Tickling the fancy of those who tickle the ivories
November 4, 2010 7:03 PM   Subscribe

There's never been a better time to be a curious classical pianist. A few YouTube users have been uploading synchronized scores to dozens of interesting pieces, usually virtuosic and/or obscure, and often out of print or otherwise unavailable. There are all sorts of treasures, but perhaps the most notable scores are those of a lost generation of post-Scriabin Russian composers whose avant-garde output was later suppressed by the Soviet government.
posted by dfan (15 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
the Russian pieces are so menacing... I would love to have recordings of them. The Pierné is also great. I can't get into the excessively virtuosic pieces; not much there of interest.
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:14 PM on November 4, 2010

Thanks. I am looking forward to listening to some of this over the next day or two.

The question of virtuosity as it applies to aesthetic wonderfulness has always been especially bedeviling when it comes to pianistic compositions. The fact that the piano is a machine definitely has something to do with this conundrum. Not that the clarinet, and, less so, the viola, for example, are not machines as well.

That said, while seated at the piano bench, the thought (almost) never occurs to me that I am operating a machine.

Go figger.
posted by kozad at 7:40 PM on November 4, 2010

This machine is killed by communists.
posted by The White Hat at 7:43 PM on November 4, 2010 [3 favorites]

That Sorabji piece was fascinating to look at. It appeared to be an isometric drawing depicting the maneuvers of battalions of vertical fence/notes on a field. The piece was gripping to listen to as well. There must be a relationship between the slope m of an arpeggio and its difficulty.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 7:51 PM on November 4, 2010

This is an excellent FPP.
posted by archivist at 9:01 PM on November 4, 2010

Agreed -- thanks for a great FPP.
posted by vverse23 at 10:01 PM on November 4, 2010

Isn't this exactly what we hoped for from global computer networks, way back when such things were occasional colour in science fiction novels? (There's a piece in how badly SF predicted digital culture, I'm sure).

It's the corollary of Sturgeon's Law. If 90 percent of everything is crud, then as the value of everything tends towards infinity so does the size of the ten percent remainder.

All one need to is filter and curate - and thanks, dfan, for your filtration. Nothing but nothing makes me happier than finding good new music.

Now, can someone do one of those sumptuously well-informed and equipped FPP on the subject of classical Indian music?
posted by Devonian at 12:44 AM on November 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Lourié - Nocturne Gorgeous! Great post!
posted by carping demon at 1:09 AM on November 5, 2010

Thanks, great. Didn't know that the synchronized score fad had reached these spheres.
posted by Namlit at 1:26 AM on November 5, 2010

it's not classical, but you might enjoy Martin Galway's Parallax performed on piano by Linus Akesson
posted by 3mendo at 2:53 AM on November 5, 2010

Excellent! And terrifying. I think though I need a little ball to bounce on each note as it is played, because it's hard to keep up...
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 2:53 AM on November 5, 2010

This is great and parallels something that just happened to me earlier this week. I was teaching a student and I started talking about a fairly obscure piece from the 1970s. I told him to try to find it in the library and he said "Yeah, but it's more likely to be on youtube than in our music library" and lo and behold it was. So we spent a while on a journey of discovery through youtube bringing up all sorts of things that I've been telling students to try to find (with a vague comment like: 'well, it might be on the internet...') but here it is. This is an amazing resource, and it's certainly helping me in teaching my students. The future is now as far as I'm concerned.
posted by ob at 7:46 AM on November 5, 2010

Yeah, it's also great to see things as obscure as Lourié on there. I haven't found any Obuhov yet, but I'm waiting. He's a real find as any one who has listened to Messiaen and then heard Obuhov's music will attest...
posted by ob at 7:57 AM on November 5, 2010

I love when someone shows me a whole corner of the Internet I never imagined was there. Thanks for the post; my sightreading is not great but it's enough to make it enjoyable to follow along in places. The real treat is all the music. I am loving Pierné!
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:55 AM on November 5, 2010

YT user smalin does some nice videos showing himself playing along with some color coded animation of the score.
posted by daHIFI at 9:46 AM on November 5, 2010

« Older Same as in town.   |   these portraits look back at us and embody a... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments