Author Topic: Bach on the piano  (Read 172785 times)

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Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #820 on: February 12, 2020, 11:58:57 AM »
Is Demus' last WTC only available on YouTube, or is there a CD/download?  I've dug around quite a bit, and all I can find is the Westminster LP (now mostly OOP in various incarnations) and an SWR release of a recording from 1956.   Can anyone provide a link to the one being referenced above?

Thanks!   

I don't know about any availabilities online. But there are a TON of sets (1975 version) available at the used CD dealer here; if you want one, I could pick one up for a few quid, probably and either send it to you  --  or you visit Vienna. :-)

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #821 on: February 12, 2020, 11:59:22 AM »
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 j winter

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #822 on: February 12, 2020, 12:13:59 PM »
I don't know about any availabilities online. But there are a TON of sets (1975 version) available at the used CD dealer here; if you want one, I could pick one up for a few quid, probably and either send it to you  --  or you visit Vienna. :-)

Many thanks for the kind offer!  :) 

What a marvelous thing the internet is... I've asked the question, and no fewer than four people have offered to assist within about 10 minutes!  :)

I have been put on the right track for the recording, and will report back impressions after listening....
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #823 on: February 12, 2020, 12:15:13 PM »
The recording in question, was released intially by Intercord on LP and later by Platz on CD. Accept no substitutes.



What a marvelous thing the internet is... I've asked the question, and no fewer than four people have offered to assist within about 10 minutes!  :)



That's because we all think it's rather good!

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Offline San Antone

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #824 on: February 12, 2020, 12:44:54 PM »
I loved the Scarlatti of Zhu Xiao-Mei, so I must explore her Bach. Dinnerstein seems to divide opinion. I've not heard her in Bach either though.

Zhu's Bach is pristine and spritely - exactly the kind of qualities I look for.  Dinnerstein is more emotive and takes more liberties with the phrasing, but again, her Bach is very enjoyable, IMO.  Cedric Pescia is probably my current favorite but he hasn't recorded everything.  Schiff has been a long time go-to Bach performer.

Offline San Antone

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #825 on: February 12, 2020, 03:24:29 PM »
Martin Stadtfeld : English Suites



Stadtfeld has come under attack for interspersing his improvisations between movements of sections of Bach's works.  But he is praised for his playing "when he sticks to the notes."  I don't have a problem with his interjections since I think they are in sync with Bach's own skill at improvisation.  However, others may not share my leniency. 

He has recorded several CDs devoted to Bach, the Goldberg Variations, Book I of the WTC, but the rest are a hodge-podge of parts of works.  I think he is worth hearing since his playing is very good - and if you don't want the non-Bach stuff, you can easily program around it.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #826 on: February 12, 2020, 11:03:26 PM »
Stadtfeld's main problem is that he is a highly mediocre pianist with barely the technique for Bach.
Dinnerstein is an emotive mess that makes every work sound like you append "for baby" to it.
Zhu Xiao-Mei is an absolute gem; a pinnacle of understated-yet-deeply-moving playing in pretty much whatever she chooses to record. Her Bach is among my very, very favorites.

Offline San Antone

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #827 on: February 13, 2020, 06:27:11 AM »
Stadtfeld's main problem is that he is a highly mediocre pianist with barely the technique for Bach.
Dinnerstein is an emotive mess that makes every work sound like you append "for baby" to it.
Zhu Xiao-Mei is an absolute gem; a pinnacle of understated-yet-deeply-moving playing in pretty much whatever she chooses to record. Her Bach is among my very, very favorites.

I can't help but think you are being a bit rough on Dinnerstein, her Goldbergs from 2007 were widely praised and for good reason.  However, it seems with each new Bach recording the more indulgent she became.  I haven't lived with the Stadtfeld enough, and probably won't spend much more time with his recordings since I am not that interested in piecemeal recordings. 

I am glad you also like Zho Xiao-Mei, her recordings seem to fly under the radar, undeservedly so.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #828 on: February 13, 2020, 06:51:47 AM »
Zho has a huge fan base in France, concerts in Paris sell out. I've seen her myself a few times, but never the recorings, apart from AoF. She's got a good back story, Chinese refugee I think.
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Offline hvbias

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #829 on: February 13, 2020, 07:36:27 AM »
Have a go at playing var 4 like Rubsam! I wonder how hard it would be. I don’t have a piano any more so I can’t try.

It doesn't sound that interesting or difficult when played like that on piano. It sounds like someone trying to memorize the piece or learn fingering. I don't really understand it played like that on harpsichord either, but some of what he wrote about on TC went over my head.

I understand this

Quote
In short, vertical harmony is created by the voices of polyphony flowing cleverly constructed horizontally. When played vertically everything “together”, nobody can comfortably follow the architecture of each individual voice.

But a lot of this went over my head or I found cryptic. It's some recently researched period practice? If someone cares to explain it to me like I'm a dummy :)

Quote
It is not really a new style of mine but further nurtured by the Lautenwerk TALKING to me constantly, meaning, the instrument barks at me literally when something did not sound as elegant as it requires, quite like a historic organ surely does as well; provided one is interested in learning more from the instrument in touch and tempo choice.

I was really just messing around and seeing how it can be played, using Andrew Rangell as a guide. Here is Variation 4 (with 5 tacked on for some reason, this CD has a few errors like this):

http://www.mediafire.com/file/jlmhsjv5686l2es/05_-_Variations_4.flac/file


To bring the thread back on topic, a few pianists who play Bach well, IMO

Just wondering where we went off topic :) FWIW all the Rubsam discussion in the last few pages has been on recordings he made for piano. Only the slight diversion on Goldbergs is lute harpsichord and I think it is ok to discuss this since the discussion is tied around the piano. If it was about the dances, IMO this too is interesting because it will dictate how someone takes a structural approach to playing it on piano. Though this is not really of major concern to me, the end result is more interesting to me.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 07:54:15 AM by hvbias »

Offline hvbias

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #830 on: February 13, 2020, 07:43:43 AM »
Martin Stadtfeld : English Suites



Stadtfeld has come under attack for interspersing his improvisations between movements of sections of Bach's works.  But he is praised for his playing "when he sticks to the notes."  I don't have a problem with his interjections since I think they are in sync with Bach's own skill at improvisation.  However, others may not share my leniency. 

He has recorded several CDs devoted to Bach, the Goldberg Variations, Book I of the WTC, but the rest are a hodge-podge of parts of works.  I think he is worth hearing since his playing is very good - and if you don't want the non-Bach stuff, you can easily program around it.

I think these type of concept albums can work. I was never a big fan of Beethoven's Bagatelles, on Herbert Schuch's recording putting them in between Musica Riceratta makes a lot of sense and suddenly I started really enjoying the Bagatelles.

Zho Xiao-Mei I think is quite a popular pianist, many people I speak to at concerts know her Bach recordings. There is someone on another forum's classical thread that proudly likes to denigrate any "newer" (ie didn't have a recording career in the middle of the 20th century) classical pianists without listening to them, if you're this type of snob I can see how people wouldn't have heard of her. I really must hear her Art of Fugue, if she came to my area I'd gladly see her play live.

On Jeremy Denk mentioned on the previous page I found his recordings of Goldbergs a bit grey. But it's hard not to like someone like him that has such a youthful affection for Bach, I'll be seeing him play Book I of WTC in the spring.

If anyone has suggestions for real highpoints from Dina Ugorskaja's WTC I'm open to hearing them as well. I listened to this on headphones at the gym, probably didn't give them the best chance.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 07:46:32 AM by hvbias »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #831 on: February 13, 2020, 08:36:12 AM »
It's some recently researched period practice?

Not as far as I'm aware.



I was really just messing around and seeing how it can be played, using Andrew Rangell as a guide. Here is Variation 4 (with 5 tacked on for some reason, this CD has a few errors like this):

http://www.mediafire.com/file/jlmhsjv5686l2es/05_-_Variations_4.flac/file




The contrast between 4 and 5 is funny! Amusing.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 08:44:28 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #832 on: February 13, 2020, 09:03:42 AM »
I think these type of concept albums can work. I was never a big fan of Beethoven's Bagatelles, on Herbert Schuch's recording putting them in between Musica Riceratta makes a lot of sense and suddenly I started really enjoying the Bagatelles.



Apart from Kurtag’s CD, this one this is a good Bach concept CD, well worth checking out imo

https://www.odradek-records.com/album/fred-thomas-dance-suites/
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 09:07:10 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #833 on: February 13, 2020, 09:46:52 AM »
If anyone has suggestions for real highpoints from Dina Ugorskaja's WTC I'm open to hearing them as well. I listened to this on headphones at the gym, probably didn't give them the best chance.

A minor and especially B minor fugues Bk 2.

In her hands Bk 2, especially some of the fugues, seems to me to be coming from a dark, sad place, unusually so, painfully so. I think it’s a valuable recording.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 09:59:54 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #834 on: February 14, 2020, 08:29:27 AM »
I think these type of concept albums can work. I was never a big fan of Beethoven's Bagatelles, on Herbert Schuch's recording putting them in between Musica Riceratta makes a lot of sense and suddenly I started really enjoying the Bagatelles.



If anyone has suggestions for real highpoints from Dina Ugorskaja's WTC I'm open to hearing them as well. I listened to this on headphones at the gym, probably didn't give them the best chance.

Re: Dina Ugorskaja, who has since succumbed to her cancer: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2017/10/11/bachs-well-tempered-clavier-forget-me-nots-and-intimations-of-mortality-classical-cd-of-the-week/

Here's an excerpt from the review above that mentions some excerpts, in particular:

Quote
If you thought that Shostakovich manages a surprisingly dark, perhaps dystopian C major at the beginning of his op.87 Preludes and Fugues, you should hear what Ugorskaja makes Bach sound like. Don’t worry, it gets darker, still, with the C sharp minor Fugue, for example, with sin and penance imbued in it, or the E flat minor Prelude. Or take the B minor Prelude… not

And yes, those concept albums can work very well, indeed! I like what Schuch does; the two albums of Marino Formenti (see below) work VERY well. And How Thomas Larcher juxtaposed Schubert & Schoenberg made me fall in love with both composers, HARD, many years back. Absolute must-have recording. http://a-fwd.to/4WBzycy


Latest on Forbes.com:
Classical CD Of The Week: Liszt Inspections

Formenti: Kurtag's Ghosts: https://ionarts.blogspot.com/2009/12/best-recordings-of-2009-3.html

Liszt Inspections, Marino Formenti (piano), Kairos

A gentle small-scale giant of music who doesn’t distinguish between “contemporary” and established, Marino Formenti has the preternatural ability to make any music sound weird.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/03/02/classical-cd-of-the-week-liszt-inspections-2/#2202ad6627f0


Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #835 on: February 14, 2020, 09:29:31 AM »
Re: Dina Ugorskaja, who has since succumbed to her cancer: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2017/10/11/bachs-well-tempered-clavier-forget-me-nots-and-intimations-of-mortality-classical-cd-of-the-week/


Do you know whether she was ill in 2015 when she recorded WTC? That would help explain the interpretation.

I've been listening to it yesterday and today, it's very good -- I mean whatever you think of piano in this music, it's still very good.
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Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #836 on: February 14, 2020, 01:30:05 PM »
Do you know whether she was ill in 2015 when she recorded WTC? That would help explain the interpretation.

I've been listening to it yesterday and today, it's very good -- I mean whatever you think of piano in this music, it's still very good.

Yes, she was aware.

Online Iota

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #837 on: February 14, 2020, 02:01:20 PM »
And yes, those concept albums can work very well, indeed! .. the two albums of Marino Formenti (see below) work VERY well.

I love that Liszt Inspections album by Marino Formenti on Kairos! It was *so* ear/eye-opening when I first heard it. Kurtag's Ghosts is also very good. Will check out your review.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #838 on: February 14, 2020, 09:42:21 PM »
Yes, she was aware.

I’m wondering whether to get her Brahms recording, even though I have no interest in the concerto, if you tell me that it’s imbued with the same sense of mortality, I will take a punt.


Internet reviews are very divided, and somewhat inclined to be negative,  which I think is a very good sign indeed that there’s some fresh and imaginative thinking going on in the performances.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #839 on: February 14, 2020, 10:00:07 PM »

Dinnerstein is an emotive mess that makes every work sound like you append "for baby" to it.


This is even more so the case for Tipo
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