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 Post subject: Bach - WTC 1 - P&F No.5 BWV850
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:02 pm 
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The fugue is slower than you hear it normally, but I have always felt it this way.
I wanted to record the BWV851 pair as well but ran out of time.

Bach - BWV 852 - Das Wolhtemperierte Clavier I - Prelude and Fugue No.5 in D major

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 Post subject: WTC No. 5
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:30 pm 
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I enjoyed both the Prelude and Fugue. I always enjoy noticing the ornaments in Bach's compositions. You played them very well. What edition of the WTC do you have? I have the Schirmer Edition edited purportedly by Carl Czerny, and the Fugue has very few of the ornaments you played. They sounded nice, but I was surprised as I followed in my own verion.

As for the tempo, this is a quote from the Preface of the Schirmer Edition: "Those who have no Maelzel's Metronome at hand are reminded, that the Allegro in these old compositions is to be taken, as a rule, much more tranquilly and slowly than in modern works."


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:37 pm 
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Thanks John. I have the Henle Urtext which has some ornamentation here and there, though many are printed small to indicate they are not proven authentic. I'm against over-use of ornamentation, but in slower pieces like this fugue they work well. Occasionally I insert some myself when I feel like it. An accepted Baroque practive I think.

Czerny had no truck with ornamentation. Too intent on adding huge crescendi, fortissimi, and octave doublings. Mostly at his indicated speeds, ornaments would not make sense anyway. I have that edition too but I think it's crap.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:42 pm 
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I knew that pair was one of the next items on your cycle list for WTC. Overall I like it, also your tempo on the fugue. Everyone has different perceptions of that fugue - for me D major is a festive key, and the fugue can be very festive interpreted in my opinion. You did another approach, and let end it small instead great - why not.

Some critical remarks however. You know, I hold especially your Bach interpretations in very high rank, and also most of your WTC recordings are GREAT. Regarding the prelude I have something to niggle however. I know the right hand part is tricky -but nevertheless you should try to get it more evenly. But the main thing for me is your left hand. It was my now 80 year old teacher - as I played my version, she said what I built up with right hand I tear down with my left hand. You suffer a bit on same problem I had. The left hand part is always same rhythm. It sounds really stronger, if the articulation for left hand does not change. I would not push the sustain pedal, because it blurres not only the right hand part, it destroys the left hand articulation. Its personal choice to play the left hand staccato or more portato or whatever, but it should be played consistently so -sounds simply better, I think.
Bar 27 starts with an important left hand A note, what should be held over 3 bars. This note was unaudible, but if it is played really strong, it would hold the 3 bars (in German it is called "Orgelpunkt", I don't know the translation - is it really "organ point"?).

I like your fugue interpretation, unusual, but interesting! I am only wondering about the lots of ornaments, beginning with first bar. What I am wondering the most is, if you start with such ornaments in one voice, why don't you repeat it same way in every voice. At least my Urtext score don't has those ornaments.
But beside this your left hand 32nd notes are on some places not evenly. I know about the difficulty to play those parts with unfavorable fingers because it must be, and I have to admit, that on my take there are also wishes open regarding that, nevertheless there is a bit uneveness here.

So much niggled, and did not hear any slips or wrong notes! That's a good recording, but unfortunately, you played some WTC items better and now you are measured on that of course!
And don't treat this as an offend, take it sportive, please! It is not meant to turn your achievement down, but perhaps you find some sense in it and consider a rerecording eventually.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:55 pm 
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MindenBlues wrote:
IAnd don't treat this as an offend, take it sportive, please! It is not meant to turn your achievement down, but perhaps you find some sense in it and consider a rerecording eventually.

Of course not, it's appreciated.
Actually I feel quite the same about these. Even though they (at last) are pretty close to note perfect I am not much satisfied with them either. It felt allright when playing, but it is too uneven and inconsistent as you say. This Prelude has been driving me crazy, and it feels as if I've played it a million times now, but I guess I'll have to have another go at it. Probably best to give it a break and try again later. I feel like that about most of my WTC recordings.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:39 am 
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I have absolutely nothing against the tempo in this fugue. I have heard it even slower and even as Olaf says, the D major is a festival key (only outranged by G major atmv), I think this tempo is perfect and perhaps late night at the festival? ;)

What bugs me a bit is the prelude where you have problems. To be able to make these patterns even, you must provide each finger the same attention and time to produce a good tone. I would advice you to consult your teacher as it is difficult to guess your problem without seeing what you are doing. A daily slow practise in half speed or even slower might solve the problem but not for sure.

But if I make a guess. It sounds like the weak tones are produce by 4:th finger caused by irregular use of the thumb (most common problem). When you play a slow legato scale, how do you apply your thumb? Play a scale very slow (one key per beat in b=60 or similar), for instance RH ascending in C major. Once your thumb has released its key and finger 2 is pressing the D, the thumb should go under the palm to prepar to hit the F in time with correct strength, same thing for next time finger 2 is used. I think of this as finger 2 triggers the movement of the thumb. It might be hard to syncronise a continues movement (which comes automatically in fast speed) of the thumb. It sounds like your thumb is coming into action too late when you speed things up.

In this discussion, we might also end up in the confused thumb under/thumb over topic ;).

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:51 am 
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Interesting thing about the thumb moving ahead before striking time. Seems to make sense. There's a couple of spots here where the thumb causes a problem but I think it is not the major source of the inegality here. I'll have to analyze it in some detail to see where I'm going wrong. I'll take this to my teacher, that is a good idea. Right now it feels though like I'll not be able to play this any better, unless I stop recording and start practising scales :x

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