Author Topic: Bach on the piano  (Read 76824 times)

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Offline milk

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #620 on: July 17, 2019, 02:11:06 PM »
I’ve just ordered a copy of his recording of gamba sonatas; I’d like to hear his WTC but it’s too difficult to buy!

Did you get my message about the first movement of the 6th partita?
Let us know about the Gamba-s.
I might try to download his WTC; I like his creative vision on the partitas. I like when a performance brings out some different aspect of the music and makes you see it anew. I think that happens with the partitas - partially because of how he uses that slightly strange instrument. I wonder what he manages with the WTC. There's something a little mysterious about Takehisa - maybe it's that he doesn't seem to have done anything much outside of Japan and, honestly, I think usually it's a detriment that sinks ability. Japan is very parochial, rigid, and insular, qualities that detract from an ability to rise to a "professional" level. Reiko Ichise, who performs Gamba with him, is more typical of successful musicians, having studies abroad with the "best" in her field.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #621 on: July 18, 2019, 01:28:12 AM »
A newish release.



#morninglistening to #Bach #solokeyboard music on the piano by @SoniaRubinsky on @NaxosRecords

: http://a-fwd.to/4r91MNL

#MagnaSequentia I

A mix-and-match @BACH_JohannSeb recital

☆☆


Bit ho-hum, for my taste. In theory nice, to pick-and-choose a dancing suite, but in practice, it's an odd quilt of patches that don't make for a harmonious whole.

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #622 on: July 18, 2019, 02:56:25 AM »
Impossible to judge, when you already know the music from other contexts.  A mix like this is common enough on CD if it's Chopin, for example, and arguably makes more sense than an entire CD of Mazurkas, or of Nocturnes.

The question is, to what extent were the dance suite movements intended to be played consecutively with no more than a pause for breath between each.  Or is every movement a standalone.  Or to what extent were the Suites themselves intended to be treated as a single work, as we tend to do now by packaging several Suites onto a CD and then playing it from beginning to end.  Several cellists have suggested in their sleevenotes that they treat the 6 Cello Suites as a whole.  (Even if on closer inspection they actually recorded them over several days or weeks.)


Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #623 on: July 18, 2019, 04:21:31 AM »
The question is, to what extent were the dance suite movements intended to be played consecutively with no more than a pause for breath between each.  Or is every movement a standalone.  Or to what extent were the Suites themselves intended to be treated as a single work, as we tend to do now by packaging several Suites onto a CD and then playing it from beginning to end.

The keyboard suite initially had (Froberger e.g.) different sequences of the dances, even if a cardinal point was the sequence slow-fast. In the end the framework became allegro, courante, sarabande and gigue. We find this standard at almost all German composers after 1660. It is improbable, that this wasn't considered an integrated whole meant to be played in sequence, cf. the designation suite.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #624 on: July 18, 2019, 04:46:38 AM »
In the PR blurb we read

Quote
Throughout, Sonia wrestles with questions raised by the
historically informed performance practice movement. For
this recording, she worked extensively with the
harpsichordist Nicolau de Figueiredo (1960–2016), to whom
this recording is dedicated, as well as harpsichordist and
musicologist Edmundo Hora. The result is a recording that
brings her  fresh insight to performing Bach on a modern
grand piano. 

Nicolau de Figueiredo seems to be an C18 keaboard wallah, Seixas and Haydn and JC Bach.



. . .  in practice, it's an odd quilt of patches that don't make for a harmonious whole.



and we read

Quote
Sonia Rubinsky has selected 19, compiled with a tonal logic that still keeps the structure of a suite.

though I'm inclined to agree with you -- f.e. the transition from BWV 814 Courante to BWV 815 courante and then the aria from the Goldbergs. Horrible. It's strange because she's clearly proud to have taken advice.  This sort of thing can be made to work, but not here. Tilney does it really well with French music and so I suppose in principle the idea could work with Bach, but IMO not here. This is a great favourite of mine.



The keyboard suite initially had (Froberger e.g.) different sequences of the dances, even if a cardinal point was the sequence slow-fast. In the end the framework became allegro, courante, sarabande and gigue. We find this standard at almost all German composers after 1660. It is improbable, that this wasn't considered an integrated whole meant to be played in sequence, cf. the designation suite.

In justification she alludes to the affinity that Bach had for Francois Couperin

Quote
The tradition of composing dance suites was French in
origin, but the choice and ordering was left to the performer.
Couperin, one of Bach’s greatest keyboard-playing
contemporaries, wrote sets of dances rather than suites.
The sets contain too many pieces to be performed in one
sitting. A performer was expected to extemporaneously
choose from the set




Bit ho-hum

Yes
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 05:13:38 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #625 on: July 18, 2019, 05:07:14 AM »
In justification she alludes to the affinity that Bach had for Francois Couperin

This is no justification. As to the formal layout Bach builds upon his German forerunners Froberger, Reinken, Buxtehude, J K F Fischer and so on.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #626 on: July 18, 2019, 05:12:40 AM »
I think we probably shouldn't take it so seriously, I mean she's shoved bits of the Goldberg Variations in there, she's probably just a piano player looking for a gimmick to flog her stuff.
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #627 on: July 18, 2019, 05:31:58 AM »
I think we probably shouldn't take it so seriously, I mean she's shoved bits of the Goldberg Variations in there, she's probably just a piano player looking for a gimmick to flog her stuff.

You are right, it (she) can't be taken seriously. :)
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #628 on: July 18, 2019, 05:51:55 AM »
The Olafsson collection of Bach lollipops is very successful.  He's an awfully good piano player mind.


Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #629 on: July 18, 2019, 06:26:50 AM »
The Olafsson collection of Bach lollipops is very successful.  He's an awfully good piano player mind.



Olfasson's is much more successful -- as is Alexandre Tharaud's. Or, where it comes to making extant individual bits a new whole, the Scarlatti recording of Claire Huangci's.

... the transition from BWV 814 Courante to BWV 815 courante and then the aria from the Goldbergs. Horrible...

Yes, particularly jarring. But the playing isn't all that amazing, either... so the gain is not great, altogether, and the enervation certainly greater.

I still suppose she's a very fine and serious artist, though, given the well-received attention she lavished on Villa-Lobos.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #630 on: July 18, 2019, 08:53:14 AM »
I have not listened to it but I think it would have been much better to market it as "My favorite Bach" or so (Zacharias made a disk with his favorite Bach Preludes without Fugues years ago) or so than to give it a pretentious Latin title and claim some kind of authenticity...
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 staxomega

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #631 on: July 20, 2019, 06:06:47 AM »
Does anyone know if Fellner has any plans to record Book 2?

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #632 on: July 22, 2019, 11:06:20 PM »
A newish release.



#morninglistening to #Bach #solokeyboard music on the piano by @SoniaRubinsky on @NaxosRecords

: http://a-fwd.to/4r91MNL

#MagnaSequentia I

A mix-and-match @BACH_JohannSeb recital

☆☆


Bit ho-hum, for my taste. In theory nice, to pick-and-choose a dancing suite, but in practice, it's an odd quilt of patches that don't make for a harmonious whole.

...and the review. Inspired not the least thanks to the responses above.


Rubinsky & Bach: A Grand Suite of Dunces

Offline milk

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #633 on: July 24, 2019, 03:00:56 AM »
Listening to Rosalyn Turek on DG tonight. It strikes me how specific, identifiable, and singular her style is. I'm not sure how to describe what she does. Sometimes she seems like she has a special appreciation for baroque, or it seems she's using staccato in some kind of purposeful way. She doesn't overdo dynamics or use tricks I don't think. Her tempos are slow and sometimes they give a really unique take combined with her touch and articulation. I'm really curious about how she was received in her time because I get the sense that her take on Bach is more unique today then maybe it was realized then. I think there's something very genuine in the sense on un-ironic. Like, she's not in a time where there's many strong views on Bach on keyboard? No HIP to contend with and maybe not even as much an appreciation for Bach's WTC amongst the general public? I look at her now and think she's hard to compare to anyone else, perhaps because of the context she came out of. Plus, as time goes on she even seems stranger and just as interesting.   

Offline staxomega

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #634 on: July 24, 2019, 05:56:20 AM »
What I'd like to know is why Tureck's two recorded interpretations (DG and BBC) are so different. Does she say anything in the BBC Legends liner notes?

Cedric Pescia's recording of the WTC is one I have in my listening queue when I'm in the mood.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #635 on: July 24, 2019, 07:30:49 AM »
What I'd like to know is why Tureck's two recorded interpretations (DG and BBC) are so different. Does she say anything in the BBC Legends liner notes?



Her recordings of the Partitas and The Goldberg Variations are also rather different.

I think she thought that she had a communication link to Bach via the aether, and he told her how to play in her dreams.  Maybe he changed his mind.
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Offline milk

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #636 on: July 25, 2019, 03:43:49 AM »
What I'd like to know is why Tureck's two recorded interpretations (DG and BBC) are so different. Does she say anything in the BBC Legends liner notes?

Cedric Pescia's recording of the WTC is one I have in my listening queue when I'm in the mood.
I've never heard the BBC one. It looks harder to acquire. I have a hard time describing her style. It's not romantic in ways many other pre-hip people are. It's pianistic though. Sometimes she does some genuinely odd stuff. She's never dull though she seems kind of strict in a way, or, at least, single-minded. Some of her performances are truly touching.

Offline staxomega

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #637 on: July 25, 2019, 06:28:51 AM »
I've never heard the BBC one. It looks harder to acquire. I have a hard time describing her style. It's not romantic in ways many other pre-hip people are. It's pianistic though. Sometimes she does some genuinely odd stuff. She's never dull though she seems kind of strict in a way, or, at least, single-minded. Some of her performances are truly touching.

Both books on BBC:

https://youtu.be/1XoAJ98PbDM

https://youtu.be/preqsJ_Y-2I

I did manage to read the liner notes thanks to a kind member. She hasn't written anything in them, just the usual well written notes from Bryce Morrison.

I'm not sure I would consider the DG romantic either, I think it does slightly lean that way more than not. There is something so alluring about those performances of both books (particularly many of the ones written in a minor key in Book 2), but I take long breaks from it since the recording quality is so poor; at times being both dull and glassy is quite a feat  :'( . I've always thought if I could "rescue" two releases from that poor 50s tape formulation/recording it would be her WTC and Backhaus' mono Beethoven cycle. Solomon's EMI Beethoven if I could do a third.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #638 on: July 25, 2019, 06:52:19 AM »

I did manage to read the liner notes thanks to a kind member. She hasn't written anything in them, just the usual well written notes from Bryce Morrison.



Pompously written piece of hagiography from Bryce

Quote
MakingTechnique and Expression Indivisible
Too often the groves of academe and the world of performance are mutually unsympathetic rather than complementary, but with the great scholar-pianist Rosalyn Tureck they are both championed and reconciled in a fruitful interaction of active and contemplative attitudes and abilities. It is important, in our age of "instant" knowledge and media hype, to understand that such devotion and truth derive not only fromTureck's genius as a performer but from a tireless thirst for knowledge. She might easily echo Horowitz's lament that so many of today's younger pianists have too little sense of musical context, are happy to play, say, a Brahms intermezzo without knowing his lieder, a Mozart sonata without knowing his operas. And, as a corollary, she can answer vexing questions concerning Bach on the piano by saying that she has played him on every conceivable instrument — clavichord, harpsichord, organ, piano and even Moog synthesizer — before making a final choice and turning her sense of revelation, of "epiphany", into a musical reality. What is more, if she ultimately feels that life is too short to allow her time for other composers — that if Bach is to be played satisfactorily and, indeed, authentically, then he must be a lifelong companion and concern — she arrived at this conclusion, too, only after exploring and performing other areas ofthe repertoire. Rosalyn Tureck made her New York d6but in Brahms's Second Concerto, and her early recital programmes included works by Chopin, Liszt•Ravel and, most interestingly, the Bach/Busoni Chaconne, a Romantic conception that has come to seem several light years away from her later commitments.Yet, at the early age of 22, her speciality became evident when she
played Bach's 48 Preludes and Fugues from the Well-tempered Clavier and the Goldberg Variations in a series of six NewYork recitals, legitimizing Bach on the piano with a sovereign know-how that has rarely been equalled, and refuting Harold Bauer's claim that "Bach's Goldberg Variations are impossible on the piano". As Tureck,farfrom innocently, replied:"I'd no ideatheywere impossible." Her Brunswick recordings of the "48", later reissued by Deutsche Grammophon, became the stuff of legends and confirmed her reputation as "The High Priestess of Bach" (an insufficiently inclusive sobriquet: her wit and transcendental pianism were as remarkable as her seriousness).Wanda Landowska may have coolly retorted:"You play Bach your way, and I'll play him his way", but others were convinced. Glenn Gould, among the most dazzling of keyboard geniuses, claimed that Tureck (unlike Landowska and the Romantically inclined Edwin Fischer) was among his strongest influences. If I add that Tureck has also conducted and championed much contemporary music, presenting world premieres of music by William Schuman and David Diamond, and has published extensively, including a three-volume Bach edition for the Oxford University Press, is it any wonder that she has been showered with honours by Oxford and Harvard? That such words represent a musical reality rather than rhetoric or hyperbole is triumphantly demonstrated by this BBC Legends release, living proof that for Tureck every performance of Bach is an opportunity to relish anew each diamond-like facet and speculative utterance. Rarely in this 1976 performance of Book 2 of the "48" is there evidence of the pedantry or academicism occasionally associated with Tureck's name, but rather an assertion of the music's boldness and character, the musical
equivalent, if you like, of a Shakespearian synthesis of wisdom and adventure. For Tureck in Bach, as for, say Brendel in Beethoven, such performances are always a labour of love rather than a duty. • It is this unfaltering responsiveness, backed by a no less unfaltering musical and technical consistency, that makes the singling out of details or individual successes an inevitability rather than an impertinence, How often have you heard such a union of rigour and sensitivity as in the opening Prelude or a more unfaltering deciso (one of many editorial suggestions in one of my well-thumbed and elderly editions)? In No.3, music of an ineffable and surpassing beauty, the sobriquet "High Priestess of Bach", seems oddly limiting. What astonishes and 'delights is the rich and inclusive humanity of her playing. Here is no mere celebrant or devotee but an artist for whom Bach's warmth and largesse are the very stuff of I ife.Again,Tureck's rhythmic piquancy and buoyancy in the fugue tell us that she is a master of the very essence of music. I can imagine her enthusiastic assent as her compatriot pianist Anthony di Bonaventura gently insisted to a luckless student that rhythm is fundamental, even primal: ".. just imagine if you were born without a skeleton,you'd just be a blob!" No.4, again, suggests howTureck, early in her unique career, arrived at a level of artistry known to few performers. Here, in the Prelude, her playing is like "the still point of the turning world".True, she can be forthright when the music calls for assertiveness, but, like the composer himself, she can also be subtle and subversive, alive to the sort of rhythmic and harmonic piquancy that enlivens every bar of Bach's outwardly learned tome. Her superhuman control makes her exceptionally slow tempo in the Prelude of No. I 0 sound not only valid but right and inevitable; and if she
tureck 9
is, again, unusually measured in the Fugue from No. 12 she is never dogged or like the scholar ever-anxious to explain his explanation. Her sustained concentration in the other-worldly calm of the Prelude from No.9 and her resolve (risoluto in one of my scores) in the Fugue of No. 16 is startling in its boldness and conviction. Tureck's authority, heard at its peak in this recording, comes from the coalescing of details into a powerful and indubitable whole. She also suggests that for Bach religion was a reality rather than a hypothesis. Never is there a hint of the negation that colours Shakespeare's profoundest tragedies, of a world that "shall so wear out to naught" (King Lear), of the inseparable nature of humanity and corruption. Here we sense depths being plumbed before resolution is achieved in light and redemption. In Tureck's words,"In Bach everything is so complex and yet so simple in the end.This is one of the greatest miracles of Bach, coupled with the fact that the quality of emotion is so remarkably varied. This is what I aim for in my playing. This is one of the greatest enchantments of Bach, the versatility, and the miracles that you see and hear going on every moment in virtually everything he writes:' Writing of the 17th-century metaphysical poet John Donne, F. R. Leavis once remarked that, when you encounter a line like "lwonder what thou and I did till we loved' you read on as you read the living. The same could be said of Bach, and never more so than when he is in the hands of Rosalyn Tureck a-true re-creative genius.

The "groves of academe" indeed!

I wonder what people think of this

Quote
She also suggests that for Bach religion was a reality rather than a hypothesis. Never is there a hint of the negation that colours Shakespeare's profoundest tragedies, of a world that "shall so wear out to naught" (King Lear), of the inseparable nature of humanity and corruption. Here we sense depths being plumbed before resolution is achieved in light and redemption.



« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 06:58:01 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline staxomega

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #639 on: July 25, 2019, 07:12:44 AM »
I'd say passionately written and hyperbolic (maybe a touch condescending in parts?), it has been some time since I have read the book to which he refers, I think he is aware about the satirical nature of it at the very least.

His liner notes are usually much more straight forward and matter of fact than what he wrote above. The above is the type of liner notes I refer to as "get you excited to hear a recording"
« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 07:15:12 AM by staxomega »