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 Post subject: Bach - In dulci jubilo
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:43 pm 
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One more little gem from the Orgelbüchlein, recorded this evening.

Bach - Orgelbüchlein - BWV 608 - In dulci jubilo

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:59 pm 
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Very well played! And that fast, that the cantus firmus is almost in the speed of the corresponding choral (a very popular one in Germany Xmas church services, maybe in other countries as well?).
And very good articulation in the voices!

The intonation of the pedal registers is a bit strange, the highest notes stand out so much, but the other pedal notes are hidden. Can be my speakers however. Idealy, one should hear the cantus firmus also in the pedal, with an offest of a bar, but that I could not recognize so well. Nice trick in the composition, that offset!

In my score the highest note is an f# for the pedal? But the highest available note is an f normally? Can't understand :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:23 pm 
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I think Bach was having an off day when he wrote this. I heard too many places where ugly notes come down together. You’ll probably say I don’t know what I’m talking about – that this is what counterpoint is all about – and you’re half right. I understand it but don't see what is so great about it. Why didn't he just write the piece differently? And I do wonder what all the fuss is about regarding Bach. Some of the two-part inventions are okay, as well as some preludes, but after that, the three-parts and all the fugues…well I just don’t get it. It’s a bunch of patterns, runs and voices switching back and forth between the hands and it usually goes on forever. There’s no feeling in it, no story. It becomes background sound and my mind wonders off. At the end I’m usually thinking, “Good, it’s over.”

I think it is more fun for the player to play Bach, good training for voicing, ornaments etc. but it’s not so hot to listen to. I know a lot of people here like Bach and I’m probably going to get it for saying all of this. It’s just my opinion and all the Bach up here today is making my head spin. I am, however, open to anyone who has any ideas or plans that could convert me into liking Bach. Good luck to whomever takes on that challenge!

Chris, this will be the last time I comment on your organ playing or anybody else’s, since I don’t know anything about it and you don’t like my usually ‘generic’ posts. (I’m sure you are not shedding any tears)

I’m off to my piano lesson now. Hope my teacher doesn’t make me play Bach.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:33 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
pianolady wrote:
I think Bach was having an off day when he wrote this.


C'mon it's not too bad. Besides I don't think Bach took one day to write this piece...more like an hour or two without being near an organ.

Are the titles above the realm of a "Virtuoso"? ...I can think of one--"Bach"

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:54 pm 
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MindenBlues wrote:
The intonation of the pedal registers is a bit strange, the highest notes stand out so much, but the other pedal notes are hidden. Can be my speakers however. Idealy, one should hear the cantus firmus also in the pedal, with an offest of a bar, but that I could not recognize so well. Nice trick in the composition, that offset!

In my score the highest note is an f# for the pedal? But the highest available note is an f normally? Can't understand :roll:

Hehe yes, trick time. Because of the high f# I play the pedal part an octave lower (no other choice really, didn't want to change the notes). To compensate for that I couple some high registers of manual 2 onto the 8ft Prestant of the pedal. A sort of unusual sound but I was rather pleased with it. Gotta try something different every now and then, otherwise they'd all sound the same when you play them in a row.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:04 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
I think Bach was having an off day when he wrote this. I heard too many places where ugly notes come down together. You’ll probably say I don’t know what I’m talking about – that this is what counterpoint is all about – and you’re half right. I understand it but don't see what is so great about it. Why didn't he just write the piece differently? And I do wonder what all the fuss is about regarding Bach. Some of the two-part inventions are okay, as well as some preludes, but after that, the three-parts and all the fugues…well I just don’t get it. It’s a bunch of patterns, runs and voices switching back and forth between the hands and it usually goes on forever. There’s no feeling in it, no story. It becomes background sound and my mind wonders off. At the end I’m usually thinking, “Good, it’s over.”

I think it is more fun for the player to play Bach, good training for voicing, ornaments etc. but it’s not so hot to listen to. I know a lot of people here like Bach and I’m probably going to get it for saying all of this. It’s just my opinion and all the Bach up here today is making my head spin. I am, however, open to anyone who has any ideas or plans that could convert me into liking Bach. Good luck to whomever takes on that challenge!

Chris, this will be the last time I comment on your organ playing or anybody else’s, since I don’t know anything about it and you don’t like my usually ‘generic’ posts. (I’m sure you are not shedding any tears)

I’m off to my piano lesson now. Hope my teacher doesn’t make me play Bach.

There is no law saying you must like Bach. If you don't, I do not understand why you even bother to listen to it. Seems like you are a lost case as far as Bach is concerned, otherwise you'd have caught the bug by now. Don't worry about it. And there is also no obligation to comment on everything that is submitted.

I don't know either why he couldn't just write his stuff the way you like it... But any ugly sounds in here (and there are some) are my doing and not Bach's.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:10 am 
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techneut wrote:
Hehe yes, trick time. Because of the high f# I play the pedal part an octave lower (no other choice really, didn't want to change the notes). To compensate for that I couple some high registers of manual 2 onto the 8ft Prestant of the pedal. A sort of unusual sound but I was rather pleased with it. Gotta try something different every now and then, otherwise they'd all sound the same when you play them in a row.


Interesting with that octave shift! Not fair from ol' Bach however to notate it this way!

I agree about to try different registers to give the pieces different tone colors. Can be my speakers here, but some pedal notes (the both highest notes especially) stand out strangely much above the others.

pianolady wrote:
I think it is more fun for the player to play Bach, good training for voicing, ornaments etc. but it’s not so hot to listen to. I know a lot of people here like Bach and I’m probably going to get it for saying all of this. It’s just my opinion and all the Bach up here today is making my head spin. I am, however, open to anyone who has any ideas or plans that could convert me into liking Bach. Good luck to whomever takes on that challenge!


Ok, I try a take on that challenge:
Partly you gave the answer already yourself: You said it is more fun for the player, so why not play until the fun comes :D
To be honest, some preludes from the WTC1 always attracted me but not so the fugues. Only after give a fugue a try, a glimpse for the mastery started after numerous playing again and again. It is when one starts to track several voices simultaneous what needs in my case several hearings and playings, that comes not immediately, instead it grows.

I'm singing in a choir where we just practise on the St.Matthew passion from Bach. That's a piece for 2 separate choirs, each with 4 voices, and 2 separate orchestras and solo voices. In the beginning piece you hear both choirs, both orchestras and on top of that a solo voice. It is that huge that I get goose bumps every time we practise it.

Sorry for coming off topic.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:32 am 
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I too have mixed feelings about Bach. Just about all of it is tremendously well crafted, but some of it I like very much and some I don't. For listeners to whom "craftedness" is not of preeminent interest, some of Busoni's reworkings of Bach provide a more direct way in (e.g., Setrak's recently posted Chaconne). I don't think I've played any Bach; if I did, I don't remember it. But I have my own confession to make about the fellow.

When I first started university, after not having been near a piano all summer, my new teacher asked me to play something. Naturally I had nothing playable and faked my way through some Chopin and Brahms I'd had months earlier. She asked "Have you played any Bach?" I replied "No, it hasn't interested me" (absolutely true -- I was besotted with Debussy). She laughed and said, "With me you'll play Bach." I was willing but was first interested to know why. "Because I said so," she said. And with that, I stood up and gathered my books. "Why are you leaving?" she wanted to know. I had just enough wits about me to reply "Because I said so." And that wound up being the last lesson I had for many years.

Well, I have a much smarter teacher now, who explains reasons instead of asserting his authority. And this week he assigned me the first prelude of WTC1. :-)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 6:56 am 
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Lovely as usual and your submissions of Bach’s organ works always put a smile on my face. Not sure why but there is something nostalgic about Bach organ works which almost makes me long for the “good old time of his” where music really played an important role in life (I exclude pop/rock and other music of today).

Pianolady, you do not have to like Bach but I am pretty sure you are among the minority of classical piano players who doesn’t. It seems that you prefer music connected with harmony so that your musical brain can understand the connections to the current key or chords that a certain passage represents (for instance in broken chords of a Nocturne of Chopin or Field). If your brain cannot make this connection, you do not like it.

But for me, no other composer represents soooo much feeling in music as about any of Bach’s music does. It is so intrusive to my mind BUT few people like a Bach piece the first time he/she listens to it, perhaps not even the second or third. It takes many repeats of the same piece for me before I really find the wonder in it. But one cannot listen to it as background music while doing something else and you must pay attention through every single note. If you like to listen to music as relaxation, Bach is not the music you should choose. Bach demands full attention as when reading a book or even playing the music yourself. It is nothing you have on while making the dishes and sing along. It is also often dark and hard and perhaps men like it better but really Monica, you should really give Bach a second chance and really dig into the gold mine of counterpoint.

For me, Bach never ends and I can listen to the same pieces many many times while most romantic composers really bore me after a while. I do not find anything new in it and have fully understood the piece and when this happens, it is not interesting anymore. I have almost stopped listening to Chopin for this reason. There is hardly anything left to discover.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:38 pm 
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Quote:
Pianolady, you do not have to like Bach but I am pretty sure you are among the minority of classical piano players who doesn’t.

I have always been a little ‘different’ from everybody else. I think my genes got mixed up, because my own father would be on your side of this debate. He is very knowledgeable in music and his ears can recognize any key, melody, voice, etc…in almost every piece of music ever written. I can’t tell you how many times he has said to me in total astonishment, “I can not believe you never heard that before.” Or “That’s not Mozart it’s Haydn.” He says he never gets tired of listening to Bach, either.

Quote:
But one cannot listen to it as background music while doing something else and you must pay attention through every single note. If you like to listen to music as relaxation, Bach is not the music you should choose. Bach demands full attention as when reading a book or even playing the music yourself. It is nothing you have on while making the dishes and sing along.


That statement is probably the one that most fits me. I am always doing three or four things at the same time. My kids run me ragged, my husband works all the time is not home much, so I have to do everything. Plus, I have a few other activities going on besides playing the piano. So I suppose I do think about other things when I’m listening to music. I wish I could delete all the stuff in my head I do not need - like the delete button on the computer. Lately, I’m trying to memorize a few pieces and it’s taking forever because I have too much garbage in my head. And I do sing when I’m in the shower and it’s usually something like Chopin.



Quote:
For me, Bach never ends and I can listen to the same pieces many many times while most romantic composers really bore me after a while. I do not find anything new in it and have fully understood the piece and when this happens, it is not interesting anymore. I have almost stopped listening to Chopin for this reason. There is hardly anything left to discover.


This isn’t so for me. When I hear other players, I hear the different ways they play, the different balance between the hands, different notes they bring out and that is what keeps me interested. I cannot listen to a Bach fugue repeatedly without spacing out. My mind wonders. I must be defective.

Quote:
But for me, no other composer represents soooo much feeling in music as about any of Bach’s music does. It is so intrusive to my mind BUT few people like a Bach piece the first time he/she listens to it, perhaps not even the second or third. It takes many repeats of the same piece for me before I really find the wonder in it


You make a good case, here. Except for the feeling part. I don’t get that. But I appreciate the fact that I should give it time, listen more, listen better, listen without distraction – would be nice to go away by myself – somewhere warm with only a bathing suit and my ipod loaded with Bach (and Chopin)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:44 pm 
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robert wrote:
But for me, no other composer represents soooo much feeling in music as about any of Bach’s music does. It is so intrusive to my mind BUT few people like a Bach piece the first time he/she listens to it, perhaps not even the second or third. It takes many repeats of the same piece for me before I really find the wonder in it. But one cannot listen to it as background music while doing something else and you must pay attention through every single note. If you like to listen to music as relaxation, Bach is not the music you should choose. Bach demands full attention as when reading a book or even playing the music yourself. It is nothing you have on while making the dishes and sing along. It is also often dark and hard and perhaps men like it better but really Monica, you should really give Bach a second chance and really dig into the gold mine of counterpoint.


<soapbox>
Replace "Bach" with "Medtner" and those are my feelings precisely! :-)
</soapbox>


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:30 am 
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I think it is more fun for the player to play Bach, good training for voicing, ornaments etc. but it’s not so hot to listen to. I know a lot of people here like Bach and I’m probably going to get it for saying all of this. It’s just my opinion and all the Bach up here today is making my head spin. I am, however, open to anyone who has any ideas or plans that could convert me into liking Bach. Good luck to whomever takes on that challenge!


Nice playing. Yes, Monica, you are right about Bach about its vocing. In Australia and Uk.

Bach, Scarlati, Anton Solar...are part of learning progress in classical music. Its classified as List A(pre 1800). I suppose, I should starts to dig out some prelude and fuge just to train my voicings again :lol: ........
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