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Happy New Bach Year !

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Obviously, every year is Bach year for me :D
    So, a Happy New Bach Year to all of you.

    It seems fitting, at least to me, that the first new submissions for this year should be by Bach. They're only re-recordings though. I was surprised to find that the KDF recordings dated back to 2005, some of my first and earliest recordings for PS. As for the WTC fugues, I guess I'll be slapped on the wrist by the Voicing Police as usual... I just hope they will realize my good intentions if not flawless execution :D

    Bach - BWV 857 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No.12 in F minor (6:05)
    Bach - BWV 881 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier II - Prelude and Fugue No.12 in F minor (6:48)

    Bach - BWV 1080 - Die Kunst der Fuge - Contrapunctus 6 (4:36)
    Bach - BWV 1080 - Die Kunst der Fuge - Contrapunctus 7 (4:43)
     
  2. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Happy New Music Year, Chris! :wink:
    I listened to your WTC re-recordings and as usual I really like the natural beauty of your interpretation. I've noticed some uneven trills at the set from WTC I and a weak note on the prelude and some hurriedness on the fugue in the set from the WTC II, but they are really minor to prevent me from enjoying these well-done performances. The f minor set from WTC II is really great!!! It seems to me like the WTC II is overly more beautiful than WTC I. How do you think? I bought me the first book last year and haven't started to learn it yet... :oops: Perhaps should I start with the second book? :roll:
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Hye-Jin. Yes there are probably some tiny imperfections here. I don't think I have heard a WTC recording on PS (except maybe a professional or digitally rendered one) that doesn't have some.

    I've played both books for more than 15 years and still don't have a preference for one over another. Some consider book II deeper and more artful than book I but I can't see why.

    If you bought book I already, no reason why you should 'start' with book II :)
     
  4. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

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    I guess the pieces in book II are on average a little longer (but length is not always the same as depth!) And there is perhaps more variety in the forms of the preludes. But both books are so rich, it's hard to make a comparison.

    Hye-Jin, from your other recordings I'd say you're certainly ready to dive into the WTC, and it's about time you got started! It doesn't matter a great deal which book you choose.
     
  5. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    In the case of f minor, I agree with Hye-Jin that the book II set is much more pleasing in general. The chromaticism of the fugue subject in book I is interesting, but if I want chromaticism I can listen to the a-flat fugue in book II (a very tonal subject, but some of the most chromatic writing I've ever seen by Bach on p. 2) - and musically I much prefer the second f minor set, so I will only comment on that. And again, my WTC-head is a little tainted by GG. The book II prelude seems to me to be very slow, though I recognize it's probably necessary for the ornaments you used (which GG doesn't do of course). I love that prelude, and it always reminds me of marimba when I hear GG play it. I suggested to a marimba-playing acquaintance that he check it out, but he said most of Bach's keyboard stuff is not doable on marimba, alas. He did a couple of movements from a violin suite, though, and it was really nice. Anyway, the ritardando at the end was interesting, and also your ornamentation on the fugue, which I felt was much more compelling and convincing a performance in general than the prelude, despite the places where you slow down a bit.
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Welcome back Terez. Even the faintest hint of praise from you lifts my heart :lol:
    Good as the F minor pair from book II is, I vastly prefer the book I pair. Can't say precisely why but
    this is for me one of the highlights of all WTC, especially the fugue. Maybe it's because it was one of the
    first ones I studied, and also the first one I recorded.
     
  7. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    There's just something about chromaticism in a fugue subject that mesmorizes me. And that prelude is simply sublime in it's simplicity and beauty!
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yep. Try Shostakovich's fugue Op.87 no.15 which is totally insane and bewildering :shock:
     
  9. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    I must admit that I own NO Shostakovich piano music (Schoenberg, then Schubert) :oops: . I do have some symphony recordings however.
     
  10. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,
    yeah, I also wish us a happy New Bach Year, of course. A year without Bach, what would that be?! A year without elixir of life, isn´t it?
    I´m back from Switzerland now and found some time to comment your new submissions. :D

    To BWV 857: the prelude is nicely played, with some nice musical moments. The tempo for me personally is at the highest limit, but it still works. Congrats to the voicing in the fugue! I think, that´s the first time, I hear a fugue with real elaborated voicing by you. Even in the tenor the subject comes out clearly. Except at the end (last theme-entry) there you don´t underline the subject, but I suppose it´s intentional: you probably wanted to underline the sighing-motifs in the other voices here. That´s a concept, fine!

    To BWV 881: the prelude is full of very nice agogical moments, also the ritardando in the last eight bars before the very end in the repeat of the second part is great taste IMHO.
    If you would like me to nag a bit, I could say, that you don´t realize all the eigth-breaks at the end of the sighing-motifs, you take them always in the pedal and play them as quarters. But on the other side you bring out some sighing-motifs very musically, giving the first note a little accent (that´s the basic idea of sighing-motifs, isn´t it?!). In bar 32 you play g-flat instead of g-natural on the second eigth (should be the major third here instead of minor third).
    The voicing in this fugue is not as well as in the f-minor-fugue of the first book, but at some places it´s also not too bad. In every case you have improved your voicing-techniques in summary, that´s evident (and your new recording-device helps very much to bring it out clearly!). I think, this fugue is nicely played and it has a good "drive".

    So, have my congratulations to these high quality recordings! I think, there is no need of re-recording.

    The two counterpoints are also fine, though I have to admit I didn´t find the time to listen with score. (I still could do this, if you wish.)
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Andreas !
    Yes I am doing more work on voicing recently, being wary of the Voicing Police :p I also made a lot of decisions about agogics, phrasing, and dynamics.
    At the end of the Book I fugue I indeed had my mind more on the RH figuration than on the LH voicing, though I did not mean for the voicing to suffer :oops: But I guess there will always be some little thing to nag about..... I have the same with your WTC recordings even though I do not always say it. About the book II prelude:

    I read this while at work and checked the IMSLP source which confirmed your finding :shock: I was mighty peeved at having made a read error (all the more strange because I now listen to a number of recordings before recording). But when I got home I checked my Henle Urtext and was happy to find the G-flat exactly as I played it :D I would like to think that the Urtext is right about this note, and I did the Proper Thing :D
     
  12. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Techneut wrote:
    That´s evident, your interpretations are much more artistically now!

    Such kind of "nags" are no real nags, that are just matters of interpretation, which some like and some not or not so much. But in your case it wasn´t meant as a "nag", it´s absolutely o.k. to make a decision like to neglect a subject-entry for the benefit of another important motif (like the sighing-motifs in your case). That´s what I call "artistic reflection" and I personally like that concrete decision here. My "nag" refered more to the prelude, in which you neglected the eight-breaks nearly all the time. But I also don´t know, if I want to "nag" about that, one could count that also to "artistic liberty", if you like.

    You are right. I was listening with the imslp-score, in my Henle-Urtext is also g-flat and I remember to have played that myself, too. In every case the Urtext in correcter than that imslp-edition.
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Happy to hear that :D

    Nope, I did not decide to neglect the subject entry, it just happened (luckily there's some compensation for it). Same with the rests. I seldom neglect a rest in the fugues, in fact I play them actively (which is one thing I thank my organ lessons for) but in the preludes things are not always as strict and I get carried away.
     
  14. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Techneut wrote:
    You are likeable, because you are honest, Chris! Just for me personally one is an artist (of the art of piano playing), if one thinks about those matters and makes a certain concept for oneself. On the other side one should not think about all in a piece, because the spontaneity from my modest view is also an important aspect of arstistic piano playing. So, in fact, it´s quite equal in this single case, if you have thought about these point or not.
     
  15. lisztzsil

    lisztzsil New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Chris,

    Nice firm renditions of these Bachs! I think you chose well in your accelerando trills in the first F minor prelude.
    The tempos sound very fit to me as well.
    One tip: I'd put the mic(s) a little farther away from the piano. You would capture a more mature and rich sound.

    Best,
    Alexandre
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Alexandre :D
    Re: the mic placement, you could have a point there. I have not got all too much space, but I'll experiment a bit more.
     

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