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Prelude in C major from WTC I (Read 4577 times)

Offline stormx

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Prelude in C major from WTC I
« on: July 14, 2005, 02:34:40 PM »
Hi !!  :) :)

i am learning Bach Prelude in C major from the WTC book 1. I find it easy, but a nightmare to memorize  :-\ :-\
What makes memorization difficult for me is that all bars are identical (except last 2) but indeed different (RH arpeggios vary all the time). Moreover, the piece does not have a clear melody (tough it is beautiful).

Any hints?

By the way, i didnt know Gunod added a melodic voice above this piece to make a famous "Ave Maria"  ::) ::)

Offline xvimbi

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Re: Prelude in C major from WTC I - Memorization
«Reply #1 on: July 14, 2005, 02:59:23 PM »
When it comes to things like that, I find it easiest to write down the arpeggios (or chords) and look at the notes that change from one to the other. Then memorize only those that change and those chords/arpeggios where there are drastic changes compared to the previous ones. There are often patterns that are even easier to memorize.

When I study such sections, I also often play the arpeggios as chords, holding them as long as the arpeggios are supposed to last, but that's a different aspect.

Offline Kassaa

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Re: Prelude in C major from WTC I - Memorization
«Reply #2 on: July 14, 2005, 03:16:21 PM »
Memorize the chords, after you have memorized the chords the arpeggios will be easy.
Everything will pass, and the world will perish but the Waldstein Sonata will remain.

Offline kghayesh

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Re: Prelude in C major from WTC I - Memorization
«Reply #3 on: July 14, 2005, 03:18:03 PM »
To make memorization easier, you can use the divide and conquer approach. Divide the whole piece into many sections (of about 7-10 bars), and each section into other subsections and so on.

You will find that memorizing 3 or 4 bars a piece of cake. After the division of the piece into many small passages, you can do it in much less time

I always make a time schedule for memorization. For example, i say that i will memorize from the begining till bar 20 today then tomorrow up to bar 40 .....and so on. This way you will feel more organized

Offline bernhard

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Re: Prelude in C major from WTC I - Memorization
«Reply #4 on: July 15, 2005, 01:39:22 AM »
Yes, as said by all above, the best way to memorise this prelude is to  name thechords and memorise them (breking the piece in manageable bits). If you don't know how to do that, have a look here where this prelude has been analysed:

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php?topic=6260.new;topicseen#new

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline rlefebvr

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Re: Prelude in C major from WTC I - Memorization
«Reply #5 on: July 15, 2005, 03:37:12 AM »
Everybody here is correct.  This is one of the first pieces I have ever learned, but I knew nothing about Chords or breaking downs pieces when I learned it.

To this day I need the score in front of me to help me along, although at this point it does not hurt my performance one bit.

It is not a very difficult piece in my opinion and so learning it the long way by playing it over and over and over again is feasible, but not recommended.

Do try and get a recording of it and it is not true there is no melody, it's in the chord break down.

One of my favorites.
Ron Lefebvre

 Ron Lefebvre Copyright. Any reproduction of all or part of this post is sheer stupidity.

Offline shoshin

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Re: Prelude in C major from WTC I - Memorization
«Reply #6 on: July 15, 2005, 07:22:46 AM »
Left hand gets 2 notes always ascending.
Right hand gets 3 notes, always ascending and repeated once

I would suggest listening to it.  I learned it pretty much all by ear.  If you dont know chords well then don't learn it via chords. These theory nuts here can do that easy as sleeping though.

I know alot of people are against using the pedal on Bach's works but use it on this piece because it sounds so nice.

I'm just checking with the WTC book i got by Ferruccio B. Busoni(a god...this aint willard palmer) and he said this about the pedal:

"The Editor recommends abstention from the use of the pedal up to the 5th measure of the 3rd section, and the strict holding-down of the left-hand notes instead, which very nearly gives the effect of the pedal."

This is great because when I first learned it  i was used holding down of the left-hand notes. Then I saw the notation and I was like "dammit I learned it wrong" but I guess my ear is better than I thought.

 

Offline jeremyjchilds

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Re: Prelude in C major from WTC I - Memorization
«Reply #7 on: July 16, 2005, 07:41:09 AM »
play only the first 5 notes of the bar, so it changes every time, the you will not waste so much tome repeating hte same thing over and over 4x
"He who answers without listening...that is his folly and his shame"    (A very wise person)

Offline bernhard

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Re: Prelude in C major from WTC I - Memorization
«Reply #8 on: July 16, 2005, 09:56:09 AM »
play only the first 5 notes of the bar, so it changes every time, the you will not waste so much tome repeating hte same thing over and over 4x

This is an excellent idea.

Take it further by considering this set of notes as a "unit" and applying repeated note groups to sets of seven "units".

This is sure to have it memorised. :D

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline stormx

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Re: Prelude in C major from WTC I - Memorization
«Reply #9 on: July 20, 2005, 06:57:08 PM »
I will reuse my own topic, asking another 2 different questions about the same piece  :) :)

1) I am adding the pedal (it is my first piece using the pedal  :) :)).
In my edition (Longo), there is "Ped" indication at the beginning of each bar, and release pedal indication (*) at the end of the bar. As you know, each bar start with 2 notes played with the left hand.

Question: the depressing of the pedal should be done exactly at the same time the first note of the bar is played? Or just before, or just after?

2) The piece is marked Moderato. What metronome tempo is desirable? 1/4 note = ?

Thanks in advance

Offline bernhard

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Re: Prelude in C major from WTC I - Memorization
«Reply #10 on: July 20, 2005, 09:43:21 PM »
1) I am adding the pedal (it is my first piece using the pedal  :) :)).
In my edition (Longo), there is "Ped" indication at the beginning of each bar, and release pedal indication (*) at the end of the bar. As you know, each bar start with 2 notes played with the left hand.

Question: the depressing of the pedal should be done exactly at the same time the first note of the bar is played? Or just before, or just after?

2) The piece is marked Moderato. What metronome tempo is desirable? 1/4 note = ?


Whatever markings your score has (pedal, moderato, dynamics, etc.) they are all editorial. Bach did not provide any such directions.

This prelude is mostly about overtones, so I suggest you learn to listen to the overtones (without pedal) before adding the pedal, so that you know exactly what sound you are after.

If you look at the bass voice, it consists of two minims (1/2 note) per bar. Now, go to the piano and play middle C and hold the key depressed. For how long does it "ring"? That is how slow you can get away with, since Bach wanted the sound of that minim to underly all notes in half a bar.

How fast can you play it? Jacques Loussier plays it prestissimo, and it sounds very effective. So by all means experiment. If you are sold to the idea above (that this prelude is about overtones) then you will want to play it slowly (and not too much pedal either) to hear the build up of overtones. I think that an interesting idea that may inform your interpretation is Arvo Part's "tintinnabulation" (google it). Much of what he says about it is applicable here.

Finally most of your questions will be anwered here:

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~siglind/wtc-i-01.htm

Enjoy! :D

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline gouldfischer

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Re: Prelude in C major from WTC I - Memorization
«Reply #11 on: July 20, 2005, 11:29:57 PM »
Finally most of your questions will be anwered here:

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~siglind/wtc-i-01.htm

Wow!!!

Do you guys know of any similar text available (preferably in the Internet) for the Goldberg Variations (I am studying them now) and/or the Inventions?

Thank you!

Offline rlefebvr

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Re: Prelude in C major from WTC I
«Reply #12 on: July 21, 2005, 12:01:58 AM »
O.K. here's a question for you.
Like I said before I have played this piece since I started on the piano. I have played it fast, slow, no pedal, pedal, (too much pedal -:) ) and so on.

Lately I have been playing it making the 5th note sound louder then the others to sort of play it like a melody. Not sure I like it that way yet.

Question:

A pianist friend of mine told me the "proper" way to play this piece is the make the 1st and 5th note sound louder then the other three as this would be the classical way of playing it.

Anyone agree?
Ron Lefebvre

 Ron Lefebvre Copyright. Any reproduction of all or part of this post is sheer stupidity.

Offline bernhard

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Re: Prelude in C major from WTC I
«Reply #13 on: July 22, 2005, 01:53:35 AM »
Question:

A pianist friend of mine told me the "proper" way to play this piece is the make the 1st and 5th note sound louder then the other three as this would be the classical way of playing it.

Anyone agree?

 I disagree. If you read the site above (reply #10) you will see that the author disagrees as well, and she makes a very good case for not accenting any note whatsoever.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)