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Bach: Prelude and Fugue d-sharp-minor, BWV 877, WTC II

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by musicusblau, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ahaa... nitpicking time ! :D

    Prelude: In bar 16, the C sharp in the LH was inaudible.
    There's one or two weak notes near the beginning, in the repeat.
    I find the mordents and trills a bit inconsistent and sometimes uneven. Seems like you often play the LH ones on the beat, but the RH ones before the beat. Is that a conscious decision ? Or do my ears decieve me ?
    In bar 20, RH third beat, the E sharp should be E.
    This tempo indeed allows for more detail and clarity than my higher tempo. But I wonder if it's not too slow now, and if you should indeed take the repeats. I tried to create variation in the repeats by playing bars 5-8 and 25-27 differently, you decided, I think, on playing the repeats una corda or at least much softer.

    The Fugue: beautifully done. Listening to it I discovered a couple more read errors of mine that you had not spotted (and none of yours, alas :x ) My only criticism is that you seem slightly impatient whenever the repeated notes appear, you tend to rush that a little bit, which I think is a pity. I find the tempo a bit too high - but I like this one slow. I find bar 42 sonehow a bit strange - is there a cut in there ? I now get your point on the voicing... I missed a complete alto voice in the middle. I must really remember to listen to some recordings before recording myself - even if I foolishly think I know a piece well.

    All in all, great quality recordings as usual. I definitely have to re-record my version now. It will not be a great hardship (I so love that fugue, and have even come to love the prelude which I did not really like for a long time).
     
  3. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Techneut wrote:
    :?: I think, you must have had your volume very low while listening, both c-sharps in the LH are splendidly audible with a normal volume for me!

    Yes, right, on the fourth beat of bar two during the repeat two of the sixteenth are a bit weak, but still well audible.

    Not so IMO, they come out quite clear und precisely and they are well audible and not played "frouzily". :D

    Let´s simply say your ear decieves you. :p :wink: At least I can´t realize a truely significant difference between the mordents played with RH respective LH, they all are on the beat. But I will have an eye on this while re-recording (because of the on wrong note).

    Right, thank you very much for this advice! :D :D :D I think, I should re-record the prelude.

    No, for my taste it´s the quite ideal tempo now! If you look for the right tempo for this prelude you first have to look on the passages containing the thirtysecond-notes. The tempo, in which you can play out all these wonderful 32nd-lines, is the right one.

    Of course one should take the repeats here. They offer so much creative possibilities of changing interpretation. No, I don´t play una corda here, I never do that in Bach-pieces, because that wouldn´t be adequate to baroque style. I change my touch to piano and soft and I use some attentive pedal cicks here to bring out that wonderful latent two-voicing like in bar 6 and 7 for ex. (there is a latent alto-voice in some passages like this one).

    Yes, I also thought while listening to your fugue, that there were more read errors in it than I have pointed out.

    It´s part of my interpretation to go a little bit forward until to the highpoint of every theme-entry, in the sense of an attentive agogic. This is allowed and part of my interpretation. But yes, may be I should play some parts with a bit less agogic and more calmness. Thanks for that suggestion.


    No, there is no cut wether in the prelude nor in the fugue, both pieces are recorded in one take! :!: The subject is in the bass-voice in bar 42, so there is no alto to be voiced out here or do I missunderstand you somehow? If you mean the tenor voice in the second half of bar 43, this is only an enty of the head of the subject (no complete subject) and I consider this not as important as the parallel complete subject-entry in the soprano.


    Thanks for this, Chris.

    Yes, both, the prelude and the fugue are so beautiful. I think, you still have discover the beauty of the lines in the prelude. For me they are like a revelation.
    Thank you for your detailed thoughts on my recording, Chris. For me our dialogue, working and comparison on the Bach-pieces is a great motivation! :D
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I did not mean you missed an alto voice, I mean that I missed one in my recording. That remark was not related to bar 42. I'm not quite sure what I hear in bar 42 in your recording, I just thought something was strange. Probably my unreliable ears deceiving me again.... as with the trills and mordents.

    But I've played the first part of your prelude at half speed (using a demo version of Amazing Slowdowner), and you definitely play the RH mordents before the beat and the LH mordents on the beat ! And some of the LH ones are definitely not very even. Admittedly, slowing down is a mercyless and cruel thing to do.... what is the world coming to if we must pick apart each others' playing like this. But I did it just to prove my point and have the last word :p :lol:
     
  5. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Must be your ability ability of slow motion listening, which I have not, alas! :lol: But it could be you are the better listener of us. It would be nice, if you could tell me exactly, what you find strange in bar 42, because I can´t find there something strange. Unprecise formulations like "something was strange" irritate me a bit, if I´m honest.

    Oh dear, what kind of a joke! :eek: :lol: Though I think, that for a recording only the original tempo counts, because that is, what you really hear, and not a slow motion tempo, I will have an eye on the mathematic absolutness of preciseness of my trills and mordents when doing the re-recording of the prelude. May be I could use your "Amazing Slowdowner" as a trainer. :lol:

    Really, you should send me a copy of that "Amazing Slowdowner", which sounds to me a bit like "My amazing invention of a program of my technical fantasy". :wink: Am I right with that presumption?
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    If I'm honest it sometimes irritates me when I need to spell out these things to people. But let's not quarrel about this :!: What caught my ear in bar 42 is the 'arpeggiated' first chord, and the short hesitation after the first beat (which I thought might have been a cut). I guess these things are allowed agogic gestures but they sounded a bit unexpected to me.

    No, you could not be more wrong. It can be found here http://www.ronimusic.com/amsldowin.htm. A very useful program, rather confronting when applied to one's own recordings... I used it on some fast recordings by Kapustin and Hamelin, to find out what exactly was going on, only to weep with envy over these guys' absolute control of touch and rhythm.

    I heard the difference in the mordents quite clearly at normal speed, but because ears can deceive, I used ASD to be absolutely sure. It's a bit like cranking up the volume to hear an otherwise inaudible note :p

    And BTW, you do pick on my trills too when they're not perfect...
     
  7. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Andreas, two musical gems here. I haven't studied the WTC extensively, but I especially liked the musicality in the Fugue. It's very difficult to maintain musical focus in Bach as the counterpoint/harmony and melody can become elusive at times. But your style and touch is quite lyrical which communicates the hidden elements within the music very effectively. You and Chris can go back and forth, but at the end of the day, everything is constructive and progressive toward improvement - how true this is in music. :)
    I hope you had a nice summer. I didn't make it out to Germany this year...
     
  8. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Techneut:
    Now were I was wrong about the program the fun is perfect, indeed. :lol: Thank you, Chris, I have downloaded the program and I have listened to the beginning of the prelude. And, indeed, the first two mordents of the RH are not beginning on the beat, but the first note begins a little bit earlier. The first two mordents of the LH begin exactly on the beat. So, I congratulate you here to the preciseness of your listening (I really think, you sometimes are the better listener of us), because you seem to have realized that in normal speed. I have to say, I can´t realize that really in normal speed and for me in the real tempo of my recording this still is no significant respective relevant difference. For me it doesn´t play any role, if I can say I´m able to play the mordents at 100 percent exactly on the beat (I´m able, if I want to, as you know) or if one or the other is played some milliseconds before the beat. For me this only brings a bit of "human change" in the interpretation and it has no (big) meaning for the musical concept of expression respective interpretation. The question for me is, if there exists any rule, that the mordents always have to be at hundred percent on the beat. I don´t think so, because the handling of embellishments in baroque has some freedom, you only should realize the right figures.
    Generally this program can be really useful, if you want to analyze your recordings for some special features. So, I thank you, that it was not only a funny invention and that you have given me the link here. :)
    (BTW, I remember Patrick having told me of a program named "Melodyne", which is able to decrease and to increase speed of recordings.)

    Sorry, concerning this point I still disagree, you have not to increase the volume, for me these two notes are perfectly audible with a normal volume.

    No problem, Chris, I just think, in my real tempo the difference between the RH mordents and LH mordents is hardly or not to realize (at least for me and I suppose for most other listeners not, too). But I only can profitate from your critique, because the mordents came into my consciousness now and I feel a desire to think about them and to practise on them. So, thank you very much! :D
     
  9. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    88man wrote:
    Thank you, George, I´m very glad you like it.

    This makes me happy, because it is my intention. There are so much of these "hidden elements" in Bachs music and also so much different possibilities to bring them out. I´m always glad to find someone, who has a sense for that. :D

    I second that!

    I had very nice holidays in Holland and I have met Chris there (we made some four hands recordings of Dvorak Slavonic Dances and did some windsurfing on the Ijsselmeer). Oh, so you come to Germany from time to time, that´s nice to hear.
     
  10. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have made a re-recording of the prelude (not of the fugue!). I have corrected one wrong note in the second half of the piece and I have made a new interpretation. I was inspirated by the faster version of Chris, so I decided also to try out a possibility.

    Here is the video-link:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcQEF19bv2s (prelude d-sharp-minor, WTC II, BWV 877)

    Chris or Monica, could you replace my old version, please? The mp3-file below contains my new version of the prelude and the old version of the fugue.
     
  11. Bruce Siegel

    Bruce Siegel New Member

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    Hi Andreas,

    I'm new here. I like your Bach! I find your playing in the fugue particularly expressive. I wandered over to your video page and heard you playing the E major Prelude. Slower than I've done it, but I like it! You've given me something to think about.

    Bruce
     
  12. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ok, Andreas - I have put this second version up. Sounded nice. I especially liked your ornaments in the Prelude.
     
  13. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Bruce Siegel wrote:
    Yes, I have read the thread with your new submissions. I have planed to listen to them as soon as possible. Today I would like to record the Secondo-part of the Haydn-Symphony-four-hands-project, which I do with Monica (you can see the thread, if you like). Have a warm welcome to PS from my side!

    Thanks for that, Bruce. Oh, there are so many possibilities of different tempos in Bach-pieces. Of course, it´s always important to think about that question, but at the end you simply have to choose a tempo, in which you really can make music at this moment (and which fits somehow to the character of expression to that particular piece, of course).
     
  14. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Pianolady wrote:
    I´m really glad especially about the praise of my ornaments, Monica! [​IMG] The jumping note expresses my joy about that. Thank you very much for replacing my old version. :D
     
  15. Bruce Siegel

    Bruce Siegel New Member

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    Thanks, Andreas!

    I agree! For me, it's not so much a thought process as a decision my body makes. When it comes to tempos, I trust my body more than my head!
     

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