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 Post subject: Bach - BWV 647 - Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst wälten
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:33 pm 
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Been a while since we had any organ stuff here ! And of course it was time to have Bach on the home page again :D

The third of the 6 so-called Schübler Chorales is unusual in that the pedal part uses a 4-feet register, causing it to sound higher than the manualiter parts.
This takes some effort to get used to, as the ear and mind are conditioned otherwise.

Bach - BWV 647 - Schübler Chorales - 3: Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst wälten (3:45)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - BWV 647 - Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst wälten
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:26 pm 
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Hello techneut, thanks for posting Bach’s BWV 647 “Wer nur den lieben Gott laesst walten”.

I cannot comment on the technicalities as I am a beginner, have no score to look at and have never played the organ (would love to do so though...).

I only can say what I feel about it. As the title implies, Bach shows his total confidence by putting his trust in God
and the melody of the chorale implies Bach is humbly content with his decision.

You play this chorale on a very sensitive organ, perhaps an older one in a “Kirk” and that fits the context and Bach’s title of the chorale perfectly.
It would not have been suitable to be played on a “bombastic majestic” organ.

I also like the tempo in which you play, which shows you have been thinking about this chorale and what type of organ it should be played upon.
I think your interpretation fits the meaning of this work perfectly.

Talking of Bach, I have just recently been reading that Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy is supposed to have “re-discovered” Bach
and brought him “back on the musical map again”.

I thought this was a very odd statement because Mendelssohn Bartholdy was a Lutheran-Christian and went regularly to church
and to my knowledge Johann Sebastian Bach’s music has always been played in churches
and therefore how could Mendelssohn Bartholdy re-discover Bach’s music?

Kind regards from Kristinaolga.


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 Post subject: Re: Bach - BWV 647 - Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst wälten
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:37 pm 
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Thank you Kristinaolga. I do believe the organ Chorales show Bach at his very best - humble devotion
combined with almost devilish invention.

The organ is a neo-baroque organ built in 1978 with many authentic features, like rickety keys and pedals.
Despite the mechanic noisiness and somewhat limited registration possibilities it is a very nice organ.
It is the only instrument I have available for recording since I stopped lessons.

I think some time after Bach's death, his music fell into oblivion and was not even performed in churches.
In his time, he was probably the only one who could get a group of musicians to perform this then-difficult music,
and we had to wait for a musician of Mendelssohn's status to take up the gauntlet. We should be eternally
grateful to young Felix - though I think Bach's time would have come anyway, somehow.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - BWV 647 - Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst wälten
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:15 am 
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Great job, Chris.

I always enjoy playing those pieces that put the soprano melody in the pedal. It does take a bit different thought to play, since a soprano melody, which will have a tendency to have more conjunct motion and is more conducive to 5 fingers, than a more normal bass melody, which is often more disjunct and more conducive to alternating feet.

Kristinaolga -- Mendelssohn's "re-discovery" was his act of performing the "St. Matthew's Passion" in a public concert in 1829. Bach's music was known and admired by Mozart, Beethoven, and I believe Haydn througn Baron von Swieten in Vienna, who had purchased a collection of Bach's manuscripts, but this music was only performed in private or small gatherings.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Bach - BWV 647 - Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst wälten
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:27 am 
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Hi Chris,

I like this chorale. It has a haunting melody and really engages the listener. It must have been a bit of an adjustment to get used to playing the soprano in the pedals. Very nice.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - BWV 647 - Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst wälten
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:28 am 
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Thanks Scott and David. The problem with this one is that the 8-ft flute in the hands becomes difficult to hear (for the player) when
chorale theme sounds with 16-ft subbass and 4-ft octave. But Bach knew what he was doing of course - for the listener, away from the organ , it sounds in perfect balance.

Bach's chorales never cease to amaze me with their originality. The implacable two-voice invention on the manual would be lovely by itself but then he pitches the stanzas of the chorale against it in such a cunning and yet natural way, creating all manner of wonderful harmonic twists. And this is just a small and simple chorale. The big ones like BWV 682 are just mind-boggling and make me stand in total awe, there's nothing like them.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - BWV 647 - Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst wälten
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:44 pm 
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Thank you techneut and RSPIll for your information, your replies are very much appreciated.

It is interesting to think that Bach’s works were not widely played publicly following his death
and it is hard to imagine such beautiful pieces were only played privately.

He has always been an inspiration to musicians and people who love beauty and harmony in music.

Thanks again for your kind explanation,

Kristinaolga.


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 Post subject: Re: Bach - BWV 647 - Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst wälten
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:20 pm 
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Hi Chris,
Just had a listen and I think it was a flawless musical performance and I cannot critique anything in that regard. Thanks for this introspective work. However, you should see what you can do to reduce the noise associated withe the pedal work. I'm no organist, but I think this falls into 1 of 3 categories:
A. Intrinsic to the pedals: Maybe some felt on the down stop or the return stop will quiet it.
B. Your shoes. Please don't wear tap-dancing shoes when playing the organ!
C. Your feet (if playing barefoot). Please have thoses calluses removed and long claw-like toe-nails trimmed! (or See B above.)

Other than that, I loved it!

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - BWV 647 - Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst wälten
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:05 pm 
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Thanx Eddy. I blame the organ for being rickety, and it is, but it is partly a question of insufficient pedal technique. Pushing the correct pedal at the right time is one thing, releasing them in a controlled way is another. That is where I fail sometimes. The pedals do have felts so it's not wood on wood, thanks heavens, but all the same you hear them when they are released too abruptly. One of the little complications of organ playing :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - BWV 647 - Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst wälten
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:59 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Thanx Eddy. I blame the organ for being rickety, and it is, but it is partly a question of insufficient pedal technique. Pushing the correct pedal at the right time is one thing, releasing them in a controlled way is another. That is where I fail sometimes. The pedals do have felts so it's not wood on wood, thanks heavens, but all the same you hear them when they are released too abruptly. One of the little complications of organ playing :roll:

OMG! You mean one can play staccato, tenuto, portato and the like on the pedals?! That's way too much! This is why organ players have better brains than simpletons like me that only have to think of ten fingers at the most.

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Bach - BWV 647 - Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst wälten
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:19 am 
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The pedal keyboard is not essentially different from the manuals. Less and bigger keys, and the action is heavier for obvious reasons, but apart from that the pedals behave much the same. It matters much how you push them, and especially how you release them. A real staccato would be problematic on a noisy action like this. It is true that organ playing is more strain on the brain than piano playing (well at least for a pianist), plus the fact you always need to search for balance when the feet are busy and the hands are playing on the second or third manual. It sure doesn't come easy.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - BWV 647 - Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst wälten
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:26 pm 
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It was a pleasure to listen to this on a nice sunday evening, Chris. Very nice!

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - BWV 647 - Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst wälten
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:59 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
It was a pleasure to listen to this on a nice sunday evening, Chris. Very nice!

I aim to please :D

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