Piano Forum



The World of Piano Competitions - issue 2 2020
As a collaborating partner Piano Street is proud to present the fourth issue of The World of Piano Competitions. Here we get a rich insight into the world of international piano competitions through the eyes of its producers and participants. Read more >>

Topic: Why do you hate playing Bach?  (Read 13932 times)

Offline bernhard

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 5078
Why do you hate playing Bach?
on: January 22, 2004, 01:51:04 AM
Judging from several threads, it appears that a number of people in this forum have an intense dislike for either the music - or if they like the music - for the playing of pieces by J. S. Bach.

I find this intriguing, since I both like his music and enjoy playing it. In fact if pushed enough I may even admit he is my favourite composer, and his pieces, the pieces I enjoy playing the best.

So apart from vociferously voicing their dislike, can anyone give reasons for such dislike?  ???

Yours in bafflement,
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 eddie92099

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1816
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #1 on: January 22, 2004, 01:57:59 AM
I'm going to echo Vladimir Ashkenazy: I'm not good enough,
Ed

Offline bernhard

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 5078
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #2 on: January 22, 2004, 01:59:33 AM
Quote
I'm going to echo Vladimir Ashkenazy: I'm not good enough,
Ed


I can live with that. :)
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 nad

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 136
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #3 on: January 22, 2004, 02:01:56 AM
Quote
I'm going to echo Vladimir Ashkenazy: I'm not good enough,
Ed


hmm i can't live with that... You are good enough  ;)

nad

Offline Clare

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 236
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #4 on: January 22, 2004, 02:51:17 AM
I don't know, man.
There's no other rush quite like when everything's going so, so right and you're kicking arse in a Bach fugue.

Offline schnabels_grandson

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 323
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #5 on: January 22, 2004, 04:02:45 AM
I was thinking of asking this same question.  It also apears that some people love Bach and some hate him, but there is no middle ground.  I think the models for playing Bach may contribute to the malcontent.  Most pianists choose to exhibit his music in a rigid, expressionless fashion.  The supposed justification for doing this is that harpsichords had no capacity for dynamics.  So pianists play Bach like a machine and that's not what music is about, or what Bach likely intended.  Also, Bach's music is almost, if not completely contrapuntal.  This associates him with the baroque sound that most romantic fanatics dislike.  Plus he used a lot of mordents, and that bothers even me, a Bach enthusiast.    
You don't have to eat garbage to know it's garbage.-Old Proverb
A good composer does not imitate; he steals.- Igor Stravinsky

Offline steveolongfingers

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #6 on: January 22, 2004, 04:47:30 AM
Ten things I hate hate about Bach

1.) How crappy it sounds when you screw up one note
2.) The thinking involved in playing
3.) How crappy it sounds slow (esspecailly the fugues)
4.) If I only had to learn one or two preludes and fugues to be considered awesome i wouldn't mind....BUT 48!!!!!!
5.) His music is like a robot
6.) Polyphonic does always mean good
7.) Big hands are always smashing into eachother
8.) lack of rest time during the fugues, they just keep on trucking, as compared to a sonata by beethoven were he threw in a few whole notes and such to give lazy people like me a break
9.) no dynamics baaaah, its either quite or loud
10.) damn doctrine of affections >:(
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture – it’s a stupid thing to want to do- Frank Zappa

Offline liszmaninopin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1101
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #7 on: January 22, 2004, 05:19:58 AM
I'd suppose that the main reason I dislike him is how dry his music is to me.  Comparing Bach to Chopin for me would be comparing tough, dry Silverside (London Broil) steak vs. say a good Delmonico.  A tad silly of an analogy, but Bach puts me to sleep.  His music can be profoundly similar-sounding and repetitive; especially considering that what he does repeat is usually the least interesting part of his pieces.  I haven't actually listened to a whole lot of Bach, so perhaps this isn't fair.  But the Well-Tempered Clavier is enough to turn me off.

Offline cziffra

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 416
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #8 on: January 22, 2004, 10:44:50 AM
(i've posted this somewhere else too, but it's more topical here:)

well, i must say i'm astonished at the opinions of bach- if you are at all interested in composition or a study of musical form and design, bach is, indispensibly, your man.  i have learnt so much from working through the 48 (relax, i've only done about 6) it's priceless-  

especially if you try this exercise- if you come across a passage you don't really understand, rewrite it.  after  multiple drafts you suddenly come to realise you can't rewrite, and it's impossible to better it, because everything that needs to be there is there, and if you change it you destroy the whole balance.  

bach teaches the principle of- point to random note, explain WHY that note is there.
learning liszt and rachmaninoff etc, the answer is usually "to stun the ladies" but with bach it's always crucial to the MUSICAL side of it.  every note has its place its purpose and its role in the large well planned carefully executed arc of design.

and the energy!  how could you want to die by listening to bach!? there's so much passion in it, so much energy.  have you heard gavriolv's french suite no 5, or gould's piano concerto (the one on the art of the piano) and pieces like the prelude and fugue 2 and 6 from the 48-  

to me, bach is the most economic and yet at the same time effective craftsman.
What it all comes down to is that one does not play the piano with one’s fingers; one plays the piano with one’s mind.-  Glenn Gould

Offline cziffra

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 416
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #9 on: January 22, 2004, 10:50:01 AM
i'm not making fun of you, just responding to your points.

Quote
1.) How crappy it sounds when you screw up one note

that's the whole beauty of it!  
Quote
2.) The thinking involved in playing

i guess you could watch friends or the bachelor, if you don't like thinking
Quote
3.) How crappy it sounds slow (esspecailly the fugues)

who says you have to play them slow?  
Quote
5.) His music is like a robot

that is if robots play it
Quote
8.) lack of rest time during the fugues, they just keep on trucking, as compared to a sonata by beethoven were he threw in a few whole notes and such to give lazy people like me a break

i don't understand- bach's bad because you're lazy?
Quote
9.) no dynamics baaaah, its either quite or loud

who says you have to play it like that?

it seems the reason why some people don't like him is because he was too good- you have to really think to play him, he wrote a LOT, most of which is really difficult and "keep trucking on" requiring a lot of energy, and all of which takes a long time to fully understand.  that to me is all part of his inimitable genius us lesser mortals should try to learn from, rather than get frustrated by.


i think it's a zen saying, i'm not sure, but:

a fool tries to destroy those who are better than them
the wise try to learn from those who are better than them

i definitely agree!  having performed in eisteddfods i know how obstructive it is to be centred on beating someone, rather than learning something.  bach will always be better than me, but thank god for that, because then i'll be able to be a lot better than what i would have been without his influence.

What it all comes down to is that one does not play the piano with one’s fingers; one plays the piano with one’s mind.-  Glenn Gould

Offline schnabels_grandson

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 323
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #10 on: January 22, 2004, 11:37:27 AM
Excellent thoughts, Cziffra.  I would suggest listening to Bach's orchestral music as well.  His keyboard music is often misrepresented by many pianists.  In my opinion, his violin concertos are some of the most beautiful pieces written, especially the double.  Most music by other composers with the exception of Mozart and Chopin is full of imperfect phrases and unnessecary notes.  Not that I don't like other composers, but Bach is definitely one of, if not the greatest craftsman of the art called music.  As Cziffra said, there are no incongruencies in Bach's music, ever.  As for the volume of his work, it is said that it would take a modern day copyist writing all the parts just as Bach did, 70 years to copy all of his output.  That's unfathomable considering that Bach also had like 20 kids and many other responsibilities.
You don't have to eat garbage to know it's garbage.-Old Proverb
A good composer does not imitate; he steals.- Igor Stravinsky

Offline ilovemusic

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 79
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #11 on: January 22, 2004, 12:20:40 PM
I just want to stun the ladies. Don't need Bach. Boring and works on my nerves. Liszt is the man, oh yeah !

Joost

Offline Jemmers

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #12 on: January 22, 2004, 04:36:57 PM
I think ILoveMusic just about sums it up. I don't exactly hate bach, but I'm not a fan.

Oddly enough he "is too good" is a reason I'd only consider using on Mozart.

Back to the point: Times have changed. Fewer people can appreciate baroque music fully. We are more interested in "stunning the ladies" (So eloquently put...)

Offline eddie92099

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1816
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #13 on: January 22, 2004, 04:41:44 PM
Quote
It also apears that some people love Bach and some hate him, but there is no middle ground


Rubbish. I don't hate Bach, there are just many other pieces by many other composers that I would rather play than any of his.

Quote
Most music by other composers with the exception of Mozart and Chopin is full of imperfect phrases and unnessecary notes


I disagree entirely,
Ed

Offline liszmaninopin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1101
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #14 on: January 22, 2004, 04:53:24 PM
I don't hate Bach, I just find him boring.  Let me just give an example by way of comparison.  There are some passages in Rachmaninoff's Second Concerto I was listening to just this morning.  At points I really can feel the music, I truly love it.  That has never happened with me and Bach.  Sure, I suppose there might be some phrases which deserve a "that's clever," but nothing of his has ever affected me the way some Romantic, Modern, Impressionistic or some Classical composers have.

Chitch

  • Guest
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #15 on: January 22, 2004, 08:38:50 PM
Heart breakingly, I think there are only about 4 out of the 48 Preludes and Fugue's that Bach's written that I truly enjoyed playing. Besides that, I think his English and French Suites deserve a massive "that's clever". Then there are the very painful to listen to - Toccata's. I wouldn't go so far as to say that Bach in general is boring, but that most people haven't found a particular piece that they can really get a feel for and connect to. Maybe because they got tired trying to search for one while having to listen to the really bad ones, but that's just my opinion.

Offline steveolongfingers

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #16 on: January 22, 2004, 08:44:11 PM
Quote

i guess you could watch friends or the bachelor, if you don't like thinking


Its too bad that i dont have a TV.  Or i probably would
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture – it’s a stupid thing to want to do- Frank Zappa

Offline liszmaninopin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1101
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #17 on: January 22, 2004, 09:00:09 PM
Just out of curiosity, which four?  If I found one I legitimately liked, I wouldn't feel nearly so bad about learning Bach.

Offline Noah

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 343
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #18 on: January 22, 2004, 11:02:49 PM
Quote
Heart breakingly, I think there are only about 4 out of the 48 Preludes and Fugue's that Bach's written that I truly enjoyed playing. Besides that, I think his English and French Suites deserve a massive "that's clever". Then there are the very painful to listen to - Toccata's. I wouldn't go so far as to say that Bach in general is boring, but that most people haven't found a particular piece that they can really get a feel for and connect to. Maybe because they got tired trying to search for one while having to listen to the really bad ones, but that's just my opinion.


This is very hard but I'll refrain from insulting you.
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Chitch

  • Guest
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #19 on: January 22, 2004, 11:07:20 PM
Well, there's a little more then just four actually :P

I like ( From the "Well Tempered Clavier Book I)
Prelude and Fugue's number 1-4,6,8, and 11

And from "The Well Tempered Clavier Book II
Prelude and Fugue's number 3,12, and 24

Chitch

  • Guest
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #20 on: January 22, 2004, 11:08:13 PM
Quote


This is very hard but I'll refrain from insulting you.

Hey thanks!  ;)

Offline eddie92099

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1816
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #21 on: January 22, 2004, 11:57:04 PM
Quote
i guess you could watch friends or the bachelor, if you don't like thinking


Please don't insult Friends,
Ed

Offline allchopin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1171
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #22 on: January 23, 2004, 12:21:14 AM
Bach is not as well like as he could have been because his music is more of a formula than a theory.  For instance, not many would like to solve a simple physics equation when they can apply it to a real-world word problem, and even add in a few twists.  Because Bach didn't add any extra notes is WHY he is unpopular to many- he may be good on paper, but in our hearts, we all know that Chopin is the man to turn to *wink and smile*.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline Noah

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 343
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #23 on: January 23, 2004, 12:59:58 AM
Quote
Bach is not as well like as he could have been because his music is more of a formula than a theory.  For instance, not many would like to solve a simple physics equation when they can apply it to a real-world word problem, and even add in a few twists.  Because Bach didn't add any extra notes is WHY he is unpopular to many- he may be good on paper, but in our hearts, we all know that Chopin is the man to turn to *wink and simle*.


This is absolutely ridiculous. You don't need words to 'add in a few twists' because the music speaks for itself; and Bach is not only 'good on paper'.  >:(
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline eddie92099

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1816
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #24 on: January 23, 2004, 01:07:25 AM
Quote
Bach is not only 'good on paper'.  >:(


Yes, often he is bad on paper,
Ed

Offline bernhard

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 5078
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #25 on: January 23, 2004, 01:15:40 AM
Here is what we’ve got so far:

Ed:
Quote

1.      I'm not good enough,
2.      there are just many other pieces by many other composers that I would rather play

Ok, recognition of the performance difficulties, plus a question of personal taste. Fair enough. (Time is limited after all, and the piano repertory immense).

6th Gen Beethoven:
Quote

1. Most pianists choose to exhibit his music in a rigid, expressionless fashion.
2. Bach's music is almost, if not completely contrapuntal.  This associates him with the baroque sound that most romantic fanatics dislike.  
3.He used a lot of mordents.

Again, it seems to amount to a matter of personal taste.

Steveolongfingers:
Quote

1.      How crappy it sounds when you screw up one note
2. The thinking involved in playing
3. How crappy it sounds slow (esspecailly the fugues)
4. If I only had to learn one or two preludes and fugues to be considered awesome i wouldn't mind....BUT 48!!!!!!
5. His music is like a robot
6. Polyphonic does always mean good
7. Big hands are always smashing into eachother
8. lack of rest time during the fugues, they just keep on trucking, as compared to a sonata by beethoven were he threw in a few whole notes and such to give lazy people like me a break
9. no dynamics baaaah, its either quite or loud
10. d**n doctrine of affections

I found this answer very interesting, because it seems to me that Steveolongfinger actually devoted some thought to the matter and tried to come up with some objective reasons. I may not agree with it all (specifically items 5 and 9), but I can accept and understand why he does not like Bach.

Liszmaninopin:
Quote

1.      how dry his music is to me.  
2.      Bach puts me to sleep.  
3.      His music can be profoundly similar-sounding and repetitive.
4.      I just find him boring.

Now, Liszmaninopin, contrary to Steveolongifngers apparently does not know why he does not like Bach. He just doesn’t like him. (I mean how come he puts you to sleep? There may be some application here for insomnia treatment! ;))


IloveMusic:
Quote

Boring and works on my nerves.

Same here. (I mean, why do you find him boring? And how exactly does his music works on your nerves?)

Allchopin:
Quote

1. his music is more of a formula than a theory
2.      Bach didn't add any extra notes.

I am not sure what to make of this one. But I feel I should perhaps comment on item 2. Bach actually created the possibility of modulation to distant keys. (Both by writing the 48, and by developing a tuning system that made equal temperament a reality, rather than mere theory) So not only he did add extra notes, as he added all the possible extra notes within the key system, without which no Chopin, no Liszt, and no romantic music. And Chopin was crazy about the old wig.

Thanks for the replies. Keep them coming, this is fun! :D
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 Noah

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 343
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #26 on: January 23, 2004, 01:16:32 AM
Quote

Yes, often he is bad on paper,
Ed


Precisely not. Bach is never bad on paper since his pieces are mathematically perfect.
I'd be tempted to say that some people don't appreciate Bach because it is too intellectual, but I'm not sure this is true (I wouldn't want to classify Ed - for example - as someone who hasn't got the required intellect to listen to Bach).
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline eddie92099

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1816
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #27 on: January 23, 2004, 01:24:57 AM
It's not that I can't appreciate Bach, I would just rather spend my time getting to know other repertoire,
Ed

Offline liszmaninopin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1101
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #28 on: January 23, 2004, 01:47:31 AM
I don't know about you all, but mathematically perfect doesn't make music for me.  I don't care how perfect a piece is, if it doesn't have that certain energy that can't be pinned down, I don't enjoy the piece.  For me, Bach doesn't have that.  I can't give a specific, factual reason why I don't like him.  Just because I don't care for Picasso doesn't mean that he's a bad artist, nor does it mean that I am not "sophisticated," or have poor taste, or whatever else somebody might dream up.  Art is an intensely personal thing, and  I simply do not care for his work, the same goes for Bach.

Offline Noah

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 343
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #29 on: January 23, 2004, 02:03:44 AM
Quote
I don't know about you all, but mathematically perfect doesn't make music for me.


I never said it did. I'm just saying that you couldn't possibly argue the fact that Bach was a great composer considering the technical and theoretical side of his works. That is true whether you like his music or not.
I'm simply fed up with people saying that they don't like Bach because his pieces are bad, too simple, repetitive, etc. That's just plain ignorance.
I don't like most of Liszt (except for his amazing sonata and a few other works) but I won't deny the fact that he revolutionised piano playing and writing.
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline liszmaninopin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1101
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #30 on: January 23, 2004, 03:14:56 AM
Of course Bach is a great composer, but I don't have to like him.  While I have called him boring and (to me) repetitive, I have never called him, nor meant to imply, that he was a bad composer.  Obviously many people out there love his works, and that proves the merit of his works.  I still don't have to like him, however.  If not liking a composer is ignorance, then all of us would be ignorant, as we have our favorites and those we dislike.

Offline cziffra

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 416
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #31 on: January 23, 2004, 04:48:54 AM
maybe the image out there is a gentle old man writing nice peaceful music for sleeping, viz a viz andras schiffs performances.  

i personally see him as a man of unceasing passion and virility, and i can not possibly imagine him ever playing anything in a boring way.  
What it all comes down to is that one does not play the piano with one’s fingers; one plays the piano with one’s mind.-  Glenn Gould

Offline liszmaninopin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1101
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #32 on: January 23, 2004, 04:58:03 AM
I would visualize Bach the pianist as very careful.  He would perform a piece flawlessly, and with a sort of aristocratic expression to it.  I don't know if passion is the word I would choose to express Bach.

Offline comme_le_vent

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 792
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #33 on: January 23, 2004, 05:37:16 AM
my favourite piano-composer is alkan - the hypervirtuosic dramatic maniac, yet i still have a soft spot for bach, i dont give a crap about the theory to his music or anything mathematical. the lack of appeal seems to come from the facts that his music is quite mono-textural, they all sound like a few melodies going on at once, but not any lush chords etc. and the fact that his melodies arent particularly song-like. my favourite works are the keyboard concertos in d minor and f minor, the inventions, the chromatic fantasy and fugue, and the well tempered clavier - i happen to LIKE every single prelude and fugue- and i LOVE quite a few , favourites include the d sharp minor in the second book, the a minor in the 1st book, etc. i feel great emotion when i listen to these pieces, the emotion isnt as immediate as chopin etc. but it reveals itself with repeated listens , especially in a characterful performance. as far as playing bach on piano - i havent tried, ive just picked out a few tunes, but it sounds great on piano and even though it may be hard to adjust to his contrapuntal style - playing great music is always a reward in itself.
https://www.chopinmusic.net/sdc/

Great artists aim for perfection, while knowing that perfection itself is impossible, it is the driving force for them to be the best they can be - MC Hammer

Offline allchopin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1171
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #34 on: January 23, 2004, 07:08:30 AM
Quote

I am not sure what to make of this one. But I feel I should perhaps comment on item 2. Bach actually created the possibility of modulation to distant keys. (Both by writing the 48, and by developing a tuning system that made equal temperament a reality, rather than mere theory) So not only he did add extra notes, as he added all the possible extra notes within the key system, without which no Chopin, no Liszt, and no romantic music.

Oh, this is not what i meant- I usually do imbue some metaphor into my writing not to be taken write this literally.
I meant that following these explicit mathematical formulas just doesn't arouse the extremely right-brained populace, which is more intrigued with pieces of passion, creativity, and simply composers who take chances.  Chopin did outlandish things with many of his works, with variegated melodies and stlyes that one could scarecely recognize as Chopin if not informed beforehand.  He even wrote a fugue!  Yes, he admired Bach, but I'm not too hasty to follow him yet...

In short, my (metaphorical, again) argument is this: what good is E=MC^2 if you're not going to do anything with it?  And who says that Chopin's, or Beethoven's, or Mozart's etc. music is not mathematical?  This would be untrue.  For example: Beethoven used the golden ratio in his music- when studied, a Beethoven symphony repeated the theme exactly the golden ratio (Phi, or 1.61803399) bars from the beginning (multiply this ratio by the number of bars and floor the answer).  He must have either innately known how to write perfectly, or created his own mathematical system in composition.

Bach had a sense of math too, but he didn't apply himself.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline BoliverAllmon

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4155
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #35 on: January 23, 2004, 07:22:49 AM
Maybe the reason why some people don't like Bach as much is because the right pianist hasn't come by and played Bach to the fullest. Take for instance, I learned invention no.8 a while back. It took me nearly 6 months to get it up to concert standard, not because the notes are hard, but musically it is. Severe Control is needed to bring out the different voices. Now, when I did perform it, people said that it was amazing. Maybe people dont want to spend enough time on it to bring out the hidden parts. Every note is special and needs specail attention in his pieces.

Bach

Offline cziffra

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 416
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #36 on: January 23, 2004, 08:03:34 AM
i don't know about you but i've never seen a mathematical formula evident anywhere in bach's music.  all i see is unaduleterated musical logic- a piece exists for as long as it needs to, all ideas are stated in the appropriate place with the appropriate build up and fall away, all voices complement each other, there's always balance: what goes up comes down, what needs contrast gets contrast, everything serves everything else in the most sublime and efficient manner.  
What it all comes down to is that one does not play the piano with one’s fingers; one plays the piano with one’s mind.-  Glenn Gould

Offline chopiabin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 925
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #37 on: January 23, 2004, 08:46:48 AM
I don't hate what Bach did for music, and, at times, I can listen to his music and enjoy it, but for me it gets incredibly monotonous, a lot of the pieces sound exactly the same, and there is a very small degree of bizarre, colorful chords such as can be found in Scriabin and Chopin. I guess I am just sort of a Romantic type of guy.

Offline bernhard

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 5078
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #38 on: January 23, 2004, 10:58:52 AM
Lizsmaninopin:

Quote
Obviously many people out there love his works, and that proves the merit of his works.


Would that apply to Maksim as well?

Cziffra:

Quote
i personally see him as a man of unceasing passion and virility, and i can not possibly imagine him ever playing anything in a boring way.


Well said! I could not agree more. (The guy got into sword duels, was disrespectful towards established authority – got thrown in jail for it – married twice, had 20 children, stood his ground fearlessly – contrary to many romantic composers who were real wimps, and wrote music of unsurpassed beauty and profundity. Changed the history of music by making equal temperament a reality. Ah, yes, he was also a virtuoso of the highest calibre in at least four different instruments).

Boliver:
Quote
Maybe the reason why some people don't like Bach as much is because the right pianist hasn't come by and played Bach to the fullest.


Perhaps s/he never will. It is possible to argue that Bach’s music cannot be played to the fullest. In fact, you could say that the Art of Fugue is not to be played at all, except in one’s mind (one of the reasons Bach did not specify instruments). In the mean time, what about Rosalyn Tureck, Edwin Fischer, Glenn Gould, Angela Hewitt, Martha Argerich, Sviatoslav Richter, Andras Schiff, Claudio Arrau, Richard Goode? (Just a few in no particular order, but with strikingly different approaches and interpretations)

All Chopin:
Quote
Bach had a sense of math too, but he didn't apply himself.


I suggest you have a look at “Bach, the learned musician” by Christoph Wolff

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 ilovemusic

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 79
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #39 on: January 23, 2004, 12:46:39 PM
Quote
Here is what we’ve got so far:

IloveMusic:
Same here. (I mean, why do you find him boring? And how exactly does his music works on your nerves?)


I just don't like the barok-like style. I think I find  the game of tension and release of the romantic style much more appealing. Of course it is a matter of tast. I don't like the music because it is as if I can hear the metronome ticking in my head if I listen to most of his music, and I hate this. (i.e: boring + works on nerves).

(I do play a composition of "Komm, susser Tod ")

Joost

Offline Noah

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 343
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #40 on: January 23, 2004, 10:04:01 PM
I was just trying to make this point : you can't argue the genius of Bach's music. If you don't like his music, stop justifying that by saying he was a bad composer because it won't gain you much credibility.
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline eddie92099

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1816
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #41 on: January 23, 2004, 11:23:32 PM
Quote
I was just trying to make this point : you can't argue the genius of Bach's music. If you don't like his music, stop justifying that by saying he was a bad composer because it won't gain you much credibility.


I would like to point out, for the record, that I would never make such a ridiculous comment,
Ed

Offline liszmaninopin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1101
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #42 on: January 24, 2004, 01:29:39 AM
Today I spent a fair amount of time listening to many P&F's from the WTC; I'm beginning to warm to it a bit, but he's still not my favorite.

Offline BoliverAllmon

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4155
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #43 on: January 24, 2004, 02:23:00 AM
Remember that in Bach's time the performer was expected to embellish on the score. That is why Gould is such a good Bach performer. It is far from robotic.

boliver

Offline Noah

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 343
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #44 on: January 24, 2004, 04:12:29 AM
Quote


I would like to point out, for the record, that I would never make such a ridiculous comment,
Ed


I didn't say you did, but some retards people did.
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline Eek Lek Tik

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 19
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #45 on: January 24, 2004, 08:57:52 AM
I used to like baroque music. Right up until the authentic movement began and handed classical radio their long sought after justification for "classical lite".  Sure has employed a lot of musicians for whom later music is emotionally out of scope.

Bach? Yes, but not on harpsichord or other pre-piano instrument. And please *play* it as if it were music and not math. The staleness and machine-like quality is not in the composition.
Everyone's different. I am the same.

Offline Ecthelion

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 37
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #46 on: January 24, 2004, 01:42:31 PM
Hi,

I can't understand how you can hate Bach's music. Me personally, I love it. Bach is definitly one of the greatest composers for me. Has anyone heard his Cembalo Concertos? They're great! And about the Brandenburger Concertos... His "Kantaten" are wonderful too, great lyrics, great music. Does someone knows the Italian Concerto? Unfortunately I dont' have a good recording of it but my teacher said perhaps I could play it soon.

regards,

Ecthelion

Offline ilovemusic

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 79
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #47 on: January 24, 2004, 03:58:39 PM
Of course Bach was very important on the development of piano playing. He invented (I think) well-tempered tuning and counter point theory. I do not deny his genius, but simply do not like to listen or play it (or that much, anyway). Period.

Offline eddie92099

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1816
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #48 on: January 24, 2004, 04:40:11 PM
Quote

I didn't say you did, but some retards people did.


Using the term "people" very loosely.

Quote
Does someone knows the Italian Concerto?


I must confess I do like that piece very much,
Ed

Offline Jemmers

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
Re: Why do you hate playing Bach?
Reply #49 on: January 24, 2004, 04:58:16 PM
I have the score from the third movement (presto) of the italian concerto. I have to say, it is like most Bach pieces. It starts of all nice, makes you wanna listen, but when it's over you sorta feel cheated cos it simply repeats itself over 10 or so pages. (thank god for presto in this case...)
For more information about this topic, click search below!
 

Logo light pianostreet.com - the website for classical pianists, piano teachers, students and piano music enthusiasts.

Subscribe for unlimited access

Sign up

Follow us

Piano Street Digicert