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John Robson
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Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:26 pm
Location: Miami, Florida, USA


Postby John Robson » Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:36 pm

I've begun working on WTC XV (G major) and would like some feedback or constructive criticism. I posted a couple of Bach inventions in the Audition Room and did not get a very good response, so I'm reticent to post more Bach. I haven't played much Bach and am very uncertain about dynamics, tempo, touch, and overall interpretation. This prelude and fugue are definitely NOT ready for prime time, but perhaps by listening to parts of them, you will see what I'm trying to do. Am I totally off track? There are several slips in each, and I believe the tempo should be quite a bit faster, especially the prelude. I would appreciate any feedback from you.

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Location: Canada

You are completely off-track, John

Postby Nicole » Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:50 pm

Not off-track at all, John! These sound pretty good to me from an articulation (touch) standpoint, in particular. The 8th notes in the prelude are well-detached, as they should when trying to imitate a harpsichord because of its inability to sustain long notes, and the triplet 16th notes are legato, as they should be by virtue of being faster notes, so therefore the sound would not be interrupted between them. Some may argue that the 8th notes should have a more sticky/tenuto (less staccato) sound, especially if you take the prelude at a slower tempo. In the fugue, the subject seems to come out with consistent articulation, no matter which voice it is in, which is a good thing. I'm sure you'll get lots of responses here, but if you don't, I'll take another listen while looking at the score, and nitpick at details, if you like. The trill at bar 64 of the fugue, if being adjudicated here in Canada, would be expected to start on the note ABOVE the note you see written (we call this the written note the "principle note" here) so that Bach trills go "note above, then the principle note that he wrote, note above, principle, etc.". And one last thing about the common approach to Bach endings, at least in this country, is that instead of a gradual rit., the practice here is to imitate the crazy overconfident driver who seems he is going to speed on through a red light, but then surprises people by putting on brakes at last minute. So we do not rit. here for Bach, but instead do a dramatic pause/hesitation just before the last note of song.

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Postby PJF » Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:07 pm

I can tell you that you are certainly playing it in the right mood; ditto on the fugue.

This site contains a fantastically expansive and authoritative dissertation of the WTK. You could literally spend a lifetime studying it. It has proven to be very helpful for my own studies as well as my students'.

About the prelude, it's a Gigue. You will find researching that form helpful in your interpretive process.

Incidentally, I'm currently working on this prelude and fugue, but I'll hold off on any suggestions until you've formulated a plan of your own. It's good now; and with time and research I think your performance can be extremely good.


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