Today, I have played Bach-Brahms Chaconne for Judy Tarling in a masterclass.
When I played those lingered good notes and sharp articulation, she said it was too much detailed information. I asked her: but what to think of those cellists that linger the good notes on recordings?
She said: Yes, they play ilke that, and it annoys me! You're listening to too much recordings.
So we ended up playing a very very strict chaconne. Not even rallentandos for a lot of cadenzas.
I also learned the violin articulation, which does not correspond to that of the harpsichord. She told me to forget the barlines.
Within some weeks I'll record this chaconne and post here.
I enjoyed the class very much (she's a very nice person), and she found it amazing that a whole piece of music could be played with only one hand. She said it was the first time she saw that. =D
But I left the class with lots of doubts. Lingering the good notes is indeed Baroque practice. Patrick Cohen and Wolfgang Rubsam do that on piano! Why there are people who does not like it? Was it a misunderstanding of the past studies? So now therer are early music experts who don't think it should be played this way?
HIP are always controversial... but they are rational and based on real evidence. It also evolves and changes within time, when people go deeper in the understanding of the musical treatises. Is lingering good notes and old-fashioned practice of the past decades, which has been overcome with new evidences?
Before today's class, I was quite convinced of my French Suite recording. Now I'm not any more (though I must say that lingering the good notes is what always fascinated me about harpsichordist playings!). My studies will go further.
It's very difficult for any pianist to enter this subject because the good and beautiful recordings of Tureck, Gould, Schiff, Perahia and Hewitt are not historically authentic. I think that Hewitt comes closer to authenticity (because she talks about overdotting, which is something simple that all the others don't even know it exists, though they underdot when needed), but even so there is much left out. I can talk to harpsichodists, but they don't like Bach playing on the piano (and most harpsichordist are even good pianists... they simply are not open minded enough, or they are not pianists from heart =D ), and the pianists are also very narrow minded: all this prejudice I found in this forum is repeated in "real life". A lot of arguments based on nothing, trying to convey you that Bach loved a metronome.
As far as I know, there are three pianists who plays Bach historically informed on a modern piano:
- Paul Badura-Skoda
- Robert Hill
- Wolfgang Rubsam
These three names play very differently from each other. Rubsam lingers the good notes and plays inégalement in several passsages, quite on the contrary than Badura-Skoda's straightforward performance. And Robert Hill plays with a different rubato which I can't even name (I don't recognize that!).
Please, if someone find any other pianist who tries to play Bach in an authentic way, I'd really appreciate.
I'll keep my studies and investigate the reason for these discrepancies.
I do not want to make anyone accept my performances, even so because I'm also changing them as my studies go on. Instead, I'd like to invite anyone to help me understand the baroque performances and how to play them on a modern piano. It's really revolting that we commonly accept great pianists performance as authentical, but it is really not.