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Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
#3027807 09/22/20 09:39 AM
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Hi forum,

I tried on the member recording board but maybe this is actually a better place for it.

I recorded my version of Bach's c minor prelude (BWV934) and I was aiming for something that is slow but delicate and "sparkly?"(I do like Gould here) but somehow missed the mark a bit.

Of course people like Angela Hewitt do it more "pure" or whatever, which I also like a lot (--> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0V5mgUYoVE) but this just wasn't what I wanted here.

Anyway, here's my version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLOLXaZ0hE4

Thanks!

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Re: Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
Keybender #3027825 09/22/20 10:46 AM
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Overall well done.

I feel you're rushing a little in some places and cutting some measures short, like the last measure of the first section. You have to have a very strong pulse when playing Bach, even if you slow down slightly at the end you should still feel the pulse very strongly. Maybe practice with a metronome, exaggerating the first beat of every bar and then play it normally afterwards.

The second thing is tempo. It should be a bit faster so you can really feel the movement of the counterpoint line. Otherwise, that line gets a little lost and so is the polyphony.

I think you're well on your way to make this sound great.

Re: Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
Keybender #3027830 09/22/20 10:59 AM
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It is kind of hard to comment without knowing how long you have been playing piano and what kinds of pieces you have been playing. The two things that stuck out to me was that you could 1) bring out the left hand part since it plays a beautiful counterpoint to the right hand, and 2) try to shape your phrases more so that the sound rises and falls, and that some phrases are overall louder while others are quieter. Think of people speaking with expression as a metaphor. That one long phrase that goes to around 0:57 in your recording has several smaller phrases within it. Listen to how Hewitt shapes those smaller phrases.



Re: Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
Keybender #3027847 09/22/20 11:27 AM
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In addition to other comments, your version is really different from Gould. He is mainly playing in staccato, ...

Also in bar 32, you play a trill when it is a 3 notes mordent.

If you can speed quite a bit and put some additional articulation to make it come more alive, that should be quite good.

Re: Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
PianogrlNW #3027861 09/22/20 12:03 PM
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Thanks for all your comments - I listened to some interpretations (including mine) again after reading you comments, focusing on the phrasing. The left hand seems to be the key for improvement for me. I'm still concentrated on getting the right hand right - I need to be more in control of the right hand to free up resources to really listen to myself playing the LH. A good bass should give a good pulse.

I had lessons until is was about 18 but didn't really practice the I quite. It has now been about 3? years since I restarted by struggling through Bach's Minuet 115 and have been practising a lot since and I'm getting occasional lessons. I haven't discussed this piece much with my teacher though - we use the time to work on more complex pieces.

Originally Posted by Sidokar
In addition to other comments, your version is really different from Gould. He is mainly playing in staccato, ...

Also in bar 32, you play a trill when it is a 3 notes mordent.

If you can speed quite a bit and put some additional articulation to make it come more alive, that should be quite good.
True - I just liked it better when played so slowly. When I play it faster, I play the mordent. btw, "Come more alive" is exactly what I'm looking for - thanks for putting it so succinctly.

Last edited by Keybender; 09/22/20 12:04 PM.
Re: Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
Keybender #3037996 10/21/20 11:13 AM
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It took me a while but what I've got now is probably much better but far away from what I initally wanted laugh Maybe once I'm done for now, I'll let it rest for a couple of months and then revisit with a new approach.

Second part is a little more shaky so it'll be a couple of days to get that right (it's not my main piece at the moment...)

So... what do you guys think? The left hand is much more alive now

Re: Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
Keybender #3038000 10/21/20 11:22 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhWkhtVuZys

Okay... maybe I should actually add the link...

Re: Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
Keybender #3038026 10/21/20 12:32 PM
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It sounds improved to me from the initial video.

I just wonder why there is so much "in and out" movement of the left hand, particularly. There are moments when you seem to be playing left hand notes almost up against the fallboard where you have much less control of the keys. While the results seem OK, visually it looks awkward when you could otherwise be playing the black keys much more towards the front of the key; that would result in much less "in and out" movement of the left hand and perhaps even give you greater control.

Regards,


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Re: Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
Keybender #3038034 10/21/20 12:54 PM
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Good job.

A teacher could help you to polish certain things. At certain points you play with some insecurity as if you fear that you are going to fail. Some left hand notes may sound better with more staccato. And dynamics could be improved. Overall you have a good basis to polish those details and you will see how much it improves and how much more you enjoy playing it.

Re: Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
Ubu #3038061 10/21/20 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
It sounds improved to me from the initial video.

I just wonder why there is so much "in and out" movement of the left hand, particularly. There are moments when you seem to be playing left hand notes almost up against the fallboard where you have much less control of the keys. While the results seem OK, visually it looks awkward when you could otherwise be playing the black keys much more towards the front of the key; that would result in much less "in and out" movement of the left hand and perhaps even give you greater control.

Regards,

Funny, that's what my teacher says when she sees me playing other stuff smile I didn't notice so much but it may well account for some of my insecurity. Thanks for pointing it out.

Originally Posted by Ubu
Good job.

A teacher could help you to polish certain things. At certain points you play with some insecurity as if you fear that you are going to fail. Some left hand notes may sound better with more staccato. And dynamics could be improved. Overall you have a good basis to polish those details and you will see how much it improves and how much more you enjoy playing it.

Thanks - you're absolutely right, I'm afraid I'll fail which I do often before I get a take like this one. I feel I'm almost "done" with the piece for now - I'll try go get a good take of the whole thing for maybe another week or two but I don't think my current technique will let me get much better.

Maybe before I'm fed up with it, I'll get that routine I need playing the piece

Re: Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
Keybender #3038094 10/21/20 04:13 PM
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I think this second version is definitely much better than the first one. The tempo is good and steady, and even if you do feel insecure sometimes, the result is fine.

I think the next step, if there is one, would be to lighten the right hand. It is a bit plain all the time, heavy in a way, if you see what i mean. Add some dynamic nuances, and a little bit of breathing to make it less metronomic. You should sing the melody and see where you would place the inflections and then try to reproduce it. I dont think it is a question of technique, but it would be an excellent exercice to develop your phrasing skills.

Re: Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
Keybender #3038178 10/22/20 02:40 AM
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Have you tried to play the L.H. separately? The L.H. articulations are a bit inconsistent and not very well thought out. Try legato with the notes move stepwise.

I agree with Sidokar's suggestions for inflections and phrasing. But it might work better if you work on one hand at a time, so you can really listen for each element.


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Re: Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
AZNpiano #3039118 10/25/20 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
I think this second version is definitely much better than the first one. The tempo is good and steady, and even if you do feel insecure sometimes, the result is fine.

I think the next step, if there is one, would be to lighten the right hand. It is a bit plain all the time, heavy in a way, if you see what i mean. Add some dynamic nuances, and a little bit of breathing to make it less metronomic. You should sing the melody and see where you would place the inflections and then try to reproduce it. I dont think it is a question of technique, but it would be an excellent exercice to develop your phrasing skills.


Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Have you tried to play the L.H. separately? The L.H. articulations are a bit inconsistent and not very well thought out. Try legato with the notes move stepwise.

I agree with Sidokar's suggestions for inflections and phrasing. But it might work better if you work on one hand at a time, so you can really listen for each element.


Do you have any suggestions who I should watch for inspiration who does interesting phrasing?

I linked Hewitts performance above: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0V5mgUYoVE
I also like Gould very much but it's too difficult with extremely subtle phrasing for me to even try to imitate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiLMGXJuWsE

At least right now it feels like I might actually not get fed up with the piece for a bit.

Last edited by Keybender; 10/25/20 04:49 AM.
Re: Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
Keybender #3039129 10/25/20 06:00 AM
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I think the first you can do is to sing the melodic line to see where you would put the inflections. Whatever, you add it has to be subtle. A few changes can make a difference, a combination of emphasis on certain notes and detached/legato touch.

It is interesting to listen to a harpsichord version, because there is no dynamic, so the articulation is strictly based on note duration and detached/legato touch (plus some ornaments). For example Koopman with a tempo a bit faster than yours:

https://youtu.be/WYhMpbDCq4s

Otherwise, this version is good, slower than yours so it is easier to hear the nuances.

https://youtu.be/UjRBNFhP_ac

Hewitt is very good too, of course, very close in tempo to your version.

Re: Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
Keybender #3039226 10/25/20 12:24 PM
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Neumann plays beautifully, I like the tasteful ornamentation. Kopmann's is also good but way beyond my skill to execute. Thank you!

This was is also great https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrnmgMdvI6U

just kidding - but the game excellent though.

Last edited by Keybender; 10/25/20 12:24 PM.
Re: Asking for feedback on my interpretation of prelude BWV934
Keybender #3044325 11/10/20 06:24 AM
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Hi guys again - as long as you'll indulge me, I'll keep working on this.

Here's a new version. At least to my ears the right hand has come a little bit alive. Some improvement is to be had regarding fluidity I think. And maybe more dynamics and a slight reduction in tempo?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af28Wz2-828

Last edited by Keybender; 11/10/20 06:24 AM.

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