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Topic: Bach Toccatas  (Read 3949 times)

Offline dmk

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Bach Toccatas
on: November 15, 2004, 02:48:01 AM
I am currently tackling Bach's Toccata in C min BWV 911.  I have basically got the work learnt the whole way through BUT on the first note there is a lower mordent over a C with no natural under the mordent (ie one would think it is to be played c b flat c) through the rest of the bar there is a B natural and my teacher and I just can not decide wether to play the note as a B or B flat.

I love these seldom played Bach (the Fsharp minor 912 is also beautiful) works but this tiny issue is driving me around the bend.  I have listened to multiple recordings, some play it with a B and others a B flat.

suggestions anyone????
"Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence"
Robert Fripp

Offline dmk

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #1 on: November 15, 2004, 05:40:11 AM
Just something to add...

What does everyone think of the Bach toccatas...nice, awful, hard, overplayed, underplayed???
"Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence"
Robert Fripp

Offline rohansahai

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #2 on: November 15, 2004, 11:14:33 AM
Just something to add...

What does everyone think of the Bach toccatas...nice, awful, hard, overplayed, underplayed???
My teacher recently gifted me a recording of Gould playing the toccatas and I was really surprised at the way they are UNDERPLAYED! They are all such great pieces of music! In particular, i like the D major, D minor and E minor (912,913,914 resp.). The fugue in the E minor is just breathtaking! But, they are all lovely!
Waste of time -- do not read signatures.

Offline pseudopianist

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #3 on: November 15, 2004, 06:07:15 PM
I really think they are underplayed. In my opinion, this could be some of Bachs best works. The F-sharp, D minor and D major are mindblowing.
Whisky and Messiaen

Offline dmk

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #4 on: November 19, 2004, 02:38:53 AM
I have got the Angela Hewitt (Hyperion) recording of these and they are superlative.  I would not mind getting another recording (not a Glenn Gould) though....can any one recommend another good recording of the Toccatas??
"Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence"
Robert Fripp

Offline pianowelsh

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #5 on: December 24, 2004, 09:42:52 PM
My favourites are the Dmin and e min! ;D

Offline anda

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #6 on: December 25, 2004, 01:23:17 PM
I am currently tackling Bach's Toccata in C min BWV 911.  I have basically got the work learnt the whole way through BUT on the first note there is a lower mordent over a C with no natural under the mordent (ie one would think it is to be played c b flat c) through the rest of the bar there is a B natural and my teacher and I just can not decide wether to play the note as a B or B flat.

I love these seldom played Bach (the Fsharp minor 912 is also beautiful) works but this tiny issue is driving me around the bend.  I have listened to multiple recordings, some play it with a B and others a B flat.

suggestions anyone????


it's H! (there is no such thing as "b flat"). h natural, definitely. (i've seen more than one edition when i studied it)

Offline musicsdarkangel

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #7 on: December 25, 2004, 09:21:47 PM
I'd definitely agree that they are underplayed.

Offline anda

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #8 on: December 26, 2004, 08:58:15 PM
not all of them - especially e moll toccata is quite played. but i agree fis moll and c moll especially are underplayed wonderful works.

Offline theodopolis

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #9 on: December 27, 2004, 10:46:19 AM
As an organist, I would say that, being a Bachian ornament, it would almost certainly be a semitone rather than whole-tone trill or mordent.
Despite this, it is purely interpretation. Whole-tone ornaments can be very effective in modulations from Minor to Major.

Thanks
Theodopolis
Does anyone else here think the opening of Liszt's 'Orage' (AdP - Suisse No.5) sounds like the Gymnopedie from Hell?

Offline SteinwayTony

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #10 on: December 27, 2004, 08:34:07 PM


it's H! (there is no such thing as "b flat"). h natural, definitely. (i've seen more than one edition when i studied it)

Ah, but I think you have them reversed.  The German "B" refers to "B-flat," and their "H" refers to our "B." 

Offline jcromp78

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #11 on: December 27, 2004, 08:36:33 PM
I have heard that Glenn Gould did not care for these works so that may be why his recordings seem so bland. The dryness in his recordings don't help either.

Offline anda

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #12 on: December 27, 2004, 09:26:23 PM
Ah, but I think you have them reversed.  The German "B" refers to "B-flat," and their "H" refers to our "B." 

b is b (si bemol) and h is h (si natural). as simple as that.

Offline jazzyd

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #13 on: December 28, 2004, 02:14:50 AM


b is b (si bemol) and h is h (si natural). as simple as that.

You're having difficulty with this, aren't you? ;)

As has been already pointed out, some countries don't use "H". You can attempt to ignore this concept for now, but you will probably have to accept it sooner or later . :)


David

Offline thracozaag

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #14 on: December 28, 2004, 02:21:35 AM
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline anda

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #15 on: December 28, 2004, 04:32:49 PM
some countries don't use "H".

which ones?

Offline jazzyd

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #16 on: December 29, 2004, 10:19:17 AM
Every country where English is the primary language, I would think. Ask a musicologist for the rest. :)


David

Offline anda

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #17 on: December 29, 2004, 04:44:44 PM
https://www.pianosociety.com/index.php?id=47
koji (STSD)

thanks for the link - impressive performance! just one question: the ornaments in the fugue - are these from a certain edition or do they belong to you?

i particularly liked the adagio section of the toccata.

Offline anda

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #18 on: December 29, 2004, 04:48:44 PM
Every country where English is the primary language, I would think. Ask a musicologist for the rest. :)
David

except for today's composers' (who have, each of them, their own notation system), i only know of two systems: the italian and the german. this system valid   in "every country where English is the primary language" obviously derives from the german one, so please stop making fun of me for using the correct german system. thank you.

Offline Noah

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #19 on: December 29, 2004, 05:26:31 PM
please stop making fun of me for using the correct german system. thank you.

This is an English-speaking forum so use the English system!

To get back on topic, the toccatas are terribly underplayed, but then so is Bach in general. Personal favourites are the C minor (and Argerich's breathtaking recording of it), the E minor and the D ones.
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline richard w

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #20 on: December 30, 2004, 01:14:21 AM
I rather like seeing non-English note and key names appearing from time to time, it makes me feel clever when I understand them.  8) One concern though, I'd know which system was being used if I saw H, but if I saw B, that could be from one of two system. I could spend ages looking for a work in B minor which doesn't exist!  ;)

No matter.

Meanwhile, what is German for B double flat?  ::)



I can't add a lot about the Toccatas, but you've made my mind for me to go and listen to them, and almost certainly get my fingers into some at some point. I do enjoy Bach.  ;D

Offline quixoticcafe

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #21 on: December 30, 2004, 03:41:01 AM
Hi DMK,

BWV 911 is a great piece! In response to your mordent question m1 beat one the notes should be C- B natural C. Notice that Bach is not only outlining Do-Ti-DO but setting up the Dominant G Major modulation for m12. 

Cross realtionship modalities do exist in Bach of course but I don't think a Bb can be justified here at all. The most famous cross modality is in The Italian Concerto, Andante, measure 10... B C# D C Bb A in the melissma. This sounds shocking and even 19th century editors found it unforgiving on the ears!

An excellent urtext version (and cheap too! $9.95 US) is published by Konnemann Music Budapest and distributed by Mel Bay. Contains spurious versions, including early and ornamented versions of various works. The pages are clean and there is an excellent anotation in the back of the book!

quixoticcafe

Offline dmk

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #22 on: December 31, 2004, 01:09:09 AM
Thank you all so much for your help...I am loving learning both this piece and the F sharp minor Toccata, they are just beautiful...and I am so pleased to hear that others think these are underplayed in general (I thought it might have just been me!)

my favourite recording is the Angela Hewitt on Hyperion ALTHOUGH...does anyone else find her Presto section of the Fsharp minor toccata a tad slow? 

Since making the original post I had started learning it with the B natural, it seemed logical and sounded better, it was one rogue recording of it that put me in a bit of a spin as it was always in my mind to play with the B natural and a friend of mine, who is studying composition, put me off on this (note I am saying B, this is an English speaking forum and it is common parlance to use this system as opposed to the German.....if you are using the German form there is no problem, I think of those at a sufficient level of musicality to play the Toccatas know that both the German and English systems....). I feel more confident now...

thanks for the link - impressive performance! just one question: the ornaments in the fugue - are these from a certain edition or do they belong to you?

i particularly liked the adagio section of the toccata, i was very well crafted performance

I second that, thanks so much for the link Koji, it is a very fine performance of this work, you Adagio section is quite marvellous...congratulations.  I have a couple of friends learning this piece and I will definately be e-mailing them the link  :) Have you played any of the others?

Hi DMK,

BWV 911 is a great piece! In response to your mordent question m1 beat one the notes should be C- B natural C. Notice that Bach is not only outlining Do-Ti-DO but setting up the Dominant G Major modulation for m12. 

Cross realtionship modalities do exist in Bach of course but I don't think a Bb can be justified here at all. The most famous cross modality is in The Italian Concerto, Andante, measure 10... B C# D C Bb A in the melissma. This sounds shocking and even 19th century editors found it unforgiving on the ears!

An excellent urtext version (and cheap too! $9.95 US) is published by Konnemann Music Budapest and distributed by Mel Bay. Contains spurious versions, including early and ornamented versions of various works. The pages are clean and there is an excellent anotation in the back of the book!

quixoticcafe


Thank-you so much, i have the Konemann edition of the P&F's, they are cheap and very well laid out.  In Australia over the last year we have been told that this publisher has been placed in liquidation (or bankrupted depending on what the case is in the country the company is registered) and so are not priniting any more.  I could not find that Toccatas in back supply anywhere so I shelled out the money for the Henle.  Does anyone know anything about the status of Konemann or are we completely mad downunder  ;)??

"Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence"
Robert Fripp

Offline Noah

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #23 on: December 31, 2004, 11:54:22 AM
Konemann had been placed in liquidation, but apparently they're back in business!
For the Toccatas I have Bärenreiter which I like very much.
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline dmk

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Re: Bach Toccatas
Reply #24 on: January 10, 2005, 03:30:08 AM
Konemann had been placed in liquidation, but apparently they're back in business!
For the Toccatas I have Bärenreiter which I like very much.

Thank you so much Noah....that's fantastic,  they are so much more affordable !!! 8)
"Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence"
Robert Fripp
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