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

Bach: prelude and fugue in a-flat-major, WTCI, BWV 862

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by musicusblau, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. 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
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    Wow Andreas, you are chucking them out at record speed by now ! And very good they are nonetheless. Yes this is a most wondrous pair, preludes and fugues seldom come more radiant than these. The voicings in the fugue are very well done, especially these very diffult ones in bars 10 and 13.

    While these are well-nigh perfect, allow me some very minor nitpickings.

    Prelude:

    You start out with a very nice staccato'ish touch, but unfortunately after one or two lines this settles down to almost legato. I know this problem very well from my own experience. Keeping up what you start is incredibily hard.

    In bars 27-34 I think the sixteenths are too loud and obscure the theme in the RH.

    In bar 38, your LH plays D natural, which should be D flat (sorry if you thought it was note-perfect :p )

    Fugue:
    Nothing at all to niggle about, except there seems to be just the tiniest of hesitations in bar 33. Maybe it was intentional.

    This pair is on the site. Great job !
     
  3. 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
    Hi Chris,
    thank you for your profound comment. :D (Seems a bit profounder than your last two critics of my Bach-pieces, if I´m honest. :p )
    Techneut wrote:
    Thanks for this.

    I didn´t want to play all non legato, I change the articulation here and there, may be it could be more non legato, o.k.

    This is a matter of taste. I like this sequence so much and the main-theme is also at many other places. I don´t like to underline always and only the main-theme in a Bach-piece. Even in the fugues I try sometimes to underline a good counterpoint more than the subject. (In special cases.)

    Thanks for this. I didn´t realize it. What a luck, that I have you here!

    I will rerecord the preludes in g-major and a-flat-major, because of the two wrong notes in it. That´s a steady decision and I will do this before I go to the next pair.

    Yes, this was my intention, because of the "Trugschluss" (VI. harmony in the scale instead of "Tonika", I. harmony).
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    Sure. Even I cannot be profound all the time :p :p
     
  5. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Hi Andreas,

    You know how I feel about Bach, but since you listen to me all the time, and you describe this piece as being simple and fresh - I wanted to listen to it. And I'm glad I did. Still sounds like the same old Bach, but you play with good clarity and evenness so this gives me something to strive for in my own playing. Great job, as usual.
     
  6. 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
    Hi Monica,
    thank you very much for your comment. :D I´m glad to bring you Bach a bit nearer (I hope so to do). For me Bach´s music is never boring, but among the most alive music I know. It´s so speaking and full of soul, and it´s a striving for god, which seems to be eternal and timeless. I listened to your e-minor prelude and fugue of WTCI and I have to say it´s quite accurately played. But I think, this was the only Bach-piece of you, which I could find on the site, right?
     
  7. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    I think it is very interesting the way certain composers’ music speaks to each of us so differently. It’s like a small beacon that sheds light onto a person’s personality. I also think that our minds can change over time and we can begin to like certain music that we once did not. That is happening to me these days, except when it comes to Bach. I’m sure you must think there something wrong with me, but in my case, if you lined up fifty pieces of music by all different composers, I would be able to pick out Bach in a heartbeat. It is all so similar.

    I would like to pose a challenge to you and anyone else here. Can you suggest a Bach piece for me to learn that you think could possibly change my mind? It would have to be a very special piece that is not too long and has no fugue parts. I know several of the two-part inventions and a couple of those popular shorter preludes, but I would like to look at something I’ve never seen before. Any ideas? If so, maybe one day I will have two Bach pieces on the site!
     
  8. 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
    Dear Monica,
    I would suggest you one of the following pieces of Bach (or more or all of them):

    1. The "Aria" of the Goldberg-variations, the variation nr. 25 of the Goldberg-variations and/or the nr. 13 of the Goldberg-variations. These pieces (and the Goldberg-variations all) are for me of the most inspired Bach-pieces for piano (harpsichord). Especially the nr. 25 of the Goldberg-variations (Adagio in g-minor) is for me an essential and may be the "heart-piece" of Bachs piano-music. The Aria itself is also very inspired and very lovely, nr. 13 is also in a cantabile-style (Aria-style). That´s what all these pieces have common. They have not to be played too fast and are in cantabile-style. (It could happen, that after the WTCI-completion I will go to the Goldberg-variations, which I still played in concert some years ago.)
    2. The second movement of the Italian Concerto. This was my first post here on PS. It´s also an "aria", if you want so, it´s an Andante in cantabile style, very very inspired. One of my favorites of Bachs piano-pieces.

    I made thoughts, which pieces I could suggest to you. You said, you want no fugue, these are no fugues, and I think, you would like to play some very expressive pieces, these are such ones and they are not in the (improvised) prelude-style. So, these are special Bach-pieces, and they are not too difficult to play (just from the technical point of view), musically the demand a deep view into Bachs mind and soul. May be these pieces could open your heart for Bach (may be these are his most "romantic" ones; I know, you come from Chopin). I know, that all these pieces are no movements for itself, but they are part of a bigger work. From my view they can also be played as single movements, because they are so beautiful. As a single work I could eventually recommend a piano-transcription of the "Air". I suppose, that all these pieces are not unknown to you. (So, I probably don´t correspond to this point of your challenge.)
    But, of course, I could suggest also one of the pieces of the little solo-preludes or the "Notenbüchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach" or "Notenbüchlein für Wilhem Friedemann Bach".
     
  9. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Thank you, Andreas. I'll check out those Goldberg variations you suggested. Since I don't really know much, I'll probably go over to Youtube and watch Gould's videos. I did that a while back and watched him play some of the variations, which actually turned me on a little. That's probably what I need most - someone to turn me on to something other than preludes and fugues. The Air - is there more than one transcription, and if so, which one is best?

    Thanks again - if you think of any other pieces, please let me know.
     
  10. 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
    Hi Monica,
    I will look, if there are several transcriptions of the "Air" and tell it to you. I wouldn´t recommend Gould´s version of the Goldbergs for the start. Listen to the interpretation of Andras Schiff, because Gould´s version is too extraordinary. If I will find time, I will record the Aria of the Goldbergs for you. (I used them for my lessons not a long time ago.)
     
  11. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Good morning Andreas and everyone,

    This is probably a really stupid question, but when you say the name, Aria, are you talking about the very first variation? The score that I'm looking at does not have names, only numbers.

    Also, this is the version played by Gould that I happened to like very much. Do you think he plays too romantically? That's probably why I like him.
     
  12. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Piemonte, Italy
    Last Name:
    Bertazzi
    First Name:
    Alfonso
    Hi Monica,

    It's not a stupid question at all, since in a sense the Aria itself is one of the incarnations of the bass line, the others being the 30 following variations. Or better, as you probably know, they're veränderungen, that is, not strictly variations but transformations (as in the Diabelli's). I don't know which edition you have but the Aria is always the opening movement so there can't be any mistake.

    It's really deeply felt but I don't believe it can be labelled as romantically played, I don't see anything from romanticism in it.

    You won't change your mind about Bach until you change your mind about fugues... :wink:, however there's no reason you couldn't appreciate some of the many transcriptions of his less austere works. Here some ideas:
    Bach-Cortot - Largo from the F minor Concerto
    Bach-Kempff: Siciliano
    Bach-Petri: Sheep May Safely Graze
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    Let me add that, to get a taste for Bach, one should certainly not restrict to keyboard music. I don't think anybody with a heart would fail to be moved by the Air from the 3rd Suite, or by heartbreakingly touching arias like 'Ich habe Genug', 'Schlummert ein, Ihr matten Augen', 'Mache dich mein Herze rein', etc... The passions contain the most wondrous music (if one can sit through the recitatives, or skip them), but the Mass in B minor is for me the most beautiful music ever written (even though most of it was culled from earlier works) - and not a fugue in sight.
     
  14. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Piemonte, Italy
    Last Name:
    Bertazzi
    First Name:
    Alfonso
    I don't know which edition of the Mass you have, but must be abridged for sure :lol:

    Seriously, I got your point and agree, but I see Monica's refusal to be more about fugue as a texture rather than a form.
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    Indeed there are fugal parts in the mass, as there are in many of Bach's works. They are not labeled as such though, and someone who thinks they don't like fugues would probably enjoy these when listening without prejudice.
     
  16. pianolady

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

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Thanks Alf and Chris.

    Alfonso, Sheep May Safely Graze is the only piece I recognize on your list. So I take it that Petri is the best transcription? I’ll search out the other pieces you mentioned on youtube. Chris, those arias – there must be transcriptions for them as well? Who produced the best one?

    As far the Air goes, I certainly agree that it is a very beautiful piece, but I’m wondering if it works ok as a piano transcription because of those long sustained notes that would be in the right hand, and the harmonies changing on every beat so pedal would have to clear every beat also, which would cancel the RH sustained notes. (not sure that makes sense)

    And another thought - Do you think that I would be better off playing piano transcriptions of Bach’s pieces rather than a true keyboard piece? As long as nobody tells me there is a fugue part in a piece, I think I like all of these ‘other’ pieces. But then am I really playing Bach? What I mean is - when he wrote the orchestral pieces, did he know and approve of them being transcribed to piano, or would he have shuddered at the thought, and therefore playing piano transcriptions is not playing ‘exactly’ what Bach wrote so it’s not really playing Bach (not sure that makes sense, either).
     
  17. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Piemonte, Italy
    Last Name:
    Bertazzi
    First Name:
    Alfonso
    There are not "best transcriptions", every transcription is a point of view, sort of photograph, or better a painting. As to SMSG, Petri's transcription is more intimate and literal than eg Friedman's.

    Bach-Cortot: http://pl.youtube.com/watch?v=pswR6GM2URM
    The original Largo from the F minor Concerto: http://pl.youtube.com/watch?v=S7mzHZIrqtc
    Bach-Kempff: http://pl.youtube.com/watch?v=QqlyOWaSm2M

    Later I'll reply to your interesting thoughts.
     
  18. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    But you should not be so piano-centric Monica. Why don't you first listen to some items like the ones I suggested in their original garb ? All these transcriptions, good as they are may be, are never a patch on the Real Thing. I say get to love Bach first, then worry about whether or not you should play him on the piano. Appreciation of fugues will come in the process, I am sure of that. It just grows on you.
     
  19. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    Forgot to comment on this. As is well-known, Bach was no stranger to reworking his own and others' music for different forces and occasions. Despite his seemingly provincial existance, he was very wel aware of everything happening in musical Europe at the time. I am pretty sure he'd not have minded a good transcription of his music as he did the same, e.g. with some Italian concerti. Lastly, if there's any music that lends itself to transcribing, it is Bach's. Again though, the original is most always better...
     
  20. 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
    Techneut wrote:
    I agree to this. Transcriptions of Bach-pieces for piano work very well IMO. It´s an enrichment to play orchestral- or choir-works of Bach on the piano, comparable to the playing of symphonies on the piano. It´s the best way to learn and to experience the great master-works. :wink: (Do you feel the teacher in me?! :lol: )
     

Share This Page