if you cannot view this email, please click here to view an online version.
unsubscribe / update profile | forward to friend | subscribe

pianist, composer, conductor and musicologist

Season 2. July 2011 - June 2012. Number: 5, November 2011
Please share (forward) if you like it!
Follow Mehmet_Okonsar on Twitter 
Main Topic | Videos | CD & mp3 | Articles | LinksBiography | Inspiration | Fortune | Contact
He has shaped my musical being...
Alexis Weissenberg. I did not (only) learnt from him, I have been re-shaped by him. I want to dedicate this issue to that particular supreme musician Alexis Weissenberg. Read some search results on the topic...
Which component of a performance was considered the most important for Alexis Weissenberg?
Start a discussion on that topic in my Facebook page... Click here to connect with me on my personal Facebook space, or here to visit my Fan page...
Extreme dynamic range, extreme (specially on the slow side) tempos but overall the structural integrity of the composition
Start a discussion on that topic in my Facebook page... Click here to connect with me on my personal Facebook space, or here to visit my Fan page...
Alexis+Weissenberg.jpgimage from http://www.last.fm
What is a "structurally well defined" performance
A performance can be good, exciting, very good or "extremely original" or anything else as well. But when we speak of a structured performance, we, in this case the Master and I, we talk about how coherent the composer's message is transmitted through the playing. The composer, as I said in a previous post, actually express an idea in a music score. He/she does not simply write down instructions for performances. The performer must be first able to grasp that, actually fairly abstract idea. In this task he/she is guided with the score and also with all his/her knowledge, artistic sense, general culture and intellect. However this idea of the composer which is a music score is a structural entity. It has its own rules and interplays. Each part of it is organically connected with each other and with the whole work. A structured performance is one performance which brings to the listener this structural integrity without sacrificing any details. That's one point Alexis Weissenberg emphasized most during his teaching.
Click here to connect with me for discussing that on my personal Facebook space, or here to visit my Fan page...
weiss1.jpgwith the Master in Switzerland
Extreme dynamic and tempo ranges
We pianists are often too conservative in our selection of tempos and in our rendering of the dynamics. We are often too scared to go for things too slow or too light in tone.
Weissenberg pointed out this and pushed me forward to enable incredibly extreme tempos which served the work very well. Also he enabled me to play without fear incredibly light, (I never had trouble with playing incredibly loud).
Click here to connect with me for discussing this on my personal Facebook space, or here to visit my Fan page...
Teaching piano without playing it
During his teaching Weissenberg never touched the instrument. He was able to express all his thoughts with words chosen with an amazing precision in many languages he can speak. Teaching without playing has many advantages. First of all it enables the student to grasp the ideas without actually imitating the teacher. The idea and point of view is taken and translated into the student's own brain and body this way the student never mimics the teacher but he/she gets the idea and makes it his/her own
Click here to connect with me for discussing that on my personal Facebook space, or here to visit my Fan page...

Some interesting search results:

Amazon.com: Rachmaninoff: Preludes (complete): Sergey Rachmaninov, Alexis Weissenberg: Music

Alexis Weissenberg is a superb pianist -- quite possibly the greatest pianist of the recorded era. It is difficult for me to understand why he has never received the accolades accorded to, say, Horowitz. Although Weissenberg's technique is astounding, it is always used not for show but in support of his incredible artistry. His performances of the Rachmaninov Preludes are quite simply awesome -- covering the full range from gently lyrical to stormingly exhuberent, depending upon what is appropriate for the music. You will probably never hear a finer performance of this music -- or finer piano playing in any reperoire.

Suite Bergamasque - Debussy's Intoxicating Piano Music

Generally, the style of these piano gems is pure Debussy. Golden harmonies, a delicate floating feeling, and an improvisatory sound. There's a definite sensation of hanging in stillness, with a calm clarity transcending time.

Piano Concerto Album by Alexis Weissenberg | Artistopia.com

This disc features Rachmaninoff's 2nd piano concerto and it was the reason I grabbed it once available.  I heard this recording for the first time off an LP via a radio broadcast many years ago and was convinced that it was the recording I was looking for -- combining all the particular features of performance I was seeking. The performance is lyrical, powerful and exciting where it needs to be.  The third movement is particularly successful.  The Berlin Philharmonic is sumptuous and Weissenberg is easily in command of this piece throughout.

Free Music Notes for Rachmaninoff: Preludes (complete): MusicNear.com

I own many recordings of the Rachmaninoff Piano Preludes; however, Alexis Weissenberg's playing of them is the very best.  The thunderous ones are delivered with jaw-dropping bravura and the tender ones are delivered with great emotional depth coming from his very soul.  You won't believe Alexis' technique.

Many pianist have complained that Rachmaninoff's piano works are almost unplayable due to the fact they were written for Rachmaninoff himself whose hands were physically enormous.  I can remember many years ago an interview with a world famous pianist that had just recorded the Preludes and he was almost in tears recounting the demands of the works he had just recorded.  Well, from listening to Weissenberg?s recording, I don't think he shed any tears over the demands of the works.  His playing is truly exciting in every way.

Piano Concerto Album by Alexis Weissenberg | Artistopia.com

However, this disc also features the Tchaikovsky 1st piano concerto with Karajan conducting the Paris Orchestra.  On listening to this performance -- hearing it for the first time on this recently purchased CD -- the adjectives that come to mind are not at all complimentary.  The tempo is very slow and the effect is pompous and ponderous.  I am drawn to wonder how much of this performance was determined by von Karajan whose other recordings have sometimes struck me in the same way.

cd cover
CD: "Live at Slat Lake City" Piano Solo Recital
My live recordings from the 1991 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition. Liszt, Mozart, Scriabin, Faure and Rameau.  The complete CD can be auditioned here...
image from Wikimedia
I recently published an article on the Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach, you can read it here...
image from Wikimedia
I recently created inventor-musicae.com which is a blog dedicated to music and musicology, please connect, publish, comment and share if you like.

F. Schubert Sonata A maj. D959 1st Mvt (fragm.)  ~ "As Morning Light Breaks" Solo Piano Free improvisation

Mehmet Okonsar is a pianist-composer-conductor and musicologist. Besides his international concert carrier he is a prolific writer.  He is the founder of the first classical music-musicology dedicated blog site: "inventor-musicae" as well as the first classical-music video portal : http://www.classicalvideos.net. Mehmet Okonsar's official site: http://www.okonsar.com
Inspiration By Tzvi Freeman
Everyone today is talking about "spirituality." Even business people are talking spirituality. But let's be honest: Spirituality in earthly form is like ballet in a five-ton asbestos suit. [read more...]
Computer science:
    (1) A study akin to numerology and astrology, but lacking the precision of the former and the success of the latter.
    (2) The protracted value analysis of algorithms.
    (3) The costly enumeration of the obvious.
    (4) The boring art of coping with a large number of trivialities.
    (5) Tautology harnessed in the service of Man at the speed of light.
    (6) The Post-Turing decline in formal systems theory.

This email is sent by me, Mehmet Okonsar (mehmet@okonsar.com)
The company Streamsend is in charge of delivering my emails.
My street address is: Mesnevi S. 46/15 TR-06690 Ankara - Turkey
Phone: + 90 312 438 0917 - GSM: + 90 533 767 1899