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#1495359 - 08/13/10 05:37 PM Finally coming around to Bach
jeffreyjones Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2384
Loc: San Jose, CA
I avoided Bach for most of my development as a pianist. I always liked some pieces, like the C# minor P&F from Well-Tempered Klavier I or the G minor English Suite, or the Goldberg Variations or the C minor Partita - the more passionate pieces that fit in with the predominant Russian school of highly passionate pianism.

Gradually that has changed for me more and more. Edwin Fischer stunned me with his Well-Tempered Klavier. Andrei Gavrilov showed me the tenderness and delicacy in the French Suites. Wolf Harden sold me on the A minor Partita, of which the Sarabande is now one of my favorite movements in Bach. And Angela Hewitt opened my eyes to how wonderful all the English Suites actually are. The D minor one in particular is an awesome monument and has an epic scale to it. So now I've basically gone from picking and choosing a few favorites to wanting to play almost everything he wrote..

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#1495363 - 08/13/10 05:43 PM Re: Finally coming around to Bach [Re: jeffreyjones]
Mattardo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
It always happens eventually, methinks.
Welcome! smile
That last French Suite is gorgeous -one of my favorites.

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#1495369 - 08/13/10 05:50 PM Re: Finally coming around to Bach [Re: Mattardo]
mrenaud Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 1315
Loc: Switzerland
I like the Toccatas, myself. The ones in D minor, E minor and C minor especially.
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#1495374 - 08/13/10 05:53 PM Re: Finally coming around to Bach [Re: jeffreyjones]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Yayyyyyyyyy for Bach!!! He's certainly my favorite composer (as well as LVB). There's a ton of works to sift through, jeffrey. I agree with your choice of artists as well with the exception of Gavrilov. Angela, for me is the best of the lot (I suppose I'm biased of course). Her English Suites are superb (as well as the rest of her Bach recordings), but so are those of Schiff (you certainly should give a listen to his Bach as well). And then there's Tureck and Kirkpatrick. deLarrocha's Bach recordings are very special also. Of course, Fischer's WTC is amazing and Nikolayeva's Bach recordings are excellent.
The csharp minor fugue Bk. I is one of my very favorites from the 48 as well(I'm convinced he composed it at the organ, or perhaps with strings in mind).


Edited by stores (08/13/10 05:55 PM)
_________________________

"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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#1495387 - 08/13/10 06:07 PM Re: Finally coming around to Bach [Re: stores]
Zindaras Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 180
Loc: The Netherlands
His Prelude in C Major from the WTC was the first song I could ever fully play. Of course, I played it with pedal, which will probably now draw the scorn of every single Bach purist on these forums...but still. I used to kind of dislike the rest of his music (I thought it was a bit boring) but I've been having a similar experience to you, listening to Gould's interpretations of various Bach pieces. I'm now trying his other Prelude in C Major (BWV 939), which I think is also a nice piece, and am listening to him more. I'll make sure to check out the ones you mentioned.

What I like about Bach is (I'm pretty sure someone else said this somewhere on these forums) that you can play his pieces in such a vast number of ways. The WTC-Prelude in C Major is beautiful if played legato and with pedal (yes, I said it), but I find Gould's interpretation with a nice touch of staccato and no pedal very cute and am now trying to emulate him. It's almost like it's a completely different piece.
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#1495391 - 08/13/10 06:14 PM Re: Finally coming around to Bach [Re: stores]
jeffreyjones Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2384
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: stores
The csharp minor fugue Bk. I is one of my very favorites from the 48 as well(I'm convinced he composed it at the organ, or perhaps with strings in mind).


I've played the C# minor P&F on organ a few times, and it's a real thrill. But it's nowhere near as difficult as the works he actually wrote for organ, lol.

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#1495398 - 08/13/10 06:24 PM Re: Finally coming around to Bach [Re: jeffreyjones]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: stores
The csharp minor fugue Bk. I is one of my very favorites from the 48 as well(I'm convinced he composed it at the organ, or perhaps with strings in mind).


I've played the C# minor P&F on organ a few times, and it's a real thrill. But it's nowhere near as difficult as the works he actually wrote for organ, lol.


Quite true.
_________________________

"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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#1495423 - 08/13/10 06:59 PM Re: Finally coming around to Bach [Re: stores]
Luthrin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/08
Posts: 54
Loc: UK
Has anyone here played the harpsichord solo from the D major Brandenburg in actual performance? (I certainly haven’t, but this was my first contact with Bach - we studied it at high school for music theory.)

Just awesome.

Interesting note in the Wiki entry: "Scholars have seen in this work the origins of the solo keyboard concerto as it is the first example of a concerto with a solo keyboard part."

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#1495817 - 08/14/10 12:20 PM Re: Finally coming around to Bach [Re: Luthrin]
Luthrin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/08
Posts: 54
Loc: UK
Just a reminder that today is Bach Day at the BBC Proms 2010. The broadcasts will be available online for the next 7 days.

Full details here.

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#1495855 - 08/14/10 01:20 PM Re: Finally coming around to Bach [Re: Luthrin]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18227
Loc: Victoria, BC
I have studied only three of the Preludes and Fugues from Book I of the WTC, the B-flat major Partita and the Fourth French Suite.

For the past four weeks I have been working on nothing but seven of the Two-Part Inventions and four of the Three-Part Sinfonias. It's quite a humbling experience; those little devils are sometimes harder than they look.

Regards,
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#1495867 - 08/14/10 01:42 PM Re: Finally coming around to Bach [Re: BruceD]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: BruceD
I have studied only three of the Preludes and Fugues from Book I of the WTC, the B-flat major Partita and the Fourth French Suite.

For the past four weeks I have been working on nothing but seven of the Two-Part Inventions and four of the Three-Part Sinfonias. It's quite a humbling experience; those little devils are sometimes harder than they look.

Regards,


Great choices with the Partita and the Eflat French Suite (which is my favorite of the lot). Bach, in general, is a humbling experience. His music is far more difficult than it appears. Those inventions and sinfonias are excellent precursors to the WTC.
_________________________

"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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#1496492 - 08/15/10 01:06 PM Re: Finally coming around to Bach [Re: stores]
Sorcerer88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/11/08
Posts: 177
Loc: Bielefeld, Germany
I had a similar experience, you revere an exciting performance (Pogorelich's English Suite 2 Prelude for me) and then like a chain reaction you begin to appreciate other pieces and styles of performance, even the more serious, previously boring seeming ones.

It didn't start with the Pogorelich for me, but that must have been the first time i was excited and simply stunned by a Bach performance.
The E-Flat French suite caught me a while longer ago, i think with just a little pedaling and rubato (god forbid!), it's romantic music.

Originally Posted By: Zindaras
What I like about Bach is (..) that you can play his pieces in such a vast number of ways

Indeed, someone also said that you can play the same Bach piece for a funeral or a wedding, his music is universal.

now on to discovering the partitas =)


Edited by Sorcerer88 (08/15/10 01:09 PM)
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