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 Post subject: Some works by Bach
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:21 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:13 am
Posts: 57
Hi everyone,

I have several new Bach recordings that I would like to have auditioned for the website. I look forward to your feedback.

Thank you for your time and advise,
Samuel Chetty


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 Post subject: Re: Some works by Bach
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:45 pm
Posts: 2815
Location: Germany
I just listened to the c-minor-invention (due to problems with the internet-connection). It´s quite slow and contemplatively played, there are two unevenesses in the sense of (from my view not really understandable) hesitations, f.ex. in bar 2 after the first c on the third beat and bar 3 between the a-flat and b-flat in the left hand on the third beat. On the other side there are some nice ideas of phrasings, which are well performed. The chord at the end sounds quite funny from my view and takes a bit from the contemplative seriousness and deepness the piece is performed, but that´s personal taste, of course.

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 Post subject: Re: Some works by Bach
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:13 am
Posts: 57
Hi Andreas,

Thank you for your feedback. I agree that the rubato may be too heavy in some places in Invention #2. I've had different ideas about how to interpret this piece. The slow interpretation, in my opinion, doesn't enhance the piece unless a significant amount of rubato is used, but it is definitely possible to inadvertently do too much. I also have a fast, exciting interpretation (inspired by Angela Hewitt's approach to the piece) that has a very different character.


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 Post subject: Re: Some works by Bach
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
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Location: Netherlands
These generally sound well and I do not doubt your sincere commitment to Bach. As Andreas said there are nice things here and there, but also some things that need to be addressed. In much-recorded works of a didactical nature, the margins are very small indeed.

Invention 2: Seems rather too slow. You mention 'heavy rubato' but to me it sounds like rhythmical insecurity. Many beginning pianists try to pass that off as rubato, but I won't buy that. The slower you play, the harder it is to sustain a firm pulse. And really, that added closing chord is serious Bad Taste. So un-Bach, so Richard Clayderman. That chord has to go, no question about it.

Invention 5 - I like your vigorous approach here, and the way you seem to keep the E-flat sounding for a couple of bars, like a drone. Maybe that was not intentional but I think it sounds good. Some nice extra ornaments towards the end although the very last one seems too long and distorts the rhythm. Don't overdo it !

Invention 7 - Missing note at 0:37 and another weak one further on. The rhythm seems inconsistent. A little toccata like this should really be tossed off with clockwork precision.

Invention 11 - I find this too slow and wimpy. The ornament at 0:59 is too long. By all means be free in adding/altering embellishments, but don't overdo it.

Sinfonia 12 - Well played but sounds rather in-your-face. Some dynamics and phrasing would be nice. The closing bar could be better, the ritenuto is inconsistent here.

Bourree - These are actually two takes, separated by a long pause. Don't you listen back before submitting ? There is a real lack of dynamics and phrasing here, and the ornaments are overdone. I think this one needs more work to get it flowing and elegant, to find the music underneath the notes. The second take seems marginally better.

Some general remarks:

- Please cut off extra sounds at the beginning ! Specifically the click of the recorder and the sound of you sitting down. People don't want to hear all that.

- Please be consistent in naming your tracks.

- I think I heard quite some read errors here and there. Some of them could of course be my mistakes, so I'll need to check with score.

Overall, promising and sympathetic Bach playing but do let the music grow on you a bit longer, and listen back very critically with score in hand. On the plus side, you don't seem to use much pedal and yet all sounds good without being dry. Soundwise, these are fine for the site (except for the click/pop stuff) but artistically/technically I would recommend you reconsider them.

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Chris Breemer


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 Post subject: Re: Some works by Bach
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:13 am
Posts: 57
Hi Chris,

Thank you very much for your comments and suggestions.

Invention #2: I will adapt a faster interpretation.

Invention #5: It's the ornament in the final measure that you are referring to as disrupting the rhythm, correct?

Invention #8: I'll work with the metronome on this one.

Invention #11: I have a faster interpretation of this one too that I will upload later.

Sinfonia #12: Piano playing sounding "in your face?" That's a new one for me :lol:

Bouree: I realize that I am less confident with this one. Somehow, the feel of this piece is just very awkward to me.

I appreciate your time and critique,
Samuel


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 Post subject: Re: Some works by Bach
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
I have listened to the Inventions and the Sinfonia.

I like your tempi and you play the c at the same speed I play it. Faster I find it looses its character and just sounds like, "Let's get it over before I make a mess of it!"

I also like your touch and the fact you realise Bach hads no pedal, so tailored his music accordingly and no pedal shoud be used, ever. I always wince when I see pianists use it as to me it must hide some technical shortcomings and I am glad to hear you do not buy that.

Bach and rubato are in my opinion are a contradiction: you cannot have both and have good music. In the c it distrurbs me a bit and your last chord seems to me to me a mistake. I myself am temped to pass an error as interpretation after the 50th take, all perfect right to the last bar.

The F hastens and slackens, as if in easier passages you rushed only to slow down when it gets harder. I have the same tendency and at times I do not even bother to continue listening to my own recordings when I notice this happening.

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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