Who didn’t possess the talent to train as a pianist?
Hola a todos. This article is about the classical music armchair critics, those self-appointed authorities on all matters of classical music. I find them damn annoying, and I can’t relate to them. I’ve never related well to the classical music audience, even when I was performing in Orchestra Choruses in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall (with the Choral Arts Society of Washington or the University of Maryland Chorus) and in Davies Symphony Hall (with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus). I related well to the other musicians on stage, but the audience was a different breed, with few exceptions.
I see this phenomenon repeatedly. In part, because they’re such sheeple. It will be a video of a performance for piano and orchestra. The celebrity pianist is worshipped and glorified. (“He has spoken through the prophets.”….that’s the next line after “he is worshipped and glorified” in The Nicene Creed). One commenter after the other bows down at the feet of the pianist and treats him as a deity. He’s described by the sheeple classical music armchair critics as “the best pianist ever,” even though they’ve not heard all pianists to make that determination. And who could make such a determination? How would one define “the best pianist ever?” Loco./Crazy. None of the commenters have apparently studied piano because they say nothing about the pianist’s bad form when that’s the case, such as he’s all bent over with his nose nearly touching the keyboard. They say nothing about his banging the keys or too much pedal or whatever the case might be. Or his bouncing around on the piano bench as needless theatrics. No, they want an echo chamber of praise and adoration. Some of these people try to write like “professional” music critics using pretentious lofty language and emotional philosophical drivel. They seem to know little about music yet they pretend otherwise. They love to name-drop the name of their favourite celebrity conductor. They easily impressed by theatrics and how difficult a pianist makes a piece look to play, even though well-trained artists are taught to make even the most difficult pieces look as easy as possible to play. That’s part of artistry. It’s also why the average person — which includes the self-appointed experts known as the classical music armchair critics — has absolutely no idea of the amount of work and time that goes into learning a piece well and performing it splendidly, especially the pieces that are considered the most difficult in the piano repertoire. They also lack attention to detail, not just in music but overall. For example, a pianist had one of his fingers bandaged for a very difficult piece for piano and orchestra. I guess he chose not to cancel the engagement so played with the injured finger. He had a glissando to play with the same hand and I wondered what his bandage looked like at the end of the piece. Based on their comments, none of the armchair critics had even noticed his bandage. How could they not? Where were they looking? Reminds me of another instance where one of the armchair critics had presumably intended to go to a porn video but somehow ended up at this classical music performance video. The commenter wrote this juvenile and tacky comment about being interested in getting married to the pianist (roll eyes). I wrote in response: The pianist is already married. Didn’t you see the very visible wedding ring on the pianist’s finger? Where were you looking not to see that?
And if I were to write part of this article as a comment under one of the videos no one would support me because I’m not in lockstep with the echo chamber of praise and adoration for the celebrity pianist and or celebrity god conductor, whom the sheeple call “Maestro” rather than as he’s listed on the programme, “Conductor, Chief Conductor (or) Principle Conductor.” I never refer to anyone as “Maestro” in part because I don’t like the word because it sounds pretentious. As mi amigo/my friend told me: Being Conservatory-trained, the word “maestro” applies to all of you well-trained musicians, not just a conductor. True, because the word maestro has multiple meanings. It doesn’t just mean conductor.
As for “Who are these people? Wanna-be pianists?” I do not understand this thinking, and again ask: Who are these people who write this rubbish in comments under U-toob videos? I see it on every piano and orchestra video I click watch.
Also, they think that Russian pianists are the best pianists on the planet, yet they’re not any more special than any other well-trained and talented artist. These armchair critics worship “Mother Russia” for some damn reason and say that “only Russian pianists can play Russian music properly.” Absolute Rubbish. Nonsense. Oddly, they don’t say the same about musicians born in Deutschland and Bach, or Polish-born musicians and Chopin, or US-born pianists and Gershwin. No, their ugly nationalism is cemented in an outdated Cold War mentality where “Mother Russia” is above all else and sacrosanct. (roll eyes)
These self-appointed classical music armchair critics also fail to understand that music is the international language crossing all geographic borders so their ugly nationalism is terribly archaic.
Here’s a clip of a performance of the Rachmaninov Second performed by the superb Tehran Symphony Orchestra (Iran) and an outstanding pianist. They play Rachmaninov just as well as — if not better than — an Orchestra and pianist from Russia:
They also don’t seem to ignorant that the Russian School of Piano Playing has this reputation for producing “banging pianists” which none of them ever mention. I think this reputation is mostly undeserved because some pianists no matter where they were born or live “bang” when playing at times. It’s not limited to Russian pianists and I’ve enjoyed many Russian pianists who played beautifully — like other pianists in the world — and didn’t bang at all. Some Russian pianists do bang at times. I saw one recently. His initials? NL. But there are those who do “bang,” again, regardless of their ethnicity and regardless of where they live.
But rather than going through all of the hard work, dedication, immense discipline, years of training and schooling, the money required for such training, degree programmes, and one possible rejection after the other, and particularly the talent required for being the finest musician, it’s must easier to be a classical music armchair critic than a genuine, serious musician. An armchair critic doesn’t require any work or money. And I think that’s what these insipid people are who write comments. Yes, they just sit back and pretend to know what they’re talking about as a self-appointed authority on all matters of classical music without going through the decades of training to actually know what you’re talking about. With these self-appointed experts, it’s all about keeping up appearances these days. They’re the wanna-be pianists, the wannbe-musicians I think.
Reminds me of an annoying and very abrasive acquaintance of mine who is a wanna-be medical doctor. She’s always pushing some scam, some gimmick, some potion or snake oil. She’s never had any medical training but pretends to be a medical doctor. When her phone rings at a gathering, she says “I have to take this call” as she tries to impress others into thinking that she’s a doctor “on call.” She thinks that covid is a hoax yet has a potion for it. Why have a potion for a hoax? Try and figure that out. That’s your typical trump-supporter “logic.” I’d love to ask her where she did her residency? That would certainly knock her off her trolley, not having a clue what I’m talking about. She’d probably respond with “My what?” Chau.—el barrio rosa