Author Topic: Bach on the piano  (Read 89099 times)

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Offline Verena

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #720 on: September 13, 2019, 10:26:13 AM »
Excellent work Verena, thank you.

And yes, Cato, Jean Paul!

You’re all welcome.  :)

Offline milk

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #721 on: September 15, 2019, 11:02:37 PM »
I know Gulda has been discussed (perhaps quite) a bit on GMG. I listened to some of his clavichord recordings today, which are a real novelty - in a good way. Then I moved on to his piano. He seems very lyrical to me - almost like he makes chords of some of the counterpoint. I want to say he seems very anti-baroque for someone who went to the clavichord. I didn't realize until looking at wikipedia that he was into jazz. I take it that his approach to Bach (wtc) was much different than his contemporaries? I haven't really compared him to Demus but I'm thinking Gulda is quirky by comparison. Some Gulda is very interesting and some of it kind of annoying. Can anyone comment on what Gulda was up to?

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #722 on: September 15, 2019, 11:24:15 PM »
I take it that his approach to Bach (wtc) was much different than his contemporaries?

Not in those clavichord recordings IMO, where his happy-clappy feel reminds me of Glen Gould, Anthony Newman, The Swingle Singers and sometimes Wanda Landowska and André Isoir for the sense of swing, the foot-tapping-ness of it.

In  early music of the time, the record companies found that the public had an appetite for strange instruments, and that clavichord he uses, which to me sounds like Loudon Wainwright III's guitar, fits the bill here.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2019, 11:29:57 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #723 on: September 15, 2019, 11:46:59 PM »
I know Gulda has been discussed (perhaps quite) a bit on GMG. I listened to some of his clavichord recordings today, which are a real novelty - in a good way. Then I moved on to his piano. He seems very lyrical to me - almost like he makes chords of some of the counterpoint. I want to say he seems very anti-baroque for someone who went to the clavichord. I didn't realize until looking at wikipedia that he was into jazz. I take it that his approach to Bach (wtc) was much different than his contemporaries? I haven't really compared him to Demus but I'm thinking Gulda is quirky by comparison. Some Gulda is very interesting and some of it kind of annoying. Can anyone comment on what Gulda was up to?

I remember this double LP from 1971:


The Long Road to Freedom

(Long anticipating Nelson Mandela's book of a similar title.)  Which started with some Bach or maybe even earlier music I can't remember the details, and progressed over 4 sides to modernity finishing with an extended 'out there' free jazz solo improvisation.


Offline Jo498

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #724 on: September 16, 2019, 12:00:57 AM »
Gulda was extremely quirky, but not mainly in Bach, and more in his personality and public persona than in his actual playing. I admittedly have not heard his recordings on an electric? clavichord but remember that he also performed Viennese chanson style music under a pseudonym and on other occassions performed bare-naked. He was never as successful as a jazz player as in classical music, though.
His main Bach recording is the WTC (I have not heard his other Bach, a couple of suites and some shorter pieces I think). This was recorded extremely closely and drily (there are some new remasterings I don't know if they sound more pleasant or more extreme than the mid 1990s twofers). It's been a while that I heard it but I used to like it quite a bit. It is not as quirky as his persona and while somewhat percussive at times, the sound overall does not distract. I wouldn't call it lyrical, though. Overall it is more on the straightforward and "objective" side.
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 milk

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #725 on: September 16, 2019, 04:14:55 AM »
sounds like Loudon Wainwright III's guitar
  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
It does sound pretty strange. I was enjoying it this morning - actually kind of amazed by it. I was gonna say it's like some weird synthesizer.

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #726 on: September 16, 2019, 07:44:55 AM »
Well Gulda recorded an adaptation of 'Light My Fire' (on the LP referenced above) so perhaps he also did 'Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road'.  Perhaps in the privacy of his own home. 
(Incidentally - useless and irrelevant - I once tuned LWIII's guitar for him.)

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #727 on: September 16, 2019, 07:47:45 AM »
I once tuned LWIII's guitar for him.

Tell the story please
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #728 on: September 17, 2019, 01:02:49 AM »
It was just a brief moment immediately prior to a TV performance/recording, a bit over 20 years ago.  Just the man and his guitar, on a high stool, you know the sort of thing.  No live audience fortunately.  I was the sound supervisor and during the run-through it was obvious to everybody in the gallery that his guitar was a bit out of tune.  My floor assistant reported to me that he seemed a bit deaf (not unusual, among entertainers past a certain age).
Approaching a 'name' musician who doesn't know you from Adam, and asking him to re-rune, is fraught with problems.  Normally I would get the artist's manager involved, but he seemed to be alone and lacking the usual entourage.
It turned out that he was an exceptionally nice man, completely self-effacing and probably the least prima-donna-ish pro musician I've ever met.
I introduced myself as the sound man and lied that we were picking up a bit of a rattle from his instrument.  He handed it over and I shook it around for appearance sake and then strummed a chord (the only one I know) and of course he heard straight away that it was out of tune.  While it was in my hands, I tweaked the nut and he agreed that it sounded better.  Just one of those strange things - he could hear it objectively but not when he was holding the guitar himself.  Handed it back, ran up to the gallery, red light, the tape was already rolling by the time I got back to my desk.

Offline Florestan

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #729 on: September 17, 2019, 01:19:35 AM »
Gulda played the guitar? Blimey, I never knew it.
I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts. --- Rachmaninoff