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Re: WTC difficulty [Re: FarmGirl] #2054556
03/26/13 12:34 PM
03/26/13 12:34 PM
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San Jose, CA
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jeffreyjones Offline
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Originally Posted by FarmGirl
I add difficult in memorizing Bach piece! I don't know why but Bach pieces does not seem to stick to my brain compared with other composers such as Beethoven. Is it just me? Is it because of the particular piece I'm doing. I just wonder.


There's a lot of variety and almost no repetition in many Bach pieces. Taking a class in counterpoint will help to understand what's going on. Some folks need to be able to memorize concrete terms to keep their place.

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Re: WTC difficulty [Re: stores] #2054595
03/26/13 02:15 PM
03/26/13 02:15 PM
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Originally Posted by stores
I've performed all 48 (two recitals) and they're all difficult.


Stores - I'm impressed - REALLY IMPRESSED !!!!!! That's quite an accomplishment !! thumb


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: WTC difficulty [Re: FarmGirl] #2054631
03/26/13 03:27 PM
03/26/13 03:27 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,621
New York City
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Originally Posted by FarmGirl
I add difficult in memorizing Bach piece! I don't know why but Bach pieces does not seem to stick to my brain compared with other composers such as Beethoven. Is it just me? Is it because of the particular piece I'm doing. I just wonder.
I've mentioned in some previous threads going to a recital where many students from Mannes(one of the top conservatoies in the U.S. from what I've heard)each performed one or two of the Preludes and Fugues. There were an incredible number of memory problems despite the level of the students and the limited repertoire being performed by each.

Re: WTC difficulty [Re: pianoloverus] #2054799
03/26/13 07:37 PM
03/26/13 07:37 PM
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Posts: 2,654
San Jose, CA
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jeffreyjones Offline
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by FarmGirl
I add difficult in memorizing Bach piece! I don't know why but Bach pieces does not seem to stick to my brain compared with other composers such as Beethoven. Is it just me? Is it because of the particular piece I'm doing. I just wonder.
I've mentioned in some previous threads going to a recital where many students from Mannes(one of the top conservatoies in the U.S. from what I've heard)each performed one or two of the Preludes and Fugues. There were an incredible number of memory problems despite the level of the students and the limited repertoire being performed by each.


It's kind of a litmus test, isn't it? It took me a very large amount of work to play WTC II G minor for a competition. The memorization was there, but it's still always nerve-wracking.

Re: WTC difficulty [Re: jeffreyjones] #2055054
03/27/13 10:35 AM
03/27/13 10:35 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,303
Scottsdale, AZ
F
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013
FarmGirl  Offline

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F

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,303
Scottsdale, AZ
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by FarmGirl
I add difficult in memorizing Bach piece! I don't know why but Bach pieces does not seem to stick to my brain compared with other composers such as Beethoven. Is it just me? Is it because of the particular piece I'm doing. I just wonder.
I've mentioned in some previous threads going to a recital where many students from Mannes(one of the top conservatoies in the U.S. from what I've heard)each performed one or two of the Preludes and Fugues. There were an incredible number of memory problems despite the level of the students and the limited repertoire being performed by each.


It's kind of a litmus test, isn't it? It took me a very large amount of work to play WTC II G minor for a competition. The memorization was there, but it's still always nerve-wracking.


I agree. It seems that even hitting one wrong note throws me off in performance situation. I have to perform WTC II f minor on stage at a performance center in May. I can play it by memory at home but I don't think it's enough for Bach. Need to really dissect this I think. Studying counter points makes sense. I am contemplating adding terrace dynamic to help my memory for the fugue.


1) Bach c minor fantasy
2) Morzart Rondo in A minor, K511
3) Schubert Impromptu A flat D935 No2
4) Scriabin op11 prelude #2 and #14 (Re do #2, new #14)
5) kabalevsky Variations in A minor OP 40-2
Re: WTC difficulty [Re: jeffreyjones] #2055191
03/27/13 03:20 PM
03/27/13 03:20 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,002
canada
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johnlewisgrant Offline
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Technically you can rank them, no problem.

Musically it's impossible... once you get into "How do I make these sound REALLY GOOD?" all bets are off.

Re: WTC difficulty [Re: bobrunyan] #2055249
03/27/13 04:56 PM
03/27/13 04:56 PM
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Canada
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LadyChen Offline
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I find Bach difficult to memorize, however once it is securely memorized, I never forget it, probably due to the type of memory work that is required for this music. I can still play the inventions and sinfonias that I memorized as a kid, and the prelude and fugue that I'm working on now is the most securely memorized piece in my program. It just took a long time to get there smile.

As for rating the difficulty .. well, we've had this discussion many times on PW. We all have different strengths and weaknesses as pianists and musicians and will find different things easy or difficult. And I agree with other posters -- they are ALL difficult! But aren't they just amazing to play once you've put the work in?

Re: WTC difficulty [Re: bobrunyan] #2055770
03/28/13 03:28 PM
03/28/13 03:28 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 158
Silver Spring, Maryland
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Does anyone know of a ranking that treats the preludes and fugues separately rather than together (even though they are separate pieces of music)? Some keys may have a difficult prelude and a (relatively) easy fugue, or vice versa.

Re: WTC difficulty [Re: BWV 846] #2055771
03/28/13 03:32 PM
03/28/13 03:32 PM
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San Jose, CA
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jeffreyjones Offline
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Originally Posted by BWV 846
Does anyone know of a ranking that treats the preludes and fugues separately rather than together (even though they are separate pieces of music)? Some keys may have a difficult prelude and a (relatively) easy fugue, or vice versa.


Henle Verlag ranks them on a scale from 1-9.

http://www.henle.de/en/detail/index.html?Title=The+Well-Tempered+Clavier+Part+I+BWV+846-869_9014

http://www.henle.de/en/detail/index.html?Title=The+Well-Tempered+Clavier+Part+II+BWV+870-893_9016

Re: WTC difficulty [Re: bobrunyan] #2055889
03/28/13 08:31 PM
03/28/13 08:31 PM
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Posts: 158
Silver Spring, Maryland
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jeffreyjones, that's very helpful. Thanks.

Re: WTC difficulty [Re: jeffreyjones] #2056000
03/29/13 12:55 AM
03/29/13 12:55 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,105
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
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Carey  Offline
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Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
Originally Posted by BWV 846
Does anyone know of a ranking that treats the preludes and fugues separately rather than together (even though they are separate pieces of music)? Some keys may have a difficult prelude and a (relatively) easy fugue, or vice versa.


Henle Verlag ranks them on a scale from 1-9.

http://www.henle.de/en/detail/index.html?Title=The+Well-Tempered+Clavier+Part+I+BWV+846-869_9014

http://www.henle.de/en/detail/index.html?Title=The+Well-Tempered+Clavier+Part+II+BWV+870-893_9016


But none of the WTC I or II rank higher than a 7 - with the vast majority of them in the 5-6 range (medium). I find the Henle ranking system for works of the great composers to be helpful (thanks Jeffrey) - but they have an interesting concept of what qualifies for "medium" difficulty. smile


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: WTC difficulty [Re: bobrunyan] #2056032
03/29/13 02:31 AM
03/29/13 02:31 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,264
Pretoria South Africa
btb Offline
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Pretoria South Africa
One of the few that I have tackled is Prelude 6 in D minor (BkI)
... some joker has written off this 26 measure Allegro moderato scramble as “easy”!! Yikes!! ... hold on to your hat.

Glad to discover later from a different author
that G. Henle Verlag grades the piece as “moderately difficult” ... feel much better now.

Re: WTC difficulty [Re: Carey] #2056284
03/29/13 01:26 PM
03/29/13 01:26 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,654
San Jose, CA
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jeffreyjones Offline
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,654
San Jose, CA
Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
Originally Posted by BWV 846
Does anyone know of a ranking that treats the preludes and fugues separately rather than together (even though they are separate pieces of music)? Some keys may have a difficult prelude and a (relatively) easy fugue, or vice versa.


Henle Verlag ranks them on a scale from 1-9.

http://www.henle.de/en/detail/index.html?Title=The+Well-Tempered+Clavier+Part+I+BWV+846-869_9014

http://www.henle.de/en/detail/index.html?Title=The+Well-Tempered+Clavier+Part+II+BWV+870-893_9016


But none of the WTC I or II rank higher than a 7 - with the vast majority of them in the 5-6 range (medium). I find the Henle ranking system for works of the great composers to be helpful (thanks Jeffrey) - but they have an interesting concept of what qualifies for "medium" difficulty. smile


Their idea of "difficult" is the kind of piece you can only play if you have a virtuoso technique. Most of the WTK, while undeniably tricky, can be played well by a good amateur.

Re: WTC difficulty [Re: FarmGirl] #2056310
03/29/13 02:15 PM
03/29/13 02:15 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,902
SoCal
Plowboy Offline

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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,902
SoCal
Originally Posted by FarmGirl
I add difficult in memorizing Bach piece! I don't know why but Bach pieces does not seem to stick to my brain compared with other composers such as Beethoven. Is it just me? Is it because of the particular piece I'm doing. I just wonder.


FarmGirl, it must be an individual thing. I've never had a problem getting my Bach pieces memorized, but I can't for the life of me play Chopin without a score. Weird.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
Re: WTC difficulty [Re: Plowboy] #2057046
03/30/13 06:20 PM
03/30/13 06:20 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,303
Scottsdale, AZ
F
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013
FarmGirl  Offline

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F

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,303
Scottsdale, AZ
Gary, I guess so, it must be different to each person. I find Chopin much easier to memorize. I did not mean to say its easy to play but his music seems to get into my system.


1) Bach c minor fantasy
2) Morzart Rondo in A minor, K511
3) Schubert Impromptu A flat D935 No2
4) Scriabin op11 prelude #2 and #14 (Re do #2, new #14)
5) kabalevsky Variations in A minor OP 40-2
Re: WTC difficulty [Re: bobrunyan] #2057176
03/31/13 02:16 AM
03/31/13 02:16 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,264
Pretoria South Africa
btb Offline
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Pretoria South Africa
Before biffing off on another fool’s errand, I thought it wise
to consult an oracle for better WTC fare and came across
Prelude 4 in C sharp minor described in my reference book as

“A magnificent composition,
justifying the comparison often made
with the architecture of a Gothic Cathedral.
The prelude a dirge, tragically lyrical. ”

Any comment? As architect I’m pretty up on Gothic Cathedrals,
having visited Rouen, Paris and Munchen amongst other European examples ... but find myself unable to pick up the grand scale of these structures.

So far I’ve got up to measure 12 of the Prelude 4 ...
which shows Bach doing his typical thing ... echoing voices between hands ... however the structure is relatively close-knit with no apparent grandeur.

Sorry to throw in a red herring if so thought by other respected chappies.

Re: WTC difficulty [Re: bobrunyan] #2057493
03/31/13 05:21 PM
03/31/13 05:21 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 165
Suffolk, UK
S
Scordatura Offline
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Suffolk, UK
Most difficult for me are:
C#min Prelude, Book II - built on incredibly long musical lines that aren't easily identifiable to the listener's ear, and a mercilessly fragile texture throughout - immense technical control and musicianship essential!

F# maj Fugue Book II - throughout lies uncomfortably for my fingers, and if you lose the thread of it for half an instant, heaven help you!

B maj Fugue, Book II - tricky distributing of voices, lots of advanced fingering-techniques required.

A min Fugue, Book I - plain awkward on the fingers and not gentle on the ear either, with practically every alternate sound a dissonance. And the longest and most complex and cerebral of them all. Most pros that I've come across reckon it's way harder than the rest.


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein

https://understanding-piano-technique.com/ocportal
Re: WTC difficulty [Re: bobrunyan] #2060063
04/05/13 08:59 PM
04/05/13 08:59 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 127
J
JessicaB Offline
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I had to laugh. My son on hearing the rankings went "oh great." He was looking for an easier Prelude and Fugue to play next (he has played both WTC I, nos. 15 and 16) recently. He just committed to WTC no. 8.

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