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Topic: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach  (Read 2344 times)

Offline donjuan

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Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
on: May 22, 2004, 07:48:47 AM
Hi everyone,
My teacher is telling me I play too much Liszt.  When I go to competitions, the adjudicator tells me I need to play beethoven and Bach to fully understand Liszt's music and everything he stood for.  I would like to play some Bach to feel better about myself, but I really dont have a taste for the Baroque period.  

Question: Is there a work of Bach you can recommend for someone like me who eats, drinks, and breathes Liszt?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.
donjuan

Offline liszt1022

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #1 on: May 22, 2004, 09:13:27 AM
If you breathe Liszt, you know he did 6 arrangements of Bach organ works for piano solo. If you want, you can play those and pretend you're playing Liszt.

As far as original Bach goes, give a good listen to the Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue. It offers a lot of freedom to the performer in the Fantasy, if strictness of tempo is one thing you don't like about Baroque. And, check out the ending of the Fugue for a (very rare in Bach) short-but-sweet left hand octave figuring, which I'm sure Liszt would approve of.

If you're trying to avoid the WTC, maybe check out some of the solo keyboard toccatas or the oft-played Italian Concerto. As a Liszt fanatic (though with bad technique) I approached the Italian Concerto as if it was a piano transcription. The first mvt especially feels like one. The second mvt you could imagine as a transcription of a work for solo voice and keyboard. Though I don't play it like Liszt, it's nice to have him in my mind when I do.

Offline ayahav

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #2 on: May 22, 2004, 10:52:19 AM
Or you can play the BUSONI, or BRAHMS transcriptions of the Chaconne in D minor... the Brahms one is absolutely divine and is for the left hand only...

Offline amanfang

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #3 on: May 22, 2004, 05:17:04 PM
I played the Busoni transcription of the Chaconne and LOVED it.  I also like the c minor partita a lot.  But I like Bach a lot in general, so I don't know if that's what you're looking for.
When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there's no end to what you can't do.

Offline donjuan

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #4 on: May 23, 2004, 09:10:49 AM
Thank you for your responses!
I deeply love the transcriptions or Chaconne in D Minor or the Toccata and Fugue in D-Minor.  

But you see, now, im not playing Bach, but Busoni, or Brahms.  Lets leave the 19th century for a while, because I know how much I love everything.  The whole reason why I need to go back to Bach is to understand Liszt.  Liszt wouldn't have been too influenced by Busoni.

I really appriciate your help, but to my teacher and probably more importantly those snobby college audition juries- Transcriptions of Bach dont count as Bach..
donjuan

Offline donjuan

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #5 on: May 23, 2004, 09:14:11 AM
Quote
I played the Busoni transcription of the Chaconne and LOVED it.  I also like the c minor partita a lot.  But I like Bach a lot in general, so I don't know if that's what you're looking for.

I also like the c-minor partita, but not the whole thing.  It starts off dramatically, which I like, the Andante part is light and understandable- quite humorous, actually- , but the rest of it, I find exceedingly dull and repetitive, even when played by masters like Martha Argerich.

donjuan

Offline amanfang

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #6 on: May 23, 2004, 10:23:54 PM
Do you not like any of the preludes and fugues from WTC 1 or 2??  There's so much variety even within that.  To play one or two of those so you're not choosing a larger work like a suite or partita or something might be better.  I think Bach's music is so well crafted.  Maybe once you start something and really study it you'll like it better.
When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there's no end to what you can't do.

Offline sharon_f

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #7 on: May 23, 2004, 11:03:42 PM
The Fantasia in C minor is short and very dramatic. Not terribly difficult techinically, it is a great recital opener.

The Prelude & Fugue in D major WTC Book I has a very dramatic sweep to it especially the Fugue.

And of course, as already mentioned, the Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue and the Italian Concerto.
There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats.
Albert Schweitzer

Offline donjuan

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #8 on: May 24, 2004, 12:54:13 AM
What is WTC? Well tempered Clavier? I know how ignorant this sounds, but I need to be sure..

thanks everyone for your suggestions, I will try to find recordings of those pieces.
donjuan :)

Offline willcowskitz

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #9 on: May 24, 2004, 01:03:44 AM
I'm also a "romantician" in first place, but my favourite from Bach is probably the "little fugue in G":
https://www.sheetmusicarchive.net/dlpage_new.cfm?composition_id=1014

Offline donjuan

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #10 on: May 24, 2004, 01:18:44 AM
Quote
I'm also a "romantician" in first place, but my favourite from Bach is probably the "little fugue in G":
https://www.sheetmusicarchive.net/dlpage_new.cfm?composition_id=1014

It looks like organ music..

Offline willcowskitz

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #11 on: May 24, 2004, 01:20:16 AM
It looks like music to me.  :o
Maybe not if your teacher really is like what you described.

Offline donjuan

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #12 on: May 24, 2004, 04:05:44 AM
??
I dont play the organ, so I cant use organ music...and what about my teacher??

Offline amanfang

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #13 on: May 24, 2004, 05:41:19 AM
Yes, WTC is Well Tempered Clavier.  And "Little Fugue in G minor" is an organ piece.  I'm working on it now for organ lessons.  It's a wonderful piece.  It inspired me back in my junior high days to decide to organ lessons when I got to college.  But yes, there is a lot of variety within WTC 1 and 2.  I played A major from book 1 (#19) and really liked it.  The fugue is "interesting."  The subject is a little unusual.  I think fugues are one of the highest forms of composition, just with all the genius that goes into one.  Emotional in their own sort of way...though much different from Liszt emotion....
When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there's no end to what you can't do.

Offline donjuan

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #14 on: May 24, 2004, 07:12:07 AM
I just requested some CD's from the Library of the two Books of WTC.  Can anyone name their favorites?  I would like to do some investigating...
donjuan

Offline Saturn

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #15 on: May 24, 2004, 09:43:13 AM
Since you're looking into the WTC, I recommend you check this site out:

https://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~tas3/wtc/index.html

It has little movies for each of the fugues in book I, and a few in book II.  It contains the sheet music, a recording, and an in depth analysis.  Definitely worth a look, since it may help to familiarize you with Bach's fugues and help you to understand and appreciate them.

You might take a look at the C-minor fugue first, since that's the one everyone knows.

Bach is a little hard for some people to appreciate, because of how structured it is.  But it's never boring or mechanical (or at least, it shouldn't be).  Bach is sometimes dramatic, but not in the same way as Liszt.  Anyway, hopefully you'll learn to love Bach sooner or later.  His fugues are works of pure genius.

Offline belvoce

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #16 on: May 25, 2004, 12:48:30 AM
I played the prelude in F minor from book one of WTC.  :)

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #17 on: May 25, 2004, 01:36:45 AM
I was in a similar position a while ago.  I was (actually, still am) obscessed with Rachmaninoff's music; but my teacher told me I had to learn more Bach.  Needless to say, I wasn't thrilled about it-Bach seemed so boring to me.  At first, my practicing only seemed to reinforce that opinion, but gradually, I got caught up in the wonderful mixtures of melody that make up so much of Bach's music.  Any of his fugues, for example, give a fun challenge.  Try to find each possible voice, and bring it out; occasionally bringing one to the fore, occasionally another; it adds a richness to the music that I simply didn't appreciate before.  Learning to "sing" with Bach's music will aid your tonal control, and ability to bring out counterpoint.  These characteristics are valuable in all music; I found them especially useful in being able to hear all the voices in Romantic (Chopin, Liszt, etc.) music, and not just the main one.  It can add depth to your playing of music of all periods.

Offline Saturn

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #18 on: May 25, 2004, 07:57:32 AM
Interestingly, I'm in the opposite position.

I've always loved and appreciated the depth and complexity--both intellectual and emotional--of Bach's music.  I also liked Mozart and other early music, but my teacher said I needed to start learning some Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Debussy, Beethoven, Liszt, etc.

It took me a little while to even learn to appreciate rach 3.

Offline donjuan

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #19 on: May 25, 2004, 08:06:25 AM
Quote
Interestingly, I'm in the opposite position.

I've always loved and appreciated the depth and complexity--both intellectual and emotional--of Bach's music.  I also liked Mozart and other early music, but my teacher said I needed to start learning some Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Debussy, Beethoven, Liszt, etc.

It took me a little while to even learn to appreciate rach 3.

That's really interesting...Bach and Mozart are more difficult to appreciate than Romantic composers.  For me, I originally fall in love with the romantic pieces because the composer's intentions are very obvious, and the music focusses on a single emotion, or makes clear changes during the piece to suggest evolution of an idea.

I wish I were more drawn to Bach..Maybe it would help if I were a religious person..
donjuan

Offline Saturn

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Re: Bach for someone who doesn't like Bach
Reply #20 on: May 25, 2004, 10:18:16 AM
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I wish I were more drawn to Bach..Maybe it would help if I were a religious person..


Well, I heard a story that Bach once got caught drinking beer in the church.  Maybe it would help if you drank more beer!
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