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Topic: Advice

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  1. #1

    Advice

    Shostakovich: A life, by Laurel A. Fay, page 46 down the page:

    Later in life Shostakovich described his aversion to revising:

    "If it turns out badly, let the work remain as it is - I will try to avoid my earlier mistakes in the next.... When I find out that a composer has made eleven versions of one symphony, I think involuntarily, how many new works might have written in that time?"

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    How true!!!

    Raymond

  2. #2

    Re: Advice

    on the other hand, without revisions we would not have Prokovievv's brilliant Piano Concerto no.2, nor Samuel Barber's masterpiece, the Cello Concerto.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: Advice

    Let's not forget Beethoven, who revised, edited, revised, edited, revised, edited - you get the picture. Listen to his Choral Fantasy to see what his writing is like without the time to re-work the material. Of course, a bad day for Beethoven is a pretty good day for anyone else, but the piece is still kind of a mess. A number of years ago, Leonard Bernstein made a recording of Beethoven's sketches for the first movement of the 5th Symphony. He narrates how material was moved/added/deleted, orchestration changed, and so on. It's fascinating - the work we have come to know is so organic, so inevitable in its direction, yet there were a lot times the path was not so clear to him; but he refused to stop looking for that path, and we are all the better for it. The quote from Shostakovich can be taken as a cautionary tale; but it's also a good idea to not let something rest until you are satisfied...
    Ron Pearl

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  4. #4

    Re: Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by rpearl View Post
    but it's also a good idea to not let something rest until you are satisfied...
    it's just a matter of learning to balance being "not satisfied" with being "satisfied".

    if revisions are actually stopping you from getting on with other work, then they are detrimental.

    I happen to be one of those who returns to an older piece years later and brings revisions to it. When I believe in one of my own works, I see no reason to not want to improve upon it as I learn more and more of my own craft.

  5. #5

    Re: Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by qccowboy View Post
    on the other hand, without revisions we would not have Prokovievv's brilliant Piano Concerto no.2, nor Samuel Barber's masterpiece, the Cello Concerto.
    CD-booklet about Prokofiev's PianoConcerto 2 :

    The revised version Prokofiev prepared in Paris and the Bavarian town of Ettal during 1923 was not a matter of second thoughts, but simply a reconstructive effort; the score had been lost in Russia during Revolution, and after the passing of a decade Prokofiev tried to write it down from memory - with of course the tightening and polishing enevitably dictated by the additional decade's experience.

    Not quite a revision, but a reconstruction. About Barber I don't know. Beethoven made a mess of his scores, not because he wasn't satisfied about it, but he was so filled with ideas that he couldn't chose. At the other hand, don't forget his hearing illness..........

    There is nothing against revising some parts, but sticking to one work, while others emerge in your head and on sketches, is a waste of talent and time.....

    Raymond

  6. #6
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by qccowboy View Post
    it's just a matter of learning to balance being "not satisfied" with being "satisfied".

    if revisions are actually stopping you from getting on with other work, then they are detrimental.

    I happen to be one of those who returns to an older piece years later and brings revisions to it. When I believe in one of my own works, I see no reason to not want to improve upon it as I learn more and more of my own craft.
    Agreed - sometimes the satisfying result comes from letting something sit for while on the shelf. We grow, and when we return to some material, we can see how better/differently to utilize it.
    Ron Pearl

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  7. #7

    Re: Advice

    Very cool...ummmm....thanks for letting me hang out with you guys.
    Sincerely,
    GRB

  8. #8

    Re: Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by GRB53 View Post
    Very cool...ummmm....thanks for letting me hang out with you guys.
    Sincerely,
    GRB
    Yes, nice isn't it? We are some bunch of "wild' guys, with revolutionary ideas and music. If there is one thing that contradicts the "opening message" in this thread, please go to the listening room and listen to Symphony nr.2, that great work that needed six years to complete.

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...l=1#post684972

    Raymond

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