Discussion:
Schiff on Schubert (Alex Ross)
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John Wiser
2015-10-29 17:55:57 UTC
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http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom

jdw
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2015-10-29 19:42:52 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
I will get to hear this program on Chicago on Sunday. Really looking forward to it!
r***@gmail.com
2015-10-29 20:15:01 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
Thank you for the link.
Mort
2015-10-29 20:46:10 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
I will see him do that program tomorrow evening at Carnegie Hall, and am
really looking forward to it.

Thanks for your post.

Mort Linder
laraine
2015-10-29 21:31:38 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
So Schiff seems to think that the first two mov'ts of D960
could indicate death, and the last two mov'ts hope for the
afterlife.

Recall Jonathan Biss was discussing how in the 18th century,
sonatas were expected to have a positive ending, even though
the earlier mov'ts could have some development and complexity.
Don't remember why ...

C.
music lover
2015-10-30 08:16:26 UTC
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Post by laraine
Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
So Schiff seems to think that the first two mov'ts of D960
could indicate death, and the last two mov'ts hope for the
afterlife.
Recall Jonathan Biss was discussing how in the 18th century,
sonatas were expected to have a positive ending, even though
the earlier mov'ts could have some development and complexity.
Don't remember why ...
C.
I attended the Schiff recital in Los Angeles. He's a bit too refined at times for me, and it would be nice to take a chance once in a while. But he is a wonderful musician. And his encores are truly generous.
The orchestral concert in Los Angeles alluded to by Alex Ross concluded with a mini Schubertiade - the four stellar vocal soloists from the Haydn Mass along with a small contingent from the Master Chorale. Schiff's accompaniment for these near perfect lieder singers made it the highlight of his concerts for me.We rarely get the chance to hear Schubert like this in our little burg.
h***@btinternet.com
2015-10-30 09:45:03 UTC
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Post by laraine
Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
So Schiff seems to think that the first two mov'ts of D960
could indicate death, and the last two mov'ts hope for the
afterlife.
C.
It would be interesting to know more about Schubert's interest in religion etc. Has anyone read anything about this?
laraine
2015-10-31 02:18:34 UTC
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Post by laraine
Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
So Schiff seems to think that the first two mov'ts of D960
could indicate death, and the last two mov'ts hope for the
afterlife.
C.
It would be interesting to know more about Schubert's interest in religion etc. Has anyone read anything about this?
I found a nice overview site about Schubert,
and he seems to be sort of in-between as far
as religion goes, expressing doubts, but also
believing in faith...
And he did write a lot of church music:

http://www.franzpeterschubert.com/introduction-3.html

They also display four letters of Schubert, which are quite
eye-opening. Can one imagine him reading 'Last of the
Mohicans' as he was dying...

From a letter to his parents:

"My audience expressed great delight at the solemnity
of my hymn to the Blessed Virgin ; it seems to have
infected the minds of listeners with a spirit of piety
and devotion. I believe I have attained this result
by never forcing on myself religious ecstasy, and never
setting myself to compose such hymns or prayers except
when I am involuntarily overcome by the feeling
and spirit of devotion ; in that case, devotion is usually
of the right and genuine kind. "
h***@btinternet.com
2015-10-31 09:35:55 UTC
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Thanks Laraine. That website has made me keen to find a good study of Schubert's thought.
h***@btinternet.com
2015-10-31 09:37:17 UTC
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Thanks Laraine. That website has made me keen to find a good study of Schubert's thought.
Bozo
2015-10-30 11:46:08 UTC
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Post by laraine
So Schiff seems to think that the first two mov'ts of D960
could indicate death, and the last two mov'ts hope for the
afterlife.
For me D960's first 2 movs. seem to look back with some fond memories, but with much regret, while the last 2 look forward to a brighter future here on Earth despite Schubert's afflictions, without past mistakes to be repeated.
h***@btinternet.com
2015-10-30 14:17:31 UTC
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Post by Bozo
Post by laraine
So Schiff seems to think that the first two mov'ts of D960
could indicate death, and the last two mov'ts hope for the
afterlife.
For me D960's first 2 movs. seem to look back with some fond memories, but with much regret, while the last 2 look forward to a brighter future here on Earth despite Schubert's afflictions, without past mistakes to be repeated.
You know, it's made smile to see that sort of romantic approach, where you just see what ideas the music conjures up for you. No reference to anything to do with the composer's ideas, other than the music itself. I know it's quite a common practice amongst musical people, but it's ages since I've heard someone do it.

Reminds me of those things Yudina wrote about Brahms, and hearing Cortot in a masterclass do it for something by Chopin.
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2015-10-30 15:15:35 UTC
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Post by Bozo
Post by laraine
So Schiff seems to think that the first two mov'ts of D960
could indicate death, and the last two mov'ts hope for the
afterlife.
For me D960's first 2 movs. seem to look back with some fond memories, but with much regret, while the last 2 look forward to a brighter future here on Earth despite Schubert's afflictions, without past mistakes to be repeated.
You know, it's made smile to see that sort of romantic approach, where you just see what ideas the music conjures up for you. No reference to anything to do with the composer's ideas, other than the music itself. I know it's quite a common practice amongst musical people, but it's ages since I've heard someone do it.
Reminds me of those things Yudina wrote about Brahms, and hearing Cortot in a masterclass do it for something by Chopin.
You've hit the nail on the head, Howie. But then, apart the most obvious program music, translating abstractions, e.g., "hope," "afterlife," or "nobility" into sound is entirely subjective and often unpersuasive, at least for me. On the other hand, if the emotions or ideas, which Schiff, Yudina, or Cortot discover in pieces inform performances I enjoy, or at least find interesting, who am I to object to their analyses?
/Daniel
Herman
2015-10-30 15:16:14 UTC
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Post by h***@btinternet.com
You know, it's made smile to see that sort of romantic approach, where you just see what ideas the music conjures up for you. No reference to anything to do with the composer's ideas, other than the music itself. I know it's quite a common practice amongst musical people, but it's ages since I've heard someone do it.
Reminds me of those things Yudina wrote about Brahms, and hearing Cortot in a masterclass do it for something by Chopin.
Or Bernstein singing "I want it; I want it; I want it" to a Tchaikovsky theme, and everybody regarding this as some brilliant insight.
h***@btinternet.com
2015-10-30 21:29:45 UTC
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My favourite one is Casals on the preludes of Bach's suites, just because I used to think he was talking about the music rather than his reaction to it!

Casals
Suite no. 1: Optimism
Suite no. 2: Tragedy
Suite no. 3: Heroism
Suite no. 4: Grandeur
Suite no. 5: Tempestuousness
Suite no. 6: Bucolic
Al Eisner
2015-11-02 21:03:32 UTC
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Post by h***@btinternet.com
My favourite one is Casals on the preludes of Bach's suites, just because I used to think he was talking about the music rather than his reaction to it!
Casals
Suite no. 1: Optimism
Suite no. 2: Tragedy
Suite no. 3: Heroism
Suite no. 4: Grandeur
Suite no. 5: Tempestuousness
Suite no. 6: Bucolic
Does the shift from noun to adjective for #6 correspond to the change
of instrument? (I don't really see how heroism, for example, can be
an aspect of the music itself.)
--
Al Eisner
MickeyBoy
2015-10-30 22:02:26 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
Bozo, thanks for your insight. The last sonatas are mysterious enough that having some kind of idea to listen through them is a help. D.959 is a whopper - what could Schubert have been thinking? Earl Wild in his memoirs stated that after learning the notes in a few days a pianist should work on the music, coming up with some kind of meaning that makes sense to him. It doesn't matter what it is, one should have something. If you have ever read anything Cortot wrote about Chopin, in very elegant French, you will know what is meant. The music is Romantic, the Romantics and those followers who understood it in their very nervous system understood it. We should not give it the down-the-nose superior-to-program-music treatment. Last night on our local NPR radio station, we heard the Respighi transcription of Rachmaninov's Op. 39/2. In a letter to Respighi the composer stated that he composed the piece at his wife's suggestion, thinking of sea waves and gulls. Stravinski's remark that music was merely vibrations of the air was just a boutade.
Bozo
2015-10-31 20:05:13 UTC
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Bozo, thanks for your insight. The last sonatas are mysterious enough that >having some kind of idea to listen through them is a help. D.959 is a whopper -
D.959 and 958 remain nigh inscrutable to me , too. You're too kind re: my insights into 960. In fairness, I must acknowledge the able assistance of the 10/19/15 vintage of Liberty Creek Merlot, $ 7.99 / 1.5 L. here.

For me, 959,894,845,743,664 are the gems.

Although , this evening I was present included other Schubert gems :

Emil Gilels
October 20, 1978--8 p.m.
Hancher Auditorium ,Iowa City,Iowa:

SCHUMANN

Vier Klavierstucke, Op. 32 (Scherzo: Sehr markiert; Gigue: Sehr Schnell; Romanze: Sehr rasch und mit Bravour; Fughetta: Leise)


SCHUBERT
Moments musicaux, Op. 94 (Moderato; Andante; Allegro moderato; Moderato; Allegro vivace; Allegretto)

Pause

CHOPIN
Polonaise in C minor, Op. 40, No. 2
Sonata in B minor, Op. 58, No. 3

No encores.
g***@gmail.com
2019-04-11 15:43:43 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/11/schubert-sonatas-impromptus-review-schiffs-1820-piano-brings-fascinating-insights
g***@gmail.com
2019-04-11 16:32:59 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/11/schubert-sonatas-impromptus-review-schiffs-1820-piano-brings-fascinating-insights
But how can one be sure that the playing technique of 200 years ago was the same as it is now?

Am I the only one who feels that the 'touch' was probably lighter and that Schubert would say that modern pianists are banging away at his music?
g***@gmail.com
2019-04-11 20:28:42 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/11/schubert-sonatas-impromptus-review-schiffs-1820-piano-brings-fascinating-insights
But how can one be sure that the playing technique of 200 years ago was the same as it is now?
Am I the only one who feels that the 'touch' was probably lighter and that Schubert would say that modern pianists are banging away at his music?
And that we moderns would have found the technique of the pianists of Schubert's time to be too 'dainty' and 'fussy'?
dk
2019-04-18 08:55:09 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/11/schubert-sonatas-impromptus-review-schiffs-1820-piano-brings-fascinating-insights
But how can one be sure that the playing technique of 200 years ago was the same as it is now?
Am I the only one who feels that the 'touch' was probably lighter and that Schubert would say that modern pianists are banging away at his music?
And that we moderns would have found the technique of the pianists of Schubert's time to be too 'dainty' and 'fussy'?
The bot must certainly have
a handy quote about this! ;-)

dk
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2019-04-28 03:21:48 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/11/schubert-sonatas-impromptus-review-schiffs-1820-piano-brings-fascinating-insights
But how can one be sure that the playing technique of 200 years ago was the same as it is now?
Am I the only one who feels that the 'touch' was probably lighter and that Schubert would say that modern pianists are banging away at his music?
And that we moderns would have found the technique of the pianists of Schubert's time to be too 'dainty' and 'fussy'?
The bot must certainly have
a handy quote about this! ;-)
dk
If you insist:

- Can a Stradivarius

in the hands of a beginner

Ever sound as good as

A pawn shop fiddle

In the hands of a Paganini?


You can unearth and have access to all the historical instruments and treatises in the world, but once the last performer has died, the playing technique dies with him/her.

As far as I am concerned, it is the folly of follies to believe that we can allow things to die out only because at some point in the future they can somehow be easily revived.
g***@gmail.com
2019-05-04 07:44:35 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/11/schubert-sonatas-impromptus-review-schiffs-1820-piano-brings-fascinating-insights
But how can one be sure that the playing technique of 200 years ago was the same as it is now?
Am I the only one who feels that the 'touch' was probably lighter and that Schubert would say that modern pianists are banging away at his music?
And that we moderns would have found the technique of the pianists of Schubert's time to be too 'dainty' and 'fussy'?
The bot must certainly have
a handy quote about this! ;-)
dk
- Violin playing is a perishable art. It must be passed on as a personal skill; otherwise it is lost.

Heifetz
weary flake
2019-04-27 22:44:06 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/11/schubert-sonatas-impromptus-review-schiffs-1820-piano-brings-fascinating-insights
But how can one be sure that the playing technique of 200 years ago was
the same as it is now?
Am I the only one who feels that the 'touch' was probably lighter and
that Schubert would say that modern pianists are banging away at his
music?
And that we moderns would have found the technique of the pianists of
Schubert's time to be too 'dainty' and 'fussy'?
It could be the other way around, modern players are gentle and dainty,
while Schubert was pounding away his pieces at the fortepiano in a way
he'd be denounced by our teachers and critics.
g***@gmail.com
2019-04-28 02:55:24 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/11/schubert-sonatas-impromptus-review-schiffs-1820-piano-brings-fascinating-insights
But how can one be sure that the playing technique of 200 years ago was
the same as it is now?
Am I the only one who feels that the 'touch' was probably lighter and
that Schubert would say that modern pianists are banging away at his
music?
And that we moderns would have found the technique of the pianists of
Schubert's time to be too 'dainty' and 'fussy'?
It could be the other way around, modern players are gentle and dainty,
while Schubert was pounding away his pieces at the fortepiano in a way
he'd be denounced by our teachers and critics.
In Schubert's time. weren't performing venues smaller than they are now?

And therefore, wasn't the piano less powerful in terms of volume than it is now?

Just remember, there is no performing traditions sematary:

- History repeats itself, but the special call of an art which has passed
away is never reproduced. It is utterly gone out of the world as the song
of a destroyed wild bird.

Joseph Conrad

- An art which has fallen into disuse for the period of a generation is
altogether lost...

Michael Polanyi
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2019-06-28 07:21:32 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/11/schubert-sonatas-impromptus-review-schiffs-1820-piano-brings-fascinating-insights
But how can one be sure that the playing technique of 200 years ago was
the same as it is now?
Am I the only one who feels that the 'touch' was probably lighter and
that Schubert would say that modern pianists are banging away at his
music?
And that we moderns would have found the technique of the pianists of
Schubert's time to be too 'dainty' and 'fussy'?
It could be the other way around, modern players are gentle and dainty,
while Schubert was pounding away his pieces at the fortepiano in a way
he'd be denounced by our teachers and critics.
In Schubert's time. weren't performing venues smaller than they are now?
And therefore, wasn't the piano less powerful in terms of volume than it is now?
- History repeats itself, but the special call of an art which has passed
away is never reproduced. It is utterly gone out of the world as the song
of a destroyed wild bird.
Joseph Conrad
- An art which has fallen into disuse for the period of a generation is
altogether lost...
Michael Polanyi
- The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

L.P. Hartley
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2019-04-28 02:58:55 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/11/schubert-sonatas-impromptus-review-schiffs-1820-piano-brings-fascinating-insights
But how can one be sure that the playing technique of 200 years ago was the same as it is now?...
The following article begins:

- Pianists’ playing technique has changed considerably over the last 200 years...

https://www.apollon.uio.no/english/articles/2015/schubert.html
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2019-04-28 08:14:54 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/11/schubert-sonatas-impromptus-review-schiffs-1820-piano-brings-fascinating-insights
But how can one be sure that the playing technique of 200 years ago was the same as it is now?...
- Pianists’ playing technique has changed considerably over the last 200 years...
https://www.apollon.uio.no/english/articles/2015/schubert.html
I would go on to say that the performance of music has changed more than we realize since 100 years ago.
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2019-05-04 07:38:12 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/11/schubert-sonatas-impromptus-review-schiffs-1820-piano-brings-fascinating-insights
But how can one be sure that the playing technique of 200 years ago was the same as it is now?...
- Pianists’ playing technique has changed considerably over the last 200 years...
https://www.apollon.uio.no/english/articles/2015/schubert.html
I would go on to say that the performance of music has changed more than we realize since 100 years ago.
According to this:

- He compares the characteristics of musical life one hundred years ago—before the phonograph—to those of today and offers a fascinating analysis of how performing practices, images of performers, the work of composers, and performance choices in concert halls and opera houses have changed.

https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300094015/century-recorded-music
g***@gmail.com
2019-07-23 04:17:39 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/11/schubert-sonatas-impromptus-review-schiffs-1820-piano-brings-fascinating-insights
But how can one be sure that the playing technique of 200 years ago was the same as it is now?...
- Pianists’ playing technique has changed considerably over the last 200 years...
https://www.apollon.uio.no/english/articles/2015/schubert.html
I would go on to say that the performance of music has changed more than we realize since 100 years ago.
- He compares the characteristics of musical life one hundred years ago—before the phonograph—to those of today and offers a fascinating analysis of how performing practices, images of performers, the work of composers, and performance choices in concert halls and opera houses have changed.
https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300094015/century-recorded-music
According to this:

- One era's conception of beauty can be quite dissimilar to another's.

https://books.google.com/books?id=dFX0AAAAMAAJ&q=%22One+era%27s+conception+of+beauty+can+be+quite+dissimilar+to+another%27s.%22&dq=%22One+era%27s+conception+of+beauty+can+be+quite+dissimilar+to+another%27s.%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjyvfj4lsrjAhWTvJ4KHSgNDM8Q6AEIKjAA
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2019-05-04 07:33:44 UTC
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Post by John Wiser
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/02/the-trill-of-doom
jdw
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/11/schubert-sonatas-impromptus-review-schiffs-1820-piano-brings-fascinating-insights
But how can one be sure that the playing technique of 200 years ago was the same as it is now?...
- Pianists’ playing technique has changed considerably over the last 200 years...
https://www.apollon.uio.no/english/articles/2015/schubert.html
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/rec.music.classical.recordings/200$20years%7Csort:relevance/rec.music.classical.recordings/aUHBsnLqPtM/aiysDU20BAAJ
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