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#1505923 - 08/30/10 11:44 AM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Quote
Generally, Classical and Baroque consists of scales and close intervals, whereas much of Romantic and later music has larger leaps and arpeggios.


I'm smiling as I hear in my mind the prelude in D minor from WTC 1 with its wicked fast right hand broken chord pattern and its jumping around left hand. smile


Thus the word "generally". Of course, one can find exceptions, but if one were to make a broad sweeping statement about the style of music, one would not say that Baroque music contains large intervals and far-reaching arpeggios, right?

Quote
Yes I agree that the hand naturally falls differently when playing scalar runs in Mozart in comparison to the rapidly moving chords in a Rachmaninoff prelude. If that's all KBK meant, fine. But this is quite a bit different than learning an entirely different style of playing in order to approach Bach or Mozart. And it's certainly not the crabbed curled-finger style often advocated by one of our more idiosyncratic posters here (who I won't name, but whose screen name starts with a g grin ).


I wouldn't call it a different style of playing, necessarily, but a modification to technique to suit the style, if that makes sense. I don't know if this is what kbk meant, but it is what I believe. I have run into many students who will try to play scalar passages with a more flat finger approach and it results in them not being able to get a suitable tempo, unevenness, and a general lack of fluidity in those passages. This is resolved with a more curved hand approach. This is not to insinuate that there should be no release of this curve whenever possible, as that would cause tension build-up, and of course the same is true for an extreme curve to the fingers.

Likewise a student who tries to play Romantic music with a more curved hand will have trouble with tension as they stretch to reach the large chords where a flatter hand will sufficiently resolve this problem.


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#1505925 - 08/30/10 11:54 AM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Morodiene]  
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Thanks for the input Morodiene. The other reason 'crabbed curled-finger' playing works for the 18th century is the freedom non-legato gives you. In Bach you don't need to join 'ardly any notes. As for 'g' - leave sleeping...


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#1505951 - 08/30/10 12:52 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Thanks for the input Morodiene. The other reason 'crabbed curled-finger' playing works for the 18th century is the freedom non-legato gives you. In Bach you don't need to join 'ardly any notes. As for 'g' - leave sleeping...


That's true as well - for those who choose to do non-legato playing (which I agree should be done).


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#1506072 - 08/30/10 04:26 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Morodiene]  
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What's all this talk about non-legato and Bach?
There's a time and place for everything in Bach - it's unwise to assume that Baroque playing style was dominated by non-legato.

I'm not trying to get into some big thread derailing discussion - just sayin' that the curved fingers style is effective on many different ways of playing, if using older instruments.

Last edited by Mattardo; 08/30/10 04:28 PM.
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#1506078 - 08/30/10 04:35 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Mattardo]  
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i kind grasp (after seeing a master harpsichordist) that the curled crab fingers came from that instrument.. one really has to kind of strike those keys. Mozart maybe requires curves those 16th notes and scales, but I rarely curl my fingers when playing Bach on the piano. (it's kind of different on the organ because of the action of the one i regularly play. .. it requires curled fingers)

just thinking.


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#1506106 - 08/30/10 05:16 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Mattardo]  
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Originally Posted by Mattardo
What's all this talk about non-legato and Bach? ....

IMO what's this talk about most of what we're seeing here? smile

I think the main answer is just that those types of music are harder to play well on the piano, for the great majority of people. It's not like Batuhan is way off the mark in some way and that some clue will change this for him or for most of us. But I do think many of the things that are being said here are aspects of why they're harder.

I think Jdhampton's post said a lot of it:

Originally Posted by jdhampton924
I am nervous because with Bach and Mozart, there is just less notes to hide behind and feels like twice the content.

That, plus the differences between our piano and the "original" instruments, as has been said.


"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)
#1506117 - 08/30/10 05:46 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Mattardo
What's all this talk about non-legato and Bach? ....

IMO what's this talk about most of what we're seeing here? smile

I think the main answer is just that those types of music are harder to play well on the piano, for the great majority of people. It's not like Batuhan is way off the mark in some way and that some clue will change this for him or for most of us. But I do think many of the things that are being said here are aspects of why they're harder.

I think Jdhampton's post said a lot of it:

Originally Posted by jdhampton924
I am nervous because with Bach and Mozart, there is just less notes to hide behind and feels like twice the content.

That, plus the differences between our piano and the "original" instruments, as has been said.


Yes, I said the same thing as JDHampton in a previous post - it's like a barren landscape for many pianists, for some reason. Too sparse, too straight and to the point. Every mistake is multiplied.

It needs some adjustment to that style, I think. I find it difficult to jump between time periods quickly. I go through classical modes, where Mozart comes off effortlessly. If I suddenly jump to some Liszt, the transition is mentally difficult. The same works in reverse.

The instruments definately have something to do with it, but in the end - if someone can play Schumann, they should be able to play some Mozart. In many ways, it's much easier. In some aspects, it can be more difficult. Perhaps it's an issue of the romantics being very specific in their instructions on phrasing and emotion, where you must inject a lot of your own musical tastes and knowledge into Mozart and Bach in order to produce pleasing results? CPE Bach wrote that musical taste was required to play much of the music of his time, and this is probably true. There's a lot less freedom in the later composers. Perhaps a crutch has been built up in the minds of some people.

#1506118 - 08/30/10 05:47 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Mark_C]  
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Theories about why some people find different composers hard to play are not possible to prove IMO. My own theory is that many people don't play as much Bach and Mozart as they do composers from Beethoven forward. So it could just be lack of practice/experience with certain kinds of music.

I don't think the "less notes to hide behind" idea is quite correct. If that was the case a single scale played for one octave should be even harder. I think the transparent nature of the music makes wrong notes perhaps more noticable...which may just be a different way of saying what johnhampton said.


#1506121 - 08/30/10 05:48 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by Mattardo
What's all this talk about non-legato and Bach?
As CPE says: 'Notes which are to be played legato must be held for their full length. A slur is placed above them...Tones which are neither detached, connected, nor fully held are sounded for half their value...Quarters and eighths in moderate and slow tempos are usually performed in this semidetached manner.'


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#1506129 - 08/30/10 06:00 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Mattardo]  
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Originally Posted by Mattardo
The instruments definately have something to do with it, but in the end - if someone can play Schumann, they should be able to play some Mozart.
So if you can drive a Trabant you should be able to handle a Ferrari?


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#1506130 - 08/30/10 06:01 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Originally Posted by Mattardo
What's all this talk about non-legato and Bach?
As CPE says: 'Notes which are to be played legato must be held for their full length. A slur is placed above them...Tones which are neither detached, connected, nor fully held are sounded for half their value...Quarters and eighths in moderate and slow tempos are usually performed in this semidetached manner.'
Except a lot of the very great Bach players didn'/don't play in a very detatched way and even used quite a bit of pedal. Plus there's an awful lot of sixtenth notes or eighths not in slow tempos on Bach. PLus I think on CPE's pianos(with less sustain than a modern piano)there wouldn't be such a difference between notes held for their full value and those held for half their value.

Don't the manuscripts of Bach keyboard's work lack slurs and phrase marks altogether?

Last edited by pianoloverus; 08/30/10 06:08 PM.
#1506135 - 08/30/10 06:12 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus

Don't the manuscripts of Bach keyboard's work lack slurs and phrase marks altogether?
There's two Two-part Inventions with slurs for starters.


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#1506162 - 08/30/10 07:05 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
As CPE says: 'Notes which are to be played legato must be held for their full length........

Was CPE God? smile

Anyway.....IMO that little rule is usually true but it's not Gospel.
So to speak. smile

And those other rules you cited:
Quote
'.....ones which are neither detached, connected, nor fully held are sounded for half their value...Quarters and eighths in moderate and slow tempos are usually performed in this semidetached manner'.....

Many would say it's a mistake to take them as rules at all.

The last one at least has the benefit of being stated as "usually" rather than as an absolute -- but I'm not sure it's even "usually" true.


"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)
#1506261 - 08/30/10 10:11 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Originally Posted by Mattardo
The instruments definately have something to do with it, but in the end - if someone can play Schumann, they should be able to play some Mozart.
So if you can drive a Trabant you should be able to handle a Ferrari?


I had to google that strange car you're referencing!

I guess the comparison works. You may have to spend some time learning the little quirks of each car, and how to best drive each one - but these nuanced and individually tailored things come after learning how to steer, acclerate and brake, and avoiding pedestrians (if that's you're thing).

Awesome:
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So which one's the Trabant and which one's the Ferrari? >:)

#1506263 - 08/30/10 10:16 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
As CPE says: 'Notes which are to be played legato must be held for their full length........

Was CPE God? smile

Anyway.....IMO that little rule is usually true but it's not Gospel.
So to speak. smile

And those other rules you cited:
Quote
'.....ones which are neither detached, connected, nor fully held are sounded for half their value...Quarters and eighths in moderate and slow tempos are usually performed in this semidetached manner'.....

Many would say it's a mistake to take them as rules at all.

The last one at least has the benefit of being stated as "usually" rather than as an absolute -- but I'm not sure it's even "usually" true.


Amen, brother!
His advice on 'taste' is much more valuable than some of his more pedantic, period-instrument-based rules (and very informative they are when appropriate). Luckily, 'taste' should prohibit modern pianists from treating their lovely instruments as glorified harpsichords. smile
Should.... frown

#1506264 - 08/30/10 10:16 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Mattardo]  
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Originally Posted by Mattardo
I had to google that strange car....

Me2. And a lot about it is interesting.

Main thing I got out of it: smile
(from Wiki)

".....Since it could take years (usual waiting time 15 years) for a Trabant to be delivered from the time it was ordered, people who finally got one were very careful with it and usually became skillful in maintaining and repairing it. The lifespan of an average Trabant was 28 years....."

So maybe if you've been into one of those, you could also handle a Ferrari! ha
Or anything.

P.S. Check out that part about "usual waiting time 15 years"!!
It was basically a 'Communist car' (East German).


"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)
#1506266 - 08/30/10 10:17 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Mattardo
I had to google that strange car....

Me2. And a lot about it is interesting.

Main thing I got out of it: ha
(from Wiki)

".....Since it could take years (usual waiting time 15 years) for a Trabant to be delivered from the time it was ordered, people who finally got one were very careful with it and usually became skillful in maintaining and repairing it. The lifespan of an average Trabant was 28 years....."

So maybe if you've been into one of those, you could also handle a Ferrari! ha
Or anything.

P.S. Check out that part about "usual waiting time 15 years"!!
It was basically a 'Communist car' (East German).


One of the links said:
How do you double the value of a Trabant?

Fill up the tank!!


#1506299 - 08/30/10 10:55 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Mattardo]  
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My piano teacher's brother once said that if you could play Mozart, you could play anything. I'm inclined to agree.....I'm less terrified by the Hammerklavier, Rachmaninoff's 2nd concerto, anything, than the thought of playing any Mozart sonata. The transparency makes any imperfection incredibly visible, and it's just so difficult. I agree with Pogorelich when she says she feels naked playing their works, cause I feel the same way.


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#1506417 - 08/31/10 03:16 AM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Kuanpiano]  
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Here is Quantz: 'You must avoid slurring notes that ought to be artculated, and articulating those that ought to be slurred. The notes must not seem stuck together. The tonging on wind instruments, and the bowing on bowed instruments, must always be used in conformity with the aims of the composer, in accordance with his indications of slurs and strokes; this puts life into the notes. [Articulation of this sort] distinguishes these instruments from the bagpipe, which is played without tonguing.' But hey, who was Quantz anyway?


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#1506420 - 08/31/10 03:24 AM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Quote
Generally, Classical and Baroque consists of scales and close intervals, whereas much of Romantic and later music has larger leaps and arpeggios.


I'm smiling as I hear in my mind the prelude in D minor from WTC 1 with its wicked fast right hand broken chord pattern and its jumping around left hand. smile



Why wicked fast? There's no tempo indication, after all. I actually don't like it all that fast.

#1506425 - 08/31/10 03:49 AM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
But hey, who was Quantz anyway?
The flutist??
Anyway, I play a lot of Mozart, and in general I limit my arm weight and rely more on my fingers. The Taubman training I received really helped me clean up my Mozart, especially all those runs.

Bach...it depends on the piece. My view on Bach is, since he didn't write for the piano, I'm interpreting how he would have played if he had played on the modern grands. Some large-scale pieces (like the Preludes in the suites) would call for more orchestral colors, while the 2-part writings would be played like two instruments having a conversation.


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#1506426 - 08/31/10 03:51 AM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: AZNpiano]  
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Here's Leopold Mozart: 'Similarly, from the sixth and seventh chapters is to be seen how greatly the slurring
and detaching distinguishes a melody. Therefore not only must the written
and prescribed slurs be observed with the greatest exactitude but when, as in many a composition, nothing at all is indicated, the player must himself know how to apply the slurring and detaching tastefully and in the right place.'

Quite obviously a non-legato style; point being the difficulty in Bach and Mozart of having to judge how to articulate every note and carry it out on the hoof.


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#1506471 - 08/31/10 07:32 AM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: wr]  
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Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Quote
Generally, Classical and Baroque consists of scales and close intervals, whereas much of Romantic and later music has larger leaps and arpeggios.


I'm smiling as I hear in my mind the prelude in D minor from WTC 1 with its wicked fast right hand broken chord pattern and its jumping around left hand. smile



Why wicked fast? There's no tempo indication, after all. I actually don't like it all that fast.


My error. I thought 'major' and typed 'minor.'

#1506513 - 08/31/10 09:42 AM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Interesting. Every teacher I've had has advocated non-legato. Of course, decisions must be made as to which notes are non-legato. Alfred's editions of Inventions & Sinfonias as well as WTC have many suggestions to match this. I think the toughest part of playing Baroque music is playing the articulations.

And I agree that playing Baroque or Classical music leaves the performer more "exposed". I think this is due to the above as well as the fact that pedaling is often direct rather than syncopated/legato.


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#1506560 - 08/31/10 11:12 AM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Richter]  
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Don't worry about it. smile It doesn't make you a bad player, it just means that you need more work on your Classical/Baroque interpretation. It can be achieved, with loads of practise. To play the earlier styles is very hard, they have an extremely clean and crisp sound. Practise. smile


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#1506585 - 08/31/10 12:03 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Richter]  
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I think playing Bach or Mozart leaves you so exposed!! Very little pedal or rubato, almost impossible to camouflage a mistake or getting lost. All of the key changes and voicing that must be so well thought out and clear. Very very different than the Romantic era. Just takes a lot of miles and playing for friends where you won't collapse if you mess up.


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#1506760 - 08/31/10 06:43 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: JdhPiano924]  
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in the baroque and early classical repertoire, say Scarlatti through Bach, Haydn and Mozart (and the likes) there's no hiding from mistakes in technique/temperament, every unevenness will be blatently clear, one can't hide behind pedal/other notes/big sound, this is reaaly the moment of truth: if you're good, no problem, if there's the slightest hesitation tech./musically, you're done with, that's why Domenico has that extra letter in his surname: Scarelatti...


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#1506779 - 08/31/10 07:08 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Scarelatte? Is that like a phobia of starbucks? :P


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#1506782 - 08/31/10 07:11 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: Morodiene]  
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it's a fobia of hitting wrong notes too loudly and not playing in style, and of getting one's ands caught in one's sleeves..


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
#1506955 - 08/31/10 11:50 PM Re: Im Not Comfortable When Playing Bach And Mozart [Re: dolce sfogato]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 21,382
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Mark_C  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 21,382
New York
.....yes, and I think there's another factor:

In the Romantic period, the piano composers started writing with much more consideration of how things "fall in the hand." Before that, it was more just "pure music" that happened to be on a keyboard.

Y'all don't have to tell me that this isn't absolute; I know it isn't. But to the extent that it's true, it means that the pre-19th century music is just plain harder to play evenly and musically -- in addition to the other factors that have been mentioned.


"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)
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