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 Post subject: Almost half way...
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 5:26 pm 
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Three more WTC pairs recorded this afternoon. 20 down, 28 to go ....

Bach - BWV 849 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No.4 in C sharp minor
Bach - BWV 862 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No. 17 in A flat major
Bach - BWV 885 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier II - Prelude and Fugue No.16 in G minor

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:26 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
It will be impressive to have all the preludes and fugues of the WTC 1 & 2 recorded in addition to all the Chopin Mazurkas. Man'o'man you're fast. Did you sell your soul to the devil in exchange for speed and master sight reading abilities? :P :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:07 pm 
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juufa72 wrote:
Did you sell your soul to the devil in exchange for speed and master sight reading abilities?

I would have done if I had one :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:47 pm 
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WTC1 c sharp P&F: The prelude sounds overall well but there are spots which sound insecure with weak notes and rhythm. I am very sure you could do it better but that would mean you have to spend another 30 minutes for practising on this piece :x
The fugue sounds very convincing to me. Special kudos for the articulation of the theme with some staccato notes, what you maintained almost through all voices throughout the fugue. Very good!

WTC1 a flat major P&F: Both sound convincing to me. Maybe, if you phrase the theme in the prelude in the distinct manner you do (what I like) you should try more consequently to phrase it same way throughout the piece, with RH and LH. Right in the first phrase you did it not, and on some more phrases only weak. The fugue comes - as usual from you - very good.

WTC2 g minor P&F: There is a fast repeating note in the beginning bars. I don't have the score for WTC2 :oops: , so I don't know if it's right or wrong, but it sounds strange. Some rhythm weakeness in the prelude (as if you stop in the groove in order to avoid wrong notes). Again, the fugue is very convincing played.

I have the impression as if you would spent more care on the fugues, but not so on the preludes. All three preludes (the a flat major prelude is better) sound partly as if you spent a large part of the attention for sight reading (instead on the sound). Nevertheless, your speed of recording new pieces is really incredible. However, my admiration would be even greater if you would polish some pieces a bit more. Seems so as if you don't have time for that - but why?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:18 pm 
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MindenBlues wrote:
WTC1 c sharp P&F: The prelude sounds overall well but there are spots which sound insecure with weak notes and rhythm. I am very sure you could do it better but that would mean you have to spend another 30 minutes for practising on this piece :x

Weak notes there are some, as usual. But I object to insure spots and weak rhythm. There is nothing insecure in this Prelude and I can not hear any flaws in the rhythm (and I think I seldom can be accused of that anyway). There is some agogic rubato here and there but that is intentional.
But even with 30 minutes more it would not be perfect in the way that you'd like it. I am no Schiff or Gould, alas.

MindenBlues wrote:
WTC2 g minor P&F: There is a fast repeating note in the beginning bars.

That is a botched trill. You can only just hear the middle note if you listen for it.

MindenBlues wrote:
Some rhythm weakeness in the prelude (as if you stop in the groove in order to avoid wrong notes).

I know there is a hesitation before the LH a in bar 16 (no idea why), which I suppose I could just cut out (it would be self-torture to re-record a piece just for something like that). If you hear any more rhythm issues, please point them out. Note that I am observing the difference between dotted 32ths and dotted 16ths, which many pianists do not do.

MindenBlues wrote:
I have the impression as if you would spent more care on the fugues, but not so on the preludes. All three preludes (the a flat major prelude is better) sound partly as if you spent a large part of the attention for sight reading (instead on the sound).

It is my time to disagree. The preludes are by and large giving me more trouble than the fugues and I practice them just as hard if not harder. Actually I believe in this set they come of better than the fugues. ( which are really not that convincing if I listen back to them).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:17 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Weak notes there are some, as usual. But I object to insure spots and weak rhythm. There is nothing insecure in this Prelude and I can not hear any flaws in the rhythm (and I think I seldom can be accused of that anyway). There is some agogic rubato here and there but that is intentional.
But even with 30 minutes more it would not be perfect in the way that you'd like it. I am no Schiff or Gould, alas.


Oh no, there are many examples for WTC recordings from you which are simply great, and I like them very much. I also like your fugues from this postings, the preludes only with some constraints as I tried to point out. That it takes 30 minutes in your case to raise the quality was only an estimation, a joke, ok?

And yes, you are right, it is very often that you are praised for your rhythm stability, also very often from me I think. But not here. I was referring about the rhythm for the WTC2 prelude, and the WTC1 c sharp minor prelude, here in bars 13 and 35-36, always the passages around the last 2 quarters. It sounds anyhow insecure to me, can't explain it better.

techneut wrote:
MindenBlues wrote:
Some rhythm weakeness in the prelude (as if you stop in the groove in order to avoid wrong notes).

I know there is a hesitation before the LH a in bar 16 (no idea why), which I suppose I could just cut out (it would be self-torture to re-record a piece just for something like that). If you hear any more rhythm issues, please point them out. Note that I am observing the difference between dotted 32ths and dotted 16ths, which many pianists do not do.


Yes, I know that you are very carefully with rhythm normally, and especially also with the different dotted notes. I have no score but took time again to listen with MediaPlayer to tell you the places I meant. That was around 1:42 (at 1:34 only a bit), and towards the end at 2:16, and some seconds later. Call it agogic if you like, it only does not sound convincing this way to me.


techneut wrote:
MindenBlues wrote:
I have the impression as if you would spent more care on the fugues, but not so on the preludes. All three preludes (the a flat major prelude is better) sound partly as if you spent a large part of the attention for sight reading (instead on the sound).

It is my time to disagree. The preludes are by and large giving me more trouble than the fugues and I practice them just as hard if not harder. Actually I believe in this set they come of better than the fugues. ( which are really not that convincing if I listen back to them).


Well, I told you only my impression. I would not have niggled about the preludes if I would not know that you can play better, from the very amazingly large number of recordings. I only observed that some spots sound insecure to me, that there are weak and also missing notes, more than in other recordings. If you think that they are fine, it is absolutely ok for me. And it is also only my subjective opinion, others will have other opinions, it's all ok.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:15 pm 
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Chris, just listened to the Ab P&F. It's such a joyful piece and it always gives me a smile when I hear it. And your nice interpretation adds to the pleasure! There were a few minor insecurities but no doubt these would be easy for you to eliminate. Overall, I would try to add a bit more dynamic shape to the phrases, especially in the fugue, and it could sound a bit more pastorale. But that's a subjective preference and for sure depends on your approach to Bach. Btw, your program to complete the cycle is quite impressive, you seem to be a really fast learner (I need so much time, unfortunately....). I will listen to the c# minor when I'm in a less joyful mood :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:07 am 
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Tobias wrote:
Btw, your program to complete the cycle is quite impressive, you seem to be a really fast learner (I need so much time, unfortunately....).

I guess it is easy to be a fast learner when there is no need to memorize the works (or should I rather say when no effort is made to memorize them). Even so I seem to be a slow and/or sloppy polisher. Obviously my output volume works against me in that repect - and it probably influences the way in which individual items are being evaluated by the critics. I wish I could change my ways, pick a handful of pieces and polish them to death... but there is just too much I want to do.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:42 am 
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techneut wrote:
Tobias wrote:
Btw, your program to complete the cycle is quite impressive, you seem to be a really fast learner (I need so much time, unfortunately....).

Obviously my output volume works against me in that repect - and it probably influences the way in which individual items are being evaluated by the critics. I wish I could change my ways, pick a handful of pieces and polish them to death... but there is just too much I want to do.


But please don't misunderstand any of this "criticism" - it's really meant in any constructive way. As you also know, no interpretation will be simply "perfect" to every individual's taste, I think it's just interesting to give and hear this kind of comments (that's also why I'm posting). And to tackle a huge project as you do is really a worthwhile endeavour: it's one thing to polish P&F 1 to perfection and to ignore P&F 2-23, and a completely different "discipline" to play all P&Fs 1-24 really, really well. The latter is your current way, and it's such an exciting project of which you can be very proud.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:46 am 
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BWV 849 is one of my favourites and wonderful played. You choose a bit slower tempo than I am used to but this is really ok in this p/f. You play it more emotionally than I am used to hear from you and that is only for good!

The more light hearted BWV 862 is also very well played and you catch the spirit in it which I think is very important.

I have probably listened to WTC I 20 times more than WTC II so my experience is more limited on this p/f. A bit slower than I remember it to be but again, this feels really ok here and G minor is to me gloomy as your recording so you got me musically and I do not hear technical difficulties.

Half-way! There are not many pianists who have completed WTC I & II and especially not in combination with Art of the Fugue which you have already done. So, then the french/english suites, the 2-3 part inventions and the concertos and you would be pretty unique ;).

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:04 pm 
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robert wrote:
Half-way! There are not many pianists who have completed WTC I & II and especially not in combination with Art of the Fugue which you have already done. So, then the french/english suites, the 2-3 part inventions and the concertos and you would be pretty unique ;).

I definitely consider recording the Inventions but do not want to interfere with your planned cycle. I'll probably also want to re-record the KDF as many items are pretty shaky. The suites are a bit further away, just looming beyond the horizon. The concertos, not sure how to do that on my own. But it would be nice, a complete Bach.... (* dreaming away... *)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:22 pm 
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techneut wrote:
robert wrote:
Half-way! There are not many pianists who have completed WTC I & II and especially not in combination with Art of the Fugue which you have already done. So, then the french/english suites, the 2-3 part inventions and the concertos and you would be pretty unique ;).

I definitely consider recording the Inventions but do not want to interfere with your planned cycle. I'll probably also want to re-record the KDF as many items are pretty shaky. The suites are a bit further away, just looming beyond the horizon. The concertos, not sure how to do that on my own. But it would be nice, a complete Bach.... (* dreaming away... *)

Ha, that is the slowest completion ever so if you just go ahead and complete everything else, I will probably be done. But I will record another invention this evening if nothing comes in my way.

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 Post subject: Memorizing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:51 pm 
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I have very few works memorized. I am a pretty good sight reader as you are. Research suggests that the better one sight reads, the more difficult it is to memorize. I believe that's true. Improving my physical technique is more of a goal for me at this stage than memorizing.

I am very impressed at the number of works you perform. (And well-done too!)


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