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In the history of Western music, from the medieval until the romantic period, improvisation was an important skill for all composers and keyboard players. Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, and many others were celebrated for their ability to improvise. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Bach Invention 1  (Read 9068 times)
steve jones
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« on: November 26, 2005, 09:46:27 PM »


Does anyone have any idea which is the definitive edition of this piece?

I have one score which tells me to play at 120bpm, and has minimal ornamentation. I have another which tells me to play at 66bpm. And the recordings vary even more!

There is an excellent thread about these pieces, with posts from Bernhard and others. And this has been most helpful, but it didnt answer this question for me.

So who do you play this one? What would be a good tempo to play at?

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piano sheet music of Invention
debussy symbolism
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2005, 12:00:07 AM »

Greetings.

You are right there is no one single edition. Exploring many of them will be much more helpfull. Some have different ornamentations, fingering and all have something to say. One edition might have somethings, but some other edition might elucidate for example the mordents more carefully. I used 2 editions and found both helpfull. The music isn't restricted to just one edition. Use many.




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Floristan
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2005, 12:43:27 AM »

It's Bach, so the choice of a tempo is really up to you.  I think Gould played it at about mm=66, but I've heard it played much faster.  Bach didn't assign any tempi to his music.  My suggestion is to play it no faster than you can produce beautiful tone.  One of Bach's avowed purposes for writing the inventions was to teach the production of beautiful tone.  Of course that was on the clavicord, but still I think it carries over to the piano.  Bach is uniquely useful in learning to produce beautiful, bel canto tone and learning to play legato.
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steve jones
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2005, 10:42:26 AM »


Right, thanks for the responses guys!
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pseudopianist
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2005, 01:08:18 PM »

It's Bach, so the choice of a tempo is really up to you.  I think Gould played it at about mm=66, but I've heard it played much faster.  Bach didn't assign any tempi to his music.  My suggestion is to play it no faster than you can produce beautiful tone.  One of Bach's avowed purposes for writing the inventions was to teach the production of beautiful tone.  Of course that was on the clavicord, but still I think it carries over to the piano.  Bach is uniquely useful in learning to produce beautiful, bel canto tone and learning to play legato.

Bach did assign tempi to his music but not all of his keyboard works. His Sonatas for Harpsichord and Violin for example have tempo markings (not bpm but still)
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Whisky and Messiaen
steve jones
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2005, 03:52:57 PM »


Well, I can play this HS at around 140bpm, but HT at 100bpm max. And that is without many of the ornaments.

I think I shall take it down to the Gould tempo and try to get everything perfect before raising the pace. Like you say, its about getting the right tone etc, and I dont think Im getting that at all at speed.

How do you guys deal with articulation? I originally played much of this piece stacato, but now Im not so sure.  Undecided
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debussy symbolism
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2005, 11:23:56 PM »

I have played the eight notes staccato. This piece was composed for the harpsychord and you can't legato on a harpsychord. Playing the eight notes staccato also gives a different effect to the music. Also the endings on trills I also played stacato. Make sure that the sixteenth notes aren't abruptive and are flowing.  Smiley






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Floristan
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2005, 04:40:25 AM »

The convention I was taught is to play the sixteenth notes legato and play the eighth notes detached...which doesn't necessarily mean a sharp staccato, just non-legato.
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debussy symbolism
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2005, 05:10:17 AM »

Non-legato is correct. That is how one might play the eight notes.









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