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#1456242 - 06/14/10 05:07 AM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Pogorelich.]
sandalholme Offline
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Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 769
Loc: Dorset, UK
Re confusing shape with expression. Expression pretty well covers everything we do to bring the music alive. Phrasing, articulation (including accents) and rhythm provide shape. Perhaps you would like to elaborate on how dynamics shape music whilst phrasing and articulation do not.

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#1456291 - 06/14/10 09:04 AM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: sandalholme]
Mattardo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
Real Samples Edition Beurmann has sampled a Lute-Harpsichord built to what they think the Bach instrument was:
http://www.realsamples.de/Edition_Beurma...nwerck_SF09.mp3

http://www.realsamples.de/Edition_Beurma...astian_Bach.mp3

http://www.realsamples.de/Edition_Beurma...astian_Bach.mp3

It has some examples of how it sounds when played, if anyone is interested. Very nice sound, though - I can see why Bach would have liked it. The sample is beyond my financial reach, at the moment!


Edited by Mattardo (06/14/10 09:05 AM)

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#1456307 - 06/14/10 09:49 AM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Mattardo]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 753
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
Robert Hill recorded two multi-CD sets called "Bach as Teacher: Keyboard works from the Cothen period." Many of the pieces are played on a lute-harpsichord. It's Hänssler Complete Edition Bachakademie, Volume 107, a budget label.

I bought mine very cheaply from http://www.berkshirerecordoutlet.com/

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#1456313 - 06/14/10 09:59 AM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: moscheles001]
Brandon_W_T Offline
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Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 1940
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
Thanks so much for those links Matardo, Fantastic! I love the sound of the lute harpsichord... quite possibly more than a harpsichord itself! Even one equipped with a Lute stop!
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#1456339 - 06/14/10 11:01 AM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: sandalholme]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Posts: 4528
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Originally Posted By: sandalholme
Re confusing shape with expression. Expression pretty well covers everything we do to bring the music alive. Phrasing, articulation (including accents) and rhythm provide shape. Perhaps you would like to elaborate on how dynamics shape music whilst phrasing and articulation do not.


What does shape mean to you? I ONLY meant shape as in, notes can sound louder and softer than others. Do you really deny that? The only point I was making is that the harpsichord can't do cantabile. I don't see why this is so hard to comprehend. I didn't say it isn't expressive. (although it's probably the least expressive instrument there is, just because of that one limitation)
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'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#1456342 - 06/14/10 11:02 AM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Brandon_W_T]
Mattardo Offline
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Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
Yes, the Lute stop has a lovely sound in itself - but a little lacking for an entire piece - the dedicated harpischord sounds like it was constructed to sound a lot better and be generally more useful.

There's some strange-looking ones out there!

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#1456343 - 06/14/10 11:04 AM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Pogorelich.]
Mattardo Offline
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Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
Originally Posted By: sandalholme
Re confusing shape with expression. Expression pretty well covers everything we do to bring the music alive. Phrasing, articulation (including accents) and rhythm provide shape. Perhaps you would like to elaborate on how dynamics shape music whilst phrasing and articulation do not.


What does shape mean to you? I ONLY meant shape as in, notes can sound louder and softer than others. Do you really deny that? The only point I was making is that the harpsichord can't do cantabile. I don't see why this is so hard to comprehend. I didn't say it isn't expressive. (although it's probably the least expressive instrument there is, just because of that one limitation)


Have you spent time playing any harpsichords? They can be very expressive - just listen to any good recording or harpsichordist. There are ways to vary dynamics on a harpsichord - not as obviously as a piano can, but it can be done.

Does cantabile necesarrily entail marked dynamic contrast?

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#1456353 - 06/14/10 11:16 AM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Mattardo]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
M: I don't like repeating myself..... but here: I din't say it isn't expressive. (although it's probably the least expressive instrument there is). Least expressive doesn't mean non expressive. Of course I've played harpsichords. There ARE ways to vary dynamics - on a different set of keyboard of the harpsichord. Why do I feel like I'm saying things over and over ..

Cantabile means, when applied to keyboard playing, to imitate the human voice. It doesn't just have to do with dynamics - come on, how do you usually hear a cello being played? Or piano even? How do you shape a simple phrase? (and no I don't mean accents or any of that)
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#1456355 - 06/14/10 11:23 AM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Pogorelich.]
keystring Online   content
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Quote:
Cantabile means, when applied to keyboard playing, to imitate the human voice.

Doesn't it mean to play in a singing, legato fashion? A human voice can sing staccato and in a non-cantabile way if the music calls for it. So it cannot be refering to the instrument, but the way the instrument is typically used in most vocal music.

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#1456361 - 06/14/10 11:27 AM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: keystring]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: keystring
Quote:
Cantabile means, when applied to keyboard playing, to imitate the human voice.

Doesn't it mean to play in a singing, legato fashion? A human voice can sing staccato and in a non-cantabile way if the music calls for it. So it cannot be refering to the instrument, but the way the instrument is typically used in most vocal music.


Yes, hence the imitating the human voice part. Since the voice is considered the most expressive instrument.. isn't it? I don't know why this is so difficult to get across. Maybe it's my limited english skills.
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#1456378 - 06/14/10 11:54 AM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Pogorelich.]
sandalholme Offline
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Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 769
Loc: Dorset, UK
I agree Mattardo that it is possible to alter the dynamics on the harpsichord, but I hadn't mentioned it as a) it's very subtle and b) would not be believed by the harpsichord phobics in this forum.

Angelina: if you define shaping as playing loudly or softly, fine. I define shaping rather differently. Cantabile? How do you define that? A harpsichord's single note "sings". Smooth, singing legato? Well, overlapping the notes slightly provides a legato sound, which is also, because of the open strings, resonant. Expressiveness? If you define that as playing loudly or softly, again, fine. I believe expressiveness is obtained by many more skills than just playing loudly or softly (and all the intermediate weights).

We might just agree to disagree. I will continue to enjoy Bach on the harpsichord and on the piano - the expressiveness coming from, to a degree, different skills and techniques.

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#1456385 - 06/14/10 12:02 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: sandalholme]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Okay. I don't think there's a point in arguing with you since I'm obviously failing to make my point.

It seems to me you're all for flat singing (monotone) with no basic shape. And I'm not talking about loud and soft, because there are so many shades of one dynamic. Which haprichord can't do. Don't take it so hard I'm just stating the obvious. It's not something that's supposed to be controversial! When someone tells me to shape something more, it means to give it more direction.


Edited by AngelinaPogorelich (06/14/10 12:04 PM)
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#1456394 - 06/14/10 12:12 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Pogorelich.]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Maybe if I add, the ability to sing a single line cantabile, is much easier and much more expressive on, say, string instruments, voice or even piano.
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#1456406 - 06/14/10 12:37 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Pogorelich.]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 769
Loc: Dorset, UK
We really have a different definition of "shape"! If someone asks me to shape the music more, I would look to my phrasing, articulation, accents/rhythm first.
My wife's 'cello teacher (a fiery Hungarian) would splutter at the piano being equated with a stringed instrument. He's very dismissive of the piano. A stringed instrument can hold a single line for ever, literally, until the player gets too tired, with all the dynamic changes you could wish for on the way. As a percussive instrument, we pianists really struggle to get anywhere near a stringed instrument in producing a cantabile line. (As do harpsichordists, of course)
As a matter of interest, do you regard organs - except 19C ones - as unexpressive? Baroque organs certainly have more stops than a harpsichord, but are still basically limited to terraced dynamics. Does Peter Hurford's Bach playing lack expressiveness for you? A genuine question, as you seem to place a very high values on subtle changes to dynamics for expressing your feeling for the music.

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#1456407 - 06/14/10 12:41 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: sandalholme]
Brandon_W_T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 1940
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
Just because the music says Cantabile, doesn't mean its possible to play it exactly like a human voice. No instrument can. But its the idea to play it like that, of which the music is trying to tell you.

Often times instead of saying cantabile, it says singing like. Same idea. of course your instrument cant physically sing human notes, but its the idea of shaping and developing the sound.
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--NEW!--- 1964ish Conn 640 vacuum tube theatre organ! (with leslie!) smile

Grandmas- New Hyundai petite baby grand

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1998 Bedient (Built about 45 minutes from me!) 2m/pedal 24 rank Cavaille-Coll style pipe organ

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#1456413 - 06/14/10 12:44 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Brandon_W_T]
Mattardo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
If I had a way to upload Rameau's Rondea Musette - it might change some minds.
I just have to find the right one I have in mind..


Edited by Mattardo (06/14/10 12:45 PM)

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#1456415 - 06/14/10 12:46 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Brandon_W_T]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Well I don't particularly find the piano that expressive to be honest. Solely because the notes die after you press them. But it's a hell of a lot easier to shape. And yes we do have a different sense of shape. It's just how my teachers have talked to me all my life.

No I don't really like hurford. He's a great player but I struggle with liking organ.

I suppose you wouldn't think much of fischer's Bach?
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#1456418 - 06/14/10 12:47 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Pogorelich.]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Ps listen to fischer's b flat minor WTC I.
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#1456420 - 06/14/10 12:49 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Pogorelich.]
Mattardo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
Here - I don't know about anyone else, but I find this piece has some cantabile playing:
http://www.box.net/shared/fl90y3giyv

It's Catherine Latzarus playing.

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#1456423 - 06/14/10 12:51 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Pogorelich.]
Mattardo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
M: I don't like repeating myself..... but here: I din't say it isn't expressive. (although it's probably the least expressive instrument there is). Least expressive doesn't mean non expressive. Of course I've played harpsichords. There ARE ways to vary dynamics - on a different set of keyboard of the harpsichord. Why do I feel like I'm saying things over and over ..

Cantabile means, when applied to keyboard playing, to imitate the human voice. It doesn't just have to do with dynamics - come on, how do you usually hear a cello being played? Or piano even? How do you shape a simple phrase? (and no I don't mean accents or any of that)


Repeating one's self on this forum is quite common, ya' know! Don't ya' know you have to scream everything 20 times to be heard? smile

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#1456428 - 06/14/10 12:57 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Mattardo]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
I liked it and it was expressive but cantabile?

Don't get me wrong I've heard some terrific stuff I especially loved listening to a bunch of preludes, can't remember by who, and they were so free with so much well placed rubato.
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#1456469 - 06/14/10 02:07 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Pogorelich.]
Mattardo Offline
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Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
I think it was very cantabile, in it's own way - it wasn't very over-the-top, opera-diva-in-your-face cantabile, but it's definately much more cantabile than many harpsichord works.

I guess I see cantabile as encompassing all sorts of vocal-imitations. Singers do not always sing with just dynamics in mind, there's much more to cantabile than just that obvious factor. A good harpsichordist can sing with the best of them, I think.

Bach's last French Suite, the Sarabande - would you say that sings on a harpsichord?

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#1456489 - 06/14/10 02:33 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Mattardo]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Isn't it problematic for cantabile if it's not possible to do even a small crescendo or phrase a single line?

I guess we define cantabile by different means.
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#1456547 - 06/14/10 03:58 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Pogorelich.]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13780
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
Ps listen to fischer's b flat minor WTC I.


I love Fischer's Bach. Love, love, love it.
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#1456554 - 06/14/10 04:09 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Kreisler]
Brandon_W_T Offline
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Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 1940
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
I found that recording above to be very much cantabile.

Remember any instrument can play cantabile.


I dont think there is a concrete definition for cantabile, so its how one perceives it should be.
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Home -
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#1456557 - 06/14/10 04:15 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Brandon_W_T]
pianoloverus Offline
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Here are some pianists who play(ed) a lot of Bach:
Feinberg, Fischer, Richter, Gould, Schiff, Perahia, Hewitt.

1=uses pedal very sparingly
3=uses "a lot" of pedal
2=neither 1 nor 3

How would you rate these pianists in terms of their use of pedal?

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#1456583 - 06/14/10 05:12 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Pogorelich.]
AZNpiano Offline
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Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5462
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
I suppose you wouldn't think much of fischer's Bach?


Fischer is great! Matches my view of cantabile.
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#1456598 - 06/14/10 05:35 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: John_B]
hophmi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/15/10
Posts: 101
ROTFLMAO.

I think you can say copulating without getting censored.


Edited by hophmi (06/14/10 05:36 PM)

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#1456608 - 06/14/10 05:43 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: hophmi]
hophmi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/15/10
Posts: 101
My feeling on pedaling in Bach is that it's OK, even desirable, but should be kept to a minimum.

Bach on piano is always a transcription of sorts, so notions of purity are a little misplaced.

As far as the harpsichord versus piano debate: every time I think about playing the harpsichord, I'm reminded of the Seinfeld joke about the Chinese and their use of chopsticks. You know they've seen the fork. And yet they stick to chopsticks.

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#1456666 - 06/14/10 06:42 PM Re: Pedal and Bach [Re: Brandon_W_T]
Happy Birthday stores Offline
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Registered: 12/28/09
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Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Brandon_W_T
I found that recording above to be very much cantabile.

Remember any instrument can play cantabile.


I dont think there is a concrete definition for cantabile, so its how one perceives it should be.


No instrument plays cantabile, the player does. Cantabile, literally means "singable", or "songlike". It does have various meanings, however, in different contexts. In reference to instrumental music, which is what we're dealing with, it means to imitate the human voice. Of course, this is very difficult, and, as with a true legato, is really an illusion created by the player. The piano is a very difficult instrument in this regard...in large part due to decay. The harpsichord makes things even more difficult. Not only because of it's even more immediate decay, but, because it's impossible to imitate the rise and fall of the voice and there's no way to taper the end of a phrase (there are "tricks" with articulation within a phrase that one can employ to create the illusion, however). Neither the piano, nor the harpsichord are "expressive" instruments. It's the player, armed with sufficient knowledge (knowledge of the functions of sound and the capabilities of the instrument itself), who is expressive (or not).
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