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Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt. (Read 9235 times)

Offline electrodoc

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Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
« on: March 30, 2007, 12:48:22 AM »
Well here goes. I look at the message boards and quite envy all of you younger people who have a lifetime of music in front of you. Unfortunately, I did not start until middle age (45) but here is an effort at the 2nd Bach Partita (Cmin).

Piano - Boston
Microphones - AKG C1000
Recorded to cassette tape. (very old fashioned I know)

Hope you like it and all comments welcome.

Offline rachfan

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #1 on: March 30, 2007, 02:43:27 AM »
Hi electrodoc,

I don't play Bach anymore and rarely listen to it.  But I did take in your recording and enjoyed it.  For someone who started late as an adult beginner, you display a surprising dexterity, which is uncommon.  You have also developed a fine rhythmic sense.  Noboby tests a pianist's rhythmic sense like Bach does.  I think you have a good balance of the hands, allowing the LH to predominate when appropriate for voice lines, and show good dynamic contrasts in your playing too.  Your pedal changes are very frequent, so I believe it to be in good taste for Baroque.  You maintained good continuity throughout.   Good work!
Those partitas are harder and more involved than the WTC Preludes & Fugues.
How long have you been taking lessons?  Are you still doing so, or learning on your own now? 
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline electrodoc

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #2 on: April 03, 2007, 11:29:09 PM »
Thanks for the comments.

I have been taking lessons for 15 years (about 12 lessons per year) and I am still with the same teacher (Kenneth van Barthold). Because of work commitments I manage about an hour per day practice. No matter what level we are at I think that it is helpful to find a good teacher and mentor. Not only can the teacher help with technique, fingering, etc. but also with interpretation and performance.

Interestingly, even after all of these years I still perform worse when at a lesson. I think that there is some mental tension arising from the knowledge that my teacher has a superb ear and knowledge and will pick up even the smallest error.

I am not a performer. I play entirely for my own pleasure and enjoyment. Whilst I do not mind playing for friends, I have no wish to be a performer or to have made a career out of the piano (other than perhaps being a first class technician).

Offline pianistimo

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #3 on: April 04, 2007, 12:27:34 AM »
agreed with the comments above - and how age doesn't really matter in the long run.  can i say something that i find personally?  i'd like to hear the first part just slightly faster - and the mid-section - a bit slower.  the first part doesn't have the 'flow' yet - and the mid-section is so unlike the first section.  i personally think that in the baroque era the tempos were closer in approximation to each other than what we make them today.  i could be wrong.  but, i like to hear a sort of moderation put to these tempos.  for one thing - they were dealing with harpsichords which tended to move just a bit slower so that the action didn't impede on the sound.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #4 on: April 04, 2007, 12:49:11 AM »
Well I won't say what I liked about the piece instead I'll critique since that is probably more helpful for you.


Overall in the Grave Adagio I felt everything needed to sound more serious and almost Beethoven like in its strength and graveness eheh.

Bar 1: The opening chord is sustained over the very first rests, you need to silence the chord when you strike the notes that come next. You neglect the rests a number of times in this Grave Adagio part.

Bar2: The triple tails in the RH are not fast enough the GFG. Throughout this introduction section when multiple 3 tail notes are played in sucession you slow them down. When the first couple of triple tails enter I think you actually play them too slow but compensate by making the double tail before it too short. This occurs a few times, Bar 2 also wherever else you find that rhythm of double tail leading to triple. Take care not to play the double tail too quickly and compensate by playing the triple too slow.

The value of the double tail has to be the same throughout. The particular rhythmic device Bach uses here, the double tail, dotted double and then triple gives you immediately 3 different notes types which you must maintain throughout. I feel that when you play the individulal notes in repetitive three note rhythms outside of the rhythm itself you are slightly out.

Notice that throughout the Grave Adagio there are 5 different types of notes and you must make sure each one sounds its value consistently. Another part where the note value is not strict enough is the dotted quaver at the start of Bar 6, your entry following that is a little fast. Take care of your dotted quavers and give them their sustained value.

In Bar 6 also the rhythm of the dotted double tails to triples are too fast.

Andante Part:
This was much better than the introduction. Bach music generally plays Quavers stacattoish over a legato double/triple note. For example if you ever listen to say... the Invention no 13 you notive the semi quavers are all legato and are played over short sounding quavers, this should also be evident in the Andante part here.

In Bar 2 the FG (3rd and 2nd last note in the LH) are overlap over one another in sound which acts against the idea mentioned above and makes the LH sound unclear. This overlapping of quavers happens a few times so be wary of it. I also detected a few wrong notes but that could have been just by accident so I won't point them out.

ALLEGRO PART:
This needs to be slightly faster to give that differnt atmosphere. Wake up your listener here and make them feel like we have shifted up a gear. Careful when you get to parts where both hands are playing semiquavers because I hear that it is ever so slightly broadened out in out which is undesireable. The ornamentation throughout the piece needs to be worked on as well however I am not very good in describing in words how to do that. Ornamentation is really a lost art in my opinion not many people, even professionals, relaly understand how they should be done. I wish I could put it in words but the only way I can effectively teach and describe ornamentation is by example.

Good stuff!
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #5 on: April 04, 2007, 01:08:40 AM »
slightly faster in the 3/4 part ?  (is that what you mean by allegro section).  i agree with all your other comments - but why faster?  it's already written into the score with faster notes - but you wouldn't need a faster tempo would you?

just curious.

as i see it (and i may be speaking out of turn) - the andante tempo stays - but the voicing changes.  also, the rhythms.  i like to hear much more voicing in all sections.  this is coming, though.  maybe highlighting notes you really want to hear and not making it as 'monotonous.'  one of the ways (actually several) are just what lostinidlewonder says - about absolutely giving the rests their spaces as much as the notes - and also what he says about precise rhythms and no crossovers of sound.  it would be nice if lostinidle did a highlighting of what was important to him. i find his critiques amazingly helpful.

used to use colored pencils, myself, just to highlight voices.  but, in this piece - sometimes it is patterns of notes (say the longer held ones) that accumulate into a sort of phrase of their own.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #6 on: April 04, 2007, 01:16:44 AM »
Well the score clearly indicated Allegro and as we know when Bach put in tempo markings like this it is not necessarily the exact speed of notes but rather the atmosphere or character that the tempo markings create. Allegro is faster than both the Grave Adagio and Adagio so one must give this respect by upping the tempo for the final part. The score actually is still not written with faster notes (nothing faster than triple tails, but it is composed of the faster notes of the entire piece that is true) in the allegro part but we are encouraged to increase the speed, it also sounds very right.
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #7 on: April 04, 2007, 01:19:55 AM »
could you give an impression of this by rhythmic change?  or is it an accepted practice that when the time signature changes to 3/4 that is indicating allegro?

the reason i am arguing this is that i see it as a binary sort of form (excluding the grave/adagio start) and this speeding up isn't jiving with my head just yet.

rachel barton pine (a violinist) says that when she was 14 she found an edition of some corelli sonatas indicating 'corelli's own ornamentation as notated by an audience member.'  she became facinated by the indications of the period and studied the writings of geminani, quantz, cpe bach, and boyden.  quantz - writing a lot about ornamentation as a flutist - and some of the others for both violin and clavichord/harpsichord.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #8 on: April 04, 2007, 01:28:03 AM »
The score actually says ALLEGRO.... Go to www.sheetmusicarchive.net and look for yourself :)

hear 3:15- 3:16 of this midi... http://www.bachcentral.com/partitas/sin2.mid


it plays horribly yes but it highlights the tempo change I am talking about. Just listen to how those quavers have sped up in comparison to the parts before the ALlegro.
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #9 on: April 04, 2007, 01:32:47 AM »
why doesn't the score from piano street?

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #10 on: April 04, 2007, 01:33:53 AM »
why doesn't the score from piano street?

Is that a sentence? ahha :)
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Offline phil13

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #11 on: April 04, 2007, 01:41:17 AM »
The score actually says ALLEGRO.... Go to www.sheetmusicarchive.net and look for yourself :)

hear 3:15- 3:16 of this midi... http://www.bachcentral.com/partitas/sin2.mid


it plays horribly yes but it highlights the tempo change I am talking about. Just listen to how those quavers have sped up in comparison to the parts before the ALlegro.

To be honest, I wouldn't take any score with metronome marks as Bach's own written indications. However, I agree with you, it does need to be at a faster tempo.

Beyond that, I don't know what to say. I'm not exactly intimate with the piece, but I liked your playing, Electrodoc.

Phil

Offline pianistimo

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #12 on: April 04, 2007, 01:46:51 AM »
sorry.  why doesn't the score from pianostreet contain an 'allegro' marking in this partita?

i'll listen to some recordings.  i'm still confused a little.  i like to know if it is referring to a minuet sort of feel (and therefore allegro) or if it is still under the heading 'andante' (being binary) and the 3/4 tempo is subsumed under the 4/4 and maintains the same pulse throughout.

Offline phil13

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #13 on: April 04, 2007, 01:52:48 AM »
sorry.  why doesn't the score from pianostreet contain an 'allegro' marking in this partita?

i'll listen to some recordings.  i'm still confused a little.  i like to know if it is referring to a minuet sort of feel (and therefore allegro) or if it is still under the heading 'andante' (being binary) and the 3/4 tempo is subsumed under the 4/4 and maintains the same pulse throughout.

A minuet would be slower than what we're aiming for, one would think.

It seems to me that this part of the movement is supposed to be played at a quick, lively tempo, to distinguish it from the previous section.

Phil

Offline pianistimo

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #14 on: April 04, 2007, 03:25:51 PM »
now, i understand about the form more.  you are both correct it seems.  i thought this was a sort of sinfonia that was binary and had no difference of tempo.  but, according to a thread i found - sinfonia is an italian word for overture.  overture - being of french origination.  once the overture was founded - quickly the italians, and germans and whoever else took the idea and ran with it.

ok.  so from what i understand now - the overture or sinfonia of the opening of this second partita has three distinct parts:  grave, andante, and allegro.  so they are each sort of 'dramatic' if you want to call it that - and the tempo changes (although they might not be written in in some editions - they are implied by the 'overture' or sinfonia form that is associatied with this and is dramatic).

apparently the 16th variation of the goldberg variations is much the same way - many orchestral suites open this way, the B minor suite, and the sixth partita - also being examples of this french overture idea.

Offline phil13

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #15 on: April 04, 2007, 03:31:37 PM »
now, i understand about the form more.  you are both correct it seems.  i thought this was a sort of sinfonia that was binary and had no difference of tempo.  but, according to a thread i found - sinfonia is an italian word for overture.  overture - being of french origination.  once the overture was founded - quickly the italians, and germans and whoever else took the idea and ran with it.

ok.  so from what i understand now - the overture or sinfonia of the opening of this second partita has three distinct parts:  grave, andante, and allegro.  so they are each sort of 'dramatic' if you want to call it that - and the tempo changes (although they might not be written in in some editions - they are implied by the 'overture' or sinfonia form that is associatied with this and is dramatic).

Glad you understand.

Quote
apparently the 16th variation of the goldberg variations is much the same way - many orchestral suites open this way, the B minor suite, and the sixth partita - also being examples of this french overture idea.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the 6th partita's first mvt. played at the same tempo throughout? Perhaps a bit faster in the arpeggios, but I just heard this played in concert a few weeks ago, and the opening movement sounded like it was played at a consistent tempo throughout.

Phil

Offline pianistimo

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #16 on: April 04, 2007, 03:39:50 PM »
oh dear.  now i have to look this up again.  maybe it just meant overture idea  and not necessarily all of them have distinct sections.  anyways - i haven't played any of the partitas yet - so this is really a curiousity and not something i am totally 'up' on.

Offline pianowolfi

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #17 on: April 04, 2007, 06:18:45 PM »
Hi electrodoc, I like your playing very much. You are very musical and gifted in my book! Don't worry about the age. I don't go in detail because the previous posters have already said a lot. Just one hint: I played this piece a few years ago at an audition. And one of the experts (who is very much into historical performance practice) told me that some of the sixteenth notes, even if not indicated, like in the first measure after the first quarter, should be also played as 32nd notes. But okay this is a specific thing and to me it's just one of the options you have. Glenn Gould for instance plays normal sixteenths. When you listen to harpsichord players they mostly do 32nds instead of sixteenths at the respective   points. Good luck and keep it up!  :)

Offline electrodoc

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #18 on: April 04, 2007, 11:55:09 PM »
Many thanks to all contributors for the very helpful comments.

I completely agree that the first section in particluar needs more work and attention to detail. Not sure that I want to take the thrid section faster but perhaps the middle section very slightly slower in order to achieve contrast.  I have listened to Tureck play this and did not like the recording at all - very dreary to me. However, the Argerich rendition is something wlse. Very lively! I did try to emulate her speed but found it impossible for my fingers.

I am thinking of re-working this movement and then addingt the rest. Will keep you informed over time. Again many thanks for all of the very helpful comments.

Offline teresa_b

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #19 on: April 05, 2007, 11:17:13 AM »
Hi electrodoc,

Hey, another 50+ pianist!  (I'm a member of that club too  ;))  I really enjoyed listening to your Bach--I have to congratulate you for having the fortitude to study piano as an adult and achieve this level of performance!  KUDOS!

I don't know this piece and I have no really specific suggestions.  My feeling is, that transition section around 2:45 to 3:00 where you go into the faster section could be more emphatic, and I agree that you might work on ornamentation a little bit.  It is so, so difficult to play Bach's fugues, and you are doing great!

Keep it up--
Teresa

Offline kimba1055

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #20 on: April 22, 2007, 05:35:51 PM »
Well here goes. I look at the message boards and quite envy all of you younger people who have a lifetime of music in front of you. Unfortunately, I did not start until middle age (45) but here is an effort at the 2nd Bach Partita (Cmin).

Piano - Boston
Microphones - AKG C1000
Recorded to cassette tape. (very old fashioned I know)

Hope you like it and all comments welcome.
you are a great inspiration to me ,because i  start it playing at 28 and i being told that i will never be a good pianist,but listening at your  audio it proofs they are wrong.

Offline thalberg

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #21 on: October 28, 2007, 08:06:42 AM »
I know this was posted back in March, but I was sort of looking through the archives here and came across this.

I just had to post here and say, electrodoc, that I am very impressed with you.  You started at age 46 and you achieved this level?  That is incredible.  I've taught students who started in their forties and dexterity was such an enormous obstacle that I began to wonder if they were taking lessons because they needed a friend. 

But you have gotten this piece all the way up to tempo and made it sound artistic as well!  Congratulations!  Really good work.  I especially enjoyed your middle section.  Some people here said it was too fast, but I loved it.  You captured the exact right mood.

Offline zheer

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Re: Bach - Partita No 2 1st Mvt.
«Reply #22 on: October 28, 2007, 12:02:13 PM »
  Yes i must agree with thalberg,this is very impressive.Some people have the ability to play Bach very well ,you are one of those.thanks for posting.
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