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 Post subject: Italian Concerto, Mvt. 2
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:26 pm
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Location: Miami, Florida, USA
I hope it's okay for me to do this. I don't want to upload this second movement in the Audition Room until I have learned it better and have some confidence in the interpretation. I would also prefer to upload all three movements at the same time.

There are several of you whose opinions I regard very highly, and I ask that you indulge me and provide your constructive criticism of this. It's about 6 minutes long, so it's not necessary that you listen to the entire post---just enough to give me some feedback. I don't want you to succumb to terminal boredom. :lol: Please ignore the spastic notes and slips.

My score edited by Hans Bischoff has quite a few interpretive and dynamic indications including such things as "con passione, perdendosi, cantando, stringendo," as well as ritardandos and p, pp, f, mf, ff, etc. I tried to be somewhat restrained in the interpretation even more than I actually felt because I didn't want to make it too romantic. Is my interpretation too much or not enough?As some of you know, I'm very hesitant about posting anything by Bach because several of you are Bach connoisseurs and I fear making a fool of myself…not that that’s anything new. Thanks for your help.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:29 am 
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Location: Germany
John, that movement sounds "wunderschön" to me.

You feared to apply too much romantic style to it? No, there was no exxagerated rubato I think, here and there only slightly and that is what probably old Bach did too (called agogic that time).
You play it in a dreamery mood, slow and meditative, and above all, with a nice singing tone. From listening, it is obvious to me that this concerto means much to you.
Some hardliners regarding the historical informed performance practise maybe aim for melody bows always along the beats throughout to maintain a constant groove, but I wonder how to manage that on such a slow movement.

John, you should not be hesitant about posting Bach, regardless who or what you get as comments. It is your interpretation, and as long as you are with all your heart in the playing, you will find listeners who feel the same. So - go for it in your way! Can't say anything critic, first because I don't know the concerto so well, and had no look in the score, and second, there was nothing what worried me. Maybe in the trills you could consider to play them in exactly multiples regarding clock, e.g. in 32th notes. That makes them very calm. My piano teacher told me to try to play the trills for Bach in that way without run-up, instead constant and beat synchronized. However nobody has a CD with Bach's own playing, so what.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:43 am 
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Hi John,
I think Olaf is right-on regarding the trills. This sounded so peaceful and maybe slower trills would fit better and maintain the calmness. Pretty piece!

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 Post subject: Bach
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:21 am 
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Location: Miami, Florida, USA
Thanks, Monica and Olaf, for taking the time to listen. The truth is I have always liked Bach, but have never been confident in playing his music. I guess I'm the kind of guy who prefers exact rules to follow, and nobody really knows exactly what Bach would want in 21st century interpretations of his works.

Thanks for the comments about the trills. That is one of those subjective areas. You may have noticed that I played the mordants quite slow which I hoped would fit the mood of the work. I will experiment with playing the trills with a more measured rhythm to see if it feels better.

I'm trying to listen to performances of various artists to become more acquainted with various ways of "trilling." Most artists seem to employ slight rubato and often not too subtle dynamic contrasts especially in slow Bach compositions. I realize many disagree with that practice.


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 Post subject: Re: Bach
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:25 am 
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John Robson wrote:
I guess I'm the kind of guy who prefers exact rules to follow, and nobody really knows exactly what Bach would want in 21st century interpretations of his works.


Sure, we don't know how Bach would want to interpret his works nowadays. There is just a large discussion everywhere (keyword "HIP") to learn how he interpreted himself in his time (not only Bach and Baroque time of course). Bach's works are timeless, that is proven through the ages. Chances are good, that the manner he played did not only convince the contemporaries, maybe it would convince today's listeners too? So I think the key is to try to discover the manner Bach played. So far I only have read the book by C.P.E.Bach "attempt about the art to play the piano" (don't know whether I translated the title correctly). His only teacher was his father, so the book has something to say. There is a very large chapter about the execution of trills, but not only that. Maybe the book is something interesting to you?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:28 am 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
It sounded like Bach to me. No worries about sounding like Mozart or Beethoven or Schubert. Keep going at it and without a doubt you will be able to complete another "CS".

best
-jg

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 Post subject: Bach
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:08 pm 
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Olaf, that book sounds very interesting. I wonder if it's been translated into English. I'll look in Amazon.com. I probably know four words of German. Sorry.

Juufa, thanks. What is CS?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:32 pm 
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CS = complete set.... the forbidden words :P

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 Post subject: A written out elaboration
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:58 am 
Was just reading Badura-Skoda's Interpreting Bach at the Keyboard and he pointed out that perhaps the 2nd movement of the Italian Concerto is a written out elaboration of a simpler melodic line. Bach did this fairly frequently writing out one possible elaboration as a learning aid for those not musically competent enough to tastefully elaborate a skeleton framework. The offbeats so common in this movement apparently are examples of how Bach might have executed rubato. The book contains a few bars of a proposed 'original' un-elaborated melody. Apparently, Wanda Lankowska worked out a theoretical un-elaborated entire 2nd movement.

I find it quite humorous and sad that not only have we mostly lost the ability to devise and execute such elaborations (there are exceptions, I'm told by an acquaintance that Davitt Moroney masterfully tosses elaborations in) but we have to reverentially play out these elaborations giving them an etched in stone quality that lies in complete opposition to the intention of the composer. Playing the notes exactly as written is good for the most part because Bach chose the notes carefully and well however ironically he's trying to teach you how *not* to play the notes as written ;)


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