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#2056000 - 03/29/13 01:55 AM Re: WTC difficulty [Re: jeffreyjones]  
Joined: May 2005
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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
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#2056032 - 03/29/13 03:31 AM Re: WTC difficulty [Re: bobrunyan]  
Joined: Jan 2004
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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.

#2056284 - 03/29/13 02:26 PM Re: WTC difficulty [Re: Carey]  
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,622
jeffreyjones Offline
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jeffreyjones  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,622
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.

#2056310 - 03/29/13 03:15 PM Re: WTC difficulty [Re: FarmGirl]  
Joined: Jun 2008
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Plowboy Offline
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Plowboy  Offline

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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
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#2057046 - 03/30/13 07:20 PM Re: WTC difficulty [Re: Plowboy]  
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,269
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013
FarmGirl  Offline

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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,269
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.


Pieces for this year to be decided soon.
#2057176 - 03/31/13 03:16 AM Re: WTC difficulty [Re: bobrunyan]  
Joined: Jan 2004
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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.

#2057493 - 03/31/13 06:21 PM Re: WTC difficulty [Re: bobrunyan]  
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 163
Scordatura Offline
Full Member
Scordatura  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 163
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
#2060063 - 04/05/13 09:59 PM Re: WTC difficulty [Re: bobrunyan]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 127
JessicaB Offline
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JessicaB  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 127
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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