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 Post subject: P and F in C sharp minor, WTC book 1, and more to come...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:25 am 
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Location: Adelaide, Australia
Here's another from last year's concert. I'm sorry that I'm so slow to upload these: the process of listening and deciding which ones are good enough to post is quite painful. I'd rather just sit at the piano and learn a new piece ;-)

By the end of tonight, if things go according to plan, I'll have played the entire WTC in concert (with plenty of wrong notes and erratic tempos, but enough good bits to make it worthwhile). I'll continue to upload the highlights at a leisurely pace. Thanks for listening, and for any constructive comments you can offer.


Bach - Prelude & Fugue in C-sharp minor, BWV 849

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 Post subject: Re: P and F in C sharp minor, WTC book 1, and more to come...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:54 am 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Hi Alexander,
What a coincidence; I played these just 3-days ago (for myself). I think you did a fabulous job. I wish your prelude was a bit slower, but I guess I feel more pain in it than you do. Your performance of the fugue (5-voice) is also wonderful. I like very much the way you voiced the parts and the attention you give to each of the 3 subjects in this work. Again, I prefer it a bit slower to convey the majesty of it (but who wants to make a Bach fugue even longer than necessary?). There is something about this particular pair that for me is truely magnificent and among the greatest of all Bach's works. Is it not true that most of the greatest works ever composed are in minor keys? The minor mode has such color and pathos to it, and is so able to convey the deepest of human emotions. I so enjoyed listening to your rendition of these great works! Thank you.

Regards,

Edit: I remember hearing R.Tureck at a master class describe the character of the 3rd subject with the statement "Ich glaube an Gott." Just her opinion of course.

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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: P and F in C sharp minor, WTC book 1, and more to come...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:38 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Again, I prefer it a bit slower to convey the majesty of it (but who wants to make a Bach fugue even longer than necessary?).


:lol: I agree!!

This sounded fine, Alexander. Although I can't comment very much since I don't know the music. I will put it up tonight.

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 Post subject: Re: P and F in C sharp minor, WTC book 1, and more to come...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:58 pm 
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Very good performance, especially the fugue which is swift but not necessarily too fast. Although I like it slower (fugues can NEVER be too long :P ) it sort of works at this somewhat brisk pace. The grand ritenuto at bar 73 seems slightly over the top - maybe it was on the spur of the moment.

This is indeed one of the most ingenuous and great fugues of the WTC, permeated with the 'cross motif' and various other themes. The cross motif always reminds me of 'Nun komm der Heiden Heiland'

The prelude, which IMO is one of Bach's most serene pieces, I do find too fast though, and somehow too restless and unquiet. I don't find this interpretation entirely convincing but that is just personal taste of course.

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 Post subject: Re: P and F in C sharp minor, WTC book 1, and more to come...
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:04 am 
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musical-md wrote:
I wish your prelude was a bit slower, but I guess I feel more pain in it than you do. Your performance of the fugue (5-voice) is also wonderful. I like very much the way you voiced the parts and the attention you give to each of the 3 subjects in this work. Again, I prefer it a bit slower to convey the majesty of it (but who wants to make a Bach fugue even longer than necessary?).


techneut wrote:
Very good performance, especially the fugue which is swift but not necessarily too fast. Although I like it slower (fugues can NEVER be too long :P ) it sort of works at this somewhat brisk pace. The grand ritenuto at bar 73 seems slightly over the top - maybe it was on the spur of the moment.
...
The prelude, which IMO is one of Bach's most serene pieces, I do find too fast though, and somehow too restless and unquiet. I don't find this interpretation entirely convincing but that is just personal taste of course.


The prelude is in 6/4 time, and to my mind it absolutely has to be two beats in a bar. If you feel six distinct beats, then it becomes stodgy--almost all of Bach's preludes are based on dance rhythms, and need a certain amount of movement. Yes, this prelude does express sorrow, but in a graceful sort of way. My tempo is around 40 beats per minute, which to me feels slow enough when I play it!

Yes, the fugue could have been a little slower. I find these long fugues challenging--it's hard to maintain the intensity throughout, and to perceive the architecture of the piece as a unified whole--I try to find a compromise between a tempo I can manage and something that fits the character. I did get a bit carried away with the rich bass of the piano at bar 73!

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 Post subject: Re: P and F in C sharp minor, WTC book 1, and more to come...
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:23 pm 
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One of my favourite WTC! Very well done. I usually play the prelude much more slowly to create a dreamy effect. Your interpretation conveys more restlessness and also works very well, in particular you use of dynamics is impressive and very effective. The fugues is quite impressive to bring out with clear voicing at your chosen speed. It could perhaps be made even more interesting with more dynamic variations but this is a matter of taste.

(Sadly, this is one of the pieces my wife banned me from practicing when she is in the house. Apparently too many dissonances...)


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 Post subject: Re: P and F in C sharp minor, WTC book 1, and more to come...
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:55 pm 
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Yes, really very good.
You implied that this is a live recording? The sound quality is really excellent - I assume the mikes were on stage? Also, the performance is even more impressive, since it's done in "one take"!

Too bad there was no applause at the end to mark it as "live".

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 Post subject: Re: P and F in C sharp minor, WTC book 1, and more to come...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:20 am 
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troglodyte wrote:
(Sadly, this is one of the pieces my wife banned me from practicing when she is in the house. Apparently too many dissonances...)

What a pity. You need to play more Schoenberg, until she's begging you to go back to Bach C# minor...

StuKautsch wrote:
You implied that this is a live recording? The sound quality is really excellent - I assume the mikes were on stage?...Too bad there was no applause at the end to mark it as "live".

Thanks, I'm glad you like it! Yes, the mikes were on stage, about 2 metres in front of the piano. The recording was done by a local radio station; they've got some good equipment. And the quality is helped by having a newish Steinway D to play in a reasonably live hall.

Since the programme consisted entirely of short pieces, I asked the audience to reserve their applause until the end of each half, otherwise it would have been too broken up. If you're interested, you can see the full programme at http://www.hanysz.net/recital/2011-08/index.html -- it was fun alternating the Bach and Szymanowksi. There was an audience member kindly coughing to let us know that the recording was live: listen carefully at 4:10 and from 4:43 to the end.

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 Post subject: Re: P and F in C sharp minor, WTC book 1, and more to come...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:18 pm 
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troglodyte wrote:
(Sadly, this is one of the pieces my wife banned me from practicing when she is in the house. Apparently too many dissonances...)

This is strange, seeing as you recorded Prokofiev and Hough for us. Not exactly avant-garde, but way more dissonant than Bach. Perhaps she just does not like Bach. There are such people, apparently..... :shock:

It would make an interesting thread on how spouses cope with our incessant practicing. A subject that has never really been touched here.

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 Post subject: Re: P and F in C sharp minor, WTC book 1, and more to come...
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:47 am 
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Just listening to this now. One of the "great" p and f combinations. The recording is professional. A few fingers slipping, but who cares? I loved it. Bach played as if you cared. The fugue is often played at this pace. The prelude is faster than most. So what? It works very well.

JG


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 Post subject: Re: P and F in C sharp minor, WTC book 1, and more to come...
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:35 am 
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Posts: 536
Location: Illinois
techneut wrote:
troglodyte wrote:
(Sadly, this is one of the pieces my wife banned me from practicing when she is in the house. Apparently too many dissonances...)

This is strange, seeing as you recorded Prokofiev and Hough for us. Not exactly avant-garde, but way more dissonant than Bach. Perhaps she just does not like Bach. There are such people, apparently..... :shock:

It would make an interesting thread on how spouses cope with our incessant practicing. A subject that has never really been touched here.


I solved that problem. I now live alone ;-)

Scott


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