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 Post subject: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:18 pm 
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Another one to replace my older recordings. I think I'm finally approaching decent quality.

Bach - BWV 851 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor (3:25)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:01 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Another one to replace my older recordings. I think I'm finally approaching decent quality.

Bach - BWV 851 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor (3:32)

Unlike most of your re-submissions, I remember listening to your old version of this one. Yes, there is definitely some improvement; I am going by memory, but two things I noticed that I think are better than your last version:

1. You seem to depend less on the pedal in the prelude.

2. Your ornaments tend more toward melodic devices in the fugue.

There is still a good bit of awkwardness, particularly in the RH of the prelude and the end of the fugue. One thing that I think would help in the prelude is to pay a bit more attention to the LH, maybe bring it out a bit more in general, to help balance the RH, which especially toward the end seems as if you are about to lose control of it, and overall seems too loud to me, or perhaps just too heavy. Maybe accenting only downbeats (every other triplet) in the RH a bit would help too? I can't even pretend to give advice on the fugue; those ornaments are a bitch from hell. I believe we have discussed this fugue before; I think it's immensely difficult because of those ornaments, but you tried to tell me it was easy. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:12 pm 
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Thanks Terez. Listening back, the triplets in the Prelude indeed don't seem as supple to me as they should have been, though awkward, I would not think they really are. I do bring out the LH in several places. The intensifying near the end is intentional. Ah well, there will always be things to perfect. One is never done with this music, but I need to leave well enough alone sometimes... can't mull over one piece for years like you do :P
Did I say this fugue was easy ? Must have been on something at the time then.... It's relatively uncomplicated compared to some others but indeed the trills are a bitch. I think most of them come out satisfactorily.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:05 am 
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techneut wrote:
Thanks Terez. Listening back, the triplets in the Prelude indeed don't seem as supple to me as they should have been, though awkward, I would not think they really are. I do bring out the LH in several places. The intensifying near the end is intentional. Ah well, there will always be things to perfect. One is never done with this music, but I need to leave well enough alone sometimes... can't mull over one piece for years like you do :P

Yes, yes I know....I obsess over them for years and still can't play them! Not to start another semantics debate, but I think what I meant by 'awkward' was that every now and then one of the off-beat notes will be just a little louder than a downbeat, but your way of putting it - not so supple - works fine to describe what seemed off about it to me. Maybe it just needs some phrase-shaping, not just an accent on those downbeats, but a bit of a crescendo toward them. I dunno; I have never worked on this one, but I have played through it often enough to know it's not as easy as it looks.

Chirs wrote:
Did I say this fugue was easy ? Must have been on something at the time then.... It's relatively uncomplicated compared to some others but indeed the trills are a bitch. I think most of them come out satisfactorily.

hehe, I found where you said that. In your defense, Alfie said it first so I'm sure it was just peer pressure. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:08 am 
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Terez wrote:
Yes, yes I know....I obsess over them for years and still can't play them! Not to start another semantics debate, but I think what I meant by 'awkward' was that every now and then one of the off-beat notes will be just a little louder than a downbeat, but your way of putting it - not so supple - works fine to describe what seemed off about it to me. Maybe it just needs some phrase-shaping, not just an accent on those downbeats, but a bit of a crescendo toward them. I dunno; I have never worked on this one, but I have played through it often enough to know it's not as easy as it looks.

I find many of the preludes generally harder to cope with than the fugues. Probably sez more about me than about the music :D

Anyway, you have to give me a bit more credit than just 'some improvement'. This re-recording (while maybe not perfect) is lightyears apart from the earlier attempt, which was really more awful than even you remember (I always listen to the old one before putting up the new one, and jeez, that was a sloppy job, especially the prelude).


Terez wrote:
hehe, I found where you said that. In your defense, Alfie said it first so I'm sure it was just peer pressure. :lol:

Yeah, I tend to chime in with people :D But actually, being a bit more experienced, now I am finding it hard.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:50 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Terez wrote:
hehe, I found where you said that. In your defense, Alfie said it first so I'm sure it was just peer pressure. :lol:

Yeah, I tend to chime in with people :D But actually, being a bit more experienced, now I am finding it hard.

Yeah, that makes sense I suppose. IIRC you did the ornaments simpler in the previous version? If so, that would make a huge difference. I trust you on the old recording being more horrible than I remember; I probably hadn't listened to it since around the time of that thread I linked. But that awkwardness or lack of suppleness in the RH of the prelude was one of the things that I recalled about the old version...I don't remember well enough to say how much that improved, but I do remember too much pedal.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:08 pm 
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Hi Chris,
the prelude is much improved since you have played it to me live at your home two weeks ago, very fluently and with an adequate use of pedal. I think, I have heard two read errors, but cannot tell you the bar numbers, since I have no score here, will do that later. The first is at the end of page one, the second somewhere on page two.
The fugue could be improved concerning steadiness of tempo at the beginning and voicing. I personally prefer a faster tempo for this fugue, because of its dancing character.
Apart from that a nice rendition IMO. The ornaments are o.k.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:12 am 
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Thank you Andreas. There's always something to be improved isn't there.
I will be curious to hear about these read errors. Because I believe there are none :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:14 pm 
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Chris,

Nicely stated focus of melodic intent of composer.
The structure is well defined and sings where most appropriate .
Your performance demonstrates a clear understanding of where to emphasize when the phrases need to sing out.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:49 pm 
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Thanks for that Kaila :D

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:21 pm 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
I will be curious to hear about these read errors. Because I believe there are none :)


Hi Chris, now I have found some time to look for them with score. In bar 14 (exactly at O:46) you play f instead of e natural. (It was the first accolade of the second page, not the last of the first page, sorry. But I had no score in Holland.)
The second read error is at the end of bar 20, the three last eigths are all a second too high, that means you play b flat, a, g instead of a, g, f in the tenor voice like it should be.
I heard that without score, because I now this piece especially well (I have played it in a competition in former times as I have told you.)
But musically it´s really a fluent and nice rendition and that´s the main thing! Bravo!

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:23 am 
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musicusblau wrote:
Hi Chris, now I have found some time to look for them with score. In bar 14 (exactly at O:46) you play f instead of e natural. (It was the first accolade of the second page, not the last of the first page, sorry. But I had no score in Holland.)
The second read error is at the end of bar 20, the three last eigths are all a second too high, that means you play b flat, a, g instead of a, g, f in the tenor voice like it should be.

RATS ! Yes ! I've always done it like this, and apparently not sufficiently listened to other performances to pick this up.
Thanks for pointing that out. I'll certainly have to redo this one now. I've also come to agree with Terez that these 16ths are a bit clunky, making the whole not particularly graceful.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:03 pm 
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Re-recorded this one, taking in account the feedback from Terez and Andreas.
It may be wishful thinking yet, but I think think this pair is pretty much ok now 8)

Bach - BWV 851 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor (3:25)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:29 pm 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
It may be wishful thinking yet, but I think think this pair is pretty much ok now 8)


Of course, it´s pretty o.k. now and I congratulate you, but it´s wishful thinking as far as there still (not already :wink: ) is a wrong note in bar 14: the last note of the third sixteenth triplet in bar 14 is e, you play f there (as I have pointed out already, not still :wink: ). The positive matter is, that I have learned already how to use "already" and "still" from you and you partly have improved your prelude by deleting the second mistake I pointed out above. :D
The tempo is quite fluent, that´s a decent possibility to play it, though I personally prefer a slower tempo, in which I can underline more structural features of this prelude. But that´s a matter of interpretation and taste, of course.
In summary a great job!

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:58 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
Of course, it´s pretty o.k. now and I congratulate you, but it´s wishful thinking as far as there still (not already :wink: ) is a wrong note in bar 14: the last note of the third sixteenth triplet in bar 14 is e, you play f there (as I have pointed out already, not still :wink: ). The positive matter is, that I have learned already how to use "already" and "still" from you and you partly have improved your prelude by deleting the second mistake I pointed out above. :D

Damn yes, I've been trying hard to correct that mistake but it's so ingrained that it is hard to get rid of.
I'm surprised you did not hear the wrong note in bar 11, which I only just noticed. I guess I'll need to record this one yet again :x

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:39 pm 
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Quote:
I'm surprised you did not hear the wrong note in bar 11, which I only just noticed.


:shock: No, I didn´t notice a wrong note there.

Quote:
I guess I'll need to record this one yet again :x


That´s destiny. Life is ever learning, for me it´s the same, of course. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:17 pm 
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Hey Chris - you're right; it's much better now. I think before the 16ths were just missing a pulse, and that was the worst of it. However, I think your trademark bits of rushing might actually be a lot more noticeable than in the first recording. You recorded the fugue again as well? Some bits sound different than I remember...mostly articulation, and that first ornament caught my attention (nicely played)...also the end seems smoother.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:21 pm 
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Thanks Terez. Trademark bits of rushing - that sounds not too good. While I firmly believe in a steady pulse, I don't anymore believe Bach should be played rigidly metronomic all through. I do apply some rubato (which for some reason is called agogics in Baroque music). But rushing is to be avoided, I often enough chide others about this. Can you tell me the exact places where this happens ?
Yes I did redo the fugue, mainly because Andreas said the voicing could be improved. It still can, of course... but it's a bit better now. Seems like one is just never done with these pieces.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:30 am 
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techneut wrote:
Thanks Terez. Trademark bits of rushing - that sounds not too good. While I firmly believe in a steady pulse, I don't anymore believe Bach should be played rigidly metronomic all through. I do apply some rubato (which for some reason is called agogics in Baroque music).

I agree that it should not be rigidly metronomic, as I'm sure you know. This is more a matter of pulse than rubato, and I think it is called agogics because the most acceptable form of rubato in baroque music is the agogic accent, where one moment in time only is suspended, like a tenuto but characterized more by the space between notes than the length of the accented note?

Anyway...your trademark rushing. Already in the opening i-iv-vii˚-i...the G-E-C# triplets are faster than the triplets previous. It's a very slight thing - sort of just like you get to those C#s a tad too soon - but enough to make it sound a bit unsteady. There are a few other places like that where it is a small thing, but I think it is most evident when the bass has a descending line.

Chris wrote:
Seems like one is just never done with these pieces.

Even if we had no real technical difficulties with them, I doubt we'd be done with them. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:29 am 
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Terez wrote:
Anyway...your trademark rushing. Already in the opening i-iv-vii˚-i...the G-E-C# triplets are faster than the triplets previous. It's a very slight thing - sort of just like you get to those C#s a tad too soon - but enough to make it sound a bit unsteady. There are a few other places like that where it is a small thing, but I think it is most evident when the bass has a descending line.

Yes it seems that certain triplets go a tad faster than others. I think it is more a matter of fingering/hand position than of rushing. I need to re-record this one again anyway, because I am not at all satisfied with it. Attempting a complete WTC in good quality seems to be a foolhardy enterprise... it's becoming ever more difficult to produce a recording that I can be happy about.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:41 am 
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That's a good thing so far as I'm concerned; it means your personal standards are rising. I don't think it's foolhardy to attempt it at all; even if you spend your life re-recording them over and over again, it's a worthy use of your time, IMO.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:40 am 
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That is very true, and I would not at all mind doing that. Unfortunately there's so much else I want to do as well :x

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:32 pm 
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Techneut:
Quote:
Yes I did redo the fugue, mainly because Andreas said the voicing could be improved. It still can, of course... but it's a bit better now.


Oh, I had not listened again to the fugue, because I thought, you only have re-recorded the prelude :oops: , but I listened to the fugue right now. I have to say, it has improved A LOT. The voicing is much better than before and there are very nice musical moments of agogics in it. Your playing has become much more alive and artfuller than in your version before. Continue so, you are on a good way from my view! :!:
I really enjoyed to listen to that recording of the fugue and will listen to it more than only one times.

Quote:
Seems like one is just never done with these pieces.


I suppose, this feeling is a sign of every real artist. I have it always, too, and yes, striving for a perfect recording of WTC is probably one the most demanding task one can impose to oneself. That´s not why I do it, btw, I just love Bachs music (and the WTC especially) so much.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:06 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
Oh, I had not listened again to the fugue, because I thought, you only have re-recorded the prelude :oops: , but I listened to the fugue right now. I have to say, it has improved A LOT. The voicing is much better than before and there are very nice musical moments of agogics in it. Your playing has become much more alive and artfuller than in your version before. Continue so, you are on a good way from my view! :!:
I really enjoyed to listen to that recording of the fugue and will listen to it more than only one times.

Thanks for that ! As usual I have less trouble with the fugues than with the preludes.
One one hand it is frustrating not to be able to render these pieces perfectly, whatever you try, on the other hand it is great that there are always opportunities to improve. I can understand now why artists feel the need to re-record such iconic works time and time again. This is the special thing about Bach, his greatness is so daunting that you sometimes despair, and yet he is your close friend and mentor.

musicusblau wrote:
I suppose, this feeling is a sign of every real artist. I have it always, too, and yes, striving for a perfect recording of WTC is probably one the most demanding task one can impose to oneself. That´s not why I do it, btw, I just love Bachs music (and the WTC especially) so much.

So true ! I have it with the KDF too. It really can be one's daily bread, more so than any other music.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC1 - BWV851 - Prelude and Fugue No.6 in D minor
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:13 pm 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
on the other hand it is great that there are always opportunities to improve. I can understand now why artists feel the need to re-record such iconic works time and time again. This is the special thing about Bach, his greatness is so daunting that you sometimes despair, and yet he is your close friend and mentor.


I second that.

Quote:
So true ! I have it with the KDF too. It really can be one's daily bread, more so than any other music.


Good to know, that you are not on a Nazi-trip or so! :lol: (So I know, that you probably mean "Kunst der Fuge" and not "Kraft durch Freude".)
I´m sure there will come the nice day I also will dedicate myself to that maybe greatest late opus of our great old master, the "Kunst der Fuge"!

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