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Bach - WTC - C minor

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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  2. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Very nice, Chris. You guys have inspired me - I've been reading through at least one of these sets every day, for reading practice, and to further familiarize myself with them.

    Only one real nitpick to make: in the book 1 prelude, at the presto your left hand seems to be struggling to keep up with the right, and at one point they both struggle for a beat or so. Seems like sacrificing a tad bit of tempo there would have been better.
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Terez. I know you had misgivings about my first WTC CS, and rightly so. I think these are significantly better. That Presto is as good as I can currently get it - it's one of the most elusive passages I've ever tried to record. Yes maybe it could go a little slower, but I wanted to be wilder than Andreas ... Not sure if I am though :roll:
     
  4. s_winitsky

    s_winitsky Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Wow this is very nice Chris! This was a very expressive and energetic recording. I liked it a lot. It was full of nice expressive and rhythmic ideas. It reminded me a bit of some period harpsichord performances I thought.

     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Haha I guess I had better take that as a compliment 8)
    Glad you liked them Stan. Over time here I have come to realize that I could be a bit less po-faced in Bach. So my second iteration should improve on expression as well as accuracy.
     
  6. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    haha, I like my Bach a little wild. :lol: I just worry that little things like this might bother you down the road. Your first WTC complete recording was good enough for you when you posted it the first time (presumably because you were proud enough at being able to record the whole of it, and rightly so), but later on, it wasn't any more. I think that, down the road, a bit slower tempo will bother you less than technical mishaps. But I could be wrong about that - you are a mysterious guy for all your bluntness, and I don't think I quite have you figured out yet. :lol:

    In any case, I'm looking forward to the rest of your re-recordings (and of course you're right - despite small flubs that might come through, this set will be much better than the previous). I've been listening to WTC almost nonstop for the last couple of months, so along with the partita that I am STILL working on, and the solo string suites which I am analyzing this semester, WTC is a bit of an obsession currently. 8)

    This is good news indeed! Your arguments for expressionless Bach have always confounded me a bit. Maybe you won't hate my Bach after all. :D
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    It probably will. Actually it already does. The standards, in this repertoire at least, have grown so impossibly high that not even the tiniest flaw can be tolerated. On one hand, that's a good thing. On the other hand, I am only an amateur with lots more to do. I can't have a hope in hell to record all of these absolutely flawlessly, unless I confine to recording a couple of pieces a year. And even then, some things would nag. One can always do better.

    Yes, good enough had a different meaning back then. At least for me. I'm not particularly proud of these old recordings anymore.

    Yes, maybe I should start playing on safe too, as many people here do. I can't say I always like the result. Sometimes it is better to throw caution to the wind.

    Not sure what's mysterious about me. But there's no need to "figure me out" - I am not a fugue !

    Well that is something :)

    That Partita had better be good when you ever get done with it. You're not working it to death are you ?

    I have never had any (valid) arguments for that. It just came out that way. I prefer a bit more freedom and expression now, but will still hate Bach playing that is romanticized or suffers of excessive point-making. As well as lumbering Bach playing, destined to stay always on the safe side. It will have to be seen whether I'll hate your Bach or not :lol:
     
  8. Daniel Hoehr

    Daniel Hoehr Guest

    I like your accentuated playing and the harpsichord-style touch. Good job - I can't wait to hear the remaining 44 numbers.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Daniel ! It will be a while though before I have all of them down this time 8)
     
  10. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Yup, this is definitely true. I was surprised but pleased when you announced you were actually going to re-record them before moving on with the suites (I always assumed you would wait until after). Or do you think you will work on the suites as you go?

    I don't always like the result either. I have been fighting with myself over the partita 6 courante, trying to make myself take it slower almost completely because of the second technical hitch of the B section, I think the hardest bit in the piece. For the rest of the piece, I want to go at 8th=144 at the least, and I really want to go 160, but if I take it any faster than 138 or so right now I'm probably going to screw it up, and if I took it at 160, there are a couple of other places in the piece that would become dangerous as well. So it's been a great effort for me to make myself play the whole thing at the slower tempo and still make it musically interesting, but I think I am winning that battle with myself. :lol:

    Fugues are complex, but I think much easier to figure out than people. I think this is one of those stereotypical woman vs man things - women want to figure people out, and men want to pretend that they are simple creatures. :D

    I'm sure it will be at least pretty good, at the recital that is. Playing live is scary. I'm hoping it will be great but knowing me it probably won't be.

    Oddly enough, the more I work on it, the more I fall in love with it. I've gotten to the point where I practice more hours a day than I ever have, my whole life, and I don't want to work on anything else but that partita. I have often gotten tired of working on pieces, even Chopin (whom I love very much, as I'm sure you know), and I have been sick of the toccata of this partita before. It was the first movement I tried to work on seriously, my first semester back in school (around the time I joined here), and when I played it for my jury, it was awful. I knew it was awful when I played it, even though I was proud just to have made it through (sort of like your first WTC, but on a much smaller scale!) and I got some compliments on it from the faculty but I'm sure that's just because they're nice ladies. It sort of traumatized me. :lol:

    So then I started working on the gigue, and I had a more mature idea of what I wanted to do with it when I started than I did with the toccata, so I learned a lot while working on it, and started getting more excited about playing Bach. Then I moved to the air and sarabande, and learned some things there, but wasn't as happy with those (they still need some work). Then the allemande and courante, and those two really took off for me, especially the courante. Then I put the last piece in, the gavotte, and it totally transformed the way I approach the keyboard. So now, I'm back to re-working the toccata, this time with the rest of the partita under my belt (I know it's small beans for you, Chris, but it's big for me!), and I think it's going to be good this time. I've started analyzing the toccata seriously now - I was sort of scared to look too close at the complex things going on in the counterpoint, before. Now I am excited about it.

    Now that you put it like that, it's true that I can't recall any particular arguments for why you didn't like 'too much' expression in Bach - it seems that this is still the case, but perhaps to a lesser degree? I'm mostly thinking about the comments you made on Bach submissions in the past. I'm curious as to what you mean by 'excessive point making'. Perhaps something like this? In any case, I know you're not one of those who makes the argument that, since Bach didn't write for piano, that there should be no dynamic contrast in his keyboard music. Or at least I've seen you say before that playing a piano as if it were a harpsichord is a bad thing (hence your 'I guess I had better take that as a compliment' comment earlier?)

    Yes, I suppose I don't have much hope. :lol: But at least it's not a foregone conclusion any more. :wink:
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I will be working on the suites as well (currently the 2nd English), but very slowly. Actually I am not as pleased now with my French Suites as I was when I did them. I wonder if I should be redoing them (I could make a career out of re-recording stuff).

    Chicken :p Just dare to take a risk.

    I guess that is the case. I just never like extremes (or what I perceive as such, which admittedly is a different thing, I seem to have a low tolerance here).

    I like that preformance until she suddenly drops the tempo and starts pushing the pedal. A very strange affair. Very accomplished and strong-willed playing though.

    I hate the insistent embellishing that some harpsichordists do, and the exaggerated leaning on a note that some (mostly of the older generation) do. But there's definitely things we can learn from them, at least in Baroque music.

    I am sure you are not going to play that Partita in these ways that I don't like :p
     
  12. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Bravo, Chris. This style of Bach-playing I like much better than your old one, because it´s more artistic and convincing.
    Prelude: I do hear a little cut between bar 12 and 13, isn´t it? At this place I´m not really sure, but I´m sure at 01:14 that I do hear one. The Presto-part is not accurately enough for my taste and it´s not wilder than mine, I think. :twisted: :wink: (As I still wrote in my Satie-thread: the devil seems to be in the detail, not in the great ideas. :lol: )
    The correct mordent at the end is nice.

    fugue: Very dancy and loose, that´s a convincing way to interprete this fugue, too, and it´s done very often like this. The idea of playing the trill in the theme consequently is a nice one (also in the middle voices you play it accurately). Also the final trill is a nice idea. I think it´s a lively and freshly interpretation, but has again hardly voicing.

    WTCII:
    prelude: nicely played, it would bring some change to change something during the repetitions.
    fugue: very interesting theme. I like it, I also would interprete it more in the contemplative way.
    I will study this fugue also next time. Actually I´m working on the c-major-pair of WTCII. (I really have not much time at this moment, because of corrections of papers as you know.)
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for your feedback as always ! I am glad you were not around when I submitted my first cycle :lol:

    No, not a cut, but it's a place where I traditionally stumble. And so it was this time.

    I had to fumble with the Presto and used three different takes. There are 3 cuts if I remember well. Considering that, it sounds pretty coherent. All this of course only to underline the wildness :p But yes, it could and should be more accurate. Shall I redo it yet again ?

    As this is such a simple and uncomplicated fugue, I don't feel the need to lift out the theme every time if occurs, as is necessary in some fugues, and I'm not sure it would sound better if I did. A theme that stands out so well does not need extra point-making. Just my opinion of course !

    Yes, I usually do that by ornamentation but there's not so much opportunity here. One could think of varying dynamics or phrasing perhaps. I'm only a beginner in this field as yet :D

    Good for you ! But I would not want to change anything at all to how I play this one.
     
  14. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Techneut wrote:
    Yeah, I could have battered you with a huge cudgel, isn´t it? :lol:

    O.k., no cut, just a stumbling.

    Of course, you should play it at least as accurately and wildly as me, better would be, if you play it still accurater and wilder than me. :twisted: :lol:

    O.k., why not!

    And I´m not a beginner in this field. :twisted: :D :wink: I usually add some own ornamentation and besides the phrasing one can also change articulation. Of course, all this takes a lot of time to prepare :twisted: .

    That´s a missunderstanding. I meant, I would play it also in the contemplative way like you do in your interpretation. :roll: :lol:
     
  15. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    I listened to the C minor P & F from Book 1. Very nicely played in my opinion. I sense a carryover of your work with organ into the world of piano, which is actually a good thing.

    There is a concept for the Cm Prelude that has been running through my mind having a markedly different sound from yours and Andreas' interpretations, although I believe that both comport with style, interpretation and a sense of refined taste. But... if a Late Romantic pianist were to offer Baroque here, it might provide too high a dose of comic relief! :lol:

    David
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'm not sure if I want to redo this yet again though...

    Ah yes, I thought mine was contemplative. Or at least that was the intention.

    Thanks David. Indeed my organ playing (and especially the lessons from a teacher who has performed all of Bach's organ works) is very beneficial. It does much for finger technique, and the correct interpretation of note values (which is all-important on organ).
     

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