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Bach - BWV 553 - Prelude and Fugue in C major

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    The first of Bach's Eight short Preludes and Fugues, BWV 553. These are so-called spurious works, and are commonly attributed to Bach's contemporary and pupil Johann Tobias Krebs. Despite theit doubtful authenticity they still carry their BWV number. Whether or not written by Bach, these are inspired and well-crafted works to which Bach surely would have given his seal of approval.

    Bach - BWV 553 - Eight short Preludes and Fugues - 1: Prelude and Fugue in C major (4:04)
     
  2. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Hey Chris,

    That is an enjoyable performance. I've worked on this, the F major and G major. As with most organ pieces, I'm fine until my feet get involved :cry: Of course it might help if I practiced the organ more, but I prefer the piano.

    I agree that regardless of whether or not Bach wrote them, they are fine pieces and apparently have enough "Bach" in them to have confused past scholars. Of course, as a pupil of Sebastian, Krebs would have been influenced.

    My only suggestion would be to let the initial bass pedal on your instrument reach its full sound before the start of the 16th note melody. Upon my first hearing, the initial melody note sounded like beat one and it took me a moment to gain my metric bearing. There was also one other time (I think into the second section) that I lost my metric bearing for a moment.

    Scott
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for the feedback Scott. While this is a simple piece, it is surprisingly tricky to play.
    I believe the timing at the start is correct, though it would not hurt to lean a little on such a first pedal note. I do that sometimes, 'leaning' on the beginning of a phrase seems to be common Baroque practice, but not here.
    In the second section of the prelude there is a little hesitation, which is what I think you refer to. I meant to cut that out but I forgot.
     
  4. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Your timing was correct. It was just that in the recording, the initial bass note had not made its presence well enough known to establish the down beat and therefore the first note of the r.h. sounded like beat one. It takes a bit of time for that air to move in those big pipes. That could be the result simply of the recording or the transfer to MP3. That may be a part of the reason for the Baroque practice since the only accents on organ and harpsichord were agogic.

    Scott
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yea good point. Though basically the pedal here is just 16' subbass plus manual I coupler (Prestant, Octave 8, Octave 4).
    I don't hear it the same way as you do, maybe because I know the sound so well. I will keep that in mind though.
     
  6. arensky

    arensky New Member

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    I like prelude more than the fugue, which is a bit ponderous (and probably the spurious part). Speaking of the piece, not the performance, which is very good. I like your approach to Bach, it's warm and inviting,not cold and forbiddding like so much Bach one often hears. Good work!
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for that Chase. I like my Bach a bit playful.
    Not sure what makes the fugue a bit ponderous to your ears, it's short, sharp, and to the point. More authentic Bach-like, I think, than the prelude with its Vivaldi-like chromatic progressions which I have not heard from Bach elsewhere (of course he was influenced by Vivaldi and his Italian collegues so it could be authentic).
     
  8. lisztzsil

    lisztzsil New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris, your spurious Bach sounds perfect to me. Wish I had an organ like that to record.
    BTW, one of my favorite Bach pieces wasn't composed by him as well: the G minor flute sonata (it's attributed to C.P.E Bach).

    Best,
    Alexandre
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for that Alexandre. Perfect this is not, but it will do for now. It's certainly not a bad organ, though I strive for one with more possibilities. You play organ as well ?
     
  10. lisztzsil

    lisztzsil New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Chris, no, I don't, through would like to.
     
  11. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    I worked on this one and a few others of the 8 when I was a child; my mom had very little in the way of Bach, and I ate up what little she had. Of course, I didn't mess with these often because I had no pedals to make them complete. I was still sad when I learned they were 'spurious'; I agree that Bach would have most likely approved. :wink:

    Your performance sounds good to me; the only complaint I have really is a bit of rushing in the prelude in a couple of spots; it's most noticeable when the middle voices have 16ths together in 3rds, especially the first time that happens (or it might be written only as two voices - I can't recall - but it comes across as four voices, with soprano and bass notes on the beats). I have noticed this aspect in your playing before, that you tend to rush a bit every now and then, almost as if you are unaware of it. Ironically, if I recall correctly, along with this time, it's usually in spots where the technique is a little more difficult than the norm for the piece. Overcompensating maybe? :lol:
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks ! I consider that high praise.

    Oh yeah, I am an overachiever :lol:
    But I've listened back to the prelude, and while there are one or two very minute tempo fluctuations (not counting the ritenuti at the end of sections, these are intentional) I can't detect any sense of rushing. Having tapped along with it, I believe the tempo to be quite strict. But of course a metronome would prove otherwise....
     
  13. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Yes, I was thinking that just a bit of metronome practice would tell the tale. I know you are generally opposed to the metronome, but I had a similar problem recently with the rondeau in the c minor partita. I had gotten out of the habit of practicing with the metronome while I was working on it - I used it more for the capriccio, which I felt needed more discipline - but I hardly used it at all with the rondeau, and apparently, it showed. I was told on my jury sheets to pick a tempo and stick with it, and my teacher had previously mentioned to me that it was fluctuating in spots. Just one read-through of the piece with the metronome and I saw where my problems were immediately, but I was completely unaware of those fluctuations before because I had accustomed myself to them.

    Like I said, I've noticed this in your playing before, and though it's not really a major problem, it's probably rather easy to fix. I only wish my problems were so easy. :lol:
     
  14. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy New Member

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    Beautiful playing. Excellent choice of tempo which along with the fantastic drive, create a very pleasurable performance. Very well done!

    Btw, where have you made the recording? The reverb is superb.
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Pantelis !
    The usual venue, a serviceable organ in an unremarkable multi-function building.
    I tend to use 'Large occupied hall' reverb instead of 'Light Concert Hall' for my organ recordings (exepct the ones I record during lesson, which don't need any reverb).
     

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