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Topic: Bach as opening pieces in recitals?  (Read 1645 times)

Offline Eusebius_dk

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Bach as opening pieces in recitals?
on: June 26, 2005, 02:02:59 AM
As the subject title suggests I'm having a bit of problem with this issue. Not of musical reasons, but because for me, there is no other composer being more scary to open a recital with.

I'm always most nervous during the first 5 minutes of a recital (guess it's normal), and after that I usually calm down, and at some point I feel relaxed as if I was playing for myself in my own living room (might also be pretty normal). When I'm nervous the first thing that goes is my memory.

The polyphonic complexity of Bach's music just doesn't seem to fit that kind of anxiety I feel in the beginning of a recital. Too many times I have tried having awful memory slips in the opening of a recital, probably only because I played a piece by Bach.  :(

By experience I have finally learnt the importance of starting with either a rather easy piece (especially when it comes to play it from memory), or something that I know extremely well.

I love playing Bach, and I will always keep his music in my recital repertoire, but I'm not sure I will ever play it as opening piece (eventhough we are often expected to do so). I have always thought Bach works just as well for opening the 2nd half of a recital, so that might be my solution so far...

What do you think? Do you have the same problem? Should I plan my recital programmes differently, or should I just get used to opening recitals with Bach? If so, how should I approach it?

Offline whynot

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Re: Bach as opening pieces in recitals?
Reply #1 on: June 26, 2005, 02:31:51 AM
I also like to play Bach first, which is why I totally see your point:  it's treacherous!  I always think, am I nuts?  I see great wisdom in your new plan.  And everyone will think you're really hip to play out of chrono order. 

Offline quantum

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Re: Bach as opening pieces in recitals?
Reply #2 on: June 26, 2005, 10:15:29 PM
In my view the myth that if we play Bach it must be first, needs to be dispelled.  I have witnessed too many recitals where the Bach piece played first is totally murdered, and the rest of the recital goes quite well. 

I once overheard the flute teacher of my friend say in her "wisdom" -  "Bach should be played first because he is considered the Master."  I consider this statement utterly ridiculous.  If one truly wishes to do justice to Bach's music, it should be with the quality of the performance, not the placement in a program. 

For your first piece, you should pick something you are really comfortable with. 
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline Waldszenen

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Re: Bach as opening pieces in recitals?
Reply #3 on: June 27, 2005, 08:05:57 AM
Bach is a lot easier on the ears for an opening audience compared to say, a Romantic sonata.


Or any Baroque keyboard music for that matter.
Fortune favours the musical.

Offline thalberg

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Re: Bach as opening pieces in recitals?
Reply #4 on: June 27, 2005, 08:27:17 AM
Personally, I would really enjoy a recital where  Bach wasn't played first.  I love Bach (he's my favorite), and I find that at the beginning of a recital, I'm still settling in as a listener, and the first piece is sort of like a welcome-piece or an introduction.  To hear Bach second or even later would enable me to concentrate better on the marvelous depth of his music.  Though I may never meet you, you have my permission to play something less taxing to open your program.

Offline phillip21

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Re: Bach as opening pieces in recitals?
Reply #5 on: June 27, 2005, 08:50:57 AM
When I did a diploma recital recently, I chose a Bach prelude and fugue to start with as I find these pieces ideal for getting to know an unfamiliar piano, and they are generally pretty calming to the player's nerves.  I would suggest not starting with too fast a piece of Bach!

Phillip

Offline pianote

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Re: Bach as opening pieces in recitals?
Reply #6 on: July 02, 2005, 11:34:25 PM
starting with bach is really good warming up your technique on an unfamiliar piano- especially if you are playing fast/ showy pieces afterwards in a competition... but for a programme...you don't always need to go by chron. order

Offline pianonut

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Re: Bach as opening pieces in recitals?
Reply #7 on: July 03, 2005, 03:21:32 AM
what about scarlatti?  sometimes his music seems more relaxed and you don't have to worry about the fugues if you play his sonatas.  they are usually paired.

do you know why benches fall apart?  it is because they have lids with little tiny hinges so you can store music inside them.  hint:  buy a bench that does not hinge.  buy it for sturdiness.

Offline Teddybear

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Re: Bach as opening pieces in recitals?
Reply #8 on: July 03, 2005, 04:39:41 AM
The polyphonic complexity of Bach's music just doesn't seem to fit that kind of anxiety I feel in the beginning of a recital. Too many times I have tried having awful memory slips in the opening of a recital, probably only because I played a piece by Bach.  :(

I know exactly what you mean. I have the same problem. You're always supposed to play Bach first (my teacher thinks it's the easiest option), but I can't. It's terrible! The last time I had a recital I played a prelude from WTK and it was a disaster. I couldn't remember more than two bars in a row.

T
Teddybear

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Offline thalberg

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Re: Bach as opening pieces in recitals?
Reply #9 on: July 03, 2005, 11:25:03 AM
One time I started a recital with Rameau.  It was super easy....so easy in fact that I never practiced it and I blew it sky high.

Offline shoshin

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Re: Bach as opening pieces in recitals?
Reply #10 on: July 09, 2005, 12:14:06 AM
"Bach should be played first because he is considered the Master." 

Wrong. There should be no doubt about it. Bach IS the Master.

Offline rachfanatic

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Re: Bach as opening pieces in recitals?
Reply #11 on: July 13, 2005, 10:17:33 PM
Bach is not as bad as a Scarlatti Sonata, so i wouldnt say no to perhaps a slow P&F, perhaps BK1 no.17, something to loosen up your fingers a little.
 

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