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Bach, Prelude and Fugue E-major, WTCII, BWV 878

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by musicusblau, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have uploaded my new recording of prelude and fugue e-major, BWV 878, WTC II by Johann Sebastian Bach to YouTube now, so that I can present you here these links and the mp3-file, which is exact the audio-track of my video as usual. I have made this recording a few days ago.
    I love this renaissance-like fugue. From this it reminds me very much of the c-sharp-minor fugue of WTC I. It´s such a lovely art of voicing in that e-major, too, it´s a modernized imitation of the very ancient style of renaissance. I hope you will like my voicing here, which I have tried to elaborate with special care.
    I love also the prelude, which is so alive and blightful (with some very few melancholical moments). Also in the prelude I have worked and thought very much on the voicing of that trio. Originally I have recorded me with 192 Khz/24bit and I have burned the recording on a DVD-Audio (I have a DVD-A/SACD-Player now) for having the best control for listening to the nuances of my voicing. Of course, for PS I have reduced the file to the usual 192 bps mp3-file.

    Feedback is much appreciated!

    Here are the video-links:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS5XxHPw_LI (prelude e-major, BWV 878)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHHQYLvgEgc (fugue in e-major, BWV 878)




    Bach - Prelude & Fugue in E Major, BWV 878
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is up, Andreas. Sounded nice! Sorry I can't be more specific because I don't know the piece.
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Very beautifully done ! I can't find anything to pick on - not even a wrong note. Damn, giving feedback is no fun anymore :lol:
    This is a lovely pair indeed. Those last 4 bars of the Prelude I find one of the most touching moments in all Bach. Great voicing in the fugue (in the Prelude is it sometimes a bit too much for my simple taste).
     
  4. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Techneut wrote:
    Thanks for that, Chris. :D :D :D I´m so sorry, but I´m sure there will come other pieces from my side giving feedback will be more fun again! :lol:

    I agree at hundred percent. The a-minor-chord as minor-subdominant in that major-piece gives these last bars a romantic touch. It´s something special here, indeed.

    I also like my fugue more than the prelude, btw. When I listened back to the prelude I thought, that at some places I have gone a bit to the upper limits of forte and accents, so that the sound becomes relatively hard at these few places. (I did it, because I wanted to make my voicings and ideas of phrasing and dynamic as clear as possible.) I think, I will play a bit softer next time.
     
  5. s_winitsky

    s_winitsky Member

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    Hey Andreas, I really liked your performance. I couldn't help but comment since I was recently studying and playing the fugue myself, but not nearly as well as you of course. One of my favorites. I also love the renaissance nature of the fugue. I hope you don't mind me saying this but I always love the sense of control and also the emotion in your playing.

     
  6. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Stan,
    thank you for your encouraging words. I also like your Bach-recordings always very much. Would be interesting to listen to your version of that pair, of course. Everyone has another way to interprete the music and it´s always interesting to compare.
    Once more thank you for your kind comment here! :D
     
  7. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,

    I listened to both. You made the prelude come into bloom with the sense of flow you brought to the music. In the fugue you etched the voices very well. This piece impresses me as being more a relaxed, leisurely and tuneful fugue--very pleasant to the ear. You must have enjoyed learning this pair. Wonderful playing!

    David
     
  8. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Rachfan wrote:
    Thank you so much, dear friend, for your kind and encouraging words, and your fine way to express your thoughts in English. Me - as a foreigner - I am always very glad to read and to learn some useful and good expressions. I´m glad you like the piece and my interpretation. I think, expression (something like to bring the music into bloom and to express certain ideas, f.ex. imaginations of voicing) and the flow are like two poles sometimes you have to find a convincing compromise between. So, I´m very glad about that special praise by you. Once more, have many thanks for your appreciated feedback!

    Andreas
     
  9. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,

    I believe it's a wonderful thing that artists like you are being more expressive in the works of Bach. Back in the 17th century, I must imagine that Bach surely new beauty such as we know it today. The very fact that some of his music actually sounds modern proves that point. And we should not forget (despite the prevailing images of Bach at the organ, clavier or harpsichord), that he played the piano too late in life! Yes, the new pianos then were primitive, but he must have sensed their potential. The fact that his scores were somewhat devoid of detailed instructions reinforces the notion that he was granting license and discretion to the musicians who would play them. When I was young, the purists were fully in charge of Bach's repertoire. Performances were academic, austere, dry... and boring. Fortunately the tide turned and today people are finding not only suspensions, strettos, sequences, ornaments, etc. in Bach's music, but as importantly expressive beauty too. Had he ever known that the future purists would so narrowly misconstrue his keyboard music, he probably would have gathered it all up and put the torch to it! Pianists like you, Andreas, are giving it new meaning in our day. Thanks for that!

    David
     
  10. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Rachfan wrote:
    Thank you so much, dear David. Coming from you this means a lot to me! I´m just trying the best I can do as someone, whos main profession is not to play piano, but to teach young people in Music and German (literature, rhetorik, grammar, orthography; not German as a foreign language).

    You are speaking directly from my heart here with every word! I agree at hundred percent, that many Bach-purists in former times did "narrowly misconstrue" his keyboard music. For me - as you say, too - beauty means not only dynamic, agogic, ornaments, suspensions etc., but it´s also (or mainly!) a matter of the touch. I think, one can hear the difference of a touch filled with something like "soul" and a dry and nothing saying one. Seems that I´m developing me in a direction, which is the opposite to Glenn Gould (one of my former idols!) concerning the way of touch, I still like many of his original ideas of musical shaping. And that´s exact the point Bach hadn´t had a chance to develop in his time. But certainly he would have done it, if he would have had the grand-piano of today. He was a human being with feelings and thoughts like we are today and no "dogmatic execration", who wants to sound his music as dry and soulless as possible, I´m very sure. And he was a very creative man, so why shouldn´t we - as acitve pianists - not be creative in our interpretations!

    Thanks for this wonderful dialogue, my friend.
     
  11. johnlewisgrant

    johnlewisgrant New Member Piano Society Artist

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    The E Major Book 2 is one of the better known p&fs, and I have played it off and on since I was about 14, which means, I guess, about 43 years! You take the prelude very slowly indeed! I call that risk taking! But it works, of course. I can't figure out, even after all these years, how to play the last couple of bars of the prelude. This prelude ends abruptly, it seems to me. I wish Bach had written more here. Such a beautiful prelude.

    The performance of the fugue is excellent; there's forward motion or propulsion in the performance, which carries the piece fluidly to the end. It's a calm subject, with harrowingly complex treatment as it unfolds. This performance keeps everything in order, though. No fear of the unknown. So it succeeds brilliantly.

    jg
     
  12. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    First, thank you for your appreciated comment, John. :D

    JohnLewisGrant wrote:
    Yes, it´s quite slowly, but somehow I feeled it to be like that. I´m glad you think, that it works. I like to "feel out" and to play out every line here with careness as much as possible. And I discovered while re-listening to my recording, that I become a little bit faster in the repeat of the second half.

    Yes, I agree. It´s a feeling I sometimes have also with other Bach-pieces, but here it´s special, I think.

    Thanks for that, John. Yes, indeed, this fugue has a very complex structure, sometimes there are very close strettos (german: Engführung) of the subject and my aim was to underline each subject-entry by a clear voicing, but without loosing the dynamic creation (formation) of the subject. I think, I have reached that aim and I still like my interpretation. May be the prelude I also could play a bit faster next time, if I´m in the right mood, but the fugue I would play in exactly the same tempo. My tempi sometimes depend also a bit of the mood of the day I am, if I´m honest.
     

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