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Culture Forum

  1. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    09 Sep '13 13:39
    From Florida, memorizes an entire sonata in one afternoon! I think he is up to 13 pieces so far, doesn't need the paper to play!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2414971/Baby-Beethoven-Jacob-Velasquez-5-child-piano-playing-prodigy.html
  2. 10 Sep '13 11:33
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    From Florida, memorizes an entire sonata in one afternoon! I think he is up to 13 pieces so far, doesn't need the paper to play!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2414971/Baby-Beethoven-Jacob-Velasquez-5-child-piano-playing-prodigy.html
    Pretty amazing! There are numerous prodigies such as this wonderful child. Too soon to compare to Mozart until he also plays violin and composes a symphony at six. Mozart had such perfect pitch that out of tune instruments would make him cry as an infant!
  3. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    10 Sep '13 13:58
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    Pretty amazing! There are numerous prodigies such as this wonderful child. Too soon to compare to Mozart until he also plays violin and composes a symphony at six. Mozart had such perfect pitch that out of tune instruments would make him cry as an infant!
    Yeah, maybe a bit of a stretch comparing him to Mo! He is certainly a prodigy though. Did you get the bit where he is experimenting with alternate fingering to accommodate his tiny fingers? And that on his own.
  4. 10 Sep '13 22:04
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Yeah, maybe a bit of a stretch comparing him to Mo! He is certainly a prodigy though. Did you get the bit where he is experimenting with alternate fingering to accommodate his tiny fingers? And that on his own.
    No doubt he's amazing, despite his young age. There are many child prodigies out there, but none of them come close to the great Mo! Or the great quasi-child prodigy, Ludwig van, or Felix Mendelssohn. Our very own Edward McDowell was no slouch as a child.
  5. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    11 Sep '13 14:09
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    No doubt he's amazing, despite his young age. There are many child prodigies out there, but none of them come close to the great Mo! Or the great quasi-child prodigy, Ludwig van, or Felix Mendelssohn. Our very own Edward McDowell was no slouch as a child.
    Just out of curiosity, how old were you when you started getting serious about piano and how old were you before you had a dozen pieces like that committed to memory?
  6. 11 Sep '13 14:29
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Just out of curiosity, how old were you when you started getting serious about piano and how old were you before you had a dozen pieces like that committed to memory?
    I am a music lover, not a musician, although I do play drums credibly. I am nor knocking this child prodigy, merely placing him in context lest we get a wee bit ahead of ourselves in pronouncing him the next Mozart/Beethoven, Mendelssohn. That's all.
  7. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    11 Sep '13 17:40
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    I am a music lover, not a musician, although I do play drums credibly. I am nor knocking this child prodigy, merely placing him in context lest we get a wee bit ahead of ourselves in pronouncing him the next Mozart/Beethoven, Mendelssohn. That's all.
    Ah, I thought you were a pro classical pianist.
  8. 11 Sep '13 19:52
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Ah, I thought you were a pro classical pianist.
    Just an avid music lover.
  9. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    13 Sep '13 17:54
    Many musical geniuses in history. Just think of Camille Saint-Saëns who performed a Mozart concerto when he was just 13, but then, as an encore, offered to play any of the 32 Beethoven sonatas from memory!
  10. 13 Sep '13 22:16
    Originally posted by Pianoman1
    Many musical geniuses in history. Just think of Camille Saint-Saëns who performed a Mozart concerto when he was just 13, but then, as an encore, offered to play any of the 32 Beethoven sonatas from memory!
    Indeed Saint-Saens was a child prodigy. Can you imagine Saint-Saens being unable to win the Prixe de Rome even as an established composer?
  11. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    14 Sep '13 06:11
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    Indeed Saint-Saens was a child prodigy. Can you imagine Saint-Saens being unable to win the Prixe de Rome even as an established composer?
    I didn't know that. Thanks.
  12. 14 Sep '13 13:08 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Pianoman1
    I didn't know that. Thanks.
    Point I'm trying to make is that even a composer of Saint-Saens stature was not always deemed as worthy by his peers, but he himself was no slouch in dishing it out, considering Debussy, a Pris de Rome winner a degenerate of composition. Other august winners: Berlioz, Bizet, Debussy, D'Indy, Charpentier, Gounod, Ambroise Thomas, Massenet. Perhaps none of these are better or worse than Saint-Saens, but I have heard the compositions they won for and were not better than Saint-Saens'. Of course of these composers only Berlioz and Debussy had a huge influence on music. Here's Debussy's winning piece: YouTube. I could not find an example of Berlioz' Sardanapale. But here's a second prize entry: Death of Cleopatra: YouTube One can detect the incredible influence on future music on this one piece. And Berlioz was no child prodigy, but de facto father of the idee fixe or leitmotif. Herminie, another losing effort germinated Berlioz' Symphonie fantastique: YouTube
  13. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    15 Sep '13 08:02
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    Point I'm trying to make is that even a composer of Saint-Saens stature was not always deemed as worthy by his peers, but he himself was no slouch in dishing it out, considering Debussy, a Pris de Rome winner a degenerate of composition. Other august winners: Berlioz, Bizet, Debussy, D'Indy, Charpentier, Gounod, Ambroise Thomas, Massenet. Perhaps none o ...[text shortened]... rt germinated Berlioz' Symphonie fantastique: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh-QSQ3PA3w
    Interesting point about the influence composers had on future generations. Considering, as Schweitzer said, that everything leads up to Bach, nothing from him. The culmination, the pinnacle of the art of polyphony had nothing new to say! I would, as I have said elsewhere, always take Bach to my desert island as I regard him as the Master whose music never palls. The great innovators, Beethoven, Wagner, Debussy, (I would say Schönberg, his atonal serialism was innovative and fresh but, in my view, something of a dead end) challenged the establishment in a way that Saint-Saëns and Berrlioz never did. Saint-Saëns is something of a musical lightweight, like Mendelssohn, and Berlioz gets bogged down in tragic self-importance.
  14. 15 Sep '13 12:31
    Originally posted by Pianoman1
    Interesting point about the influence composers had on future generations. Considering, as Schweitzer said, that everything leads up to Bach, nothing from him. The culmination, the pinnacle of the art of polyphony had nothing new to say! I would, as I have said elsewhere, always take Bach to my desert island as I regard him as the Master whose music never ...[text shortened]... a musical lightweight, like Mendelssohn, and Berlioz gets bogged down in tragic self-importance.
    Bach indeed the center of the musical solar system and the core around which all music circulates. Saint-Saens was indeed somewhat of a musical lightwieght and the most German of French composers, yet his two masterpieces, Organ Symphony and Samson and Delilah are truly magnificent. Perhaps his true calling was being a teacher and birthed us the awesome requiem of requiems through his pupil Gabriel Faure. Berlioz was considerably influential in his "idee fixe" being what helped Wagner conceptualize the leitmotif and orchestration for his music dramas. Symphonie Fantastique, Les Troyens, Grande Messe des Mortes, Harold in Italy. Berlioz certainly was no lightweight.