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#2713721 - 02/12/18 12:44 PM Re: Struggling with Bach Invention 13 [Re: sinophilia]  
Joined: Jun 2012
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sinophilia Offline

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sinophilia  Offline

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Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,684
Italy
Playing any Bach piece for an exam sounds like a nightmare to me! I tried to play one at the piano party in Milan and have since removed all Bach from my potential recital pieces eek

But I still think that Bach is good for me, and that I will understand him one day. The sinfonia in g minor is indeed difficult - I've only listened to it, analysed it, and read through the first few bars for now - but for some reason it looks like my kind of difficulty (more musical than technical, more brain than fingers, as outo said). I'm pretty sure that it will still take me forever.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia - http://youtube.com/sinophilia
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#2713736 - 02/12/18 01:58 PM Re: Struggling with Bach Invention 13 [Re: sinophilia]  
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Bach's French Suites are another possibility. I played about half of the Two-Part Inventions and found them helpful for technique but never easy. The Suites have been more enjoyable to learn and play (learning some of the Inventions first certainly helped). The difficulty level varies quite a bit amongst the pieces in each suite, so you can pick and choose the ones you want to play.


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#2713753 - 02/12/18 03:35 PM Re: Struggling with Bach Invention 13 [Re: sinophilia]  
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Sinophilia, I'm also struggling a bit with this piece....playing all the inventions this year and was beating a retreat from #14 and thought I'd do this "easy" one. Hah! I played it when I was young and that's part of the problem...I have older fingerings that I want to lose and do my new fingerings but even after 30 years they are still there. For me, the problem with these pieces is all fingering. There's so many ways to approach things, esp. in this piece. Static hand as much as possible, or walking down the keyboard. In Invention 14, I'd find a new, "better" fingering almost every day! It's often hard for me to sort if I like a fingering because it avoids a weakness of mine (l.h. 4th and 5th fingers in certain situations)...when I should be USING those fingering that use those fingers so I get over my avoidance. Ad when you can't really settle on fingerings, your mind just gets so confused. I think what is really important to remember is that your brain is great at learning, terrible at unlearning. So we need to try really hard to get the fingerings right from the git-go, and play VERY slowly to iron them in. What I found to be odd is that, once I can play a passage securely with one fingering, suddenly it doesn't matter what fingering I use, I can substitute at will! More proof that most of it is in your mind...meaning doubt and cross-thought is the enemy.
I think you are kinda stuck right now. My advice to you, for the $.01 it is worth, is to play at a very very slow tempo what you can WITHOUT ANY MISTAKES a very few times. Then drop it. Don't play it at all. Come back in a few days, or a week, or whenever. You may find it much easier to start again. The idea is to leave with a success, and begin anew with a refreshed mind.

#2713918 - 02/13/18 07:33 AM Re: Struggling with Bach Invention 13 [Re: sinophilia]  
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sinophilia Offline

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sinophilia  Offline

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Joined: Jun 2012
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Italy
I just had a look at Bernhard's list of Inventions again, it's grouped by difficulty/pattern, and I noticed how different it is from the Henle and ABRSM/RCM grading.

1. C major, BWV 772 Henle 3, ABRSM 5, RCM 7
4. D minor, BWV 775 Henle 3
7. E minor, BWV 778 Henle 3/4

8. F major, BWV 779 Henle 3/4, ABRSM 5, RCM 7
10. G major, BWV 781 Henle 4, RCM 8
13. A minor, BWV 784 Henle 4, ABRSM 6, RCM 8

15. B minor, BWV 786 Henle 4
14. Bb major, BWV 785 Henle 3/4, ABRSM 6
12. A major, BWV 783 Henle 4

6. E major, BWV 777 Henle 3
11. G minor, BWV 782 Henle 3/4
9. F minor, BWV 780 Henle 3/4
5. Eb major, BWV 776 Henle 3/4
3. D major, BWV 774 Henle 3/4
2. C minor, BWV 773 Henle 4

Number 13 is Henle 4, and that must mean something. Actually I struggled a lot with no. 1, which is supposedly the easiest one, but I had only been playing for two years at the time. Then last year I learnt no. 4 pretty quickly, so now maybe I should try the only remaining Henle 3 invention, i.e. no. 6. And/or go on with the sinfonia or a French suite movement as some of you suggested. I have the "First Lessons in Bach" book, and while I studied all the pieces in part I, I have yet to tackle part II, which includes several movements from French and English suites and is considered preparatory for the inventions. It's a bit depressing that a "first lessons" book is actually made up of pieces from grade 2 up to grade 5 or 6.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia - http://youtube.com/sinophilia
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#2713992 - 02/13/18 12:47 PM Re: Struggling with Bach Invention 13 [Re: sinophilia]  
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
I just had a look at Bernhard's list of Inventions again, it's grouped by difficulty/pattern, and I noticed how different it is from the Henle and ABRSM/RCM grading.

1. C major, BWV 772 Henle 3, ABRSM 5, RCM 7
4. D minor, BWV 775 Henle 3
7. E minor, BWV 778 Henle 3/4

8. F major, BWV 779 Henle 3/4, ABRSM 5, RCM 7
10. G major, BWV 781 Henle 4, RCM 8
13. A minor, BWV 784 Henle 4, ABRSM 6, RCM 8

15. B minor, BWV 786 Henle 4
14. Bb major, BWV 785 Henle 3/4, ABRSM 6
12. A major, BWV 783 Henle 4

6. E major, BWV 777 Henle 3
11. G minor, BWV 782 Henle 3/4
9. F minor, BWV 780 Henle 3/4
5. Eb major, BWV 776 Henle 3/4
3. D major, BWV 774 Henle 3/4
2. C minor, BWV 773 Henle 4

Number 13 is Henle 4, and that must mean something. Actually I struggled a lot with no. 1, which is supposedly the easiest one, but I had only been playing for two years at the time. Then last year I learnt no. 4 pretty quickly, so now maybe I should try the only remaining Henle 3 invention, i.e. no. 6. And/or go on with the sinfonia or a French suite movement as some of you suggested. I have the "First Lessons in Bach" book, and while I studied all the pieces in part I, I have yet to tackle part II, which includes several movements from French and English suites and is considered preparatory for the inventions. It's a bit depressing that a "first lessons" book is actually made up of pieces from grade 2 up to grade 5 or 6.

It seems to me that the distinction between Henle difficulty level 3 and level 4 probably isn't enough to make your choices obvious. Henle gives a difficulty rating of 5 for the French Suites, so how they fit in a First Lessons book as preparatory for the Inventions is less than clear, at least based on difficulty. (My own impression is that many of the French Suites are Invention-ish in style, and that is how they might serve as preparatory to the Inventions.)

The Inventions are something that can and perhaps ought to be revisited several times over the years. My teacher tells the story about how her teacher took her through the Inventions and when my teacher had finally made it through, she heaved a big sigh of relief. Her teacher then announced that it was time to start them again. I think there was a third time as well. The point being that you get something from them each time as your skills and experience grow.


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#2713995 - 02/13/18 01:01 PM Re: Struggling with Bach Invention 13 [Re: sinophilia]  
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outo Offline
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The Henle difficulty rating seems to be more directed to advanced pianists, and is not very useful for students imo.

#2714003 - 02/13/18 01:43 PM Re: Struggling with Bach Invention 13 [Re: sinophilia]  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,684
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014
sinophilia  Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,684
Italy
I found the Henle rating useful for Schumann, Chopin, and some other things I've learned, but it has to be considered in perspective - their "middle" difficulty group, levels 4 to 6, includes ton of late intermediate and advanced pieces, and if they classify something as difficult, one can pretty much forget about it laugh

While it's probably a long shot to try to learn an entire French or English suite, some of their movements are ABRSM grade 4 or 5, so very well worth a try. Just not gigues!


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia - http://youtube.com/sinophilia
#2714012 - 02/13/18 02:26 PM Re: Struggling with Bach Invention 13 [Re: sinophilia]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,635
Vid Online content
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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,635
Vancouver, B.C.
Originally Posted by sinophilia
While it's probably a long shot to try to learn an entire French or English suite, some of their movements are ABRSM grade 4 or 5, so very well worth a try. Just not gigues!


Movements from the French Suites would be a nice progression from the inventions. The English suites with a few exceptions are more difficult.

Some of the little preludes also offer three part textures that are easier to manage than the sinfonias.


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#2714015 - 02/13/18 02:29 PM Re: Struggling with Bach Invention 13 [Re: sinophilia]  
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
.................While it's probably a long shot to try to learn an entire French or English suite, some of their movements are ABRSM grade 4 or 5, so very well worth a try. Just not gigues!
I'm working on a gigue now, and it's a real challenge. "Real challenge" is the family forum approved term. laugh


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