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 Post subject: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:11 pm 
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I think, I have a reason to drink a nice glass of „Federweißer“ this evening. :D
The reason to celebrate a bit for me is, that I have completed the first 13 preludes and fugues of WTC II, which is one more than exactly the half. (I have recorded C, c, Cis, cis, D, d, Eflat, eflat, E, e, F, f and still f-sharp minor for this site. 8) ) So I have to go to the next 11 of the 24 pairs in summary and it would be consequent to have a go at F-sharp-major in the next step.

The pair in f-major I play completely without pedal. In the following I would like to explain some ideas of my interpretation:

Prelude: the prelude has the structure of a four to five part invention or motet. For me it has a rhetorical, speaking respective narrative character. Its equal flow has also lyrical moments for me. I personally find it to be boring to play a consequent legato all the time. I try to loosen it from time to time a bit by careful approaches to non legato. The reprise (from bar 57 on) I play in pp as a contrast to the parts before. For me – like in nearly all Bach-pieces – the harmonical tension beneath the polyphonic lines is very important. (For example I mostly try to play a dominant-chord stronger than a tonic and similar things.)

Fugue: what I have said about the harmonical tension applies also to the fugue, of course. Playing Bach on a modern piano for me means also giving soul to the tone, which originally is more a romantic feature, because on a harpsichord this hardly was possible. (Only on a clavichord you can influence the tone directly by the force of your touch, that´s why I would like to have one, btw).
The fugue has a blightful subject. I try to bring out that character by a flowing tempo and quite a lot of non legato. But there also are some more lyrical moments for me in this fugue, especially at the end (from bar 73 on and again from bar 90 on), when enter the sighing motifs. So concerning the tempo I had to find a good balance between not so fast, that I can´t bring out the sighing motifs expressively (from bar 73 I play them p and from bar 90 I always make a decrescendo from the first to the second note of the sighing motif), and not so slow, that the blightful character would have had to suffer.
Of course, the voicing of the subject always is one of my first aims while playing fugues. But there also are places, I have decided to give other voices priority (as it should be in artistic playing), f.ex. at the end from bar 90 on, when that interesting figured middle voice with its sighing motifs enters.
Apart from the harmonical tension respective function with my dynamic I always try to underline the dramatic (rhetorical) structure ant this partly is subjective.

Critical comments and praise are appreciated. Enjoy!

Here are the video-links:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWreWp3u ... ideo_title (Prelude BWV 880)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hju4QhRW ... ideo_title (Fugue BWV 880)

The audiofile below is the sound-track of the videos above.


Bach - Prelude & Fugue in F Major, BWV 880

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:17 am 
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Hi Andreas,

You know I can't critique member's Bach recordings. I'm sorry about that. But I will clink my glass of Merlot (red wine) with your glass of Federweißer to celebrate your accomplishment!! :) (btw - what is Federweißer?)

This is on the site.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:32 am 
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Hi Andreas,

I listened to your recording and wish I could toast you as I think this recording is a job well done! A question is did you use a metronome for this recording? It sounds to me very strictly on the beat :) The prelude sounds nice and the fugue.. downright challenging! I think you sidestepped the difficulty as it sounds nice to me.

Sounds nice,

~Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:14 pm 
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Great work ! I personally prefer the prelude a bit more flowing (it somehow reminds me of Bach's elegant and flowery handwriting with all the curls), but your approach works too.

I much like your relaxed and bouncy take on the fugue. The tempo and articulations seem just right, and there's some nice moments of rubato. The only little nags I have are towards the end of the fugue. You seem to hurry in bar 85, the thirty-second notes in bars 92/93 are just a touch uneven, as is the final trill (nice idea, BTW). The last six bars don't seem to have quite the same precise articulation as before, they sound more legato. Maybe that was intentional.
I could not find any wrong notes, so no reason to re-record. You have earned your schnapps allright :D

Now I should get on with my WTC recordings, or you'll get there long before me. Some longer and more difficult pieces have been distracting me recently.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:30 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
You know I can't critique member's Bach recordings. I'm sorry about that.


No problem, Monica, of course, I know, that you always keep out of the Bach-discussions here. Hope, I will hear something from Chris and other members.

Quote:
But I will clink my glass of Merlot (red wine) with your glass of Federweißer to celebrate your accomplishment!! :)


Thank you, that´s nice! :D

Quote:
(btw - what is Federweißer?)


"Federweißer" is something like partially fermented new wine, which is typical for this season. Here in Germany we traditionally like to drink it to a piece of onion tart.

Thank you for having put it on the site, Monica!

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:33 pm 
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Pianoman342 wrote:
Quote:
A question is did you use a metronome for this recording? It sounds to me very strictly on the beat :)


Thank you for your praise, Riley! :D No, I never have practised it with metronome, I have developed my "inner metronome", which is much more important than the little nasty tick-tack-thing. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:56 pm 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
Great work ! I personally prefer the prelude a bit more flowing (it somehow reminds me of Bach's elegant and flowery handwriting with all the curls), but your approach works too.


Thanks for the praise, Chris. :D Yes, I also could imagine a faster version of the prelude could work and your comparison with Bach´s handwriting appeals to me. As you say my approach works, too, and somehow I felt it like this (for this time).

Quote:
You seem to hurry in bar 85


Yes, right, I think, it´s the "jump" into the subject-entry, which beginns there in bar 85, and made me become a little bit faster for that moment. I don´t know, if I should count it to "interpretation" or "uneveness", if I´m honest.

Quote:
the thirty-second notes in bars 92/93 are just a touch uneven, as is the final trill (nice idea, BTW).


But if, only a little touch, I think. I feel that thirtysecond-notes as a kind of final-climax, which has something "wild" and "improvisatory", may be that´s the reason, why a do a bit of (nearly audible) agogic here.

Quote:
The last six bars don't seem to have quite the same precise articulation as before, they sound more legato. Maybe that was intentional.


I can´t say, that it was intentional, my non legato isn´t always planed (except in the subject, of course, and in some counterpoints), I just do it spontaneously, if I feel, it needs some change in the moment. In every case I wanted to bring out the motif-dialogue in the two upper-voices, have you noticed that?

Quote:
I could not find any wrong notes, so no reason to re-record. You have earned your schnapps allright :D


Phew! :D (Btw, "Federweißer" is not a "Schnapps", but something like a partially fermented new wine (see my explanation to Monica above).

Quote:
Now I should get on with my WTC recordings, or you'll get there long before me. Some longer and more difficult pieces have been distracting me recently.


Of course, I´m curious on your next WTC-piece, which one will you record in the next step? I also hope to be able to augment my tempo of recording a bit, I think it could take one or two years I will finish the cycle. (On the other hand I have sworn to myself to take all the time is necessary for to make good recordings I´m at least halfway satisfied with.)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:32 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:

"Federweißer" is something like partially fermented new wine, which is typical for this season. Here in Germany we traditionally like to drink it to a piece of onion tart.


Oooh yummy! Thanks for the information - that sounds delicious ! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:46 pm 
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Andreus,
Very nice playing! Clean, articulate, well voiced, with a pinch of rubato at just the right structural moments. Musical throughout! You capture the spirit of both works very well. I salute you repeatedly for your attempt to capture such an enormous project. After, all, the WTC is the Old Testament of pianism! I cheer you on.

Regards,
Eddy

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:01 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Andreus,

Ooh Eddy, you are misspelling peoples' names again.... You know Bad Things can happen when you do that :P

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:51 pm 
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techneut wrote:
musical-md wrote:
Andreus,

Ooh Eddy, you are misspelling peoples' names again.... You know Bad Things can happen when you do that :P


Oh CRAP! I'm so sorry! BTW, (Chris I hope you read this) I am a far worse typer than speller!

Andreas, Andreas, Andreas, Andreas, ... <I have to write this 100 times!> Andronso, Alfonso, Alfonzo, Oh no!

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:49 pm 
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Andreas,

Lovely performance. I particularly enjoyed the fugue and how you gave such life to the bouncy, jig-like (gigue-like - not sure which way to go) rhythm. Made me want to dance.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:01 pm 
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Musical_md wrote:
Quote:
Very nice playing! Clean, articulate, well voiced, with a pinch of rubato at just the right structural moments. Musical throughout! You capture the spirit of both works very well. I salute you repeatedly for your attempt to capture such an enormous project. After, all, the WTC is the Old Testament of pianism! I cheer you on.


Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Eddy! :D Coming from a good pianist like you it´s really a motivation for me to continue that project. And yes, I absolutely agree, that the WTC is the like Bible for the pianists! For me it has this highest value!

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:03 pm 
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Scott wrote:
Quote:
I particularly enjoyed the fugue and how you gave such life to the bouncy, jig-like (gigue-like - not sure which way to go) rhythm. Made me want to dance.


Thank you for the praise, Scott. Yes, I also feel that dancing character, the baroque suite is the origin of many later forms, BTW (f.ex. also for the sonatas).

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:04 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
that sounds delicious ! :)


It truely is delicious. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:48 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
that sounds delicious ! :)


It truely is delicious. :)


Monica is hungry again. :lol: 8) :wink: :arrow: :idea:

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:08 pm 
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RSPIll wrote:
musicusblau wrote:
Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
that sounds delicious ! :)


It truely is delicious. :)


Monica is hungry again. :lol: 8) :wink: :arrow: :idea:

Scott


You are right! I'm always hungry!! Unfortunately, that's why I look the way I do...(okay, I'll step up my time at XSport :wink: )

I have made an onion tart before, but I've never had Federweisser. There's a German restaurant I go to often and they have about a thousand different kinds of beers and such. I'll look for Federwisser next time I am there. And when I'm drinking it, I will be humming this Bach prelude & fugue.....(back on topic :lol: )

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:21 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
There's a German restaurant I go to often and they have about a thousand different kinds of beers and such.


Wow, a german restaurant in the USA. :o I wished I could also get thousand of different kinds of beers here. :lol:

Quote:
I'll look for Federwisser next time I am there. And when I'm drinking it, I will be humming this Bach prelude & fugue.....(back on topic :lol: )


O.k., record that and post it here, please. Like this we will stay on topic and we would like to help you with our critical comments! :twisted: :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:52 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
There's a German restaurant I go to often and they have about a thousand different kinds of beers and such.

Wow, a german restaurant in the USA. :o I wished I could also get thousand of different kinds of beers here. :lol:
We are the melting pot - where I live we have many Italian restaurants, but also German, Mexican, Chinese, Irish, Spanish, and Greek. Okay, maybe I exaggerated a little with 1,000 beers. It's probably more like 200 beers. Many good German beers, of course :!: :D.

musicusblau wrote:
O.k., record that and post it here, please. Like this we will stay on topic and we would like to help you with our critical comments! :twisted: :wink:
Funny! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:23 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
You are right! I'm always hungry!! Unfortunately, that's why I look the way I do...(okay, I'll step up my time at XSport :wink: )

I have made an onion tart before, but I've never had Federweisser. There's a German restaurant I go to often and they have about a thousand different kinds of beers and such. I'll look for Federwisser next time I am there. And when I'm drinking it, I will be humming this Bach prelude & fugue.....(back on topic :lol: )


If your German restaurant had ghe Federwisser and the onion tart (I've never had one of those but sounds wonderful) I want to know where it is. I need to take a trek to Chi-town sometime soon, it has been so long.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:21 am 
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Hi Andreas,

I listened to both the Prelude and Fugue. I cannot possibly critique the playing of Bach's works, but I very much enjoyed listening to your renditions here. You make the prelude sound very tranquil and restful--a very gentle piece indeed. In this fugue, you bring out the voices with clarity and have a fine control of touch that is ever present. The evenness of your playing is remarkable as usual. Altogether, your playing is artistic in every sense in my opinion.

And very importantly, congratulations on passing the halfway point in Book II!

P.S. I just figured out that the last time I played Bach's music was 48 years ago, almost half a century. It would be impossible for me to do justice to this music as you and the other Bach devotees here do so admirably.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:07 pm 
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I have no real musical insight to offer you, but I can say that you have certainly earned your glass of Federweißer! (Although I should prefer a nice Dunkel or Schwarzbier, I think.) Excellent playing, and I wish you the best of luck for continuing the project.


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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:41 pm 
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Hi David,
your words are thoroughly encouraging coming from an experienced artist like you, thank you for that. Though you are not a Bach-interpret (as you say yourself), your force is in the romantic piano music. The main thing is that we have a style or direction we feel familiar with, I think. 48 years is a long time you haven´t played a Bach-piece. Was it your intention to make a career as a concert pianist then?

Thank you for your appreciated comment! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:51 pm 
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jim_24601 wrote:
Quote:
(Although I should prefer a nice Dunkel or Schwarzbier, I think.)


Nothing against that, I also like a nice glass of Köstritzer from time to time, BTW! :wink:

Quote:
Excellent playing, and I wish you the best of luck for continuing the project.


Thank you for that and your interest to listen here! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:52 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
P.S. I just figured out that the last time I played Bach's music was 48 years ago, almost half a century.

Perfect timing to start a traversal of 'the 48' :!: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:01 pm 
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[Techneut wrote:
Quote:
Perfect timing to start a traversal of 'the 48' :!: :lol:


I have difficulties to translate that. Does "traversal" mean something like "transition"?

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:06 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
[Techneut wrote:
Quote:
Perfect timing to start a traversal of 'the 48' :!: :lol:


I have difficulties to translate that. Does "traversal" mean something like "transition"?


Pick your choice:

tra·verse (tr-vûrs, trvrs)
v. tra·versed, tra·vers·ing, tra·vers·es
v.tr.
1. To travel or pass across, over, or through.
2. To move to and fro over; cross and recross.
3. To go up, down, or across (a slope) diagonally, as in skiing.
4. To cause to move laterally on a pivot; swivel: traverse an artillery piece.
5. To extend across; cross: a bridge that traverses a river.
6. To look over carefully; examine.
7. To go counter to; thwart.
8. Law
a. To deny formally (an allegation of fact by the opposing party) in a suit. See Synonyms at deny.
b. To join issue upon (an indictment).
9. To survey by traverse.
10. Nautical To brace (a yard) fore and aft.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:12 pm 
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Thanks, Chris. No. 6 would be a quite funny choice, isn´t it?! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:45 pm 
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Or 7 :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:20 am 
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Hi Andreas,

Yes, I think that later in life most of us eventually gravitate to what in the repertoire most appeals to us in terms of our respective musical strengths and our personal sense of aesthetics. It's a kind of pianistic specialization. As time gets shorter, the focus becomes narrower.

And yes, when I was studying piano as a kid and would leave Symphony Hall in Boston, I admit sometimes I'd dream of becoming a concert pianist. It was just so inspiring. At 18 I was at the crossroads when most of us head to college or university to prepare for our futures. I well recall agonizing over whether to go to a liberal arts university or to the New England Conservatory of Music, as I certainly had the credentials for admission. So I had good reason to ponder. My parents were supportive, but were not musicians. My piano teacher who then considered me her top student, mentioned the cons as well as the pros of going into either performance or pedagogy, and was deliberate in not influencing me one way or the other. Thus, the decision was solely mine to make. In the end I lacked confidence in myself (no big technique) and felt the musical path to be too risky. So that was the end of dreaming to make a life with the piano. Off to university I went. In retrospect now, I think I made a wise decision which gave me a huge advantage over concert artists--that is to say, business could be my stable vocation, while piano could be my main avocation. Unlike the performing artist I could have both. Later on in life that fateful decision made music always enjoyable to me, not a source of tensions and frustrations. Anyway, that's my short answer. :)

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:26 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:14 pm
Posts: 536
Location: Illinois
techneut wrote:
musicusblau wrote:
[Techneut wrote:
Quote:
Perfect timing to start a traversal of 'the 48' :!: :lol:


I have difficulties to translate that. Does "traversal" mean something like "transition"?


Pick your choice:

tra·verse (tr-vûrs, trvrs)
v. tra·versed, tra·vers·ing, tra·vers·es
v.tr.
1. To travel or pass across, over, or through.
2. To move to and fro over; cross and recross.
3. To go up, down, or across (a slope) diagonally, as in skiing.
4. To cause to move laterally on a pivot; swivel: traverse an artillery piece.
5. To extend across; cross: a bridge that traverses a river.
6. To look over carefully; examine.
7. To go counter to; thwart.
8. Law
a. To deny formally (an allegation of fact by the opposing party) in a suit. See Synonyms at deny.
b. To join issue upon (an indictment).
9. To survey by traverse.
10. Nautical To brace (a yard) fore and aft.


I think that I would like to traverse the WTC by 2.) "To go up, down, or across (a slope) diagonally, as in skiing." I think that skiing through Bach's WTC could be fascinating.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Bach, Prelude and fugue f-major, WTC II, BWV 880
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2012
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Chris,

The WTC I and II.... I think all those statements and sequences, strettos, questions and answers, mordents (which few can agree on), and fugue voices, etc. would not be my cup of tea, even after 48 years. This late romantic repertoire truly feeds my soul as they say. I'd better stick to what I understand and play fairly well. But thanks for that interesting thought. :)

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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