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 Post subject: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:45 pm 
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Another step in my redoing of the WTC, here are both D major pairs. Elephant ears may detect the odd weak note, but these are done to the best of my ability, and I have been practising them for 3 months so they had better be good. I particularly love the BWV 874 fugue and I hope that is clear from the performance.

Bach - BWV 850 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No.5 in D major (3:39)
Bach - BWV 874 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier II - Prelude and Fugue No.5 in D major (10:51)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:42 pm 
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That's real solid Bach playing. With the right dose of non-legato touch and controlled dynamics. Very comfortable output.
I also like the 874, both the prelude and fugue.


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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:32 pm 
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Chris, that is some fine piano playing.

It is interesting to compare and contrast these two in D major. Both have a rather gay prelude, the first full of frivolity (woodland nymphs romping and rollicking), the second very danceable, not completely un-like a Jig (Gigue, Giga). Then both are followed with a more serious fugue. Every so often I think that it might be interesting to compare his writings in certain keys.

While listening to the Bk. 2 Prelude, I was struck by its somewhat nacient "Sonata Allegro" form. The sense of a return after the "development" (or at least a section of tonal instability) in the first part of the B section is so much more pronounced than in the normal rounded binary scheme.

Another fine performance

Scott

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:49 pm 
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Thanks Pantelis and Scott. I am glad to hear my second round of WTC recordings are decent.
Seems however that I am just beginning to relaize how difficult playing Bach is.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:11 pm 
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Very nice playing Chris, I enjoyed it. I liked the contrast between the book 2 prelude and fugue. The prelude sounded like a fast suite dance movement. The fugue sounded a bit like a renaissance ricercar, maybe something Froberger would write.


techneut wrote:
Another step in my redoing of the WTC, here are both D major pairs. Elephant ears may detect the odd weak note, but these are done to the best of my ability, and I have been practising them for 3 months so they had better be good. I particularly love the BWV 874 fugue and I hope that is clear from the performance.

Bach - BWV 850 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No.5 in D major (3:39)
Bach - BWV 874 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier II - Prelude and Fugue No.5 in D major (10:51)


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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:23 pm 
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s_winitsky wrote:
Very nice playing Chris, I enjoyed it. I liked the contrast between the book 2 prelude and fugue. The prelude sounded like a fast suite dance movement. The fugue sounded a bit like a renaissance ricercar, maybe something Froberger would write.

Thanks Stan :D
Froberger, that's a composer I've been meaning to discover. I'd like to explore some pre-Bach, too (you know, Froberger, Schuetz, Sweelinck, to name some). Printed out a bunch of his organ works a while ago but didn't get around to them yet. Good that you remind me :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:58 pm 
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To BWV 850:
To the prelude:
The eights often are played like quarters, but that is in the possibilities of interpretation. I like that and do it in a similar way.
bar 6: first beat, sixteenth are too unexact (fleating),
bar 15, 16: too much pedal, sixteenth become too swimmy, especially on the third and fourth beat of bar 16.
bar 23: second beat, c-sharp in the bass is missing
bar 30: a read-error on the second beat, c-sharp instead of c natural
In summary a good job as usual, but you should be very attentive with pedal in Bach-playing IMO. Here and there it costs some of the clearness, which is so important and typical for Bachs music. I personally let my right feet stand on the floor while playing preludes and fugues (that means I principally don´t use any pedal except in exceptional cases for some very difficult chord-connections or for a connection between the last and the penultimate tone (chord).)

To the fugue:
Also here too much pedal here and there (f.ex. in bar 7 on the second beat, the bass-entry is too swimmy)
Sometimes the thirtysecond notes are not clear enough, probably because of too much use of pedal (f.ex. theme-entry in bar 9, bar 16, second beat)
From bar 17 on your articulation becomes clearer and more interesting. I also like the ritardando in bar 22 before the coda begins, but you choose much to much pedal here on the second an third bar. Such a strong use of pedal is something for Chopin, but not for Bach.
bar 12: the first e on the second beat is missing or nearly inaudible.
Bar 20: some weak notes in the thirty-seconds of the fourth beat.
Nice are the additional trills you have put in.

To BWV 874:
To the prelude:
bar 5: a missing note in the sixteenth of the first beat,
bar 13: second beat: a weak spot in the sixteenth,
bar 15: the last a is missing,
during the repeat of the first part I like the aditional ornamentations, except bar 13 the mordent, which I don´t find convincingly played.
bar 23: the last a-sharp in the bass is missing,during the repeat it´s nearly inaudible, but it´s there,
also here is too much use of pedal in my IMO at some places, especially in the bars 38-40 (in the repeat it´s a little bit better) and some other places.
during the repeat in bar 25 the b on the third beat in the bass is completely missing, the b on the fourth beat in the bass is nearly inaudible (too weak)

To the fugue:
I like the little ritardando between bar 20 and 21, though I ask me, why you do it just here. Was it intentional or just an unsureness while playing?
I´m missing a bit more voicing here and there, but that´s my usual nagging, otherwise that´s a good job.

I´m motivated to practise on this pair now. This one is new to me, but d-minor and d-sharp-minor and some other pairs of WTCII I still have played during my studies in Cologne between 1992 and 1997.

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Last edited by musicusblau on Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:07 pm 
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Wow, what a list.... And here was me thinking I'd done them right this time. Your forensic examination quickly exposes the cracks in the glaze ! It's a bit frustrating, but also (as I love telling others) character-building. I should never think I'm done with any Bach piece. At least not until you say so :P

After listening back I too was aware of a number of weak notes in the BWV 850 prelude. It's a world better than my previous version, but still far from perfect. It's a devilish thing, a RH etude in all but name. So far I've refused to make it easy on myself by taking it slower. But I may just have to, not being a Schiff or Hewitt or Gould. I find this pair immensely difficult no matter how much I practise them. Last time I think I have re-recorded them at least twice too. Dammit, why is playing Bach so hard... Maybe I should pick another composer, like Liszt or Rachmaninov :wink:

You are right about the missing and weak notes, and thanks for correcting that read error. Seems I may have to redo this yet again :x As for pedal, I am not so dogmatic about not using it as in my first version. Sure, the extra coloring achieved by the pedal can go at the expense of some clarity. That's a trade-off I am willing to make. But indeed in some places there may be a bit too much.

I don't think I'll redo the WTC II pair. That prelude is long, with a lot of notes, and I will indulge in missing a few as long as the overall result is right. The fugue, one that really inspires and touches me, I am happy with (one of my best Bach efforts so far, IMNSHO) even though you think there is not sufficient voicing. No, there is no unsureness here, just an on-the spur agogic pause. I played this straight through without any retakes or editing.

Anyway, thanks a lot for the detailed feedback. I'll keep all these things in mind for next time, marking all the spots where weak notes were found (because there's usually some reason for them).

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:49 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Quote:
Wow, what a list.... And here was me thinking I'd done them right this time. Your forensic examination quickly exposes the cracks in the glaze ! It's a bit frustrating, but also (as I love telling others) character-building. I should never think I'm done with any Bach piece. At least not until you say so :P


Well, I think, probably I wouldn´t give such a detailed critique to any other person than to you here, because I know, you can take it in the right way. I appreciate it very highly, if two friends can give some factual and specialist critic without the intention of any personal affront. This factual, specialist and honest critique without any personal is a way of critique I sincerely appreciate and approve. In this way this forum makes indeed a valuable sense for me, also course, if you show me my more or less little imperfections in my Bach-recordings. It´s a kind of factual contention, which motivates me very much to work further on the pieces and to try to improve my recordings.

Quote:
Dammit, why is playing Bach so hard... Maybe I should pick another composer, like Liszt or Rachmaninov :wink:


Bach-playing is so hard, because it´s much complexer, more sophisticated and has a much higher claim concerning accurateness and clearness then the virtuoso romantic music like Liszt and Rachmaninof. Indeed, I would estimate the degree of art and difficulty of a fugue higher in most cases than to play one of the Mephisto-valses by Liszt or a Prelude by Rachmaninof.

Quote:
As for pedal, I am not so dogmatic about not using it as in my first version. Sure, the extra coloring achieved by the pedal can go at the expense of some clarity. That's a trade-off I am willing to make. But indeed in some places there may be a bit too much.


Well, there are different opinions about using pedal in Bach-playing, of course. Most pianists are the "purists" like me, who don´t use any pedal (except in some exceptional cases I do use it, as I have mentioned). That´s the traditional rule: using pedal while playing Bach is forbidden. And now there are some few here and there, who use the pedal for some chord-progressions or arpeggios. But in every case there is left over one principal and general rule: It is forbidden to use pedal in runs while playing Bach. "Runs", that means any progession of seconds. If pedal is used in Bach-playing, it only may be used in connections with thirds, quints or other harmonic intervalls or such, which are a part of an arpeggio in some form. And that´s what disturbs me so much in your version of the prelude and fugue d-major BWV 850, because you use pedal so much during runs (second progessions), and also in the prelude of BWV 874, there are so much runs, in which you use it. I have had no critic point concerning pedal in the fugue d-major of WTCII, because there are no runs and it´s slower, so here you don´t produce a disturbing "Sauce Hollandaise" during runs.
My personal statement to this question is the following: I like "Sauce Hollandaise" very much, I´m always licking my tongue after it, but not while playing Bach. :wink:

Quote:
I don't think I'll redo the WTC II pair. That prelude is long, with a lot of notes, and I will indulge in missing a few as long as the overall result is right.


Of course, it´s your decision, but if I would be you, I would redo the prelude of WTC II, because you use too much pedal in many of that fast runs here, which really is unprofessional and not adequate for this kind of music. The fugue you don´t need to rerecord.

Quote:
Anyway, thanks a lot for the detailed feedback. I'll keep all these things in mind for next time, marking all the spots where weak notes were found (because there's usually some reason for them).


It was a pleasure! Don´t mention. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:45 pm 
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Ah, it's forbidden to use pedal in runs ! Why didn't you say so earlier ! Obviously I am a law-abiding citizen and now feel bad about this :lol: No actually you do have a point there. One should not use pedal to mask anything.

This morning I redid the BWV 850 pair. I had 3 usable takes of the prelude, and combined two of them for the best result. Then decided that my original ending of the prelude was far superior than that of the new one, despite the pedal usage, so I tacked that on. Yay, a 3-take recording ! What is the world coming to ! It can't be heard, I do believe. The fugue is one take with only one cut.

Ok, go find some more faults with this then :P It may still not be perfect, but I think this is vastly better than the previous version. Interestingly, it's only one second longer. Seems my idea of the tempo can't really be changed...

Bach - BWV 850 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No.5 in D major (3:40)

I'll now get to work on the BWV 874 prelude again - though more for the missing notes than for the pedal usage.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:08 pm 
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Hey, you law-abiding citizen! The Bach-police will pursuit you! :lol:
Bravo, the prelude is excellent know, very clear and exact. Only on the last run in bar 33 it´s still too much pedal.

Concerning the fugue the clearness is also very good now, only in bar 9 the subject-entry in the left hand is still a abit swimmy/unexact.
But I have discovered another principal problem, that I haven´t seen somehow the last time. (Probably because I was so concentrated on that pedal-question.) This fugue is a miniature of a French Ouverture, so one always has to play a double dotted rhythm. At the beginning you still do that, but later you change more and more to the normal dotted rhythm. It starts f.ex. in bar 6 (on the second and fourth beat), bar 11 (second beat) and from bar 13 to the end you only play normal dotted rhythm, which is a mistake in that fugue. (I still remember how much I have worked on that double dotted rhythm to get all notes very exactly, when I recorded it. F.ex. when the dotted notes are combined with the thirtyseconds the dotted note has always to come exactly on the last of the thirtyseconds. Do you know, what I mean?) I´m sorry not have mentioned that problem earlier. :oops: So, I can understand, if you don´t want to re-record the fugue again.

All in all I have a big praise for you: you really have improved these recordings very much. Keep up the good work and I´m very curious on the prelude of BWV 874.

I´m also working on BWV 874 actually and It´s a lot of pleasure. I still have begun to practise also the prelude d-minor (BWV 875), which I love so much. It is full of energy and temperament. I think, that will become a quite fast recording. Today our Easter-holidays have begun. I have a lot of "Abitur"-papers to correct, but I also will find more time for to practise. BWT, I think, I will order an edition of the Slavonic Dances, because I also have to play two or three during a choire-concert in November. I will accompagnate the choire, where my wife sings and which is conducted by my old colleague. In the middle we will play a four hands Intermezzo. So, I really think, it´s better, if I buy the edition for not to have so much single papers on the piano. It´s dangerous while playing life. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:15 pm 
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Hi Chris, wanted to tell you I enjoyed these pieces a lot :-) I can't really say that I'm a Bach expert, but I I like his music more each day. I'll watch out for your next recordings !

Henri

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:58 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
Hey, you law-abiding citizen! The Bach-police will pursuit you! :lol:

<Groan>Lord have mercy on me ... please NOT the Bach police :shock: :shock:

musicusblau wrote:
But I have discovered another principal problem, that I haven´t seen somehow the last time. (Probably because I was so concentrated on that pedal-question.) This fugue is a miniature of a French Ouverture, so one always has to play a double dotted rhythm. At the beginning you still do that, but later you change more and more to the normal dotted rhythm.

Good point. I guess I have not really made up my mind whether to double-dot or not, and am stuck somewhere in the middle. While it still defeats me why one should play double dots where Bach wrote single dots, one should at least be consistent. I must admit it sounds nice double-dotted, so I will redo this one again.

Thanks for all your feedback, and making me re-record everything yet again :P

supitalp wrote:
Hi Chris, wanted to tell you I enjoyed these pieces a lot I can't really say that I'm a Bach expert, but I I like his music more each day. I'll watch out for your next recordings !

Thanks Henri ! Thanks to Andreas, they are getting better all the time.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:06 am 
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techneut wrote:
Quote:
<Groan>Lord have mercy on me ... please NOT the Bach police :shock: :shock:


I think, here and there I would have to flee myself from this Bach-police. :lol:

Quote:
Good point. I guess I have not really made up my mind whether to double-dot or not, and am stuck somewhere in the middle. While it still defeats me why one should play double dots where Bach wrote single dots, one should at least be consistent.


Yes, that´s a special thing with this French-Ouvertüre-style. They wrote normal dotted notes, but played double dotted ones. Crazy, isn´t it?! :roll:

Quote:
I must admit it sounds nice double-dotted, so I will redo this one again.


Bravo, you have character, Chris!

I have re-listened to my version of this fugue for to check out, if I have been consequent with that double dotted rhythm. I think, I have been. If you are interested you can check it out once more:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7pb03gmt-A (fugue d-major, WTC I, BWV 850)

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:17 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
Bravo, you have character, Chris!

Ha, I would hope so :)
I've just redone the fugue, I thinks it's more or less properly dotted now.

Bach - BWV 850 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No.5 in D major (3:41)

musicusblau wrote:
I have re-listened to my version of this fugue for to check out, if I have been consequent with that double dotted rhythm. I think, I have been. If you are interested you can check it out once more:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7pb03gmt-A (fugue d-major, WTC I, BWV 850)

Yes I think you have, and it is a marvellous performance ! Maybe you even triple-dot in places :P . But that rhythmic sharpness sounds good. It's much better than mine. You have the better instrument and recording gear of course. The only thing I don't like is your closing arpeggio. To my ear, it seems to miss a note.

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 Post subject: Re: Bach - WTC - D major
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:46 am 
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techneut wrote:
Quote:
I've just redone the fugue, I thinks it's more or less properly dotted now.


Yes, it´s better now, though it´s not exactly double dotted at every place, where is written a dotted note.

Quote:
Yes I think you have, and it is a marvellous performance !


Thanks for this! :D

Quote:
Maybe you even triple-dot in places :P . But that rhythmic sharpness sounds good.


No, it´s always exactly double-dotted! :P

Quote:
It's much better than mine. You have the better instrument and recording gear of course.


The playing really has nothing to do with the recording gear and your instrument is also a good one (though I don´t want to say with this, that your playing is bad , just the opposite, of course), which technically respective mechanically is in a good order and has a nice and very individual sound, too (I really like that sound of old French instruments). Our instruments even have one point in common: my grand-piano has - like yours - such a pounderous mechanic and it´s very difficult to do well fast tone-repetitions on it. That´s why I always have to work so much on the trills and ornaments, because the mechanic of my instrument is not the best.

Quote:
The only thing I don't like is your closing arpeggio. To my ear, it seems to miss a note.


There are all notes in there. I just have done an arpeggio of the final d-major-chord instead to play it simultanously. But this is an issue of taste only, of course.

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