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Bach's 18 short preludes #2848688 05/16/19 07:28 AM
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Hi all,

Once again I am hitting up the ABF for some advice. Last time I asked for suggestions based on my experience level for the next pieces I should try one of the suggestion was to continue with the Clementi Sonatinas in order as the progress in difficulty. Also Bach's short preludes, in particular No 2., were recommended. I am working my way through Clementi's Op 36 No 2 and have gotten Bach's Short Prelude No 2 just about complete. (That trill at the end is going to take time to get up to speed.) So now I am looking for my next short piece. I have the Alfred Masterwork Edition of J.S. Bach 18 Short Preludes for the keyboard and really like the explanations and annotations it provides. Is there an order of difficulty or preference for learning these preludes? FYI I am currently not taking lessons and for now my schedule doesn't let me allocate a set amount of time daily to practice so I am content to stay at this level for the summer.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


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Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: Peddler100] #2848740 05/16/19 09:43 AM
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Lisa

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Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: Peddler100] #2849383 05/17/19 06:06 PM
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I love Prelude No. 8, the one in F major. I studied that (on my teacher's recommendation) shortly after I finished No. 2.

Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: Peddler100] #2849500 05/18/19 06:00 AM
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Thanks for the book recommendation, that looks like a good resource to use when browsing for new music. Thanks also for the next little prelude suggestion, No. 8 is up next! smile


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Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: Peddler100] #2849516 05/18/19 07:21 AM
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These are the Little Preludes? I recently bought them, but haven’t yet started them in earnest. They’re tougher than I expected. But then, they’re Bach!


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Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: Peddler100] #2849532 05/18/19 08:12 AM
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The F major is good, but it's difficult. I wouldn't' start with that one. Don't let the name fool you, they may be "little" but they're tricky! There's a C major one that is probably more accessible to start (the No. 13 one).


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Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: Peddler100] #2849576 05/18/19 10:11 AM
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My book, Henle, seems to have a strange order and I can’t figure out what’s what. Can you help me sort it out? Is this a bizarre order? There is no table of contents - maybe I should print the page linked.

Henle Kleine Praludien und Fughetten

Is there a recommended order for these? They are not in numerical order by BWV. I don’t understand why.

Thanks


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Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: cmb13] #2849610 05/18/19 11:24 AM
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The Henle description says “these pieces (which gradually become more challenging)...” so I would guess they are in somebody’s recommended order. I have only worked on the first one, BWV 924. Maybe it is time for more ...


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Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: cmb13] #2849616 05/18/19 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
My book, Henle, seems to have a strange order and I can’t figure out what’s what. Can you help me sort it out? Is this a bizarre order? There is no table of contents - maybe I should print the page linked.

Henle Kleine Praludien und Fughetten

Is there a recommended order for these? They are not in numerical order by BWV. I don’t understand why.

Thanks


The Preface to your Henle edition states: "... were probably arranged by Bach himself in systematic order according to key and difficulty: C major, c minor, d minor, D major, E major, e minor, (II, 1-6)." i.e., the second set in the Henle. I don't know if this applies to the other two sets in Henle's edition, but it might be the case which would explain the somewhat random order you mention.

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Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: Peddler100] #2849639 05/18/19 12:28 PM
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Okay so now I feel a little stupid for not noticing that. I did buy several books at once and didn’t read all the prefaces. But the numbering is odd and the pieces are not well labeled, although they do have the BWV number.

Thanks


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Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: cmb13] #2849658 05/18/19 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Okay so now I feel a little stupid for not noticing that. I did buy several books at once and didn’t read all the prefaces. But the numbering is odd and the pieces are not well labeled, although they do have the BWV number.

Thanks


The little preludes and fugues are not a set made by Bach. It is a compilation of various sources, some of them being of doubtfull authenticity. Henle has published and grouped them by source. The first group comes from the Wilhelm Friedmann KlavierBuchlein; this set of autograph documents actually contained many compositions of which the first full version of the Inventions and Sinfonias and some futur WTC preludes. What is published here is what remains after the rest has been extracted. The last one BWV 931 is not formerly authenticated. These are part of what is sometimes called the group of 12.

The second group and the comment in Henle only applies to this second group not to the rest is known as the group of six, from various sources. Ordered by key.

The third group is the remaining of the group of 12 and comes from the P804 source. The BWV 939-BWV942 are of doubtfull authenticity.

The last group is made of various compositions and various manuscripts.

Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: Peddler100] #2849701 05/18/19 03:58 PM
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Thanks for the detailed info, Sidokar, that’s really helpful. I hope it didn’t say all that in the preface also!


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Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: Peddler100] #2849994 05/19/19 11:54 AM
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I'm also interested in these preludes, however I just began to learn them, so I cannot answer to the question regarding the difficulty of them comparing to each other.
I have just finished BWV 999, but as far as I know it doesn't belong to the "little preludes" collection. It's not difficult to play, it has an easy pattern, there is no challanging fingering in it, but one can learn a lot about chords while learning (the most time-consuming part is the memorization - it can be tough).
My second piece is BWV 940, it is literally a little prelude (one page), the fingering is more demanding, but also have a cute melody. Personally I like this one better, because it's more challenging and melodic.

Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: cmb13] #2850016 05/19/19 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Thanks for the detailed info, Sidokar, that’s really helpful. I hope it didn’t say all that in the preface also!


No it did not. The preface is not very clear to be honest for once. Also many other editions do publish the group of 12 ordered by key as if it was a set done by Bach, thats why the Henle grouping does not match with the numbering referred to by other people

Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: cmb13] #2850019 05/19/19 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Thanks for the detailed info, Sidokar, that’s really helpful. I hope it didn’t say all that in the preface also!


No it did not, at least not completely. The preface is not very clear to be honest for once. Also many other editions do publish the group of 12 ordered by key as if it was a set done by Bach, thats why the Henle grouping does not match with the numbering referred to by other people.

Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: Peddler100] #2850220 05/20/19 02:33 AM
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I've learned simplified version of C Major one - BWV 939 (with 16 notes in mordents) and it was very rewarding to play. Felt like foretaste of Bach's greater pieces. Can't recommend that one enough.
I'm now polishing F Major one - BWV 927 and must admit this was great challange for me. I don't think I will be able to play it at expected tempo at this point of my learning journey. The piece is very fun to play regardless (I especially enjoy fragment when both hands start to play arpeggios - very empowering).
Before F Major my teacher considered c minor (BWV 999), but hesitated as it requires quite some endurance and stamina from a beginner (and my hands are not in best condition for such pieces), so we went for F one instead.
Maybe I will tackle c minor now...

Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: Peddler100] #2860480 06/19/19 01:11 PM
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Does anyone know, what is the suggested speed for these preludes? I mean did Bach provide any precise or approximate speed in bpm or in instructions? I would be interested the most in BWV 940.

Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: Peddler100] #2860496 06/19/19 01:47 PM
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Bach hardly ever gave tempo for anything. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it at all. Get fingers and brain around them first, and then when you're comfortable playing them, watch or listen to many recordings and decide what tempo you feel is best for yourself to play at. And enjoy!


Lisa

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Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: Peddler100] #2860499 06/19/19 01:55 PM
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No metronome in those days. Obviously the pendulum was around but I don't think it was in widespread use, at least not as a BPM on a written page.

Re: Bach's 18 short preludes [Re: snowfox] #2860501 06/19/19 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by snowfox
Does anyone know, what is the suggested speed for these preludes? I mean did Bach provide any precise or approximate speed in bpm or in instructions? I would be interested the most in BWV 940.


Hi snowfox,

While Bach may not have given the tempo others have risen to the occasion. smile I have the Alfred Masterworks Edition called J.S. Bach 18 short preludes for the Keyboard. I believe that BMV 940 is the short prelude in D Minor. If that's the case in my book its listed as Prelude No 6 and says it should be played Andante Moderato with a quarter note = 48-54.

BTW just looking at the score in my book I can see two things, first this is definite beyond my skill level and second the one thing that I like about this Alfred Masterworks Edition is that it has lots of help for the ornamentation. It puts those notations in light grey either above or below the measure. That is how I can tell it's beyond me at this point. Way too many notations. smile Also this edition provides suggestions for the tempo. I look forward to maybe working my way up to this piece in the next 12 months or so. (Eternally the optimist.)


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