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#1445967 - 05/29/10 11:01 AM Re: How to Play Bach Correctly? (Plus off-topic question) [Re: Varcon]
John_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/10
Posts: 621
Loc: Bristol, UK
wilmer,

A selection from of YouTube

Samuel Feinberg

Tureck

Gavrilov

Busoni

Ashkenazy

Richter

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#1446006 - 05/29/10 11:50 AM Re: How to Play Bach Correctly? (Plus off-topic question) [Re: Albany]
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
While this might be partially true, there are those who respect the Gould playing of Bach.

"I am sorry but Gould is a terrible interpret for Bach music. Gould plays Gould, not Bach. Scott Ross and Leonhardt agreed that Gould was out of his league." Albany

Is it a positive concensus that Gould is not good at Bach? Or is it that some considered authoritative do not like his approach? For a while he seemed to be the leading ICON for playing Bach. Has he so fallen into disrepute?

I'm sure there are detractors for the two you mention--Ross and Leonhardt--and I have no idea who Scott Ross is and his position on Bach. Leonhardt I do know is a respected performer. Anyway, there are various schools of thought and approaches. I still suggest to the original poster to listen to various artists--harpsichord, clavichord, and piano--and get a perception of how it is done by them.

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#1446008 - 05/29/10 11:51 AM Re: How to Play Bach Correctly? (Plus off-topic question) [Re: Albany]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Albany
Originally Posted By: Varcon


Study the structure of the dances for the suites as their definitions will give you a clue to tempo. Most of the inventions will be self-suggestive as to tempo to make them sound good. For the most part, the tempo is steady from beginning to end so once the tempo is set, it remains. As in everything there are some exceptions. Forgot to mention Glen Gould as a Bach exponent highly respected for Bach and not much else--terrible Brahms and other composers--but wonderful for Bach. This might be an instance when you need some auditory help by established artists. Some admire Angela Hewitt's Bach interpretations and she is current.


I am sorry but Gould is a terrible interpret for Bach music. Gould plays Gould, not Bach. Scott Ross and Leonhardt agreed that Gould was out of his league.

I read books about baroque interpretation, and yes, there IS a baroque interpretation (of course...). Saying "play as you like it will be good" is wrong (sorry I dont mean to be rude but its just the truth). Of course you can play Bach in a romantic way or whatever, but the music wont be authentic.

You have to play on a harpsichord in the baroque way, but I know its not your point. That's why, excuse me for being narrow minded, you can't play Bach correctly, as you play on a piano. So I suggest you to play as you like, because you're not on the right instrument anyway.

But if you want to play on a piano like it was a harpsichord, you can follow the rules of the time (which you can find in books, or you can listen to Leonhardt, Koopman, Hantai, Van Asperen, etc). But its wrong in my opinion, the piano has velocity, heavier keys, more notes, different timbre, different harmonics, has pedal, etc, so you have to use them. So, play like you want, you can make beautiful music, but you cant play authentic Bach.



After reading your first two paragraphs I was entirely behind what you were saying. Then you brought up the age old moot point about choice of instrument and I no longer can agree with you. Bach, didn't write specifically for the harpsichord, so your point about, "play"(ing) as you like, because you're not on the right instrument anyway", (because it's not a harpsichord) is null and void.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1446031 - 05/29/10 12:11 PM Re: How to Play Bach Correctly? (Plus off-topic question) [Re: stores]
Albany Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/09
Posts: 99
Loc: France
I'm just saying that there is no such thing as a "correct Bach" on piano. Well, let's say it is my opinion, but I'm not the only one to think that way.

How could you say for example, that there is a correct way to use crescendo in Bach? A correct use of the pedal, of the dynamics ? Its absurd. But you have to use them. Its part of the instrument.
On the other hand, there is a correct use of the phrasing, of the ornaments, of the tempo, of the improvisation, etc. But they do not sound always right on a piano, if you play them like you would on a harpsichord.

Gould is an amazing pianist, but his art as nothing to do with baroque execution. It's really wrong to say that Gould is THE Bach interpret. Such a person would be Leonhardt, or maybe Koopman, both harpsichordists and musicologists.



Edited by Albany (05/29/10 12:13 PM)

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#1446077 - 05/29/10 01:44 PM Re: How to Play Bach Correctly? (Plus off-topic question) [Re: Varcon]
gooddog Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4818
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Varcon
While this might be partially true, there are those who respect the Gould playing of Bach...Is it a positive concensus that Gould is not good at Bach? Or is it that some considered authoritative do not like his approach? For a while he seemed to be the leading ICON for playing Bach. Has he so fallen into disrepute?
Gould was an iconoclast. His interpretations were fascinating and his technique blazing. I wouldn't consider him an authority on Bach but he's worth a listen, especially his Goldberg Variations.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1446708 - 05/30/10 04:35 PM Re: How to Play Bach Correctly? (Plus off-topic question) [Re: gooddog]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 781
Loc: Dorset, UK
No-one, unless I've missed it, has written of one of the key elements of pre-classical music: that it was linear, with several voices moving together, rather than the vertical harmonies of clasical/romantic music. So in Bach we need always to identify and maintain the integrity of each line. As for touch etc - Bach needs everything from ultra staccato to ultra legato. Notes moving in intervals of a 2nd tend to be legato, 3rds and above detached, but this is just a guideline, not a rule. As far as rhythm is concerned, good point Deborah re dance forms. Baroque music tends to need a "sprung" rhythm: strong accents on the main beat, either dynamically or by articulation - don't forget the harpsichord had only articulation for this and it works on the piano as well. Think of how your foot rises in dance steps, translate this to the rhythm and you will find you want to dance to the music. Bach wrote solemn music, but it's never leaden.

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#1446717 - 05/30/10 04:53 PM Re: How to Play Bach Correctly? (Plus off-topic question) [Re: sandalholme]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2660
Loc: Netherlands
I know Gustav L. and we always happily agree to disagree, he thinks Bach shouln't be played on the piano at all and thinks Gould is worse than the 7 plagues, and is a master in his own field, our meadow is probabely a bit more blooming, in that we like to play J.S.B on our instrument, and also can through in a bit of Liszt or Boulez, if we're inclined to do so, there is no perfect way to play any piece/composer/style, there is only one way to play at all: beautifally and convincingly!
Max Reger wrote as a besides to 1 of his pieces: "Ich bitte dieses Stück nie vor Sachverständingen zu spielen", trad.: please never play this piece for people how know about things...
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couch de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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