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"My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585467 09/16/06 04:50 PM
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At my first lesson, he assigned a Bach prelude and fugue, a work of Beethoven, some Chopin, and several other composers. I returned three days later. Starting the lesson chronologically, I handed him the Bach score. "Do you have it memorized?" he asked. And I replied, "Yes." So he said, "All right, play it." So I played it through and he didn't say a word. Then he asked to hear the other works, and I went on with them. Again he said nothing but assigned another prelude and fugue to me. I left and came back three or four days later for the second lesson of the week. I started the lesson the same way, handing him the new Bach score. Again he asked whether I ahd this memorized too? I told him that I had; he told me to play it. I played it through, and when I finished he said, "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach." ... It was the first time I heard that I was doing anything unusual. I had been learning Bach works with my former teacher for four years with the same speed and she had never once mentioned that it was unique. I didn't know - I didn't realize that Bach was more difficult than Mendelssohn to absorb, memorize, play. I just absorbed it all so quickly, so naturally.

...

The decision to try out for the Juilliard School was rather sudden. Only one prelude and fugue by Bach was required for the audition; I had so many prepared that I listed them on paper rather than giving a long verbal recitation of my prepared repertoire. In addition to these, I fulfilled the other requirements... Mr. Hutcheson read off my written list to the judges saying, "Which prelude and fugue would you like to hear?" To my surprise I find in recent years that this query has become legendary and I meet people everywhere in the queue backstage following my concerts asking if this is true. It is true... I won the fellowship and Olga Samaroff became my new teacher. Due to my own interest in continuing work on Bach, I learned three preludes and fugues a week in order to complete the entire forty-eight. Every Monday I'd start a new set; on Friday I'd bring in the three preludes and fugues memorized and worked out in interpretation.
Who said this? Anybody know / want to guess? wink


(By the way, this Juilliard audition was before her seventeenth birthday.)


Sam
Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585468 09/16/06 05:10 PM
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WOW.

Who is that?


"Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." -Leonard Bernstein
Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585469 09/16/06 05:10 PM
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Rosalyn Tureck?

Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585470 09/16/06 05:12 PM
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Argerich?

Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585471 09/16/06 05:36 PM
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Argerich?! I heard that Argerich had never practice hard when she was young, because every piece for her was easy.


In my this life, I will enjoy playing the piano
In my next life, I will become a pianist
Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585472 09/16/06 06:37 PM
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Tureck?
Angela Hewitt?


Sophia

Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585473 09/16/06 06:49 PM
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Must be Tureck

Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585474 09/16/06 06:55 PM
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Took me a month to finish a prelude...

Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585475 09/16/06 08:05 PM
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Rosalyn Tureck?


"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585476 09/16/06 08:07 PM
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yes is Tureck ^^ =P

Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585477 09/16/06 08:30 PM
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Originally posted by Sonata:
Argerich?! I heard that Argerich had never practice hard when she was young, because every piece for her was easy.
Tureck said she didn't practice much when she was young, either.

Yes, it is Rosalyn Tureck in an interview with Elyse Mach.


Sam
Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585478 09/16/06 08:50 PM
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Yes very interesting read...
Book: Great Contemporary Pianists speak for themsleves.

Peter


Ok..Ok... If you don't want your Steinway give it to me !!!!
Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585479 09/16/06 10:11 PM
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Two summers ago there was a tribute to Tureck which I attended at the Mannes Keyboard Festival. She passed away that very night.

Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585480 09/17/06 09:19 AM
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Originally posted by rockpeter:
Yes very interesting read...
Book: Great Contemporary Pianists speak for themsleves.

Peter
Great book. Lots of gems.


"Some people have a way with words; others... ... ... ...not...have way, I guess."
- Steve Martin
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Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585481 09/17/06 11:03 AM
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i read that a while ago and had a high expectation of Turek's Bach, especially when she said she worked out a special way to play Bach. Then I came across her WTC recordings...they were utterly despicable. Pounding FORTE brutally whenever the subject appears as if it's the only way to make the subject entry apparent.

Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585482 09/17/06 07:58 PM
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Her kind of playing is what you get if you study Bach keyboard works alone, without listening to the vocal, choral, and instrumental works. I found it very dull when I heard it, but that was many years ago. Perhaps I would have a different viewpoint if I heard it again now in my old age.

I was at a master class of Leon Fleisher's ten months ago. Illustrating a point, he played a few notes. "Anyone recognize that?" I was there on sufferance only, having pleaded with the director of the conservatory to get in, and didn't want to say anything. After a few seconds, the surrounding music students remained silent, so I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Beethoven Violin Concerto." Fleisher nodded, looked at the audience of students, and said, "And this is a music conservatory?"


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585483 09/17/06 08:33 PM
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Originally posted by thoughtful:
i read that a while ago and had a high expectation of Turek's Bach, especially when she said she worked out a special way to play Bach. Then I came across her WTC recordings...they were utterly despicable. Pounding FORTE brutally whenever the subject appears as if it's the only way to make the subject entry apparent.
well, that certainly is a special way of playing bach..


Houston, Texas
Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585484 09/18/06 04:10 PM
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Originally posted by thoughtful:
i read that a while ago and had a high expectation of Turek's Bach, especially when she said she worked out a special way to play Bach. Then I came across her WTC recordings...they were utterly despicable. Pounding FORTE brutally whenever the subject appears as if it's the only way to make the subject entry apparent.
That's the way my teacher tells me to play Bach.


I don't know what the meaning of life is- I'm too busy to figure it out.
Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585485 09/19/06 01:54 AM
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geez sam I didn't realize you were quoting someone else in the beginning... I thought you were talking about how your lessons have been going with Dr. Nagel, thinkin' HOLY MOLY EVERYONE WHO STUDIES WITH NAGEL CRANKS OUT BACH LIKE IT'S NOTHING!!!

*according to Nicole, she can play the heck out of Bach*

hey so what makes this forum so much more special that you completely ignore us on the WBS forums?

Re: "My God, girl! If you can do this, you should specialize in Bach."
#585486 09/19/06 03:27 AM
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Originally posted by Contrapunctus:
Quote
Originally posted by thoughtful:
[b] i read that a while ago and had a high expectation of Turek's Bach, especially when she said she worked out a special way to play Bach. Then I came across her WTC recordings...they were utterly despicable. Pounding FORTE brutally whenever the subject appears as if it's the only way to make the subject entry apparent.
That's the way my teacher tells me to play Bach. [/b]
I don't wish to criticise your teacher, implicitly or explicitly (it's poor manners), but let me direct your attention to Tovey's comments on playing contrapuntal music, from his instructions to his edition of the Well-Tempered Clavier:

Part-playing. The nature of polyphony has been obscured rather than illuminated by Ouseley's famous definition of counterpoint as "the art of combining melodies." Much "pianistic" fugue-playing has passed as "scholarly" when it even fails to realize that definition, inasmuch as it "brings out the subject" as if all the rest of the fugue were unfit for publication. This notion is peculiar to pianists. Organists, who perhaps play fugues more often than most people, do not find it necessary, whenever the subject enters in the inner parts, to pick it out with the thumb on another manual. They and their listeners enjoy the polyphony because the inner parts can neither "stick out" nor fail to balance well in the harmony, so long as the notes are played at all. On the pianoforte constant care is needed to prevent failure of tone: and certainly the subject of a fugue should not be liable to such failure. But neither should the counterpoints; indeed, the less often a characteristic countersubject recurs the more important it may be that it should be heard clearly (e.g. the clinching third countersubject of the F minor Fugue in Book I.) Most of Bach's counterpoint actually sounds best when the parts are evenly balanced. It is never a mere combination of melodies, but always a mass of harmony stated in terms of a combination of melodies...


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
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