! I hope she will wade in with
                                    > any more thoughts she has about how to proceed.
                                    >
                                    > The main question right now, I think, is which Beethoven piano sonata to
                                    > discuss next. If we follow my previous procedure, it would be sonata #9, Op
                                    > 14-1. However, I'd be happy to discuss another one if the group would find
                                    > that more helpful. (I want to eventually discuss all 32, but I don't have
                                    > any strong preferences as to the sequence.)
                                    >
                                    > Any comments are invited!
                                    >
                                    > Dick Mathisen
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > On Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 5:14 PM, <wkasimer@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > Dick et al -
                                    > >
                                    > > I think that a lot of the issue is that the membership is really all over
                                    > > the map in terms of level of expertise. There are skilled pianists, some
                                    > > professional (I assume) who have studied carefully and played many of these
                                    > > works. There are committed Beethovenians who own dozens of recordings of
                                    > > these works. There are omnivores whose knowledge is broad but not
                                    > > particularly deep. And there are those who don't know much about the sonatas
                                    > > but want to learn more, and learn who plays them well, and what
                                    > > characterizes "well" to those who are more knowledgeable.
                                    > >
                                    > > As I see it, the biggest problem is that very, very few have access to
                                    > > enough recordings to provide a meaningful ranking. I think that I have about
                                    > > a dozen at the moment, several of them purchased in response to postings on
                                    > > this forum, or to prepare for future discussion/comparison, and even that
                                    > > collection is really not sufficient for meaningful rankings. Without some
                                    > > way to make the most important/illustrative recordings available to the
                                    > > general membership of the forum, I'm not sure how much input is possible
                                    > > from the rest of us.
                                    > >
                                    > > Actually, I found the hiatus useful, since I delved into the LvB string
                                    > > quartets...
                                    > >
                                    > > Bill
                                    > >
                                    > > =============
                                    > > William D. Kasimer
                                    > > wkasimer@... <wkasimer%40comcast.net>
                                    > > william_kasimer_md@... <william_kasimer_md%40sshosp.org>
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    >


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