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 Post subject: 2-part inventions
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:43 pm 
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Another two. The A minor and the B-flat major.
http://server3.pianosociety.com/protect ... lbrand.mp3
http://server3.pianosociety.com/protect ... lbrand.mp3

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 Post subject: Inventions in A Minor and B-Flat Major
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 9:52 pm 
Hello Robert,

You have submitted generally fine recordings of BWV784 and -5.

A Minor:

You might consider creating a little more canonic tension between the subject and its answer throughout this musical jewel of a piece.

For Example: In Measure #1, the right hand states "E-A-C-B-A-B-D-C", which is immediately followed by its unison reply "E-A-C-B-A-B-D-C" in the left hand. Can you try to bring out for your listeners the subject and reply sense of this interplay between hands?

Measures #3 and #4 have two additional canonic imitations:
The Right Hand has a pseudo inverted variation of the opening motif "E-C-E-A-C-E-G", followed by the left hand reply, down an interval of a fifth, "A-F-A-D-F-A-C".

Secondly, these same measures contain four ascending eighth notes: "F-A-D-F" in the right hand, followed by "B-D-G-B_ (down a fifth) by the left hand.

I believe if you make your listening audience aware of these canonic devices, perhaps with dynamics, you can transform the performance FROM something that sounds like a guy cautiously (e.g., safely) playing the A Minor Invention into a recorder ... INTO a piece of MUSIC that draws in its audience, and leaves them wanting encores from you.

Regarding dynamics, I perceive you are playing the whole piece with relatively little variation in dynamics between the different sections. Was that intentional? I am NOT of the school that Bach should be played sans dynamics, simply because JSB did not have access to a good piano in his lifetime.

Might you consider playing the first two measures as piano, then crescendo slightly in Measure #3 to perhaps mezzo piano, through to the G-7th to C cadence in Measure 6.

I would resume the dynamic as piano from the last half of Measure 6 to the beginning of Measure 9, where I would then crescendo gradually to mp or mf through the first half of Measure #11. Beginning at the last half of Measure #11, I would approach forte, and then perform a decrescendo after the B-7th to e minor cadence in Measure #13.

Suggest keeping Measures #14 through #17 as fairly piano; upon returning to the original material at Measure #18, I would give the music a slight crescendo to let the listener know you have arrived back at A Minor.


* * * * * * *

B-Flat Major:

By chance are you playing from an urtext edition? Your articulation of the same thematic material seems to vary as you play through the piece.

To my ears, the rising four-note motif (Bb-D-F-Bb) and similar ones throughout the piece, sound as though they are played rather choppy -- too staccato. Note that these same four notes are CONTAINED in the comparatively legato Right Hand's theme (lower case letters with the embedded four note motif being capitalized: Bb-c-D-c-bb-F-d-Bb-f Did you notice that before now?

If, in fact you play the first 9 or 10 notes somewhat legato, then I believe the four note reply should be played less staccato than your particular treatment. Even if you were to play the left hand notes somewhat detached, that's fine -- I only object to their being played outright staccato.


Those are my few cents' worth of critique to your performance. We don't need to nitpick missed notes here and there. Fine effort overall. I am looking forward to hearing more. Have you tried some of the Three Part Inventions? Just curious.


Cheers,

Joe


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 Post subject: Re: Inventions in A Minor and B-Flat Major
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:22 am 
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Thanks for taking the time!
jcfeli wrote:
Hello Robert,

You have submitted generally fine recordings of BWV784 and -5.

A Minor:

You might consider creating a little more canonic tension between the subject and its answer throughout this musical jewel of a piece.

For Example: In Measure #1, the right hand states "E-A-C-B-A-B-D-C", which is immediately followed by its unison reply "E-A-C-B-A-B-D-C" in the left hand. Can you try to bring out for your listeners the subject and reply sense of this interplay between hands?

Actually, I tried but it came out lame (I am fully aware of the pattern). I realise that when I listen to it today.
jcfeli wrote:
Measures #3 and #4 have two additional canonic imitations:
The Right Hand has a pseudo inverted variation of the opening motif "E-C-E-A-C-E-G", followed by the left hand reply, down an interval of a fifth, "A-F-A-D-F-A-C".

Secondly, these same measures contain four ascending eighth notes: "F-A-D-F" in the right hand, followed by "B-D-G-B_ (down a fifth) by the left hand.

I believe if you make your listening audience aware of these canonic devices, perhaps with dynamics, you can transform the performance FROM something that sounds like a guy cautiously (e.g., safely) playing the A Minor Invention into a recorder ... INTO a piece of MUSIC that draws in its audience, and leaves them wanting encores from you.

I prefer marking the patterns by playing detached rather than use too much dynamics but it is not really obvious as the many "arpeggiatos" make it flow together more than I want.
jcfeli wrote:
Regarding dynamics, I perceive you are playing the whole piece with relatively little variation in dynamics between the different sections. Was that intentional? I am NOT of the school that Bach should be played sans dynamics, simply because JSB did not have access to a good piano in his lifetime.

Partly intentional but not with as little variation as it comes out. It sounds differently to my when I play it live and I think I get too cautious when I make a recording.
jcfeli wrote:
Might you consider playing the first two measures as piano, then crescendo slightly in Measure #3 to perhaps mezzo piano, through to the G-7th to C cadence in Measure 6.

I would resume the dynamic as piano from the last half of Measure 6 to the beginning of Measure 9, where I would then crescendo gradually to mp or mf through the first half of Measure #11. Beginning at the last half of Measure #11, I would approach forte, and then perform a decrescendo after the B-7th to e minor cadence in Measure #13.

Suggest keeping Measures #14 through #17 as fairly piano; upon returning to the original material at Measure #18, I would give the music a slight crescendo to let the listener know you have arrived back at A Minor.

I try myself out and thank for the tips.
jcfeli wrote:
* * * * * * *

B-Flat Major:

By chance are you playing from an urtext edition? Your articulation of the same thematic material seems to vary as you play through the piece.

Yes I do.
jcfeli wrote:
To my ears, the rising four-note motif (Bb-D-F-Bb) and similar ones throughout the piece, sound as though they are played rather choppy -- too staccato. Note that these same four notes are CONTAINED in the comparatively legato Right Hand's theme (lower case letters with the embedded four note motif being capitalized: Bb-c-D-c-bb-F-d-Bb-f Did you notice that before now?

Of course, it is almost impossible to miss.

When I look at the score, play this piece or listen to it, I see the following:
What we have is two very obvious different voices. Like a male and a female voice. The male sounds older and more slow while the female is younger and seducing the male to dance with her. The male goes slowly "da-da-da-da-da" while the female swings into a pirouette and then dances towards the male. The same sequence repeats 3 times and so the male stands up and try the dance, first a bit careful like he has old legs. The famle dances with him, showing how to do the steps and the dance get firmer (voiced by the dynamics).
Then the opposite appears, the female sits down and do the "da-da-da-da-da" while the male dances in three bars. They dance alternatively in 4 bars until they eventually joins for many bars. At the end, they dance in a more advanced alternatively dance and thank each other politely in the last bar.

The problem is that the female voice does not sound as detached as I feel I play them (I refuse to call this staccato). Probably because the sound drowns a bit by the darker voice. I play them similar but must perhaps play them closer to staccato to acheive the effect.

jcfeli wrote:
If, in fact you play the first 9 or 10 notes somewhat legato, then I believe the four note reply should be played less staccato than your particular treatment. Even if you were to play the left hand notes somewhat detached, that's fine -- I only object to their being played outright staccato.


Those are my few cents' worth of critique to your performance. We don't need to nitpick missed notes here and there. Fine effort overall. I am looking forward to hearing more. Have you tried some of the Three Part Inventions? Just curious.


Cheers,

Joe

A couple of slips here and there...and some keys almost not sounding and for your information, I have only played the D major 3-voice and that was about 20-25 years ago.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:17 am 
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My one-cent worth opinion - I liked both pieces. And on my speakers I didn't hear staccato. I don't think you added reverb, but I wonder- if it is added, could one even hear staccato playing?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:06 pm 
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Amazingly, my Internet seems to work fine tonight :D , so here's some feedback.

BWV 784 - I could not hear any staccato here either. Just detached portato, which seems quite right to me. Whether or not to apply dynamics, as Joe suggested, is a matter to be argued about. One could make more of a piece that way, but it may be inauthentic. Bit of a conundrum really. Though if one plays Bach on piano one might as well use some pianistic devices. In the end it's all a matter of taste. This one's pretty near perfect. Two things I noticed: you seem to inadvertently speed up in bars 10 to 12, and in some places you tend to divide the groups of 4 sixteenths into two. Something that many 'authentic' performers do but it makes the music sound a bit hectic and breathless. It's not intrusive here, but perhaps something to keep in mind ?

BWV 785 - Very faithfully played, and not a note out of place. Amazing you just chuck these out like this on a late evening ! I would have liked this one a touch more lively though. Your description of the priouetting female (very apt and amusing) seems to call for a bit more elegance and phrasing in the female part. It's ok if the old geezer lumbers about a bit, but this pretty girl could have a bit more bounce. I could imagine playing that part legato, with slurs extended over half bars, starting on the group of four 32's.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:18 am 
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Both inventions sound rhythmically and steady. Damn, can be really 30 years back now I played them too, the time lapses...

You prefer a detached playing, that's what I try too for Bach. Sometimes the tone color sounds pretty bright to me as if you have not the fingers all the time on the keys, but above. What I will say, maybe it would sound warmer to me if the general loudness is softer. But can well be the piano, or recording equipment what is the reason for that.

The a minor invention I am used to hear more lively, a bit faster. But works well too in your speed. I think, all inventions are intended that both voices take turns on appropriate places. Maybe you could try to exxagerate more regarding the melody phrasing for left and right hand voice - not that I can do it better myself, don't get me wrong here!

Will you go through all inventions? Would be great to have all of them here!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:07 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Amazingly, my Internet seems to work fine tonight :D , so here's some feedback.

BWV 784 - I could not hear any staccato here either. Just detached portato, which seems quite right to me. Whether or not to apply dynamics, as Joe suggested, is a matter to be argued about. One could make more of a piece that way, but it may be inauthentic. Bit of a conundrum really. Though if one plays Bach on piano one might as well use some pianistic devices. In the end it's all a matter of taste. This one's pretty near perfect. Two things I noticed: you seem to inadvertently speed up in bars 10 to 12, and in some places you tend to divide the groups of 4 sixteenths into two. Something that many 'authentic' performers do but it makes the music sound a bit hectic and breathless. It's not intrusive here, but perhaps something to keep in mind ?

Thanks and the speed up and the grouping is nothing I did on purpose. It is the result of bad technique.
techneut wrote:
BWV 785 - Very faithfully played, and not a note out of place. Amazing you just chuck these out like this on a late evening ! I would have liked this one a touch more lively though. Your description of the priouetting female (very apt and amusing) seems to call for a bit more elegance and phrasing in the female part. It's ok if the old geezer lumbers about a bit, but this pretty girl could have a bit more bounce. I could imagine playing that part legato, with slurs extended over half bars, starting on the group of four 32's.

I think it was note perfect and I always recording during the evening. Too much noise going on during the day ;). But I usually play best in the afternoon and never good in the mornings.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:11 pm 
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MindenBlues wrote:
Both inventions sound rhythmically and steady. Damn, can be really 30 years back now I played them too, the time lapses...

You prefer a detached playing, that's what I try too for Bach. Sometimes the tone color sounds pretty bright to me as if you have not the fingers all the time on the keys, but above. What I will say, maybe it would sound warmer to me if the general loudness is softer. But can well be the piano, or recording equipment what is the reason for that.

I understand what you mean and I am not sure it that it's not the technique. It could mind as well be the technique and I will check.
MindenBlues wrote:
The a minor invention I am used to hear more lively, a bit faster. But works well too in your speed. I think, all inventions are intended that both voices take turns on appropriate places. Maybe you could try to exxagerate more regarding the melody phrasing for left and right hand voice - not that I can do it better myself, don't get me wrong here!

I have tried faster versions and I usually play it faster but this evening, I chosed a slower version. Perhaps because I wanted it technically safer ;).
MindenBlues wrote:
Will you go through all inventions? Would be great to have all of them here!

That is the plan!

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