DONATION STATUS
Needed before 2016-12-31
$ 2,500
So far donated
$ 805

Bach - WTC - G

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,930
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    LOCATION:
    Netherlands
    Concluding two busy recordings days are re-recordings of the G major and G minor pairs of both books. These have been germinating ever since I last posted the G major pairs, already just over one year ago. I don't think I will ever get the BWV 860 prelude right, it seems to get harder the more I practice it. But these are surely a lot better (and slower :D ) than my previous versions. It will be nice to move on the the A-flat pairs now.

    Bach - BWV 860 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No.15 in G major (4:06)
    Bach - BWV 861 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No.16 in G minor (4:58)
    Bach - BWV 884 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier II - Prelude and Fugue No.15 in G major (4:51)
    Bach - BWV 885 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier II - Prelude and Fugue No.16 in G minor (5:24)
     
  2. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Physician
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX, USA
    Last Name:
    del Rio
    First Name:
    Eddy
    LOCATION:
    San Antonio, TX, USA
    Good job Chris! I personally like the G minor Prelude of Bk 1 slower than you do, but who cares. You did seem to have a bit of control trouble with the 1st G maj prelude (as you admitted), but I think that overall it is successful. 2/3rds of the way through the Old Testament of Pianism (finished with the poetical books and ready to tackle the prophets!).

    Best,
    Eddy
     
  3. mwyman1

    mwyman1 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    LOCATION:
    Atlanta, GA
    Chris - Very nice playing. What an ambitious project - you certainly have a passion for Bach! I'm not intimately familiar with the WTC, but out of these I especially liked the G Major Fugue. The prelude sounded fine to me at the tempo you played it.

    I look forward to hearing more! :D
     
  4. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,842
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sweden
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Stahlbrand
    First Name:
    Robert
    WEBSITE:
    http://pianosociety.com
    WLM:
    robertstahlbrand@hotmail.com
    LOCATION:
    Sweden
    Very good playing and you dared to choose a pretty high tempo for all of them, making some parts quick and not easy to pull of right. But you manage really well and I enjoyed listening to everyone of them.
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,930
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    LOCATION:
    Netherlands
    Thanks all ! I am not wholly satisfied with the two G major preludes, which I find some of the hardest pieces ever, especially the one from Book I.
    These performances may sound fast, but all my re-recordings, with only one or two exceptions, are considerably slower than my previous versions. And none the worse for it. Perfection eludes me as usual :cry: But ok, I can always re-record them again after some years.... It's not as if one is ever finished with the WTC.
     
  6. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,026
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    High-school-teacher with subjects music and german
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Pfaul
    First Name:
    Andreas
    LOCATION:
    Germany
    To BWV 860:
    Prelude:
    Indeed, that´s may be one of the most difficult prelude of WTC, I agree to your opinion you told above.
    Overall a nice and even performance. You have choosen a good tempo, not too fast, not too slow IMO. And I think, it´s nearly the same tempo I have choosen in my recording. As always I have some little things to nitpick:
    In the first part there are some missing respective inaudible single notes. I think you know yourself where they are. (You are the one with the elephant ears, not me. :lol: :wink: ) The end is better, especially the (quite tricky) bars 13-15 come out really good.
    At the beginning you don´t play the breaks of eights (Orgelpunkt g), but that´s a decision of interpretation, I personally like it.
    Fugue:
    nice version. My only nitpick is, that you loose a little bit tempo in bar 10, but that´s minor, or was it an interpretative decision? Could I hear some voicing of the subject in the middle voices here? I´m not sure, because as usual you don´t too much voicing here, but that´s your manner to interprete Bachs fugues. As I said, I´m not the one with the elephant ears here, but to me this version seems to be note-perfect. Congratulations to that.
    The tempo is a possible choice. (My version is slower, but I know, I´m a bit beyond the "mainstream" with that, of course, with fully intention.)

    To BWV 861:
    Prelude:
    I really enjoyed that version. Nice calmness and capture of the mood. I like your use of the pedal here.
    Fugue:
    Also a very nice version, contemplative, very even and with tender approaches to voicings of the subject.

    To BWV 884:
    Prelude:
    Wow, that´s a good version! The tempo and also some other things you do are very close to what I had in mind for my re-recording of that prelude. Very nice and artistic differenciation between first time and repeat of each part. Could be there is a little slip in bar 32 in the repeat, but that´s only a small nag as usual.

    Fugue:
    Again wow, that´s a version I will listen more than twice. I´m enthused. Nice agogic and interpretation. I like that slower version a lot, though my own recording is faster. (Seems that we did it just reverse in comparation with the fugue in g-major of WTC I, here I have choosen the slower and you the faster version.) Interesting execution of the trill in bar 52, I think, I will adapt that for me. In bar 62, 63 I´m not sure, what is wrong here: is it just the rhythm of the upbeat-run in bar 62 or is there really missing a note? I couldn´t fiddle that out, though I have listened to that passage three times. (Seems that the devil really always is in detail... :roll: )But in every case this is a minor matter.

    To BWV 885:
    Prelude:
    That´s a proper version. I remember that piece very well, because I have played it during a piano competetion in the late 80th. So I´m sure, there must exist an old recording of that time (unfortunately the quality of the cassette-tapes has decreased so much). I also remember, that I have played this prelude in the manner of a French Ouverture, that means consequently with a double dotted rhythm. You don´t do this here. And I have done more with the tension of chords and voicings. But apart from that it´s a good and decent version IMHO.

    Fugue:
    Also a very decent version in a quite high tempo. As usual I do more with voicing than you, but that doesn´t decrease the worth of your interpretation, that´s your personal style, and we all have the right to have this. With the usual advice to my non-elephant-ears I can say, that this must be a note-perfect version.

    You have given me much homework today, but it was a pleasure and very interesting and inspiring comparation. I feel motivated now to re-record the g-major-prelude and step to g-minor. Fortunately there are Easter-holidays now (of course, with the usual amount of work, but also with more time for music).
    Have my sincere congratulations to this great achievement, dear friend!
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,930
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    LOCATION:
    Netherlands
    Wow, thanks for the detailed reply and the praise ! I have prepared these for an awful long time, and it is probably the best Bach I have submitted. Yet I find it increasingly difficult to be happy with my Bach recordings. Especially the G major pairs here seem to full of little issues, most of which you have picked up. But maybe I'll have to admit I cannot do any better, perfection seems further away the closer I think I get. It is getting very frustrating although the practicing and polishing gives me as much joy as ever.

    Now I have some nitpicks with your critique. I don't agree to slowing down in bar 10 of the BWV 860 fugue. At worst there is one note kept just a fraction longer than the others, but is so infinitesimal I had not noticed it myself. And I don't agree that I "as usual don´t too much voicing". I believe most or all of the voices come out clearly and adequately, except maybe some tricky inner also or tenor voices (and that occasionally happens to you too). Yes one could always do more, I'm just not sure that this would really benefit the music. Of course this is one of these topics, like rubato, that people can get real religious about...

    So now I don't know whether or not I should redo the G major pairs yet again. It will be so much work for only a little improvement...
     
  8. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,026
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    High-school-teacher with subjects music and german
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Pfaul
    First Name:
    Andreas
    LOCATION:
    Germany
    Agreed, absolutely infinitesimal, it´s a bit the same type of critique you did with one bar in my version of prelude g-major, BWV 884.

    Here I can´t agree, but may be we are missunderstanding. I agree absolutely, that the voices in your fugue-playing come out clearly, but what I mean with "voicing" is to underline the subject ( or a certain counterpoint) by playing it clearly louder than the other voices around. And that I and also other Bach-interpreters do much more than you. But I consider it as feature of your personal style to play Bach and that´s a point of view, of course, to say, that all voices more or less have the same state and worth, independent, if it´s the subject or a counterpoint. But could there be missunderstanding between us? (For me it´s a problem of language to express the underlining of certain voices by the parameter of dynamic in English. In german I would use the word "Stimmführung" bzw. "Hervorhebung einzelner Stimmen, speziell des Themas", not "Klarheit der Stimmen".)
    Of course, it happens to me here and there, that I don´t underline well enough a subject in the middle voices, if it´s difficult to play. I´m also not a perfect Bach-player, and like you, I´m also often not really satisfied with my recordings, btw! But sometimes I also don´t underline a middle-voice-subject with intention, if there is an important counterpoint, that depends.

    If these would be my recordings, I only would re-record the prelude in g-major of WTC I, because there really are some missing respective inaudible notes in the first half or so, with all the other recordings you can be satisfied and especially with your g-major-pair of WTC II, which is really excellent. I also will re-record my g-major-prelude of WTC II, because of the same reason. So we can shake hands here! :lol: :wink:
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,930
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    LOCATION:
    Netherlands
    It seems then, that what we have achieved most of all is to reach Olympic heights of mutual nitpicking :lol:
    I wonder what old Bach would have made of it all...
     
  10. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,026
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    High-school-teacher with subjects music and german
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Pfaul
    First Name:
    Andreas
    LOCATION:
    Germany
    Probably he would have thought: "Oh, these stupid guys haven´t recognized the true sense of my music". :lol: But doesn´t matter in my opinion, as long as our mutual nitpicking is productive and makes us improving our recordings. And I think, this is an ever lasting aim of us both! That is the main thing.

    Btw, you didn´t answer my question above: was there a missunderstanding or not?
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,930
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    LOCATION:
    Netherlands
    I'm sure he would have had a good chuckle over it, before dismissing the issue and continuing on his next cantata.

    I don't know. Probably I just do not understand the finer points of voicing and should steer clear of Bach. But I see Dr. Eddy has created a thread on the subject so I better go read that :idea:
     
  12. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,026
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    High-school-teacher with subjects music and german
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Pfaul
    First Name:
    Andreas
    LOCATION:
    Germany
    Techneut wrote:
    Ha, ha, joke, come out, you are surrounded! :wink:

    Yeah, I will do this, too, as soon as possible. (I´m very busy right now with Matthew-Passion and some other things...)
     
  13. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Physician
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX, USA
    Last Name:
    del Rio
    First Name:
    Eddy
    LOCATION:
    San Antonio, TX, USA
    The St. Matthew Passion? Wow! That is one of the great pillars of all choral literature -- a magnificient work, like the Sistine Chapel ceiling of Michaelangelo! Do you know the Penderecki St. Luke Passion? I hold it as the other great pillar of choral literature (have an open mind). (Handel's oratorio Messiah is enormous yes, a miracle of composition in that it was written in only 24 days {it would take me longer than that just to copy the score}, but is IMO very uneven in quality). So wonderful that you are involved in such a wonderful project!

    Jelous,
    Eddy
     
  14. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,930
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    LOCATION:
    Netherlands
    Huh.... WHAT other things ???? :lol:
     
  15. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Technical Editor
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    Last Name:
    Renouf
    First Name:
    Joe
    LOCATION:
    Connecticut, USA
    Chris,

    I listened to the Book I pairs, which I'm much more familiar with. I remember listening to your previous versions of these and IMHO this is a significant improvement. The overall rhythmic pulse is much clearer and more consistent and your voicing, while it could be more legato and differentiated in places, was refreshingly direct and generally well-conceived. My quibbles would really only be with the polish of some of the details, which distract the ear momentarily.

    Overall, I'm personally more musically convinced by your performance of the G major pair. Kudos to evening out some of those tricky lefthand spots in the prelude, such as bar 5. I know it's been pointed out to you already, but there are of course some rather obvious missing notes in places. I only mention it to say that it seems a relatively easy thing to fix and it is a bit distracting for the ear to hear. I also noted some right hand flubs in measure 6. I do think you play the dialogic aspect between the left and right hands in measures 11-12 very well, and the difficulties of the convoluted double passages toward the end now seem much more within your control. Nice "pull in and park" ending.

    According to my memory, the fugue too is a vast improvement, much clearer and sparser use of pedal in particular, and the lines emerge quite crystalline to my ears. My only general criticism here is that you gush forward a bit in places (e.g., 21-23, 35-37). That 35-37 double passage IMO can be difficult to get under control because it's easier than the polyphony in the surrounding texture so the fingers tend to run away a bit. I would therefore suggest that your tempo is maybe just a hair on the fast side. Overall, I like your spirit, but I think a slight downward adjustment could result in greater overall retention and bite.

    In the G minor, your trills, particularly those in the left hand could use a bit of work, perhaps making sure that they are even (I guess in 64ths) to synchronize with the lefthand 16ths and are played without tension. The righthand ones in particular could also be quieter and more ethereal to balance against the left hand, which carries the line here. A couple of other details I noted were that the syncopated rhythm in 3 could be more secure (some notes seem louder than others) and that some of the 32nds seemed rushed, notably in 8-9.

    The fugue is generally ok, though I'm not sure I'm convinced by your conception of it. Personally, this one seems grander and more stately to me, but that is of course a matter of personal preference. Some of the voices could be slightly better punctuated here as well IMHO.

    But anyway, I would reiterate that generally your playing here seems quite an improvement over the Bach of yours that I have heard previously. It would be nice to hear just a few of the details a bit more polished and secure (especially on the G major, which is one of my personal favorites), but that's cutting it pretty fine. I would also add that the G major is IMO one of the harder pairs technically in Book I, so my compliments too for your basically having it under your belt as you do.

    I hope my comments are of some use to you if you decide to return to this piece in the future and good luck with your WTC project!

    Joe
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,930
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    LOCATION:
    Netherlands
    Thanks for that Joe. I concur with most you say. I'm definitely still not happy with both the G major preludes. But I'm beginning to doubt that I can play them any better for now, especially that devilish one from Book I. And yes the trills in the G minor prelude are not as absolutely even as they should be. Again, I'm not sure they will ever be. As I mentioned before I find this music harder the deeper I get into it, and the nearer I get to perfection, the further away it seems (what a frustrating paradox.....).
     
  17. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Physician
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX, USA
    Last Name:
    del Rio
    First Name:
    Eddy
    LOCATION:
    San Antonio, TX, USA
    Yep. Its asymptotic. :wink:
     
  18. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,930
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    LOCATION:
    Netherlands
    That is such a typical hyperbole :p
     
  19. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,930
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    LOCATION:
    Netherlands
  20. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,026
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    High-school-teacher with subjects music and german
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Pfaul
    First Name:
    Andreas
    LOCATION:
    Germany
    Hi Chris,
    sorry, that I´m so quite late with my reply, but I have so much things to do at this moment we have visit from Switzerland, birthdays a. s. o.
    To BWV 860: that´s a splendid performance. What do you want more concerning the prelude? For my taste it sounds excellent and has some subtle musical moments! Concerning the fugue it´s always the same difference between us (for me the artistical interpretation is mainly in voicing), but I have enjoyed your version very much.
    To BWV 861:
    Prelude: the trills at the beginning are a bit loud, so that they cover the main-voices a bit, later it becomes better. Very lyrical and nice playing.
    Fugue: very nice performance with a slip at 3:30. The contemplative tempo is adequate IMHO.
    To BWV 884: I like this interpretation of the prelude a lot. Very good ornamentations in the repeats. Absolute clear articulation, bravo!
    I´m also working on the re-recording of this prelude and I think, my version will be quite close to the manner of yours. I also had the idea of first time playing legato and second time with some non legato here and there.
    The tempo of the fugue is quite slow (and it´s quite rare, that me, I´m the one, who has to tell that). But I enjoyed this interpretation, which seems like a profound study of the piece to me. Splendid! The lyrical end is unusual and that makes it absolute interesting! Continue so.
    BWV 885: I´m glad, that I have another idea of that piece finally again than you. But your version is convincing, though it´s not in the rhythm of a French Ouverture, which should be, I´m quite sure. (I take a slower tempo and do a lot with dynamics and inner voicing differenciation here.)
    Fugue: the third entry of the subject at the beginning should be voiced out all the time. At 3:38 and 3:41 I have realized slips respective mistakes, I think. At 4:03 the bass run isn´t proper. At 4:50, 51 there are some mistakes overcovered with pedal. Sorry, that I´m working with time-markings and not with bars. But I know that piece by heart again and so I know, where are the imperfections. Though this performance has some nice musical moments, it could partly be overworked from my view. For me the voicing here is immensely important.
    (I think, my version also is ready for recording, I´m just waiting for a day, I will find enough time for a recording-session. I´m also working on Brahms, first sonata for clarinet and piano with my colleague again.)
     

Share This Page