Thank you to those who donated to Piano Society in 2017.

Bach - "Gigue" from French Suite no. 5

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    The Gigue is only three pages long so I was able to memorize it and then a couple days ago figured I might as well try to make a video. This recording is not perfect; there are several slips. I really like this whole suite, though, and have started working on the 1st and 2nd pieces. I'm going to try to keep this gigue in my fingers and maybe I can get it even better someday.

    Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtsrEkp7ius

    and here is the mp3 which is the same as in the video. I may make a new mp3 recording of this though, as I think I can get a clean take when I'm just doing a regular audio-only recording.

    Bach - French Suite no. 5 BWV 816, "Gigue"
     
  2. MarkieUK

    MarkieUK Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Student
    Location:
    Chester
    Last Name:
    Hopwood
    First Name:
    Mark
    Very well and cleanly played. Nice sense of the rhythm, and the counterpoint comes through. You should learn the 1st movement, the allemande - it's lovely, and would contrast well with this movement.
     
  3. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Professor
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Last Name:
    Parrow
    First Name:
    Joachim
    A clean and consistent rendering of what happens to be my absolute favorite piece from the French suites (I also recorded it her on PS). Well done!

    Perhaps it is my computer speakers (I'm traveling at the moment) but I think the bass is a bit to weak and the RH dominates too much. You play it crisply enough that the polyphony come through but it could do with a bit more emphasis on LH when it plays the lead motif.

    Personally I'm going for much more drama in this and would like to hear more dynamics. But I guess you want to be faithful to the original on a cembalo where there is no dynamics. To me it sounds a tad mechanical. But I liked the ornaments!

    Joachim
     
  4. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Technical Editor
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    Last Name:
    Renouf
    First Name:
    Joe
    As I'm rather fond of saying, I wouldn't base one's feeling about the "perfection" of a recording on the slips. ALL recordings are imperfect; ergo, the cliche "to err is human" and all that. As note-perfect as most modern professional recordings are, I generally find them riddled with imperfections, perhaps all the more since so many of the players seem to be focusing more on that than on the music, lacking the true technique to have the freedom to do what they want. I believe it was Horowitz who said, "The minute I played perfectly, it wouldn't be perfect any more." Anyway, just some food for thought.

    Regarding the playing, you have a good start here, but it seems a bit slow and tentative. Not that the overall tempo is necessarily too slow, but I'd suggest experimenting more with accents and making sure your tempo doesn't sag, which it especially seems to at some of the tricky polyphonic passages (more so in the second half). Tempo is, of course, largely a matter of perception, and if a piece is relentless, it will sound faster. I also agree with Joachim that this sounds a bit wooden and that you may want to experiment more with dynamics. I'm not a big fan of florid dynamics in Bach myself, but at times some terraced, subito dynamics might be nice. In any event, I'd certainly worry more about general and specific musical details than any slips (which certainly weren't an issue for me in this performance anyway) so that it all comes across more confidently in the end.

    Joe
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Thank you guys for the feedback. I can play this piece better when I'm not video-recording. I know just where I want to get louder/softer, where I want to bring out certain notes in each hand, etc..., but I could not do all the things I wanted to do in this video. I get too stressed out when I make videos and things usually don't go well. I won't put this up on the site. I appreciate all your tips and advice and like I said before, I'll keep trying to improve this because I do like the piece a lot. Markie...thank you for the suggestion--I have already read through the allemande. I agree, it's lovely, I like it a lot too!
     
  6. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    Researcher
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Larrard
    First Name:
    Francois de
    Hello Monica,
    It's nice to hear you in Bach - I thought you were definitely bored by this music, I see you changed your mind, or maybe it's only some types of Bach (like fugues). I had the same feeling as the others: nicely played, we just need a little more dynamics (for instance a change in the mean level when you go from the first to the second part, or between repetitions), a better balance between LH and RH (but this is maybe a matter of recording) and a slightly faster tempo. But, although I never played it, I think this is a tricky piece, as most of Bach's gigues, so always easier to advise than to do... Finally, I am looking forward to listening your rendition of the whole suite ! Regards,
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    I always said you would be playing Bach yet ! He always gets you in the end. Resistance is futile. Before long you'll be playing fugues ;-)

    Good job on this Gigue, which I think is the hardest movement in the France Suites, all but rivaling the virtuosity of the English Suites and Partitas. I've always found this one very difficult, and struggled much with it back when I was recording these suites. There is not much to criticize. What you can work on is equality of the hands, it seems like your LH is rather timid compared to the RH. For example then the theme first sounds in the LH it should be much more assertive. And personally I would not slow down at the end of the parts except at the very end. Might be a matter of taste but I think it's more effective if you don't break the flow.
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Hello Francois, I've always liked Bach's shorter pieces like the Preludes and Inventions. I didn't know I liked the French Suites until just recently. I do intend to learn the whole set. It will take a while, though. And yes, I still don't like fugues. :)

    That's funny! See above regarding the fugues... ;)

    Anyway, thank you both for more feedback. I think I will try to re-record this one over the next weekend. Just audio, no video. Video makes me too nervous and I can't seem to produce the sounds I want to without having a train-wreck somewhere.
     
  9. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Last Name:
    Lee
    First Name:
    Jeffrey
    I found my head bobbing right along throughout the piece :) Nice job keeping the tempo steady. Maybe a little more emphasis on bringing out the LH at times?
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Thank you for listening, Jeff. Someday, I will re-record this and will try harder to bring out the LH.
     
  11. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Software Developer
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Last Name:
    Kautsch
    First Name:
    Stewart
    Bravo! Very nice rhythmic sense & lilt - sounds like a good-natured Scarlatti sonata. The recording's fine, IMHO; I think you should turn your attention to more of this suite (or another).
     
  12. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Thank you, Stu! :) I've read through the first and second piece in the set. They are nice too and I like them because each one is only two pages.
     
  13. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,028
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    High-school-teacher with subjects music and german
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Pfaul
    First Name:
    Andreas
    Nice job, Monica! My suggestions for improvement are the following: I would wish for more concrete imaginations and ideas of individual motifs and phrases. Bachs music is full of creative possibilities to bring out and to "voice out" some melodies and motifs, to make audible individual voices and motifs. So f.ex. at one place you play a certain motif or phrase in the soprano a bit stronger than the other voices and when this motif or phrase comes f.ex. in the tenor you will underline it there in your playing. All these things can almost not be heard in your recording. But that´s what makes Bach playing interesting, creative and artistic! I also have watched your video. My impression is, that you play too much only with the fingers. Try to have the feeling to play from the ground of the keyboard, feel it in your whole arm, have the feeling directly to play on the string like a guitarist, then it is good. To get this feeling it is necessary to be absolutely relaxed in the whole body.
    To reach this aim, first I recommend to play not non-legato, but all legato and more "lyrical", later you can step again to more non legato. And then you will feel it´s a kind of "lust" to give these "injections" to the music spontanously whenever you like.

    Phew, you are the last for today. Tell me, when was it the last time I did so many hearings at one evening? :roll:
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Thank you for all the nice tips, Andreas. And thanks for listening to me and all the other members too!
     

Share This Page