Author Topic: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord  (Read 324090 times)

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Offline milk

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1320 on: March 25, 2022, 06:48:45 AM »
Something to consider here, especially with his idiosyncratic presentation and his use of clavichord and harpsichords. It may be worth diving into.

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1321 on: March 28, 2022, 06:17:01 PM »

The keyboard book for William Friedmann played on clavichord by someone I’ve pushed a bit on GMG: Yuan Sheng. Sheng has recorded Bach on piano in the past.

Though personally I am not a big fan of his style, I think this is a very good recording with valuable interpretations.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2022, 06:25:26 PM by Dry Brett Kavanaugh »

Offline milk

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1322 on: April 01, 2022, 07:15:59 PM »
Something to consider here, especially with his idiosyncratic presentation and his use of clavichord and harpsichords. It may be worth diving into.
I think the draw here could be the instrument, which is unique and has interesting registrations. Honestly, I didn’t investigate what the instrument is and I don’t really like the sound of it anyway. The playing strikes me as being rather conservative. There are many better choices IMO.

Offline bioluminescentsquid

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1323 on: April 03, 2022, 07:47:41 AM »
I think the draw here could be the instrument, which is unique and has interesting registrations. Honestly, I didn’t investigate what the instrument is and I don’t really like the sound of it anyway. The playing strikes me as being rather conservative. There are many better choices IMO.

Exact same impression. I mostly listened to the Hass recordings, he doesn't really use the colors of the instrument to his benefit and it sounds a bit too bright for my liking without the 16'. Rigid, unpoetic playing.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1324 on: April 03, 2022, 08:56:02 AM »
I think the draw here could be the instrument, which is unique and has interesting registrations. Honestly, I didn’t investigate what the instrument is and I don’t really like the sound of it anyway. The playing strikes me as being rather conservative. There are many better choices IMO.

Amazing harpsichord -- listen to the decay, e.g. the end of 867


Exact same impression. I mostly listened to the Hass recordings, he doesn't really use the colors of the instrument to his benefit and it sounds a bit too bright for my liking without the 16'. Rigid, unpoetic playing.

I can see that's right, but that 16' stop is wonderful.

Anyone like to tell me what this means? How is it tuned?

Quote
INTERVIEWER
It’s been established that Bach composed a piece in C before transposing it to C sharp. Beyond the virtuosity
that exercise requires in many respects, does this not imply that all the keys are on the same level, so much so
that their specific ‘characters’, the colours that were attributed to them until then, actually disappear?

ALARD
I don’t think so. There are characters and affects whose meaning is very clear and bound up with the question of
tuning. You must remember that the division of the twelve semitones of the chromatic scale is not equal: in the
term Das wohltemperierte Klavier, the word ‘well-tempered’ (wohltemperiert) means that the instrumentalist will
be able to play in every key, but it doesn’t mean that all the keys will sound the same. Some will be harsher than
others, some will sound more brilliant or more melancholy, for example with a smaller minor third.
Given this question of transposition and also the flourishing activity of the great German theorists (Schubart,
Mattheson and so on) who described these keys in a very pertinent manner, the question of Bach’s view of the
‘correct temperament’ has provoked much debate; recently, for example, there have been several attempts to
decipher the title page of the first book. But from Bach’s point of view, respect for the notion of ‘well temperament’
boiled down to a simple recommendation: that the musician should be in a position to play in all the keys. We
must not forget that our ears have changed a great deal and that today they hear intervals that are all ‘equal’ – if
we refer to the semitones of the western chromatic scale. It is therefore necessary to place the issue in its historical
context. Bach found a compromise in The Well-Tempered Clavier, a kind of proof, or even a testament before its
time, that every musician should be able to play in all the major and minor keys.

https://static.qobuz.com/goodies/69/000147596.pdf

« Last Edit: April 03, 2022, 08:59:25 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1325 on: April 03, 2022, 12:38:41 PM »
Anyone like to tell me what this means? How is it tuned?

Interviewer: It’s been established that Bach composed a piece in C before transposing it to C sharp. Beyond the virtuosity that exercise requires in many respects, does this not imply that all the keys are on the same level, so much so that their specific ‘characters’, the colours that were attributed to them until then, actually disappear?


Alard:I don’t think so. There are characters and affects whose meaning is very clear and bound up with the question of tuning. You must remember that the division of the twelve semitones of the chromatic scale is not equal: in the term Das wohltemperierte Klavier, the word ‘well-tempered’ (wohltemperiert) means that the instrumentalist will be able to play in every key, but it doesn’t mean that all the keys will sound the same. Some will be harsher than others, some will sound more brilliant or more melancholy, for example with a smaller minor third.Given this question of transposition and also the flourishing activity of the great German theorists (Schubart, Mattheson and so on) who described these keys in a very pertinent manner, the question of Bach’s view of the ‘correct temperament’ has provoked much debate; recently, for example, there have been several attempts to decipher the title page of the first book. But from Bach’s point of view, respect for the notion of ‘well temperament’ boiled down to a simple recommendation: that the musician should be in a position to play in all the keys. We must not forget that our ears have changed a great deal and that today they hear intervals that are all ‘equal’ – if we refer to the semitones of the western chromatic scale. It is therefore necessary to place the issue in its historical context. Bach found a compromise in The Well-Tempered Clavier, a kind of proof, or even a testament before its time, that every musician should be able to play in all the major and minor keys.


We are not told how the Hass harpsichord was tuned, except that it wasn't equally tuned. The point of the interviewer that transposing changes the colour of the piece in question isn't answered. But the many examples from Bach's music of him transposing his own music to relatively unrelated modes make me wonder how much - or how little - the specific color of a given mode actually meant to him. The different colors of different modes were at least less prominent in the later very modified meantone tunings (Werckmeister, Kneller eg.) than they were in straight 1/4 comma meantone.

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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1326 on: April 10, 2022, 05:32:32 PM »


https://static.qobuz.com/goodies/95/000146859.pdf

Good recording. But I found the performance substantially restrained- maybe too much. What do you think?

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1327 on: April 11, 2022, 06:43:28 AM »
Good recording. But I found the performance substantially restrained- maybe too much. What do you think?

I just don’t hear very much interesting there. It’s like a good student run through. But this has happened to me before with Pinnock. I felt like that about his Louis Couperin when it was released, but lately I’ve found much to enjoy there. Anyway, I listened to about 20 minutes of the WTC 2 and then took refuge in Colin Booth’s recording.
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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1328 on: April 12, 2022, 01:12:33 PM »
I just don’t hear very much interesting there. It’s like a good student run through. But this has happened to me before with Pinnock. I felt like that about his Louis Couperin when it was released, but lately I’ve found much to enjoy there. Anyway, I listened to about 20 minutes of the WTC 2 and then took refuge in Colin Booth’s recording.

I am not crazy about his rhythms.  :)

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1329 on: April 12, 2022, 10:10:13 PM »
I am not crazy about his rhythms.  :)

Yes that’s one of the places where he has most to say I think.
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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1330 on: April 14, 2022, 05:52:55 PM »
I just don’t hear very much interesting there. It’s like a good student run through. But this has happened to me before with Pinnock. I felt like that about his Louis Couperin when it was released, but lately I’ve found much to enjoy there. Anyway, I listened to about 20 minutes of the WTC 2 and then took refuge in Colin Booth’s recording.

You know what, his WTC2 is getting sound good!  ;D

Offline hvbias

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1331 on: April 15, 2022, 03:48:38 PM »
Good recording. But I found the performance substantially restrained- maybe too much. What do you think?

I haven't heard Book 2 primarily because what you and Mandryka ("I just don’t hear very much interesting there") wrote is how I felt about his recording of Book 1. My post on that: https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,768.msg1327692.html#msg1327692

I actually do like Pinnock in general with JSB, that Book 1 was sort of an outlier.

Not really sure why it didn't connect with me, as a whole looking at Book 1 and 2 together Leonhardt's DHM recording is my favorite, and it's not exactly super flamboyant. I hate to use some vague metaphysical description but that Leonhardt recording has some real spiritual quality to it, especially in Book 2.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2022, 03:52:02 PM by hvbias »
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Offline milk

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1332 on: May 10, 2022, 03:56:08 PM »


I was going to put this in the “Bach on unusual instruments” thread but that thread is also labeled “non-HIP.” This is Bach on a large hammered dulcimer-like instrument that may be HIP after all. It’s interesting, at least to me. There’s organ accompaniment.

Offline milk

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1333 on: June 20, 2022, 02:06:33 PM »

These are strong performances. She’s got muscle. I can hear her teachers: Hantai, Cullier, Sempe. I think her Scarlatti must be good.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2022, 05:01:19 AM by milk »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1334 on: June 27, 2022, 04:40:54 AM »
You know what, his WTC2 is getting sound good!  ;D

Well I revisited Pinnock’s WTC 2 and it still sounds to me pretty devoid of ideas.
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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1335 on: June 27, 2022, 05:14:33 AM »
Well I revisited Pinnock’s WTC 2 and it still sounds to me pretty devoid of ideas.

I agree about this (also true of his [Pinnock's] WTC I). Nice easygoing and polished playing on a nice sounding instrument but unfortunately modest as to individual expression.
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Offline milk

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Re: Bach on the harpsichord, lute-harpsichord, clavichord
« Reply #1336 on: June 27, 2022, 10:19:02 PM »
I agree about this (also true of his [Pinnock's] WTC I). Nice easygoing and polished playing on a nice sounding instrument but unfortunately modest as to individual expression.
There’s so much out there to enjoy so on to greener pastures. Honestly, I tried Staier and had a similar reaction even given his unique-sounding instrument.