Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) End Stage Fright
End Stage Fright
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#1650549 - 03/29/11 09:28 PM Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach?
WinsomeAllegretto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 824
I am currently working on Bach's French Suite # 5 in g major. I played one of the movements for my teacher in my lesson, and she said I needed to add pedal. I thought it sounded fine as it was, so I asked why. Her answer was that all professionals use the pedal in Bach, and if I don't use the pedal I will sound like a beginner. She then went on to make me put in the pedal without giving me any guidelines first, which was frustrating, but that doesn't really have to do with the question. The questions is: is it really true that ALL professionals pedal in Bach? I thought there was a school that didn't believe in it.

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1650551 - 03/29/11 09:32 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6075
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
There was a discussion here some time ago... smile
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


Top
#1650552 - 03/29/11 09:33 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
It's not true that all professionals use pedal in Bach, although most do.

And indeed there are different schools of thought -- not just "yes" or "no," but also 'how much,' and 'exactly how.'

It's fine to do it any of these ways, as long as you do it well.

What's "well"? That's the really hard part. smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

Top
#1650554 - 03/29/11 09:34 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: ChopinAddict]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
There was a discussion here some time ago... smile

But I bet it's never been asked before quite this way. smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

Top
#1650556 - 03/29/11 09:39 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: Mark_C]
WinsomeAllegretto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 824
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
There was a discussion here some time ago... smile


Oh, sorry. I hate to bring up stuff that has been beaten to death already. blush
BTW, when I clicked the link, it just brought me back to this topic.


Originally Posted By: Mark_C
It's not true that all professionals use pedal in Bach, although most do.

And indeed there are different schools of thought -- not just "yes" or "no," but also 'how much,' and 'exactly how.'

It's fine to do it any of these ways, as long as you do it well.

What's "well"? That's the really hard part. smile


That is the hard part. For the longest time I was really confused because I couldn't figure out where, why, how to use the pedal. Finally she said pedal on certain notes that need more sound. That helped a little, but it's hard to decide what notes need "more sound" too.

Top
#1650560 - 03/29/11 09:42 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
WinsomeAllegretto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 824
Also, another way to put it: is it legitimate to refrain from pedaling? Will people take me seriously if I don't? And wouldn't it be better to leave it out than to put it in cluelessly?

Top
#1650565 - 03/29/11 09:45 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6075
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted By: WinsomeAllegretto
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
There was a discussion here some time ago... smile


Oh, sorry. I hate to bring up stuff that has been beaten to death already. blush
BTW, when I clicked the link, it just brought me back to this topic.



Sorry! blush I copied and pasted the url of the wrong window (I had both tabs open)...
This is the correct link...

No problem at all, I bring up old topics too sometimes... I just thought maybe there are some useful ideas... And some new ideas may be added to this thread too... smile

As to me, yes, I use the pedal, but your teacher's assertion that ALL professionals use it is probably exaggerated I think.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


Top
#1650567 - 03/29/11 09:53 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
fledgehog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 273
Loc: West Hartford, CT
i'm working on a couple movements from the same piece -- i do use the pedal, but i use it sparingly -- for the most part, finger legato SHOULD get you through.

Top
#1650574 - 03/29/11 10:01 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: fledgehog]
WinsomeAllegretto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 824
Originally Posted By: fledgehog
i'm working on a couple movements from the same piece -- i do use the pedal, but i use it sparingly -- for the most part, finger legato SHOULD get you through.


Yes, for this particular movement (Allemande) the legato/articulation is exactly how I want it without pedal, which is why I was confused at first that my teacher wanted me to add pedal. I mean what else is the pedal for if not connecting the notes, right?...well actually wrong.

Top
#1650589 - 03/29/11 10:22 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
jeffreyjones Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2229
Loc: San Jose, CA
There are people who feel the piano has capabilities far beyond the instruments Bach ever used, and he would be delighted to see those capabilities exploited. I can respect that premise, even as I disagree with it. Personally, I feel that Bach was a linear thinker. He didn't subscribe to the notions of harmony that Rameau set down in his treatise, and instead continued to think in a primarily horizontal fashion, with the "vertical" harmonies being a little more secondary. I do use the pedal in Bach, but always in such a way that the horizontal movement is clear.

Top
#1650600 - 03/29/11 10:42 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8695
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Why NOT use pedal in Bach? Otherwise, why bother to play his music on a modern piano? I don't think Bach would have particularly minded: I cannot think of any other composer whose music adapts so beautifully to any medium. His music is indestructible. In the opening of the C minor Partita I couldn't imagine not using pedal, I certainly did when I studied it in secondary school.

Move over to the organ music, and the 'Baroque Boys' (as Virgil Fox sneered), would forbid Bach's music played on anything other than a Marcussen or that dreadful instrument Michael Chapius used in his recordings. One of the most moving performances I ever heard of the Fantasy & Fugue in G minor was on the massive Willis at Liverpool Anglican.
_________________________
Jason

Top
#1650631 - 03/29/11 11:32 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Umm no, all professionals do NOT use the pedal with Bach. It's late and I'm battling a cold...can't sleep...not even going to start with this subject, but there isn't a NEED for pedal with Bach and any teacher that claims you'll sound like a beginner shouldn't be teaching.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1650656 - 03/30/11 12:14 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8695
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Do get to bed stores. Things are much more pleasant when you're not around.
_________________________
Jason

Top
#1650658 - 03/30/11 12:15 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: stores]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: stores
Umm no, all professionals do NOT use the pedal with Bach. It's late and I'm battling a cold...can't sleep...not even going to start with this subject....

Hey Stores -- I played (more or less) smile a whole recital with a cold. You're saying you can't even post? ha
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

Top
#1650661 - 03/30/11 12:18 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: Mark_C]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8695
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

Hey Stores -- I played (more or less) smile a whole recital with a cold. You're saying you can't even post? ha

Frankly I would prefer if he didn't.

ha ha ha
_________________________
Jason

Top
#1650666 - 03/30/11 12:33 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
argerichfan, why bait the man?

As for the OP, I find it strange that the teacher only gives you this "explanation" which is a silly one IMO. You shouldn't use the pedal just because some professionals do. You should use the pedal if you think it serves a purpose. You have no idea what that purpose might be right now thanks to your teacher's "explanation". You should probably demand a better explanation and if the teacher does not give you a satisfactory response, it might be time for you to look for another teacher.

Has your teacher discussed with you the various different functions a pedal can be used for? So for example do you know the pedal is used for purposes of tone color and not necessarily always for sustain? Heard of accent pedals? There are places in a Bach prelude that I play where I use the pedal on accents (but short) just to give the accented note a different color from the rest of the notes. So there are legitimate ways to use the pedal but you must know what the purpose is and what it is that you want to achieve with the sound before you begin to use the pedal. Throw your teacher's explanation out of the window if you are unable to see why the pedal must be used or if the teacher is unable to provide a better explanation. You using the pedal without having an idea about the purpose would do more harm than you not using the pedal where it might have added to the sound.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1650675 - 03/30/11 12:46 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
fledgehog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 273
Loc: West Hartford, CT
Originally Posted By: WinsomeAllegretto
Originally Posted By: fledgehog
i'm working on a couple movements from the same piece -- i do use the pedal, but i use it sparingly -- for the most part, finger legato SHOULD get you through.


Yes, for this particular movement (Allemande) the legato/articulation is exactly how I want it without pedal, which is why I was confused at first that my teacher wanted me to add pedal. I mean what else is the pedal for if not connecting the notes, right?...well actually wrong.


agreed. excapt for a couple tiny places, pedaling in the allemande sounds really muddy and blurry.

Top
#1650676 - 03/30/11 12:46 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: liszt85]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
Just a general point, not aimed particularly at the OP......

I think we should be careful to assume too much about exactly what a teacher said, based on what is said in a post. I mean look: In real life, when we hear something said, and then we hear someone tell about it, how often do they get it exactly right? IMO, not that often. Something usually gets lost in the repetition. So why should it be any different with posts? And it's no slam on the poster; IMO it's normal, just something that happens.

And we even make mistakes like that with what people say in posts. When we talk about what someone said, we might get it a little wrong, sometimes even way wrong -- even though what they said was right there on the page.

So....I'm not assuming anything about what the teacher said. That's why I answered just in terms of what the OP asked, without saying anything about the teacher.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

Top
#1650703 - 03/30/11 01:49 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: stores]
chopin_r_us Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 773
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: stores
Umm no, all professionals do NOT use the pedal with Bach. It's late and I'm battling a cold...can't sleep...not even going to start with this subject, but there isn't a NEED for pedal with Bach and any teacher that claims you'll sound like a beginner shouldn't be teaching.
Disagree. You should use the pedal whenever you want a passage to sound louder (more robust). In Bach's time you'd sometimes have flaps that opened on a harpsichord to give the same effect.

Top
#1650708 - 03/30/11 02:00 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: chopin_r_us]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
.....You should use the pedal whenever you want a passage to sound louder (more robust)....

You sure you want to put it that way? smile

For what it's worth, not too many people would agree with it.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

Top
#1650715 - 03/30/11 02:21 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: stores]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3885
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: stores
Umm no, all professionals do NOT use the pedal with Bach. It's late and I'm battling a cold...can't sleep...not even going to start with this subject, but there isn't a NEED for pedal with Bach and any teacher that claims you'll sound like a beginner shouldn't be teaching.


So you really would/did actually perform the WTC without any pedal?? or are you talking in general?

Top
#1650722 - 03/30/11 02:35 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Winsome One! laugh What a great question! The conclusion reached by the OP in the thread that ChopinAddict linked to for you to read was this: Let your ears be your guide.

I found these for you to listen to, if you care to. Tatiana Nikolayeva is one of my very most favorite Bach interpreters. The sound quality of this recording is not great, but my impression is that she is NOT pedalling in these renditions AT ALL!

Tatiana Nikolayeva-French Suite No.5 (part 1)

Tatiana Nikolayeva-French Suite No.5 (part 2)

Then, there is Emil Gilels (another of my faves), and in these renditions, my impression is that he DOES pedal, but ever, ever so slightly... sometimes... grin

Emil Gilels-French Suite No.5 (part 1)

Emil Gilels-French Suite No.5 (part 2)

What do you think? Here are two professionals NOT PEDALLING! Whether or not to pedal any particular Bach piece or phrase is, IMO, a very personal decision, to be made based on very personal expressive needs. DOWN WITH DOGMA, no matter how deeply imbued with intellect or how shallowly asserted through ignorance.

Hope this helps!
--Andy

P.S. That thread ChopinAddict linked to has lots and lots of very cool posts and is worth reading. smile
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

Top
#1650729 - 03/30/11 02:54 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2587
Loc: Manchester, UK
I use quite a lot of pedal here, in the sense of using it for many small effects, not smearing the whole sound. I think it works, particularly in the sarabande, though you may disagree.



Edited by debrucey (03/30/11 04:55 AM)
_________________________
Kapustin - Preludes Op. 53, Nos. 8, 11, 12, 9 and 10
Poulenc - Nocturnes and Novellettes
Barber - Souvenirs
Esa-Pekka Salonen - Dichotomie
Kevin Oldham - Ballade, Op. 17

Top
#1650738 - 03/30/11 03:30 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
It's a judgement call at the end of the day, isn't it, like so much in music?

Bach didn't write for piano, so if you play his music on a piano you're making a transcription. As with any transcription, there's a range of possibilities between doing your best to preserve the timbre and dynamics of the original instrument, to making free use of all the features of the new one.

It's not a 'right' and 'wrong' question, but a matter of figuing where you, or your audience, thinks the line may best be drawn. My experience is that few decent pianists shun the pedal completely, and few go to the other extreme and (for example) use the whole dynamic range from ppp to fff. Most people are somewhere in the middle.

Personally, I'm a pedal-phobe because (a) I'm training for the day I can afford a harpsichord and (b) I've heard too many young pianists pedalling like they're on a bicycle.

I wonder if the original comment about 'sounding like a beginner' reflects a view that one should use pedal to cover up inadequate finger legato technique? Personally I'd hope not, but I belief such advice is not uncommon.

Top
#1650756 - 03/30/11 04:46 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7422
Originally Posted By: WinsomeAllegretto
Also, another way to put it: is it legitimate to refrain from pedaling? Will people take me seriously if I don't? And wouldn't it be better to leave it out than to put it in cluelessly?


Of course it is legitimate, and for a very simple reason:
It is a one-hundred percent sure thing that Bach did not write any keyboard music with a modern piano's sustain pedal in mind. He just didn't. People can argue about it until blue in the face, but the fact that he didn't have it in mind means that nothing he wrote requires it.

Whether people want to use it in Bach, like to use it, can't play without it, etc., is a whole different issue, and really is about the individual's taste. And, I think, much revolves around people's ability to play well without the pedal, which many are not used to doing. Personally, I rarely use pedal in Bach, and have found that teaching myself how to play without it is one of the best things I've ever done for myself at the piano. I recommend it (but I don't necessarily dislike Bach playing that does use it, either, at least not for that reason alone).

Top
#1650762 - 03/30/11 05:15 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: chopin_r_us]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
Originally Posted By: stores
Umm no, all professionals do NOT use the pedal with Bach. It's late and I'm battling a cold...can't sleep...not even going to start with this subject, but there isn't a NEED for pedal with Bach and any teacher that claims you'll sound like a beginner shouldn't be teaching.
Disagree. You should use the pedal whenever you want a passage to sound louder (more robust).


Ummm...no. I'm not even going to argue this one...I'm just going to say you're wrong. You use the pedal as a crutch, but that's ok...to each his own.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1650765 - 03/30/11 05:20 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
Nikolas Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 4982
Loc: Europe
I'd reckon that a tiny bit of pedal in Bach won't exactly hurt, especially if used right and shoudln't be taken as a crutch.

On the other hand comment that 'you shoulsd use the pedal whenever you want a passage to sound louder (more robust).' is somewhat misleading to say the least... :-/ Too bad that I agree with stores but that HAD to happen at some point in life, no? laugh
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

Top
#1650766 - 03/30/11 05:21 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: Mark_C]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: stores
Umm no, all professionals do NOT use the pedal with Bach. It's late and I'm battling a cold...can't sleep...not even going to start with this subject....

Hey Stores -- I played (more or less) smile a whole recital with a cold. You're saying you can't even post? ha


Sorry to hear that. My practice time today (yesterday now) sounded like sheet, because my focus wasn't there (yes, unlike our book readers who think their altered focus doesn't affect the final product, I need to be focused). I pushed myself through my normal 16 hour day and that probably wasn't a good idea, because now I'm kind of paying for it and today I'm going to have to cut back.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1650769 - 03/30/11 05:33 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: Nikolas]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2587
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
I'd reckon that a tiny bit of pedal in Bach won't exactly hurt, especially if used right and shoudln't be taken as a crutch.

On the other hand comment that 'you shoulsd use the pedal whenever you want a passage to sound louder (more robust).' is somewhat misleading to say the least... :-/ Too bad that I agree with stores but that HAD to happen at some point in life, no? laugh


Even a stopped clock gives the correct time twice a day. ;-)
_________________________
Kapustin - Preludes Op. 53, Nos. 8, 11, 12, 9 and 10
Poulenc - Nocturnes and Novellettes
Barber - Souvenirs
Esa-Pekka Salonen - Dichotomie
Kevin Oldham - Ballade, Op. 17

Top
#1650770 - 03/30/11 05:39 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: debrucey]
Nikolas Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 4982
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Even a stopped clock gives the correct time twice a day. ;-)
This isn't always the case actually! laugh

On Saturday (this Saturday), 02:00 went to 03:00 (Summer time). So my clock which was stopped on 02:05 actually was once right that day! frown

LMAO!
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

Top
#1650771 - 03/30/11 05:40 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2587
Loc: Manchester, UK
Even less reason to pay attention to stores! lol
_________________________
Kapustin - Preludes Op. 53, Nos. 8, 11, 12, 9 and 10
Poulenc - Nocturnes and Novellettes
Barber - Souvenirs
Esa-Pekka Salonen - Dichotomie
Kevin Oldham - Ballade, Op. 17

Top
#1650772 - 03/30/11 05:44 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
Nikolas Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 4982
Loc: Europe
hahaha!

On the subject though...

I remain solid to my previous posts (in a Chopin thread): Can we know, EXACT instructions through a score? If not, how much freedom is provided to us (speaking as a pianist here)? How much is transmited through word of mouth and tradition, how much through scores and how much through... instinct?

I would dare to say that pedalling in Romantic works is based on instinct, rubato is based on tradition and so is the lack of usage of pedal in Bach. To all these there are exceptions, but as general rules it seems... logical.

Then again, I stand very honest to say that I'm extremely interested in what ways my works (as a composer) will be performed by the pianists, as long as there is respect to these works and my efforts. I can't provide exact information in any case (dealing with MIDI teaches you to be humble in such terms), so I'm hoping that tradition, education, and habbit will cover all those fields missing from the score. (example... "F" is forte. But how many dbs? How much velocity on a computer VST based instrument?)
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

Top
#1650773 - 03/30/11 05:49 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2587
Loc: Manchester, UK
I make no apologies for being a romantic interpreter of Baroque and Classical works.
_________________________
Kapustin - Preludes Op. 53, Nos. 8, 11, 12, 9 and 10
Poulenc - Nocturnes and Novellettes
Barber - Souvenirs
Esa-Pekka Salonen - Dichotomie
Kevin Oldham - Ballade, Op. 17

Top
#1650775 - 03/30/11 06:03 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
My thoughts on pedaling in Bach and what Allegretto's teacher had to say...

For as much as I sound like a purist, I am not TRULY such. It is true that Bach didn't specifically compose for the piano, but those who argue that his works shouldn't be played on "our" instrument corner themselves, because very often Bach says, "keyboard instrument", which even in his day could mean one of many. To play, as one poster claimed above, Bach on the piano is not to "make a transcription"... there is no need to change Bach's score or to make an approximation of it.
Pedal in Bach is fine, BUTTTTTTT it should never be used in place of the fingers. One should make every attempt possible to find a fingering that allows him to make whatever connection necessary possible. If, after exhausting every possibility, making a small connection with the pedal is okay. I'm sorry, but debrucey's example, above, is not a good one. It IS a good example of what I often hear from students, but I don't want to hear that you're using the pedal, if you're going to use it and you don't use it judiciously enough, debrucey. I'm not saying that your suite is bad, but I'd like to hear it without the pedal (which would force you to think more about articulation, phrasing and color).
Andro, with very little pedal, yes. There are only a few places in each book where, momentarily, I find it necessary to fall on my own crutch.
I find it rather laughable that a(any)teacher would make a statement wherein they claim that one will sound like a beginner should they refrain from using the pedal in Bach. I would have to question such a teacher and hear what they have to say about things first, but that's an incredibly amateurish statement, if ever I've heard one and if true, then the beginner is the teacher.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1650777 - 03/30/11 06:10 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: debrucey]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I make no apologies for being a romantic interpreter of Baroque and Classical works.


From what I heard in your suite...no, you're not a "romantic interpreter"...far from it.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1650778 - 03/30/11 06:10 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: stores]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2587
Loc: Manchester, UK
That may be what you like to hear, but its not what I like to hear. I'm not using it to cover deficiencies in the fingering. My teacher would never let me get away with that. I always learn Bach without touching the pedal to begin with. I am currently learning the 2nd partita, and have the whole thing memorized essentially, but I haven't yet used any pedal in it. I will though. I add it because I like the overtones and the slightly ethereal sound it lends the music.


Edited by debrucey (03/30/11 06:14 AM)
_________________________
Kapustin - Preludes Op. 53, Nos. 8, 11, 12, 9 and 10
Poulenc - Nocturnes and Novellettes
Barber - Souvenirs
Esa-Pekka Salonen - Dichotomie
Kevin Oldham - Ballade, Op. 17

Top
#1650781 - 03/30/11 06:13 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: stores]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2587
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I make no apologies for being a romantic interpreter of Baroque and Classical works.


From what I heard in your suite...no, you're not a "romantic interpreter"...far from it.


I don't mean that I try to make it sound like romantic music. What I mean is I approach it from the perspective of someone who feels at home in romantic music, or particularly turn of the century french music. I don't suddenly try to become an authentic baroque musician when I play bach. I'm not comparing myself to 'romantic interpreters' such as Horowitz, lol.


Edited by debrucey (03/30/11 06:16 AM)
_________________________
Kapustin - Preludes Op. 53, Nos. 8, 11, 12, 9 and 10
Poulenc - Nocturnes and Novellettes
Barber - Souvenirs
Esa-Pekka Salonen - Dichotomie
Kevin Oldham - Ballade, Op. 17

Top
#1650787 - 03/30/11 06:24 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: debrucey]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: debrucey
That may be what you like to hear, but its not what I like to hear. I'm not using it to cover deficiencies in the fingering. My teacher would never let me get away with that. I always learn Bach without touching the pedal to begin with. I am currently learning the 2nd partita, and have the whole thing memorized essentially, but I haven't yet used any pedal in it. I will though. I add it because I like the overtones and the slightly ethereal sound it lends the music.


Then you only play for yourself and you're really not interested in replicating that which Bach has written. If you don't need the pedal to cover deficiencies (I never said you did, but you do use it in spots where things are a bit tricky, which makes it a crutch) why would you resort to using it? I understand you like the overtones and ethereal sound (once again you're playing for yourself), but, if you incorporate the pedal long enough eventually you won't be able to produce the same results without it. If your teacher won't let you get away with it, then you're saying you know better than he/she by using it, yes? You don't have to answer, because I hear students answer this question all the time. I'm not deliberately giving you a hard time, debrucey, but I am using you as an example, since you posted the video. I think you CAN play your suite sans pedal and I'd love to hear you do so.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1650788 - 03/30/11 06:26 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: debrucey]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I make no apologies for being a romantic interpreter of Baroque and Classical works.


From what I heard in your suite...no, you're not a "romantic interpreter"...far from it.


I don't mean that I try to make it sound like romantic music. What I mean is I approach it from the perspective of someone who feels at home in romantic music, or particularly turn of the century french music. I don't suddenly try to become an authentic baroque musician when I play bach. I'm not comparing myself to 'romantic interpreters' such as Horowitz, lol.


I understood what you meant. I'm not going to pursue this point, however, because I don't want you thinking I'm picking on you.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1650791 - 03/30/11 06:35 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2587
Loc: Manchester, UK
I don't use it as a crutch. Every passage in that suite I can play, and at first learned to play, without any pedal at all. My teacher is happy for me to use pedal colouristically as long as I can achieve all the notes without it, which I can. Theres nothing of disagreeing with my teacher or thinking I know better than him here. To say I play entirely for myself is to say I don't take into account how something will sound to an audience, which isnt true. It also assumes that everyone in the audience will agree with you and not me, which isn't necessarily true either.
_________________________
Kapustin - Preludes Op. 53, Nos. 8, 11, 12, 9 and 10
Poulenc - Nocturnes and Novellettes
Barber - Souvenirs
Esa-Pekka Salonen - Dichotomie
Kevin Oldham - Ballade, Op. 17

Top
#1650795 - 03/30/11 06:48 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: debrucey]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I don't use it as a crutch. Every passage in that suite I can play, and at first learned to play, without any pedal at all. My teacher is happy for me to use pedal colouristically as long as I can achieve all the notes without it, which I can. Theres nothing of disagreeing with my teacher or thinking I know better than him here. To say I play entirely for myself is to say I don't take into account how something will sound to an audience, which isnt true. It also assumes that everyone in the audience will agree with you and not me, which isn't necessarily true either.


I said nothing of the audience. I said that you play only for yourself...maybe you don't quite understand that. You DO use it as a crutch, though. What color? I hear no color changes where you're using pedal...I only hear pedal at points where you're too lazy to use finger legato. I'm sorry, but I've played/heard/taught the suite thousands of times and I only need to see/hear snippets. All that you're doing with the pedal here is achievable without it.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1650798 - 03/30/11 06:54 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: stores]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: stores
To play, as one poster claimed above, Bach on the piano is not to "make a transcription"... there is no need to change Bach's score or to make an approximation of it.


To play music on an instrument other than that for which it was composed _is_ to make a transcription. That's what transcription means. To deny that by saying that Bach used terms like 'keyboard music' or 'keyboard practice' is disingenuous -- yes, there were more that one. But none of them sounded even remotely like a modern grand piano. They weren't even tuned the same.

The claim that one can make an authentic, non-interpetive rendition of baroque keyboard on a modern piano is only possible if one ignores history. Actually that's true to some extent of all music, but it's particular true of the baroque.

Top
#1650799 - 03/30/11 07:03 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: kevinb]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: stores
To play, as one poster claimed above, Bach on the piano is not to "make a transcription"... there is no need to change Bach's score or to make an approximation of it.


To play music on an instrument other than that for which it was composed _is_ to make a transcription. That's what transcription means. To deny that by saying that Bach used terms like 'keyboard music' or 'keyboard practice' is disingenuous -- yes, there were more that one. But none of them sounded even remotely like a modern grand piano. They weren't even tuned the same.

The claim that one can make an authentic, non-interpetive rendition of baroque keyboard on a modern piano is only possible if one ignores history. Actually that's true to some extent of all music, but it's particular true of the baroque.



I'm sorry, but you're wrong. If the composer (and here we have, Bach) does not SPECIFY (maybe you didn't catch that part) an instrument, then it's not a transcription regardless of what keyboard instrument one chooses. To play Bach on the modern grand is not to arrange (or re-arrange) his works. Clearly, you're not too sure about what a transcription is.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1650801 - 03/30/11 07:05 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2587
Loc: Manchester, UK
I'm not saying its a good performance, lol. But I don't use it as a crutch.
_________________________
Kapustin - Preludes Op. 53, Nos. 8, 11, 12, 9 and 10
Poulenc - Nocturnes and Novellettes
Barber - Souvenirs
Esa-Pekka Salonen - Dichotomie
Kevin Oldham - Ballade, Op. 17

Top
#1650802 - 03/30/11 07:06 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2587
Loc: Manchester, UK
Stop being so patronising stores! Ugh. I dont agree with kevinb either but there are more pleasant ways to disagree with someone.


Edited by debrucey (03/30/11 07:09 AM)
_________________________
Kapustin - Preludes Op. 53, Nos. 8, 11, 12, 9 and 10
Poulenc - Nocturnes and Novellettes
Barber - Souvenirs
Esa-Pekka Salonen - Dichotomie
Kevin Oldham - Ballade, Op. 17

Top
#1650804 - 03/30/11 07:22 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: debrucey]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I'm not saying its a good performance, lol. But I don't use it as a crutch.


I didn't say it wasn't a good performance. It's fine! Could it be better? Yes. Do you NEED the pedal? No. Do I see/hear you using it as a crutch? Yes. Let's just say this were a masterclass (you would certainly be one that I'd choose to play from the forum)...I'd ask why you use the pedal where you use it...you'd answer and then I'd ask you to play again without any pedal. The proof would be in the pudding, but, since we can't do that here the entire crutch issue is a moot one. I think you could elevate your playing to another level entirely by paying closer attention to and devoting more time to developing a finger legato that would grant you access to greater things.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1650805 - 03/30/11 07:23 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: debrucey]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Stop being so patronising stores!


It's not intentional. If you're wrong, then you're wrong and I'll tell you that you are. Simple as that.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1650806 - 03/30/11 07:25 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2587
Loc: Manchester, UK
If I spend any more time on finger legato in Bach than I am currently (about 4 hours a day) then I will go insane lol
_________________________
Kapustin - Preludes Op. 53, Nos. 8, 11, 12, 9 and 10
Poulenc - Nocturnes and Novellettes
Barber - Souvenirs
Esa-Pekka Salonen - Dichotomie
Kevin Oldham - Ballade, Op. 17

Top
#1650807 - 03/30/11 07:32 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: debrucey]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: debrucey
If I spend any more time on finger legato in Bach than I am currently (about 4 hours a day) then I will go insane lol


You can doeeeeeeeet!
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1650815 - 03/30/11 07:45 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: stores]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: stores

I'm sorry, but you're wrong. If the composer (and here we have, Bach) does not SPECIFY (maybe you didn't catch that part) an instrument, then it's not a transcription regardless of what keyboard instrument one chooses. To play Bach on the modern grand is not to arrange (or re-arrange) his works. Clearly, you're not too sure about what a transcription is.


I doubt that you're sorry at all.

It's perfectly clear what class of instruments Bach had in mind, if not which specific type of instrument. In some cases he wrote for a specific, individual instrument, and we know what that instrument was.

The class of 'keyboard' instruments for Bach does not include the modern piano or anything remotely like it in timbre, range, or performance dynamics. The only similarity is the controls, so to speak, and even they aren't always that close.

You can play Bach flute suites on a tenor sax -- they're both roughly the same size and shape and have similar fingering. But the class 'flute' does not include 'tenor sax', for Bach or anybody else.

Different instrument = transcription. By definition. If you tell me what part of that you don't understand, I'll try to explain more clearly. Although I'm not sure how.

Top
#1650820 - 03/30/11 08:00 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: kevinb]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: stores

I'm sorry, but you're wrong. If the composer (and here we have, Bach) does not SPECIFY (maybe you didn't catch that part) an instrument, then it's not a transcription regardless of what keyboard instrument one chooses. To play Bach on the modern grand is not to arrange (or re-arrange) his works. Clearly, you're not too sure about what a transcription is.


I doubt that you're sorry at all.

It's perfectly clear what class of instruments Bach had in mind, if not which specific type of instrument. In some cases he wrote for a specific, individual instrument, and we know what that instrument was.

The class of 'keyboard' instruments for Bach does not include the modern piano or anything remotely like it in timbre, range, or performance dynamics. The only similarity is the controls, so to speak, and even they aren't always that close.

You can play Bach flute suites on a tenor sax -- they're both roughly the same size and shape and have similar fingering. But the class 'flute' does not include 'tenor sax', for Bach or anybody else.

Different instrument = transcription. By definition. If you tell me what part of that you don't understand, I'll try to explain more clearly. Although I'm not sure how.



You would be correct in assuming that I'm not sorry. Sorry about that. Haha!

Bach DOES, indeed, specify instrumentation with some of his keyboard compositions, but does one assume that Bach (and we need not use Bach, here only) was not intelligent enough to understand that when he uses the term KEYBOARD that the future will realise a broader range of instruments than those available to him? He already saw, heard and played the earliest of pianofortes toward the end of his life and certainly he was aware of ongoing developments in keyboard construction. A transcription is an arrangement is it not? Other than technique, do we rearrange anything when we play Bach on the piano? No (well, I've heard some who do, including some famous players of Bach).
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1650851 - 03/30/11 08:48 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: stores]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: stores

but does one assume that Bach (and we need not use Bach, here only) was not intelligent enough to understand that when he uses the term KEYBOARD that the future will realise a broader range of instruments than those available to him?


I don't have the faintest idea how Bach thought about the future. From his writings it seems he was not hugely impressed with the piano-like instruments becoming available in his lifetime. But he might have been thinking 'One day this will sound great on a piano played like a harpsichord'. I really don't know. It doesn't seem hugely likely to me, but who knows. Maybe.

Quote:

A transcription is an arrangement is it not? Other than technique, do we rearrange anything when we play Bach on the piano? No.


Well, here we're quibbling over the meaning of the word 'transcription', which I concede is my fault for bringing it up. Perhaps 'reinterpretation' would be a less contentious term.

There is no piano technique that will produce a sound very much like any harpsichord, even leaving aside the tuning differences. So however you play, you aren't hearing what Bach heard. So you have to decide whether you want to play so that the sound is as close as possible to what Bach would have heard, or deviate from that and exploit the characteristics of the instrument.

I'm very sympathetic to the first approach, but it seems to ne to be a counsel of despair if approached dogmatically.

An analogy: the guidance notes for the ABRSM exam edition of Handel's Fugue in C minor point out a place where it is 'correct' to play a G2 rather than the written G3, because Handel undoutedly _would have_ written a G2 if his keyboard had had the range. I'm pretty sure everybody who plays this piece places the low G, rather than what Handel wrote.

But if this is the correct approach, why would it not be correct to say "Handel (or whoever) would definitely have pedalled at this point, if he had had pedals". I fail to see why one 'correction' is OK and the other not.

Of course, the evidence that Handel 'would' have written a low G is pretty compelling, and the evidence that he would have pedalled far less conclusive. But as a matter of _principle_, I don't really see the difference.

Top
#1650863 - 03/30/11 09:12 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
I certainly prefer to pedal Bach. Tho I am devoted to the composer's intent, I imagine Bach would laugh at the notion of ignoring the pedal when it could enhance his music.

_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

Top
#1650877 - 03/30/11 09:34 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: apple*]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: apple*
I certainly prefer to pedal Bach. Tho I am devoted to the composer's intent, I imagine Bach would laugh at the notion of ignoring the pedal when it could enhance his music.



I'm sure he would laugh at the notion also, but the writing that we have from him doesn't NEED the pedal. Had he lived longer I've no doubt he might have begun writing differently, but the content, as it stands, doesn't call for it. What's interesting is that I've heard many, many pianists sit down at a harpsichord, clavichord, or even a pianoforte from the early 1800s and what's the first thing they attempt? Bach. Know what? The vast majority of them have one helll of a time with it, because they don't know how to work without the dam pedal (this is not, apple, directed your way).
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1650899 - 03/30/11 10:10 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
Peyton Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 2501
Loc: Maine
...I'm not qualified to add to this pedal debate but.. Debrucey, that is beautiful playing. Thanks.
_________________________
"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde
www.youtube.com/Biffer5
www.peytonart.com


Top
#1650905 - 03/30/11 10:21 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: kevinb]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2625
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted By: kevinb
The class of 'keyboard' instruments for Bach does not include the modern piano or anything remotely like it in timbre, range, or performance dynamics. The only similarity is the controls, so to speak, and even they aren't always that close.

I agree. Bach was familiar with the early fortepianos made by Silbermann, but the instrument as we know it didn't begin to manifest until the invention of the cast iron frame about 75 years after Bach's death.
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Different instrument = transcription. By definition. If you tell me what part of that you don't understand, I'll try to explain more clearly. Although I'm not sure how.

It's easy to argue semantics, but that's a fundamentalist approach. This situation is very much borderline, because no significant change in technique is required (though having played organ and harpsichord they're a very different instruments to play). The term transcription can be applied to performing Bach by orchestra or voices both of which are significant leaps and bounds from playing Bach on a piano.

Bach was known to relish new sounds and possibilities. Why do you think his friend Silbermann asked him to play his fortepiano in the first place? If the pedal can be used to enhance the performance then use it.

Keep in mind Bach was a linear composer whose first thought was about counterpoint. Obscure the linear line or the counterpoint and you obscure the essence of Bach. This is very easy to do with a piano's sustain pedal, hence the caution against using it. I thought Debrucy's performance was quite good and enjoyed listening to it (and was disappointed when I clicked to read the next page of this thread and stopped it).

The other thread basically concluded if it sounds good it's OK. I agree.


Edited by Steve Chandler (03/30/11 10:23 AM)

Top
#1650909 - 03/30/11 10:26 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
Bach certainly played around with sustained notes on the organ. .. not to agree or disagree with anyone (stores smile ) There is big difference in my interpretation of the first prelude in WTC 1 for instance, rather than one of the fugues in an unusual key (like F# minor).. also, not agree or disagreeing with anyone.

I simply cannot play his fugue in C# minor (WTC 1) or the F# minor from book II without pedalling... just can't...altho they do sound fine without pedalling.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

Top
#1650918 - 03/30/11 10:41 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: Steve Chandler]
1RC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 495
Loc: Alberta
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
The other thread basically concluded if it sounds good it's OK. I agree.


Can't argue with that, hah!

I use pedal in Bach, but not very often. I don't think I use it as a crutch (it might happen though), the main idea is to keep everything clear, each note is there for a reason. At the end of the day I don't care what this-or-that professional, audience, or armchair critic might think... unless they're right, then I'd best listen up! heh

Stores makes good points when he takes the time to explain himself. When I contrast that with his earlier posts I can see how he can get under the skin, they often read like "you're wrong, but I'm too tired to tell you why".

Top
#1650922 - 03/30/11 10:46 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: kevinb]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: stores

A transcription is an arrangement is it not? Other than technique, do we rearrange anything when we play Bach on the piano? No.


Well, here we're quibbling over the meaning of the word 'transcription', which I concede is my fault for bringing it up. Perhaps 'reinterpretation' would be a less contentious term.



kevinb,

Perhaps the word you're looking for is "translation." "Transcription" denotes and connotes a written copy of something. Other senses of the term "transcription" also indicate a "copy" of something, even if in different media. I sense that you are trying to say that, since Bach was writing for an instrument that was very different from the modern piano in the effects it could achieve, any interpretation on a modern instrument diverges from the way Bach "would have said it," and is not in the original language, so to speak...

Being the Bach lover that I am, and having listened to a smattering of different artists playing his works on a modern piano, some using pedal, some not, it seems to me that Bach can be played well or poorly with or without pedal! Later recordings of Tatiana Nikolayeva sound as though she employs the pedal verrry judiciously, verrrry thoughtfully, and verrrry intentionally--as though at some point she reached a conclusion about the type of instrument she was playing on, and what it could do to enhance the music. Can anyone corroborate that?

--Andy

P.S. Stores--have you gotten anywhere with that Goldberg's faves list, yet? blush
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

Top
#1650997 - 03/30/11 12:14 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: stores]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: kevinb
To play music on an instrument other than that for which it was composed _is_ to make a transcription.....

I'm sorry, but you're wrong....Clearly, you're not too sure about what a transcription is.

Stores, you're wrong. ha

Because what he's saying reflects a pretty widely-held view of what's a "transcription."

I'm not saying it's more widely held then your view -- I don't know, I haven't seen a poll. smile
But his view is a legitimate one.

Me? I'm more on your side about the meaning of transcription, but considering how you're expressing yourself here, I was almost afraid to admit it. smile

To Cinnamonbear: I don't agree that the meaning of the term in music is limited to things involving a "written copy"; the term is often used in a broader way (although, again, not necessarily most often).

P.S. I don't think we need to think of playing the works on the piano as being "transcriptions" in order to justify using the pedal.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

Top
#1651004 - 03/30/11 12:23 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: Mark_C]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: kevinb
To play music on an instrument other than that for which it was composed _is_ to make a transcription.....

I'm sorry, but you're wrong....Clearly, you're not too sure about what a transcription is.

Stores, you're wrong. ha

Because what he's saying reflects a pretty widely-held view of what's a "transcription."

I'm not saying it's more widely held then your view -- I don't know, I haven't seen a poll. smile
But his view is a legitimate one.

Me? I'm more on your side about the meaning of transcription, but considering how you're expressing yourself here, I was almost afraid to admit it. smile



Every time I play the WTC, though I'm using exactly the same score I'd use were I to play it on the organ, harpsichord, clavichord, fortepiano, etc., (I'm only using a different technique than I'd use for any of those instruments) apparently I'm transcribing it, yes? You're playing the same damed music on another keyboard instrument...you're NOT playing it on the cello or the oboe, or the tuba, or whatever. It is NOT a transcription. Period.

Now, of course, he is right that to play a work that originally was composed for a keyboard instrument on say the flute, cello, oboe, etc. would be to transcribe said work (you'd arrange it for whatever instrument). To play Bach's keyboard works on the modern day piano there is no transcription needed.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1651009 - 03/30/11 12:33 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
survivordan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 844
Loc: Ohio
I agree with stores. Playing Bach on any keyboard instruments is not a transcription. Why? Because Bach himself used all kinds of different keyboard instruments: clavichord, harpsichord, organ. How can we know what instrument Bach intended any of his works for? The answer is: we can't.
Saying that playing Bach on a piano instead of a (insert one of the above keyboard instruments) is a transcription is like saying that playing Bach on a Baroque cello or a modern cello. They're all cellos.
_________________________
Working On:

BACH: Invention No. 13 in a min.
GRIEG: Notturno Op. 54 No. 4
VILLA-LOBOS: O Polichinelo

Next Up:

BACH: Keyboard Concerto in f minor

Top
#1651011 - 03/30/11 12:41 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: survivordan]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: survivordan
I agree with stores. Playing Bach on any keyboard instruments is not a transcription. Why? Because Bach himself used all kinds of different keyboard instruments: clavichord, harpsichord, organ. How can we know what instrument Bach intended any of his works for? The answer is: we can't.
Saying that playing Bach on a piano instead of a (insert one of the above keyboard instruments) is a transcription is like saying that playing Bach on a Baroque cello or a modern cello. They're all cellos.


To be specific, dan, Bach did tell us at times which instrument he'd composed for, but more often than not he didn't. Your baroque cello was then called the viola da gamba, by the way.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1651013 - 03/30/11 12:46 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: stores]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
Stores, I realize it's not your view. I just said it's a widely held view.

What you just did was, you repeated your view. smile

Which, btw, happens to be my view also. But a view is a view. And the opposite view isn't "wrong." If we say it's wrong, then we're wrong. smile

And more importantly for this discussion, the justification for pedaling doesn't depend on whether we think they're "transcriptions." This is just a side issue anyway.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

Top
#1651014 - 03/30/11 12:46 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3617
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I also agree with stores, but I think the issue is subtle (like most language issues) and open to some disagreement.

Here are some interesting examples:

1. Ravel arranges Pictures at an Exhibition for orchestra.
2. Webern arranges a fugue from The Musical Offering for orchestra. Exact same notes, but Webern-esque distribution of those notes among all the instruments.
3. A string quartet plays a 4-voiced fugue from WTC. Each instrument plays one voice exactly.
4. Prokofiev rewrites his flute sonata into a violin sonata.
5. A violin plays the viola part in a viola concerto.
6. Bach is played on a modern piano or a synthesizer.

I definitely call 1-3 transcriptions, and (like stores) I definitely do not call 6 a transcription. Not sure about 4 and 5.

What about you guys?

-Jason


Edited by beet31425 (03/30/11 12:48 PM)
Edit Reason: switched 4 and 5 to preserve a certain progression
_________________________
Schoenberg op.10+k, Beethoven op.100+k for k=9
Schubert D.899/4, Chopin op.25/2

Top
#1651020 - 03/30/11 12:55 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: beet31425]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: beet31425
I also agree with stores, but I think the issue is subtle (like most language issues) and open to some disagreement.

Here are some interesting examples:

1. Ravel arranges Pictures at an Exhibition for orchestra.
2. Webern arranges a fugue from The Musical Offering for orchestra. Exact same notes, but Webern-esque distribution of those notes among all the instruments.
3. A string quartet plays a 4-voiced fugue from WTC. Each instrument plays one voice exactly.
4. Prokofiev rewrites his flute sonata into a violin sonata.
5. A violin plays the viola part in a viola concerto.
6. Bach is played on a modern piano or a synthesizer.

I definitely call 1-3 transcriptions, and (like stores) I definitely do not call 6 a transcription. Not sure about 4 and 5.

What about you guys?

-Jason


4 and 5 are also transcriptions...they're rewritten parts.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1651023 - 03/30/11 12:57 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: Mark_C]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

But a view is a view. And the opposite view isn't "wrong." If we say it's wrong, then we're wrong. smile



I'm sorry, but it's not a view. It's not an opinion. Look the dam word up.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1651025 - 03/30/11 01:01 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: stores]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: stores
I'm sorry, but it's not a view. It's not an opinion. Look the dam word up.

That's a view also. smile

Even speaking as someone who loves looking words up smile that doesn't necessarily address things like this. I'm talking about usage, which sometimes gets ahead of written definitions and then sometimes becomes part of the written definition. Is this thing I'm talking about (which, again, doesn't fit my concept of it -- I agree with your view) part of any written definition? I don't know, and it doesn't matter. The thing is that many musicians express that broader view of what's a "transcription."

And really, we're off the mark by even talking about it in terms of the word's "definition," because it's not about definitions; it's about a certain concept of what it means to play Bach on the piano. I don't know why you feel such a need to say that this other concept is just "wrong." I'm with you on the view, but I don't feel any such need.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

Top
#1651028 - 03/30/11 01:04 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3885
Loc: New York
I think that the definition of transcription as "playing a piece of music on a different instrument than was intended" is particularly precarious in Bach's case. The reason is that, as was already suggested , instrument making at the time was less rigid and very much in a state of ongoing evolution. It is even more apparent in the case of string instruments. In fact, while there is no authentic autographed manuscript for any of the cello suites (the closest is a copy by Anna Magdalena), it is thought they could have been written for an early cello or a violoncello piccolo or a viola hybrid, all of which were considered a kind of a "cello" (not exactly for the viola da gamba, which came in 4 or 5 different sizes and ranges). An exception is the sixth suite which was explicitly written for a 5 string instrument. Today's players will actually play the 6th suite on a 4 string instrument but you will not find them calling it a real transcription. Also the 5th suite requires "scordatura" or a re-tuning (of the top A to G), as indicated in the manuscript, making the actual instrument it is played on rather secondary to the music idea Bach wanted to explore.

Top
#1651043 - 03/30/11 01:36 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: stores]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: stores
Your baroque cello was then called the viola da gamba, by the way.


The viola de gamba was not a standardized instrument, there were a number of different models that were known by this name or by other names.

Otherwise I agree completely with Stores about transcrition.

I also agree that the use of the pedal takes away from Debrucey's reading.

In general because of the use of the pedal I dislike hearing young pianists play Bach on the piano. Especially at competitions, where it appears they they believe that they need to pedal to make a good impression or to give corpus to a Bach who, in my view, doesn't really need help of this sort.

Top
#1651046 - 03/30/11 01:39 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
This idea of "finger legato" strikes me as a false notion. Pedal is not a substitute for Legato. Legato is legato, pedal is pedal.

Top
#1651054 - 03/30/11 01:49 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: landorrano]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: stores
Your baroque cello was then called the viola da gamba, by the way.


The viola de gamba was not a standardized instrument, there were a number of different models that were known by this name or by other names.



I do realise that.
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1651055 - 03/30/11 01:49 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: Steve Chandler]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler

It's easy to argue semantics, but that's a fundamentalist approach. This situation is very much borderline, because no significant change in technique is required (though having played organ and harpsichord they're a very different instruments to play). The term transcription can be applied to performing Bach by orchestra or voices both of which are significant leaps and bounds from playing Bach on a piano.


Yeah. I'm just feeling particularly combative today. I admitted as much earlier. Sorry for derailing the discussion with a completely irrelevant side issue.



Edited by kevinb (03/30/11 01:51 PM)

Top
#1651060 - 03/30/11 01:55 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: landorrano]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Pedal is not a substitute for Legato. Legato is legato, pedal is pedal.


+1
_________________________

"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."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1651073 - 03/30/11 02:14 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: stores]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: stores
Your baroque cello was then called the viola da gamba, by the way.


The viola de gamba was not a standardized instrument, there were a number of different models that were known by this name or by other names.



I do realise that.


By the way, there is a great film which has a viola de gamba as it's main character. "Tous les matins du monde", the music is extraordianary, played by Jordi Savall. And no pedal !

Top
#1651078 - 03/30/11 02:23 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: stores]
ocd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/06
Posts: 201
Loc: North East
My favorite instrument for a lot of Bach's keyboard music is the clavichord. On the clavichord, the string length between bridge and tuning peg is free to vibrate sympathetically, which adds to the music a certain blurring and resonance. In comparison, Bach's keyboard music played on the piano sounds dry to me. On the piano, I pedal to try to imitate the clavichord, as much as it is possible; I do not pedal to join notes. I often find myself doing a very shallow pedaling and changing the pedal almost on each beat, if not more often.

I once asked Father Sean Duggan (a fantastic Bach interpreter, IMHO) how to use the pedal in Bach. He said "a little dab will do ya". (Old Brylcreem slogan. If you knew that, as I did, you might be a baby boomer.)

ocd
_________________________
"Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen."

Top
#1651093 - 03/30/11 02:53 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: ocd]
chopin_r_us Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 773
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: ocd

I once asked Father Sean Duggan (a fantastic Bach interpreter, IMHO) how to use the pedal in Bach. He said "a little dab will do ya".
I like it. How drab must stores' Bach be!

Top
#1651100 - 03/30/11 03:08 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: chopin_r_us]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3617
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
Originally Posted By: ocd

I once asked Father Sean Duggan (a fantastic Bach interpreter, IMHO) how to use the pedal in Bach. He said "a little dab will do ya".
I like it. How drab must stores' Bach be!

I doubt it.

(What an oddly unnecessary swipe!)

-J
_________________________
Schoenberg op.10+k, Beethoven op.100+k for k=9
Schubert D.899/4, Chopin op.25/2

Top
#1651109 - 03/30/11 03:29 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: stores]
SlatterFan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 783
Loc: Brighton, UK
Originally Posted By: stores
Pedal in Bach is fine, BUTTTTTTT it should never be used in place of the fingers. One should make every attempt possible to find a fingering that allows him to make whatever connection necessary possible. If, after exhausting every possibility, making a small connection with the pedal is okay. ... Andro, with very little pedal, yes. There are only a few places in each book where, momentarily, I find it necessary to fall on my own crutch.

Do you not use any "non-crutch" pedal in the WTC? Not even in Book I, the Prelude in E flat minor?
_________________________
Julian

Top
#1651150 - 03/30/11 04:43 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: argerichfan]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1183
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Why NOT use pedal in Bach? Otherwise, why bother to play his music on a modern piano?


Isn't one reason the piano is such a ubiquitous instrument its ability to echo the styles of so many other instruments?

Top
#1651161 - 03/30/11 05:00 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6075
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Maurice Hinson says that if used delicately and carefully, the pedal can help produce the cantabile style of playing Bach refers to in the Preface to the Two-Part Inventions and that sometimes it is desirable to use it to add resonance and colour to the individual tones and chords.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


Top
#1651171 - 03/30/11 05:11 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: ChopinAddict]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8695
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Maurice Hinson says that if used delicately and carefully, the pedal can help produce the cantabile style of playing Bach refers to in the Preface to the Two-Part Inventions and that sometimes it is desirable to use it to add resonance and colour to the individual tones and chords.

+1. For the same reason I would (and did) use pedal at the opening of the C minor Partita. Actually I used a fair amount of pedal throughout the piece, but that was 12 years ago, and I wouldn't be inclined to be so liberal with it now.

Excellent quote, ChopinAddict.
_________________________
Jason

Top
#1651251 - 03/30/11 07:02 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: ChopinAddict]
WinsomeAllegretto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 824
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Maurice Hinson says that if used delicately and carefully, the pedal can help produce the cantabile style of playing Bach refers to in the Preface to the Two-Part Inventions and that sometimes it is desirable to use it to add resonance and colour to the individual tones and chords.


Thanks, that is helpful. And I think it is what my teacher was trying to tell me.

Obviously, my teacher was not suggesting I use the pedal as a "crutch" or even to connect notes in this particular piece. It was just really confusing trying to figure out what kind of pedaling sounds good in this type of piece. I've played around with it, and picked some notes to pedal on...but I don't think it makes much of a difference. It might even sound better - idk, cleaner maybe - without pedal.

Top
#1651255 - 03/30/11 07:07 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: debrucey]
WinsomeAllegretto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 824
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I use quite a lot of pedal here, in the sense of using it for many small effects, not smearing the whole sound. I think it works, particularly in the sarabande, though you may disagree.



That was very nice.

The Sarabande is one movement that I do think pedal works well in. It came much easier in that movement for me.

Top
#1651258 - 03/30/11 07:14 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: Cinnamonbear]
WinsomeAllegretto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 824
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Winsome One! laugh What a great question! The conclusion reached by the OP in the thread that ChopinAddict linked to for you to read was this: Let your ears be your guide.

I found these for you to listen to, if you care to. Tatiana Nikolayeva is one of my very most favorite Bach interpreters. The sound quality of this recording is not great, but my impression is that she is NOT pedalling in these renditions AT ALL!

Tatiana Nikolayeva-French Suite No.5 (part 1)

Tatiana Nikolayeva-French Suite No.5 (part 2)

Then, there is Emil Gilels (another of my faves), and in these renditions, my impression is that he DOES pedal, but ever, ever so slightly... sometimes... grin

Emil Gilels-French Suite No.5 (part 1)

Emil Gilels-French Suite No.5 (part 2)

What do you think? Here are two professionals NOT PEDALLING! Whether or not to pedal any particular Bach piece or phrase is, IMO, a very personal decision, to be made based on very personal expressive needs. DOWN WITH DOGMA, no matter how deeply imbued with intellect or how shallowly asserted through ignorance.

Hope this helps!
--Andy

P.S. That thread ChopinAddict linked to has lots and lots of very cool posts and is worth reading. smile


Thanks for those links and thoughts! I do like those two interpretations a lot. Gilels is a little too slow for my taste, but much of what Nikolayeva does is just how I envision the piece sounding. Lack of obvious pedaling does not diminish from the performance, I don't think.

Top
#1651360 - 03/31/11 12:42 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: WinsomeAllegretto
[...] but much of what Nikolayeva does is just how I envision the piece sounding.


That was my reaction ENTIRELY when I discovered her recordings!!! I've been working on Partitas 1 and 4 for many years, now, and when I discovered her recordings last year, they sounded IDEAL! I really encourage you to take some time to uncover her stuff on Youtube, or at the library, and just simply enjoy it! grin

P.S. I agree about Gilels! grin Pedalling was the point... wink blush


Edited by Cinnamonbear (03/31/11 01:02 AM)
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

Top
#1651362 - 03/31/11 12:57 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: Mark_C]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

To Cinnamonbear: I don't agree that the meaning of the term in music is limited to things involving a "written copy"; the term is often used in a broader way (although, again, not necessarily most often).


Oh, for Pete's sake! Transcription means taking something that wasn't written down a certain way, and writing it down that certain way. If Bach wrote down keyboard music, and you play it on a keyboard, the playing of it is not a transcription, it is a performance. In reading a manuscript that was written for an early keyboard instrument and playing it on a modern piano, there is ceratainly and aspect of "trans." There is no aspect of "scribe." There is, however, and aspect of "late."

get it? ( ha )
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

Top
#1651612 - 03/31/11 11:05 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 743
Loc: Dorset, UK
If music is played on instrument(s) that it was not originally played on, it is either a realisation (the notation is not changed) or a transcription (the notation is changed to suit the new instrument(s).
Can we agree on that terminology? If so, we realise Bach on the piano as we have no need to change the notation.
As for the use of the pedal, it has nothing to do with legato: the whole spectrum of ultra legato through detached to ultra staccato can and should be achieved through the fingers. Where the pedal is used, it is surely for colour/sustaining a single note/chord or a series of notes that are harmonically compatible, for musical reasons, not technical reasons. (There are some low notes in the F major fugue, Book 2 WTC, that we could pick up and hold with the 3rd pedal, but this would be for technical reasons - the inability to play all the notes with the LH. I'm sure this would be frowned upon. Even so, Tovey suggests pedalling some chords in Beethoven so that the top half is free to trill, the lower note being held by the pedal. So where is the line between musical and technical? His answer might have been it needs to be pedalled anyway, so why make the trill harder for yourself, just let the thumb go.)
To put it into another context, it is possible to realise Bach with or without pedal on the modern piano, butit is not possible to "realise" (if we believe his piano to be suffici ently different from ours) Chopin's music without pedal, but the use of the pedal in Chopin on a modern instrument will be different from its use on an 1840's instrument.
To the extent that every instrument is different, the use of the pedal will vary. I think it is mainly to do with the sustaining power of the instrument and the different combination of harmonics generated which inform how we use the pedal to create the musical effect we want.

Top
#1651737 - 03/31/11 01:57 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: sandalholme]
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3910
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
"An undamped instrument fires the imagination."

C. P. E. Bach
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

Top
#1651743 - 03/31/11 02:12 PM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: Palindrome]
chopin_r_us Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 773
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Palindrome
"An undamped instrument fires the imagination."

C. P. E. Bach
thumb This thread just keeps on giving!

Top
#1652136 - 04/01/11 12:28 AM Re: Anyone who is anyone pedals in Bach? [Re: sandalholme]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: sandalholme
If music is played on instrument(s) that it was not originally played on, it is either a realisation (the notation is not changed) or a transcription (the notation is changed to suit the new instrument(s).
Can we agree on that terminology? If so, we realise Bach on the piano as we have no need to change the notation.
As for the use of the pedal, it has nothing to do with legato: the whole spectrum of ultra legato through detached to ultra staccato can and should be achieved through the fingers. Where the pedal is used, it is surely for colour/sustaining a single note/chord or a series of notes that are harmonically compatible, for musical reasons, not technical reasons. [...] To the extent that every instrument is different, the use of the pedal will vary. I think it is mainly to do with the sustaining power of the instrument and the different combination of harmonics generated which inform how we use the pedal to create the musical effect we want.


Nice points, sandalholme! This thread keeps on giving, indeed! grin
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

Top
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >

Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
125 registered (adanepst, 36251, Almaviva, 36 invisible), 1365 Guests and 41 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74206 Members
42 Forums
153496 Topics
2249263 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Teaching memorization
by clarikeys
Today at 07:45 AM
Accepted Procedure for Having a Piano Tech look at a piano?
by Paul678
Today at 07:19 AM
Tips for playing a piece through
by Hemmingway
Today at 06:40 AM
Temperature and tuning
by Beemer
Today at 04:46 AM
Tired Fingers
by adanepst
Today at 01:45 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission