Author Topic: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733  (Read 13842 times)

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Discobole

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Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« on: February 19, 2012, 07:45:42 AM »
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« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 01:14:35 PM by Discobole »

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 07:48:01 AM »
Count me in.
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

DavidW

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 07:55:02 AM »
Sounds fun count me in as well! :)

Offline Opus106

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 07:56:27 AM »
In. How long is the listening period?
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline Opus106

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 08:37:01 AM »
Thanks for your PM. I'll start listening tomorrow evening; it's 10 at night here and I've lined up other music. ;)

Great, informations sent to all three of you. The period of listening should be of a few days, but I'll wait until you all had time to decide...

Anyone can participate until the results are announced.

Participation may seem low now since it's a Sunday. I'll bet it'll pick up once others show up, especially fellow Bachaholics.

Quote
When you post your vote and commentaries, it would be better if other participants could read them only if they want, in case they don't want to be influenced. Is there a « spoiler » option in order to mask a part of the text ? I don't see it. Otherwise you might post these informations in small font size. Well, that's an idea, if you think it is not useful forget about it.

A spoiler tag isn't available. But one could use the [color] tag for the text. The lighter shade of post background has the hex code f0f4f7, while the darker e7eaef.

begin spoiler - highlight to see

Can you read this?

end spoiler
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline PaulSC

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012, 09:05:14 AM »
Please count me in!
Musik ist ein unerschöpfliches Meer. — Joseph Riepel

Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012, 09:21:51 AM »
Count me in as well! Looking forward to this! :D
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Offline PaulSC

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 03:43:42 PM »
In case anyone is interested, a score of this piece can be found at IMSLP

http://conquest.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/c/ce/IMSLP05509-Bach_-_BGA_-_BWV_714-740.pdf

(bwv 733 begins on page 79, based on the page numbers printed in the original document)

Interestingly, it appears this music is now generally attributed to Joseph Krebs rather than JS Bach.
Musik ist ein unerschöpfliches Meer. — Joseph Riepel

Bulldog

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 03:46:25 PM »
I'm in also.

Offline mszczuj

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 05:10:12 PM »
I'm rather sceptic about idea of blind listening.

Comparison of 12 version seems to me rather unreal.

I'm not prepared to value Bach organ music as i have only two listenings of it in about 15 years.

I even don't remember the piece.

And I have no time for it.

So. please. count me in...

DavidW

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2012, 06:30:19 PM »
I've spent a big heap of time with these and this is what I think (highlight to see):


Favorites: 2, 6 and 8
2 has a sense of grandeur that I don't feel the others have, also it has the richest sound
6 is exhilarating, fresh speed makes it sound lively and the ornamentation is a perfect addition to complete the music
8 is not as slow as many, not as swift as 6 or 11 but is perfectly balanced

Almost: 3, 9, 12
These three are great but a little too slow, emphatic without sounding as deep as my favorites

Snoresville: 1, 4, 5, 7, 10
These are perfectly serviceable performances but I found them to be boring.

Least Favorite: 11
The ornamentation is inappropriate, excessive and poorly judged interfering with the pacing and the feel of the piece.  This performance simply butchered the music.  It is the only bad performance of the lot.

Offline PaulSC

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2012, 08:15:33 PM »
I included the score in my first message ;)
The attribution to Krebs is quite an old idea which is not justified by anything else than the fact we have no autograph, but 2 copies by Krebs. But, actually, Krebs was Bach's copist at the time, so it's not really surprising that we should have copies by him. Actually, the only thing which is quite surely attributed to Krebs is the mistake in the title : this is not a fugue but a Fantasia on the Magnificat, and Krebs must have miread an abbreviation by Bach (which happenrd for BWV 651 too). The BWV 733 is obviously by Bach, its writing speaks for itself : at least this is what I think, what Peter Williams thinks and what most serious musicologists and musicians think... Only Youtube "generally attributes" it to Krebs ;)

Sorry to have dredged up an outdated view about the attribution. (I spotted the claim when looking up the score in an index at IMSLP, which I wouldn't have needed to do if I had read your opening post more carefully.) At any rate, thanks for the informative reply. I've spent a good chunk of time listening to the twelve versions and will post my assessments in a moment. First, I'll review that opening post again to make sure I go about this properly.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 08:29:48 PM by PaulSC »
Musik ist ein unerschöpfliches Meer. — Joseph Riepel

Offline PaulSC

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 09:19:03 PM »
Okay, here are my assessments, printed with font color = white:


I very much enjoyed spending time listening repeatedly to BWV 733. I have no trouble believing it is genuinely by Bach. My favorite moment in the piece is probably the return from A minor to F major via a tonicized subdominant near the end — the harmonic shift over a pedal A is unexpected and beautiful.

After comparing so many performances, I recognize one thing that can spoil a performance for me is registration choices that cause voices written in different octaves to sound in the same octave. Here are my particular most and least favorite recordings, with brief comments…

First place — recording 08
Relatively fast tempo makes this exciting, but it never feels rushed. Phrasing is sensitively handled. Registrations feel balanced. Detached playing at the quarter note level gives this a nice character.

Second place — recording 11
Very characterful playing. The staccato quarter notes and frequent ornamentation (a bit too much?) give this a playful quality that I find appealing even though I'm not sure it's “right” for the piece.

Third place — recording 06
This one comes in a little on the fast side, but the large-scale form is nicely shaped. I like the detached playing (even though I hate the detached eighth notes in recording 04, probably because they don't flow together at a much slower tempo of that recording).

–––

Second least favorite — recording 04
The slow tempo gives this a sluggish feel. I don't like the detached eighth notes at this tempo. The sound is rich but tends to feel bloated.

Very least favorite — recording 09
The playing here seems rushed and mechanical. Registration choices mix up octave relations among the voices. Some notes are clipped short just for the sake of facilitating changes of hand position.

Musik ist ein unerschöpfliches Meer. — Joseph Riepel

Offline Que

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 10:36:11 PM »
Please count me in! :)

Q

DavidW

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2012, 05:29:37 AM »
Just a question to DavidW : I count your 3 favourites as 1st ex aequo, but if you want to put one 1st, one 2nd and one 3rd just say it (same thing behind : 4th ex aequo, etc.) :)

Oh those three are in order of preference, it happens to coincide with chronological order.  Highlight to see: #2 is first, #6 is second, #8 is third

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2012, 06:38:23 AM »
Oh. This is going to be interesting. First, I don't know this piece. Second, I don't listen to much organ, though I like the instrument in general. Should be fun!!
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline Opus106

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2012, 06:43:31 AM »
Oh. This is going to be interesting. First, I don't know this piece. Second, I don't listen to much organ, though I like the instrument in general. Should be fun!!

Have you read the comments already? (Just curious on how you're approaching things.)

While I don't know the piece, I can just about live on the repertoire for the rest of my life; but I don't like repeated listening. :( So this is probably the best opportunity to test the waters of this blind comparison business.
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2012, 06:56:18 AM »
Have you read the comments already? (Just curious on how you're approaching things.)

While I don't know the piece, I can just about live on the repertoire for the rest of my life; but I don't like repeated listening. :( So this is probably the best opportunity to test the waters of this blind comparison business.
By comments, you mean those who listened? No. I don't want to be biased. I will probably read the bit that was posted on the piece when I start listening. I think I will listen for quality of playing, dynamics, impact, style, tempo, and phrasing. But the one that moves me the most (connects with me) will be the winner. Figuring out why that is, well, that is not always so simple.
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline Opus106

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2012, 07:05:41 AM »
By comments, you mean those who listened?

Yep.

Quote
Figuring out why that is, well, that is not always so simple.

Agreed.
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Blind comparison : J.S. Bach, Fuga sopra il Magnificat BWV 733
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2012, 01:12:35 PM »
Listening now, and really really enjoying it. Has been ages since I last visited Bach's organ works! Why?!!!

Back soon with my vote. :)
"Music is ... A higher revelation than all Wisdom & Philosophy"
— Ludwig van Beethoven