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J.S. Bach - Prelude and Fugue in E, WTC I

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Biggemski, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Biggemski

    Biggemski New Member

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    Hello,
    I hope you don´t mind to listen these recordings of Bach. There is much work on pieces and sound. There are some wrong notes.
    I can record it again. I would appreciate your commentaries very much.
    Thank You ! :)

    Martin, 23, Czech republic
     
  2. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Hello Martin,
    I think these are coming quite nicely. I would recommend that the prelude go a bit faster, thereby making the individual notes less important than the larger groups and phrases. The fugue has a good tempo but sounds a bit heavy. Can you give it some lightness to it and modulate the dynamics more (it can't all be "front and center")? Remember to drop the volume of a subject voice when it becomes couterpoint (or counter subject) to another voice declaring the subject. I would accent the first two notes of the subject more forcefully and bring down the rest of it. I appreciate you doing the trills properly "on" the beat instead of prior to the ornamented note, as demonstrated in his Explication. Keep polishing it and it will be a fine performance indeed!
     
  3. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

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    It's clear and (mostly) precise, but to me sounds a bit mechanical. It could use a lot more variety of dynamics and tone quality. Can you describe in words how you see the character of each movement?

    (It's not an easy fugue--you're doing well--but I'm very fussy!)
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Good solid playing, it sounds as if you are serious about Bach and are determined to do things properly.
    The prelude indeed is a bit stilted at this tempo. That could be more lively. The fugue tempo is good. It could be quicker, but doesn't have to. You are doing well there.

    Some things I heard (maybe you're aware of most of these)

    prelude bar 9: RH A# should be A natural
    prelude bar 14 : observe the rests
    prelude bar 17: the last RH not is F# not e
    prelude bar 20: you are not supposed to hit the B again - it's tied
    prelude: the closing chord is strange - either make a nice arpeggio or a smooth even chord - not something in between

    fugue bar 13: the first LH note is e not d#

    General observations: indeed more variety and flexibility is needed. Try to think more in phrases. Do lift the fingers now and then (especially when rests are written, I find it helps playing a rest as if it were a note, moving the finger upwards explicitly). The fugue needs much better voicing (it would be difficult enough without having to do that too :roll: ). It's nice that you insert extra trills, but some of them sound a bit tentative. Take your time for a trill, not just squeeze it in.

    I hope these remarks are useful to you. I think you're on the right track here and can build something good on it.
     
  5. Daniel Hoehr

    Daniel Hoehr New Member

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    Martin

    Thank you for sharing this. I really enjoyed listening to it.

    Generally, I agree to what the others have remarked. It's not the odd wrong note that bothers me. The Prelude definitely needs more flow and fewer hesitations. It really seems you haven't quite reached the point when you should perform/record this. A bit more practice, more flow and more dynamics and it'll sound right.

    The fugue comes across much more confidently, it has the right flow and sounds much better from a technical point of view. And yet it is all on one dynamic level and the subject seems 'covered' by the other parts, which should be more in the background.

    As techneut said, you could also work on your phrasing.

    You're definitely on a good way and I would really like to hear it again after you've polished it up a bit.

    Cheers

    Daniel
     
  6. Biggemski

    Biggemski New Member

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    Hi,
    It is true that I would like to play Bach nicely, I love this music very much, also Chopin´s.
    I am grateful for your kind and helpful comments. I agree with you and I will try to improve these pieces accordingly.
    One thing is that I was quite much excited by the act of recording and was caught up by the musical stream. I usually face this in public performances also - not so much overview on what´s happening. My approach to music is generally quite intuitive. I should definitely work more on voicing, phrasing, etc. I should get some good ( Urtext ? ) edition also.
    :)
    "Can you describe in words how you see the character of each movement?" Interesting question Hanysz. Now I would see the character of these 2 pieces pieces as 1. natural, simple, sparkling and 2. joyful. But it varies in my mind. But why are you asking, please?

    musical-md, how many notes encopass the theme, 6? Thank you,


    m.
     
  7. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    This fugue is for 3 voices that enter in the following order: 2-1-3. The subject is 10-11 notes long and then becomes Counter Subject (because it's pattern appears again later in opposition to other statments of the subject as in m.4). The answer that appears in 2nd measure soprano is "Real" not "Tonal." The subject is characterized rhytmically by driving force to beats 3 and 1. The Exposition is 10 measures long. The Development is from bars 11-19. The Recap begins in measure 19 with pick-up to beat 3. (Though these terms more properly regard sonata form, their use is standard [even if anachronisitc] with regard to fugal analysis.) It takes great skill to voice properly especially when the subject is in the alto between hands or in a single hand that is also doing other.

    Regarding editions, what I value the most is scholarship; what I value the least is interpretive editing, since Bach provided none. You cannot go wrong with the authoritative G. Henle Verlag or the very scholarly edition of Hans Bischoff (published by Kalmus). Another option is the Neue Bach Ausgabe. Avoid at all costs anything that is filled with dynamic markings, articulation marks, and tempos that are not clearly just suggestions.

    Good luck! The journey is perhaps more pleasurable than arriving at the destination - at least for me. :)
     
  8. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Regarding Chris's "corrections" in prelude bar 9 and 20, these are actually dependent upon the edition you are playing from. The first is an A# in the Schwenke manuscript copy, but A natural in Simrock and Hoffmeister printed editions, so it is dependent on what ever your version is based upon. I believe too that it should be played A natural and is indicated as such in the two editions I recommended (G. Henle and Bischoff). Regarding the tie in bar 20, it is missing in the Gerber manuscript copy and the Hoffmeister printed edition, but included by virtue of scholarship in both editions already mentioned. The other "errors" are definitely mistakes that you should correct, though if I were you I would make all the recommended changes. To avoid problems in the future, you may wish to buy a different edition of Bach's music - or you may not as there are likely few that can appreciate the difference.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'm sure there are different things in different editions. The accepted norm here, sort of a consensus grown over the years, that the (Henle) Urtext is the right one. My 'corrections' stem from from playing the WTC for many years, but I always check against the Urtext before pointing out any error.
     
  10. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

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    I am asking for two reasons:

    1. The tempo of the prelude. If you want it to sparkle then it definitely needs to go faster. (When I heard the slow tempo, I thought maybe you had a different idea.)

    2. The fugue: dynamics and shaping. To me it doesn't sound joyful at the moment, it sounds slightly aggressive. I think the tempo is OK for this one, but you need to think about the tone quality.

    Often the sounds we make on the piano don't match what's in our imagination, that's why we need to keep asking others for feedback.

    Keep up the good work, and I look forward to hearing your next recording of these pieces.
     
  11. Biggemski

    Biggemski New Member

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    It is interesting that Gould´s version of prelude is not much faster and still it doesn´t lack. He had the genius, of course, but would it be explainable in musical terms also?

    Dear Hanysz, perhaps the fugue should not be much "joyful" but rather "confident" - but it would definitely not be nice to have it sound aggressive, I will try to control myself.

    Musical-md: I play lots of pieces of music, a lot of sight-reading, so I like the jorney more also, kind of way of life, to fix the consciousness on more higher things and ideals, you know what I mean. Final polishing is "killing" me sometimes, but I would like to come with pieces up to some standard :).

    Probably I should consult some teacher personally, but I really appreciate your comments and this forum and I would like to post more music.
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    On one hand, PS is no substitute for a teacher. Taking lessons from a good (nor necessarily famous) concert pianist, even if it's only a few lessons a year, is definitely recommended for everybody.
    On the other hand, if someone really does his/her best, is determined to improve his/her playing with the help of PS members, and has no problem being criticized, that can work too. So keep posting !
     
  13. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I like this remark :) :)
     
  14. sejra

    sejra New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello,

    nicely done, I like especially your Fuge. I love Bach. I think you would be a good organist because you have a good rhytm. At the piano try to thing in one bow for each phrase and try to sing during playing. I think you should really record it on an organ! It would be really magnificent.

    /B
     
  15. Biggemski

    Biggemski New Member

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    Hello,
    thank you for your comment and advice, Bohumir, I rarely sing along my practice, maybe I should.
    I actually enrolled Pardubice conservatory to study organ and piano, I will start in September 2011, so then I can record, or maybe sooner but at the moment I don´t have any organ training.

    M.
     
  16. sejra

    sejra New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Zdravíčko, to jsem nevěděl, že se tu sejdou dva češi...

    Nice joke. Wish you a good luck! Conservatory in Pardubice is much better than in Prague. The people are kinda more cool. :)
     
  17. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Exactly my thought too :D
     

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