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Buxtedhude - Organ Prelude and Fugue (trans. Prokofiev)

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by RichNocturne, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. RichNocturne

    RichNocturne Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello,
    I thought I would submit this piece, which, similar to the Ives piece, is probably not a very well-known piece by a well-known composer.
    This is a Prelude and Fugue in d minor by Buxtehude that Prokofiev transcribed. According to what I read, he transcribed this while studying at the Conservatory because he didn't want to learn a Bach Prelude and Fugue for his juries---apparently he wanted to be different *_*

    Anyway, according to what I read, one of his classmates told him that he could transcribe something and perform that instead, and what we have here is a result of that.

    I heard a recording of Boris Berman playing this and instantly thought to myself "This is Prokofiev?" (of course, it wasn't...but it was one a CD of his piano music)---I instantly loved the piece.

    Oh well...that's probably more than anyone wanted to know, so enough of my rambling. I hope you enjoy.
    This was also taken at my Master's recital at BSU in Feb. of 2011.
    Rich

    Buxtehude-Prokofiev - Organ Prelude and Fugue in D minor
     
  2. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Rich,
    I liked your performance of this. I've never heard it. Personally, I would not have made ANY connection to Prokofiev. Further, I don't think this work should have sufficed for a required Bach P&F, especially at the St. Petersburg Conservatory of all places!
    Eddy

    Edit: corrected Moscow to St. Petersburg
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is a lovely rarity ! I did not know this P+F and will look for it as an extension to my organ repertoire. Need to play more Buxtehude anyway, he was such a great composer for whom Bach allegedly walked a long long way (if that story is not apocryphal, I'm not sure Bach had time for day-long foot journeys).
    Indeed nobody would ever guess this was written by Prokofiev. It's very sympathetically done, in the best tradition of Russian baroque transcriptions. Wonderful playing too, and near-professional sound quality. Congratulations on such a successful live performance !
    The only minor comment I have is that you could take more care of simultaneous attack when playing thirds etc.
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've found this is BuxWV 140, actually called just Praeludium in d. It is a multi-part piece, consisting of a short prelude, a fugue, a recitative in the stilo fantastico, and another short fugue in triple meter followed by a brilliant fantastico coda. A strange but very compelling work, showing off Buxtehude's unique combination of fantasy and mastery.

    Prokofiev bails out at the end of the first fugue, tacking on a convincing ending of his own making. On one hand this is a shame, as many great things are yet to come. On the other hand it's now more like a regular, Bach-style prelude and fugue, and it's rather more balanced than Buxtehude's original sprawling invention. Your slow tempo works very well I must say, it makes it a different, almost meditative, piece.

    Intriguing that Prokofiev was apparently acquainted with organ music, and chose this work rather than something by Bach which would have been more obvious. I think he did a good job on it, staying faithful to the score. Based on this transcription I thought this was a nice small organ piece to learn and play with services, but it's a rather more fierce creature when taken in its entirety and played in true baroque style. I think I'll pass on it for now.

    BTW Rich, your spelling sux... The composer is called neither Buxtedhude or Buxtuhude :p

    So now the question, where do we put this - under Buxtehude or Prokofiev ? Transcriptions still faze me.....
     
  5. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Sorry to butt (if that is spelled right in this context :p ) in, but I happened to see this post. I think it's customary to categorize by transcriber in such instances, which would be consistent with the Liszt page on the site, if consistency is indeed the aim.
     
  6. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Hmm? In my library, the Bach-Busoni Chaconne is at the end of Bach, before Bartok, and not after Beethoven and Brahms.
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ah but that settles it at once :!: Obviously we should do it the same as in your library :mrgreen:
     
  8. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    :lol: ... Well if the point was that it could be looked at as depending on a composer's importance, there probably is some merit to that argument, though it then becomes kind of a consistency headache (but I know you've pointed out you've given up on consistency anyway). In either event, I think Prokofiev wins hands down here (much as Buxtehude may be underrated).
     
  9. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Chris, Can't you put a link in both pages?

    Scott
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is up on the site.
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Not sure what you are implying here Joe. While everybody would have to agree that Bach is the most important composer :D there is no rule for "composer importance". Whether you think Prokofiev is more important than Buxtehude, or vice versa, is rather subjective and depends on where you come from.
    I have not given up on consistency - we should try and be consistent from now on. I just do not fancy changing things that are already on the site.

    I've thought about that as well. Not a bad idea but we would still have to choose to which page to link in the tree on the left. Plus, it is more work :roll:
     
  12. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    It wasn't what I was implying. I was interpreting Eddy's (somewhat cryptic, at least to me) post when he said "Hmm? In my library, the Bach-Busoni Chaconne is at the end of Bach, before Bartok, and not after Beethoven and Brahms." I was assuming that he meant that he groups the Bach-Busoni under Bach because Bach's more important than Busoni and that's why he was taking issue with grouping by transcriber. But perhaps he was joking, or perhaps I just miss something here.

    Actually no arguments from me there :D I was thinking about this the other night actually, and even though there are certain composers I like more, Bach's influence and extremely significant contributions with counterpoint alone I think make him the top dog.

    Not sure this is accurate (being against aesthetic relativism). There's also the canonical worldview. The French think Moliere is more important than Shakespeare too, and I like Clementi more than Beethoven but can easily see the latter's vastly more important. I was thinking from the perspective of what is likely to be the established view (i.e. objective significance vs. personal preference).
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I don't think anybody would argue that Bach-Busoni should be filed under Bach. If only because everybody calls it the Bach-Busoni Chaconne. However, Eddy would have a problem with his library if the Chaconne was in a collection of Busoni pieces. Like Rachmaninov's Bach partita being in the Belwin Mills Rachmaninov Commemorative Edition. It never occurred to me to put that book in the Bach pile. But then of course, I don't have a library like Eddy's :p

    I used 'where you come from' in the more colloquial sense. As in, 'depends what your musical outlook is'. I guess for many, Buxtehude would be more 'important' than Prokofiev (personally I would not want to take sides).
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    blah, blah, blah....we've discussed this topic of composer versus transcriber so many times.... :roll:

    As far as file-naming, the composer should always go first. No ifs, ands, or buts about it! As far as where to put certain recordings, and although I know I'm just making more work for us admins, I do think the recording should go in both the composer's page and the transcriber's page. I've already put this Buxtehude recording in Buxtehude's page; I'll add it to Prokofiev's page tonight or tomorrow.
     
  15. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

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    I'm not convinced you wrote what you mean here. The sentences "I don't think anybody would argue that Bach-Busoni should be filed under Bach" and "I don't think anybody would argue with Bach-Busoni being filed under Bach" are almost exactly opposite in meaning; did you intend the second? In any case, I think Bach-Busoni is an exception to the general rule, so the extent that people sometimes behave as though there are three separate composers named J.S. Bach, F. Busoni and Mr Bach-Busoni ;-)
     
  16. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    I think the taxonomy of transcriptions of great works is very clear when we realize that some transcriptions are available that are not by great/famous musicians, ... but then there's the Brahms LH version of the Chaconne and some of the Liszt transcriptions that have greater life (and merit?) than the orginal and we're back to square one :D. I think that from the issue of dependence (the original has life of it's own, the transcription is like a virus borrowing the DNA of the host's cells in order to survive) it should first and always go under the original composer, despite the stature of the transcriber. Sure am glad I don't have to make these decisions :roll: .
     
  17. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Spoken like a true MD :lol:

    Good point, also the Rachmaninoff transcriptions, for instance, of the Kreisler Liebesfreud/Liebesleid, which IMO are metamorphoses that are greater than the original. But I was speaking merely of the convention (what usually seems to be done, whether I agree with it or not). There's also the case for this site of transcriptions of non-keyboard works by composers who didn't write anything for the keyboard (for instance, the Vivaldi-Bach keyboard concertos) of which I play one on the site), and the Wagner-Liszt transcriptions, the former having written very few piano pieces and none of them great. That throws a bit of a wrench into the idea of linking to both composers. I think it makes sense to go with transcriber just for convenience, since it seems to cover all of these possible cases. The transcriber is, after all, the one who put the actual ink to paper and made the decision to imitate the work at all, regardless of how good that imitation is and how great the transcriber is.
     
  18. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Great :)
     
  19. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hehe yes, I meant the second, obviously. In fact I meant 'dispute' rather than 'argue'.
    Language is not my strong point :D
     
  20. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes here we have it again. It would be weird to have Kreisler or Vivaldi listed as composers on the site, because they wrote nothing for the piano. OTOH it is even weirder to have Hess, Kempff, and Siloti, who did not compose, listed as composers, just because they happened to transcribe the odd Bach piece.
    It is a conundrum we'll never get out of. I think we should simply forbid transcriptions. But some here might not agree :lol:
     

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