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Moonlight Trapped in the Sonata Form?

How can we explain the immense popularity of the sonata for over two hundred years? What makes it so satisfying, so complete? Here we listen to a recent performance of the Moonlight Sonata by pianist Yundi Li from a popular TV-show in Japan. His interpetation is quite traditional with a slow and beautiful rendition of the first movement. But there is another completely different way to interpret it. Which do you prefer? Read more >>

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Author Topic: J. S. Bach, Sarabande from French Suite #5 in G major  (Read 9134 times)
jazzyprof
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« on: August 07, 2005, 02:46:49 PM »

I just finished learning this piece and would welcome suggestions on how to improve it!  I used no pedal in this performance.  Does the absence of pedal make it too dry?  Is it too slow?  Do I need more embellishments?  How about the dynamics?  Any comments would be much appreciated.

* G_MA_SARABANDE_080505_02.mp3 (1905.41 KB - downloaded 300 times.)
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"Playing the piano is my greatest joy, next to my wife; it is my most absorbing interest, next to my work." ...Charles Cooke

piano sheet music of French Suite
allchopin
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2005, 06:47:25 PM »

Few comments here and there - overall good performance.

m.3 - Your beat choice for the grace note sounds a little odd (some kind of dotted eighth?)
m.10 - Not sure if you meant to or if your edition has it in, but you added a note (I believe an E).  It sounds fine; just making sure you know it was there.
m.13-14 - The sixteenth notes are played out of rhythm, somewhat syncopated.  Make sure to keep note values in rhythm.
m.15 - Personal choice, I would extend the trill a little longer up to the D.
m.1 (after repeat) - Again, there is a rhythm change which may be different in your edition.  You played the G eighth as a sixteenth (this happens occaisionally throughout).
Also, you may work on evening out the first set of triplets a bit more.
What was the variation you played at the end on the second pass?  It's not in my edition - did Bach put in this ossia?
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jazzyprof
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2005, 04:11:35 PM »

allchopin:  Thank you so much for your very detailed comments!  I have gone back and checked everything you mentioned and made corrections where needed.

m.3 - You're right.  The grace note should be an eighth.
m.10 - The added note (E) is in a revised version of the manuscript (Alfred edition, edited by J. Schneider)
m.13-14 - Yes, I will fix the 16th note rhythms here and also in the repeat of m.1.
m.1 - And yes, the triplets could be more even.

The variation at the end (on the second pass) is included in light print in my edition.  It is supposedly from a manuscript of H. N. Gerber, around 1725-26.
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"Playing the piano is my greatest joy, next to my wife; it is my most absorbing interest, next to my work." ...Charles Cooke
allchopin
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2005, 05:23:12 PM »

You're welcome, I hope I wasn't being too picky.

What made you opt for Gerber's ending rather than Bach's? (not a purist I see Smiley)
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