\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Bach articulation (Read 7455 times)

Offline BuyBuy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 178
Bach articulation
« on: July 27, 2004, 04:10:23 PM »
Hey everybody.

I am currently working on Bach French Suite #6 (my favorite one of the 6).

Has anyone played it ?

Some players (especially Gould, obviously) have an extremely crips and clear articulation (that means, staccato everywhere, pretty much), while some others tend to perform with a rather legato line.

What are the pros and cons of staccato/legato in Bach ? How would I know if I should interpret with more staccato or more legato articulation ?

Offline Mayla

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 6638
Re: Bach articulation
«Reply #1 on: July 27, 2004, 09:01:38 PM »
.
"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline rph108

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
Re: Bach articulation
«Reply #2 on: July 27, 2004, 11:51:34 PM »
When playing Bach I suggest you use portato for longer notes such as a quarter of eighth note. Portato is a type of touch where 50 to 75 percent of the note value is played. There should always be a rest in between notes, not connected. Faster notes generally are played less portato and more legato because it requires more time to play portato.

Offline rph108

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
Re: Bach articulation
«Reply #3 on: July 27, 2004, 11:52:25 PM »
Oh, and Gould usually uses portato.

Offline Mayla

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 6638
Re: Bach articulation
«Reply #4 on: July 28, 2004, 07:26:42 AM »
.
"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline sharon_f

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 852
Re: Bach articulation
«Reply #5 on: July 29, 2004, 02:23:53 PM »
I'm also currently working on the E major French Suite, which I love.

My teacher and I have spent a considerable amount of time talking about and exploring not only articulation, but ornaments and pedalling.

Performance practices usually have longer notes played non-legato. Now non-legato can mean staccato or marcato or portamento...and almost anything in between.

Try each dance with different touches and articulations. Listen to various recordings. I love Glenn Gould's interpretation, but I also love Alicia de Laroccha's. Look at different scores. (Even the much-maligned Schirmer edition can give you different ideas on articulation and phrasing.) Read as much as you can about Bach performance pratices. You'll see how much they've changed over the years.

Ultimately it comes down to you. The choices are yours to make. Make the piece your own.

I personally have found the most difficult thing about this suite is to make the entire suite balanced so that tempo, dynamic range, rhythm, pulse connect each dance with the one before it and after. I try to even gauge how much time I pause between each dance.

Good luck and enjoy the process.

There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats.
Albert Schweitzer