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Bach - WTC A flat

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, May 20, 2012.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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  2. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

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    I only had time to listen to the A flat from book 1. Clear and accurate as always. What mood were you trying to convey in the prelude? For my taste, the leaping quavers suggest something fairly lively: I'd like to hear a less legato approach. (Or, if you want to make it sound lyrical, maybe a slower tempo would work better with your phrasing? But I liked the tempo you chose.) I noticed that you sometimes slurred the quavers in pairs, and sometimes played four notes legato, but I couldn't find a pattern to your choices.

    When I have a bit more free time, I should settle in and listen to your G sharp minor from book 2: I found it to be one of the most challenging and rewarding fugues in the WTC.
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hehe, there is seldom a pattern to my choices, if I make them at all. I'm afraid I am a rather intuitive player. This prelude I see as a festive fanfare and yes it could perhaps be more detached. Just that I do not like very detached playing you hear often. I most always try for a middle ground.

    I agree on the G-sharp minor fugue of Book II. It's one of the most intriguing and I feel a special rapport with it. I hope that shows from the performance.
     
  4. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    I enjoyed hearing your selections from the WTC. I agree with Mr. Hanysz, your playing here is quite clear and accurate. The first I think I have heard before. The second, I don't think I have heard of before, it reminds me of his 16 chorales for orchestra, compositionally, its basically a tour of a scale :) The fugue is nice. The third recording the triplets in the prelude sound fine to me I don't think I would enjoy them as much if they were served to me staccato :lol: . The fourth prelude really is textured right out of the gate at the beginning and doesn't let up till the fugue!

    You know, I wrote a paper on a book about Bach's WTC last semester. It was Ledbetter's 48 Preludes and Fugues. I found it interesting, both the history and the analysis of the pieces.

    ps thanks for the graduation congrats on fb. It's true, I am now an SIU Alum :cry: ...and... I'm looking for a job now if you have any open positions on PS :wink: :) :!:

    Riley
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Riley. Yes I believe these to be quite accurate, if nothing else. Not sure where you heard triplets in either of these preludes though !?

    Hehe, a job on PS. That could be arranged, if you don't mind doing unpaid donkey work in your free time ....
     
  6. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Chris,

    Very good job. I'm afraid that I do not find the last fugue particularly intriguing, but I do not think that it is your fault.

    On the other hand, I very much enjoy the last prelude. The only negative thing I can find to say about the entire group of recordings was that I was unhappy with the transition from prelude to fugue in the last one. Another beat would have been nice, since the end of the prelude is not "big" and is actually rather abrupt.

    BTW, I believe that what Riley meant by "triplet" in the third prelude was the little figure that appears off the beat consisting of two 16th notes leading to the next beat. (They're probably 16th notes. Please forgive me for not digging out the score.) Those are very well played and definitely deserve to be mentioned.
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for the feedback Stu.

    I hope not ! It can be played a lot more boringly than I do here :D Maybe this is a fugue more exciting to play than listen to (although if that were so, it probably WOULD be my fault). I find a lot of things going on here and try to bring them out by subtle dynamics and articulation.

    I don't care too much for that prelude myself, somehow. I'm glad it doesn't show in the performance :) Since I always record the P&F pairs in separate tracks, the gap is often quite arbitrary. I like not to have too long silence here but I will check if I've overdone (underdone?) it here.

    Interesting definition of triplets :)
     
  8. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist

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    At a lull at work I listened to the fourth of these and found it fantastic! The prelude is incredibly loaded with energy and you hold the pace without faltering - no mean achievement (unless you have dozens of splices :) ). I cannot believe that you don't care too much about this - you play it as if it is really important. I found the fugue extremely interesting and can understand that a prolonged contact with it will only add to the interest. Though I can understand why some will not find it "exciting" I really think there is a drama here, executed on subtle levels. It could probably stand a little more exaggerated variation in dynamics if you want it - that is wholly a matter of personal preferences.

    For some reason I thought your piano sounds different here, but that may just be me listening at a place where I normally don't. Did you record in a different way at all?
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for the praise Joachim. For my idea I'm tearing through that prelude with relentless determination, the staccato for the repeat was probably a good idea though it felt a bit weird doing it. IIRC it is only spliced between the sections. That fugue I can wholly lose myself in since
    I came back from treating it like a breathless jig.
    Nothing different in the recording setup. Maybe what you heard is the sub-optimal tuning. It was tuned last month but already it's gone down again. I think I'll buy a digital :roll:
     
  10. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Hello Chris,
    I finally took the time to listen to all of your newest WTC submissions. I did not listen with score in hand. I think that the best Bach in all the world is that played by oneself, for in doing so one is engaged and participating with this great mind of all time. Second to that, is to listen to Bach played by others. For me, I am so touched by his music, that the filter of this pianist or another seems to do little to spoil the experience for me ... that is as long as the performance is a creadible one. Your playing of the WTC is always very creadible, therefore, the highest praise I can give you, is that I simply enjoy your Bach playing in the background with whatever else I may do on my computer. Thanks for your hard work!
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Why thanks Eddy, I'm glad this is at least good enough for background music :roll: :lol:
     
  12. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I listened with interest to your G#min from Book 1, which is the only one I can claim any familiarity with. Tbh I think your tempo in the prelude is too slow, but you know a lot more about Bach than I do and my only knowledge of the tempo is based on what my teacher told me to do in an exam! The fugue I liked a lot more and thought was very nicely played.
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Andrew. Feedback from an unexpected corner ! You should listen to more Bach, it's good for your education :p :D
    I sure do take that prelude rather slowly. It's how I have always felt it, like a lament. Maybe it 'should' be faster but I like to go my own way despite what everybody else does.
     
  14. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Chris,

    It's true, I do have a wacko definition of triplets :) Stu was right, I meant two sixteenth notes. I don't have a score, I assume they are tied grace notes?

    Donkey work ? :evil: :) I'd like to talk to you more about it, should I send you a pm?

    Riley
     
  15. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

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    Everyone, please do not post the answer to that question! Make Riley get a score and find out for himself! Every pianist should have a score of the WTC. (If for some reason you can't buy one, there are plenty of public domain versions you can download for free.)

    :)
     
  16. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Good thing I have Mr. Hanysz keeping me honest :D

    I had a look. It is two thirty second notes on the end of a dotted eighth (and we are in 3/4). No grace notes at all!

    A very interesting arrangement of rhythm. It would have to be Bach, the master composer who could come up with something like this :wink:

    Riley
     
  17. Affinity

    Affinity New Member

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    Just had a listen to the preludes and fugues of Bk II, and I must say that you did a fantastic job with them, though I'm used to hearing a more articulated subject for the Ab Major fugue (e.g lifts on the C and the subsequent Eb). I also think you brought out the severity of the G# minor fugue (all the crosses) really well. A minor nitpick is that for the opening statement of the Ab Major fugue of Bk II, you did not observe the tied semiquaver for the Db.

    I look forward to more of your Bach recordings.
     
  18. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for the feedback ! I'll check up on that tied semiquaver (though I don't think I will re-record for it).
     
  19. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Chris,

    As always another fine performance of these wonderful works.

    Listening to the Ab from Bk. II, I was taken back by the afinity it has for the Eb Prelude of the Clavierubung (the so called "St. Anne"). The resemblence of the French Overture style with the long notes followed by the 32nds. Then there was the fugue and it hit me that its subject resembles the "St. Anne" fugue subject (which is the hymn that in English we sing "O God, our help from ages past." I'll have to check the dates for these two works to see how they compare (particularly if there are any pre-existing versions of the WTC II Ab).

    Also, I noticed that both the Ab and G# minor of Bk. II were filled with the lament motive (5 descending half-steps).

    Anyway, I really enjoyed these and am now excited to study these two more closely.

    Scott
     
  20. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Everything is being observed here, but you are right in that I leave that Db much too soon. Somehow I had never noticed that.

    Thanks for that Scott. I don't see more than a passing semblance between the Bk II Ab and the St.Anne P&F which I know well, having performed and recorded it. In fact it's just the first three starting notes that the fugues have in common, and not even in the same rhythm. There is indeed an earlier version version of this fugue, the fughetta in f major from BWV 901.
     

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