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Because the transcriptions permitted the audience to hear great works they might never have heard performed by a full orchestra. The transcriptions carried the music all over Europe and it was great training and an insightful learning experience for the composer who did it, such as Liszt.
Yes, this made the transcriptions useful 150 years ago. But to day, when phonographic reproduction is widespread, and pianos are a much more rare occurrence, transcriptions are pointless from the listeners point of view.
 

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There's something simple and elegant about piano transcriptions that an orchestra can never approach.
On the contrary I often find piano transcriptions of orchestral works awkward, because the pianist usually has got all too much to fill out with just two hands. Add to this the monochrome sound of the piano as opposed to the sound of an orchestra.
 

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Piano transcriptions are still another way to gain a new perspective on some great works, such as the famous Beethoven Symphony transcriptions by Franz Liszt. It's the spirit of an entire symphony being interpreted by one person and quite revealing of his or her ability to bring it to life.
These works may be exceptionally well transcribed by Liszt, but I only know one pianist who is consistently able (if we use recordings as our standard) to play them like anything else than simple piano reductions, and she is Idil Biret.
 

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I love Bach keyboard music but dislike harpsichords and most organs, so transcriptions are far from pointless from this listener's point of view.
This was not what I pointed to in the post of mine, you quote. Read Larkenfield's post (post 13) again and then mine (post 17). This was about the importance of transcriptions before we got phonographic reproduction.

BTW most transcriptions (for piano and for everything else) were made, because the transcriber wanted to play the music on his own instrument and only secondarily with the listener in mind.
 

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I mean, we all have a difference of opinions with regards to preferences. I was thinking more along the lines of trashiness or not.
I presuppose, that we are talking about transcriptions for piano exclusively. As I wrote above, I always find the original compositions better than any transcription for piano. But this does not imply, that I think all transcriptions are trashy. There are good transcriptions (many of which were made by Liszt) and trashy transcriptions (Busoni's "transcription" of Bach's BWV 1052 e.g.). But I do not quite understand this "everything must be transcribed for piano" attitude. Is it so hard for even a serious classical music listener to listen to anything but piano?
 

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The fugue starts off with a mouse-like smallness, but blossoms and comes to a satisfying conclusion. To pull it off the transcriber has to be a talented composer in his or her own right, as Busoni was.
Sounds like a very romantic transcription. This leads me to think, that the purpose of many transcriptions of Bach's music is to romanticize it. And this tells me, why I don't like that kind of transcriptions.
 

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Why can't we like both? No one is suggesting replacing en masse orchestral music with piano transcriptions or vice versa.
Agreed. In some cases piano transcriptions are enjoyable in their own right, even if they of course never can replace the original compositions. This is true e.g. of Liszt's LvB symphonies transcriptions, which I - on my part - think are some of the best piano transcriptions ever made, because they serve the symphonies very well. But there are also some transcriptions which romanticizes the music in a way which just trivializes the original composition. So one has got to distinguish.Transcription and transcription may be two different things.
 
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