Author Topic: Bach Six Partitas  (Read 19513 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #120 on: May 01, 2017, 09:24:46 PM »
I'm playing the Froberger tombeau right now, and I have no idea why I saw any resemblance between it and the Sarabande.

Both to be played "with discretion" maybe - does that indication ever get into Bach? Can you infer it from the music? What does it mean anyway?
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Offline (: premont :)

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Tiden læger alle sår,
heldigt nok at tiden går.


Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #123 on: May 02, 2017, 09:22:38 AM »
I can't get to read that, some sort of copyright restriction in the UK!

Ditto here in the USA

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #124 on: May 02, 2017, 12:24:25 PM »
Too bad. It can't be copied. It is a rather long discussion about the meaning of "with discretion" , which Bach uses in the D-major toccata.
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heldigt nok at tiden går.

Offline milk

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #125 on: May 05, 2017, 12:32:50 AM »
This is worth a listen. Takeshika gets the most out of his Silbermann fortepiano by way attentive rubato/articulation. Seems this chap never studied with anyone of note. He's kind of a mystery.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #126 on: May 06, 2017, 09:04:34 AM »
This is worth a listen. Takeshika gets the most out of his Silbermann fortepiano by way attentive rubato/articulation. Seems this chap never studied with anyone of note. He's kind of a mystery.

It's too hard to buy, I really don't want to go to iTunes, I use PC and it's painful.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline milk

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #127 on: May 06, 2017, 09:06:26 PM »
It's too hard to buy, I really don't want to go to iTunes, I use PC and it's painful.
That's too bad. I really like this more and more. I wonder about this musician. He doesn't fit the usual profile of musicians coming out of Japan (in terms of training).

Offline amw

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #128 on: June 24, 2017, 04:41:05 AM »
Can anyone rec an ideal recording of Partita 6, BWV 830? Piano, harpsichord, clavichord, whatever. In particular looking for: architectural performances of the fugue, ferocity and intensity in the Courante, a Sarabande that isn't rushed, and a Gigue that isn't plodding and has significant tragic power.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #129 on: June 24, 2017, 05:27:58 AM »
Just starting by thinking of piano, have you heard Sokolov Kissingen 2004? (Or Bolzano the same year, I think Kissingen has better sound.) Or Pletnev in Rocque D'Antheron or Amsterdam? Also Youri Egorov may be worth hearing too, and Tureck (the one on her Great Pianists. )But best of all, Rübsam on Naxos.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 05:43:34 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline amw

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #130 on: June 24, 2017, 05:43:02 AM »
I haven't. I am listening to Sokolov on youtube at the moment and it's definitely interesting. And will investigate the others as well.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #131 on: June 24, 2017, 06:01:08 AM »
As far as I recall Rübsam might qualify for "plodding" in the Gigue...
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline amw

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #132 on: June 24, 2017, 06:08:29 AM »
Sokolov was quite nice, with good tempi. I will listen to that youtube video again, since of course he hasn't recorded the damn thing.

I will explore some more after a bit of sleep. I was comparing recordings of the G minor fugue from WTC II in search of a new complete set, and finally settled on the interpretation by Bob van Asperen as least unsatisfying, only to realise that I actually own his WTC and have done so for at least a year. That's generally a good sign that I'm starting to lose it.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #133 on: June 24, 2017, 07:09:06 AM »
As far as I recall Rübsam might qualify for "plodding" in the Gigue...

Ah yes, maybe. But I forgot a really good piano one with a gigue which is definitely not plodding and may well heave the desired " full of tragic power", a live one by Roger Woodward on a CD released by Celestial Harmonies.
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #134 on: June 24, 2017, 07:28:36 AM »
There are certainly others with a fairly slow gigue (and it certainly is an uncommonly slow and serious gigue). I'll probably not have leisure to compare but as far as I see I have:

Marcelle Meyer (this one is probably not plodding)
Gould
Martins
Anderszewski
Sheppard
Rübsam

Jaccottet
Ross

(probably forgot one, hiding in box). Maybe because Gould was the first I heard, I am fond of a slowish Toccata movement (which is my favorite movement anyway).

I listened to Anderszewski, Meyer and Sheppard. Anderszewski is too quirky for me, I am afraid (his approach seemed to work best in the a minor partita). Meyer is good but quite "cool". I liked Sheppard's Toccata a lot; it's quite slow but all the other movements are more on the normal to fastish side, I'd say, he is not plodding in any movement. And I like his overall quite a bit but he is not fierce in the Corrente and might not be dramatic enough for amw in the gigue.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2017, 01:20:36 AM by Jo498 »
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline bioluminescentsquid

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #135 on: June 29, 2017, 11:52:59 PM »
Too bad. It can't be copied. It is a rather long discussion about the meaning of "with discretion" , which Bach uses in the D-major toccata.
Something similar I just found, makes total sense. It's indeed how I like my Bach Sarabandes.

Quote
Although some writers have equated “discretion” with variable tempo, in my view that was not its original meaning. Rather, it referred initially to the abandonment of the strict measurement of time, that is, of the precise counting of notes within the beat. It reflected the rise of a specifically Baroque style of written-out embellishment which, unlike earlier types of melodic and harmonic elaboration, involved the irregular division of the beat.

http://4hlxx40786q1osp7b1b814j8co.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/david-schulenberg/files/2016/11/froberger_discretion.pdf

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #136 on: June 30, 2017, 06:58:32 AM »
Something similar I just found, makes total sense. It's indeed how I like my Bach Sarabandes.

http://4hlxx40786q1osp7b1b814j8co.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/david-schulenberg/files/2016/11/froberger_discretion.pdf

I wonder what you'll make of this, initially I thought there was too much discretion, like David Cates's style, but now I'm starting to like it



Discretion is a strange term. The 1694 Acadamie Française dictionary gives the meaning as both to do with holding back and circumspection on the one hand, and acting as you please on the other. In particular "à discrétion" seems to mean as you feel like, but you know, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.



Quote from: http://artflx.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/dicos/pubdico1look.pl?strippedhw=Discretion&submit=
On dit, que Les soldats vivent à discretion, Quand ils vivent comme il leur plaist chez leurs hostes, & sans autre regle que leur volonté.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 07:32:20 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #137 on: June 30, 2017, 03:03:38 PM »
Exactly.  Discretion means discretion - that's why it's a word.

Offline amw

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #138 on: July 04, 2017, 08:51:37 PM »
I listened to a few versions of Partita 6 for harpsichord over the last few days.

I have really warmed to Richard Egarr's recording, which has a kind of unrelenting intensity that gives it cumulative power. First recording of Egarr in post-1685 music that I've enjoyed.

Elina Mustonen has a very good Toccata but the Sarabande doesn't work for me, I think because the ornamentation is given too much weight and it sounds mannered as a result. The Gigue is constantly being pulled back tempo-wise, not sure why, and it's also quite loud with the 4', 8' and 16' stops coupled the whole way through. If people recorded harpsichord CDs at realistic levels, that wouldn't be a problem, but apparently there's a rule that all harpsichords have to be normalised to 0DB and you're not allowed to be a record company if you don't follow it.

Paul Badura-Skoda really likes messing with the harpsichord stops. This can work sometimes, I guess, and gave some relief after Mustonen's aural assault. Apart from that, he's basically playing harpsichord with piano articulation so some things don't really come off, and the Sarabande is a bit rushed (5:13 with all the repeats?). Reasonably enjoyable though. If he'd recorded an Italian Concerto, or the English Suites, on harpsichord that would probably be more worth it.

I can see why people might call Andreas Staier superficial but I still find his recording quite exciting and dramatic. Can't exactly call it a recording of Great Tragic Power, but the Courante and Gigue are where I like them to be tempo-wise. After hearing Egarr's Sarabande I am not so kindly disposed to Staier's though—definitely the weakest movement, which is not great in BWV830 where it's the emotional and spiritual heart of the piece.

Christophe Rousset is presumably who Staier was taking notes from: virtuosic, crisp, aerated. I guess it's also better. I can't get fully behind the slow sad Courante full of sighing figures, but the Sarabande is great; not personal or introspective like Egarr, more like an oration. Probably because he double-dots everything which makes it more stately. I prefer introspective, but still good. Gigue is in 24/8 instead of 4/2, as some harpsichordists prefer, which I've never found convincing. Particularly because in the Gigue Bach distinguishes clearly between anapaestic and dactylic rhythms decorating the basic dotted rhythm, whereas in the hands of Rousset or András Schiff or whoever these just turn into undifferentiated quavers. As well, the result is the kind of "limping" rhythm that Bach himself was critical of, at least according to Leadbetter.

Ton Koopman only picked up half of the meaning of "discretion", the part about doing what you like. The part about circumspection clearly passed him by. At the same time it.... kind of works. He plays the Toccata like he's actually warming up before a performance (tastar le corde) and therefore differentiates from the relatively strict Fugue, which most performers don't bother to do. Courante is grotesque, though maybe I'll like it someday, and he skips the second repeat in the Sarabande which is a bummer as it's one of the better performances in a good tempo (would be 7:15 with the repeat). Mordents in the Gigue are somewhat inappropriate, since mordents were meant to be happy and cheerful in Bach's day iirc (there's a reason he uses only a few in the Sarabande, with its written out agréments presumably intended to demonstrate to keyboard students the typical mode of ornamentation in such a movement; and I think they only appear at the brighter moments e.g. modulation to G major), and it is very hard to make this Gigue cheerful.

More to come possibly.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Six Partitas
« Reply #139 on: July 04, 2017, 10:01:25 PM »



Ton Koopman . . .  and it is very hard to make this Gigue cheerful.



Blandine Verlet (Astrée) does a more cheerful gigue, I think it's worth catching becase she makes the whole partita solar, radiant.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 10:55:12 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

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