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Authoritative Online Resource for Bach Ornaments?
#2758141 08/13/18 11:30 AM
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Hi All! Does anyone know of a good and authoritative online resource for Bach ornaments? If you have a book to recommend, I'm open to that as well. Long story short: I've got a Bahrenreiter version of Goldberg, and I'm overwhelmed with the ornaments in the aria. I need a legitimate key for getting the ornaments correct (other Bach books in my collection do not cover every ornament I'm seeing in that aria!). Any help is much appreciated!!

Re: Authoritative Online Resource for Bach Ornaments?
StartwithBach #2758187 08/13/18 02:39 PM
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From the Clavier Buchlein for W.F. Bach - I think its the source that is most often cited and sometimes appears in some editions of Bach's music:

http://www.pennuto.com/music/jsb_ornm.htm

One general rule is that it doesn't matter as much what happens in the middle of (longish) ornaments as long as you start and finish the ornament well.

Last edited by Vid; 08/13/18 02:41 PM. Reason: addendum

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Re: Authoritative Online Resource for Bach Ornaments?
StartwithBach #2758190 08/13/18 02:52 PM
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The text referenced above is a good one along with a number of other contemporary treatises regarding interpretation.

Once you learn the conventions for ornaments, don’t forget that you needn’t play them the same way every time. There is no ‘correct’ way of playing a particular ornament. In the Aria, the ornament speed, articulation, entry and exit may vary from performance to performance according to your mood. Baroque music was not written in stone. It was, to quote from “Pirates of the Carribean regarding ‘parlay’, not rules, but “...more like gudelines.”

Last edited by prout; 08/13/18 02:52 PM.
Re: Authoritative Online Resource for Bach Ornaments?
StartwithBach #2758264 08/13/18 07:21 PM
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It must have been nearly 50 years ago when my teacher lent me this book by C. P. E. Bach to read. Sadly, I don't own a copy but I believe it contains a chapter on ornamentation.

Re: Authoritative Online Resource for Bach Ornaments?
Copake #2758314 08/14/18 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Copake
It must have been nearly 50 years ago when my teacher lent me this book by C. P. E. Bach to read. Sadly, I don't own a copy but I believe it contains a chapter on ornamentation.


About 5 years ago, an elderly man (in his 80s) in my music group handed me his copy of the hardcover book. Not sure when the book was purchased. He decided to give the book away shortly before he left our music group due to age.

There is a page included in the beginning of the English Suite 1-6 (white cover score) in my collection written by CPE Bach based on what was taught to him by his father J.S. on the correct way to play different ornaments. Assumed the text was taken from the True Art of Keyboard Playing by CPE.

Re: Authoritative Online Resource for Bach Ornaments?
thepianoplayer416 #2758427 08/14/18 01:44 PM
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Hi Prout, Vid, Copake, and thepianoplayer416: I appreciate the information and general advice! I'll look into the CPE and WF Bach material. Yes, I've heard that there is flexibility with ornaments, but I really need that foundation before I start experimenting. There are a number of them that I just have never seen- and this is after working on several preludes and fugues from the WTC! Thank you again!

Re: Authoritative Online Resource for Bach Ornaments?
StartwithBach #2758433 08/14/18 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by StartwithBach
I've got a Bahrenreiter version of Goldberg, and I'm overwhelmed with the ornaments in the aria.

You can do what Kempff does here and get rid of those pesky ornaments wink :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmsGHyN4FFI

Alternatively, throw all of 'em in thumb:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDFRv6-fYYw


"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: Authoritative Online Resource for Bach Ornaments?
StartwithBach #2758448 08/14/18 04:07 PM
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In the case of the Goldberg Aria, it is, above all, an aria. It is meant to have a singing line. Given the very short sustain of Bach’s instruments, ornaments helped to create a singing line. Playing the ornaments on a modern piano requires a slightly different approach than on a harpsichord or clavichord. Lighter execution, maybe slower, and fewer of them could be appropriate.

Keep the aria beautiful. As my wife, a professional baroque specialist singer says, “If I can’t sing them, you shouldn’t play them”, and you should hear the intricacies of the French Baroque ornamentation she does, where every note is ornamented, some with very long melismas, as was the style in those days.

Re: Authoritative Online Resource for Bach Ornaments?
StartwithBach #2758463 08/14/18 05:45 PM
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Proud, this is great information. I'll be thinking about this as I continue working out the structure of the aria. Thank you!

Re: Authoritative Online Resource for Bach Ornaments?
StartwithBach #2761850 08/29/18 11:02 PM
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Saving you some time: Schiff and Perahia are authoritative. You can see other good pianists like Rana converging on similar ornaments.


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
...
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the Schifference.
Re: Authoritative Online Resource for Bach Ornaments?
StartwithBach #2761852 08/29/18 11:32 PM
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Ornaments vary so much that any resource that is authoritative is not.


Semipro Tech
Re: Authoritative Online Resource for Bach Ornaments?
BDB #2761854 08/29/18 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Ornaments vary so much that any resource that is authoritative is not.


Generalizations emphasizing subjectivity often betray ignorance of the underlying objectivity.


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
...
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the Schifference.
Re: Authoritative Online Resource for Bach Ornaments?
StartwithBach #2761923 08/30/18 08:10 AM
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French Baroque composers in particular, and Bach’s sons, published tables with their music of the interpretation of ornaments. This is about as objective as it gets. Here is a compendium of some French Baroque composers’ ornament tables.

[Linked Image]

Re: Authoritative Online Resource for Bach Ornaments?
prout #2762040 08/30/18 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by prout
French Baroque composers in particular, and Bach’s sons, published tables with their music of the interpretation of ornaments. This is about as objective as it gets. Here is a compendium of some French Baroque composers’ ornament tables.

[Linked Image]





Wow, very fascinating!!



[Linked Image]

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