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Using pedal in Baroque pieces
#2023599 01/29/13 07:32 PM
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SamXu Offline OP
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When is it acceptable and when is it not acceptable to use pedal in a Baroque piece? How much pedal should you allow?

Just asking for your opinion on this.


HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin Op10 No1
Debussy Broulliards Preludes Bk1
Kats-Chernin Russian Rag
Messiaen Regard d'letoile
Mozart Sonata for 2 pianos D major
Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
SamXu #2023603 01/29/13 07:38 PM
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Two things:

(1) What your ear tells you (making sure not to screw up any voices), AND
(2) Don't follow any supposed "rules." smile

Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
SamXu #2023605 01/29/13 07:44 PM
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Purists will tell you "NEVER!", but don't listen to that garbage.

Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
Mark_C #2023617 01/29/13 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Two things:

(1) What your ear tells you (making sure not to screw up any voices), AND
(2) Don't follow any supposed "rules." smile


Wishing I had a facebook like button right now.

Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
SamXu #2023633 01/29/13 08:53 PM
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I do pretty much what my ears tell me to do. It can vary depending on what piano I'm using and the acoustic I'm playing in. (My pedaling in all music, not just Baroque, isn't set in stone. It's not even set in plasticine. wink )

Not what some self-appointed purists say what one can or cannot do.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
SamXu #2023646 01/29/13 09:08 PM
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Since, as evidenced by the multitude of approaches taken by the great Bach players, there is no one correct way to use the pedal in Bach, purists cannot have much to say about this issue.

Nor do I think that doing what one's ears tell you is a good answer to what's the correct approach. It's only "correct" or at least reasonable if the person using their ears has a certain level of skill.

Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
JoelW #2023716 01/29/13 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JoelW
Purists will tell you "NEVER!", but don't listen to that garbage.


Exactly!

The piano wasn't even invented yet (obviously), so when a purist poo-poos your use of pedal, just poo-poo them listening to Bach on a piano! "Well, the harpsichord in getting restrung, so I had to make due this" wink

Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
DanS #2023735 01/30/13 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by DanS
Originally Posted by JoelW
Purists will tell you "NEVER!", but don't listen to that garbage.


Exactly!

The piano wasn't even invented yet (obviously), so when a purist poo-poos your use of pedal, just poo-poo them listening to Bach on a piano! "Well, the harpsichord in getting restrung, so I had to make due this" wink


Well put. smile

Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
DanS #2023737 01/30/13 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by DanS

The piano wasn't even invented yet (obviously), so when a purist poo-poos your use of pedal, just poo-poo them listening to Bach on a piano! "Well, the harpsichord in getting restrung, so I had to make due this"

Great post! laugh

In playing Bach on the piano I have always favored a 'discreet' (key word, there) use of the pedal, though I understand it is a rather contentious issue. stores (a member no longer active, but still makes occasional appearances) always railed against it, though I have never quite understood his 'none at all!' stance.

As an organist, one of the most exciting recorded performances of Bach's P&F in E minor BWV 548 (nicknamed 'Wedge') I have ever heard comes from Samuel Soria at LA's Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Obviously it is an instrument which would have been totally foreign (in more than one way) to Bach, yet Soria's performance IMO captures all the excitement and drive of his most ambitious P&F. I've listened to myriad performances of this piece on historically and self-congratulatory 'correct' instruments, but sorry 'Baroque Boys' (Virgil Fox's delightfully derogatory term), you don't own this piece, and Bach's genius simply transcends the instruments of his day.

The modern piano does too, and let us enjoy -and be enlightened- by what the great contemporary pianists offer. Cheers!


Jason
Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
SamXu #2023745 01/30/13 12:51 AM
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The Well Tempered Clavier...well, the title seems clear enough, but, um, as I recall (I could be wrong), Bach didn't tend to even indicate instrumentation...so...I don't know, complete that train of thought and you end up with a point laugh
Xxx


Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3
Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
Mark_C #2023746 01/30/13 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Two things:

(1) What your ear tells you (making sure not to screw up any voices),


I have tried, because I would like to learn to do it well and discreetly, but my ear always tells me no. Not sure if it is to be trusted confused

Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
SamXu #2023750 01/30/13 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Two things:

(1) What your ear tells you (making sure not to screw up an voices),


The thing is, my ear is weird. The things that my ear likes are generally not what the examiners like. >< Also, I tend to overuse/abuse the pedal during baroque pieces, as I sometimes...'cough' hide my blunders with pedal.


HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin Op10 No1
Debussy Broulliards Preludes Bk1
Kats-Chernin Russian Rag
Messiaen Regard d'letoile
Mozart Sonata for 2 pianos D major
Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
DanS #2023755 01/30/13 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by DanS
[...] so I had to make due this" wink


??


BruceD
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Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
BruceD #2023756 01/30/13 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD

??

Make do with, I believe was the intent...


Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3
Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
SamXu #2023760 01/30/13 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Debbusyist
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Two things:
(1) What your ear tells you (making sure not to screw up an voices),

The thing is, my ear is weird. The things that my ear likes are generally not what the examiners like. >< Also, I tend to overuse/abuse the pedal during baroque pieces, as I sometimes...'cough' hide my blunders with pedal.

My ear is like yours, even when I'm not trying to hide anything.

But the thing is, we're stuck with our ear. We can try to develop how we hear further and further, but ultimately what we've got is our ear. And at every given time, however imperfect it is, we're far better off using it (and following it) than not using it. smile

Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
SamXu #2023782 01/30/13 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Debbusyist
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Two things:

(1) What your ear tells you (making sure not to screw up an voices),


The thing is, my ear is weird. The things that my ear likes are generally not what the examiners like. >< Also, I tend to overuse/abuse the pedal during baroque pieces, as I sometimes...'cough' hide my blunders with pedal.


Oh, you're talking about exams? Well, then you need to find out what their expectations are, not our opinions.

Personally, I don't use pedal in Baroque music, but I don't really care if other people do or not. But one irrefutable point about it should be mentioned: using the pedal cannot actually be necessary for playing Baroque keyboard music, since it didn't exist when the music was being written.


Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
wr #2023783 01/30/13 02:48 AM
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Most of what we do in music isn't "necessary." It is to enhance with what is possible. smile

Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
SamXu #2023795 01/30/13 03:35 AM
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Discreetly. Did English Jason say discreetly, too? He did. If the bees had knees, sir, if the bees had knees. One should use the soft pedal, too.

Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
SamXu #2023801 01/30/13 03:55 AM
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For the G minor P/F, use LOTS of pedal. If your examiner has a problem with it, he can deal with it.

Don't "predict" what the examiner will say. Do what you feel is right. Make your own artistic choices.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Using pedal in Baroque pieces
SamXu #2023807 01/30/13 04:42 AM
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I'm not going to argue about this one way of the other. Most of you here already know my stance. I WILL, however, leave the video below and state that most often our use of the pedal (not only with Bach, but with any composer) arises out of the need to cover up and as a result we form a bad habit by using this crutch. Argue all you like... I don't care. If you want to lie to yourself, that's fine by me (at least the OP has the courage to admit he leans on the pedal, because he doesn't know what he's doing). The vast majority of us don't spend NEARLY enough time learning how to play legato, nor do many of us even know HOW.

Watch... this



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

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