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Originally Posted by beet31425
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Do you understand the structure of the piece?

Do you? Do I? Does anyone? What the heck does that mean? smile

Can you hear when the main theme repeats? Do you know where the secondary theme comes in? Do you know when the right hand or the left hand has the main theme? Do you understand the meaning behind the various themes (some Bach pieces may not have meaning, others very much do).

These are some of the important elements of structure, if you don't understand them, your interpretation isn't going to be very good.


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Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by beet31425
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Do you understand the structure of the piece?

Do you? Do I? Does anyone? What the heck does that mean? smile

Can you hear when the main theme repeats? Do you know where the secondary theme comes in? Do you know when the right hand or the left hand has the main theme? Do you understand the meaning behind the various themes (some Bach pieces may not have meaning, others very much do).

These are some of the important elements of structure, if you don't understand them, your interpretation isn't going to be very good.


So true. Bach's fugues in particular are compositional masterpieces. The St. Anne fugue (organ) uses the trinity reference, being in three flats, in three separate fugal sections, the last two in triple pulse form (6/4 and 12/8), the first fugue is added to the last part of the second fugal section, and all three fugues are brought together in the third section.

Of course the Goldberg variations are a brilliant mathematical construction based on canons and variations of each canon.

Not knowing this does not diminish the beauty of the music, but knowing this just makes the listening experience even more awe inspiring and transcendent. How did this guy come up with this stuff!?

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Bach is one of those great people in history that really makes you wonder if he wasn't tapped into something. The more you dive into his music, the more mind-boggling it becomes. Somehow on another level, beyond even the highest. Leonardo Da Vinci is another guy like this that comes to mind. Dude invents stuff like the helicopter 500 years early, no big deal.

Aliens among us? Whoever they were, I'm so glad they...were, and that they shared their gifts with us!

On the subject of Bach interpretation, I believe that the instrument you play it on is independent of the most important facets of the music - clarity of the lines, voicing, variation in articulation, ornamentation, and a careful, cantabile shaping of phrases with clean legato. All of the main keyboard instruments can handle these requirements. It's likely that Bach wrote the Well-Tempered Clavier, for example, with all keyboard instruments in mind including the pianos which he had played on. Not all pianists are committed to these ideas or committed to understanding all of the different keyboard instruments and their nuances.

Of course you can play Bach your way - I'm sure he wouldn't disapprove. But he knows better than you ever will how to make it beautiful because he wrote the stuff. When you're sure you know exactly what the composer intended (which requires exhaustive research), only then do you get to ponder what else to say.

Last edited by Roland The Beagle; 04/30/14 07:42 PM.

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Here is Angela Hewitt giving a class on this piece:
http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/webcast-angela-hewitts-bach-master-class-greene-space/

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Originally Posted by moscheles001
Here is Angela Hewitt giving a class on this piece:
http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/webcast-angela-hewitts-bach-master-class-greene-space/


Thanks moscheles!


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Originally Posted by Roland The Beagle
It's likely that Bach wrote the Well-Tempered Clavier, for example, with all keyboard instruments in mind including the pianos which he had played on.


I may be wrong, but I think Bach wrote most or all the WTC before ever encountering one of the primitive fortepianos that started showing up near the end of his life.

Saying he wrote WTC with "all keyboard instruments in mind" seems to me to be a misrepresentation of what he was doing. I think it would be much more accurate to say it was with an idealized keyboard in mind. In other words, with "no real keyboard instrument in mind".


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You are right about the history. And that's a fair point - it's more accurate to say he wrote just for the clavier, of which the piano is one.


Danzas Argentinas, Alberto Ginastera
Piano Sonata Hob. XVI: 34 in E Minor, Franz Joseph Haydn
Nocturne, Op. 15 No. 1 in F Major, Frédéric Chopin
Prelude, Op. 11 No. 4 in E Minor, Alexander Scriabin
Prelude and Fugue in G Major, Well-Tempered Clavier Vol. 2, Johann Sebastian Bach
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Originally Posted by Roland The Beagle
Bach is one of those great people in history that really makes you wonder if he wasn't tapped into something.

I know! And he so clearly didn't regard his genius as anything special. I love his introduction to the two- and three-part inventions:
(this is in the manuscript, this translation from pianosociety.com)
Originally Posted by J. S. Bach
HONEST METHOD
by which the amateurs of the clavichord - especially, however, those desirous of learning - are shown a clear way not only (1) to learn to play cleanly in two parts, but also, after further progress, (2) to handle three obligato parts correctly and well; and along with this not only to obtain good inventions (ideas), but to develop the same well; above all however, to achieve a cantabile style in playing and at the same time acquire a strong foretaste of composition.

It's like he thinks he's just making an example of something anyone can do. shocked


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Originally Posted by Roland The Beagle
You are right about the history. And that's a fair point - it's more accurate to say he wrote just for the clavier, of which the piano is one.


Well, obviously, the modern piano isn't one of the ones extant when he was writing the WTC. And virtually no modern pianos are tuned to a "well-tempered" tuning, which means they don't qualify for being one of the ones to which he was referring.

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Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Roland The Beagle
You are right about the history. And that's a fair point - it's more accurate to say he wrote just for the clavier, of which the piano is one.


Well, obviously, the modern piano isn't one of the ones extant when he was writing the WTC. And virtually no modern pianos are tuned to a "well-tempered" tuning, which means they don't qualify for being one of the ones to which he was referring.


But the fortepiano was invented at the beginning of the 18th century. So during Bach's lifetime, this type of "Klavier" existed.
Furthermore, Das Wholtemperierte Klavier I was published in 1722, well after the invention of the fortepiano.
I suspect that Bach would know about this fortepiano innovation?

Just speculating. I'm not a scholar on the subject.. wink


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Originally Posted by chopinoholic
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Roland The Beagle
You are right about the history. And that's a fair point - it's more accurate to say he wrote just for the clavier, of which the piano is one.


Well, obviously, the modern piano isn't one of the ones extant when he was writing the WTC. And virtually no modern pianos are tuned to a "well-tempered" tuning, which means they don't qualify for being one of the ones to which he was referring.


But the fortepiano was invented at the beginning of the 18th century. So during Bach's lifetime, this type of "Klavier" existed.
Furthermore, Das Wholtemperierte Klavier I was published in 1722, well after the invention of the fortepiano.
I suspect that Bach would know about this fortepiano innovation?

Just speculating. I'm not a scholar on the subject.. wink


A modern piano and a fortepiano of the 18th century are not the same thing. It's documented that Bach did, late in life, encounter fortepianos - but that's neither here nor there, since those instruments bear little resemblance to what we call a "piano". If unconvinced, trying playing Rachmaninoff on a fortepiano.





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Originally Posted by chopinoholic

But what can I do with a fuga like this?

You think that's bad? I took the Prelium and Fugue in A Minor 20 to my auditions! And my fellow pianists are like, "What?! You took THAT to your auditions and got in?! It's so boring!!!"
You have nothing to complain about. The E minor sounds like a dream compared to this!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqRr5fClaIc


*Fiona*

"If music be food of love, play on!"
P.S. I am in love with Beethoven, infatuated with Liszt, and crazy about Chopin!
And when he behaves, Rachmaninoff is my darling! ;p
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