Author Topic: Bach on the piano  (Read 172617 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Pietro Soraci
« Reply #900 on: May 09, 2020, 06:45:02 AM »
Hello to Bach on the Piano thread community! I'd read this thread from time to time and eventually it is mostly this thread (its contents and mentions and my willingness to add something) that encouraged me to register on forum. I will not repeat my introduction post here, so let me introduce Pietro Soraci.

I was very astonished hearing his English Suites first time (a month or two ago) and I cannot stop and listened a half of recording (three suites) at once. Usually I listen new recording at so-called checkpoints (specific places important for me) to determine whether performance is suitable for me for further listening.

N.B. Links below (and videos in playlists) are of YouTube ownership (licensed and auto-generated by YouTube) and fully legal. And because of YouTube policies are not guaranteed to be available at all (depending on visitor's geolocation).

Firstly, some quick-links and timings that can be of interest.

Partita 4, Allemande: 10:10
Partita 6, Sarabande: 7:25
Goldberg Variations, Variation 25: 10:31.



J.S.Bach: [ English Suites | Partitas: Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 | Goldberg Variations ] Pietro Soraci (Piano)

I'm listening to the 6th partita now. He's clearly a very fine musician and he has a very fine instrument too, well recorded.

It is fundamentally, essentially a modern piano performance. What I mean, he has used techniques which are specific to that instrument -- the colours, the way the voices form layers, different types of attack etc -- to create something new and fresh.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline milk

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #901 on: May 10, 2020, 03:23:05 AM »
I ended up listening to Rangell, I couldn't make it past Contrapunctus IV. Far too weird for me and constantly being taken out of the music, the most jarring part were the seemingly haphazardly placed accents. I did listen to the same amount from Joanna Macgregor and I enjoyed this much more, there is a certain beauty to her playing almost like early era Rosalyn Tureck, I only listened to the first four Contrapuncti.

I briefly listened to the recently released Helsinki recording of Nikolayeva, I don't hear much difference from the Hyperion recording and the sound quality is significantly worse.

I will explore Macgregor some more today, I take it she has only recorded it once and the various versions on different CDs are the same recording?
I listened to Rangell and Macgregor's AOF back to back. I can't say why I prefer Macgregor. Maybe I don't know. I wasn't paying close attention but at a certain point I felt, "oh this is good" and looked to see Macgregor had started.
I like Macgregor's French whole-heartedly, although I can also say that it's a bit much...in a good way   

Offline milk

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Re: Pietro Soraci
« Reply #902 on: May 11, 2020, 03:24:23 PM »
I'm listening to the 6th partita now. He's clearly a very fine musician and he has a very fine instrument too, well recorded.

It is fundamentally, essentially a modern piano performance. What I mean, he has used techniques which are specific to that instrument -- the colours, the way the voices form layers, different types of attack etc -- to create something new and fresh.
Who do you think achieves something like what you describe in AOF?
I think Edna Stern released a recording of 1, 2, and 6 that are like you describe, though no necessarily like Soraci. I wonder why she hasn't completed the cycle.

Offline SergeCpp

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #903 on: May 11, 2020, 09:26:25 PM »


Bach Art Of Fugue — Millette Alexander & Frank Daykin (Piano Duo)

Connoisseur Society.
Recorded 1994.
Total Time ~88 minutes.

In my personal top list for AOF on Piano (though Duo).

Cannot find on YouTube.
There is a strangeness in simple things.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #904 on: September 04, 2020, 01:07:06 PM »
What are some of Rosalyn Tureck's finest Bach recordings? I have one disc and I like it:



Bunch of random works, mostly on the shorter side, including a suite by Telemann that was once attributed to JS Bach. There is also the Aria with Variations in the Italian Style, which might be like a mini-Goldberg Variations. I'm wondering where to from here. It seems that Bach piano people either really love Tureck or they dislike her.

Offline JBS

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #905 on: September 07, 2020, 04:20:15 PM »
Cross post from Waylt2

Bought this earlier today.



After a first listen, I think it's not too bad.  It runs for about 91 1/2 minutes, with the CD split coming in the middle, between variations 15 and 16.  Lang Lang's approach might be described as contemplative or meditative, with an emphasis on bringing out the melodic line.  Even the quicker passages are not as fast as other pianists play them, although they are sped up enough to make the necessary contrast. I wouldn't label it a "romantic" approach.

In the notes Lang Lang describes starting to play the work for Harnoncourt, only to be interrupted by the conductor, who told him the work needed "a greater sense of solitude" and that the pianist look for a place of "stillness" in himself. Maybe this Zen-like approach appealed to a pianist who comes from the land where Zen was developed. It certainly seems to inform his performance.

My version, the one linked, has only the studio performance.  There's a four CD version available with both the studio and a live concert performance. Obviously I have no idea of how the latter comes across.

I won't play it often, but I don't regret the purchase.  It is probably worth at least one listen via a streaming service.

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Offline milk

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #906 on: September 07, 2020, 07:42:10 PM »
Cross post from Waylt2

Bought this earlier today.



After a first listen, I think it's not too bad.  It runs for about 91 1/2 minutes, with the CD split coming in the middle, between variations 15 and 16.  Lang Lang's approach might be described as contemplative or meditative, with an emphasis on bringing out the melodic line.  Even the quicker passages are not as fast as other pianists play them, although they are sped up enough to make the necessary contrast. I wouldn't label it a "romantic" approach.

In the notes Lang Lang describes starting to play the work for Harnoncourt, only to be interrupted by the conductor, who told him the work needed "a greater sense of solitude" and that the pianist look for a place of "stillness" in himself. Maybe this Zen-like approach appealed to a pianist who comes from the land where Zen was developed. It certainly seems to inform his performance.

My version, the one linked, has only the studio performance.  There's a four CD version available with both the studio and a live concert performance. Obviously I have no idea of how the latter comes across.

I won't play it often, but I don't regret the purchase.  It is probably worth at least one listen via a streaming service.
I only listened to the first few variations but it sounded self-conscious and over-thought. Maybe I’ve prejudged it and can have a different opinion with another go.

Offline JBS

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #907 on: September 08, 2020, 06:07:41 AM »
I only listened to the first few variations but it sounded self-conscious and over-thought. Maybe I’ve prejudged it and can have a different opinion with another go.

Well, he says he's been playing/thinking about this work most of his piano playing life, so it would be easy to "overthink" it.

In fact, I can see why someone might use the terms you use to describe the performance. What works for me might not work for you.

And you'll notice I'm not actually enthusiastic about it. Just saying it's worth at least one listen.

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #908 on: September 08, 2020, 06:09:17 AM »
Well, he says he's been playing/thinking about this work most of his piano playing life, so it would be easy to "overthink" it.

In fact, I can see why someone might use the terms you use to describe the performance. What works for me might not work for you.

And you'll notice I'm not actually enthusiastic about it. Just saying it's worth at least one listen.

Interesting, thanks!
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Offline milk

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #909 on: September 08, 2020, 01:38:30 PM »
Well, he says he's been playing/thinking about this work most of his piano playing life, so it would be easy to "overthink" it.

In fact, I can see why someone might use the terms you use to describe the performance. What works for me might not work for you.

And you'll notice I'm not actually enthusiastic about it. Just saying it's worth at least one listen.
I’m listening a bit more. He’s certainly not bad and I think it improves as it goes a long. At least in some of the middle variations.

Offline milk

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #910 on: September 10, 2020, 10:57:52 PM »
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/sep/10/bach-goldberg-variations-review-lang-lang

Bach: Goldberg Variations review – Lavish Lang Lang recording suffocates the magic

"He seems to love the music so much he suffocates it..."

Offline JBS

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #911 on: September 11, 2020, 07:53:57 AM »
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/sep/10/bach-goldberg-variations-review-lang-lang

Bach: Goldberg Variations review – Lavish Lang Lang recording suffocates the magic

"He seems to love the music so much he suffocates it..."

It's rather accurate, but what he thinks doesn't work, worked well for me.
But again, I haven't yet given it a second listen.

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Offline bioluminescentsquid

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Re: Bach on the piano
« Reply #912 on: September 11, 2020, 10:09:03 AM »
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/sep/10/bach-goldberg-variations-review-lang-lang

Bach: Goldberg Variations review %u2013 Lavish Lang Lang recording suffocates the magic

"He seems to love the music so much he suffocates it..."

I usually stay away from "mainstream" recordings but this review made me interested, and I checked it out to see if I could come up with something to disagree with the review. After all, he's an easy target for a lot of ridicule and I don't like that. This is actually the first time I've listened carefully to Lang Lang's playing.

As much as I try to keep an open mind, my first impressions agree with the review. It's way too perfectly manicured, he's trying very hard (even getting into stickily-sentimental-expressive territory) but it doesn't say anything meaningful and sounds rather sterile. Bach with a Boob job, maybe. His live recording is a little better but it's still tiring to listen to.

The mastering sounds a little murky, emphasizing some lines at the expense of others, or is he using pedal? I don't know.

Maybe coming from harpsichord versions, piano can be a little "too much information" for me :)

Some great (although maybe a little stiff and over-rehearsed sounding) ornamentation in there! I'm glad that the "play it verbatim" phase, or even "only the ones D'Anglebert have listed are allowed" phase has passed for mainstream pianists.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 10:18:15 AM by bioluminescentsquid »