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 Post subject: Bach WTC II
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:09 pm 
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Three more items from the comparatively little-known Well-Tempered Clavier Book II, recorded this afternoon. I'm not very satisfied with the A minor pair, especially the fugue - will need to redo that. The others are ok I think.

Bach - BWV 887 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier II - Prelude and Fugue No.18 in G sharp minor
Bach - BWV 888 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier II - Prelude and Fugue No.19 in A major
Bach - BWV 889 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier II - Prelude and Fugue No.20 in A minor

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:39 pm 
I hardly have a license to say anything, but I love your touch--it's so sensitive and precise, and it's evident in all the recordings of yours I've heard. Your playing is also very relaxed to an appropriate degree, which I love also. I don't really like frantic players, or on the other hand seemingly careless players. I also listened to your Shostakovich, and I enjoyed that very much


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:11 am 
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That is a great compliment, thank you ! Touch is something I struggle with, partly because mine is not the most responsive of instruments (a French Gaveau grand from around 1920). Glad to hear I don't seem to be doing too badly.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:28 pm 
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This was really good Chris. I am impressed! So more than half of them done by now!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:48 pm 
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robert wrote:
This was really good Chris. I am impressed! So more than half of them done by now!

Thanks !
No not more than half. 23, if I count correctly. And some of these I am dissatisfied with and need to be re-recorded. The a minor fugue in this lot is certainly below standard and so are some of the early recordings.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:43 pm 
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very well played Mr. Bach. Some minor slips but who cares. Very well and sensitive played, this is the most important thing, More book 2 thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:02 am 
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johnmar78 wrote:
very well played Mr. Bach. Some minor slips but who cares.

I do. But it's only in the a minor pair which I need to re-record anyway.

Nice to be called Mr. Bach :D But that title should be reserved for Dutch musician and scholar Ton Koopman. Not only has he recorded all of Bach's keyboard music (both harpsichord and organ) but also the complete cantatas and many other works with his Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (on his own CD label, after being ditched bt Teldec). He's now started on a complete Buxtehude edition as well as accepted the post of Professor of authentic Baroque performance at the country's most prestigious university. A totally amazing guy.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:46 am 
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Very well played, precise, rhythmic stable, relaxed. AND it is also expressive played!

I like the g sharp minor prelude the most of all because of its composition and above that all, because of your keytouch and that you let the thing groove like hell. There are some uncertain notes in the a minor fugue, however in sum and especially with your great Schostakowitch recording it shows that you are in top form.

Off topic: Do you know that there is complete Buxtehude organ works edition by Harald Vogel (6 CDs)? He played on different baroque organs with historic temperaments, in the area where Buxtehude lived, also on some Netherland organs. From what I heard so far, it sounds good, it has the aim to be played historic "correct" too (but it is questionable that this can be valided).

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:12 am 
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Thanks Olaf. I am not satisfied with that fugue either, but time was running out and I had to leave it. I'll redo it soon, hopefully better. I have decided to allow no more slips (or perhaps only the tiniest ones that you hardly notice). That will slow me down at last :lol:

Now I've started having a hard time (again) with the D major prelude of Book I. What a bastard little thing that is... And you make it sound so easy in your recording :x It will be a lot of work for me to get this halfway decent.

No, did not know about that Buxtehude organ cycle. Much as I like Buxtehude, the little I have heard of him, I don't think I would want to listen to his entire (organ) output.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:29 am 
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techneut wrote:
Now I've started having a hard time (again) with the D major prelude of Book I. What a bastard little thing that is... And you make it sound so easy in your recording :x It will be a lot of work for me to get this halfway decent.


Thanks, but I played that prelude for months, and it is still deeply memorized. And I used a rather unconventional fingering for right hand in this prelude. I prefer to use all 5 fingers even if the 5 notes are in longer distance - instead switching with thumb or so. So very different regarding the fingering as suggested in the sheetmusicarchive (where fingers cross much more often). Don't know wether it is good or bad - but maybe with large hands one can more often avoid crossing fingers. And those finger crossings are in my case reason number 1 for uneveness if it goes faster, so I prefer to spread the fingers wider instead to cross them with thumb or so if it is possible. I think pieces like that prelude stand and fall with ergonomic fingering at least at a certain speed.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:48 am 
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MindenBlues wrote:
Thanks, but I played that prelude for months, and it is still deeply memorized. And I used a rather unconventional fingering for right hand in this prelude. I prefer to use all 5 fingers even if the 5 notes are in longer distance - instead switching with thumb or so. So very different regarding the fingering as suggested in the sheetmusicarchive (where fingers cross much more often). Don't know wether it is good or bad - but maybe with large hands one can more often avoid crossing fingers. And those finger crossings are in my case reason number 1 for uneveness if it goes faster, so I prefer to spread the fingers wider instead to cross them with thumb or so if it is possible. I think pieces like that prelude stand and fall with ergonomic fingering at least at a certain speed.

Absolutely. And if you can avoid crossings, it is probably wise to do so. There are some (to my feeling) exceedingly awkward moments here and I'm still trying to work out the best fingering - not being blessed with your large span.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:10 am 
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techneut wrote:
That is a great compliment, thank you ! Touch is something I struggle with, partly because mine is not the most responsive of instruments (a French Gaveau grand from around 1920). Glad to hear I don't seem to be doing too badly.


Are this the original hammers? Are they sanded down different times - and most of all, do you let intonate the hammers from time to time?
I know how worn out hammers sound and worse, how difficult it is to get a nice mellow tone out of stone old and accordingly sounding hammers. It is a completely new and better playing with new or at least strongly intonated hammers (hundred and more needlings may be necessary per hammer!). Beside the heavy key action problem on your Gaveau you mentioned earlier, maybe here is something what you could do to easen especially the soft playing?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:29 am 
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I had brand new hammers installed some years ago (Abel, if I recall correctly) so I guess that should be ok. You're not suggesting they should be needled every year or so ? I fear that softening the heads would not only make it sound more mellow but also more dull, which would be bad as the sound is not the brightest to start with. Anyway I should not be blaming the instrument for my problems with bringing out dynamics :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:51 am 
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techneut wrote:
I had brand new hammers installed some years ago (Abel, if I recall correctly) so I guess that should be ok. You're not suggesting they should be needled every year or so ? I fear that softening the heads would not only make it sound more mellow but also more dull, which would be bad as the sound is not the brightest to start with. Anyway I should not be blaming the instrument for my problems with bringing out dynamics :wink:


I don't know after how many working hours one needs a re-needling. And you never told so far how long you practises! So, normally I also would expect that some years it should be ok without that. But you surely got an initial needling after installation of new hammers!??
I may be wrong but I thought that needling turns a hammer from bright to mellow foremost. Dull is to me the opposit to long sustained. Maybe that has more something to do with soundboard, strings, how the sound is transferred?
Also, your piano sounds more bright than mellow to me, at least in your "default" keytouch.
At least the preconditions on the piano to bring out dynamics comfortably more easily one can meet, the rest is of course up to us.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:23 pm 
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MindenBlues wrote:
I don't know after how many working hours one needs a re-needling. And you never told so far how long you practises!

Ah, you nosy parker :wink:
I don't think I play on average more than 10-12 hours a week. That excludes organ playing, max. 5-6 hours a week but sometimes far less.

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