Piano Forum

Remembering the great Maurizio Pollini
Legendary pianist Maurizio Pollini defined modern piano playing through a combination of virtuosity of the highest degree, a complete sense of musical purpose and commitment that works in complete control of the virtuosity. His passing was announced by Milanís La Scala opera house on March 23. Read more >>

Topic: Italian Concerto technique  (Read 15603 times)

Offline alpacinator1

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 197
Italian Concerto technique
on: April 10, 2009, 01:12:16 AM
I'm learning the first movement of Bach's Italian Concerto. I've been playing the notes with a more staccato style, but my teacher disagrees and tells me to play it more legato. The sheet music we have doesn't specify this. WHich oen of us is right?
Working on:
Beethoven - Waldstein Sonata
Bach - C minor WTC I
Liszt - Liebestraume no. 3
Chopin - etude 25-12
Sign up for a Piano Street membership to download this piano score.
Sign up for FREE! >>

Offline drpiano

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 20
Re: Italian Concerto technique
Reply #1 on: April 16, 2009, 02:29:57 AM
There is a fair bit of agreement amongst scholars that the default articulation was 'detached' until sometime around the late 18th/ early 19th century. This is clouded by the reality that performers were expected to add legato slurs as expressive devices. (These slurs are sometimes indicated in the score.) The answer to your question, then, is not entirely clear. However, I think it is fair to say that in  this movement, the eighth notes can be played detached, and the sixteenth notes can be more legato. (I am feeling too lazy to cite sources here, but can provide them if necessary.)

Of course, your teacher may have other reasons for asking you to play more legato...

Offline Petter

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1183
Re: Italian Concerto technique
Reply #2 on: April 16, 2009, 05:00:51 PM
I know Rosalyn Tureck published a critical edition of the Italian Concerto but I only looked it in briefly so I'm not sure how useful it is. It's probably out of print as well, but try to check with your local library.
https://www.tureckbach.com/publications/ On top of the page.
"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play an accordion, but doesn't." - Al Cohn

Offline maidenofdforest

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 3
Re: Italian Concerto technique
Reply #3 on: July 01, 2010, 06:29:01 PM
There's a thing called academic license in music. For the sake of braving thru the notes Presto first M can be played staccato L.H. 5-11 can be played staccato but the corresponding rh of this same measure is a mis of short legato/staccato. The speed disallows the hand to comply with the staccato treatment. Glenn Gould interestingly reads his music differently in a slight manner specially with treatment of chords in LH in broken style. Particularly too, the second movement of transcribed Oboe Concerto for piano D Minor has some nuances in the Adagio part, II M. Care to listen for it. While there is no stone inscribed rule on interpreting the embelisshments, the sound is just as majestic as Bach would have wanted to be.

Clearly, most of his pieces sound better in the piano the the harsh tones of harpsichords of their time. Given the change of development of the instrument, I'm sure most composers would have been delighted with the progress. In instrument and interpretation unless one is so eccentric to rule the day with strict following of written notes.

Much is to be discussed in the theory of this (embellishments) in music classrooms.

Curiously, there is phlethora of ways to play the second M, a haunting one.
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