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 Post subject: J. S. Bach BWV 988 "au ralenti"
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 10:19 am 
Hi!

I am sending an interpretation of Bach's ARIA BWV 988 for the piano society to listen to and i would like to be listed as piano player in the audition room. I hope to recieve some critics - what are u thinking about this slow motion-way of playing the piece?

best wishes
franzka[/url]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 4:18 pm 
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Hmmmm ! :?

Can I ask, Franzka, what is the point of this ? Is it a joke, an experiment, or a world-record attempt ? None of the above ? By the time you get to the next note one has all but forgotten what the previous note was. I may not be be the most patient of listeners, but I gave up after not even two bars. With this extreme slow-motion, it makes no sense to even try and comment on your playing and interpretation.

Somehow I think Bach would have reacted in a similar spirit ....
Although, to get ole Goldberg to sleep, this could be just the thing :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:16 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
I agree with the tempo...speed it up a little bit..."Adagio" would be nice not "Grave"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:34 pm 
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Quote:
I agree with the tempo...speed it up a little bit..."Adagio" would be nice not "Grave"

It needs more than a little bit... Just for fun I have doubled the speed in CoolEdit, and that sounds about the right tempo, only a little faster than Gould (who I think is stretching the limit). Never mind the sound quality of course, and the tempo fluctuations that now become apparent.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:10 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
Much better! I like Techy's editing of it. May I ask if something like this is good enough to be on the site?


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 Post subject: slow motion and double speed
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:01 am 
> referring the first reply:
yes i guess it should be very difficult to give a critique to a piece one has only been listening for two bars. also i can hardly believe that someone might forget tunes while they are still being played - especially if someone is into music. i also think it is really difficult to guess what Bach might have said or thought referring this interpretation.

> referring the speed:
i don't think this slow motion way of playing the piece is a provocation to it's compositor - it was thought to wave some hello! to this ingenious musician and say: even in 2006 we have enough passion and sensibility to replay this wonderful piece and we might play it as we like. (in this sense: even in 2006 we are still human and not a bit about to become machines, all perfect, stuffed with the same processor speed ... ;-)

i intended to play the piece as if it came from my heart, as some kind of perfect harmonic sequence that is still open to be discovered every time u play.

> referring the double speed version:
all cosy melange of the frequencies, especially the thirds at beginning of bar 9 and 25 (listen well the instrument has been tuned in werckmeister-harmonics) that i intended to bring up to consciousness in the original version got lost through the "up speed". This version seems very flat and fragile to me, just like a piano that lost it's "soul".

>> besides all arguments defending my "slow motion" i agree this is not the finest slow one could do. maybe next we can send some more versions - as propositions, maybe also some a little bit "faster slow" versions - why not load up all these in the archive (including your double speed that has been created by techneut...) and the following ones to come. isn't the archiv made for representing the infinite variety of our pianists passion?

well -
i hope to hear some more reviews,
and read some more soon -
best wishes
franzka


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:29 am 
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Obviously I was only joking about forgetting the last note. But you are right, it is dangerous to speculate what Bach may have thought. Though it's generally understood that he preferred lively tempi and interpretations., and I can well imagine he'd have frowned upon such a radically slow take on his aria. Apparently he was not an especially patient man either (except probably while composing).

Ah that 'double-speed version' - of course it sounds like shit, and is not intended to be listened to. It was just to prove (to myself, really) that it should - or could - be played around twice as fast as you do.

Well anyway, it is a performer's freedom to play as fast or slow as (s)he wants. My comments were just expressing a personal opinion (since you asked !), not necessarily to be shared by others.

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 Post subject: Re: slow motion and double speed
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:31 am 
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Quote:
> referring the first reply:
yes i guess it should be very difficult to give a critique to a piece one has only been listening for two bars. also i can hardly believe that someone might forget tunes while they are still being played - especially if someone is into music. i also think it is really difficult to guess what Bach might have said or thought referring this interpretation.


Ok, I indeed bravely listened to the complete take. To make it short, I would not vote to put it up to the recordings of PianoSociety. Let's first put the performing speed beside. Especially in baroque music I like to listen to a steady groove, but if I try to follow your rhythm, I come out of clock. Can be my fault, but maybe it is so that you did not found a constant rhythm? Bach was known as playing and conducting rhythmically very precise, and in my opinion this is the best thing for baroque music. That gives the overwhelming drive if done correctly. Ok, you can say, why not play it without rhythm. I simply say, that I don't like rhythm unprecise baroque music. For me this rhythmical uneveness is a technical fault, and no question of interpretation.

Quote:
> referring the speed:
i don't think this slow motion way of playing the piece is a provocation to it's compositor - it was thought to wave some hello! to this ingenious musician and say: even in 2006 we have enough passion and sensibility to replay this wonderful piece and we might play it as we like. (in this sense: even in 2006 we are still human and not a bit about to become machines, all perfect, stuffed with the same processor speed ... ;-)

i intended to play the piece as if it came from my heart, as some kind of perfect harmonic sequence that is still open to be discovered every time u play.


I like your attitude, one always should play from the heart. That's the soul of music. And I think that this is the right attitude to touch the soul of the listener. The precondition is however, that the manner you play, like the speed, is at least anywhere within the ranges of the expectation value a very open listener can have. Your interpretation is outside of my personal range within I think this aria sounds well interpreted to me. You can blame at me, that I am perhaps not open enough, if you like.

Beside this, it is surely a good idea to practise in that slow motion. I encourage you to practise further, surely you will find anytime an interpretation what finds more allowance, so I am looking forward to your further efforts on this beautiful aria.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:58 am 
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Indeed there are places where the tempo is seriously out of whack. You hear that clearly in the "double-speed version", probably more clearly than at the original speed. I think that may also be a reason not to take it that slow - seems impossible to me to keep a steady rhythm at that pace. Unless perhaps you use a visual metronome.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:50 pm 
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Quote:
Indeed there are places where the tempo is seriously out of whack. You hear that clearly in the "double-speed version", probably more clearly than at the original speed. I think that may also be a reason not to take it that slow - seems impossible to me to keep a steady rhythm at that pace. Unless perhaps you use a visual metronome.


Ok, just listened too to the double speed test file. Indeed, the rhythm problems can be seen more clearly (a really nice test). It is not only the tempo what is really uneven, but even more problematic is that the rhythm within the bars regarding quarter notes, or 16th notes or whatever (I have not seen the score, and can't explain better), sounds randomly.

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