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Matthieu's Performances

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Matthieu's Performances

Post by Matthieu Stepec on Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:49 am

Here you go! Fresh from yesterday evening... It's not perfect, but whatever.



I hope you like it!

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by aendym on Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:13 pm

Ill be honest: I dont like that kind of music!
But that is kinda fascinating the way you play all these sounds, that - to me - dont make sense but actually probably do make sense (to less ignorant people than me =)
So keep doing that! Its cool!

Now with me having problems playing in front of a CAMERA it must be really crazy to actually play in front of an AUDIENCE!!!
What do YOU think about while you sit there playing all these crazy sounds? And how long have you been working on that before you actually did it in front of an audience?
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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Matthieu Stepec on Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:08 pm

This music is special, I agree! It's not easy to understand for beginners. Maybe you should first listen to Debussy (and I don't mean "Clair de Lune"... rather his Preludes and Etudes for example, or Images) and Ravel (except the Bolero, of course) before you try to appreciate Messiaen.
It's a music of sensuality, of sonorous delectation Wink It's not tonal, which is what makes you feel reluctant to it. Try to listen to the melody (on the left hand in the second piece) and to a more "global sound" rather than chord progressions.
Playing in front of an audience is not such a big deal. The bigger the audience, the easier it is for me. Playing in front of 1 or 2 persons is difficult, because I feel like I have to "speak" to those particular 1 or 2 persons, to touch them personnally, while a crowd is anonymous.
The camera does make one nervous too, because it prints what you play forever. You'll be able to hear it again and again, which potentially multiplies your mistakes and flaws by infinite, and makes them "heavy" (the reference to Kundera is intended)
Before I get on stage, I do feel a kick of adrenaline though. I sit at the piano and try to relax: I concentrate on the instrument and on the piece I'm playing. I touch the keys, I try the pedal quietly, I check my chair height etc. By checking all this up, I stop thinking of the public. Then I try to remember the pieces, their structure, their dynamics etc.

While playing, I mostly think of what's coming (musically) and of controlling the sound. It's like a permanent retrocontrol (play -> listen -> readapt) combined with planning the whole bigger structure of the pieces. I also try to optimize my contact to the keys, which is necessary with such technically challenging music.

I learned those two pieces in a relatively short time (actually I learned 4: 2 Debussy preludes were also part of the set I learned at that time) that is about 5 weeks, approximately. But I also played other pieces at the same time (like since last week I started Chopin's 3rd sonata and Schubert's 1st Impromptu).

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Matthieu Stepec on Thu May 20, 2010 9:58 pm








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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Thomandy on Thu May 20, 2010 10:08 pm

Great, Keep it up!! Smile

I especially like your Rach in Gminor Smile Great work! Also Schubert is is win! Smile I enjoyed the other two videos as well, but I have to listen more to those pieces I think to get them right.
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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Marnex on Sun May 23, 2010 7:32 am

That's pretty good, man!
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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by MyP&V on Tue May 25, 2010 6:19 pm

Matthieu Stepec wrote:







Congratulations!!


Last edited by MyP&V on Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:12 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Alistair123 on Wed May 26, 2010 4:34 pm

Wooo! Hardcore Music Fan!! I, am, Impressed!
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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Alexander Lironi on Thu May 27, 2010 4:01 pm

Hey MyP&V...There is a difference between a good pianist and a Virtuoso pianist. Matthieu retains an error for most of his performance, which I tell you in a MP.
Little strength in his little finger, very visible in measures 19 and 20. And a blunder in measures 31-33. And what about the end of his performance ...pale
He is a student at the University of Arts in Berlin. He should be demanding of himself.
However, I agree with your opinion that you put in his video. Of the young pianists, he is the best on Youtube. And thanks to him, this forum is becoming interesting. Matthieu, congratulations Smile

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Matthieu Stepec on Thu May 27, 2010 5:04 pm

Hello Alexander

Your comment is a little harsh, although I agree with you Wink My 5th finger of the right hand is a little weak, your observation is perfectly right; I'm focusing on that at the moment.
I'm a student at the UdK, and I am demanding of myself Wink However, one should know that I was self taught until I was 16, and I'm learning slowly to get an appropriate technique. If you compare with my earlier recordings, I think you'll find that I made progresses Wink
Anyway, I'm very happy to see that someone with a quite professional insight has commented on my videos and on this forum, to help making it even more interesting Smile
Are you a professional pianist?

Regards

Matthieu Stepec

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Alexander Lironi on Fri May 28, 2010 5:12 pm

Thank you very much for his attitude Mr. Stepec. You will go far. There is nothing more difficult to admit mistakes, honestly.
Professional? I'll always be a beginner. I'll never know enough of music.
Every day I learn something new Smile
Is it my imagination, or I see a little nervous in his performances? I tell you what I usually tell my students before they go on stage: The ancient Greeks used masks to stop being themselves and thus became the man who wanted to represent. Tonight, don your mask and be, you want to be.

I have two things against you, those mistakes will prevent you from becoming a virtuoso. But before I say you anything, I'd rather wait to see your next videos, and I also hope that your teachers let you know these mistakes.

All I can tell you do not get distracted from your goal... success will come, when it has to come...

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Thomandy on Fri May 28, 2010 10:07 pm

Hm.. Mistakes? Oki, Ill ask you Matt; What are your perception on this matter?

Ill tell mine now. I know for a fact that most of the great pianists of the 20th century did mistakes every single concert they had. I think it was Horowitz or Rubinstein that said, he did at least 1 or 2 mistakes every concert. I also know Chopin was not the Best pianist in his time. He even wrote in letters that he technically fell short of Liszt and that he wished for Liszts skills technically. But what Is said about Chopin is his extremely great touch at the piano was above all.

What is a virtuoso? If we are talking mistakes I think Liszt might be the only one not making any at concerts over time based on the things I have read. ...I have of course holes in my knowledge but still..

So what I feel about the matter, is summed up in Rubinstein wise words I saw in an interview commenting the new generation of pianists:

"Pianist today play perfect, absolutely perfect - But then I ask them, when are you going to play music?"
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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Alexander Lironi on Sat May 29, 2010 6:46 am

Chlorine and sodium… are mortal separated. But together they form a compound called salt… a delicious seasoning. A pianist with technique, but no feeling, is empty. A pianist with sensitivity, but not technical, is really a pianist? But a pianist with technique and sensitivity, is a virtuoso pianist.

Right now I'm listening Horowits playing, Piano concert No 3, Rachmaninov. Superb.

I agree with Thom, there is a Rubinstein and a Horowits that have errors in their performances ... And they are two users of Youtube, Rubinstein26 and Horowits234. Very Happy
Because I do not think that Thom refers to Vladimir Horowits, who at age 74 played majestically , Rachmaninov. Or that he refers to Arthur Rubinstein, who practiced 16 hours a day.

Mr. Stepec, I showed your mistakes in this forum, and I'll tell you why...
I dared to show your mistakes, because I know that in a short time your correct them. Also, because your performance is good, with some errors. I know that your interpretation will become perfect.
You study at a conservatory in Germany. You're not a guy pretending to be a pianist. You seek perfection.
If you want, is to be a YouTuber, do it, but with dignity and play Yan Tiersen or Yanni for to take a lot of subscribers, and many people who know nothing of music, say you: ‘Great performance’
But if you want, is to be a virtuoso pianist, works hard. Practice more than eight hours.
You have the talent and sensitivity. You have a great future ahead. The best I can wish you, is that you encounter people who criticize your work hard, and force you to practice more, and show, that you were born to play the piano.
It is better to be scolded by the few scholars who recognized the many foolish.
Unfortunately the road to success, is loneliness. For a long time, your only friend is your piano, but then you will have great reward.
Do not be afraid to be criticized, remember that history has never acknowledged the critics but to those who were criticized. Do not be afraid of suffering, suffering makes us sensitive.
You are responsible for your own talent. And you have a great talent!
But do not be proud, the end of your performance of prelude No 5 op. 23, was a mess Wink

I'll be honest. Of the young pianists I've seen live and on video, you are by far the best. Congratulations!

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Matthieu Stepec on Sat May 29, 2010 10:29 am

Hey everyone.

First to Thomandy:

Indeed, Rubinstein and Horowitz made a lot of wrong notes, especially at the end of their careers. Nevertheless, they are so called "old school" pianists who come from a tradition that started before recordings. At this time, mistakes were not important.
The evolution of recording and the world wide competition led people to enhance more and more their accuracy. Now there are pianists who play evertything almost perfectly.
About interpretation now: modern interpretations are closer to the text. This is not due to a lack of imagination, as some people say, but to a greater rigorship in the approach, and also to the publication of much more precises Urtexts (in the early 20th century, editors usually changed the text a bit). Pianist nowadays have much more exact interpretations that, say, Horowitz.
In my opinion, pianists do have the potential now to become better than te old school generation.

To Alexander:

It is wrong to say that Horowitz and Rubinstein played no mistakes! Horowitz especially, did a lot of horrible concerts, which are even documented, as they were recorded.
But of course that's not the point Wink I'm not a pianist of the older generation and so I can't even hope to have a little career without playing very cleanly.
Of course, I don't want to become a Youtuber who plays Yann Tiersen or video games music... My career is here in Berlin, and my videos are mostly to listen to myself and to ask my friends for comments. If they have success, of course, I won't say no Wink
I know that the end of Op.23 No.5 is not quite perfect Smile
You saying that I'm the best young pianist you have seen is a great compliment, thank you!

Is there a way I could contact you outside of this forum? Wink

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by frank on Sat May 29, 2010 11:48 am

What's wrong with Yann Tiersen? I like classical pieces and Matthieu's performances, but I don't see that it is bad for the professional reputation to play e.g. like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJqYjL4kia8

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Matthieu Stepec on Sat May 29, 2010 12:05 pm

Yann Tiersen's music is not bad, but it's popular music which doesn't require any kind of precision and sound control in order to render. It also stays on an emotionally very flat point. Its structure is completely repetitive, and its harmonies are kitschy... No professional classical pianist would ever play it, because it would not be thrilling at all for him to perform: there is no interpretative work required. The goal here is just merely to entertain, which is NOT the goal of classical music.

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by frank on Sat May 29, 2010 12:21 pm

This depends on the composer. I think the goal of at least some pieces from Mozart is to entertain. E.g. for me this piece http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRNE_IfFNZE from Piano Sonata No. 16, has nearly the same complexity as Sur le fil from Yann Tiersen (but of course very different style and mood).

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Matthieu Stepec on Sat May 29, 2010 12:55 pm

Don't mix the "official" intent with the actual deeper meaning of the music! Of course this piece was supposed to be entertaining as it was written for aristocracy.
Nevertheless, this piece is still more complex than Yann Tiersen's. However, the interpretation you send is awful, because it's played on an electronic piano: you CANNOT achieve a good classical performance on such an instrument. For comparison: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK4vWzQCQxU&feature=related

This sonata, the so called "Sonata Facile" is a kind of joke. It's supposed to be easy, but it's not. It has a lot of subtelties in phrasing and dynamics, and it's technically very hard to make such "naked" phrases sound plain and full.

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Matthieu Stepec on Sat May 29, 2010 12:58 pm

Or even better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6rstctpxGw&feature=related

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by frank on Sat May 29, 2010 1:39 pm

You are right, the acoustic versions are much better. Not only the sound, e.g. the staccato notes (how did they play it? I can't reproduce such sharp sound ending on my e-piano), but the piece is much more "flowing", especially the second video. But I don't hear much more of the complexity, maybe I'm just as dumb as the old aristocracy Smile

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Matthieu Stepec on Sat May 29, 2010 2:20 pm

The complexity of such pieces are hidden, and the fact that performers manage to understand it gives it the "flow" you notice while listening: the whole gets more coherent. It's almost impossible to hear concretely what's going on without knowing the text by heart or reading it along! But the effect still is there. Don't worry, you're not being dumb, you're just someone who is listening without analyzing every comma, which is just fine: in the end music should flow and touch in a natural way.
Wink

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by MyP&V on Sun May 30, 2010 1:19 am

Very Happy


Last edited by MyP&V on Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:48 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Matthieu Stepec on Sun May 30, 2010 5:48 am

Fractal Geometry?

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Pianissimo on Sun May 30, 2010 11:39 pm

Hi Matt
Great job! I do not see errors in your performances Smile
Matt, I'll go to the University to study a degree in music. The next week is my exam. Tell me something, I'm very nervous. pale

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Re: Matthieu's Performances

Post by Pianissimo on Sun May 30, 2010 11:47 pm

I think you're a virtuoso.
I can not believe it! You study in Berlin. I have a lot of envy lol!

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