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Author Topic: Bach: to pedal or not to pedal?  (Read 1529 times)
mishamalchik
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« on: March 04, 2017, 02:10:14 AM »

The other week I attended my first solo piano concert by a professional, somewhat reputable pianist. He played some Bach, and he used quite a bit of pedal. Now, I am no world touring pianist and he s a phenomenal musician, but I did find it unusual, perhaps a bit unnecessary at times. My piano teacher, also a pretty accomplished pianist, is of the adage that Bach should not be pedaled.

What are your opinions? What is your rationale for pedaling or not pedaling Bach? I want to understand more of the reasoning so that I can come to my own conclusion about it.
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keypeg
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2017, 02:38:34 AM »

How did it sound?
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iansinclair
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2017, 02:49:20 AM »

As keypeg says -- how did it sound?  If you liked it, then... why not?

More seriously.  Keep in mind that none of the instruments Bach composed on and for had any kind of sustain.  A string (or pipe) kept sounding as long as the key was depressed, and quit -- abruptly -- when it was released.  Further, on the pieces for harpsichord or clavichord, the sustaining power of the string itself was weak -- the tone volume dropped off quite rapidly.

So, on that basis, one could argue quite legitimately that at least for harpsichord or clavichord pieces, one should probably use as little pedal as possible, although an argument also could be made for using a little, discreetly, to gain the resonance of the upper strings (not to blur one note into the next, though!).

On the other hand, for transcriptions of organ works, it is well to remember that some of them -- most of them -- were intended for instruments in spaces with very long reverberation times, so that although the pipe would stop sounding the instant the key was released, the sound would continue -- in Leipzig, for instance, for several seconds.  So one could argue that perhaps a little more sustain pedal is not always out of place.

All that being said, however, what one must do is to maintain the clarity of the voices, and never let them smear.

Is there a "best" way to use the sustain pedal in Bach?  I daresay if you ask five pianists you will get at least ten answers...
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mishamalchik
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2017, 03:44:27 AM »

He played a complete suite. There were times when I think the pedal added more depth to the piece, times when it allowed the piece to be played with a more romantic color to it, which I'm still not sure is a good or bad thing. On the one hand it sounded good, on the other hand it did not stand apart from the Chopin in his repertoire, and I find a lot of beauty in the contrast between composers. There were times when I think the pedal muddied the waters a bit, especially given that he played on the faster side. I'm sure that this was the intention of the pianist, as at his level there's no way he wouldn't have pedaled very intentionally.

Generally speaking, I'm a bit confounded by the pedal. It seems such a simple concept yet the more I learn about "proper" pedal technique the more I realize how complex and somewhat controversial its use is. Everyone has a very specific idea about how anything ought to be pedaled, and some are willing to wage war over the idea of pedaling in Bach Smiley
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hardy_practice
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2017, 08:56:20 AM »

Use it as a loud pedal.
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j_tour
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2017, 11:25:51 PM »

Well, clearly Angela Hewitt, András Schiff, and Gould used pedal, if (some of) the recordings are any testament.

Personally, I love playing Bach BECAUSE it allows me to keep my right foot "free" -- I don't know for what purpose, but I find it liberating to play without pedal.  I don't play Bach in concerts or for records, though -- if all I were doing were listening to recordings, I might have a different opinion, as some kind of "connoisseur," but it's definitely got a sound to it.
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iansinclair
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2017, 11:41:00 PM »

...

Generally speaking, I'm a bit confounded by the pedal. It seems such a simple concept yet the more I learn about "proper" pedal technique the more I realize how complex and somewhat controversial its use is. Everyone has a very specific idea about how anything ought to be pedaled, and some are willing to wage war over the idea of pedaling in Bach Smiley

Not surprised you are a little confused.  The problem is that the sustain pedal has two actions, not one, and they are quite different. 

The one most people learn first is, of course, the sustain action -- the note you struck keeps sounding, even when you release the key.  There are times -- many times, in romantic and later music! -- when this is exactly what you want to have happen.  There are other times when that action comes in right handy in maintaining a beautiful legato over otherwise awkward jumps (but if that's what you are doing, and there's no harm to it, you must release the pedal very exactly when you strike the next note or notes, or you get mud).  Sometimes one or both of these actions are exactly what is wanted.

The other is that the right pedal lifts the dampers on all the strings, not just the one you strike.  If you have a good or great piano, and it is properly in tune, the strings for the notes corresponding to the overtones of the note you strike will also vibrate, and give a very different character to the tone quality.  There are times when this is very much what you want.  There are also times when you don't want it at all.  You must, of course, depress the pedal just before you strike the key, to get the effect.
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Ian
mishamalchik
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2017, 12:05:02 AM »

Pedal culture is pretty interesting, there seems to be a certain degree of pride in not using the pedal for something, particularly Bach. I read a review of Kimiko Ishizaka's WTC recordings that praised her for "not once touching the pedal".

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pianoplunker
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2017, 12:32:25 AM »

The other week I attended my first solo piano concert by a professional, somewhat reputable pianist. He played some Bach, and he used quite a bit of pedal. Now, I am no world touring pianist and he s a phenomenal musician, but I did find it unusual, perhaps a bit unnecessary at times. My piano teacher, also a pretty accomplished pianist, is of the adage that Bach should not be pedaled.

What are your opinions? What is your rationale for pedaling or not pedaling Bach? I want to understand more of the reasoning so that I can come to my own conclusion about it.

As a digital keyboard player who rarely uses any pedal ( due to other available effects ), I would say it has to be asked what effect are you looking for ?  When I have played Bach on acoustic piano I liked the far left pedal for the "effect" and the far right pedal as the cover-up-mistake pedal. On digital I have done things as bland as making every note sound the same volume and Bach still sounds great. Bach would probably love how his stuff sounded with pedal.
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iansinclair
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2017, 01:33:03 AM »

Chortle.  I like the comment "things as bland as making every note sound the same volume and Bach still sounds great".  At the risk of stating the obvious, may I point out that if one is playing a harpsichord, that is exactly what happens?  Likewise an organ, bar registration changes?  Bach's vocal and instrumental music does have volume changes and accents by volume and the like -- but not his keyboard music.  Not any of it (as I say, except by registration change, which is quite different in character).  One is obliged to make things stand out -- if you want them to -- in other ways (which can be done, and I recommend working on it as very good practice if nothing else).
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Ian
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2017, 07:33:50 AM »

Chortle.  I like the comment "things as bland as making every note sound the same volume and Bach still sounds great".  At the risk of stating the obvious, may I point out that if one is playing a harpsichord, that is exactly what happens?
But not on clavichord. It's often quoted that the clavichord was his favourite keyboard.
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j_tour
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2017, 09:18:33 AM »

One is obliged to make things stand out -- if you want them to -- in other ways (which can be done, and I recommend working on it as very good practice if nothing else).

Can you elaborate if you mean something other than "finger-pedalling" (I've forgotten if it's from one of the French or German-language texts on technique, and therefore the original expression, but I believe the term is well-known in English) or proper use of ornamentation (including trilled notes lasting more than, say, a bar)?

Also, has anyone here actually played a real clavichord?  I've seen a Clavinet once, and, like everyone else, heard the Hohner Clavinet on countless pop records, but I think it would be fun to build/buy a dual-manual clavichord -- it seems like harpsichord nuts and organ buff get all the attention.
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pianoplunker
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2017, 10:56:43 AM »

Chortle.  I like the comment "things as bland as making every note sound the same volume and Bach still sounds great".  At the risk of stating the obvious, may I point out that if one is playing a harpsichord, that is exactly what happens?  Likewise an organ, bar registration changes?  Bach's vocal and instrumental music does have volume changes and accents by volume and the like -- but not his keyboard music.  Not any of it (as I say, except by registration change, which is quite different in character).  One is obliged to make things stand out -- if you want them to -- in other ways (which can be done, and I recommend working on it as very good practice if nothing else).

It is interesting to me how Bach might have approached an acoustic piano with pedals for effects.
He might have listened to himself and decided pedal was not working out so leave it alone. Or maybe wrote an entire Suite for piano pedal. We will never know, but we still get to try different things with his music thankfully
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hardy_practice
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2017, 11:25:31 AM »

Also, has anyone here actually played a real clavichord?  I've seen a Clavinet once, and, like everyone else, heard the Hohner Clavinet on countless pop records, but I think it would be fun to build/buy a dual-manual clavichord -- it seems like harpsichord nuts and organ buff get all the attention.
I've got three! (also a Pianet N).  You don't usually build dual-manuals you just plonk one on top of the other.
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j_tour
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2017, 11:36:23 AM »

I've got three! (also a Pianet N).  You don't usually build dual-manuals you just plonk one on top of the other.

I forgot about the Hohner Pianet -- only by reputation, supposedly they're very hard to maintain.  Supposedly on some Beatles record or some *sh*. 

Meh, I do wonder about just how "touch-sensitive" a period clavichord would be, given that most people only play/hear the Clavinet, and, if then, through an autowah or whatever else effects.  Its comparative lack of expressivity to a modern piano may sound kind of good, especially compared to the harpsichord, which, I think everyone admits, has kind of had its time.  Maybe William F Buckley Jr or some other period queens and kings admire its purity, but I've never heard a good one.
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hardy_practice
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« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2017, 12:01:45 PM »

Here's one I prepared earlier.  Tell me it's not expressive!

* wfmp3.mp3 (1975.94 KB - downloaded 24 times.)
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« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2017, 03:12:17 PM »

Pedal where finger legato not possible or uneccessarily difficult and to coax more sublt colors out of the instrument.
When in doubt, refer to Rosalyn Turek.

Ie

An Introduction to the Performance of Bach

J.S. Bach’s Musical structure Analysis and Performance

Oxford University Press, 1959 (U.K & Europe), 1960 (USA), English, German, French Second Edition, 1962, 1966 (translations: Japanese, Spanish; 2002, Chinese)

Book I: Essays on (a) Fingering, (b) Phrasing, (c) Dynamics, (d) Touch (e) The Function and Use of Pedals, (f) Ornamentation, (g) Harpsichord, Clavichord, and Piano, (h) Bach's Attitude to Music and Instruments - and Ours

Music: Application in C Major (S. 994), Chorale " Joy and Peace (S. 212), Musette In D Major (S. Anh. 126), Minuet in G Major (S, Anh. 1 16), Minuet in G Minor S. Anh. 1 15), March in D Major (S. Anh. 122), March in E flat Major (s. Ant). 127), Polonaise in F Major (S. Anh. I 17a)

Book II: Further Notes on (a) Ornamentation, (b) Fingering, (c) Phrasing, Essays on (d) Practical uses of the Pedal, (e) How to Think Contrapuntally, (f) How to Play Contrapuntal Structures, (g) How to Play a Fugue

Music; Two-Part Invention in C Major (S. 772), Contrapuntal Study (arranged Rosalyn Tureck), Three-Part Fantasia In G Minor (s. 917), Four-Part Prelude and Fugue in A. Minor (S. 895)

Book III: Essay on (a) Manuscripts and Editions; Further Notes on (b) Fingering, (c) Dynamics, (d) Ornamentation, Essays on (e) Practical Uses of the Sustaining Pedal, (f) Repeated Sections

Music: Suite in A Major (S. 824), Aria and Ten Variations in the Italian Style (S. 989)
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j_tour
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« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2017, 08:29:26 PM »

Here's one I prepared earlier.  Tell me it's not expressive!

Thanks!  That's the first "new" thing I've heard in a while -- both the instrument and the tune, which if I've heard it, I don't recall.  Improvised?  Or am I just forgetting. 

Yeah, I think the expressive angle is pretty well-settled by your recording -- apparently the legends are true, you can actually change pitch and timbre with the finger alone.  I believe it 100% now.  That's amazing -- the instrument sound, and the tasteful playing.  

I guess I know why "aftertouch" is important to synth players, never having been much of one myself -- you know, like "portamento" and so forth to control -- but congratulations on giving one hopes more than just me some ideas on things to look forward to in the future.

It's like a harpsichord, but good.  Smiley

ETA I know it's a lot to ask, and maybe getting off-topic, but any details about the instrument would be really cool.  I know, supposed to be all serious and reciting the Tureck Creed (just a slight joke -- her books noted just above are pretty explicit about how Tureck sees the role of the modern piano and Bach, but her personality is so...strong...that I no longer have any objectivity about her ideas or her records), but the geek has awakened and must know more!
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iansinclair
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« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2017, 08:45:41 PM »

It is interesting to me how Bach might have approached an acoustic piano with pedals for effects.
He might have listened to himself and decided pedal was not working out so leave it alone. Or maybe wrote an entire Suite for piano pedal. We will never know, but we still get to try different things with his music thankfully

Judging by how he approached vocal writing -- we might have gotten some pretty fantastic sounding stuff!  And don't get me wrong -- I'm all for trying different things with his music.  There's a lot there.
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« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2017, 08:55:55 PM »

For what it's worth j_tour  this is the model by the same maker: http://www.morleypianos.com/d/printable/d/michael-thomas-clavichord-walnut-/167159/print

The piece is a Polonaise in E minor by WF Bach.
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j_tour
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« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2017, 09:37:08 PM »

For what it's worth j_tour  this is the model by the same maker: http://www.morleypianos.com/d/printable/d/michael-thomas-clavichord-walnut-/167159/print

The piece is a Polonaise in E minor by WF Bach.

Neat.  Thanks for the music -- almost looks like an instrument that could be revived by pianists/organists jealous of a guitarist's ability to "play a few around the campfire."  I'm guessing about thirty pounds of weight, most likely fragile in the cabinetry.  I wonder how difficult one of these is to tune each and every time one picks it up, has a horse or donkey or whatever drag it around a few miles, and sets the instrument on a stage?  To A=415, of course. 
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hardy_practice
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« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2017, 09:52:59 PM »

I also have one of these: https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/lot-images.atgmedia.com/SR/34080/2847839/67-20131210184150_original.jpg

Much lighter and fretted (some strings are used by up to 3 keys).  You can easily carry it under your arm.
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« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2017, 01:00:27 AM »

Thanks for posting the recording, Hardy.  It was a pleasure to hear. I've always wanted one, (though have only played maybe once) , but never have $3K laying around to indulge my curiosity.  It is an incredibly nuanced instrument, and i would imagine even more so for the one whose ear is inches away - …

as far as pedal is concerned - as Ian mentioned, it is about the degree to which one is willing to smudge the lines, (or not), which i could see sacrificed here and there for dramatic tension, or just to honor some pedal tone - like the A minor fugue WTC1 - at the end.. etc.
(One could also employ a more subtle and precise  pedal like effect - by manually holding some notes longer (while others are playing) - than indicated… but this can be tricky and involved and perhaps flying in the face of convention.)
To understand Bach's phrasing, (being that there is scant little seen for keyboard comps.)one can look to his vocal music, as well as the violin bowings of his chamber works. 
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« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2017, 12:38:29 PM »

Can you elaborate if you mean something other than "finger-pedalling" (I've forgotten if it's from one of the French or German-language texts on technique, and therefore the original expression, but I believe the term is well-known in English) or proper use of ornamentation (including trilled notes lasting more than, say, a bar)?

I'm guessing, but I think he is referring to subtle effects of timing and articulation, things like a little break before a note to emphasize it - it has to be really subtle or you lose the rhythmic flow. Harpsichordists can do remarkable things to bring out voices in polyphony by careful articulation.
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j_tour
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« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2017, 08:43:28 PM »

I also have one of these: https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/lot-images.atgmedia.com/SR/34080/2847839/67-20131210184150_original.jpg

Much lighter and fretted (some strings are used by up to 3 keys).  You can easily carry it under your arm.

Pretty neat, as well.  Four octaves, looks like.  There used to be some jazz pianist who had a practice technique wherein he'd block out a section of a piano using cardboard to....I don't know, within a few octaves...to restrict him (it was a guy, I remember, but not Hal Galper) from getting too involved with using all the tricks of the full keyboard, and so forth.

The acoustic nature (meaning, it's an acoustic instrument, not like, say, an electric guitar or a Rhodes) of the instrument you just posted an image of is extremely appealing, certainly to me, who is well aware of electronic instruments and amplification -- I have a fantasy in my head, that if I ever become, through some reversal of fortune, a hobo, I'd need to string one of those "backpacker guitar"s with nylon strings and learn legitimate guitar, or else haul around a freaking Rhodes piano on a handtruck.  

Probably a bit pessimistic, but I like to know the instruments I'm capable of tuning, caring for, and transporting, because they are, after all, somewhat important.

I'm guessing, but I think he is referring to subtle effects of timing and articulation, things like a little break before a note to emphasize it - it has to be really subtle or you lose the rhythmic flow.

That is a good guess -- I'm aware that harpischord playing is it a lot more "in your face" than the various smudges and overtones of a modern piano, and I'd absolutely agree that all of the subtleties would be required.  I suppose I assumed everyone was already aware of this aspect of the art from just plain piano, but you might be right.
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hardy_practice
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« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2017, 10:29:57 PM »

I had a Rhodes as well (and a Twin Reverb) - I gave them to my nephew.
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« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2017, 02:19:16 AM »

I had a Rhodes as well (and a Twin Reverb) - I gave them to my nephew.

Yeah, that's about enough stage volume to satisfy the kids.  There was such an odd revival of the "vintage keys" in the 2000s, it was about all I did in that decade was try to stay with it and build my own "wall of keys."  The Rhodes is not, I guess, a bad instrument -- although the dry, electric nature of the instrument seems miles away from a clavichord -- provided one can actually tune it properly (some people claim it's easy, but I claim that moving tiny little springs millimeters apart on an action that is built to swivel and pivot makes it pretty tedious, especially at the extreme registers)and deal with the pseudo-piano action by using the tricks from actual piano technicians. 

It's possible that the good old Rhodes could be rehabilitated into a good practice instrument, but I can't see the problems of amplifying it ever turning it into anything as expressive as the clavichord. 

Back to the topic, heck, the sustain mechanism is a stick that yields either "up" or "down" -- so far sounds much like a regular piano's damper system, but without the acoustics.  Maybe it resembles a vintage pianoforte, ca. Scarlatti's day, but with the audience listening through a tin can-on-a-string in another room.
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« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2017, 07:55:41 PM »

Maybe it resembles a vintage pianoforte, ca. Scarlatti's day,
I have one or two of those too!
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« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2017, 08:27:57 PM »

A mild additional word or two about clavichords.  First place, they are not loud, and can't be made to be.  However, a clavichord is the only keyboard instrument of which I am aware where it is possible to slightly bend the pitch with the key, and get a very subtle vibrato on a note.  An effect which can be used to great effect when wanted!

In my own opinion, the expressive techniques used on the four major keyboard instruments -- clavichord, harpsichord, organ and piano -- are very different.  There are some which can be used on all four, but each has its own strengths and weaknesses (and complete lacks in some cases!) and should be treated as such. 
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« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2017, 01:22:56 PM »

One point about the harpsichord which I don't think has been raised - although it has a weak sustain, that sustain is nonetheless often longer than a damped piano string. Thus, quite apart from other obvious differences, by complete abstention from the pedal while playing the more unambiguously harpsichord-specific works (such as the Italian Concerto or the Goldbergs) you are not necessarily replicating the sustain characteristics which Bach would have expected.
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« Reply #30 on: March 13, 2017, 05:24:46 PM »

And the clavichord proportionally has the greatest sustain.  Excellent for vocal works.  Mozart composed the Requiem on one, Haydn the Seasons.
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« Reply #31 on: March 13, 2017, 07:26:54 PM »

And the thing about both the clavichord and harpsichord sustain -- the sustain is on the individual note, not at all like using the sustain pedal on a piano.
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« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2017, 05:32:25 PM »

Yes, use the pedal, definitely. You -have- the instrument you have; use all of its capabilities. I know it's often argued that you shouldn't use pedal on a modern piano because the clavichord/harpsichord have no pedals. IMO, that's misguided. It is often interesting and enlightening to explore the possibility that because the clavichord/harpsichord have no pedals, pieces for them -can- be played without pedal, but turning that "can" into a "must" or "ought" is the false step of logic.

If you've ever played on a clavichord, you know that the sympathetic resonance of the strings is so much greater than it can ever be on a modern piano because the tension is so much lower. There are even ways of "sticking" a low note so that a whole bunch of high strings resonate - my friend calls this "activating the angel choir". I find that using the pedal is the only way to replicate/simulate the effect of a clavichord's proportionally greater "cabinet resonance" on a modern piano.
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« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2017, 06:07:44 PM »

Well, sorry for writing a bit off but I've got the same problem when I hear ragtimes played with pedal. This kills the whole beauty of rags imho. I'm no renowned pianist (although people whom I heard playing like that neither) but this is about my personal taste anyway. I hate it.
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j_tour
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« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2017, 09:19:17 PM »

One point about the harpsichord which I don't think has been raised - although it has a weak sustain, that sustain is nonetheless often longer than a damped piano string. Thus, quite apart from other obvious differences, by complete abstention from the pedal while playing the more unambiguously harpsichord-specific works (such as the Italian Concerto or the Goldbergs) you are not necessarily replicating the sustain characteristics which Bach would have expected.

Interesting point -- I don't believe I've heard it explained that way, and it wouldn't have occurred to me.  Maybe Tureck suggests this in some writing of hers that I haven't seen/didn't notice, it's so hard to read through her angry tone that I've stopped for quite a while trying.

You presented a reasonable justification of pedal use, so thanks for that, and you did it in a nice way -- I'm keeping that idea in my head to consider if I ever have an occasion to explain performance styles.

Well, sorry for writing a bit off but I've got the same problem when I hear ragtimes played with pedal

Hmmmm.  Yeah, you certainly can play ragtime and improvise stride-style (or use the transcriptions of some of the people) without pedal, and maybe a good teacher would advise practicing in such a way to clarify some of the LH technique, but I don't think I've ever heard .... let's stick to straight, by-the-book, ragtime, say, Joplin's music ... done that way.

I'd be interested to know what that sounds like -- any ideas, other than for me to try it and see (which, honestly, I probably wouldn't -- I like the pedal for jazz of all kinds)?
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rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2017, 09:55:33 PM »

Most reasons for not using pedal:  Bach didn't have a pedal

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BACH DIDNT HAVE A PIANO EITHER!  You're playing baroque music on a modern instrument,  so according to the previous argument, it should be forbidden to play Bach on a piano PERIOD.  I say if it sounds good use pedal.

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j_tour
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« Reply #36 on: April 23, 2017, 10:44:09 PM »

BACH DIDNT HAVE A PIANO EITHER!  You're playing baroque music on a modern instrument,  so according to the previous argument, it should be forbidden to play Bach on a piano PERIOD.  I say if it sounds good use pedal.

Well, no one can argue with that -- OTOH, I'm no legal debate scholar, but hey, counterpoint is counterpoint, so probably somebody could make a convincing argument that any old keyboard or, hell's bells, any set of monophonic instruments works just as well.

Except for when you have things like the Italian Concerto or, various places in, for example, The Art of Fugue where you have to "fudge" things to only give the overall impression of notes being held for their true value.

It is a sorcery!  But, hey certainly one everyone is familiar with.
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iansinclair
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« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2017, 01:35:10 AM »

I quite agree with Rach (by the way, old boy, good to have you back -- I've been missing you!).  If it sounds right to you, go for it.

Perhaps one thing is missing in the discussion, though -- Bach didn't have a piano, quite true!  But he did have, and use, three different keyboard instruments with very different sustain characteristics: clavichord, harpsichord, and organ.  Both clavichord and harpsichord will sustain -- weakly, but sustain -- so long as the key is held down.  Organ, however, has two huge differences: first place, the note will sound at a constant volume so long as the key or pedal is held down (there is a definite, but brief, attack on some, but not all, organs).  Second, most organs -- and certainly most of Bach's -- were in spaces with very long resonance, so the note keeps going even after the key is released for a surprisingly long time.  One needs to take that into account when playing Bach's music (or any other Baroque and earlier music, for that matter), and particularly with organ transcriptions some discrete use of the pedal may give you something much closer to what Bach would have heard!
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Ian
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