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Joined: May 2001
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Brendan Offline OP
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My summer project. I'm on the hook for this next year for some concerts (the first half features works by Gabriela Lena Frank, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Mohammed Fairouz, and Julius Eastman, all incredible and gripping music), so here's to all day, every day on this beast for the next few months. Having done WTC I, I feel like I at least have a fighting chance! I started this at the end of April and am up to Variation 22 at the moment, hoping to finish learning the notes by mid-June or so and leaving enough time for the piece to marinate before performing it. Here's a recording of 1-15 that I made at home last week as an extremely rough draft:



A few things - I omitted the theme since I'm trying to figure out what to do with it (interpretively, it's a lot harder than it seems), so this starts with the fist variation. Also, after re-listening to the Gould recordings (as well as several others) after staying away from this piece for ages, I'm convinced that everyone plays some of the variations at light speed for no good reason. After a certain tempo, it's impossible for the counterpoint to come out, not to mention that the dance feeling is more or less obliterated. For my gigs, I'm planning on skipping the repeats and just going straight for the ornamented version, which is more or less represented here (I try to change the ornaments each time I play it so it stays spontaneous).

Anyway, this is very fresh and I'm still working out a lot of issues. It'll probably end up being very different once I can play through the whole piece in the next few weeks.

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I absolutely love the way you play this! Your phrasing is fresh and meaningful. Your ornaments and runs are clear and light. I love the tempi throughout. Your voicing is great. It is a real pleasure to listen to, in fact, I think I prefer your playing to some of the recordings I own. Great job! wow


Best regards,

Deborah
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Really nicely done so far Brendan! Totally agree about tempos.

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Get yerself a clavichord smile I might listen then.


never taught a child who had poor technique, just poor practice
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Brendan Offline OP
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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Get yerself a clavichord smile I might listen then.

Funny you mention that. A good friend offered to loan me his 2-manual harpsichord for this concert. It's a beautiful instrument and I spent the afternoon at his house learning how to tune it and trying it out. It's a zillion times harder on harpsichord since I never properly learned that technique, and tuning it every day would only add to the pain! Still giving it thought.

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Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Get yerself a clavichord smile I might listen then.

Funny you mention that. A good friend offered to loan me his 2-manual harpsichord for this concert. It's a beautiful instrument and I spent the afternoon at his house learning how to tune it and trying it out. It's a zillion times harder on harpsichord since I never properly learned
that technique, and tuning it every day would only add to the pain! Still giving it thought.


A performance on a harpsichord would, indeed, be a wonderful treat! But I can certainly understand the additional stress. I’m sure whatever you decide will be great; I’m looking forward to hearing your final performance


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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That was really enjoyable. I’m sure it’ll be great on piano or harpsichord. Though harpsichord would be a treat.


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