A dancer I used to work with a lot used to say that if you want to do three turns on stage, you’d better be able to do five in the studio. By extension, you could argue that to perform a fast piece you might want to practice it at an even faster tempo to make sure you can control it. These videos take that idea perhaps a step too far, performing the pieces much faster than most of us might consider necessary, and the guys at GSI have been kicking these videos back forth, so here are a few of them:
I actually like this performance – Aguirre nails it, doesn’t seem to sacrifice tone (or at least as far as I can tell from the not-so-great audio) and to me seems to have just made a choice to play the piece faster. A few guys were put off by the performance, but they were more familiar with the piece than I am (I’ve certainly heard it quite a bit, but I’ve never played it or anything), so perhaps it’s just that it’s so different from what they’re used to that it sounds off to them.
I think this guy’s just having some fun, and what’s impressive to me is that he seems pretty relaxed, given how fast he’s going. My gut tells me that while he might practice at this speed he would perform it at a ‘normal’ tempo. And, after all, it is an etude.
As we were talking about fast players the name Matt Palmer kept coming up, so here’s his very fast Villa Lobos #2.
This guy definitely does not look relaxed, and he’s actually performing at this speed, so I can’t cut him quite as much slack. And he seems angry. This might be the argument against trying to play too fast.
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