Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Fall 2017
Who's Online Now
50 registered members (Alex_, Bill Bremmer RPT, Alex C, Almaviva, 16 invisible), 1,149 guests, and 2 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#1275549 - 09/26/09 10:32 AM Broken chord in b.11 of Goldberg Aria  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,731
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member
kevinb  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,731
London, UK
Hi

If you play the Goldberg Variations, or even listen to them, you probably know the one I mean. It's the inverted Em arpegiated chord in bar 11 of the Aria. Most (all?) recorded pianists seem to play the chord broken upside-down, that is, the highest pitch first. I've looked at a couple of published editions, and they seem to have an editorial annotation to that effect.

What I wonder is -- why? To my ear it sounds fine either way up, but I wondered if there was some artistic reason for playing it `upside down'. I'm given to understand that Bach used the same sign whichever way he intended arpegiated chords to be played, so no clues there (so far as I know).

Sorry if this question has been done before. Comments welcome.

Best wishes
Kevin


(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1275606 - 09/26/09 12:01 PM Re: Broken chord in b.11 of Goldberg Aria [Re: kevinb]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 580
heidiv Offline
500 Post Club Member
heidiv  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 580
piano bench, usually
Hi Kevin,

I've just started working on this. I'll be performing it for a Master Class early next year. Based on the recordings I've listened to thus far, it seems that the standard practice is to play it from top to bottom the first time (then start the ornament which comes on the second beat on the upper note); and play the e minor chord from bottom to top on the repeat (and start the ornament which comes on the second beat on the lower note).

I'm not an expert in Baroque ornamentation, but it's my understanding that these subtle differences are made to make the repeat different and more interesting. If you were to play the same section the same way twice, what would be the point?

I've noticed other differences on the repeats also; such as, a 3 note ornament on the first play and a 5 note ornament on the repeat. I love this piece!

#1275610 - 09/26/09 12:04 PM Re: Broken chord in b.11 of Goldberg Aria [Re: kevinb]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 20,862
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BruceD  Offline

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 20,862
Victoria, BC
You may be interested in this quote from the many pages of preparatory notes to the Alfred edition of the WTC I, written by Willard A. Palmer :

"Arpeggiating Chords :
The practice of arpeggiating or "breaking" chords was so generally employed on the harpsichord and clavichord during Bach's day that it was not considered necessary to notate it in the music. When arpeggiation is indicated, the chord may be even more broadly spread. No chord sounds very good on the harpsichord without at least some slight degree of spreading.
Chords may be broken beginning with the top note, or beginning with the lower note, or if there is enough time in both directions, particularly in chords near the end of the piece (especially in preludes that have an improvisatory character.)"[1]

It would seem, then, that it is up to the performer to decide, on the basis of context, whether the chord be arpeggiated from bottom to top or top to bottom. Some may feel that it is important to play the melody note first, (the G), giving a greater sense of melodic continuity from the preceding D half-note, hence the arpeggiation from top to bottom in some performances.

[1]J.S. Bach Well Tempered Clavier, volume I, Alfred Publishing Co. Inc., p. 20.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
#1275618 - 09/26/09 12:16 PM Re: Broken chord in b.11 of Goldberg Aria [Re: BruceD]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,543
gooddog Offline
5000 Post Club Member
gooddog  Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,543
Seattle area, WA
Thanks Bruce. I now feel better about applying this to WTC prelude in Ab book one.


Best regards,

Deborah
(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#1275716 - 09/26/09 04:14 PM Re: Broken chord in b.11 of Goldberg Aria [Re: kevinb]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 14
PelicanMan Offline
Junior Member
PelicanMan  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 14
Glenn Gould made it popular, Im pretty sure he was the first to play it that way..

#1275773 - 09/26/09 06:23 PM Re: Broken chord in b.11 of Goldberg Aria [Re: PelicanMan]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 20,862
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BruceD  Offline

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 20,862
Victoria, BC
Originally Posted by Cyrus59
Glenn Gould made it popular, Im pretty sure he was the first to play it that way..


I doubt that. It's been a part of Baroque performance practice since long before Glenn Gould.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
#1275870 - 09/26/09 09:18 PM Re: Broken chord in b.11 of Goldberg Aria [Re: BruceD]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 746
SeilerFan Offline
500 Post Club Member
SeilerFan  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 746
Interesting thread. Bruce, thanks for posting the Palmer excerpt. Having mostly Edition Peters sheet music, I realize that I miss out on Palmer's great commentary. Is there a book that comprises his commentary only?

Anyway, I think that in that particular situation in the Aria, the arpeggio from the top to the bottom adds a very peculiar sparkle to the music. It sounds kind of dull when done from bottom to top.

#1275886 - 09/26/09 09:46 PM Re: Broken chord in b.11 of Goldberg Aria [Re: SeilerFan]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3
Counterpoint Offline
Junior Member
Counterpoint  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3
I've always played it from the top down, with the top note being played the loudest and gradually softening until the bottom note is played softly.

#1276251 - 09/27/09 04:57 PM Re: Broken chord in b.11 of Goldberg Aria [Re: BruceD]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 14
PelicanMan Offline
Junior Member
PelicanMan  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 14
Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Cyrus59
Glenn Gould made it popular, Im pretty sure he was the first to play it that way..


I doubt that. It's been a part of Baroque performance practice since long before Glenn Gould.

Regards,


Yeah that sounded wrong im sure tons of people have done it, but I think he was the first one who did it that got alot of attention

#1276441 - 09/28/09 03:19 AM Re: Broken chord in b.11 of Goldberg Aria [Re: PelicanMan]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,731
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member
kevinb  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,731
London, UK
Originally Posted by Cyrus59
Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Cyrus59
Glenn Gould made it popular, Im pretty sure he was the first to play it that way..


I doubt that. It's been a part of Baroque performance practice since long before Glenn Gould.

Regards,


Yeah that sounded wrong im sure tons of people have done it, but I think he was the first one who did it that got alot of attention


I've certainly heard people credit/blame Gould for this. But my 1932 edition has an editorial note the effect that it should be played upside-down but `may' be played right-way-up if preferred. So I don't think Gould invented it, although he may well have popularised it among contemporaries.




Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Ritmuller Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Kawai CA98...First Impressions
by Tommy S. 12/17/17 02:00 AM
New Age Piano Solo Music
by Vindhie Lin. 12/17/17 12:49 AM
Arturia V2 Piano
by Beakybird. 12/16/17 08:42 PM
Connect Roland FP-30 to iPad?
by newbert. 12/16/17 05:16 PM
Two-layer Steinway Damper Guide Bushings
by RestorerPhil. 12/16/17 04:34 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics183,312
Posts2,679,737
Members89,273
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0