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Bach Prelude in C (Read 3466 times)

Offline djbrak

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Bach Prelude in C
« on: January 30, 2004, 11:17:55 PM »
Playing this piece on the piano, pedal or not to pedal?
I know that harpsichords didn't have pedals but it sounds nice...would you say it is incorrect to use pedals in Bach pieces?
"If music be the food of love...sing on sing on!"

Offline allchopin

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #1 on: January 30, 2004, 11:24:48 PM »
I use the pedal, dampering in between each arpeggiated set.  It sounds 'lovely' - basically, if you don't plan to pedal, at least hold down the first note (or first 2 notes) of each set.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline xtopher

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #2 on: January 30, 2004, 11:28:03 PM »
Its very Incorrect to play the pedal In Bach....
This semester i played The preludes in c minor and in d minor and i learned in a class that.. bach music cant be changed or modified with pedal, or forte or put a speed to it is just as it says.. ;)
Just make sure to have very nice phrases.
Xtopher**
by the way hi .. im new
xtopher¡

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #3 on: January 31, 2004, 12:47:16 AM »
I would completely disagree. There is no right or wrong way to play music. Do what sounds good. Don't worry about Bach not intending his pieces to be pedalled - he didn't intend them to be played on a 9 foot Steinway either. We can either all go sit and play harpsichords or play the piano and use the added effects a piano has,
Ed

Offline chopiabin

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #4 on: January 31, 2004, 01:11:59 AM »
The piano was created because the harpsichord did not satisfy the musical desires of composers. If Bach had had a piano, I'm pretty sure he would have used it.

Offline Noah

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #5 on: January 31, 2004, 03:14:45 AM »
Quote
I would completely disagree. There is no right or wrong way to play music. Do what sounds good. Don't worry about Bach not intending his pieces to be pedalled - he didn't intend them to be played on a 9 foot Steinway either. We can either all go sit and play harpsichords or play the piano and use the added effects a piano has,
Ed


I agree, though I personally prefer to play Bach 99% without pedal.
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline allchopin

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #6 on: January 31, 2004, 09:05:27 PM »
Well, have you ever played the Prelude in C without the pedal?- it sounds horrible and amateur.  The beauty comes with pedalling
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline bernhard

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #7 on: January 31, 2004, 09:45:59 PM »
Allchopin, Ed and Noah are correct :D. Xtopher is badly mistaken. ::)

Quote
Its very Incorrect to play the pedal In Bach....
This semester i played The preludes in c minor and in d minor and i learned in a class that.. bach music cant be changed or modified with pedal, or forte or put a speed to it is just as it says..  
Just make sure to have very nice phrases.


If you learned this in a class I suggest you change schools (or teachers).

In Bach’s time it was the performer’s responsibility to add dynamics and embellishments. These were never written down. This is not to say that one should not use dynamics or ornaments only because they are not there.

If you get a movie script, it will not tell you (except in its barest outlines) how to bring the lines to life. This is the responsibility of the Director and the actor playing the part. Just because such directions do not appear on the script does not mean that the actor should say his lines devoid of expression and deliver them in a monotone.

Composers started giving very specific directions about how their music should be interpreted with Mozart and Beethoven Before that they were not that fussy (although J.S. Bach, Handel and Telemann were fussy enough to write out their own ornaments – which caused much resentment amongst musicians at the time).

So dynamics are absolutely essential to Bach. But since he did not make them explicit one needs to make an informed decision about it. In fact, dynamics is the main way to phrase this prelude (Interestingly enough xtopher suggests that you use no dynamics, and yet directs one to have nice phrases. One wonders how…)

The best way to figure out the dynamics in this prelude is to play the broken chords as proper chords. The changes in harmony will tell one when to increase the tone and when to play softly (you could say that since the prelude is all built on the same figure, it is not broken into phrases – hence you must rely on the harmony).

So start very softly and build up a crescendo up to the fifth bar because the harmony calls for it . Bar 6 decrease the tone and increase it again on bar 7. Bars 8 – 10 do a diminuendo. If you think harmonically you will see (hear) that bars 1 – 10 are one long phrase culminating (and progressing towards) on the change to the dominant on bar 11. This should give the general idea.

Alternatively, see if you can get your hands on the Czerny edition of the preludes. This is the way Beethoven played them (which is not to say that this is the way it should be played). This edition (which a lot of authorities turn their noses at) has plenty of dynamic and pedal markings, if you cannot come up with your own. Remember though, that Bach would expect you – as the performer – to come up with your own interpretation.

The pedal is also essential, but since the music is mostly polyphonic, it has to be used sparingly so as not to blur the several melodic lines. The decision on when and how to use the pedal pivots on the function of the pedal, namely, to sustain sound. Use the pedal anytime you need to sustain sound, and this would be impossible with fingering alone.

I agree with Allchopin. The prelude in C sounds nicer with the pedal. However since you can sustain the bass line without the pedal, there is no need to use it if you don’t wish to.Glenn Gould plays it in an interesting way: he holds the left hand notes and plays the right hand very detached, almost staccato. For an extreme version, check out Jacques Loussier jazzy version of it, in which he plays it prestissimo (great fun!) ;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 Noah

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #8 on: January 31, 2004, 10:49:28 PM »
Quote
Well, have you ever played the Prelude in C without the pedal?- it sounds horrible and amateur.  The beauty comes with pedalling


::)
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline djbrak

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #9 on: February 03, 2004, 01:31:27 AM »
Well, from what the music in The Well-Tempered Clavier, it shows that you must hold the two LH notes during the measure of the arpeggios on the RH.  But the pedal does make it sound sweet, even though 99% of Bach's music will sound weird with pedal.
"If music be the food of love...sing on sing on!"

Offline steveolongfingers

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #10 on: February 03, 2004, 03:57:25 AM »
Bach's music is usally played without the pedal because it sounds like junk when the notes cross over most of the time......Prelude in C from WTC 1 is an exception to the junk rule, as i call it, as some one wrote an Ave Maria to it, so you are aloud to pedal the chords
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture – it’s a stupid thing to want to do- Frank Zappa

Offline Noah

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #11 on: February 03, 2004, 03:35:23 PM »
Quote
Bach's music is usally played without the pedal because it sounds like junk when the notes cross over most of the time......Prelude in C from WTC 1 is an exception to the junk rule, as i call it, as some one wrote an Ave Maria to it, so you are aloud to pedal the chords


What the hell ? Just because someone wrote some piece of garbage using Bach's prelude doesn't mean you're allowed to ruin the original piece.
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #12 on: February 03, 2004, 08:57:27 PM »
Not a fan of Gounod are we?
Ed

Offline glamfolk

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #13 on: February 03, 2004, 09:22:28 PM »
play it however you want to.  just sit up straight.

Offline djbrak

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #14 on: February 04, 2004, 02:36:45 AM »
If it was for an audition, what would you say?
"If music be the food of love...sing on sing on!"

Offline Clare

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #15 on: February 04, 2004, 02:46:45 AM »
If it was for an audition, I would say use the pedal by all means!
But I would also hope if it was for an audition you'd play the fugue too (but without pedal, I suppose).

Offline djbrak

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #16 on: February 04, 2004, 04:35:30 AM »
Sorry, I've been playing for only a year...fugue is Greek to me!  I eventually will be aiming for that level in the future, but I'm in the first Bach book of beginners (Minuets, etc.), I just did this piece because I need it to audition to the University for non-pianoperformance music major.
"If music be the food of love...sing on sing on!"

Offline ChopinFreak

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Re: Bach Prelude in C
«Reply #17 on: February 09, 2004, 02:05:14 PM »
Quote
Allchopin, Ed and Noah are correct :D. Xtopher is badly mistaken. ::)

For an extreme version, check out Jacques Loussier jazzy version of it, in which he plays it prestissimo (great fun!) ;D.



Indeed!!!! As a jazz lover Jaques Loussier's PlayBach series are awesome!!!

As for the main subject. This is one of the pieces on my mega-ultra-tiny repertoire. I'm on my first year with the piano. ::)
I do use the pedal. It's a good exercise not to use it but if you're looking for nice results I'll definetly use it. Just my opinion, a completely newbie opinion though, but everyone's entitled to one, isn't it? :P

Regards.  
Newbie student....



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