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Topic: goldberg variations...  (Read 2205 times)

Offline Lilo

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goldberg variations...
on: July 12, 2004, 07:18:00 PM
hi everbody !

I think these variations are really beautiful... but maybe quite hard, I'd like to know what do you think about them ? Is there some kind of training before learning such a piece ?
how long does it take to learn the whole piece ?

Offline Hmoll

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Re: goldberg variations...
Reply #1 on: July 12, 2004, 07:25:20 PM
Some are very difficult, and some are not so much.
If you've played a good cross section of Bach - preludes and fugues from WTC, suites/partitas, and have a good feel for contrapuntal music, you may be able to go for it.
Keep in mind that every third variation is a canon, so you have to very familiar with Bach's contrapuntal style - which consists of most of it.

If you are thinking of learning it for the purposes of performing it, you should take into consideration the difficulty not just of the different variations, but of holding the piece together as a whole.

What else have you played by JSB?
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline allchopin

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Re: goldberg variations...
Reply #2 on: July 12, 2004, 11:19:16 PM
All I can say is you'd better have great memorization skills - memorizing the whole 50 minute collection and retaining it is what I would find to be the hardest part.  That is, if you plan to memorize.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline Lilo

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Re: goldberg variations...
Reply #3 on: July 14, 2004, 05:37:52 PM
I've played some of his preludes and fugues (n3, n6, n16 from the WTK book I... yes I know they are overplayed... but I prefer learning these ones first, because they are examination pieces) and inventions, but I think you're right, I'd rather play 2 or 3 more, and then chose a french and an english suite... before going for it.

thanks for answering me !

I forgot the variations were 50 mns long ! (I bought glenn gould's cd yesterday and it was so beautiful that I didn't pay much attention to how long it was   :-*)  
I think I can memorize it, but I'd don't think I'm good enough at the moment for performing it well. you're right, one has to have a really good feel of contrapunctal music....

Offline larse

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Re: goldberg variations...
Reply #4 on: July 15, 2004, 11:49:43 PM
Well...you could look at it this way:

If you use 2 weeks per variation, which is actually NOT VERY GOOD TIME(!), you would end up with a scheme of more than (ouch!) 60 weeks. That's more than a year.

I would never dream of rehearsing the Goldberg Variations until I'm rich and famous and has a lot of spare time...

Offline pianoplayer

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Re: goldberg variations...
Reply #5 on: July 16, 2004, 08:57:56 PM
Hi,
reply on : has a lot of spare time? hmmm, I think rather to learn the Goldberg variations now and perform it years later. That's my opinion only. This piece has to develop on different aspects in good time.

Offline larse

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Re: goldberg variations...
Reply #6 on: July 17, 2004, 01:57:17 PM
I would agree, but then I'd find it more useful to use this time now on developing myself on another repertoire. I'm not planning on being Glenn Gould 2 when I get old, so I'd rather stick to Prokofiev, Liszt and Beethoven for the time being...

Offline pianoplayer

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Re: goldberg variations...
Reply #7 on: July 17, 2004, 03:27:13 PM
Hi Larse,
It depends where you are in the period time. I can now focuse on it, but same time I play Liszt, Chopin and classical composers. Another Gould 2 is not my purpose- I just love that piece, and I played a lot of Bach before. My former teacher said when I was younger I am good to play Bach, so I personally are interested to learn it. That's it.

Offline Lilo

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Re: goldberg variations...
Reply #8 on: July 18, 2004, 05:54:32 PM
nevermind, i have a lot of spare time.  ::)

it doesn't take a week to learn a piece. i use to learn 2 pages pieces in one day, and then practise a lot to improve my playing, so the variations won't take me a year to be learnt (but surely years and years of practising to be mastered)

i surely will never be a "glenn gould 2", i'm just too bad lol, but i like bach's music. and as i am not a concert pianist, i just learn the pieces which seem the most beautiful to me ( beethoven's pathetique sonata, bach's preludes and fugues, liszt's funerailles and un sospiro, rachmaninov's preludes, chopin's etudes............. and some of mozart's pieces, i think i'll stop there, cause there so much to write)

by the way, Larse, i read that you played prokofiev's pieces, which one is your favorite ? (i'm looking for a prokofiev piece to work on )

Offline larse

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Re: goldberg variations...
Reply #9 on: July 18, 2004, 08:54:24 PM
I'm playing some Sarcasms right now. They are...brutal and not very beautiful mostly... If I were to begin Prokofiev, I would certainly begin with a couple of Vision Fugutives Op 22. They are beautiful, very Prokofievish, often quite easy and very short. So that they don't take up too much time. They are small pearls, tiny treasures. (No 9 is just wonderful)
And he has some great Sonatas. Though, it's very difficult to find good recordings on some of them. I know Ashkenazy has recorded some of the late ones, but the early sonatas are quite hard to get..
He also has a Piano Cycle called 'Tales of an Old Grandmother' which I'm not too familiar with, but is supposed to be very nice. Calm, and beautiful.
And of course you have the Piano Concertos which are all great works, but a bit difficult to the average pianist...

When it comes to Bach, I think he is the most difficult to play correctly, and the slowest to learn. That's why I use crap lots of time to learn his fugues, etc. And the Goldberg Variations are no exception. But I guess that's individual. I would use at least two weeks per variation to get it good. I would'nt say perfect, I never play perfect. I don't seem to know perfect. But good, I know, and bad. And the last one is a trap which is easy to enter..
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