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 Post subject: Bach - WTC G major
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:02 pm 
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And on with the two G major pairs. There will be the odd ornament, trill, or weak note to pick on, and maybe the Voicing Police will have their say... But I believe these are not too bad despite not being in the Gould or Tureck class :D

Bach - BWV 860 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No.15 in G major (4:21)
Bach - BWV 884 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier II - Prelude and Fugue No.15 in G major (4:40)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC G major
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:12 pm 
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BWV 860:
prelude:
good speed and leggiero touch, the only problem are the few places at the beginning, where left and right hand have some "overlappings" respecitve are "standing on each others feet" like f.ex. bar 2, third beat and similar.
fugue:
This fugue becomes much more demanding, if you do a real voicing of the main-subject, especially when it is in the middle voices as I have tried in my version. Certainly it´s more easy to play it like this. This is a quite neutral and non-expressive version, but with quite good light touch. The first 32nd notes of bar 85 are a bit "frouzy" (rhythmically unprecise).

BWV 884:
prelude:
I´m missing the d´´ in the upper voice from the last sixteenth of bar 3 (it has to be holded, but isn´t audible). This sounds a bit more interesting than the version of book I above, I suppose because of some staccato you have choosen here and there. I can not hear a real difference between the first time and the repeat of each part. This prelude would allow so much variety and variations of creation of phrasing and articulation, which would make it sounding much more interesting and alive. But concerning the basics, that means right notes and rhythm, it´s properly played.

fugue:
nicely played, also concerning the choice of the tempo IMO, which is always a matter of taste, though there is the usual lack of voicing.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC G major
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:21 pm 
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Thanks Andreas.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC G major
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:04 am 
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I listened to the Book I pair. Overall, the main item that could use more work is the rhythm, particularly tempo retention and precision. Much of this is just sounding rather flabby and inexact to my ears. I think the fugue is better than the prelude and nicely voiced in places (though I know I have a different definition of voicing than certain people on here), but both pieces (particularly the prelude) need to be more exact.

Prelude: I find this a relatively straightforward piece, but arguably one of the more difficult preludes in Book I from the purely pyrotechnical standpoint. First, and this is partly a musical thing, where's the wonderful pointed accent of that G on the downbeat? It's sounding like a wispy throwaway to me. Focusing more on that may make it easier to play the RH triplets. Technically, some of the triplets are ok, but others are quite uneven, particularly in the left hand (e.g., measures 9, 16). Some metronome work might help with that. Two other points are the pedalling and the overall tempo. I personally would say that pedalling, when employed in regular patterns, is a bit of a no-no in Bach (although, of course, in certain slow movements, for example, or where fugue voicing becomes impossible without it, it may become necessary and desirable). It's not gross here, but it's enough to produce an impression (for me) of haziness and flabbiness. This just seems like such a direct, masculine piece that needs only good, clean fingerwork, accenting, and confident musical intention to make its point. Regarding tempo, you seem to sag considerably starting around measure 12 and continuing to the end (also some hand asynchronicity). Not sure if it's intentional, but I personally wouldn't find it acceptable to do such a gross ritard that affects overall tempo. I like your subtle highlighting of that inner RH voice toward the end, but the syncing of the hands overall needs a bit of work for this ending.


Fugue: Some weak notes (some dubious-sounding notes in LH pattern in measures 25-26, for example, and other places in the second half) and smudging in places. Tempo sounds a bit fast for my taste, resulting again in a bit of an impression of unsureness/flabbiness. And there are still quite a few places that just need to be ironed out, such as rushings followed alternately by slowings down in the second half of the piece. IMO this all produces for the listener an effect of technical unsureness.

You can get there, I think. This just needs more technical preparation IMHO.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC G major
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:11 am 
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To me the tone quality of the left hand sounds a little muddy. I don't think it's your playing--it's either the piano or the recording setup--but in this repertoire you really need a clear left hand!

Agree with jlr about tempo in the book 1 prelude. Whatever speed you can manage bar 16 at, you must start at that speed and make it sound convincing. I like your tempo in the fugue: it's a gigue, so it must sound at least a little bit lively (without going so fast as to make it unplayable).

I found both G majors to be among the most "annoying" to work on (relatively speaking, as it's always a pleasure to play Bach)--they give an impression of innocent simplicity, but are harder than they sound.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC G major
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:45 am 
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Thanks all for the comments. I'm not sure I agree to some of the generic statements (like 'usual lack of voicing', 'technical uncertainty', 'flabbiness') but all specific points made are very valid and useful. Once again the result was not as good as I thought it was (good only when compared to my first versions). The one here I was really pleased about, musically, is the BWV884 fugue but even that one has a couple of weak notes.

Completing the WTC seems to get more difficult and frustrating the deeper I get into it. I'll redo these pieces then, and hope you'll care to have another listen when I re-submit them.

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