GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: mn dave on November 13, 2008, 07:12:24 AM

Title: Bach on the piano
Post by: mn dave on November 13, 2008, 07:12:24 AM
Who do you like for the French suites?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: springrite on November 13, 2008, 07:13:36 AM
I really like Gavrilov in these works. Not everyone's cup of tea, I know.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mn dave on November 13, 2008, 07:15:35 AM
I really like Gavrilov in these works. Not everyone's cup of tea, I know.

And...it's not impossible to find. Thank you for that. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Norbeone on November 13, 2008, 07:49:48 AM
Who do you like for the French suites?


Glenn Gould's is just amazing.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mn dave on November 13, 2008, 07:52:52 AM

Glenn Gould's is just amazing.

I had a feeling old GG would pop up here. And maybe Perahia too?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on November 13, 2008, 07:57:39 AM
I had a feeling old GG would pop up here. And maybe Perahia too?

I don't think Perahia ever recorded the French Suites.  The two piano versions I favor come from Gould and Wolfgang Rubsam on Naxos.  Hewitt isn't bad at all, and Gavrilov's dreamy interpretations have much value.  Aldwell comes off rather somber, while Schiff is at the bottom of my list.

I'm assuming you're not interested in harpsichord versions; if I'm wrong, just let me know.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mn dave on November 13, 2008, 08:08:30 AM
I don't think Perahia ever recorded the French Suites.  The two piano versions I favor come from Gould and Wolfgang Rubsam on Naxos.  Hewitt isn't bad at all, and Gavrilov's dreamy interpretations have much value.  Aldwell comes off rather somber, while Schiff is at the bottom of my list.

I'm assuming you're not interested in harpsichord versions; if I'm wrong, just let me know.

Right. Just piano for me (for now). Thanks for all the info, Don.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: orbital on November 13, 2008, 01:40:20 PM
Nikolayeva for me. (I'd be curious to hear Gavrilov)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on November 13, 2008, 01:54:42 PM
Nikolayeva for me. (I'd be curious to hear Gavrilov)

I had no idea that Nikoalyeva recorded the French Suites.  What label is it on?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: orbital on November 13, 2008, 02:15:45 PM
The label is Scribendum, I think it should be available at russiandvd.com. The 2 CD set includes the complete French Suites as well as 2 of the English ones.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on November 13, 2008, 02:31:31 PM
The label is Scribendum, I think it should be available at russiandvd.com. The 2 CD set includes the complete French Suites as well as 2 of the English ones.


Thanks much, and the set is in stock. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bunny on November 13, 2008, 02:37:59 PM
The label is Scribendum, I think it should be available at russiandvd.com. The 2 CD set includes the complete French Suites as well as 2 of the English ones.


Very tempting.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mn dave on November 13, 2008, 03:13:41 PM
Oh, sure. You have to order it from Russia. I don't need anything that bad.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: zauberflöte on November 13, 2008, 05:21:12 PM
It was years ago; I was a teen-ager and Glenn Gould was alive.
Being a kid, I was as pompous as could be but, deep down, so insecure I was a slave to the music critics who all agreed Glenn Gould may have been marvelous in his early days, particularly in Bach and particularly in the Goldberg Variations and Partitas, but he had gone horribly astray ever since he had stopped concertizing.
Everything had become grotesquely eccentric, the critics said, with clipped rhythms, rolled chords, ridiculous tempi, let's not even talk about the humming. I kept wondering, if he's so awful why do record companies keep recording him and why do the critics keep writing about him?
I avoided him like the plague. I was a purist at that time anyway. Only Bach on the harpsichord for me, thank you very much.
Then one day in the car I tuned on the radio just as the fifth French Suite was starting. I became almost instantly mesmerized even though it was being played on the piano. It was the most beautifully musical rendition I had ever heard.  I kept on saying to myself, almost in disbelief, "Who the hell is this?"
When it was over, the deejay said it was Gould.
I was flabbergasted. After reattaching my jaw to my head but leaving behind the scales that had fallen from my eyes I went out and bought Gould's French Suites, and, in time, dozens upon dozens of his recordings.
I guess you could say I'm quite an ardent fan now. And it all started with a single French Suite.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on November 13, 2008, 05:37:39 PM
Oh, sure. You have to order it from Russia. I don't need anything that bad.

Actually, you have to go there yourself and get it - only kidding.

I think the site is American; give it a try.  Everthing I ordered from them comes in timely fashion.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mn dave on November 13, 2008, 05:38:56 PM
Actually, you have to go there yourself and get it - only kidding.

I think the site is American; give it a try.  Everthing I ordered from them comes in timely fashion.

Heh. Maybe I will. I'm getting the Gould first though.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on November 13, 2008, 05:43:36 PM
This isn't in the piano arena, but last night I listened to the best French Suites I've ever heard from harpsichordist Alan Curtis on Teldec.
He combines hesitations and staggering of musical lines expertly with the result being enhanced rhythmic tension.  Also, he varies lean and full phrasing beautifully, and the conversational element is mesmerizing.  Easily the most interesting interpretation on record.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Norbeone on November 15, 2008, 05:09:34 AM
It was years ago; I was a teen-ager and Glenn Gould was alive.
Being a kid, I was as pompous as could be but, deep down, so insecure I was a slave to the music critics who all agreed Glenn Gould may have been marvelous in his early days, particularly in Bach and particularly in the Goldberg Variations and Partitas, but he had gone horribly astray ever since he had stopped concertizing.
Everything had become grotesquely eccentric, the critics said, with clipped rhythms, rolled chords, ridiculous tempi, let's not even talk about the humming. I kept wondering, if he's so awful why do record companies keep recording him and why do the critics keep writing about him?
I avoided him like the plague. I was a purist at that time anyway. Only Bach on the harpsichord for me, thank you very much.
Then one day in the car I tuned on the radio just as the fifth French Suite was starting. I became almost instantly mesmerized even though it was being played on the piano. It was the most beautifully musical rendition I had ever heard.  I kept on saying to myself, almost in disbelief, "Who the hell is this?"
When it was over, the deejay said it was Gould.
I was flabbergasted. After reattaching my jaw to my head but leaving behind the scales that had fallen from my eyes I went out and bought Gould's French Suites, and, in time, dozens upon dozens of his recordings.
I guess you could say I'm quite an ardent fan now. And it all started with a single French Suite.

Charming story. Thanks.    :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Que on November 21, 2008, 07:46:02 AM
For those who like Bach on the piano:

The complete Andras Schiff is on jpc very cheap (€20):

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0028948012268.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mn dave on November 21, 2008, 07:48:49 AM
For those who like Bach on the piano:

The complete Andras Schiff is on jpc very cheap (€20):


That's the first mention of him in this thread. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on November 21, 2008, 09:34:03 AM
That's the first mention of him in this thread. :)

I mentioned Schiff in Reply #5 - didn't care much for his French Suites, but he does play the other works well.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mn dave on November 21, 2008, 09:34:37 AM
I mentioned Schiff in Reply #5 - didn't care much for his French Suites, but he does play the other works well.

Oops.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on December 10, 2008, 09:42:12 AM
For those who like Bach on the piano:

The complete Andras Schiff is on jpc very cheap (€20):

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0028948012268.jpg)

Q

Could someone tell me where I can purchase this set online other than jpc.de and amazon.de?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 10, 2008, 10:18:35 AM
I don't think Perahia ever recorded the French Suites.  The two piano versions I favor come from Gould and Wolfgang Rubsam on Naxos.  Hewitt isn't bad at all, and Gavrilov's dreamy interpretations have much value.  Aldwell comes off rather somber, while Schiff is at the bottom of my list.

I'm assuming you're not interested in harpsichord versions; if I'm wrong, just let me know.

Dave - check out the Bach Harpsichord Thread, Pg. 6 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.100.html) - just picked up the Alan Curtis CDs that Don has recommended (total cost was about $15 from the sources mentioned; and includes both the French & English Suites) - I was really impressed w/ these recordings - might be worth sampling just one; I do have Schiff - was not overly thrilled and could easily replaced the set w/ another -  :D
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on March 25, 2009, 05:50:52 AM
I could not find this topic in the new forum, continuing this old thread: http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,11094.0.html (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,11094.0.html)

If a reader knows where it is, could they tell me so that I may transplant this accordingly?

Cheers,

jfl

25.3.09
Reviewed, Not Necessarily Recommended: Gulda Plays Bach  (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2009/03/reviewed-not-necessarily-recommended.html)
Quote
“Gulda Plays Bach”, “First release ever”, “Private Recordings from Gulda’s archive”, “Bonus Track: Gulda’s own exuberant Prelude and Fugue”. The title and exclamations of this Deutsche Grammophon release are, the typical PR breathlessness aside perfectly enticing, especially to someone who, like I, values Friedrich Gulda’s second Beethoven cycle but also cherishes many of his quirks and jazz-antics. That said, this compilation does not quite live up to its promise. ...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on March 26, 2009, 07:36:40 PM
Thanks once again for another informed, useful review Jens. I am a big fan of Gulda's work.

For Bach on piano, I have recently aquired and really enjoy Tipo's set on EMI. Her playing has great beauty, more than any other Bach interpreter that I have heard. 

I also got Tureck's WTC set on DG recently and love what Don refers to as her "X-ray of Bach." Rather than be the more bland version I expected, I was pleased to see that she still manages a great deal of expression and tender style in her playing.

Feinberg is a big favorite for me in the WTC, his decidedly pianistic interpretations might be my favorite.

Yet there's so much competition, including Richter's two recordings, one live at Insbruck and one studio for RCA. The RCA is incredible, more powerful and with less focus on beauty. The live one is more spontaneous, form the little I have heard. I have yet to hear the whole thing.

I've only heard Hewitt's Tocattas, but what I have heard I have enjoyed. The sound is of course outstanding.

Gould was my first exposure and will always have a place on my shelves. His readings are special, for they glow with the joy of a man who so obviously loved the composers work. Never boring, never prissy, Gould's Bach simply was Bach for me for a number of years. 
 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: orbital on March 27, 2009, 09:05:43 AM
Thanks once again for another informed, useful review Jens. I am a big fan of Gulda's work.
I listened through 1/4 of Gulda's WTC 1 yesterday, but still not hooked I'm afraid  :-\ The music is played with utmost clarity but I can't get used to his pace or his hushed dynamics.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on March 27, 2009, 09:21:39 AM
I listened through 1/4 of Gulda's WTC 1 yesterday, but still not hooked I'm afraid  :-\ The music is played with utmost clarity but I can't get used to his pace or his hushed dynamics.

I should have added that I have yet to connect with Gulda's WTC.

Have you heard Feinberg's WTC? If anyone can sell you (not the generic you, I mean you) on the WTC, it's him. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on March 27, 2009, 11:57:19 AM
I should have added that I have yet to connect with Gulda's WTC.

Have you heard Feinberg's WTC? If anyone can sell you (not the generic you, I mean you) on the WTC, it's him. 

Just the opposite for me.  I connected immediately with the Gulda - took some time with Feinberg.  The sound on both is problematic.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: rubio on April 05, 2009, 09:44:20 PM
I consider this limited edition bargain 12CD Andras Schiff set. I have heard and enjoy his Well-Tempered Clavier due to his dancing quality, singing tone, colors and dynamic contrasts (making the preludes and fuges stand apart). How is e.g. the Goldberg Variations in this set? Or the Partitas? It seems to only be available in Germany so far.

Generally, how do you think Schiff compares with Hewitt as a Bach pianist? Which are their strengths and weaknesses in this repertoire? I've heard a bit of both and they seem not so far apart for me (but haven't heard enough).

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Die-Werke-f%FCr-Klavier-solo/hnum/7544823

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0028948012268.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Que on April 05, 2009, 10:03:23 PM
I could not find this topic in the new forum, continuing this old thread: http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,11094.0.html (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,11094.0.html)

If a reader knows where it is, could they tell me so that I may transplant this accordingly?


I'm open to suggestions what to do with the various threads on Bach's keyboard music... :)   ::)

I favour the idea of a general thread on piano performances, just as there is a thread on performances on period instruments (harpsichord, etc.)

But there are also threads on specific works, mostly dominated by discussion on piano performances, The most prominent is the recently active thread on the WTC. Now, we have WTC/piano discussions on two different threads, for instance.

Bach Goldberg Variations on piano (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,10728.0.html)

Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,768.0.html)

Bach Piano Question (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9885.0.html)

Bach Toccatas (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,4271.0.html)

Bach's Inventions & Sinfonias (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,4456.0.html)

Q

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: The new erato on April 05, 2009, 10:15:34 PM
How is e.g. the Goldberg Variations in this set? Or the Partitas?
The Partitas are particularly fine, I played them this weekend (disc 1 even twice). I remember one of the board members had the Partitas as one of his Desert Islands dics as well on that thread.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: rubio on April 05, 2009, 10:22:13 PM
The Partitas are particularly fine, I played them this weekend (disc 1 even twice). I remember one of the board members had the Partitas as one of his Desert Islands dics as well on that thread.

That sounds reassuring. I probably will invest.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jay F on April 06, 2009, 03:46:07 AM
I consider this limited edition bargain 12CD Andras Schiff set. I have heard and enjoy his Well-Tempered Clavier due to his dancing quality, singing tone, colors and dynamic contrasts (making the preludes and fuges stand apart). How is e.g. the Goldberg Variations in this set?

It's my favorite, though the only others I've heard on piano are both by Gould. FWIW, Schiff's WTC is my favorite, too.

Generally, how do you think Schiff compares with Hewitt as a Bach pianist? Which are their strengths and weaknesses in this repertoire? I've heard a bit of both and they seem not so far apart for me (but haven't heard enough).

I have both discs of Hewitt's Keyboard Concertos, but I never feel compelled to listen to them. I usually pick Schiff's, though these really aren't favorite pieces of mine.

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Die-Werke-f%FCr-Klavier-solo/hnum/7544823

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0028948012268.jpg)
[/quote]
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jwinter on April 06, 2009, 04:07:29 AM
I'm open to suggestions what to do with the various threads on Bach's keyboard music...

Personally I don't mind having multiple threads on the same subject.  Part of the charm of a place like this is rummaging through the old threads and seeing what's there.  In many ways we're like a group of old friends chatting -- we may talk about the WTC today, and maybe we talked about it 4 months ago as well -- part of the charm is seeing how those conversations differ, how opinions change, how the same topic can diverge into many different paths.  If they all get squashed together into one thread, you lose some of that IMO.  If it were up to me, I wouldn't merge threads unless you've clearly got a new thread on the same very narrow subject as an old thread that's long dormant -- and I don't mean something narrow like "Bach's Piano Music", I mean something narrow like "Looking for a HIP recording of Beethoven's Coriolan Overture," or "Let's list the men, women, sheep, and potted plants that Leonard Bernstein slept with."  And even then I don't know that I'd merge them in all instances.  Forums are a little chaotic by nature; don't be afraid to let things go.

Just my two cents, of course :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on April 06, 2009, 11:37:18 PM
I assume we're talking J.S. and not C.P.E.

You've gotta hear Alexis Weissenberg -- all three CDs EMI,  are amazing listening.

My personal favourite Bach solo piano piece is Partita 4 -- Gould is outstanding in this, and there's a good version of the sarabande by Rachmaninoff. And Weissenberg is very good too. But Gould is best.

Generally for the partitas, Weissenberg is tops. Except for one thing. There's a record by Tureck on Doremi -- made when she was a youngster -- which is so incredibly perfect and exciting that it even beats Alexis.

For the Goldbergs Weissenberg comes top for me -- but Tureck's GPOTTC record is a good antidote. And so is Gould's live Salzburg disc (Gould's studio performances although iconic, are not as good as the live one) My real problem with Gould is that he doesn't take the repeats, so you lose the grandeur.

I don't believe one set of WTC will do: pianists are good in one P and F -- less good in another.  Richter and Feinberg have given me pleasure. Fischer and Tureck and Gould have not.

For me Art of Fugue doesn't work well on piano -- nevertheless some of the piano fugues on Gould's disc are so communicative, so poetic that you gotta have it. Sokolov is exciting, colourful, virtuosic, genius; and I like Aimard's straightforward approach to counteract Sokolov's hypnotism. But me -- I think it's best on the organ or performed by a little band.

You need Gould for the Inventions -- not always but often he is superb.

And I must mention Fiorentino -- I'm having a bit of a love affair with this guy right now so my comments may not be fair -- but his two Bach discs on APR and the Bach from his Live in Germany CDs are great!

And then there are the transcriptions -- don't get me going. Michelangeli for the Bach/Busoni Chaconne. Feinberg's two versions of Allein Gott In Der Hoh Sei Ehr are a real high point for me (esp the second) -- both on a fantastic Russian Piano school CD . Demidenko's two Bach/Busoni discs are good -- , Plowright with Bach/Rummel on Hyperion is a disc to treasure as are Bolet and Pletnev on their Carnegie Hall discs.

Talking of Pletnev, someone has put a fantastic video of him playing 6th partita on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuEGyRa3fMA. I want more -- anyone know about it? It says it was taken from an Amsterdam 2004 concert -- was it the same one as the notorious Chopin Preludes concert?

There are some highly rated pianists who seem to me bland and mediocre compared to the ones I've mentioned -- Perahia, Schiff (I've heard the Godbergs on ECM (they're OK -- just)  and the French Suites (don't like))  Hewett (I've heard and quite like the Partitas -- but IMO they're not special like Gould and Weissenberg and Tureck. I didn't much enjoy her WTC. I've heard her live in Bach and others many times and I've always wondered what the fuss is about.)

Finally, for the concertos -- I like Gould EXCEPT the one with Bernstein. And I like Perahia (amazingly -- what I said above applies to his Goldbergs and his Partitas, I haven't heard the suites )

Writing this has made me realise that historical Bach doesn't figure much -- I have some recordings by Schnabel but I'll have to listen to them again. They certainly haven't made much of an impact. I like Landowska's WTC -- but it's not piano. And I've already mentioned Rachmaninov.

Any other piano Bach from the age of 78s?

Writing this has also made me see I need to revisit Richter's Bach -- there's a lot more of it besides WTC and I don't really know it well.


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: rubio on April 07, 2009, 01:07:16 AM
Which of these performers are good at bringing out the dance quality and singing tone of these pieces, Mandryka? Or are you looking for others qualities in Bach playing?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on April 07, 2009, 03:31:29 AM
Which of these performers are good at bringing out the dance quality and singing tone of these pieces, Mandryka? Or are you looking for others qualities in Bach playing?

Good questions.

In the partitas you may want a bit of dancing: they were never intended for the ballroom but they do have names of dances for sure. Tureck dances in that Partita recording.


I didn't say anything positive about the suites -- I must say I have never found a recording of either the English or French suites which has really sent my adrenaline going. Recommendations much appreciated -- you can get a feel from my post for  the style I like.


Is it a good thing to dance your way through Art of Fugue. WTC? Or the Goldbergs? 

As far as singing tone goes -- I'm not sure I value that too much. Let me put that differently -- I am sure I don't value that too much. Sometimes it's nice -- Gould sings the aria to the goldbergs for example and that's kind of sweet. And Fiorentino can sing. But I like a Bach piano style which emphasises the complexity of the counterpoint, I guess.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: orbital on April 07, 2009, 04:12:36 AM
I assume we're talking J.S. and not C.P.E.

You've gotta hear Alexis Weissenberg -- all three CDs EMI,  are amazing listening.

My personal favourite Bach solo piano piece is Partita 4 -- Gould is outstanding in this, and there's a good version of the sarabande by Rachmaninoff. And Weissenberg is very good too. But Gould is best.

Generally for the partitas, Weissenberg is tops. Except for one thing. There's a record by Tureck on Doremi -- made when she was a youngster -- which is so incredibly perfect and exciting that it even beats Alexis.

For the Goldbergs Weissenberg comes top for me -- but Tureck's GPOTTC record is a good antidote. And so is Gould's live Salzburg disc (Gould's studio performances although iconic, are not as good as the live one) My real problem with Gould is that he doesn't take the repeats, so you lose the grandeur.

I don't believe one set of WTC will do: pianists are good in one P and F -- less good in another.  Richter and Feinberg have given me pleasure. Fischer and Tureck and Gould have not.

For me Art of Fugue doesn't work well on piano -- nevertheless some of the piano fugues on Gould's disc are so communicative, so poetic that you gotta have it. Sokolov is exciting, colourful, virtuosic, genius; and I like Aimard's straightforward approach to counteract Sokolov's hypnotism. But me -- I think it's best on the organ or performed by a little band.

You need Gould for the Inventions -- not always but often he is superb.

And I must mention Fiorentino -- I'm having a bit of a love affair with this guy right now so my comments may not be fair -- but his two Bach discs on APR and the Bach from his Live in Germany CDs are great!

And then there are the transcriptions -- don't get me going. Michelangeli for the Bach/Busoni Chaconne. Feinberg's two versions of Allein Gott In Der Hoh Sei Ehr are a real high point for me (esp the second) -- both on a fantastic Russian Piano school CD . Demidenko's two Bach/Busoni discs are good -- , Plowright with Bach/Rummel on Hyperion is a disc to treasure as are Bolet and Pletnev on their Carnegie Hall discs.

Talking of Pletnev, someone has put a fantastic video of him playing 6th partita on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuEGyRa3fMA. I want more -- anyone know about it? It says it was taken from an Amsterdam 2004 concert -- was it the same one as the notorious Chopin Preludes concert?

There are some highly rated pianists who seem to me bland and mediocre compared to the ones I've mentioned -- Perahia, Schiff (I've heard the Godbergs on ECM (they're OK -- just)  and the French Suites (don't like))  Hewett (I've heard and quite like the Partitas -- but IMO they're not special like Gould and Weissenberg and Tureck. I didn't much enjoy her WTC. I've heard her live in Bach and others many times and I've always wondered what the fuss is about.)

Finally, for the concertos -- I like Gould EXCEPT the one with Bernstein. And I like Perahia (amazingly -- what I said above applies to his Goldbergs and his Partitas, I haven't heard the suites )

Writing this has made me realise that historical Bach doesn't figure much -- I have some recordings by Schnabel but I'll have to listen to them again. They certainly haven't made much of an impact. I like Landowska's WTC -- but it's not piano. And I've already mentioned Rachmaninov.

Any other piano Bach from the age of 78s?

Writing this has also made me see I need to revisit Richter's Bach -- there's a lot more of it besides WTC and I don't really know it well.



Our tastes in Bach keyboard interpretations are very similar Mandryka. Weissenberg EMI is close to my top desert island piano CD. I can't believe he did not do a full suites set  >:(

You forgot the magnificent French Overture. It may be my favorite Bach keyboard work overall (if we don't count WTC as one piece). Weissenberg again is superb there. And when we talk about the FO, we can not not mention its cousin the Italian Concerto. Solomon is whom I listen to the most. Weissenberg's delirious third movement is of course amazing and his second movement is a testament to the fact that he could withhold himself if he chose to.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: orbital on April 07, 2009, 04:15:23 AM


Talking of Pletnev, someone has put a fantastic video of him playing 6th partita on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuEGyRa3fMA. I want more -- anyone know about it? It says it was taken from an Amsterdam 2004 concert -- was it the same one as the notorious Chopin Preludes concert?


I may have that. It may not be the Amsterdam recital, it might not even be the 6th partita  ;D, but I know I have a live Pletnev Bach partita somewhere. I will let you know soon.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: dirkronk on April 07, 2009, 06:22:23 AM
Generally for the partitas, Weissenberg is tops. Except for one thing. There's a record by Tureck on Doremi -- made when she was a youngster -- which is so incredibly perfect and exciting that it even beats Alexis.

Didn't see the Doremi listed on Amazon. I'll check elsewhere. I did find a VAI with partitas 1,2 & 6, though this was recorded later than what I would term "youngster." Do you have a date and/or venue for the Doremi, Mandryka?

Though I have some Tureck, I haven't found myself going ga-ga for her Bach. Not yet, anyway. Maybe the partita you speak of will be my breakthrough with Bach by this pianist. However, I do have a VAI entitled "The Young Firebrand" which includes some very impressive performances of Mendelssohn, Scarlatti, Brahms et al...and not a bit of Bach in the mix!

I'm going to have to investigate Weissenberg's Bach. I know that I have at least one LP somewhere in a box or on a shelf, but it will take a bit of searching to find it, and I have nothing on CD. Most of my Bach listening recently has been of the WTC, and for me Richter and Feinberg rule there. After a couple of decades of trying to convince myself that Gould was really it, I decided "Nah"--and gave my copy of the complete WTC to a friend who's a certified Gould fan. I DO have excerpts along with assorted other Bach works in a commemorative Gould LP box set, and that's enough for me. Other recordings from early in my discovery of Bach on piano--all on vinyl--were by Kempff, Argerich and a very humble-looking Educo LP of Lili Kraus doing shorter Bach pieces in the most heart-meltingly beautiful manner. I return to these all when the Bach bug bites.

Dirk
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on April 07, 2009, 06:36:29 AM
Can someone confirm if the Italian Concerto featured in this CD (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=55110) was recorded during the same time (same session, possibly) as this video? Thanks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/Lb4A5D6u_KY
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on April 07, 2009, 07:44:59 AM
Didn't see the Doremi listed on Amazon. I'll check elsewhere. I did find a VAI with partitas 1,2 & 6, though this was recorded later than what I would term "youngster." Do you have a date and/or venue for the Doremi, Mandryka?

Though I have some Tureck, I haven't found myself going ga-ga for her Bach. Not yet, anyway. Maybe the partita you speak of will be my breakthrough with Bach by this pianist. However, I do have a VAI entitled "The Young Firebrand" which includes some very impressive performances of Mendelssohn, Scarlatti, Brahms et al...and not a bit of Bach in the mix!

I'm going to have to investigate Weissenberg's Bach. I know that I have at least one LP somewhere in a box or on a shelf, but it will take a bit of searching to find it, and I have nothing on CD. Most of my Bach listening recently has been of the WTC, and for me Richter and Feinberg rule there. After a couple of decades of trying to convince myself that Gould was really it, I decided "Nah"--and gave my copy of the complete WTC to a friend who's a certified Gould fan. I DO have excerpts along with assorted other Bach works in a commemorative Gould LP box set, and that's enough for me. Other recordings from early in my discovery of Bach on piano--all on vinyl--were by Kempff, Argerich and a very humble-looking Educo LP of Lili Kraus doing shorter Bach pieces in the most heart-meltingly beautiful manner. I return to these all when the Bach bug bites.

Dirk


I would like to hear the Kraus -- I like her Mozart and her one Haydn sonata a lot.

Here's the Tureck:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=118850

I think Gould is overrated in Bach -- though he is clearly important in the reception history of pieces like the Goldbergs. But there are a handful of performances of his which I think are really special -- like the final fugue from Art of Fugue, and some of the Inventions.

Weissenberg is great I think -- though he is a real virtuoso, he is very colourful and emotional in Bach at the same time as being technically brilliant. Someone's uploaded his Golbergs on Rapidshare Library -- so if you are a member you can hear them for free!

Writing this has made me realise that historical Bach doesn't figure much -- I have some recordings by Schnabel but I'll have to listen to them again. They certainly haven't made much of an impact.


I'm embarrassed to have written that. I dusted down the Schnabel Bach CD and it's bloody marvelous -- outstanding Italian Concerto and a beautiful Toccata BWV 912
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on April 07, 2009, 07:55:27 AM

For the Goldbergs Weissenberg comes top for me --

I acquired this recording a few years ago even though most of the reviews I had read were not complimentary.  I was very much taken with the interpretation, although a few aspects were problematic such as his speeding up in the second sections and an overall lack of vertical lift.  However, the excitement he generates, his sharply defined contours, superb voice interaction and incisive emotional content easily wins the day.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: dirkronk on April 07, 2009, 10:28:48 AM
I dusted down the Schnabel Bach CD and it's bloody marvelous -- outstanding Italian Concerto and a beautiful Toccata BWV 912

Yes, while Schnabel's most famous for his Beethoven, and is certainly no slouch in those, I've always liked him better in other repertoire--notably Bach and (especially) Schubert.

There are other historical recordings and artists worthy of mention in Bach, of course. Backhaus and even Gieseking come to mind, actually, and among the too-soon-gone, Kapell used to program the partita #4 a good deal, and Rosita Renard's partita #1 from her Carnegie Hall concert makes one wish she'd done much more. Oddly enough, the big name--Edwin Fischer in the WTC--is one I CAN appreciate, if I'm in the right mood...but when I'm not in said mood, the same recording fails to wow me. And I don't seem to have any such reaction to any of his other Bach recordings--just that WTC. Go figure. One online acquaintance suggested it may be due in part to the transfer I have, which is an earlier Naxos edition (apparently this title later went through a reissue); given the age of the recording, I don't expect superb sonics, but even so the dynamics on these CDs are, shall we say, less than optimum.

FWIW,

Dirk
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on April 07, 2009, 12:26:51 PM
Rosalyn Tureck playing Partita 5 (Praeambulum) and Partita 6 (Sarabande).

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=c5efdaabf63a08b7e62ea590dc5e5dbbcad9543e5e4099abc95965eaa7bc68bc
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: orbital on April 12, 2009, 12:10:44 AM

Talking of Pletnev, someone has put a fantastic video of him playing 6th partita on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuEGyRa3fMA. I want more -- anyone know about it? It says it was taken from an Amsterdam 2004 concert -- was it the same one as the notorious Chopin Preludes concert?
I have a recording of Pletnev playing the 6th partita -live recording from La Roque D'Antheron 2003. It is very well played (the birds accompanying the music is a plus, too  0:))
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on April 12, 2009, 07:02:53 AM
I have a recording of Pletnev playing the 6th partita -live recording from La Roque D'Antheron 2003. It is very well played (the birds accompanying the music is a plus, too  0:))

So how did (do)  you (I)  get it?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: orbital on April 12, 2009, 07:47:52 AM
So how did (do)  you (I)  get it?
I don't remember how I got it, but you will get it via mediafire (tomorrow, alas  :-[)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on May 25, 2009, 04:32:34 AM
This is a very happy discovery for me:


Bach with Edna Stern (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=549)

Quote from: WETA 90.9
Great music intelligently put together and terrifically played; the latest Bach recording on the ZigZag Territories label is all but assured a spot among my favorite recordings of this year. If Edna Stern, a Krystian Zimerman and Leon Fleisher student, only played a selection of Preludes and Fugues from the Well Tempered Clavier,  and even if she played them as well as she does on “Nun komm’ der Heiden Heiland”, the disc might have gotten a spin, very favorable notice, and slipped into the recesses of my Bach saturated mind.

But... [cont.] (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=549)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/414vSWc3f1L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001LJL66Q/goodmusicguide-20)

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on May 25, 2009, 04:38:51 AM
Rosalyn Tureck playing Partita 5 (Praeambulum) and Partita 6 (Sarabande).

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=c5efdaabf63a08b7e62ea590dc5e5dbbcad9543e5e4099abc95965eaa7bc68bc


I plan on getting the Tureck's Partita.

I truly enjoyed the WTC by her, both excellent interpretation and execution ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41TVS934J2L._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on May 25, 2009, 04:42:06 AM
Here is an excellent recording by the ASMIF and Gavrilov.  Another reason I do not run out to get the Perahia's version since I doubt he will do better than Gavrilov.  Gavrilov may be a better pianist as well.  I will leave this up to George since he is a much better judge of pianist than I am.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41NXT97VS0L._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on May 25, 2009, 05:07:25 AM
Here is an excellent recording by the ASMIF and Gavrilov.  Another reason I do not run out to get the Perahia's version since I doubt he will do better than Gavrilov.  Gavrilov may be a better pianist as well.  I will leave this up to George since he is a much better judge of pianist than I am.

I think that would be a mistake, for I am only an authority on judging what I like. Even if our tastes are very similar, at some point they are bound to diverge. I haven't found one person who agrees with everything I like, nor do I expect to, for we are all different people with individual tastes. That said, I have respect for both pianists, though I have not heard their Bach. Gavrilov's Bach is already in my wishlist and I haven't heard Perahia's name come up in any Bach discussion.   
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on May 25, 2009, 05:10:36 AM
I haven't heard Perahia's name come up in any Bach discussion.   

You, sir, need to hear more Bach discussions.  $:)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on May 25, 2009, 05:21:09 AM
I think that would be a mistake, for I am only an authority on judging what I like. Even if our tastes are very similar, at some point they are bound to diverge. I haven't found one person who agrees with everything I like, nor do I expect to, for we are all different people with individual tastes. That said, I have respect for both pianists, though I have not heard their Bach. Gavrilov's Bach is already in my wishlist and I haven't heard Perahia's name come up in any Bach discussion.   
 

One problem I have is Perahia records for Sony, which has overpriced its classical CD's for some times.  I am just not inclined to pay extra just to get Perahia.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on May 25, 2009, 05:31:41 AM
One problem I have is Perahia records for Sony, which has overpriced its classical CD's for some times.  I am just not inclined to pay extra just to get Perahia.

Some of his CDs are at budget price, like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Chopin-4-Ballades-Perahia-Frederic/dp/B000002A6J
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on May 25, 2009, 05:35:55 AM
Some of his CDs are at budget price, like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Chopin-4-Ballades-Perahia-Frederic/dp/B000002A6J
 

At least I have half dozen of CD's by Gavrilov, including that Handel's double that included him and Richter.  All his CD's were picked up a while back.  I do not have any recordings by Perahia.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on May 25, 2009, 05:49:17 AM
 One problem I have is Perahia records for Sony, which has overpriced its classical CD's for some times.  I am just not inclined to pay extra just to get Perahia.

Really? I find that even the most cursory of Amazon searches (http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fs%3Fie%3DUTF8%26ref%255F%3Dnb%255Fss%255Fgw%255F0%255F10%26field-keywords%3Dbach%2520perahia%26url%3Dsearch-alias%253Daps%26sprefix%3Dbach%2520perah&tag=nectarandambr-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957) reveals all his Bach CDs to be available between 10 and 18 USD, most of them below $14. (Except 2-CD sets.) At that rate, it's less expensive to get his Bach discs individually than on the (imported??) Bach Box Sony has released.

If you are interested in very musical, richly romantic Bach (no exaggerations or willfullness, though), why don't  you try his Goldberg Variations (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004Z3PV/nectarandambr-20).


Why blurt our your assumptions without a little internet research, first? Just like in CD collection, quantity counts less than quality, when it comes to GMG-Forum contributions. (In which you are, I believe, the record holder with an average 18.5 posts/day.  ;D )

Cheers,

jfl
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on May 25, 2009, 07:08:25 AM

Why blurt our your assumptions without a little internet research, first? Just like in CD collection, quantity counts less than quality, when it comes to GMG-Forum contributions. (In which you are, I believe, the record holder with an average 18.5 posts/day.  ;D )

Cheers,

jfl


Agree, quantity counts less than quality.  That is why I do not have 30 versions of Bach Organ Works or 30 versions of Beethoven Symphonies (I only have 17 and doubt if that number will go over 20).  I also take pride in having a good number of OOP CD's, a clear indication of my ability to discern long-term values.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: DavidRoss on May 25, 2009, 07:31:52 AM
One problem I have is Perahia records for Sony, which has overpriced its classical CD's for some times.  I am just not inclined to pay extra just to get Perahia.
Huh? There are lots of "Sony" budget discs, often superb recordings from the Columbia vaults, and their new issues are priced comparable to other "majors" (and less than many highly regarded specialty labels).

Perahia's Goldbergs on Sony is a solid performance that was very favorably reviewed.  Amazon's price with shipping is $13.98; marketplace sellers offer it from $7.68 new and cheaper used.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on May 25, 2009, 07:35:47 AM
Huh? There are lots of "Sony" budget discs, often superb recordings from the Columbia vaults, and their new issues are priced comparable to other "majors" (and less than many highly regarded specialty labels).

Perahia's Goldbergs on Sony is a solid performance that was very favorably reviewed.  Amazon's price with shipping is $13.98; marketplace sellers offer it from $7.68 new and cheaper used.
 

I have been primarily looking at Perahia's Bach recordings and most of them are relatively recent releases.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bunny on May 25, 2009, 08:45:09 AM
I acquired this recording a few years ago even though most of the reviews I had read were not complimentary.  I was very much taken with the interpretation, although a few aspects were problematic such as his speeding up in the second sections and an overall lack of vertical lift.  However, the excitement he generates, his sharply defined contours, superb voice interaction and incisive emotional content easily wins the day.

I've been a Weissenberg fan since I was a little girl -- the mad, bad, Bulgarian.  If you like his Bach, you should try to get hold of his Scarlatti.

Right now I've been listening a lot to Zhu Xiao-Mei's recording of the WTC - II.  For WTC - I, I still love Till Fellner, and just wish he would record the second book.  For that matter, I wish Zhu would record the first book too!

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rfiZ2PEvL._SS500_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51JLGuRa2DL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on May 25, 2009, 08:50:56 AM
I've been a Weissenberg fan since I was a little girl -- the mad, bad, Bulgarian.  If you like his Bach, you should try to get hold of his Scarlatti.

Right now I've been listening a lot to Zhu Xiao-Mei's recording of the WTC - II.  For WTC - I, I still love Till Fellner, and just wish he would record the second book.  For that matter, I wish Zhu would record the first book too!

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rfiZ2PEvL._SS500_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51JLGuRa2DL._SS500_.jpg)

Although I have plenty of Scarlatti recordings, can't say he does much for me.

Totally agree about Till Fellner and Zhu Xiao-Mei; give me more.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bunny on May 25, 2009, 09:42:57 AM
 ???
Although I have plenty of Scarlatti recordings, can't say he does much for me.

Totally agree about Till Fellner and Zhu Xiao-Mei; give me more.

Who doesn't do much for you?  Scarlatti, or Weissenberg playing Scarlatti?  ???
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on May 25, 2009, 09:47:34 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rfiZ2PEvL._SS500_.jpg)

This is a curious looking CD cover, which looks quite industrial to me.  What is the contraption, is it some AC vent?     ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: FideLeo on May 26, 2009, 10:41:32 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rfiZ2PEvL._SS500_.jpg)

This is a curious looking CD cover, which looks quite industrial to me.  What is the contraption, is it some AC vent?     ;D

Fellner surely doesn't have an "industrial" playing style.  Kind of introvert and fuzzy sounding, if one is used to more aggressive and sumptuous harpsichord sound.   But I do like the fact that he doesn't pretend he was playing a harpsichord. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bunny on May 26, 2009, 11:34:28 AM
Fellner surely doesn't have an "industrial" playing style.  Kind of introvert and fuzzy sounding, if one is used to more aggressive and sumptuous harpsichord sound.   But I do like the fact that he doesn't pretend he was playing a harpsichord. 

Unlike Keith Jarrett who pretends he's playing the piano when playing the harpsichord?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on May 26, 2009, 03:23:43 PM
Unlike Keith Jarrett who pretends he's playing the piano when playing the harpsichord?

That reminds me that it's been a long time since I listened to my discs of Jarrett's Bach and Shostakovich.  Probably should hand them over to my daughter or the local library.  Frankly, Jarrett doesn't have much to offer me, although his French Suites was a pretty good set.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on May 26, 2009, 03:46:05 PM
That reminds me that it's been a long time since I listened to my discs of Jarrett's Bach and Shostakovich.  Probably should hand them over to my daughter or the local library.  Frankly, Jarrett doesn't have much to offer me, although his French Suites was a pretty good set.

Didn't he play his Goldberg Variations on harpsichord to prove a point?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on May 27, 2009, 07:37:35 AM
Didn't he play his Goldberg Variations on harpsichord to prove a point?

What was he trying to prove?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bunny on May 27, 2009, 09:18:09 AM
Didn't he play his Goldberg Variations on harpsichord to prove a point?

What was he trying to prove?

Beats me!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bunny on May 27, 2009, 09:27:18 AM
I know it's ridiculous, but I've just been looking at Koroliov's recordings of the WTC, and keep wishing I could decide whether or not to buy them.  Every so often I think of them and then the pricepoint stops me in my tracks...

Tacet is such an expensive label!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on May 27, 2009, 11:13:27 AM
I know it's ridiculous, but I've just been looking at Koroliov's recordings of the WTC, and keep wishing I could decide whether or not to buy them.  Every so often I think of them and then the pricepoint stops me in my tracks...

Tacet is such an expensive label!

Yes... but that's the very recording about which Ligeti said it'd be the only one he'd take to his desert island!

I believe he was referring to his recording of BWV 1080, not of the 48.

Alas, I am mistaken & you are correct.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on May 27, 2009, 11:26:00 AM
Yes... but that's the very recording about which Ligeti said it'd be the only one he'd take to his desert island!

I believe he was referring to his recording of BWV 1080, not of the 48.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bunny on May 28, 2009, 02:12:08 PM
Yes... but that's the very recording about which Ligeti said it'd be the only one he'd take to his desert island!

Alas, I am mistaken & you are correct.
I believe he was referring to his recording of BWV 1080, not of the 48.

::). Clearly, no help to be found here.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: FideLeo on May 29, 2009, 07:24:24 PM
I believe he was referring to his recording of BWV 1080, not of the 48.

K's interpretation strives a lot for an austere and meditative impression which I personally found overdone even for this supposedly Bach's last work (which it probably isn't).  Aimard's DG recording suits me better if it is to be played on the piano.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bunny on May 30, 2009, 06:20:37 AM
K's interpretation strives a lot for an austere and meditative impression which I personally found overdone even for this supposedly Bach's last work (which it probably isn't).  Aimard's DG recording suits me better if it is to be played on the piano.

Well, now here's another piano WTC to tempt me...


And what about Andras Schiff's WTC?  Those are really cheap at Amazon -- always an incentive to me, as I am a perpetual bargain hunter.

Quick search find that there is not WTC by Aimard availble, only Art of the Fugue.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on May 30, 2009, 06:23:26 AM
Well, now here's another piano WTC to tempt me...


And what about Andras Schiff's WTC?  Those are really cheap at Amazon -- always an incentive to me, as I am a perpetual bargain hunter.




Are you referring to the mega-set, which is only available in Amazon Germany?  That set also includes Schiff's WTC. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bunny on May 30, 2009, 08:00:21 AM
Are you referring to the mega-set, which is only available in Amazon Germany?  That set also includes Schiff's WTC. 

No, I wasn't referring to the Mega Set, but that's also available at Amazon now for the budget price of $103 for all 12 cds. Ugh  :P

Btw, I don't know which box you get for that money, either -- the arty box or the Eloquence budget box.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51E7RGYNHDL._SS500_.jpg) (http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/7b/52/d6d8e03ae7a03f408b6dc110.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on May 30, 2009, 08:06:45 AM
No, I wasn't referring to the Mega Set, but that's also available at Amazon now for the budget price of $103 for all 12 cds. Ugh  :P

Btw, I don't know which box you get for that money, either -- the arty box or the Eloquence budget box.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51E7RGYNHDL._SS500_.jpg)  (http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/7b/52/d6d8e03ae7a03f408b6dc110.L.jpg)

I have had most of Schiff's individual Bach's recordings for a while but have somehow conveniently left out the WTC when they were cheaper and more available.   >:(

Yeah, $100+ for a budget set.  That is some budget set.  While Amazon Germany had some great price for the set but the shipping cost from Germany will kill you.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on May 30, 2009, 08:12:25 AM
No, I wasn't referring to the Mega Set, but that's also available at Amazon now for the budget price of $103 for all 12 cds. Ugh  :P

Btw, I don't know which box you get for that money, either -- the arty box or the Eloquence budget box.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51E7RGYNHDL._SS500_.jpg)  (http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/7b/52/d6d8e03ae7a03f408b6dc110.L.jpg)

The arty box.  That's a very good price for the box.  Unfortunately, Schiff's Goldberg Variations isn't nearly as rewarding as his ECM version. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bunny on May 30, 2009, 08:15:50 AM
The arty box.  That's a very good price for the box.  Unfortunately, Schiff's Goldberg Variations isn't nearly as rewarding as his ECM version.  

I think that would depend on the vendor, and there's no way to predict just which one they are selling.  

Btw, how are the rest of the recordings in the box?  Have they been bettered as well?  And Schiff's ECM Goldbergs have gotten somewhat mixed reviews from various critics who can't seem to decide whether they like the live performance as much as the older studio recording.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on May 30, 2009, 08:21:54 AM
I think that would depend on the vendor, and there's no way to predict just which one they are selling.  

Btw, how are the rest of the recordings in the box?  Have they been bettered as well?  And Schiff's ECM Goldbergs have gotten somewhat mixed reviews from various critics who can't seem to decide whether they like the live performance as much as the older studio recording.


I will pass on this box set.  As I already have 10 versions of the WTC and it is no big miss for not having the version by Schiff ...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on May 30, 2009, 08:43:25 AM
Btw, how are the rest of the recordings in the box?  Have they been bettered as well?  And Schiff's ECM Goldbergs have gotten somewhat mixed reviews from various critics who can't seem to decide whether they like the live performance as much as the older studio recording.


Schiff's WTC is his best Bach; I could easily live without the remainder of the box.

Some reviewers still prefer the Decca; the more perceptive ones recognize the superiority of the ECM.  Honestly, I was hesitant about buying the ECM when it first hit the streets, but I was bowled over by the performance - a level of exuberance second to none.  You don't want to miss this one.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bunny on May 30, 2009, 11:19:52 AM
Schiff's WTC is his best Bach; I could easily live without the remainder of the box.

Some reviewers still prefer the Decca; the more perceptive ones recognize the superiority of the ECM.  Honestly, I was hesitant about buying the ECM when it first hit the streets, but I was bowled over by the performance - a level of exuberance second to none.  You don't want to miss this one.

That is good to know.  I may just get it very soon.

I have had most of Schiff's individual Bach's recordings for a while but have somehow conveniently left out the WTC when they were cheaper and more available.   >:(

Yeah, $100+ for a budget set.  That is some budget set.  While Amazon Germany had some great price for the set but the shipping cost from Germany will kill you.

Coop, have you checked the listings at Amazon lately?  There are a ton of both books (I & II) in the $15 - $20 range.  That's about as inexpensive as you will find the WTC at any time. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on May 30, 2009, 11:39:12 AM
That is good to know.  I may just get it very soon.

Coop, have you checked the listings at Amazon lately?  There are a ton of both books (I & II) in the $15 - $20 range.  That's about as inexpensive as you will find the WTC at any time. 

I will only get some very targeted WTC sets since I already have close to 10 versions ...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on May 30, 2009, 12:09:30 PM
I will only get some very targeted WTC sets since I already have close to 10 versions ...

Which ones are you targeting?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on May 30, 2009, 03:32:33 PM
Which ones are you targeting?
 

The latest WTC by Angela Hewitt and the set by Tatiana Nikolayeva.  I also have 1 or 2 WTC sets on harpsichord I would like to have ...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on June 07, 2009, 01:03:38 PM
 

The latest WTC by Angela Hewitt and the set by Tatiana Nikolayeva. 

A friend sent me the recent Hewitt set, but I haven't listened yet.  I have been listening to the complete WTC from Angelica Morales on the Lanui label, courtesy of my subscription to the Naxos Music Library.  Very fine playing; Morales was married to Emil von Sauer.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on June 10, 2009, 05:11:31 PM
I'd be interested to hear Alfred Brendel.  He hasn't recorded much Bach, but I do have one disc of Bach pieces from him that I found rewarding to listen to.


I have this wonderful Bach CD by Brendel.  But I believe it has been OOP ...

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Scarpia on June 10, 2009, 07:42:41 PM
I have this one.

(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Brendel-K01-2%5BPhilips%5D.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: FideLeo on June 10, 2009, 07:47:11 PM
I have this one.

(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Brendel-K01-2%5BPhilips%5D.jpg)


Or this one

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511-F2QR3QL._SS500_.jpg)

which is not OOP.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on June 24, 2009, 04:45:14 AM
This is a very happy discovery for me:


Bach with Edna Stern (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=549)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/414vSWc3f1L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001LJL66Q/goodmusicguide-20)


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Dr. Dread on June 24, 2009, 04:45:57 AM


How many reviews will you have in the next Fanfare?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on June 24, 2009, 03:29:02 PM
Or this one

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511-F2QR3QL._SS500_.jpg)

which is not OOP.

I need to check this CD out ...   ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on December 02, 2009, 04:41:32 PM
Oh my, Perahia's Goldberg Variations is just AMAZING.

After more listens I will be able to comment more, but on first hearing I am really blown away.

And based on hearing a sample of Perahia's first English Suites CD it is mightly apparent I now have an exciting adventure up the road, to explore new Bach recordings...I now have Perahia's Bach Keyboard concerti on order....YAY!


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: dirkronk on December 03, 2009, 07:02:20 AM
OK, time to revisit this thread to ask a question: has anyone here heard Feltsman in his traversal of the 6 Partitas? It's my understanding that they were recorded in Moscow a while back, but the only review on Amazon...while giving it five stars (!)...doesn't do a very descriptive job of characterizing the playing.

I'm curious because I've seen this set at a local used CD venue (one without a player to preview discs), but have hesitated because my past efforts to appreciate Feltsman's Bach left me a bit lukewarm. This was his Book 1 of the WTC, which was VERY highly praised by a former poster on this board. I acquired it, listened a few times, found myself enjoying some of the pieces quite a bit, but overall ranking it well behind Richter, Feinberg et al. Still, if his partitas are good...

And thus my question. So...anyone heard these? All comments gratefully received.

Dirk
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on July 15, 2010, 04:18:04 AM
(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/034571144214.png)

Due to be released in September. The quasi-complete recordings of Angela Hewitt on Hyperion. (WTC 2008.)

Hyperion (http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/al.asp?al=CDS44421/35)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on July 15, 2010, 05:53:39 PM
(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/034571144214.png)

Due to be released in September. The quasi-complete recordings of Angela Hewitt on Hyperion. (WTC 2008.)

Hyperion (http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/al.asp?al=CDS44421/35)

Interesting set.  But I already have all the CD's except the WTC 2008.  I have the earlier WTC sets ...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on February 02, 2011, 03:09:02 PM


Notions of Bach, Berio, and Galuppi. An Interview with Andrea Bacchetti
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2721 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2721)
(with audio samples)
(http://www.weta.org/fmblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Andrea-Bacchetti_1-Kopie.png)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 19, 2011, 01:42:46 PM
What do you think of his WTC?
Seems like Edwin Fischer is still one of the best straightforward options.

Having owned Koroliov´s AoF as well as his contribution to the Haenssler Bach edition (Goldbergs, Inventions and Synphonies, Clavierübungg II, Chromatic phantasy and fugue and Phantasy c-minor) I have not been urged to investigate his Bach-recordings further, and I do not know his WTC. I own the Fischer, Gieseking and 2 x Sviatoslav Richter, and they meet my need for the WTC on piano.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on August 19, 2011, 05:12:08 PM
Having owned Koroliov´s AoF as well as his contribution to the Haenssler Bach edition (Goldbergs, Inventions and Synphonies, Clavierübungg II, Chromatic phantasy and fugue and Phantasy c-minor) I have not been urged to investigate his Bach-recordings further, and I do not know his WTC.

I think pretty well of Koroliov's Bach, so I expected his WTC to be a fine one but not among the elite.  As it happens, I found his WTC  fantastic and a big improvement on his other Bach discs.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 19, 2011, 10:13:18 PM
Very insightful, thanks.
What do you think of his WTC?
Seems like Edwin Fischer is still one of the best straightforward options.

I don't really know what you mean by straightforward

Be careful with Fischer's WTC just because the EMI transfer is very poor -- his piano tone, balance of trebble and bass and midange -- is pretty important for what he's about and it really isn't captured well on EMI even in their latest remasterings. I oly recenly got hold of the Pearl transfer myself and this helped me a lot to appreciate what he's up to.

That said there is tremendous vitality to his WTC. Spontaneity. Abandon. If that's important to you then you'll  enjoy hearing  this set.

Premont mentions Richter and there are similar transfer issues on his RCA WTC -- the original transfer is pretty poor with lots of reverbaration so that he sometimes sounds as though he's playing in a tiled room. The latest transfers are a considerable improvement.

Consider Angella Hewitt on piano too. I rate some of her Preludes and Fugues very highly indeed, and I'm becoming more and more  sympathetic to her overall aesthetic approach.

I think pretty well of Koroliov's Bach, so I expected his WTC to be a fine one but not among the elite.  As it happens, I found his WTC  fantastic and a big improvement on his other Bach discs.

I share your enthusiasm for the WTC . I think the AoF was even more impressive actually. I have some other recordings -- the transcriptions (Which I don't much like), the French suites (which I've never played), the Inventions (which I quite liked). I haven't heard the Goldbergs -- it's not a favourite piece of music of mine on keyboard  except in the Busoni transcription for priano. I like it more on guitar.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Que on August 19, 2011, 11:09:38 PM
Would that be Ivo Janssen? And is the disc below what you're referencing? I've grown mighty fond of this pianist and to read that his Bach is exceptional is good news. Thanks.


Ivo Janssen is much appreciated here in the Netherlands. His complete Bach has just been issued (click picture). Can't offer any opinion myself.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/8713897902730.jpg) (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-S%E4mtliche-Werke-f%FCr-Klavier/hnum/4933615)
                     
Q
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 20, 2011, 08:05:41 PM
Ivo Janssen is much appreciated here in the Netherlands. His complete Bach has just been issued (click picture). Can't offer any opinion myself.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/8713897902730.jpg) (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-S%E4mtliche-Werke-f%FCr-Klavier/hnum/4933615)
                     
Q

Thanks for the tip, Q.

Nice to hear he's got such a fan base at home. I've seen his name come up in a couple of the US review mags as well, reviewed favorably. Here's hoping the rest of the world will catch on at some point.


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Clever Hans on August 22, 2011, 07:10:10 AM
I don't really know what you mean by straightforward

Be careful with Fischer's WTC just because the EMI transfer is very poor -- his piano tone, balance of trebble and bass and midange -- is pretty important for what he's about and it really isn't captured well on EMI even in their latest remasterings. I oly recenly got hold of the Pearl transfer myself and this helped me a lot to appreciate what he's up to.

That said there is tremendous vitality to his WTC. Spontaneity. Abandon. If that's important to you then you'll  enjoy hearing  this set.

Premont mentions Richter and there are similar transfer issues on his RCA WTC -- the original transfer is pretty poor with lots of reverbaration so that he sometimes sounds as though he's playing in a tiled room. The latest transfers are a considerable improvement.

I meant that Edwin Fischer plays the WTC pretty straight, without too much romanticizing but with exuberance and tasteful feeling.
How does one acquire the pearl transfers without spending a fortune? When will that company make their work available to purchase digitally online? So silly.

I don't think anything can help the sound of the piano Richter plays and I consider his interpretation quite romantic, although straightforward in its own virtuosic way. I suppose Innsbruck is better because it is even more straightforward and the piano sound is more natural.

Angela Hewitt is just not for me. Dainty and bird-like, and I find her extreme pretentiousness does come through in her playing. I really can't stand overdone/delicate and sentimental pianists like her, Uchida, and Schiff most of the time. They are like verbose people. Even the fussy Brendel is a paragon of simplicity in comparison. I prefer direct or subtle or spontaneously lyrical pianists.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 22, 2011, 08:05:07 AM
I prefer direct or subtle or spontaneously lyrical pianists.

  Yudina.

http://www.youtube.com/v/UCrQ3krJZws
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: springrite on August 22, 2011, 08:08:27 AM
  Yudina.

http://www.youtube.com/v/UCrQ3krJZws

Heart-on-sleeve Bach. Nothing like it. Love it or hate it. I love it when I am in the right mood.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 22, 2011, 08:13:28 AM
I meant that Edwin Fischer plays the WTC pretty straight, without too much romanticizing but with exuberance and tasteful feeling.

Need to think about the bit in bold
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 22, 2011, 08:19:06 AM
Angela Hewitt is just not for me. Dainty and bird-like, and I find her extreme pretentiousness does come through in her playing. I really can't stand overdone/delicate and sentimental pianists like her, Uchida, and Schiff most of the time. They are like verbose people. Even the fussy Brendel is a paragon of simplicity in comparison. I prefer direct or subtle or spontaneously lyrical pianists.

There are of course many ways to slice the interpretive pie but using pejoratives in this manner to describe these three pianists is grossly misplaced.

Pianists of this ilk have other ideas in mind other than conforming to some narrow definition of interpretation. If that makes them incomprehensible to you then so be it.

What these pianists seem to (mistakenly) "lack" is an outwardly recognizable "angle" on the music. So mistake number one is to assume they have nothing to say interpretively.

In reality they all posses a sort of ace in the hole which doesn't come across as easily to many folks but leaves just as much of a fingerprint on the music as an extrovert: it's called - hold yer breath - introversion, which you mistakenly take for, well, your pejoratives above.

Listening to pianists like this - and there are others of this ilk I also admire - is like a good tonic (or perhaps more aptly, like a full body massage ;D) where solitude is the name of the game. Their language touches that inner rest place in my mind/soul (whatever) and my appreciation for their efforts only grows as they more and more eschew pyrotechnics in favor of intuition and...imagination.

As I said, just another way to slice the interpretive pie. But certainly valid.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Que on August 22, 2011, 08:20:49 AM
I meant that Edwin Fischer plays the WTC pretty straight, without too much romanticizing but with exuberance and tasteful feeling.

Need to think about the bit in bold

Interesting! :) I do think Edwin Fisher's approach is Romantic, very much so, even.
But it is Romanticism in the (dare I say!) authentic, subtle way, not to be confused with the late 20th perception of what "Romantic" is supposed to be: thick, lush, slow and in-your-face emotions... >:D

I absolutely love those performances BTW. They have an authenticity of their own.

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Clever Hans on August 22, 2011, 08:58:05 AM
Interesting! :) I do think Edwin Fisher's approach is Romantic, very much so, even.
But it is Romanticism in the (dare I say!) authentic, subtle way, not to be confused with the late 20th perception of what "Romantic" is supposed to be: thick, lush, slow and in-your-face emotions... >:D

I absolutely love those performances BTW. They have an authenticity of their own.

Q

Point taken and I agree. To rephrase, I think Fischer plays the WTC as if it were a lyrical piano work. Instead of trying to fit a harpsichord work to the mold of the piano, with scrupulous nods to authenticity, resulting in less grace or coherence. The lack of a HIP tradition may have allowed more natural piano playing. It's anachronistic to play on an equal-tempered piano to begin with, so why the contrivance? (Not to say that someone shouldn't play with taste.)

It's like when musicians try to make a steinway or carefully picked bosendorfer sound like a fortepiano and never let the reins go, when a fortepiano player would.

Although I haven't read Fischer's writings on Bach playing so I'm just musing and probably overlooking something.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 22, 2011, 09:25:10 AM
Interesting! :) I do think Edwin Fisher's approach is Romantic, very much so, even.
But it is Romanticism in the (dare I say!) authentic, subtle way, not to be confused with the late 20th perception of what "Romantic" is supposed to be: thick, lush, slow and in-your-face emotions... >:D

I absolutely love those performances BTW. They have an authenticity of their own.

Q

Maybe
Here's Edwin Fischer in BWV 853
http://www.youtube.com/v/d5-uO8WgGIE

I like it very much, but don't you think it's emotionally in your face? The way he uses the pianos colours.  The tear drop tone. The way he lingers, especially at the start of the prelude. By the way I don't think that necessarily devalues the music.

Contrast Richter, which I like just as much, maybe more. Richter seems emotionally cooler to me.

http://www.youtube.com/v/16IglpnK4EM
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on August 22, 2011, 12:46:04 PM
Maybe
Here's Edwin Fischer in BWV 853
http://www.youtube.com/v/d5-uO8WgGIE

I like it very much, but don't you think it's emotionally in your face? The way he uses the pianos colours.  The tear drop tone. The way he lingers, especially at the start of the prelude. By the way I don't think that necessarily devalues the music.

Contrast Richter, which I like just as much, maybe more. Richter seems emotionally cooler to me.

http://www.youtube.com/v/16IglpnK4EM

I don't hear Richter as being "emotionally cooler", nor do I hear the Fisher lingering at the start of the prelude.  Regardless, both interpretations are superb.  Concerning Richter, he always amazes me how he can make such slow tempos work wonderfully as he does with Schubert.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on August 22, 2011, 02:22:32 PM
There are of course many ways to slice the interpretive pie but using pejoratives in this manner to describe these three pianists is grossly misplaced.

Nah, I don't think Clever Hans used inappropriate adjectives to describe Bach from Schiff or Hewitt.  I've used words like "dainty" and "precious" when describing some of their Bach performances (certainly not all).  Just wanted to add that there's no dainty or precious stuff from Schiff in his outstanding ECM Goldbergs, although his Decca version is full of precious utterances.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Clever Hans on August 22, 2011, 04:12:37 PM
There are of course many ways to slice the interpretive pie but using pejoratives in this manner to describe these three pianists is grossly misplaced.

Pianists of this ilk have other ideas in mind other than conforming to some narrow definition of interpretation. If that makes them incomprehensible to you then so be it.

What these pianists seem to (mistakenly) "lack" is an outwardly recognizable "angle" on the music. So mistake number one is to assume they have nothing to say interpretively.

In reality they all posses a sort of ace in the hole which doesn't come across as easily to many folks but leaves just as much of a fingerprint on the music as an extrovert: it's called - hold yer breath - introversion, which you mistakenly take for, well, your pejoratives above.

...
As I said, just another way to slice the interpretive pie. But certainly valid.

I understand you want to defend these players, but leave out the condescension and assumptions. You are free to like them and their interpretations are valid, whatever that means. Nor do I think they have nothing to say. I just don't like what they say. 

I think what these pianists lack is taste. The last word I would use to describe Uchida's Mozart for example is introverted (we are talking about concert pianists here). It is unsubtle, effete and effusive. Likewise have you ever seen an interview with Hewitt or read anything she's written? She is very pretentious with airs of cultivation and implied interpretive supremacy. So she is entirely deserving of being mocked even. Like all pianists her personality comes out--in her pedantic interpretations. Just compare her with Marcelle Meyer, for instance. A huge gap in taste.

Schiff is annoying but not nearly as bad as these two. Just precious and often infatuated with details over flow (e.g. his Beethoven and Bach) as a solo artist, but not usually as a chamber musician. He is clearly highly intelligent and educated (e.g. his Beethoven lectures).

I'm not the first person in this forum or elsewhere to make these observations.

If you've ever met an actual pianist or professional teacher you would know they hold very strong points of view about style and after a few drinks will tear into artists they dislike as if they were committing musical travesties. Which perhaps they are.

Not all artists are equal, sorry, and I won't pretend like I can't hear the difference--not that I always can.
 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: kishnevi on August 22, 2011, 05:58:48 PM

I think what these pianists lack is taste. The last word I would use to describe Uchida's Mozart for example is introverted (we are talking about concert pianists here). It is unsubtle, effete and effusive. Likewise have you ever seen an interview with Hewitt or read anything she's written? She is very pretentious with airs of cultivation and implied interpretive supremacy. So she is entirely deserving of being mocked even. Like all pianists her personality comes out--in her pedantic interpretations. Just compare her with Marcelle Meyer, for instance. A huge gap in taste.


Chacun a son gout.  One man's medicine is another man's poison.  De gustibus no disputandum. Etc.

Which is a preface to saying this--that I've read a bit of Hewitt's liner notes, and don't find anything pretentious in what she writes (and find sometimes a bit of intended self mockery too) or plays.  If she's pedantic it's only in trying to keep the romanticism to a minimum in her Bach playing.  (In fact, she seems less successful in her Romantics, like Schumann.)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 22, 2011, 07:00:57 PM
I understand you want to defend these players, but leave out the condescension and assumptions. You are free to like them and their interpretations are valid, whatever that means. Nor do I think they have nothing to say. I just don't like what they say. 

I think what these pianists lack is taste. The last word I would use to describe Uchida's Mozart for example is introverted (we are talking about concert pianists here). It is unsubtle, effete and effusive. Likewise have you ever seen an interview with Hewitt or read anything she's written? She is very pretentious with airs of cultivation and implied interpretive supremacy. So she is entirely deserving of being mocked even. Like all pianists her personality comes out--in her pedantic interpretations. Just compare her with Marcelle Meyer, for instance. A huge gap in taste.

Schiff is annoying but not nearly as bad as these two. Just precious and often infatuated with details over flow (e.g. his Beethoven and Bach) as a solo artist, but not usually as a chamber musician. He is clearly highly intelligent and educated (e.g. his Beethoven lectures).

I'm not the first person in this forum or elsewhere to make these observations.

If you've ever met an actual pianist or professional teacher you would know they hold very strong points of view about style and after a few drinks will tear into artists they dislike as if they were committing musical travesties. Which perhaps they are.

Not all artists are equal, sorry, and I won't pretend like I can't hear the difference--not that I always can.

You want me to do what? Leave out the condescension? Dude, I'm defending AGAINST the condescension spewing from you....



Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 22, 2011, 07:17:44 PM
Nah, I don't think Clever Hans used inappropriate adjectives to describe Bach from Schiff or Hewitt. I've used words like "dainty" and "precious" when describing some of their Bach performances (certainly not all).  Just wanted to add that there's no dainty or precious stuff from Schiff in his outstanding ECM Goldbergs, although his Decca version is full of precious utterances.

I'm not sure I understand the point of this post so's I'll just take my leave...


 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Clever Hans on August 22, 2011, 07:33:28 PM
Chacun a son gout.  One man's medicine is another man's poison.  De gustibus no disputandum. Etc.

Which is a preface to saying this--that I've read a bit of Hewitt's liner notes, and don't find anything pretentious in what she writes (and find sometimes a bit of intended self mockery too) or plays.  If she's pedantic it's only in trying to keep the romanticism to a minimum in her Bach playing.  (In fact, she seems less successful in her Romantics, like Schumann.)

Well obviously. That's what taste is all about.

I disagree about her keeping romanticism to a minimum, even though she plays in a proper way. Because she uses the piano as a means of overelegant italicized expression and beautiful sound that she finds lacking in the harpsichord.
Bach should not sound "beautiful." I though Harnoncourt and Leonhardt settled that once and for all.
This is tied to things she says that are intellectually very questionable and perhaps dishonest in justifying her preferences. Such as when she talks about the modern piano being (unlike the harpsichord) closest to the human voice, benefiting fugal voices, etc, no discussion of rhetoric or agogics however. She says that Bach wrote for not only harpsichord but also clavichord and that WTC and other pieces are essentially keyboard works, not necessarily written with any specific instruments in mind. Regardless, Bach did not have in mind an equal-tempered instrument, let alone a Fazioli luxury monstrosity. Her conclusion, which she garnishes with historical knowledge, is complete BS. You can go ahead a play Bach on a piano. No one will stop you. I don't see a fundamental problem with that--although many do--but she makes specious and self-serving arguments.


You want me to do what? Leave out the condescension? Dude, I'm defending AGAINST the condescension spewing from you....

I think you can fairly say I was been very critical, or even contentious and insulting to these pianists, even a jerk. But I don't see condescension in anything I said. In fact, I qualified my opinions on their playing, which is "not for me" what I "can't stand" not what I "prefer."

On the other hand when you said "mistake number one" "If that makes them incomprehensible to you" "it's called - hold yer breath"--that's what I consider condescension.

You also made several assumptions about my perspective and mischaracterized it.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 22, 2011, 08:23:10 PM
I think you can fairly say I was been very critical, or even contentious and insulting to these pianists, even a jerk. But I don't see condescension in anything I said. In fact, I qualified my opinions on their playing, which is "not for me" what I "can't stand" not what I "prefer."

On the other hand when you said "mistake number one" "If that makes them incomprehensible to you" "it's called - hold yer breath"--that's what I consider condescension.

You also made several assumptions about my perspective and mischaracterized it.

Allow me to refresh your memory:

Angela Hewitt is just not for me. Dainty and bird-like, and I find her extreme pretentiousness does come through in her playing. I really can't stand overdone/delicate and sentimental pianists like her, Uchida, and Schiff most of the time. They are like verbose people. Even the fussy Brendel is a paragon of simplicity in comparison. I prefer direct or subtle or spontaneously lyrical pianists.

After the first sentence anything "qualifying" from you went right out the window. What followed was plain innuendo and falsification, and cloaking it in "opinion" isn't going to fly.

You stir the pot don't be surprised when someone comes along and throws you in. ;)



Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on August 22, 2011, 08:59:20 PM
I think what these pianists lack is taste. The last word I would use to describe Uchida's Mozart for example is introverted (we are talking about concert pianists here). It is unsubtle, effete and effusive. Likewise have you ever seen an interview with Hewitt or read anything she's written? She is very pretentious with airs of cultivation and implied interpretive supremacy. So she is entirely deserving of being mocked even. Like all pianists her personality comes out--in her pedantic interpretations.

But Hewitt does have perfect posture when she plays Bach. ;D

Concerning Uchida's Mozart, I think she's great, especially in the fast-tempo movements where she takes me to the edge of the cliff with her runs.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on August 22, 2011, 09:19:10 PM
She is very pretentious with airs of cultivation and implied interpretive supremacy. So she is entirely deserving of being mocked even.

Lost me here. What are you referring to exactly? I've not read anything that leads me to your conclusion. I think you are reading into things or letting your bias to her color what you read of her. And deserving of being mocked - can't really buy that either.

Bach should not sound "beautiful." I though Harnoncourt and Leonhardt settled that once and for all.
Lost me here as well. Bach should be 'ugly'? What exactly do you mean by this?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Clever Hans on August 22, 2011, 09:24:35 PM
Allow me to refresh your memory:

After the first sentence anything "qualifying" from you went right out the window. What followed was plain innuendo and falsification, and cloaking it in "opinion" isn't going to fly.

You stir the pot don't be surprised when someone comes along and throws you in. ;)

So was it innuendo or condescension that I was "spewing"?

What was innuendo was your suggesting that I don't think they have anything to say and don't consider their interpretations valid. I just don't like their interpretations and find their stylistic choices annoying, to various degrees.
I really do think Hewitt is pretentious and full of it. I also provided reasons why. And I really do think Uchida is too sentimental a Mozart player and a stagey Schubert player, lacking taste and good judgment. Schiff's main problem (again my view, so feel free to disagree) is his excessive detailing. Often he can't resist adding little "utterances" as Don said and disrupting the line, especially in Bach and Beethoven.

Of course, Uchida and Schiff are both highly accomplished pianists in terms of command of the instrument, but that's not enough for me.

I am simply describing why I don't like their artistic choices and why I don't like Hewitt's personality and pseudo-intellectual airs. You can address why you think my observations are wrong. Saying with condescension that I don't understand introverted playing doesn't count. I don't even agree that their playing is introverted, especially Uchida who is the opposite.

But Hewitt does have perfect posture when she plays Bach. ;D

Concerning Uchida's Mozart, I think she's great, especially in the fast-tempo movements where she takes me to the edge of the cliff with her runs.

See how Don just gave a specific example of substance without crying for these poor defenseless world famous pianists? I think they can take the criticism, honestly.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Clever Hans on August 22, 2011, 09:34:47 PM
Lost me here. What are you referring to exactly? I've not read anything that leads me to your conclusion. I think you are reading into things or letting your bias to her color what you read of her. And deserving of being mocked - can't really buy that either.
Lost me here as well. Bach should be 'ugly'? What exactly do you mean by this?

I literally just gave a long example. Youtube her video on Bach performance on the piano. If that's not pretentious and self-serving (not to mention entirely wrong about the WTC and one-sided about harpsichord playing) then what is?

I was referring to Harnoncourt and Leonhardt's example of not primarily sensuous Bach performance, music as speech, baroque rhetoric, etc.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on August 22, 2011, 09:56:38 PM
I literally just gave a long example. Youtube her video on Bach performance on the piano. If that's not pretentious and self-serving (not to mention entirely wrong about the WTC and one-sided about harpsichord playing) then what is?

I just finished watching Chapter 1 of that video.  Unfortunately, Hewitt spends most of it speaking about how the piano is superior to the harpsichord; that's rather a low-class way to begin a tutorial.  She also indicated that it's harder to play the piano than the harpsichord; maybe she thinks that harpsichordists are either slackers or low on technical skills.  So, my opinion of her character has dipped some.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 22, 2011, 10:00:59 PM
I like the way Hewitt she plays the G minor prelude  from Book 2 of WTC especially at the end. I like the way she phrases and the way she separates the voices and the way she colours the music.

http://www.youtube.com/v/_N1JFXScmYw





Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on August 22, 2011, 10:02:36 PM
I literally just gave a long example. Youtube her video on Bach performance on the piano. If that's not pretentious and self-serving (not to mention entirely wrong about the WTC and one-sided about harpsichord playing) then what is?

I was referring to Harnoncourt and Leonhardt's example of not primarily sensuous Bach performance, music as speech, baroque rhetoric, etc.
Ok - so listened to this and am now continuing on with the others: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbuWxzjisrQ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbuWxzjisrQ). They are pretty interesting and I think it is clear that the issue is that she is saying things you disagree with. Her style is not particularly comfortable (not relaxed)though, so I can see how that might put you off (seems to be a fair amount scripted and she is clearly trying to enunciate clearly). Self- serving is possible as she is not only showing the music, but there are some philosophical (subjective) elements that she presents as facts and not opinions.

But 'airs of cultivation with implied supremecy'? I don't see that. There is a lot to be gotten out of it. She also gives specific examples of how different approaches sound. The listener can choose to agree or disagree, regardless of what she says. Perhaps you are reading 'superior' into something where she has a 'preference. Anwyay, I found it interesting.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on August 22, 2011, 10:10:16 PM
I just finished watching Chapter 1 of that video.  Unfortunately, Hewitt spends most of it speaking about how the piano is superior to the harpsichord; that's rather a low-class way to begin a tutorial.  She also indicated that it's harder to play the piano than the harpsichord; maybe she thinks that harpsichordists are either slackers or low on technical skills.  So, my opinion of her character has dipped some.
She doesn't exactly say that. She also makes it clear on this point that it is her opinion (and a subjective question) - in fact more than once when it comes to the choice of instrument. And she is not saying that harpsichordists are technically lacking, she's saying that there are more choices to make on the piano than on the harpsichord, which is where the added difficulty comes from. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 23, 2011, 04:24:02 AM
I disagree about her keeping romanticism to a minimum, even though she plays in a proper way. Because she uses the piano as a means of overelegant italicized expression and beautiful sound that she finds lacking in the harpsichord.
Bach should not sound "beautiful." I though Harnoncourt and Leonhardt settled that once and for all.
This is tied to things she says that are intellectually very questionable and perhaps dishonest in justifying her preferences. Such as when she talks about the modern piano being (unlike the harpsichord) closest to the human voice, benefiting fugal voices, etc, no discussion of rhetoric or agogics however. She says that Bach wrote for not only harpsichord but also clavichord and that WTC and other pieces are essentially keyboard works, not necessarily written with any specific instruments in mind. Regardless, Bach did not have in mind an equal-tempered instrument, let alone a Fazioli luxury monstrosity. Her conclusion, which she garnishes with historical knowledge, is complete BS. You can go ahead a play Bach on a piano. No one will stop you. I don't see a fundamental problem with that--although many do--but she makes specious and self-serving arguments.

There is nothing new or original in her words. We have heard >1000 times that the harpsichord is an imperfect and inexpressive instrument (well, she admits that it sometimes may sound good), but pianists are fortunate to have a much more perfect and expressive instrument at their disposal, and fortunately she knows how to play expressively on the piano, even if it is very very difficult,-  much more difficult than playing the harpsichord. Actually she ignores historical facts about baroque performance practice, f.i. the rhetorical aspect and tuning as you mention above, and she romanticises the music with her romantic instrument (too much legato, too "delicate" touch and also by playing different strands with different colours - to mention some of the characteristic traits of her playing). Her point of departure is herself and her casual sentiments and not the music and the affects it contains. Some may like her, if they think she adds something of value to the music. I do not. The reason why I-  among Bach-pianists - prefer Richter is, that - even if he can be accused of some romanticism, manages to step back and let the music speak in a more direct way.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Que on August 23, 2011, 07:07:39 AM
I'm not in disagreement with your view on Hewitt's Bach. But frankly I think that since Bach on the piano is never going to be anything even close to authentic Bach, any pianist is well advised to go all the way and do his/her own personal thing: whether it's Hewitt's prettiness, Gould's postmodern deconstructivism, Fischer's Romantic, Schubertian approach or Richter severe Schumannesque take. Any comparison with how Bach was supposed to sound like, is pointless IMO. Bach transformed in multiple guises - well, why not?   ;D

Full disclosure: besides harpsichord recordings I own the recreations (because that is what are) by Edwin Fischer and Glenn Gould.

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 23, 2011, 08:18:55 AM
Her point of departure is herself and her casual sentiments and not the music and the affects it contains.

Can you say a bit more about the idea premont?

Take the G minor prelude from youtube that I posted.  Are you saying that the affect the music contains is not consistent with her style of playing?  That somehow the performance lacks integrity because she's doing one thing and the music is doing another?

I'm struggling.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on August 23, 2011, 08:45:12 AM
She doesn't exactly say that. She also makes it clear on this point that it is her opinion (and a subjective question) - in fact more than once when it comes to the choice of instrument. And she is not saying that harpsichordists are technically lacking, she's saying that there are more choices to make on the piano than on the harpsichord, which is where the added difficulty comes from.

I didn't hear it that way, so I think you're giving her a pass.

I have nothing against Hewitt's Bach performances and own them all, including her DG disc before she signed up with Hyperion.  Still, I'd much prefer that she said nothing about the harpsichord choice rather than dump on it graciously.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 23, 2011, 10:00:55 AM
Can you say a bit more about the idea premont?
Take the G minor prelude from youtube that I posted.  Are you saying that the affect the music contains is not consistent with her style of playing?  That somehow the performance lacks integrity because she's doing one thing and the music is doing another?

IMO the prelude is the slow introduction of a French ouverture and must be played with more stature, it  should be more regal in effect. She plays it too soft and dwelling,  like an Adagio of Beethoven. She succeeds better with the capricious fugue (fugal section), which despite the different rhytm reminds me of the Capriccio from the second harpsichord Partita, and its almost Händelian tunefulness is nicely projected. It is as if it was played with cat´s paws. But in the end section of the fugue she overdoes the point with too much increase in the dynamic level, even if her agogics are well choosen.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 23, 2011, 10:04:57 AM
I'm not in disagreement with your view on Hewitt's Bach. But frankly I think that since Bach on the piano is never going to be anything even close to authentic Bach, any pianist is well advised to go all the way and do his/her own personal thing: Bach transformed in multiple guises - well, why not?   ;D

But then you agree that Bach on piano is kind of distortion? :D
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Que on August 23, 2011, 11:13:22 AM
But then you agree that Bach on piano is kind of distortion? :D

Or re-interpretation, recreation, or whatever name we give to it.  :) In any case it is outside of Bach's musical context when he wrote this music. But a piano performance is inside and part of our contemporary musical world, and maybe that is the attraction and value for many, besides the lot of interesting thoughts pianists of present and past had on these works.

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 23, 2011, 11:21:33 AM
Or re-interpretation, recreation, or whatever name we give to it.  :) In any case it is outside of Bach's musical context when he wrote this music. But a piano performance is inside and part of our contemporary musical world, and maybe that is the attraction and value for many, besides the lot of interesting thoughts pianists of present and past had on these works.

Q

Well, I think we agree in the end.  And why shouldn´t we? The facts are what they are.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 23, 2011, 11:23:33 AM
Or re-interpretation, recreation, or whatever name we give to it.  :) In any case it is outside of Bach's musical context when he wrote this music. But a piano performance is inside and part of our contemporary musical world, and maybe that is the attraction and value for many, besides the lot of interesting thoughts pianists of present and past had on these works.

I consider that your thoughts on this point are particularly insightful. Anyway, as you know,  these thoughts will be not easily acceptable (if are acceptable at all) for pianophiles. In short, it's an argument exclusively for HIPsters who don't need to be persuaded.  ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 23, 2011, 11:35:11 AM
.. these thoughts will be not easily acceptable (if are acceptable at all) for pianophiles. In short, it's an argument exclusively for HIPsters who don't need to be persuaded.  ;D

You are right. I named it "translation" in the other forum (CMG), and the leading pianophiles in residence made a fool of me.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Que on August 23, 2011, 11:53:27 AM
You are right. I named it "translation" in the other forum (CMG), and the leading pianophiles in residence made a fool of me.

I think we should promote Beethoven performed on the harpsichord and see what they have to say about that. ;D

Q
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 24, 2011, 04:30:58 AM
IMO the prelude is the slow introduction of a French ouverture and must be played with more stature, it  should be more regal in effect. She plays it too soft and dwelling,  like an Adagio of Beethoven. She succeeds better with the capricious fugue (fugal section), which despite the different rhytm reminds me of the Capriccio from the second harpsichord Partita, and its almost Händelian tunefulness is nicely projected. It is as if it was played with cat´s paws. But in the end section of the fugue she overdoes the point with too much increase in the dynamic level, even if her agogics are well choosen.

Is that because we know that French overtures in Bach's time were played regally?

I suppose she was influenced by the largo indication -- I mean that's what led her to dwell like she does.

I like the fugue a lot -- it's certainly one of my favourites in AoF -- but I'm not sure I think as highly of the way she plays it as you do. Once again Richter seems to strike le ton juste again

http://www.youtube.com/v/fqvrxQULL-8

This whole Hewitt thing started because I mentioned her. In fact the recordings of hers that I value the most are the one with the transcriptions and the one with the "Partie" BWV 832

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: DavidRoss on August 24, 2011, 05:01:25 AM
You are right. I named it "translation" in the other forum (CMG), and the leading pianophiles in residence made a fool of me.
Made a fool of you? ...or demonstrated their own foolish lack of charity towards views outside their own narrow orthodoxy? 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on August 24, 2011, 09:32:53 AM
Made a fool of you? ...or demonstrated their own foolish lack of charity towards views outside their own narrow orthodoxy?

I'm familiar with the CMG thread that premont is talking about, and I don't think he was made to look like a fool.  Yes, there were members who were critical, but it was rather mild.  Also, there were at least a couple of members who agreed with premont.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 24, 2011, 11:16:02 PM
Is that because we know that French overtures in Bach's time were played regally?

Yes, remember its origin, the opera ouverture of Lully at the court of the Sun king.

Quote from: Mandryka
I like the fugue a lot -- it's certainly one of my favourites in WTC -- but I'm not sure I think as highly of the way she plays it as you do. Once again Richter seems to strike le ton juste again

While I find Hewitt´s capriccious view of the fugue captivating, Richters more serious view is certainly fully justified, and his prelude is without doubt more idiomatic.



Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 24, 2011, 11:18:19 PM
I'm familiar with the CMG thread that premont is talking about, and I don't think he was made to look like a fool.  Yes, there were members who were critical, but it was rather mild.  Also, there were at least a couple of members who agreed with premont.

Rather mild. Good to know that you look at it in that way. I must be too sensitive.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 25, 2011, 09:57:08 PM
I've been listening to Bach/Siloti G minor prelude, and to the Bach original on youtube. The Bach/Siloti was championed  years ago Guiomar Novaes and has been taken up by Nelso Freire. I started to get interested in this because I want to explore how authentic baroque performers use dynamic changes, and to see how that carries over on the piano

http://www.youtube.com/v/D1RdTLYja8Y  http://www.youtube.com/v/0r6xktbR6Lg

for contrast I listened to Walcha play the Bach

http://www.youtube.com/v/fnBUehE4fNk


The interesting thing for me is the way the Siloti transcription uses dynamic changes to underline contrasts where the organist uses registration changes. I'm really thinking of the echo like passage after the introduction --1,28 in the Walcha, 1,56 in Noaves.

Also the way she lingers in the intro is quite striking -- Friere does the same. I wonder if that's marked by Siloti, and if so why?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on August 25, 2011, 10:04:18 PM
I've been listening to Bach/Siloti G minor prelude, and to the Bach original on youtube. The Bach/Siloti was championed  years ago Guiomar Novaes and has been taken up by Nelso Freire. I started to get interested in this because I want to explore how authentic baroque performers use dynamic changes, and to see how that carries over on the piano

http://www.youtube.com/v/D1RdTLYja8Y  http://www.youtube.com/v/0r6xktbR6Lg

for contrast I listened to Walcha play the Bach

http://www.youtube.com/v/fnBUehE4fNk


The interesting thing for me is the way the Siloti transcription uses dynamic changes to underline contrasts where the organist uses registration changes. I'm really thinking of the echo like passage after the introduction --1,28 in the Walcha, 1,56 in Noaves.

Also the way she lingers in the intro is quite striking -- Friere does the same. I wonder if that's marked by Siloti, and if so why?
Won't be able to help you much, but what a fascinating comparison! The sound and manipulation of each instrument really send the piece in different directions as it goes on.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 27, 2011, 10:22:10 AM
I've been listening to Bach/Siloti G minor prelude, and to the Bach original on youtube. The Bach/Siloti was championed  years ago Guiomar Novaes and has been taken up by Nelso Freire. I started to get interested in this because I want to explore how authentic baroque performers use dynamic changes, and to see how that carries over on the piano ..for contrast I listened to Walcha play the Bach

You have to take into consideration, that Walcha wasn´t a genuine historically informed musician,  and that he also retained some more or less romantic habits from the Straube / Ramin school, not the least concerning his use of register changes.

Quote from: Mandryka
The interesting thing for me is the way the Siloti transcription uses dynamic changes to underline contrasts where the organist uses registration changes. I'm really thinking of the echo like passage after the introduction --1,28 in the Walcha, 1,56 in Noaves.
Also the way she lingers in the intro is quite striking -- Friere does the same. I wonder if that's marked by Siloti, and if so why?

I have not seen Siloti´s score, but I suppose the dynamics (and maybe the lingering as well) are indicated by him. This would be the usual practice with similar arrangements in the romantic tradition. Already Czerny´s arrangement for piano of the Art of Fugue  indicates different dynamic levels as well as crescendo and diminuendo.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on August 27, 2011, 10:43:34 AM
[I've been wondering about this for quite a while and it seems to be somewhat relevant to the preceding posts.]

There are players like Hewitt, Schiff, Richter and Gould whose recordings contain "Bach's" WTC, say, and there are recordings of Bach's works as transcribed by someone else, say Busoni, for the piano. Am I right in assuming that what the first set of pianists are playing are transcriptions? (Just making sure I'm using the right word here.) If so, are we to assume then, that in those cases they are using a standard score (for the piano) as opposed to when it's advertised as Bach-Busoni? (Or does the transcriber's appear only in those cases where (s)he was a famous composer in his or her own right and would make for more sales? ;D)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 27, 2011, 10:47:01 AM
This webside offers some different versions of BWV 535

http://wn.com/BWV_535
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 27, 2011, 11:03:03 AM
There are players like Hewitt, Schiff, Richter and Gould whose recordings contain "Bach's" WTC, say, and there are recordings of Bach's works as transcribed by someone, say Busoni, for the piano. Am I right in assuming that what the first set of pianists are playing are transcriptions? (Just making sure I'm using the right word here.) If so, are we to assume then, that in those cases they are using a standard score (for the piano) as opposed to when it's advertised as Bach-Busoni? (Or does the transcriber's appear only in those cases where (s)he was a famous composer in his or her own right and would make for more sales? ;D)

I am not quite sure, that I understand your question, but will nevertheless try to answer.

When Hewitt and Schiff release a recording of Bach´s WTC, they use the original harpsichord score, and add the wanted shadings possible on piano while playing. Well they may have made some individual notes in their copy of the score in order to remember all of it.
When Busoni arranged Bach´s music for piano, he added a gallery of performance instructions to the original score as well as notes e.g. octave doublings or harmonies and he released the arrangements for everyone to acquire and play. If a recording is advertised as Egon Petri playing Bach/Busoni, I suppose, that Petri used Busonis additions to Bach´s score. Anything else would make no sense.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on August 27, 2011, 11:06:27 AM
I am not quite sure, that I understand your question, but will nevertheless try to answer.

When Hewitt and Schiff release a recording of Bach´s WTC, they use the original harpsichord score, and add the wanted shadings possible on piano while playing. Well they may have made some individual notes in their copy of the score in order to remember all of it.

Thanks. I think the quoted part above clears things up. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 27, 2011, 11:14:52 AM
I am not quite sure, that I understand your question, but will nevertheless try to answer.

When Hewitt and Schiff release a recording of Bach´s WTC, they use the original harpsichord score, and add the wanted shadings possible on piano while playing. Well they may have made some individual notes in their copy of the score in order to remember all of it.
When Busoni arranged Bach´s music for piano, he added a gallery of performance instructions to the original score as well as notes e.g. octave doublings or harmonies and he released the arrangements for everyone to acquire and play. If a recording is advertised as Egon Petri playing Bach/Busoni, I suppose, that Petri used Busonis additions to Bach´s score. Anything else would make no sense.

Anyway the difference is subtle because if somebody made a score with the exact instructions to follow, for instance, Schiff's performance of the WTC that work could be considered a Schiff's arrangement to play that work on piano, right? And I supposse that's the point of Navneeth.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 27, 2011, 11:26:54 AM
Anyway the difference is subtle because if somebody made a score with the exact instructions to follow, for instance, Schiff's performance of the WTC that work could be considered a Schiff's arrangement to play that work on piano, right? And I supposse that's the point of Navneeth.

Toñio, no, I don't think that. There is a crucial difference, which it that Schiff/Hewitt/Blanston (whoever) made those notes strictly for his/her own purpose, while making a performance. In these days, every single performance of anyone's piece of music can be considered unto itself as "X's Whatever". Busoni, however, made that score not only for himself, but for anyone else who wanted it, and it would then become that person's Bach/Busoni as soon as they played it in performance. No longer Busoni's Bach, so to speak. I certainly am not saying that I love this reality, but I am forced to acknowledge it... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 27, 2011, 11:27:00 AM
Anyway the difference is subtle because if somebody made a score with the exact instructions to follow, for instance, Schiff's performance of the WTC that work could be considered a Schiff's arrangement to play that work on piano, right? And I supposse that's the point of Navneeth.

Logically spoken every performance of the WTC or another Bach work (even on harpsichord) is a kind of arrangement, considering the sparse performance directives from the composer. But Navneeth used the word "transcription",  and this was the reason why I answered what I did.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on August 27, 2011, 11:27:46 AM
Schiff's performance of the WTC that work could be considered a Schiff's arrangement to play that work on piano, right? And I supposse that's the point of Navneeth.

Actually, I was assuming that all those Bach-pianists were playing from a score that was made specifically for the piano (let's say, the 1919 edition of the WTC for the pianoforte from Co-founder & Co-founder Publishers) rather than playing the notes that were meant for the harpsichord. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 27, 2011, 12:06:11 PM
Toñio, no, I don't think that. There is a crucial difference, which it that Schiff/Hewitt/Blanston (whoever) made those notes strictly for his/her own purpose, while making a performance. In these days, every single performance of anyone's piece of music can be considered unto itself as "X's Whatever". Busoni, however, made that score not only for himself, but for anyone else who wanted it, and it would then become that person's Bach/Busoni as soon as they played it in performance. No longer Busoni's Bach, so to speak. I certainly am not saying that I love this reality, but I am forced to acknowledge it... :-\

Logically spoken every performance of the WTC or another Bach work (even on harpsichord) is a kind of arrangement, considering the sparse performance directives from the composer. But Navneeth used the word "transcription",  and this was the reason why I answered what I did.

When I wrote the previous post I was under the influence of this idea: it's interesting to consider how from the second half of the XVIIIth Century (but specially during the XIXth Century) indications and "performance directives" of scores were progressively growing up. That's one reason why a great part of the work of studies on the realm of HIP performance have consisted in trying to rediscover, for instance, a lot of unspoken musical practices that men of Baroque and previous ages considered implicit in their scores. That said, I think "a proper piano score" is, by definition, considerably more detailed that, for instance, a typical score for harpsichord. Again: a Romantic instrument (like modern piano) at some extent "claims" for a more complete score like those written by a Romantic or modern composer.     

 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 27, 2011, 12:15:58 PM
Logically spoken every performance of the WTC or another Bach work (even on harpsichord) is a kind of arrangement, considering the sparse performance directives from the composer. But Navneeth used the word "transcription",  and this was the reason why I answered what I did.


So I guess he must have been aware that what he was doing left it open for the performer to vary the ornamentation, phrasing, tempo etc. Dynamics too.

Can I ask a real basic question -- sorry to use you guys like this!

What sort of dynamic effects were possible on baroque harpsichords, organs and clavichords?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 27, 2011, 12:19:37 PM
... I think "a proper piano score" is, by definition, considerably more detailed that, for example, a typical score for harpsichord. Again: a Romantic instrument (like modern piano) at some extent "claims" for a more complete score like those written by a Romantic or modern composer.     

It all depends upon how much the composer wants to influence the interpretation and how well established the performing traditions in question are. In Bach´s case he relied largely upon the performing traditions. But if he had wanted to give detailled instructions concerning the interpretation, this might have made the scores very complicated and not necessarily less complicated than detailled romantic piano scores.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 27, 2011, 12:24:10 PM
What sort of dynamic effects were possible on baroque harpsichords, organs and clavichords?

A very relevant question, which I shall try to write something sensible about to morrow, as bedtime approaches at the moment.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 27, 2011, 12:26:00 PM
When I wrote the previous post I was under the influence of this idea: it's interesting to consider how from the second half of the XVIIIth century (but especially during the XIXth Century) indications and "performance directives" of scores were progressively growing up. That's the reason why a great part of the work of studies on the realm of HIP performance have consisted in trying to rediscover, for instance, a lot of unspoken musical practices that men of Baroque and previous ages considered implicit in their scores. That said, I think "a proper piano score" is, by definition, considerably more detailed that, for example, a typical score for harpsichord. Again: a Romantic instrument (like modern piano) at some extent "claims" for a more complete score like those written by a Romantic or modern composer.     


Can you give -- or give a reference to -- a concrete example?

It's interesting this because one of the ideas I've read in this forum is that romantic performance doesn't take its inspiration from the music (rather it takes itsinspiration from the performer's state of mind.) But it seems that the music is extremely open, and that you have to go to facts  about histoical performance practice to know how to play it -- facts which maybe had their origin in the states of mind of historical performers!

I'm sorry if that's not clear.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 27, 2011, 12:27:14 PM
A very relevant question, which I shall try to write something sensible about to morrow, as bedtime approaches at the moment.

Me too. Good night premont. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 27, 2011, 12:27:30 PM
It all depends upon how much the composer wants to influence the interpretation and how well established the performing traditions in question are. In Bach´s case he relied largely upon the performing traditions. But if he had wanted to give detailled instructions concerning the interpretation, this might have made the scores very complicated and not necessarily less complicated than detailled romantic piano scores.

Well, here I don't think like you. When Bach relies largely upon the performing tradition of his age, he is not taking a personal decision, but following the spirit of his age.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 27, 2011, 12:36:08 PM
Well, here I don't think like you. When Bach relies largely upon the performing tradition of his age, he is not taking a personal decision, but following the spirit of his age.

Well. actually Bach has written more detailled performing instructions in his scores (particularly concerning articulation) than was the rule at the time. So maybe he took some kind of decision, depending only largely upon the contemporary performance tradition.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: kishnevi on August 27, 2011, 05:16:32 PM
One other thing-- many of these transcriptions are of pieces not written for harpsichord.  One of Busoni's most famous transcriptions (if not the most famous one period) is the Chaconne from the Second Violin Partita, and he also transcribed various movements from the cantatas, especially the chorales.  Liszt transcribed some of the organ works and cantata pieces for solo piano.

At least one place where every pianist has to make an overt transcription of some sort is the portion of the Goldberg Variations written with a 2 keyboard instrument in mind.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on August 27, 2011, 11:24:20 PM
One other thing-- many of these transcriptions are of pieces not written for harpsichord.  One of Busoni's most famous transcriptions (if not the most famous one period) is the Chaconne from the Second Violin Partita, and he also transcribed various movements from the cantatas, especially the chorales.  Liszt transcribed some of the organ works and cantata pieces for solo piano.

Yes, I had that in mind, and I even had doubts whether Busoni had even transcribed portions of the WTC. I had not posed this question before as the pieces that were on record were mostly chorale preludes and the Chaconne, as you said. But Mandryka's video of the G minor prelude bought this question back to the fore-front. (In hindsight, I feel that I shouldn't have used Busoni's name but instead Siloti's.) Interestingly, Wikipedia calls Bach-Siloti B minor prelude as an "arrangement".
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 28, 2011, 12:26:23 AM
I've never knowingly  heard any of this

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/09/Bach-Busoni-_Well-Tempered_Clavichord_%281894%29_cover.jpg/250px-Bach-Busoni-_Well-Tempered_Clavichord_%281894%29_cover.jpg)

I suspect very little Bach Busoni is perormed, apart from the organ transcriptions. I have a record of the transcription of the Goldbergs but the performance is not very interesting (Claus Tanski). Hamelin seems to be taking up playing  Busoni transcriptions a bit, so maybe things will change.

Siloti is interesting -- I know him through the organ prelude I posted above and a harpsichord prelude that Gilels played often, and which Weissenberg and Sokolov also performed.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 28, 2011, 01:10:13 AM
I've never knowingly  heard any of this
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/09/Bach-Busoni-_Well-Tempered_Clavichord_%281894%29_cover.jpg/250px-Bach-Busoni-_Well-Tempered_Clavichord_%281894%29_cover.jpg)

Nor have I. Interesting to se, that there are three (!) WTC books in his edition.

When I think of Busoni arrangements of Bach´s harpsichord works, it is about the d-minor concerto BWV 1052 and the Goldberg variations. Never heard the Goldbergs, though.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 28, 2011, 02:00:05 AM
What sort of dynamic effects were possible on baroque harpsichords, organs and clavichords?

The dynamic level of the clavichord is very low, but the touch allows some variation of this level. I use to say that a clavichord can sound soft, softer and still softer. If you want to hear what is being played, you have to be rather close to the instrument, and I do not think this instrument - even supplied with a pedal section - is suited for performance of Bach´s greater organ works. The clavichord was used as practising instrument and was well suited for this purpose (relatively inexpensive and no problems with the neighbour).

As to the harpsichord and the organ the touch allows no dynamic variation. If you want to change the dynamics you have to change the registration used. On the baroque organ it was impossible to change the registration during the playing, but on instruments with more manuals you could change the sound by changing the manual you were using. On a harpsichord on the other hand it is possible to change the registration during the playing. Of course these changes of registration or manual were not made to accentuate a few individual notes but rather to change the sound of longer passages. Unless where an echo effect were wanted, e.g.  in some fantasies of Sweelinck, or if contrasting tutti-solo effects were wanted (concerto arrangements).

According to baroque aestetics any given musical composition aimed to display a certain affect, and  it follows logically, that the interpretation should be  marked by a certain integrity including a high degree of unity of sound, and  listened to in this light Walcha´s registration changes in the BWV 535 prelude are fuzzy and spoil the unity of the artistic message. He rather expresses a romantic aestetic ideal of the same kind as Siloti´s arrangement displays. But if you like this or not is of course a question of taste. Many listernes still prefer baroque music with this kind of  romantic "seasoning".

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 28, 2011, 03:01:33 AM
I've never knowingly  heard any of this


That was a senor moment (my first and only), because there's a famous recording of Busoni himself playing BWV 846

http://www.youtube.com/v/DrF1OQL4ZtQ

Extraordinary in the fugue  ;)

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 28, 2011, 03:11:18 AM
The dynamic level of the clavichord is very low, but the touch allows some variation of this level. I use to say that a clavichord can sound soft, softer and still softer. If you want to hear what is being played, you have to be rather close to the instrument, and I do not think this instrument - even supplied with a pedal section - is suited for performance of Bach´s greater organ works. The clavichord was used as practising instrument and was well suited for this purpose (relatively inexpensive and no problems with the neighbour).

As to the harpsichord and the organ the touch allows no dynamic variation. If you want to change the dynamics you have to change the registration used. On the baroque organ it was impossible to change the registration during the playing, but on instruments with more manuals you could change the sound by changing the manual you were using. On a harpsichord on the other hand it is possible to change the registration during the playing. Of course these changes of registration or manual were not made to accentuate a few individual notes but rather to change the sound of longer passages. Unless where an echo effect were wanted, e.g.  in some fantasies of Sweelinck, or if contrasting tutti-solo effects were wanted (concerto arrangements).

According to baroque aestetics any given musical composition aimed to display a certain affect, and  it follows logically, that the interpretation should be  marked by a certain integrity including a high degree of unity of sound, and  listened to in this light Walcha´s registration changes in the BWV 535 prelude are fuzzy and spoil the unity of the artistic message. He rather expresses a romantic aestetic ideal of the same kind as Siloti´s arrangement displays. But if you like this or not is of course a question of taste. Many listernes still prefer baroque music with this kind of  romantic "seasoning".

These ideas:  unity of affect implies integrity (of sound?) implies unity of sound are new to me. I need to think about what it entails. Thanks for the response though.

If we take a highly dynamically and tonally  nuanced performance of a Baroque piece, does that necessarily bring with it incoherence ? Take, for example,Cortot's performance of the first movement cadenza of Brandenburg 5, which starts at 6,22 here:

http://www.youtube.com/v/H6IE5wlfSlM
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 28, 2011, 06:37:46 AM
What sort of dynamic effects were possible on baroque harpsichords, organs and clavichords?

I have tried to find out whether Walcha´s register changes in the prelude BWV 535 were possible on the Cappel organ if it was left in its original state at the time of recording (1952). The sources I can find do not mention anything about a possible modernisation of the registration device. The Cappel organ has got two manuals, and if Walcha (or rather his assistant Ursula) changed registration on manual one while he was playing on manual two and vice versa, I think his registrations for this prelude BWV 535 should be possible from a technical point of view in the baroque age. On the other hand I have also listened to his contemporary BWV 538 recording on the same organ, and here are several instances of register changes of the manual he is playing on while he is playing on it, proving to me, that the organ must have undergone at least some modernisation already at the time of recording.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: PaulSC on August 28, 2011, 01:07:43 PM
Premont, thank you for a thoughtful and informative post summarizing the question of dynamic control on various Baroque keyboard instruments. I wonder, however, if you shortchange the role of the clavichord. It was used for practice, true, but also for private enjoyment (which, after all, often intermingles with practice). I would be curious to know — although I can't imagine what documentary evidence might exist — how Bach played his own music at the clavichord. Did he make expressive swells? Did he alter the balance between voices in a polyphonic texture?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 28, 2011, 02:02:12 PM
OK - I like to collect Bach's Keyboard Works w/ both a harpsichord & piano version (or more than one in some cases) but just me!

Concerning the French Suites, I have David Cates on the harpsichord (image below) - pleased and I believe still a strong recommendation from Don (i.e. Bulldog); now I had the Andras Schiff piano recordings (also below), but was not that pleased - SO, what 'piano' versions of these works might be suggested (please do not recommend Gould - I needed 'allergy shots' against him in my LP collecting days - buy again just me and humming, I guess -  ;D) - thanks for any comments and help - Dave  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Kd9BqP79L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DH03SQFYL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: PaulSC on August 28, 2011, 03:20:33 PM
OK - I like to collect Bach's Keyboard Works w/ both a harpsichord & piano version (or more than one in some cases) but just me!

Concerning the French Suites, I have David Cates on the harpsichord (image below) - pleased and I believe still a strong recommendation from Don (i.e. Bulldog); now I had the Andras Schiff piano recordings (also below), but was not that pleased - SO, what 'piano' versions of these works might be suggested (please do not recommend Gould - I needed 'allergy shots' against him in my LP collecting days - buy again just me and humming, I guess -  ;D) - thanks for any comments and help - Dave  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Kd9BqP79L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DH03SQFYL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Well, I'm with you on a number of points — I like to have Bach's major keyboard works on both harpsichord and piano, and I wouldn't pick Schiff in the French Suites or Gould in nearly anything. But I've not yet settled on one or more piano recordings of the French Suites. Two on my radar at the moment are Ivo Jansson and Evgeny Koroliov. Anyway, if you make a decision, I'd like to hear about it — maybe it will point me toward something…
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 29, 2011, 12:50:53 AM

Concerning the French Suites, I have David Cates on the harpsichord

It depends what you like about the Cates performances. Koroliov is lyrical and expansive like Cates and his piano tone is ravishing, burnished (like Cates's harpsichord.) He uses hesitation much less than Cates and for me this makes the performances ultimately a bit boring. Rubsam on the other hand uses more agogic hesitation than Cates -- these works appear quite rhythmically complicated when he plays them, and you may not like that. I find it annoying. The set I have enjoyed most is from Joanna Macgregor -- but she's not really like Cates! You have to suck these things and see.

My favourite  piano versions aren't in complete sets -- there's a wonderful C minor suite from Richter in Hungary in 1952, and Horszowski played the E major in the late 80s a lot -- most attractively IMO on the Paris recording rather than the BBC one. But this is hard music for me, and to some extent I have been spoilt by Landowska's early recording of the E major suite -- I want to hear them played like that whatever the instrument.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51uBpeyn4VL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 29, 2011, 01:08:53 AM
I would be curious to know — although I can't imagine what documentary evidence might exist — how Bach played his own music at the clavichord. Did he make expressive swells? Did he alter the balance between voices in a polyphonic texture?

We shall never know, but if he did, I think he did this only in a very subtle way. Because the playing mechanics of the harpsichord and organ tell us, that dynamic variations in the modern "piano way" wasn´t part of the baroque keyboard style. F.i. metre was indicated by articulation (rhythmic articulation) and not by dynamic stressing of the good beats. This way of playing extended to string- and wind instruments as well, even if these were capable of more detailled dynamic variation than the harpsichord (compare Bach´s ample articulation signs in his chamber music and instrumental parts in his cantatas).


Quote from: PaulSC
I wonder, however, if you shortchange the role of the clavichord. It was used for practice, true, but also for private enjoyment (which, after all, often intermingles with practice).

In a similar way I wonder if you overestimate the role of the clavichord, which exclusively enjoyed "private" use and was unsuited for recitals and chamber music making.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 29, 2011, 02:13:51 AM
...   on my radar at the moment are Ivo Jansson  ...

To day I pulled the trigger and ordered the Ivo Janssen 20 CD Bach box, so maybe I can comment about his French suites in foreseeable time.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: PaulSC on August 29, 2011, 06:28:04 AM
To day I pulled the trigger and ordered the Ivo Janssen 20 CD Bach box, so maybe I can comment about his French suites in foreseeable time.
I would certainly value any comments you have to offer at that time. Cheers!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 29, 2011, 10:00:25 AM
To day I pulled the trigger and ordered the Ivo Janssen 20 CD Bach box, so maybe I can comment about his French suites in foreseeable time.

But you don't like Bach on piano!!!  :o ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 29, 2011, 10:11:36 AM
In a similar way I wonder if you overestimate the role of the clavichord, which exclusively enjoyed "private" use and was unsuited for recitals and chamber music making.

I tend to think that the clavichord was highly appreciated in the Bach circle. But I don't have too many proofs to offer at the moment. Only  things like my own sensation of comfort when I listen to some of those pieces, for instance, from the Notenbüchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach played on clavichord or when I read about the love of CPE Bach for the instrument. In short, I feel that the clavichord was important in the domestic musical life of Bach's family and not merely an instrument for practice.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: PaulSC on August 29, 2011, 10:20:21 AM
I tend to think that the clavichord was highly appreciated in the Bach circle. But I don't have too many proofs to offer at the moment. Only  things like my own sensation of comfort when I listen to some of those pieces, for instance, from the Notenbüchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach played on clavichord or when I read about the love of CPE Bach for the instrument. In short, I feel that the clavichord was important in the domestic musical life of Bach's family and not merely an instrument for practice.
Besides, everyone knows that Bach preferred to practice on a spinster:
Quote
Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian and half English. He was very large. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this. The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened and catapulted into Napoleon. Napoleon wanted an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn't have any children.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 29, 2011, 12:42:57 PM
I tend to think that the clavichord was highly appreciated in the Bach circle........ In short, I feel that the clavichord was important in the domestic musical life of Bach's family and not merely an instrument for practice.

I have never questioned this. Above I wrote "private use" meaning domestic use - implying some degree of intimacy. But the intimacy of the clavichord can not be "transcribed" to our modern piano in large concert-halls, and I just feel, that the clavichord is abused as an excuse for the introduction of all kinds of dynamic variations in playing Bach on piano, even if the piece in question definitely is a harpsichord work or an organ work (e.g. BWV 535), and we know that these variations could not be realised on a harpsichord or an organ.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 29, 2011, 12:45:30 PM
But you don't like Bach on piano!!!  :o ;)

It would be more appropiate to say, that I do not like the way most pianists play Bach on piano.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 29, 2011, 01:11:20 PM
If we take a highly dynamically and tonally  nuanced performance of a Baroque piece, does that necessarily bring with it incoherence ? Take, for example,Cortot's performance of the first movement cadenza of Brandenburg 5, which starts at 6,22 here:

Cortot´s cadenza here illustrates my point rather well. There is no inner logic, no baroque grandeur. All we get are some scattered momentary impulses. IMO the piece falls to pieces when played in this way.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 29, 2011, 02:02:12 PM

I have never questioned this.

I never said you questioned this. I simply said that, I feel, the clavichord was a domestic instrument highly esteemed by Bach and his circle. Just a matter of degree if you want.

Additionally, I think pianists don't need to turn to the humble clavichord to justify their decisions. That would be too much HIP.  :)   
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 29, 2011, 02:16:11 PM

It would be more appropiate to say, that I do not like the way most pianists play Bach on piano.

I think approximately the opposite: the piano is an instrument naturally unsuitable for Bach music and just a few interpreters get to surpass this radical inadequation. In short, the problem is more the instrument itself than the performers.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: kishnevi on August 29, 2011, 05:02:00 PM

In a similar way I wonder if you overestimate the role of the clavichord, which exclusively enjoyed "private" use and was unsuited for recitals and chamber music making.

Very true. Once, many years ago, when I was in college, I attended a clavichord recital sponsored by my college's music department.  It was in the Methodist church usually used for music programs at that time.  I sat perhaps two or three rows back--a rather small audience, even by the music department's standards--and could barely hear the instrument.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: DavidRoss on August 29, 2011, 05:04:11 PM
the piano is an instrument naturally unsuitable for Bach music
:o

(http://www.changingworld.com/catalog/images/KS-168.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 29, 2011, 05:21:16 PM
:o

(http://www.changingworld.com/catalog/images/KS-168.jpg)

Maybe I have been spending too many hours on this book the last days:  :D

(http://www.classical.net/music/books/images/0195189876.jpg)

AMAZON (http://www.amazon.com/End-Early-Music-Performers-Twenty-First/dp/0195189876/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314670362&sr=8-1)

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 29, 2011, 10:25:42 PM
Cortot´s cadenza here illustrates my point rather well. There is no inner logic, no baroque grandeur. All we get are some scattered momentary impulses[. IMO the piece falls to pieces when played in this way.

Let me see if I've understood you right.


Contrast Cortot's performance decisions with Leonhardt's here:

http://www.youtube.com/v/VxzY3tFTz9k



Leonhardt plays  the music with great rhythmic flexibility.  Cortot plays  the same music with great dynamic flexibility.

Cortot's decision is momentary because . . . it isn't grounded in facts about Baroque performance practice? Is that right? If not, why is one momentary and the other not?

I'm thinking of buying this. Do you recommend it?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BBM36EMXL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU02_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 29, 2011, 11:24:29 PM
I think approximately the opposite: the piano is an instrument naturally unsuitable for Bach music and just a few interpreters get to surpass this radical inadequation. In short, the problem is more the instrument itself than the performers.

I agree so far that I find the piano relatively unsuited for Bach´s music. Though I think the principal problem is on the part of the performers, who choose a relatively unsuited instrument for Bach´s music - and of course they do so because they want to add romantic flavour.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 29, 2011, 11:28:25 PM
I think pianists don't need to turn to the humble clavichord to justify their decisions.

So you think every artistic decision is justified per se? :D
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 29, 2011, 11:30:36 PM
Maybe I have been spending too many hours on this book the last days:  :D

AMAZON (http://www.amazon.com/End-Early-Music-Performers-Twenty-First/dp/0195189876/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314670362&sr=8-1)


You can not spend too many hours on this exellent book.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 29, 2011, 11:45:39 PM

Leonhardt plays  the music with great rhythmic flexibility.  Cortot plays  the same music with great dynamic flexibility.

Cortot's decision is momentary because . . . it isn't grounded in facts about Baroque performance practice? Is that right? If not, why is one momentary and the other not?

Yes. Rhythmic flexibility is part of the stylus phantasticus, which this cadenza leans on. Dynamic flexibility of the Cortot kind has no historically justified place in this music.


Quote from: Mandryka
I'm thinking of buying this. Do you recommend it?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BBM36EMXL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU02_.jpg)

Yes, I had great interest in reading it. It is a bit technical and deals with balance, tempo, dynamics, articulation et.c. and how different performers applied these concepts to the music. Unfortunately it only includes the earliest generation of HIP performers and only the first years of their activity.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 30, 2011, 03:25:38 AM
So the convention of allowing rhythmic but not dynamic flexibility in this type of music has origins which antedate Bach himself and which flourish today.

Cortot is part of a different tradition, one which allows dynamic variation to provide dramatic contrasts when the music repeats  phrases, like at the start of the cadenza.

Both are conventions.

But because Cortot's allegiances are alien to the practices current at the time of the composition of the score, Cortot's way with the music is incoherent.

Of course that because is the problem.

Take an example from a different genre of performance art: in Beyreuth Kupfer used lasers. I don't believe that fact made his Ring incoherent, even though it was part of a performance tradition which is alien to anything Wagner would have known about.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: DavidRoss on August 30, 2011, 05:30:34 AM
Maybe I have been spending too many hours on this book the last days:  :D
AMAZON (http://www.amazon.com/End-Early-Music-Performers-Twenty-First/dp/0195189876/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314670362&sr=8-1)
Looks interesting, but at $23.72 for the Kindle version I won't be following up the suggestion.

OTOH, this isn't even available on Kindle:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61i4c-UO%2BoL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 30, 2011, 06:09:49 AM
Cortot is part of a different tradition, one which allows dynamic variation to provide dramatic contrasts when the music repeats  phrases, like at the start of the cadenza.

Sorry, I do not hear drama, only trivialization.

Quote from: Mandryka
Both are conventions.

But because Cortot's allegiances are alien to the practices current at the time of the composition of the score, Cortot's way with the music is incoherent.

Of course that because is the problem.

I put toñito this question above :

So you think every artistic decision is justified per se? and I am very curious to se his answer.

I would like to put the same question to you.

Quote from: Mandryka
Take an example from a different genre of performance art: in Beyreuth Kupfer used lasers. I don't believe that fact made his Ring incoherent, even though it was part of a performance tradition which is alien to anything Wagner would have known about.

This is not a suitable example, - f.i. we nowadays perform Monteverdi´s operas with electric illumination instead of candlelight, and I see no anachronism in that. It does not change the performance in a radical way.

But if the action of the opera (Monteverdi, Wagner or whatever) is transferred to our time using modern dresses. furniture and so on, I think this is going too far. Ideally every opera also ought to be performed in the original language even if it is out of use, but the problem is, that very few of the listeners of to day would understand it. Maybe the problem with old music is of a similar kind - that many listeners do not understand it, if it isn´t played with a romantic "accent".

The HIP and PI movement has rediscovered many of the performance practice traditions of the past. It does not pretend to perform early music exactly as it was performed at the composers age. This would a priori be impossible as a certain degree of artistic freedom certainly was allowed even then, but romantic dynamic variations are with certainty alien to baroque harpsichord- and organ music, and this is what I feel when I hear it, and the reason why I do not like this way of playing.

I am not in principle opposed to Bach playing on piano, and expect to receive Ivo Janssen´s integral soon. His AoF, which I know, seems relative sober, so I am eager to hear the rest.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 30, 2011, 06:29:07 AM
I put toñito this question above :

So you think every artistic decision is justified per se? and I am very curious to se his answer.


I thought this was just a "rhetorical" question (not in the sense that Bruce Haynes uses "Rhetoric", of course) because I thought you already knew some of my musical preferences. I can't elaborate at this moment, but for me the limit for artistic decisions is traced by the concepts of "interpretation" and "creation". Interpretation is limited by the object which is interpreted; creation is absolute and doesn't recognize any limit.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 30, 2011, 07:51:22 AM

I put toñito this question above :

So you think every artistic decision is justified per se? and I am very curious to se his answer.

I would like to put the same question to you.


Some decisions aren't so good, but I tend not to involve historical correctness to form my conclusions.

Contrast the decision of Allan Curtis to play the opening of the 4th English suite quite so rigidly

http://www.youtube.com/v/4PmP3IHt5Kw

with Glenn Gould's decision to play it more flexibly

http://www.youtube.com/v/CKzLxkrlqVs

Gould's decision was better because it sounds more spontaneous. By comparison Curtis is too steadfast too heavy  and sounds over accented.

 Sounding spontaneous is the basic  performance value I'm appealing to .



Yes, I had great interest in reading it. It is a bit technical and deals with balance, tempo, dynamics, articulation et.c. and how different performers applied these concepts to the music. Unfortunately it only includes the earliest generation of HIP performers and only the first years of their activity.
Yes. On harpsichord the early HIP performers are the ones I like -- Landowska, Walcha, Kirkpatrick, early Puaena, early Leonhardt.

It would be nice to have a book which would help open up the later HIP harpsichordists to me.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 30, 2011, 10:45:17 AM
.. but I tend not to involve historical correctness to form my conclusions.
I do, because I think it brings me closer to the composer and his works and world.

Quote from: Mandryka
Contrast the decision of Allan Curtis to play the opening of the 4th English suite quite so rigidly
with Glenn Gould's decision to play it more flexiblyGould's decision was better because it sounds more spontaneous. By comparison Curtis is too steadfast too heavy  and sounds over accented.
There are lots of rhythmic flexibility in Curtis´playing, more than in Gould´s I think. Gould did on the other hand chose a faster tempo and a more detached articulation, but this is to my knowledge not an indication of spontaneity.

Quote from: Mandryka
Sounding spontaneous is the basic  performance value I'm appealing to .
Sounding spontaneous or being spontaneous? Very different I think.

Quote from: Mandryka
On harpsichord the early HIP performers are the ones I like -- Landowska, Walcha, Kirkpatrick, early Puaena, early Leonhardt.
Incidentally Walcha is one of the least spontaneous Bach interpreters I can think of. I once heard him at a recital in Copenhagen playing BWV 535 (apropos) and 540, and his playing was virtually a carbon copy of his recordings. This fact does not at all prevent me from enjoying his recordings very much.

Quote from: Mandryka
It would be nice to have a book which would help open up the later HIP harpsichordists to me.
Yes, this would certainly interest me too.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: karlhenning on August 30, 2011, 10:52:54 AM
Sounding spontaneous or being spontaneous? Very different I think.

You're right, and an important point, Reminds me of the remark (attributed to George Burns) that for success in the theatre, you need sincerity. "If you can fake that, you've got it made."
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 30, 2011, 11:00:57 AM
You're right, and an important point, Reminds me of the remark (attributed to George Burns) that for success in the theatre, you need sincerity. "If you can fake that, you've got it made."

Reminds me of the immortal story about two violinists who attended the recital of a collegue.
Afterwards one of the two violinists said to the other violinist: I did not know he could play that well.
The other violinist answered: Neither can he, he was just faking.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 30, 2011, 11:03:02 PM
Incidentally Walcha is one of the least spontaneous Bach interpreters I can think of.

He puts up a bloody good illusion. I listened to him playing French Suite 6 and the courante sounded so spontaneous that I was on the edge of my seat.
Are there any live Walcha recordings? I want to hear him live in the French and English suites!

It's quite common for performers to take more risks live than in the studio. The results are often interesting shipwrecks.

I do, because I think it brings me closer to the composer and his works and world.


That's maybe the heart of the matter. I've never really focussed on aspects of historical reconstruction. What matters to me is the the performer's response to the score now. That's why I'm open to stuff like Rodarmer's Goldbergs.

Sorry, I do not hear drama, only trivialization.



One reason could be that you think it's too sweet to be dramatic. If so I don't agree.
another could be because Cortot's impulses are trivial.  But Leonhardt's aren't.
If that's right then I think there are some important questions begged. There are other forms of interpretation  than historical reconstruction which are at least as appropriate in normal performance.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 31, 2011, 02:43:18 AM
Are there any live Walcha recordings?

This is the only one I know:

http://orgelconcerten.ncrv.nl/organist/helmut-walcha



Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 31, 2011, 03:19:07 AM
One reason could be that you think it's too sweet to be dramatic. If so I don't agree.
another could be because Cortot's impulses are trivial.  But Leonhardt's aren't.
If that's right then I think there are some important questions begged. There are other forms of interpretation  than historical reconstruction which are at least as appropriate in normal performance.

Cortots impulses were an expression of the musical taste in the casual year 1932. Cortot was an inspiring interpretator of Chopin and other romantic piano composers, but his authority in romantic music does not make his Bach interesting to me, inasmuch Cortot looks upon Bach through - in my opinion - misguided romantic glasses.

And what is normal performance? Some which suits current taste? As we know taste changes, so why should current taste be so important?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on August 31, 2011, 01:27:53 PM
OK - I like to collect Bach's Keyboard Works w/ both a harpsichord & piano version (or more than one in some cases) but just me!

Concerning the French Suites, I have David Cates on the harpsichord (image below) - pleased and I believe still a strong recommendation from Don (i.e. Bulldog); now I had the Andras Schiff piano recordings (also below), but was not that pleased - SO, what 'piano' versions of these works might be suggested (please do not recommend Gould - I needed 'allergy shots' against him in my LP collecting days - buy again just me and humming, I guess -  ;D) - thanks for any comments and help - Dave  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Kd9BqP79L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DH03SQFYL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I've just returned from a long vacation, and about the last thing I'd want to hear is Andras Schiff's set.  Unfortunately, most other piano versions aren't all that good either, leading me to wonder if the French Suites are less well-suited to the piano than most of Bach's other keyboard works. 

Rubsam's at the top for me followed by Rangell.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 31, 2011, 03:59:17 PM
I've just returned from a long vacation, and about the last thing I'd want to hear is Andras Schiff's set.  Unfortunately, most other piano versions aren't all that good either, leading me to wonder if the French Suites are less well-suited to the piano than most of Bach's other keyboard works. 

Rubsam's at the top for me followed by Rangell.

Hi Don - I thought that you would eventually respond - hope that your had a nice vacation!  :D

As I remember from a previous post, your said 'paraphrased' since I cannot remember the specific words ''that if you must get a piano version of the French Suites, then go w/ Hewitt" - now I may be completely off base in my recollection, but will certainly will check out your recommendations mentioned above - thanks as always, Dave  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: PaulSC on September 03, 2011, 09:55:07 PM
There's a new recording of the French Suites by the pianist Christoph Ullrich. Has anyone heard it?

He skips the first suite; the other five fit on a single disc.

(http://www.tacet.de/cover/10420.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 04, 2011, 01:46:42 AM
There's a new recording of the French Suites by the pianist Christoph Ullrich. Has anyone heard it?

He skips the first suite; the other five fit on a single disc.

(http://www.tacet.de/cover/10420.jpg)

Never heard of it, - nor him,

BTW I am listening to the Ivo Janssen set in these days (20 CDs), and my first impression is very positive.
More, when I have done the listening all through.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Marc on September 04, 2011, 02:14:53 AM
[....] I am listening to the Ivo Janssen set in these days (20 CDs), and my first impression is very positive.
[....]

I wanted to vote for him in this thread:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,16126.0.html

But:

[....] I very rarely listen to Bach on the piano. It's worse enough already to listen to my own strumming. [....]

Oh, btw, I enjoy Ivo Janssen playing Bach. But he's not on the list. :P

More, when I have done the listening all through.

I will be reading it with great interest. I have some 'solo' stuff of Janssen's Bach (a.o. WTC and Goldbergs), but the entire set is tempting.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on September 04, 2011, 11:22:37 AM
There's a new recording of the French Suites by the pianist Christoph Ullrich. Has anyone heard it?

He skips the first suite; the other five fit on a single disc.

(http://www.tacet.de/cover/10420.jpg)

Yep, got it and spun it a few times... alas without any revelatory insights gained from it so far... which is not to say that I didn't enjoy it.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: PaulSC on September 04, 2011, 02:57:04 PM
Thanks for the replies re: Ullrich. I'll watch, here and in various publications, for reviews of his French Suites. At his website (http://www.christophullrich.de/), one can hear clips from his earlier recordings, including complete performances of the F minor and G major Sinfonias.

At the moment, I'm leaning heavily towards Koroliov for an interpretation on piano of this repertoire. In the previews I've heard, Janssen seems to make very heavy use of agogic emphasis on strong beats. It's a technique I like fine in moderation, but if overused it can destroy the musical flow. Rubsam's Bach can be particularly problematic in this respect. I certainly won't write off Janssen on the basis of a few brief previews, but for instance I don't like what I hear in his Allemande from the E-flat major Suite previewed here (http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/j.s.-bach-french-overture/id439117219).
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 04, 2011, 03:13:58 PM
Thanks for the replies re: Ullrich. I'll watch, here and in various publications, for reviews of his French Suites......

At the moment, I'm leaning heavily towards Koroliov for an interpretation on piano of this repertoire.....

Hi Paul - this thread is becoming interesting!  Don has been one of my MAIN references for Bach keyboard works - I guess that he has 'dumped' Angela Hewitt's performance from his recent post just above.  I'll be looking forward to other suggestions, options, and possibilities - Dave :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on September 04, 2011, 03:32:11 PM
How do folks like Gavrilov's Goldberg Variations on DG?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on September 04, 2011, 04:23:17 PM
Hi Paul - this thread is becoming interesting!  Don has been one of my MAIN references for Bach keyboard works - I guess that he has 'dumped' Angela Hewitt's performance from his recent post just above. 

"Dump" is a harsh word.  I don't think less of her recording that I did a few years ago.  It's just that Rubsam on Naxos is not a set, so I didn't offer it up earlier.  Also, the French Suites on piano isn't a very rewarding way to go; it's the one major Bach solo keyboard work/set of works where I prefer many harpsichord versions before any on piano.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: DavidRoss on September 04, 2011, 04:39:08 PM
http://pianosociety.com/new/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4955
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 04, 2011, 05:57:13 PM
http://pianosociety.com/new/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4955

Hi David - thanks for that link - I don't visit many other music forums (too many others that I belong to to track!), but that OP was of great interest; I'm sure that Bach would have enjoyed the development of the modern piano, but just a guess?  :)

Don - thanks for your clarification - 'dump' is a fairly benign term, I guess - my implication is that Hewitt was not at the top of your list for a piano version (if that is what one wants?) - maybe I should look for some more non-piano interpretations then?  Dave :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 11, 2011, 02:21:32 PM
Well, some considerations after having traversed Ivo Janssen´s 20CD "complete" Bach keyboard music set.

This is a mixture of modern and historically inspired playing. The chosen instruments are not large Steinways, but two Yamaha grand pianos CF III and C7 respectively, with a bright and crystal clear sound reminding me of the clinical sound of some neobaroque organs (Metzler or Marcussen). Also the equal tuning adds an element of modernism as with  Marcussen organs. The recorded piano sound is present and almost analytical with the usual Dutch close, but not too close miking.

Most often and particularly in the suites Janssen´s playing is historically inspired with rhythmic articulation and agogic accents. I think he uses these accents rather discretely and well considered. His execution of ornaments is very brilliant and fluent, almost "harpsichord-like" and his added ornaments and passing notes in repetitions are most tastefully done. He also seems to "registrate" in the way that he maintains the sound level and character of a part of a suite from the outset and plays the repeat softer, as far as I can hear at least sometimes with the help of the una corda pedal. Sometimes it is the other way round. On the other hand the way in which he often merges chords into each other must indicate, that he also uses the sustaining pedal a lot. Particularly in fugues he tends to play more legato, and not seldom he plays a fugue subject in one long legato phrase, consequently maintaining this articulation during the entire fugue. In fugues he also uses dynamics rather freely, most often in the way that he plays sections with greater musical tension at a louder level. However the sound is always well-cared-for and usually marginally restrained.

The suites and the concerto manualiter arrangements are IMO the most sucessful parts of the set, but I tend to think, that I also prefer his WTC and Goldberg´s to any other piano version I have heard. Only the toccatas manualiter disappoint a bit, preferably because he does not play the recitative sections freely enough. In these stylus phantasticus style should be more prominent. On the other hand the chromatic fantasy and the Reinken arrangements and the two capriccio´s are rather imaginatively played. Janssens tempi are generally fast with an almost irresistible rhythmic drive and his dexterity compares easily to the greatest. His musical attitude is naturally expressive, unaffected and unpretentious - very Dutch and much to my taste. He does not convert me to a Bach-on-the-piano-man, but he demonstrates that Bach´s keyboard music even on piano may make much sense, when one takes historically informed performance practice into consideration. Fortunately his artistic choices are balanced, and he does not try to treat the piano like a harpsichord.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Que on September 11, 2011, 09:42:28 PM
Premont, very interesting and based on my own first impressions when sampling, I'm actually not that surprised. :)

I'm repeating the link to jpc (click picture) for those interested:

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/8713897902730.jpg) (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-S%E4mtliche-Werke-f%FCr-Klavier/hnum/4933615)
                     
Q
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jwinter on September 13, 2011, 10:25:20 AM
... I tend to think, that I also prefer his WTC and Goldberg´s to any other piano version I have heard...

Well, that got my attention.  Thanks for the thoughtful review.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Marc on September 14, 2011, 09:42:29 AM
Well, some considerations after having traversed Ivo Janssen´s 20CD "complete" Bach keyboard music set.
[review]

Thanks for this very informative review, Premont.
I haven't made up my mind about purchasing it, even though Que's link is tempting (thanks to you, too).
Experience of the last, say, 5 to 10 years has proven that I only very very rarely grab for Bach on piano discs, even if they're quality material.
Apart from that, it's always a pleasure to read your opinions on Bach, baroque and Ludwig Van The Man. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 14, 2011, 01:05:28 PM
Experience of the last, say, 5 to 10 years has proven that I only very very rarely grab for Bach on piano discs, even if they're quality material.

This has also been my experience from the first days of my interest for Bach. But while traversing Ivo Janssen´s set I found myself enjoying his interpretation again and again, so maybe I shall make a relative exception as to his Bach. For comparison I have recently listened to Rübsam´s Bach piano discs (French suites), and even here I was pleasantly surprised of his expressive playing, so I obviously listen to him too rarely.
 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 14, 2011, 01:09:38 PM
Thanks for the thoughtful review.

I can´t but add that this 20 CD box is a steal for the cost of 50 Euros.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Clever Hans on September 14, 2011, 01:57:17 PM
I can´t but add that this 20 CD box is a steal for the cost of 50 Euros.

I understand he is self-published. Is he especially known in the Netherlands and Germany, or also elsewhere in Europe?

I'm wondering if this is another anglophone conspiracy.

Interesting that he uses a Yamaha CF III, like Bavouzet in his Haydn series.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 21, 2011, 04:22:56 AM
I had forgotten to mention that Paul Jacobs plays a Bach Busoni Prelude and Fugue from WTC very well on one of his live Arbiter records. Sara Davies Buechner has recorded some of the WTC too --I've just started to explore her Goldbergs on spotify, and first reactions are that it's much more interesting than  Klaus Tanski's.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51m23Vohl3L._AA300_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510dl%2B0a90L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 21, 2011, 12:36:51 PM
I can´t but add that this 20 CD box is a steal for the cost of 50 Euros.

Premont - thanks for the excellent review on the Janssen box - available at MDT for $62 (my usual 'across the pond' ordering site) - will need to add some more items to justify the shipping but looks like a good deal to me!  Dave :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on October 06, 2011, 01:07:00 AM
MUCH, much pleasure. In fact, they [Bach's concerto transcriptions] are the core of my favorite recording. (Not favorite Bach recording, but altogether favorite recording.) -- concertos italiens, with Alexandre Tharaud on Harmonia Mundi. Un-be-lievably gorgeous. Made 2005 (gosh, time flies) a great year.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/05/dip-your-ears-no-58.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/05/dip-your-ears-no-58.html)
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/12/best-recordings-of-2005.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/12/best-recordings-of-2005.html)

Concerning the concerto transcriptions, I'm not a big fan and definitely prefer Bach's Toccatas.

I'm not a big fan either but I like Tharaud's stength and I was very surprised by how beautiful his performance  of  BWV 981 is.

Concerning Alessandro Marcello's D Minor concerto, Tharaud plays Bach's transcription. There's another  transcription by Edwin Fischer -- EF recorded it himself:

http://www.youtube.com/v/x84BHH3MUEE&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLD57661463948C6B2

There's a little touch of genius here at the very end.

There's a similar concept CD to Tharaud's from Katsaris, called Italian Journey. Has anyone heard it?

(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/21/211303.JPG)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: bumtz on October 10, 2011, 03:37:21 PM
I can´t but add that this 20 CD box is a steal for the cost of 50 Euros.
You can buy it at newly opened amazon.es for €37: http://www.amazon.es/Bach-J-S-Complete-Johann-Sebastian/dp/B004X28O7W/ref=lh_ni_t

My choice for Bach on piano is Gould (the earlier the better). Looking forward to hearing Gavrilov's versions too. Koroliov is good too. Hated Perahia. Got bored by Hewitt (know her Goldbergs only). 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on October 10, 2011, 06:41:42 PM
Premont, very interesting and based on my own first impressions when sampling, I'm actually not that surprised. :)

I'm repeating the link to jpc (click picture) for those interested:

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/8713897902730.jpg) (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-S%E4mtliche-Werke-f%FCr-Klavier/hnum/4933615)
                     
Q

Still sitting on the fence since I essentially do not know anything about Ivo Janssen ...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Josquin des Prez on October 11, 2011, 01:55:32 AM
I agree so far that I find the piano relatively unsuited for Bach´s music. Though I think the principal problem is on the part of the performers, who choose a relatively unsuited instrument for Bach´s music - and of course they do so because they want to add romantic flavour.

And when they do not add romantic flavor, but still attempt to be pianistic, such as the case of Feltsman, or Koriolov, they are called vulgar. There really is no way to win this for a pianist.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on October 11, 2011, 03:12:05 AM
And when they do not add romantic flavor, but still attempt to be pianistic, such as the case of Feltsman, or Koriolov, they are called vulgar. There really is no way to win this for a pianist.

Premont is more than able to answer for himself, of course. This morning I listened to some Koroliov and Sokolov and some Janssen. (I've got a stinking cold and nothing else to do  :) )

Premont thought that Koriolov is almost vulgar because of the way he heard the dynamics:


Koroliov I find almost vulgar with his stereotyped use of dynamics. Every Cpt. begins pp and ends fff. He has not discovered, that the climax is written into the music.


But that's  not quite right. If you listen to Koroliov's cpt 1 then there is a dynamic climax in the middle, andother loud passage before the end, but the end itself is hushed.

That's not too far from the way Janssen uses dynamic variation -- Janssen uses less extreme dynamics than Koriolov.

http://www.youtube.com/v/G5xAo3KAFgU

Janssen uses more hesitations  to draw the listener's attention to parts of the music. I suppose that relates his style to performance practice in Bach's time and therefore is more tasteful and more timeless than the style which uses dynamic variation more than agogics. We've been head to head about this before on this forum -- I just don't see that this is a valid argument as it stands. There are enormous suppressed premises to do with what the function of a performance is (to take us into Bach's world? to make accessible a timeless abstract object, the composition, which Bach created? to communicate the response of the performer to the score?)

There are other things to say of course. Koroliov's sonority is more burnished than janssens (good thing or bad thing?); Koroliov's staccato/legato articulation is unque (and I think suits this music well); Sokolov is very special at the counterpoint -- a sort of magician at making the voices interleave and relate to each other; Koroliov seems to be slightly better than Janssen at giving the voices equal status, but there's not much in it.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Marc on October 11, 2011, 09:44:06 AM
Mandryka, thanks for your observations!
Btw, a rather impressive upload from Janssen's 'Art'. Great built-up.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 11, 2011, 01:53:12 PM
Still sitting on the fence since I essentially do not know anything about Ivo Janssen ...

Hi Stuart - well I picked up that box from MDT and am just over half through the 20 discs - excellent price!  I'm really enjoying his performances and he is consistently good in these varied works; for those wanting Bach on the piano and like 'one-stop' shopping, this box certainly is a competitive consideration - :)  Dave
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on October 11, 2011, 02:25:17 PM
But that's  not quite right. If you listen to Koroliov's cpt 1 then there is a dynamic climax in the middle, andother loud passage before the end, but the end itself is hushed.

That's not too far from the way Janssen uses dynamic variation -- Janssen uses less extreme dynamics than Koriolov.

But you are only comparing Cpt I which has got the "anticlimatic" coda (after the pauses) which Bach added later. Try to listen to Koroliov´s way of playing the other Cpt.´s.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on October 11, 2011, 06:36:24 PM
Hi Stuart - well I picked up that box from MDT and am just over half through the 20 discs - excellent price!  I'm really enjoying his performances and he is consistently good in these varied works; for those wanting Bach on the piano and like 'one-stop' shopping, this box certainly is a competitive consideration - :)  Dave

Looks like MDT has better price on this set than jpc.  2 orders just arrived from MDT today but it is too late and I am too tired to open the boxes ...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on October 11, 2011, 11:29:29 PM
But you are only comparing Cpt I which has got the "anticlimatic" coda (after the pauses) which Bach added later. Try to listen to Koroliov´s way of playing the other Cpt.´s.

I chose Cpt 1 because the Janssen cpt 1 was on youtube of course. And yes it does have that coda. But I still think your comment is unfair.


Koroliov I find almost vulgar with his stereotyped use of dynamics. Every Cpt. begins pp and ends fff. He has not discovered, that the climax is written into the music.



In Cpt 10 there are several forte passages in the middle of the music, and the whole piece ends pretty softly. Cpt 12 begins loudly and has a beautiful softer central passage.  The Canon at the 12th begins loudly too, and gets louder and louder. The augmented canon in inverted motion starts softy and ends softly and has it's dynamic peak about three quarters through.

I just think that he's a better musician than your comment suggests. His dynamic range is  quite wide. That could be a problem, I suppose, if you think that dynamic restraint is a good idea here because the original instruments were dynamically retrained. But that's a different point, and not one I would want to argue for myself.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on October 12, 2011, 01:49:53 AM
(http://boxset.ru/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/koroliov_bach_french_suites.jpg)

I've been listening to Korliov play the French Suites. I think this one should go to  the top of the pile.

Everything is serene, and everything sounds very natural. The dynamics are reduced and restrained -- nothing like the dynamic range you find in his AoF.

The allemandes and sarabandes  are very moving -- but he never overplays the nostalgic or dramatic side to this music. The fast dances  are impeccable, laser sharp.

There's no swagger in Koroliov's French suites. Everything is very concentrated. That touched me a lot.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: PaulSC on October 12, 2011, 05:40:06 AM
Koroliov is my favorite pianist for the French Suites as well. I like how he achieves beauty of tone without any fussiness, and the sense of phrasing and dialogue is compelling in his performance.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: PaulSC on November 27, 2011, 02:03:22 PM
Certainly. In my wiev the tuning is part of the sound (style) of the instrument.
Sure, fair enough. All of this — the tuning, the choice of instrument from such a wide range of options, and the challenge of finding the right performance approach based on that choice — is what makes me roll my eyes when I hear Angela Hewitt lecture audiences about the greater number of interpretive choices faced by pianists versus harpsichordist. (Did I see you've recently purchased her Bach cycle? I sincerely admire your open-mindedness; for me, there is too much of a negative reaction at the gut level for me to give those recordings a fair chance right now.)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on November 27, 2011, 02:28:50 PM
Sure, fair enough. All of this — the tuning, the choice of instrument from such a wide range of options, and the challenge of finding the right performance approach based on that choice — is what makes me roll my eyes when I hear Angela Hewitt lecture audiences about the greater number of interpretive choices faced by pianists versus harpsichordist. (Did I see you've recently purchased her Bach cycle? I sincerely admire your open-mindedness; for me, there is too much of a negative reaction at the gut level for me to give those recordings a fair chance right now.)

No, I have not yet purchased Hewitt´s Bach cycle, but I consider doing so, depending upon what Antoine, who has ordered it recently, is going to say about it. On the other hand I purchased Ivo Janssen´s Bach cycle a few months ago, and it is a long time since I have heard a pianist playing so stylish (particularily as to phrasing, articulation, voice leading and rhythmic drive) and still using the piano to some advantage - so to say - even if I do not agree with all his choices of dynamics. Well, you can not get everything, when it is about Bach on the piano.

When Hewitt thinks it is more difficult to play Bach on the piano than on the harpsichord, she is wrong. On a harpsichord - due to its much faster action - you must have a much closer "contact" with the instrument, if you want to play in an expressive manner. But maybe she thinks, that the harpsichord is incapable of expression. But this attitude would not prevent me from listening to her piano playing.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on November 27, 2011, 04:02:32 PM
No, I have not yet purchased Hewitt´s Bach cycle, but I consider doing so, depending upon what Antoine, who has ordered it recently, is going to say about it. On the other hand I purchased Ivo Janssen´s Bach cycle a few months ago, and it is a long time since I have heard a pianist playing so stylish (particularily as to phrasing, articulation, voice leading and rhythmic drive) and still using the piano to some advantage - so to say - even if I do not agree with all his choices of dynamics. Well, you can not get everything, when it is about Bach on the piano.

When Hewitt thinks it is more difficult to play Bach on the piano than on the harpsichord, she is wrong. On a harpsichord - due to its much faster action - you must have a much closer "contact" with the instrument, if you want to play in an expressive manner. But maybe she thinks, that the harpsichord is incapable of expression. But this attitude would not prevent me from listening to her piano playing.

I have owned all of Hewitt's Bach keyboard works for a number of years now - individual sets, not the big box.  IMO, she is one of the best interpreters of Bach keyboard works of her generation.  I basically do not feel her second WTC is necessarily better than her first like some music critics claimed.  But we are all entitled to our opinions ...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on November 28, 2011, 11:49:05 AM
I'd say Hewitt's Bach recordings are pretty good, but far from being among the best on piano.

If you should point to a complete - or almost complete - set, whom would you choose?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on November 28, 2011, 11:55:24 AM
If you should point to a complete - or almost complete - set, whom would you choose?

YOU are in the hunt for a piano set?  Okay, but I'm not aware of any complete set except for the Jansen (haven't heard it).

My favored Bach pianists are Gould, Gulda, Fellner, Tureck, Rangell and Rubsam.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on November 28, 2011, 12:31:57 PM
YOU are in the hunt for a piano set?
Well, I own the excellent Janssen-set, and was just wondering if Hewitt´s set might be a reasonable addition. Your words "she is far from being among the best" made me curious as to whom you in the first hand compare her to. Of these Rübsam is my own first favorite. I do not know Fellner´s and Rangell´s Bach. Might think of considering their WTC.




Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on November 28, 2011, 02:35:01 PM
Well, I own the excellent Janssen-set, and was just wondering if Hewitt´s set might be a reasonable addition.

I'd say no.  The best Hewitt on record is the Italian Concerto, and that's on an earlier DG Bach recital program. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 28, 2011, 05:26:11 PM
I'd say no.  The best Hewitt on record is the Italian Concerto, and that's on an earlier DG Bach recital program.

I had understood in the past that you have a high overall opinion of her interpretations. Did I misunderstand your comments?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SonicMan46 on November 29, 2011, 08:54:27 AM
Well, I own the excellent Janssen-set, and was just wondering............

Well, I'll have to agree w/ Premont on the Ivo Janssen box (in fact, he stimulated my interest & ultimate purchase!) - this is an outstanding accomplishment and recommended for those wanting Bach on the piano; I was amazed at the consistency throughout the numerous discs, and the uniformity of the recorded sound - happy camper for me in that choice - Dave :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on November 29, 2011, 11:04:52 AM
I had understood in the past that you have a high overall opinion of her interpretations. Did I misunderstand your comments?

I do have a high opinion of her, but I don't believe I ever indicated that her Bach was on my top-tier.  Also, concerning complete sets of anything, I don't acquire any unless they are at the top.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 29, 2011, 12:15:22 PM
My favored Bach pianists are Gould, Gulda, Fellner, Tureck, Rangell and Rubsam.

What makes these your favourites?

You're not looking for something as simple as premontesque stylishness.  (Sorry if this sounds like the Spanish Inquisition)



Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 29, 2011, 12:23:50 PM

I'd say no.  The best Hewitt on record is the Italian Concerto, and that's on an earlier DG Bach recital program.

Yes it's quite unconstrained in the fast movement and melting  in the slow. She wouldn't play Bach in such a virile way now -- she doesn't think it's a good way to play the music.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on November 29, 2011, 12:39:37 PM
.... something as simple as premontesque stylishness.

 :D

You make this sound too easy. I may rather say, that I do not like interpretations which do not respect the style of the composition in question (the obvious example: Baroque music played in a romantic tradition). But within a given musical style there are thousandths of possible ways of interpretation, all of which still may be called stylish (respecting the style of the composition).
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 29, 2011, 01:11:08 PM
:D

You make this sound too easy. I may rather say, that I do not like interpretations which do not respect the style of the composition in question (the obvious example: Baroque music played in a romantic tradition). But within a given musical style there are thousandths of possible ways of interpretation, all of which still may be called stylish (respecting the style of the composition).

I know: you've helped me to see that. But somehow I don't think that Gould and Tureck are going to fit the bill.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 29, 2011, 01:29:34 PM
I do have a high opinion of her, but I don't believe I ever indicated that her Bach was on my top-tier.  Also, concerning complete sets of anything, I don't acquire any unless they are at the top.

I have proofs, Don:

Quote
A Stunning New Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2

Donald Satz wrote (July 17, 1999):
Bach's Well Tempered Clavier is one of the monuments of classical music. It can be approached on many levels: one giant entity, two large books, a series of 48 groupings of preludes and fugues, and ninety six distinct musical pieces. I tend to favor the "96" approach and find the two books to consititute Bach's greatest musical accomplishment. Imagine 96 pieces of music spread over about 4 hours, each piece having its own unique combination of style and emotions conveyed, each piece being a masterful representation of music at its finest.

This is where the new Hewitt recording on Hyperion of Book 2 enters the picture. I listened to it twice last night, and one overriding thought kept popping into my mind; Hewitt perfectly captures the emotions of each prelude and fugue. It's a stunning performance, and I know of none better. Recorded sound is excellent as well - typical Hyperion piano sound.

I just have one little reservation. In the first prelude, I would have preferred a more extensive legato. But, given how superbly Hewitt plays all the other preludes and fugues, this reservation becomes rather trivial.

So, Hewitt, in my opinion, joins Gould, Aldwell, and Martins, in giving us superb/highly distinctive piano readings of Book 2. Although Hewitt gets every emotion right, the one which I think most applies to her interpretation is "exuberant". There's a dance-like element that Hewitt highlights whenever appropriate; I was entranced by it.

Anyway, this was 12 years ago...  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on November 29, 2011, 01:51:05 PM
I have proofs, Don:

Anyway, this was 12 years ago...  :)

Right, and I wrote it after two listenings.  I've wised up since then and listen to a recording many times before I shoot my mouth off.
Then again, maybe I'm the Mitt Romney of the board. ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 29, 2011, 02:26:50 PM
Yeah? Let's see the hair!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SonicMan46 on November 29, 2011, 02:34:22 PM
Right, and I wrote it after two listenings.  I've wised up since then and listen to a recording many times before I shoot my mouth off.
Then again, maybe I'm the Mitt Romney of the board. ;)

Don - LOL!  ;D  - reminds me of a radiology maxim that I used a lot when teaching my residents:

Look three times, think twice, speak once!      Dave :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 29, 2011, 02:42:36 PM
That were an excellent guide for posting, too, wot?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on November 29, 2011, 02:42:47 PM
I know: you've helped me to see that. But somehow I don't think that Gould and Tureck are going to fit the bill.

Like Walcha and to some degree Wolfgang Rübsam (particularly in his second Bach organ set) they are more or less constituting their own individual style.
So you are more than else left with the question whether you like it or not, since formal considerations do not work sufficiently here.
This is of course the reason, why discussions of their artistry may result in much controversy.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on November 29, 2011, 03:00:30 PM
Look three times, think twice, speak once!      Dave :)

I use to say:

Stir dig ikke så blind på de ting du ser, at du overser de ting du ikke ser.

In English approximately:
Do not become hypnotized that much by the things you see, that you miss the things you do not see.


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SonicMan46 on November 29, 2011, 03:08:51 PM
In English approximately:
Do not become hypnotized that much by the things you see, that you miss the things you do not see.

Yes, another radiological equivalent - roughly quoted below:

If you see an obvious abnormality, ignore it, and look at the rest of the image first!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on November 29, 2011, 03:35:44 PM
If you see an obvious abnormality, ignore it, and look at the rest of the image first!
More or less my philosophy.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 29, 2011, 05:43:11 PM
I use to say:
Do not become hypnotized that much by the things you see, that you miss the things you do not see.

Yes, another radiological equivalent - roughly quoted below:
If you see an obvious abnormality, ignore it, and look at the rest of the image first!

But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, right?  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on November 29, 2011, 09:00:58 PM
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/MagrittePipe.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on November 30, 2011, 03:49:59 AM
I use to say:

Stir dig ikke så blind på de ting du ser, at du overser de ting du ikke ser.


Som er fint råd.

Speaking of Bach on the Piano - Heard Alexandre Tharau again, last night... and although in Scarlatti and Debussy, mostly, one of the encores was Bach of course. Sublime as few other things are.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 09, 2012, 09:49:46 AM
This pianists' practice of playing Bach music staccato -- you hear it in Gould and Tureck.

Where does it come from? Why do they do it?


By the way I've been playing a lot of French Suite 4 and I've been very taken by Richter on the Stradivarius label. I think even premont would like it, except maybe the sarabande. What he does with the fast music  in the second half  has to be heard to be believed. And like Cates he adds a little prelude. Well worth trying in my opinion.

The question about staccato came about as a result of listening to Gould of course. I'd forgotten just how outrageous and original his interpretation is.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Oldnslow on February 09, 2012, 10:25:59 AM
While it isn't Bach, the best piano recording I have heard in a long time is by Lisa Smirnova on ECM of the Handel 8 Great Suites. Great music, wonderful performances.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 09, 2012, 12:38:43 PM
I might well try that. For Handel on piano the two things I really like are Eduard Erdmann playing  Suite 4 and Richter live in Hungary playing Suite 5, though all Richter's studio records of Handel  are very much my sort of thing.  Has anyone heard Perrahia's Handel? I've herd some positive things said about it.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on February 09, 2012, 02:31:49 PM
This pianists' practice of playing Bach music staccato -- you hear it in Gould and Tureck.
Where does it come from? Why do they do it?
The question about staccato came about as a result of listening to Gould of course. I'd forgotten just how outrageous and original his interpretation is.

The harpsichord is a plucked instrument, the action is relative fast, when you activate the key, you press it, and the player has got a relative good contact with the string.
The piano is a percussion instrument, the action is relative slower, when you activate the key you rather hit it, and the player has relative less contact with the string.
Non legato touch, which is the normal baroque harpsichord touch [whatever Jens says], feels natural on a harpsichord, but it is difficult to realise on a piano, where legato touch for technichal reasons feels more easy and natural. Now many pianists know and/or feel, that legato touch is less suited for baroque music, and they try to play non legato on the piano. But this is very difficult to realise, and consequently they play too much staccato touch in order to avoid too much legato touch.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leon on February 09, 2012, 02:48:29 PM
I own Angel Hewitt's first recording of the WTC, from ~1998, and I like it.  Is her second performance from 2009 so different that it is worthwhile investing in?  One thing I've read is that her choice of instrument in the second set is "lighter" and some people prefer it.

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on February 09, 2012, 06:20:24 PM
I might well try that. For Handel on piano the two things I really like are Eduard Erdmann playing  Suite 4 and Richter live in Hungary playing Suite 5, though all Richter's studio records of Handel  are very much my sort of thing.  Has anyone heard Perrahia's Handel? I've herd some positive things said about it.

I've only said negative things about Perahia's Handel; Richter is much better.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: kishnevi on February 09, 2012, 07:49:12 PM
What do folks here think of Gulda's WTC?  Barnes and Noble has it on a pair of Philips Duos that tempt me every time I walk in there, but so far I've resisted..  Should I continue to resist or give in?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on February 09, 2012, 07:53:59 PM
What do folks here think of Gulda's WTC?  Barnes and Noble has it on a pair of Philips Duos that tempt me every time I walk in there, but so far I've resisted..  Should I continue to resist or give in?

I say resist. Who else do you have on piano?

I like Richter, Feinberg and Tureck (DG.) Feinberg I like the most.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on February 10, 2012, 09:10:28 AM
What do folks here think of Gulda's WTC?  Barnes and Noble has it on a pair of Philips Duos that tempt me every time I walk in there, but so far I've resisted..  Should I continue to resist or give in?

There's no reason to resist.  I think it's a great piano set, about on the level of Gould.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on February 10, 2012, 11:55:28 AM
There's no reason to resist.  I think it's a great piano set, about on the level of Gould.

Sound isn't always top-notch (easily as good as Gould, though). But very strong set; nicely played... not at all 'crazy' as one might expect from Gulda's persona.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 10, 2012, 12:10:03 PM
The harpsichord is a plucked instrument, the action is relative fast, when you activate the key, you press it, and the player has got a relative good contact with the string.
The piano is a percussion instrument, the action is relative slower, when you activate the key you rather hit it, and the player has relative less contact with the string.
Non legato touch, which is the normal baroque harpsichord touch [whatever Jens says], feels natural on a harpsichord, but it is difficult to realise on a piano, where legato touch for technichal reasons feels more easy and natural. Now many pianists know and/or feel, that legato touch is less suited for baroque music, and they try to play non legato on the piano. But this is very difficult to realise, and consequently they play too much staccato touch in order to avoid too much legato touch.

I think that's an interesting reply, and is probably part of the picture.

How essential is baroque harpsichord-like touch? Is it, in your opinion, as essential as dynamic restraint? Do you really lose anything which is really key to the music if you play too legato (like I guess Edwin Fischer or Schnabel) or too staccato (like I guess Gould)?

I also wonder which pianists are most successful at playing with baroque touch. Koroliov? Richter? Janssen (who I have hardly heard -- have you found the recordings continue to be interesting?)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on February 10, 2012, 12:34:08 PM
Sound isn't always top-notch (easily as good as Gould, though). But very strong set; nicely played... not at all 'crazy' as one might expect from Gulda's persona.

Yes, the sound isn't very good and rather annoying at times.  However, like Gould, Gulda rises above the soundstage.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on February 10, 2012, 12:37:07 PM
How essential is baroque harpsichord-like touch? Is it, in your opinion, as essential as dynamic restraint? Do you really lose anything which is really key to the music if you play too legato (like I guess Edwin Fischer or Schnabel) or too staccato (like I guess Gould)?

From my view, nothing is essential except a high level of artistry.  Neither Gould nor Tureck are "too" staccato, and a guy like Edward Adwell is not too legato.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on February 10, 2012, 12:57:56 PM
I think that's an interesting reply, and is probably part of the picture.

How essential is baroque harpsichord-like touch? Is it, in your opinion, as essential as dynamic restraint? Do you really lose anything which is really key to the music if you play too legato (like I guess Edwin Fischer or Schnabel) or too staccato (like I guess Gould)?

I also wonder which pianists are most successful at playing with baroque touch. Koroliov? Richter? Janssen (who I have hardly heard -- have you found the recordings continue to be interesting?)

Well, depending on who you talk to: it is essential (not "how")... or it isn't important at all.

For me it comes down to this: If you are going to play Bach on the Piano -- an act of transcription, in a way -- then you might as well acknowledge the instrument you are playing, its strengths and those elements that it cannot do, compared to the 'instrument of intent'.

There are pianists who play the piano 'harpsichord-like'; often with overdoing the staccato bit, as premont mentions. Whether the wrong instrument used as a pseudo-harpsichord is desirable, well... that's at least questionable. Some recordings of Gould highlight that because of his playing. To some degree because he brushed down the felt hammers of his Yamaha... and sometimes he actually used a tack-piano (harsh name for the instrument that was once a Steinway) like he does in this YouTube clip: http://youtu.be/4SDpIyVhZKA (http://youtu.be/4SDpIyVhZKA)

The result is neither piano nor harpsichord, and you could say it combines the worst of both...
But in its own way it becomes something wonderful and new, an odd glassy sound. Anyway... there are pianists who try to emulate the harpsichord in various ways (i.e. ornamentation, where the slow decay of the piano gives the interpreter much less room to play with), but usually it makes harpsichordists' hair stand on end... faux-register shifts and all. Judging from his Goldberg Variations, V.Feltsman (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001KNUUTM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=goodmusicguide-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001KNUUTM) is one of the chaps who uses the piano thus... and I rather like it, although I'd not make it my first choice. Koroliov plays Bach decidedly pianistically, without lushing about romantically like Perahia (no WTC) or Barenboim. Lifschitz is another, but he also has no WTC to his name.

Do you loose something playing Bach too legato? Well, yes... but you can also gain as much, if you do it right. That's the crunch question for all sorts of transcriptions. Bach was an inveterate transcriber and his music works better than anyone's transcribed... whether harpsichord -> piano or violin - > harpsichord or orchestra - > Kazoo. A good musician is what you need, and a good idea of what she or he is doing. Transcribing first (say: from harpsichord to piano) and then trying to undue the transcription by playing the piano as if it wasn't one is probably not the easiest path to success, though. And the innate rhythm that you too much legato muddles can be retained by a good musician in any case, as long as he has a compelling pulse.

From my view, nothing is essential except a high level of artistry.  Neither Gould nor Tureck are "too" staccato, and a guy like Edward Adwell is not too legato.

Ah, damn. Yes, basically I meant to say that.  :D
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 10, 2012, 02:05:28 PM
From my view, nothing is essential except a high level of artistry.  Neither Gould nor Tureck are "too" staccato, and a guy like Edward Adwell is not too legato.

Essential for playing the music in a way which is, as far as we know, consistent with how Bach  may have conceived it. That's what I meant.

I like Gould too. And Tureck. And Edwin Fischer and Schnabel. But the question of consistency with historical practice seems not uninteresting in Bach's case at least, just because he was a great composer, and so how  he conceived the performance of his own music may be one  good way to play it.



I have tried to write the above without falling into the intentionalist fallacy. But it's late and I may have failed  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 10, 2012, 02:07:31 PM
Well, depending on who you talk to: it is essential (not "how")... or it isn't important at all.

For me it comes down to this: If you are going to play Bach on the Piano -- an act of transcription, in a way -- then you might as well acknowledge the instrument you are playing, its strengths and those elements that it cannot do, compared to the 'instrument of intent'.

There are pianists who play the piano 'harpsichord-like'; often with overdoing the staccato bit, as premont mentions. Whether the wrong instrument used as a pseudo-harpsichord is desirable, well... that's at least questionable. Some recordings of Gould highlight that because of his playing. To some degree because he brushed down the felt hammers of his Yamaha... and sometimes he actually used a tack-piano (harsh name for the instrument that was once a Steinway) like he does in this YouTube clip: http://youtu.be/4SDpIyVhZKA (http://youtu.be/4SDpIyVhZKA)

The result is neither piano nor harpsichord, and you could say it combines the worst of both...
But in its own way it becomes something wonderful and new, an odd glassy sound. Anyway... there are pianists who try to emulate the harpsichord in various ways (i.e. ornamentation, where the slow decay of the piano gives the interpreter much less room to play with), but usually it makes harpsichordists' hair stand on end... faux-register shifts and all. Judging from his Goldberg Variations, V.Feltsman (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001KNUUTM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=goodmusicguide-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001KNUUTM) is one of the chaps who uses the piano thus... and I rather like it, although I'd not make it my first choice. Koroliov plays Bach decidedly pianistically, without lushing about romantically like Perahia (no WTC) or Barenboim. Lifschitz is another, but he also has no WTC to his name.

Do you loose something playing Bach too legato? Well, yes... but you can also gain as much, if you do it right. That's the crunch question for all sorts of transcriptions. Bach was an inveterate transcriber and his music works better than anyone's transcribed... whether harpsichord -> piano or violin - > harpsichord or orchestra - > Kazoo. A good musician is what you need, and a good idea of what she or he is doing. Transcribing first (say: from harpsichord to piano) and then trying to undue the transcription by playing the piano as if it wasn't one is probably not the easiest path to success, though. And the innate rhythm that you too much legato muddles can be retained by a good musician in any case, as long as he has a compelling pulse.


Thanks. I'll need to think about what you've said. Just one point.

Koroliov, in WTC, sounds to me like he used  a quite distinctive touch. Relatively encapsulated sounds for long passages. That's why I singled him out.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: kishnevi on February 10, 2012, 02:13:45 PM
I say resist. Who else do you have on piano?

I like Richter, Feinberg and Tureck (DG.) Feinberg I like the most.

Sorry, George, you've been outvoted. 

In answer to your question: Hewitt II,Gould,               Ashkenazy  in that order of preference.  Spacing gives you an idea of how far behind the others I place Ashkenazy.  His WTC lacks the delightful perversity which makes his Partitas interesting.
Harpsichord:  Belder, Egarr.  There's also Levin, but I have yet to listen to it, so it's not really fair to include him.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on February 10, 2012, 02:17:56 PM
Sorry, George, you've been outvoted. 

 ;D

Surely not the first, nor the last time that will happen.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Antoine Marchand on February 10, 2012, 03:35:13 PM
From my view, nothing is essential except a high level of artistry.  Neither Gould nor Tureck are "too" staccato, and a guy like Edward Adwell is not too legato.

I don't frequently listen to Bach played on piano, but I think Edward Aldwell comes quite close to my idea of a satisfactory interpretation on piano. His touch is light and clear (well articulated, although never staccato), as Hewitt, but he (differently to Hewitt) is able to maintain a basic pulse through a complete movement and his tempi are consistent among the different suites. I don't know if an interpretation could be more HIP oriented, without to betray the own nature of the piano, after all a Romantic instrument.

P.S.: I'm talking about Aldwell's French Suites (Hänssler), the only recording by him that I have.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on February 10, 2012, 04:17:56 PM
I don't frequently listen to Bach played on piano, but I think Edward Aldwell comes quite close to my idea of a satisfactory interpretation on piano. His touch is light and clear (well articulated, although never staccato), as Hewitt, but he (differently to Hewitt) is able to maintain a basic pulse through a complete movement and his tempi are consistent among the different suites. I don't know if an interpretation could be more HIP oriented, without to betray the own nature of the piano, after all a Romantic instrument.

I also don't generally listen to Bach played on piano, but once in a while I get out Glenn Gould's Bach, originally my introduction to Bach's keyboard works.

Just yesterday I played Gould's WTC book 1 and enjoyed it immensely. Makes me want to hear Bach on piano more than I do.

I've had Tureck's 1st account of WTC for many years, and listen once in awhile. I love her sensibility and appreciate the meditative quality of her performance.  She is a whole other world from any pianist I've heard.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on February 10, 2012, 05:54:04 PM
Thanks. I'll need to think about what you've said. Just one point.

Koroliov, in WTC, sounds to me like he used  a quite distinctive touch. Relatively encapsulated sounds for long passages. That's why I singled him out.

I was working off Koroliov's Goldberg Variatons (live & Haenssler recording) and some of his recent Tacet Recordings; I sadly don't have his WTC.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: nesf on February 10, 2012, 08:21:52 PM
I'm curious, what are people's opinions of Glenn Gould's second recording (I think, 1983 I believe) of the Goldberg Variations? It was my introduction to the work so it's kind of stuck in my head as how "it's supposed to be done" but I do wonder if people view it as a travesty or as beautiful as I find it.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on February 10, 2012, 09:53:38 PM
I was working off Koroliov's Goldberg Variatons (live & Haenssler recording) and some of his recent Tacet Recordings; I sadly don't have his WTC.

I urge you to get Koroliov's WTC.  His Goldbergs is mighty fine, but the WTC is on an even higher level.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on February 10, 2012, 09:59:14 PM
I'm curious, what are people's opinions of Glenn Gould's second recording (I think, 1983 I believe) of the Goldberg Variations? It was my introduction to the work so it's kind of stuck in my head as how "it's supposed to be done" but I do wonder if people view it as a travesty or as beautiful as I find it.

It's my favorite Gould version, more of thinking man's version than the '55'.

By the way, the '83' is not his second recording, but the fourth (at least).  The first is on a CBC disc, second is the '55', third is a live one on Sony performed in Salzburg.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 10, 2012, 11:51:25 PM
I was working off Koroliov's Goldberg Variatons (live & Haenssler recording) and some of his recent Tacet Recordings; I sadly don't have his WTC.

And I don't have his Goldbergs!!

AoF is very good too -- certainly my favourite piano version from the ones I know, whatever premont says.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on February 11, 2012, 02:46:33 AM
And I don't have his Goldbergs!!

AoF is very good too -- certainly my favourite piano version from the ones I know, whatever premont says.

His ARIA puts me to sleep, and then the Variations just build upon each other to become completely irresistible. An amazing GV.
It will be (or has already been) re-issued by that "Great Piano Performances" label that licenses across the field some famous and some obscure insider-tip piano recordings that have become hard to come by. Interesting concept and so far I've found some real hidden gems in their catalog.

Have you heard Koroliov's most recent Bach -- four-hand performances with his wife? A terrific disc. http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-1-10.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-1-10.html) (including sound snippet)

Gould "IV" (Although it is usually, commonly referred to as his "second" recording) is from 1982, unless he came back from the grave. http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/04/goldberg-variations.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/04/goldberg-variations.html)
It's a beautiful recording, so very different from '55. Both have managed to become classics because a.) Gould was stupendous in many ways and b.) very neatly post-mortem-marketable.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: nesf on February 11, 2012, 07:13:17 AM
Gould "IV" (Although it is usually, commonly referred to as his "second" recording) is from 1982, unless he came back from the grave. http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/04/goldberg-variations.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/04/goldberg-variations.html)
It's a beautiful recording, so very different from '55. Both have managed to become classics because a.) Gould was stupendous in many ways and b.) very neatly post-mortem-marketable.

It's my favorite Gould version, more of thinking man's version than the '55'.

By the way, the '83' is not his second recording, but the fourth (at least).  The first is on a CBC disc, second is the '55', third is a live one on Sony performed in Salzburg.

Thank you both for the correction.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 11, 2012, 09:11:23 AM

Have you heard Koroliov's most recent Bach -- four-hand performances with his wife? A terrific disc. http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-1-10.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-1-10.html) (including sound snippet)


Yes. I have it and I like it. It's true that the touch he uses there isn't the same as what I hear on the WTC record. That's interesting and I hadn't noticed it before.

Have you heard Dezso Ranki and  Edit Klukon playing Bach and Bach/Kurtag duets? They gave a concert in London recently and I have a bootleg of a concert in Budapest a couple of years ago. Let me know if you want me to let you have the FLACs.

Does anyone know if there are any other piano transcriptions of Clavier Ubung 3 on record (other than Koroliov)? Surely Busoni must have transcribed some of the choral preludes there.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on February 11, 2012, 02:04:32 PM
;D

Surely not the first, nor the last time that will happen.

I thought you liked the WTC by Gulda at some point.  At any rate, I have the Philips twofer as well.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leon on February 11, 2012, 05:38:54 PM
I own Angel Hewitt's first recording of the WTC, from ~1998, and I like it.  Is her second performance from 2009 so different that it is worthwhile investing in?  One thing I've read is that her choice of instrument in the second set is "lighter" and some people prefer it.

 :)

I've since searched this thread and found some comments. 

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on February 11, 2012, 05:40:55 PM
I've since searched this thread and found some comments. 

 :)

Buy the second set as well, it is not gonna to break your bank ...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on February 12, 2012, 06:43:52 AM
How essential is baroque harpsichord-like touch? Is it, in your opinion, as essential as dynamic restraint? Do you really lose anything which is really key to the music if you play too legato (like I guess Edwin Fischer or Schnabel) or too staccato (like I guess Gould)?

Touch and articulation can not really be separated. Articulation is practised touch and how the notes are tied to or separated from each other. By articulating the notes differently this is - along with agogic stressing (= rubato) - the only way you on a harpsichord can demonstrate the rhythm and the relative hierarchy of the notes in a musical subject or phrase. Because if you on a harpsichord play all the notes in a phrase articulated in the same way  - e.g. in an unbroken legato, you can neither perceive the rhythm nor the relative importance of the notes. On a piano on the other hand you can play an unbroken legato and still tell the rhythm and the relative importance of the notes you want to by stressing the good and the important notes dynamically. Isn´t the piano then a better instrument, since it more easily can tell the musical course? Certainly not, as this way of playing lends the music a totally different character far from the harpsichord idiom. The articulation and agogic is an all important part of the baroque harpsichord style and can not be replaced by dynamic means without breaking the style of the music. This is the reason why I do consider Bach on piano not just to be a question of taste but even a question of style. It is of course possible, even it is difficult, to play Bach on the piano in a stylish way (with stylish articulation and agogics and sparse or no dynamic stressing), but in practice it is rarely heard, because the pianists since the emergence of the piano have got this dynamic stressing way of playing reflexive in their blood. The most stylish Bach on piano I have heard - even if still far from ideal from that point of view - is from Ivo Janssen. But why play Bach on the piano at all, when we have got the harpsichord, which is the ideal instrument for this music?


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 12, 2012, 10:34:24 AM
Thanks for all of that. I'm not sure I understand but I need to think about it.

There are two main reasons why I listen to Bach on piano. One is that some of the piano transcriptions are in themselves interesting and rather nice pieces of music. I think Busoni's Goldbergs are like that. And some of Kurtag's.

And second I think that some of the pianists who play Bach are very good musicians. I think Richter's suites, for example, are just very good performances in their own right: the question of style notwithstanding. The same thought, by the way applies to pre HIP harpsichord performances - those early Leonhardt recordings which I love so much, and Walcha's English suites, and the first Landowska record of English Suite 2.

As you know, the idea that the role of the performer is to recreate something resembling the composer's conception of how the music would have been played is a relatively new  idea.  Unfortunately, the majority of Bach on piano on record is played in a romantic way. Sentimental piano isn't my thing.Fortunately not all Bach on piano is sentimental, even though it may not be HIPstyle.  Gould, Richter, Koroliov, Vedernikov, Grinberg, Weissenberg don't always  play sentimentally

 I'm interested in 21st century Bach -- a way of playing the music which makes it sound not like a product of an outmoded world, even if that world is Bach's own. Not just a beautiful decoration or a historical curiosity, but something which speaks to me and my concerns now.  Walcha's  intense sewing machine comes close to being just that -- as does, for reasons I can't articulate,  that intense, unified and varying wall of sound in Zacher's AoF. And some of the pieces in Richter's WTC -- especially towards the end of Book 1.

Maybe the music is sufficiently strong to do this, if allowed to speak for itself. That's what you would say I think, premont. I'm coming round to that opinion myself  :)


 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on February 12, 2012, 01:06:22 PM
But why play Bach on the piano at all, when we have got the harpsichord, which is the ideal instrument for this music?

Unfortunately, there are many folks who don't like the sound of a harpsichord. :(
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 12, 2012, 01:21:43 PM
Unfortunately, there are many folks who don't like the sound of a harpsichord. :(
That's me. I find the sound irritating. And I find the piano an ideal instrument for Bach too, but I don't mind if others prefer the harpsichord. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: nesf on February 12, 2012, 01:29:29 PM
Unfortunately, there are many folks who don't like the sound of a harpsichord. :(

It took me well over a year to develop any kind of taste for it and even so a lot of harpsichord stuff sets my teeth on edge.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Verena on February 12, 2012, 01:49:37 PM
Unfortunately, there are many folks who don't like the sound of a harpsichord. :(

I'm trying relatively hard at the moment to learn to like that sound by listening to harpsichord recordings on a regular basis; interpretation-wise I really admire many harpsichord recordings of Bach, more so than most piano versions. If only I could get myself to liking the sound a little more...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Antoine Marchand on February 12, 2012, 02:52:04 PM
I'm trying relatively hard at the moment to learn to like that sound by listening to harpsichord recordings on a regular basis; interpretation-wise I really admire many harpsichord recordings of Bach, more so than most piano versions. If only I could get myself to liking the sound a little more...

Personally, I believe when people isn't comfortable with the sound of the harpsichord, it's a good idea to avoid old recordings. And the word "old" is very comprehensive in this repertory, including even recordings from the eighties.  ;D Obviously this is an exaggeration, but the point is that currently the harpsichord is getting quite better recordings than in the past (obviously in the past also existed harpsichords gloriously recorded and I am not talking about the interpretations). That's the reason why I frequently recommend contemporary recordings to people uncomfortable with the sound of the harpsichord. Recordings like this:



Here a French copy of a German harpsichord is used and it's wonderfully recorded. BTW, Joyé delivers a beautiful, totally first-rate interpretation.  :)


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Verena on February 12, 2012, 03:33:31 PM
Personally, I believe when people isn't comfortable with the sound of the harpsichord, it's a good idea to avoid old recordings. And the word "old" is very comprehensive in this repertory, including even recordings from the eighties.  ;D Obviously this is an exaggeration, but the point is that currently the harpsichord is getting quite better recordings than in the past (obviously in the past also existed harpsichords gloriously recorded and I am not talking about the interpretations). That's the reason why I frequently recommend contemporary recordings to people uncomfortable with the sound of the harpsichord. Recordings like this:



Here a French copy of a German harpsichord is used and it's wonderfully recorded. BTW, Joyé delivers a beautiful, totally first-rate interpretation.  :)

Thanks, Antoine! I'll check it out.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on February 12, 2012, 03:49:06 PM
Personally, I believe when people isn't comfortable with the sound of the harpsichord, it's a good idea to avoid old recordings. And the word "old" is very comprehensive in this repertory, including even recordings from the eighties.  ;D Obviously this is an exaggeration, but the point is that currently the harpsichord is getting quite better recordings than in the past (obviously in the past also existed harpsichords gloriously recorded and I am not talking about the interpretations). That's the reason why I frequently recommend contemporary recordings to people uncomfortable with the sound of the harpsichord. Recordings like this:



Here a French copy of a German harpsichord is used and it's wonderfully recorded. BTW, Joyé delivers a beautiful, totally first-rate interpretation.  :)

You picked a good one - Joye and her harpsichord offer a luxurious and delightful set of performances.  It's hard to imagine anyone not being smitten.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Geo Dude on February 12, 2012, 06:20:34 PM
I'm trying relatively hard at the moment to learn to like that sound by listening to harpsichord recordings on a regular basis; interpretation-wise I really admire many harpsichord recordings of Bach, more so than most piano versions. If only I could get myself to liking the sound a little more...

Head over to the Bach on the harpsichord thread and we'll see if we can set you on the right direction. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on February 12, 2012, 10:27:17 PM
But why play Bach on the piano at all, when we have got the harpsichord, which is the ideal instrument for this music?

To quote George Mallory, beause it's there. ;)

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 12, 2012, 11:07:29 PM
Personally, I believe when people isn't comfortable with the sound of the harpsichord, it's a good idea to avoid old recordings. And the word "old" is very comprehensive in this repertory, including even recordings from the eighties.  ;D Obviously this is an exaggeration, but the point is that currently the harpsichord is getting quite better recordings than in the past (obviously in the past also existed harpsichords gloriously recorded and I am not talking about the interpretations). That's the reason why I frequently recommend contemporary recordings to people uncomfortable with the sound of the harpsichord. Recordings like this:



Here a French copy of a German harpsichord is used and it's wonderfully recorded. BTW, Joyé delivers a beautiful, totally first-rate interpretation.  :)

That's not a bad recommendation at all for those who dislike the harpsichord sound. It has a warmer, richer sound with less pinging. I bet most would be able to listen to this one, though perhaps not in one go.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 13, 2012, 12:25:57 AM
It's on spotify.

I suspect that the reaction against harpsichord goes deeper than just wanting a warm sound. People I know people who like piano music say they think the lack of dynamic variation is tiring. And me, I have a problem with the  hesitations which seems so widespread among harpsichordists, but which hardly exists among pianists -- Rubsam apart.

In fact I think the piano is easier to have as ambient music. The harpsichord is more attention grabbing. And so it's less easy on the ears, less able to become a sort of beautiful elegant background. That could be a problem too.

If not I suggest piano lovers and harpsichord haters go to a big pedal harpsichord record rather than that one that Antone suggested. One with  thrilling colours and a deep bass and a player who's ready to tickle your fancy with exciting inorganic registration changes, and who lets the music sing forth, piano-style. How about one of my favourites:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61J7rLzsiJL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Or maybe more subtly, they could go to a particularly singing and beautiful harpsichord, but in some music where the keyboard doesn't play for too long -- where there's variety and  where they're less likely to become fatigued by the relentless lack of dynamic variation. Like Tachezi in Harnoncourt's Musical Ofering. It's hard to imagine anyone could react against the harpsichord there:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KT88jcJnL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on February 13, 2012, 12:47:22 AM
Or maybe more subtly, they could go to a particularly singing and beautiful harpsichord, but in some music where the keyboard doesn't play for too long -- where there's variety and  where they're less likely to become fatigued by the relentless lack of dynamic variation. Like Tachezi in Harnoncourt's Musical Ofering. It's hard to imagine anyone could react against the harpsichord there:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KT88jcJnL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

The harpsichord sound might be okay here (beautiful, really), but the music might be considered too "academic" (and dry, cold, emotionless and whathaveyou). ;) Another recording from the same recording stable (more or less) in which I find the harpsichord sound to be as good is Scott Ross' recording of CUII along with the Chromatic F&F and the duets.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 13, 2012, 01:01:40 AM
The harpsichord sound might be okay here (beautiful, really), but the music might be considered too "academic" (and dry, cold, emotionless and whathaveyou). ;) Another recording from the same recording stable (more or less) in which I find the harpsichord sound to be as good is Scott Ross' recording of CUII along with the Chromatic F&F and the duets.

Yes. I remember now that in the thread here on Musical Offering people say they don't like the music, that's it's dry blah blah blah.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on February 13, 2012, 06:53:41 AM
I'm trying relatively hard at the moment to learn to like that sound by listening to harpsichord recordings on a regular basis; interpretation-wise I really admire many harpsichord recordings of Bach, more so than most piano versions. If only I could get myself to liking the sound a little more...

This would be, far and away, my favorite harpsichord disc to try out someone who usually is not keen on harpsichord sound.

The music, Bach and Bach-friend miniatures, is delightful; the recorded sound is lush and rich like a warm snifter of cognac.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/harpsichord-like-rarely-ever.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/harpsichord-like-rarely-ever.html), http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/12/best-recordings-of-2010-1.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/12/best-recordings-of-2010-1.html).

Now back to Bach on the Piano.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Verena on February 13, 2012, 10:20:57 AM
Head over to the Bach on the harpsichord thread and we'll see if we can set you on the right direction. :)

Thanks! I will  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Verena on February 13, 2012, 10:24:38 AM
This would be, far and away, my favorite harpsichord disc to try out someone who usually is not keen on harpsichord sound.

The music, Bach and Bach-friend miniatures, is delightful; the recorded sound is lush and rich like a warm snifter of cognac.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/harpsichord-like-rarely-ever.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/harpsichord-like-rarely-ever.html), http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/12/best-recordings-of-2010-1.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/12/best-recordings-of-2010-1.html).

Now back to Bach on the Piano.

Thanks!!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on February 13, 2012, 11:00:09 AM
This would be, far and away, my favorite harpsichord disc to try out someone who usually is not keen on harpsichord sound.

The music, Bach and Bach-friend miniatures, is delightful; the recorded sound is lush and rich like a warm snifter of cognac.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/harpsichord-like-rarely-ever.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/harpsichord-like-rarely-ever.html), http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/12/best-recordings-of-2010-1.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/12/best-recordings-of-2010-1.html).

Now back to Bach on the Piano.

If this is your favored harpsichord recording [Rousset´s English suites et c.] I very well understand why you prefer Bach on the piano.  ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: PaulSC on February 13, 2012, 12:29:13 PM
If this is your favored harpsichord recording [Rousset´s English suites et c.] I very well understand why you prefer Bach on the piano.  ;D

Actually, I don't think Jens has any consistent preference for piano versus harpsichord. I suspect he was just reminding us that this is the “Bach on the piano” thread…
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on February 13, 2012, 01:05:53 PM
..There are two main reasons why I listen to Bach on piano. One is that some of the piano transcriptions are in themselves interesting and rather nice pieces of music.
And second I think that some of the pianists who play Bach are very good musicians. I think Richter's suites, for example, are just very good performances in their own right: the question of style notwithstanding. The same thought, by the way applies to pre HIP harpsichord performances - those early Leonhardt recordings which I love so much, and Walcha's English suites, and the first Landowska record of English Suite 2.


You have two good and important points there. Yes, some piano transcriptions are interesting - and let us not forget, that transcription has been part of our music culture for ages.
And more important is that some performers are so great that one must listen to them, even if they chose an unidiomatic instrument, whether piano or non-period harpsichord. And if we did not have their recordings we would have nothing. I am not at all adverse to Bach on piano or non-period harpsichord at that level, and I certainly prefer a great pianist to a mediocre harpsichordist any day.

Quote from: Mandryka
I'm interested in 21st century Bach -- a way of playing the music which makes it sound not like a product of an outmoded world, even if that world is Bach's own. Not just a beautiful decoration or a historical curiosity, but something which speaks to me and my concerns now.  Walcha's  intense sewing machine comes close to being just that -- as does, for reasons I can't articulate,  that intense, unified and varying wall of sound in Zacher's AoF. And some of the pieces in Richter's WTC -- especially towards the end of Book 1.

Maybe the music is sufficiently strong to do this, if allowed to speak for itself. That's what you would say I think, premont. I'm coming round to that opinion myself  :)

Living with Bach´s music  for many years enables you to absorb his world, and it may become an actual and not an outmoded world. After all human affects and emotions have been similar for ages.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on February 13, 2012, 01:08:19 PM
Actually, I don't think Jens has any consistent preference for piano versus harpsichord. I suspect he was just reminding us that this is the “Bach on the piano” thread…

Yes, you are right. It is a problem to have two so related threads.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on February 13, 2012, 01:21:11 PM
In fact I think the piano is easier to have as ambient music. The harpsichord is more attention grabbing. And so it's less easy on the ears, less able to become a sort of beautiful elegant background. That could be a problem too.

Sad, but probably true.

I think my way to get to love the harpsichord was listening to it live at recitals.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 13, 2012, 01:27:54 PM
 Quote from: (: premont :) on Today at 05:21:11 PM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=9885.msg601190#msg601190)
I think my way to get to love the harpsichord was listening to it live at recitals.
 
Collaborating with a chap who plays the harpsichord made all the difference, somehow.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on February 13, 2012, 03:30:06 PM
Quote from: (: premont :) on Today at 05:21:11 PM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=9885.msg601190#msg601190)
I think my way to get to love the harpsichord was listening to it live at recitals.
 
Collaborating with a chap who plays the harpsichord made all the difference, somehow.

karl, you're quotes look weird lately. They don't have that blue bubble around them.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on February 13, 2012, 03:41:11 PM
It's on spotify.

I suspect that the reaction against harpsichord goes deeper than just wanting a warm sound. People I know people who like piano music say they think the lack of dynamic variation is tiring. And me, I have a problem with the  hesitations which seems so widespread among harpsichordists, but which hardly exists among pianists -- Rubsam apart.

In fact I think the piano is easier to have as ambient music. The harpsichord is more attention grabbing. And so it's less easy on the ears, less able to become a sort of beautiful elegant background.

No matter whether a harpsichord or piano, I sure don't want it played as "elegant background".
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: PaulSC on February 13, 2012, 06:52:36 PM
karl, you're quotes look weird lately. They don't have that blue bubble around them.

I wonder if it's a Tapatalk thing?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on February 13, 2012, 06:55:15 PM
I wonder if it's a Tapatalk thing?

I wonder what Tapatalk is?  :-\
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: DavidW on February 13, 2012, 08:24:10 PM
I wonder what Tapatalk is?  :-\

It's an app for phones and tablets to make it easier to read and post in forums on those lilliputian displays.  It costs $1 for the kindle fire (and probably android in general), on the ipod/iphone it is $3. :o  You have to be some serious mobile forum posting kind of guy to shell out $3 for that! :D
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on February 13, 2012, 08:40:53 PM
It's an app for phones and tablets to make it easier to read and post in forums on those lilliputian displays.  It costs $1 for the kindle fire (and probably android in general), on the ipod/iphone it is $3. :o  You have to be some serious mobile forum posting kind of guy to shell out $3 for that! :D

Thanks Dave! How was that thing I sent ya?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: DavidW on February 13, 2012, 08:45:33 PM
Thanks Dave! How was that thing I sent ya?

I was listening to the album this am... and then realized "shit that's the wrong version!" I've loaded it now and will listen to it tomorrow. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on February 14, 2012, 04:57:44 AM
I was listening to the album this am... and then realized "shit that's the wrong version!" I've loaded it now and will listen to it tomorrow. :)

Ok, let me know.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leon on February 14, 2012, 10:55:21 AM
No matter whether a harpsichord or piano, I sure don't want it played as "elegant background".

+1

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Geo Dude on February 14, 2012, 11:26:30 AM
No matter whether a harpsichord or piano, I sure don't want it played as "elegant background".

+ 2
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 14, 2012, 11:29:44 AM
Could still be played by someone wearing a powdered wig, though.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on February 14, 2012, 11:38:49 AM
Could still be played by someone wearing a powdered wig, though.

+1

 ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leon on February 14, 2012, 11:48:17 AM
+1

 ;)

That's easy for you to say.

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: DavidW on February 14, 2012, 12:21:16 PM
Ok, let me know.

It has that analog sound, not as crisp but very detailed... and it has a much better dynamic range with no distortion or artifacts like the version I have.  Thanks. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on February 14, 2012, 03:11:35 PM
It has that analog sound, not as crisp but very detailed... and it has a much better dynamic range with no distortion or artifacts like the version I have.  Thanks. :)

Cool, glad you like it!  8)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on February 15, 2012, 06:59:02 PM
It's an app for phones and tablets to make it easier to read and post in forums on those lilliputian displays.  It costs $1 for the kindle fire (and probably android in general), on the ipod/iphone it is $3. :o  You have to be some serious mobile forum posting kind of guy to shell out $3 for that! :D

That is Apple for you.  I have never owned any Apple products and have no intention of ever ...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on February 18, 2012, 07:21:27 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41cKTzVwOqL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I've finished hearing this recording of Book.2 of WTC played by Zhu Xiao-Mei, and her account fascinates me. Makes me glad to explore Bach on piano, which I've been wanting to do for awhile now. It's a whole other exciting world of sound to hear Bach in this manner. The right pianist can open the door to a new enlightening experience in Bach.

 8)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on February 18, 2012, 07:30:38 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41cKTzVwOqL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I've finished hearing this recording of Book.2 of WTC played by Zhu Xiao-Mei, and her account fascinates me. Makes me glad to explore Bach on piano, which I've been wanting to do for awhile now. It's a whole other exciting world of sound to hear Bach in this manner. The right pianist can open the door to a new enlightening experience in Bach.

 8)

I absolutely love her Bach & Scarlatti -- and her WTC is among those few recordings I am really ready to purchase.  Amazing, yet not at all ostentatious in any way. Leaves all discussion as to instrument behind, and leaves you only the music.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on February 18, 2012, 07:58:54 AM
I absolutely love her Bach & Scarlatti -- and her WTC is among those few recordings I am really ready to purchase.  Amazing, yet not at all ostentatious in any way. Leaves all discussion as to instrument behind, and leaves you only the music.

Great description there, and I totally agree. I am looking forward to her Book 1 in the near future.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Verena on February 18, 2012, 08:05:14 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41cKTzVwOqL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I've finished hearing this recording of Book.2 of WTC played by Zhu Xiao-Mei, and her account fascinates me. Makes me glad to explore Bach on piano, which I've been wanting to do for awhile now. It's a whole other exciting world of sound to hear Bach in this manner. The right pianist can open the door to a new enlightening experience in Bach.

 8)

Her Bach partitas are wonderful.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 18, 2012, 08:50:16 AM
Her Bach partitas are wonderful.

I'm going to hear her in Paris on April 1st. Part of a big weekend festival. Before the concert I'll be hearing Hantai play some Bach -- she's playing Haydn and some other things, but AFAIR not Bach.

I'm really going because some friends of mine, who tend to like romantic Bach, praise her. She's playing Haydn, Mozart and Schubert. My main aim in going to the festival was to hear Hantai (Bach, Couperin and Byrd). But now I read your post  I feel glad I got the ticket!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Verena on February 18, 2012, 09:29:33 AM
I'm going to hear her in Paris on April 1st. Part of a big weekend festival. Before the concert I'll be hearing Hantai play some Bach -- she's playing Haydn and some other things, but AFAIR not Bach.

I'm really going because some friends of mine, who tend to like romantic Bach, praise her. She's playing Haydn, Mozart and Schubert. My main aim in going to the festival was to hear Hantai (Bach, Couperin and Byrd). But now I read your post  I feel glad I got the ticket!

I hope you enjoy the concert! She can be terrific, I think. I enjoy her Haydn and also part of her recent Mozart recording.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on February 18, 2012, 12:45:14 PM
I'm going to hear her in Paris on April 1st. Part of a big weekend festival...

..My main aim in going to the festival was to hear Hantai (Bach, Couperin and Byrd).

Hantaï  - that sounds interesting. A report from you about the recital would be appreciated. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on February 20, 2012, 10:18:33 AM
Hearing Edwin Fischer's WTC set for the first time last night, and he's making me become a REAL fan of Bach on piano! Wow! Based on previous reviews online and comments here, I was expecting something more heavy handed and romantic, but what I heard was more subtle and structured.

Also, heard the first half of Fellner's WTC too, and WOW. Love, love LOVE it.

 8)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on February 26, 2012, 09:26:08 AM
Besides Edwin Fischer and Zhu Xiao-Mei, I have been listening to the following, fascinated by the different approaches taken on the modern grand.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rM5fhWlXL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41V3OrpBebL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HARbskV1L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

 8)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on February 28, 2012, 01:20:37 PM
In today's MusicWeb International set of reviews, there's a review of Gould's 1955 Goldberg Variations that the reviewer dumps on for 10 paragraphs.  In doing so, he holds up Perahia, Schiff's Decca effort and Hewitt as the versions to acquire.  All I can say is that the reviewer must be an odd duck with poor taste (I'm overloading here some).
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: kishnevi on February 28, 2012, 08:16:14 PM
In today's MusicWeb International set of reviews, there's a review of Gould's 1955 Goldberg Variations that the reviewer dumps on for 10 paragraphs.  In doing so, he holds up Perahia, Schiff's Decca effort and Hewitt as the versions to acquire.  All I can say is that the reviewer must be an odd duck with poor taste (I'm overloading here some).

I beg to differ.  I tend to agree with him on the faults in Gould's recording, which for me now is a great and wonderful recording that is more sui generis.  I play that recording because I like the overall result, regardless of the faults,  and I play it when I want to hear Bach played through the specific filter of Glenn Gould.  But my actual preferences in the GVs are Perahia and Hewitt.  (Schiff I have the Decca GVs--it's okay, but merely okay.)  When I want to point someone in the direction of Glenn Gould, I point them to the 1955 Goldbergs.  WHen I want to point someone to Bach, I point them elsewhere.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on February 28, 2012, 09:04:43 PM
I beg to differ.  I tend to agree with him on the faults in Gould's recording, which for me now is a great and wonderful recording that is more sui generis.  I play that recording because I like the overall result, regardless of the faults,  and I play it when I want to hear Bach played through the specific filter of Glenn Gould.  But my actual preferences in the GVs are Perahia and Hewitt.  (Schiff I have the Decca GVs--it's okay, but merely okay.)  When I want to point someone in the direction of Glenn Gould, I point them to the 1955 Goldbergs.  WHen I want to point someone to Bach, I point them elsewhere.

No problem.  As a registered Libertarian, I'll defend your right to be wrong. ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Toccata and Fugue on February 28, 2012, 10:44:16 PM
I like Sergei Edelmann's Bach recital. Wonderful playing and sound, especially on a multi-channel SACD system.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41B51kvpDtL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Scion7 on February 29, 2012, 01:06:36 AM
Sviatoslav Richter, rec. 1973 - WTC Bk II - mine is on MHS - with surfaces that are far, far better than Capitol/Melodiya's was!
Pretty label, noisy LP!!  These have been re-issued several times on CD, and currently there is a 2-CD set of these recordings on Amazon.

(http://s13.postimage.org/cuxvsxnev/Bach_WTC_Bk2_vinyl_LP_Richter.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Clever Hans on February 29, 2012, 04:06:53 PM
No problem.  As a registered Libertarian, I'll defend your right to be wrong. ;D

Bach on the piano is much like Libertarianism.
A nice idea, but does not really work in reality.    :)






Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Bulldog on February 29, 2012, 04:46:40 PM
If Libertarianism doesn't "work in reality", it's because why would anyone in power reduce their power for the benefit of the many.

For the good of the country - just requires a few patriots. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Clever Hans on February 29, 2012, 05:05:28 PM
If Libertarianism doesn't "work in reality", it's because why would anyone in power reduce their power for the benefit of the many.
So you're almost half right.

Are you talking about big gov't or CEOs of health insurance companies and their lobby?

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Toccata and Fugue on February 29, 2012, 07:36:38 PM
Are you talking about big gov't or CEOs of health insurance companies and their lobby?

We're supposed to be talking Bach on the piano...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on March 03, 2012, 07:53:24 AM



I'm finally feeling ready for Tureck's Bach. I've had her 1953 set for many years, but always have a difficult time listening all the way through, but I figured my perception would change with more experience with the WTC, and this appears to be the case while listening to Book II on the BBC Legends series. Wow, what a great, serious apollonian quality Tureck brings to the table. I am listening to this after hearing Gould's Book II yesterday, the differences are illuminating and facsinating.

I am also captivated by Zhu Xiao-Mei's Book II and look forward to listening to her Book 1, which I just purchased.



As anyone heard her Book I yet?



Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on March 03, 2012, 07:08:16 PM



I'm finally feeling ready for Tureck's Bach. I've had her 1953 set for many years, but always have a difficult time listening all the way through, but I figured my perception would change with more experience with the WTC, and this appears to be the case while listening to Book II on the BBC Legends series. Wow, what a great, serious apollonian quality Tureck brings to the table. I am listening to this after hearing Gould's Book II yesterday, the differences are illuminating and facsinating.

I am also captivated by Zhu Xiao-Mei's Book II and look forward to listening to her Book 1, which I just purchased.



As anyone heard her Book I yet?

But do you like the following set?  I think it is an excellent set, which I added to my Bach collection a few years back ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Mc-jhnGTL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on March 04, 2012, 06:35:23 AM
But do you like the following set?  I think it is an excellent set, which I added to my Bach collection a few years back ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Mc-jhnGTL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I do love that set, a monumental set, and the one that has taken me along time to appreciate. I returned to her 1953 set yesterday and find it a fascinating account of WTC.

This morning I am listening to her book 1 from BBC Legends, which sounds on the same level:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31KJTE91XKL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

My god, her Bach is truly noble, elevated in spirit, an exalted ideal, and seemingly with a high purpose.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on March 08, 2012, 01:54:15 PM
I do love that set, a monumental set, and the one that has taken me along time to appreciate. I returned to her 1953 set yesterday and find it a fascinating account of WTC.

This morning I am listening to her book 1 from BBC Legends, which sounds on the same level:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31KJTE91XKL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

My god, her Bach is truly noble, elevated in spirit, an exalted ideal, and seemingly with a high purpose.

Is the BBC Legends recording in stereo?  The DG set is monaural.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on April 01, 2012, 09:05:06 PM
Hantaï  - that sounds interesting. A report from you about [Hantai] the recital would be appreciated. :)

Well, the concert hall (Salle Gaveau)  was freezing cold and about one third full. He was obviously disturbed right from the start when he saw someone taking photos, and he signalled to stop. After the initial pieces (Byrd) he politely asked the guy to stop. Result: the guy  became offensive ("people have already started to walk out of the concert", " all this fuss just for a photo" . . .) Hantai was evidently disturbed and it showed when he played the Bach. The overture sounded angry. But he'd calmed down by the time he came to the Sarabande and the Meunuets were fantastic -- with a wonderful sense of dialogue between the voices. Generally I was stuck by two things. First, at times the Bach was very busy with ornamentation. And second, he had a way of highlighting dissonances which I hadn't noticed before. The best bits  for me was the Byrd and an unidentified L Couperin prelude and chaconne and that Bach menuet and Sarabande.  I love everything I hear by Byrd though!

I hope you enjoy the concert! She [Zhu Xiao-Mei ] can be terrific, I think. I enjoy her Haydn and also part of her recent Mozart recording.

I heard her play a Mozart fantasy and a Haydn sonata. She played D960   but I had to leave early so I missed it. I thought she was frankly mediocre. She's got a very rich and burnished tone though. In both the Mozart and the Haydn contrasts and drama were resolutely avoided. The result was beautiful, rich and trivial. In Haydn especially she seemed to have nothing at all to say: no wit, no intensity, just a sort of warm comfortable mellow burnished sound.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on April 02, 2012, 08:22:56 AM
Well, the concert hall (Salle Gaveau)  was freezing cold and about one third full. He was obviously disturbed right from the start when he saw someone taking photos, and he signalled to stop. After the initial pieces (Byrd) he politely asked the guy to stop. Result: the guy  became offensive ("people have already started to walk out of the concert", " all this fuss just for a photo" . . .) Hantai was evidently disturbed and it showed when he played the Bach. The overture sounded angry. But he'd calmed down by the time he came to the Sarabande and the Meunuets were fantastic -- with a wonderful sense of dialogue between the voices. Generally I was stuck by two things. First, at times the Bach was very busy with ornamentation. And second, he had a way of highlighting dissonances which I hadn't noticed before. The best bits  for me was the Byrd and an unidentified L Couperin prelude and chaconne and that Bach menuet and Sarabande.  I love everything I hear by Byrd though!

I heard her play a Mozart fantasy and a Haydn sonata. She played D960   but I had to leave early so I missed it. I thought she was frankly mediocre. She's got a very rich and burnished tone though. In both the Mozart and the Haydn contrasts and drama were resolutely avoided. The result was beautiful, rich and trivial. In Haydn especially she seemed to have nothing at all to say: no wit, no intensity, just a sort of warm comfortable mellow burnished sound.

Thanks for your thoughts, especially regarding Zhu Xiao-Mei. The tone of her performances of those works are qualities I would highly enjoy, it sounds like a great concert!

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on April 25, 2012, 07:24:35 AM

What appeals to me (in Rübsam´s Bach piano interpretations) is his creative thinking combined with a subtle kind of poetry, and he never becomes overtly romantic (like Sokolov or Koroliov) or distressing motorical-mechanical (like Gould or Pogorelic). Rübsam´s point of departure concerning his piano technic seems to be the clavichord rather than the piano.

 In the keyboard partitas I hear plenty of colour, plenty of dynamic variation. I hear slow tempos.

What is the link to the clavichord supposed to signify? Licence to cut the nobility and grandeur that comes so naturally on a harpsichord performance, substituting intimacy? Licence to use colour and dynamics? It makes a nonsense of the Romantic/Authentic baroque  distinction constructed along the lines of the physical properties of the performance, except for matters of articulation.

But if we turn to the non-physical properties, I hear (in the Allemande of Partita 4 for example) a very personal, very emotional statement from Rübsam  -- a performance which seems based on Rübsam's feelings as much as anything else. From an affective point of view, Rübsam's as romantic as  Fiorentino.

Or have I missed something?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on April 25, 2012, 10:16:42 AM
Quote from: Mandryka
What is the link to the clavichord supposed to signify? Licence to cut the nobility and grandeur that comes so naturally on a harpsichord performance, substituting intimacy? Licence to use colour and dynamics? It makes a nonsense of the Romantic/Authentic baroque  distinction constructed along the lines of the physical properties of the performance, except for matters of articulation.
Yes, this is in essence what I meant, but only limited licence. And in contrast to most other pianists, who play Bach, Rübsam does not blow up the expressive potential of the music by using too much and too great dynamic variation and generally too high volume levels. I have not heard him live, but this has been reported more times by his listeners. Compare f.i. to Tureck (whom I have heard live) and who played with generally high dynamic levels far from any association to the clavichord - I think she tried to imitate the grandeur of the harpsichord.

BTW what I find most interesting in Rübsams interpretations is not his dynamics but his rather original agogics. On the other hand I agree with those who think that he sometimes goes too far, -  IMO mainly in some of his organ recordings for Naxos.

Quote from: Mandryka
But if we turn to the non-physical properties, I hear (in the Allemande of Partita 4 for example) a very personal, very emotional statement from Rübsam  -- a performance which seems based on Rübsam's feelings as much as anything else. From an affective point of view, Rübsam's as romantic as  Fiorentino.

Or have I missed something?

No, you have not missed anything at all. The borders between the evoking of general affects and the expression of individual feelings are sometimes narrow and difficult to define. The points of departure may be different but the results seem identical.  However I do not mind borderline cases. What annoys me is the overly romantic ways of playing Bach. And I do not think Rübsam in his piano recordings crosses the borders of good taste that often. I can not compare with Fiorentino, as I never have heard a Bach recording from his hands.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on April 25, 2012, 10:01:44 PM
Could you (anyone!) recommend me your favourite version(s) of Bach's chorale preludes played on/transcribed for a piano? I have little idea of what kind of an interpretation I'm looking for, so throw everything you like at me. ;D The pieces themselves (it's not as easy as searching for a piano version of The Italian Concerto, is it?) or recordings. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on April 26, 2012, 05:40:17 AM
Could you (anyone!) recommend me your favourite version(s) of Bach's chorale preludes played on/transcribed for a piano? I have little idea of what kind of an interpretation I'm looking for, so throw everything you like at me. ;D The pieces themselves (it's not as easy as searching for a piano version of The Italian Concerto, is it?) or recordings. :)

Did Kempff or Feinberg record any of them? They'd be my pick.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on April 26, 2012, 05:58:01 AM
Could you (anyone!) recommend me your favourite version(s) of Bach's chorale preludes played on/transcribed for a piano? I have little idea of what kind of an interpretation I'm looking for, so throw everything you like at me. ;D The pieces themselves (it's not as easy as searching for a piano version of The Italian Concerto, is it?) or recordings. :)

This is a favourite CD

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Nrr0hpNVL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

There's also this, bu t I've never enjoyed it as much as the Hewitt -- but I may have missed something.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61apgHCga-L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Or there's an unpublished recital with Ranki which is extraordinary  from a couple of years ago with quite a bit of Bach/Kurtag transcriptions of Chorales -- let me know if you want it.

Surely Busoni made transcriptions? I've never heard them if he did. The standard collection seems to be Játékok. I used to think I just didn't like Kurtag's style but the Ranki performance showed me that the problem is to do with interpretation.

Feinberg did indeed record his own transcriptions of choral preludes and I'd say it's one of his most interesting CDs, partly beciause of the two recordings of the BWV 662, one made just before he died. If you are a fan of his other Bach CDs George, you may like it more than me.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HvNLGj-TL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Has anyone heard the Bach/Feinberg CDs which are part of Hyperion's transcriptions series -- I'm quite curious about the,.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on April 26, 2012, 06:00:58 AM
Did Kempff or Feinberg record any of them? They'd be my pick.

Thanks, George. It looks like both of them transcribed some and recorded them too. Also, there's a disc from the Hyperion series with F's transcriptions played by Martin Roscoe, for modern sound. :) That's a nice start.

(But do keep the recs coming. :))

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on April 26, 2012, 06:07:28 AM

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zTCIO06Dia0/T4XXvUVvorI/AAAAAAAAIOo/0beh1ZjTCo8/s1600/TheMusicForPiano-0166.png)

Or there's an unpublished recital with Ranki which is even better from a couple of years ago with quite a bit of Bach/Kurtag transcriptions -- let me know if you want it.

I surely would love to hear that. Thanks for the offer! :)

Quote
Surey Busoni made transcriptions? I've never heard them if he did.

Yes, there are a lot, apparently. Just by searching for those Kempff and Feinberg listings, I came up with a tonne of other transcriptions, and not just those by Busoni! ;D

This sudden interest is thanks largely to Schiff's lectures on Beethoven's sonatas. Every time he says, this or that phrase was borrowed or inspired by a chorale and plays it a little, I get the urge to listen to more of that.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on April 26, 2012, 06:35:13 AM
Feinberg did indeed record his own transcriptions of choral preludes and I'd say it's one of his most interesting CDs, partly beciause of the two recordings of the BWV 662, one made just before he died. If you are a fan of his other Bach CDs George, you may like it more than me.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HvNLGj-TL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Oooh, haven't heard that one, perhaps someone will make it available for me?  0:)
 
Quote
Has anyone heard the Bach/Feinberg CDs which are part of Hyperion's transcriptions series -- I'm quite curious about the,.

Sorry, no, I only have his WTC.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on April 26, 2012, 06:44:02 AM
Could you (anyone!) recommend me your favourite version(s) of Bach's chorale preludes played on/transcribed for a piano? I have little idea of what kind of an interpretation I'm looking for, so throw everything you like at me. ;D The pieces themselves (it's not as easy as searching for a piano version of The Italian Concerto, is it?) or recordings. :)

Koroliov recommendation seconded. Here's a review and an excerpt:
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-1-10.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-1-10.html)
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-2.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-2.html)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leon on April 26, 2012, 07:08:53 AM
+3 for Koroliov.  His Bach recordings are very fine in general, IMO.

 :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on April 26, 2012, 08:02:26 AM
Yes, this is in essence what I meant, but only limited licence. And in contrast to most other pianists, who play Bach, Rübsam does not blow up the expressive potential of the music by using too much and too great dynamic variation and generally too high volume levels. I have not heard him live, but this has been reported more times by his listeners. Compare f.i. to Tureck (whom I have heard live) and who played with generally high dynamic levels far from any association to the clavichord - I think she tried to imitate the grandeur of the harpsichord.

BTW what I find most interesting in Rübsams interpretations is not his dynamics but his rather original agogics. On the other hand I agree with those who think that he sometimes goes too far, -  IMO mainly in some of his organ recordings for Naxos.

No, you have not missed anything at all. The borders between the evoking of general affects and the expression of individual feelings are sometimes narrow and difficult to define. The points of departure may be different but the results seem identical.  However I do not mind borderline cases. What annoys me is the overly romantic ways of playing Bach. And I do not think Rübsam in his piano recordings crosses the borders of good taste that often. I can not compare with Fiorentino, as I never have heard a Bach recording from his hands.

I wonder how mannered Rübsam's rubato is. That's to say, what do we know about authentic agogics?

Here's Fiorentino's Allemande from Partita 4 (I've never really loved it, though I think it is extraordinary.) By the way the more I listen to Rübsam's Partitas the more I appreciate the poetry: in partita 4 the Menuet especially, and the end of the Sarabande, seem wonderful interpretations to me.  And  the Aria too.

http://www.youtube.com/v/x9KQdjaCpvM

The point about Tureck is interesting. The recordings I appreciate the most are the ones on her Great Pianists recordings, which aren't available elsewhere as far as I know. One thing I like about them is precisely that she doesn't use high dynamic levels there (I believe quite deliberately, and the recording engineers worked very hard to capture her rather restrained sound.)

Re Rübsam, I'm playing his Naxos AoF a lot now, and some of the first Buxtehude recordings. The AoF is interesting -- there are some really haunting things in it (like Cpt XIII.) The registrations are sometimes so bold (who else is really imaginative at registrations?)

The Naxos AoF is like a spiritual journey -- I haven't worked out that idea fully but that's the way I'm thinking about what he's up to there
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on April 26, 2012, 08:43:51 AM
Koroliov recommendation seconded. Here's a review and an excerpt:
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-1-10.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-1-10.html)
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-2.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-2.html)

+3 for Koroliov.  His Bach recordings are very fine in general, IMO.

 :)

Thanks very much, gents. I've heard him only in the WTC so far. He often gets playtime on my iPod and serves as a contrast to Hewitt I.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on April 26, 2012, 10:47:23 AM
I wonder how mannered Rübsam's rubato is. That's to say, what do we know about authentic agogics?

We know next to nothing. Rubato is very difficult to describe in words, and even the most authoritative sources (e.g. Frescobaldis preface to his Toccatas book one) does neither explain the essence of rubato, nor tells how to realise it. So it is up to the individual player´s (and listener´s) taste, whether a given rubato works musically. I recall a reviewer (from Grammophone IIRC) who wrote about one of Rübsam´s  Naxos Bach organ recordings, something like that he takes us right to the creation of the music, as if he (Rübsam) was composing the music when playing it. IMO this is a fruitful approach to Rübsams interpretations, but sometimes he is so heavy and leaden, that the music dies, e.g. the Passacaglia.

Quote from: Mandryka
Here's Fiorentino's Allemande from Partita 4 (I've never really loved it, though I think it is extraordinary.) By the way the more I listen to Rübsam's Partitas the more I appreciate the poetry: in partita 4 the Menuet especially, and the end of the Sarabande, seem wonderful interpretations to me.  And  the Aria too.
http://www.youtube.com/v/x9KQdjaCpvM

Thanks for the clip. I find Fiorentino very "romantic" in his ultra-shading of almost every note. I do not recall Rübsam being obsessed by micro-details in that way, - have to relisten to him.

Quote from: Mandryka
The point about Tureck is interesting. The recordings I appreciate the most are the ones on her Great Pianists recordings, which aren't available elsewhere as far as I know. One thing I like about them is precisely that she doesn't use high dynamic levels there (I believe quite deliberately, and the recording engineers worked very hard to capture her rather restrained sound.)

I do not know if she changed her style. The recital I refer to took place about 1968.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on April 27, 2012, 08:28:36 AM
Thanks very much, gents. I've heard him only in the WTC so far. He often gets playtime on my iPod and serves as a contrast to Hewitt I.

+4 for Koroliov. The last few weeks I have been listening to his French Suites and Art of the Fugue, and I'm very taken by his technique and subtle colors.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on April 27, 2012, 08:34:59 AM
+4 for Koroliov. The last few weeks I have been listening to his French Suites and Art of the Fugue, and I'm very taken by his technique and subtle colors.

All right, Koroliov gets a super-bump up the wish-list. ;D Thanks, Leo.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on April 30, 2012, 07:46:13 AM
I forgot Demidenko's second CD of Bach Busoni for Hyperion, which contains quite a few preludes. I love both of Demidenko's CDs on Hyperion:I rate them as highly as Hewitt's transcriptions CDs, if not more so.

I listened today to Demidenko playing Bach/Busoni BWV665 -- a choral prelude from the Leipzig Chorales. When you hear a good organ performance it's a harrowing piece of music, an emotionally explicit evocation of ideas in the chorale like "wrath of God" or "bitter grief and death".

All that's gone in the Demidenko recording.

I doubt that anyone could do better than Demidenko playing Bach/Busoni on a piano.

If you listen to both you can see straightway why someone may say that whatever Demidenko's doing, he's not playing Bach's music.

By the way I listened again to Koroliov's and I thought it was cold hearted. The Hewitt recording  (which I also dipped into again)  is  warm though: very moving and, maybe unsurprisingly, a bit saccharine. Hewitt's is  to let wash over you after a hard day's work: you just keep thinking "oooh, lovely"
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on April 30, 2012, 08:29:09 AM
[off topic]

Re: Demidenko -

Heard his Hyperion Wigmore live 2CD set, Mandryka? It's superb!

[/off topic]
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on April 30, 2012, 09:23:33 AM
[off topic]

Re: Demidenko -

Heard his Hyperion Wigmore live 2CD set, Mandryka? It's superb!

[/off topic]

I went to those concerts. There are some really nice things on the cds -- the Vorísek and the Schumann and Haydn is especially memorable. If you ever get a chance to hear him play Schumann, grab it. He used to play a lot of Schumann in the Wigmore Hall in the 1990s and it was very contentious. Equally, I've heard him play a lot Haydn over the years, and I've always liked his style.

The Bach/Busoni CDs are very special for me partly, because they don't sound at all baroque -- they sound like Busoni more than Bach. In the Chaconne, for example, I enjoy his performance more than nearly every one I've heard by Weissenberg or Michelangeli (the exception is the very late one from ABM, which is incredible.)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on April 30, 2012, 10:07:58 AM
I went to those concerts.

I'm jealous. Heard his Medtner concertos?  :o
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on May 09, 2012, 08:53:29 AM
If you're still interested in organ preludes, I forgot the two of the best. First Paul Jacobs  recorded about 10 Busoni transcriptions, very well. The whole Cd is wonderful in fact, especially for the Brahms organ transcriptions. He said that these Busoni transcription of Brahms chorales were the hardest thing he's ever played.

The Cd also has the best recording of Messaien's Etudes I have heard.

The second is. Gianluca  Cascioli, who recorded just a few, for DG. His sound is very distinctive - you can tell a Cascioli performance straight away.  He's a fine musician,  with ideas of his own, who I would like to explore some more.

Maria Grinberg didn't record any organ transcriptions, but her Bach, Bach/liszt and Bach/Busoni has been giving me a lot of fun recently. Well worth catching.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Sammy on May 09, 2012, 09:00:03 AM
I have no problem with Bach harpsichord works on piano, but I draw the line with his organ works on piano.  What I love most about the organ is its majesty and strength (the KING of instruments).  Obviously, the piano is a puny substitute.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 09, 2012, 09:02:25 AM
But . . . whatever adjective other you may choose, Busoni transcriptions are not puny.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on May 09, 2012, 09:03:02 AM
I know what you mean. But i've found a way of enjoying them in their own right. You know, you just have to try and forget the originals. They transcend the originals.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on May 09, 2012, 09:05:10 AM
If you're still interested in organ preludes, I forgot the two of the best. First Paul Jacobs  recorded about 10 Busoni transcriptions, very well. The whole Cd is wonderful in fact, especially for the Brahms organ transcriptions.

The second is Cascioli, who recorded just a few, for DG. His sound is very distinctive - you can tell a Cascioli performance straight away.  He's a fine musician,  with ideas of his wn, who I would like to explore some more.

Yes, I'm still. Thank you. :)

I have no problem with Bach harpsichord works on piano, but I draw the line with his organ works on piano.  What I love most about the organ is its majesty and strength (the KING of instruments).  Obviously, the piano is a puny substitute.

If only Bach had had access to a modern concert grand... ::) ;)

Sometimes I'll also want to listen to the works for the puny instruments played on an organ. For instance, when a bass voice enters in a fugue.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 09, 2012, 09:05:26 AM
I know what you mean. But i've found a way of enjoying them in their own right. You know, you just have to try and forget the originals. They transcend the originals.

That's the idea, though I don't think one quite forgets the originals.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Sammy on May 09, 2012, 09:44:42 AM
But . . . whatever adjective other you may choose, Busoni transcriptions are not puny.

True, but the instrument is as a substitute for the organ.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leon on May 09, 2012, 09:49:44 AM
Thread duty: Koroliov and Gavrilov
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 09, 2012, 09:57:40 AM
True, but the instrument is as a substitute for the organ.

Yes, but that has only become objectionable in this happy time of ample sound recordings; was a time that piano transcriptions of organ works did a service.  And the Liszt and Busoni transcriptions are art, as well as service.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on May 09, 2012, 10:57:20 AM
Thread duty: Koroliov and Gavrilov

I have some Gavrilov on the way, his French Suites and Goldbergs, and I can't wait. I haven't head his Bach at all  8)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Sammy on May 09, 2012, 11:09:41 AM
Yes, but that has only become objectionable in this happy time of ample sound recordings; was a time that piano transcriptions of organ works did a service.  And the Liszt and Busoni transcriptions are art, as well as service.

True again, but that doesn't change the fact that those transcriptions don't work for me. :-*
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 09, 2012, 11:14:51 AM
Fair enough. Sorry, lad!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on May 09, 2012, 09:25:48 PM
Did JSB transcribe any organ music for (other) keyboards? Or move his own  music to the organ from clavichord or harpsichord?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on May 09, 2012, 09:40:31 PM
Did JSB transcribe any organ music for (other) keyboards? Or move his own  music to the organ from clavichord or harpsichord?

I have the 4 duetti from CU3 played on a harpsichord, although I'm not sure if these were "authorised by Bach". If you also include works other than those for solo instruments, you have the organ part in the Sinfonia from BWV 146 playing the solo from the concerto, 1052.

Personally, I like to think that Bach freely played and transcribed whatever he could in any of his favourite instruments.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on May 10, 2012, 01:17:25 AM
Did JSB transcribe any organ music for (other) keyboards? Or move his own  music to the organ from clavichord or harpsichord?

The border between organ- and harpsichord/clavichord music was not fixed that clear in these days. Many pieces fall in the grey zone e.g. the manualiter pieces of CÜ III, the manualiter toccatas, the concerto transcriptions manualiter, the WTC to mention a few, which just being keyboard music work well on both instruments. So there was no need for transcription.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on May 10, 2012, 01:27:15 AM
I have the 4 duetti from CU3 played on a harpsichord, although I'm not sure if these were "authorised by Bach". If you also include works other than those for solo instruments, you have the organ part in the Sinfonia from BWV 146 playing the solo from the concerto, 1052.

Personally, I like to think that Bach freely played and transcribed whatever he could in any of his favourite instruments.

Both BWV 146 and BWV 1052 originate probably from an earlier concerto for violin and strings, and the harpsichord version was more likely transcribed from the violin version.

There are many examples of Bach transcribing from string- and wind instruments to keyboard instruments, but if anybody can mention an authentic example of the opposite (transcription from keyboard instrument to string or wind instrument) I would be glad to know.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on May 10, 2012, 01:43:44 AM
True again, but that doesn't change the fact that those transcriptions don't work for me. :-*

Neither do they generally work for me. However there are in my book a few exceptions, which first and foremost are relative litteral transcriptions for piano of orchestral and ensemble works, where the lack of instrumental colour makes one listen to the music in another way, with more attention to the musical movement, rhythm, and harmony. I think particularly of Max Reger´s arrangements of the Brandenburg concertos and the orchestral suites. And Liszt´s arrangements of LvB´s symphonies fall in a similar category. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on July 28, 2012, 05:48:09 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ICCU3zDyL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

This morning I'm very pleasantly surprised by Dinnerstein's Bach. A particulary thoughtful performance of the C minor Partita.  8)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Sammy on July 28, 2012, 09:23:56 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ICCU3zDyL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

This morning I'm very pleasantly surprised by Dinnerstein's Bach. A particulary thoughtful performance of the C minor Partita.  8)

I very enjoyed her recording of the Goldberg Variations but haven't acquired her more recent discs.  I'm not sure why; I'll have to give that some thought.
Title: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on July 28, 2012, 10:59:18 AM
I very enjoyed her recording of the Goldberg Variations but haven't acquired her more recent discs.  I'm not sure why; I'll have to give that some thought.

I haven't heard her GV account, but now I'm definitely going to seek it.

Title: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on August 27, 2012, 11:58:45 AM
I very enjoyed her recording of the Goldberg Variations but haven't acquired her more recent discs.  I'm not sure why; I'll have to give that some thought.

Well I finally heard Dinnerstein's GV and I'm floored!

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: DavidRoss on August 27, 2012, 02:02:24 PM
Well I finally heard Dinnerstein's GV and I'm floored!
Does that mean you're surprised to like it? Or surprised that such dreck received so much favorable attention?

(I liked it much more than expected but it's not a disc I reach for often.)
Title: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on August 27, 2012, 03:00:47 PM
Does that mean you're surprised to like it? Or surprised that such dreck received so much favorable attention?

(I liked it much more than expected but it's not a disc I reach for often.)

I thought i might like it because i really enjoyed her newest release with the Bach Partitas, but her GV was fantastic, an amazing recording. :)

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Gordo on August 27, 2012, 06:45:42 PM
There are many examples of Bach transcribing from string- and wind instruments to keyboard instruments, but if anybody can mention an authentic example of the opposite (transcription from keyboard instrument to string or wind instrument) I would be glad to know.

Well, this demonstrates that Bach was first and foremost a keyboardist by nature, so his natural tendency was transcribe music composed for other instruments (by him or not) to keyboard music, his natural idiom, and not the other way.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Scarpia on August 28, 2012, 04:02:33 AM
In that catagory of Bach transcribing from keyboard there is BWV1044, Concerto for flute, violin and harpsichord with string orchestra and continuo.  Outer movements were transcribed from a prelude and fugue for solo harpsichord (BWV894) and the central movement was transcribed from the organ sonata in d-minor (BWV527).
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on August 28, 2012, 05:21:17 AM
In that catagory of Bach transcribing from keyboard there is BWV1044, Concerto for flute, violin and harpsichord with string orchestra and continuo.  Outer movements were transcribed from a prelude and fugue for solo harpsichord (BWV894) and the central movement was transcribed from the organ sonata in d-minor (BWV527).

Does that fit with the chronology, however? Please correct me if I'm wrong, the concerto was pre-Leipzig while the set of trio sonatas came later. Although there might have been an overlap between the concerto and the P&F.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Scarpia on August 28, 2012, 05:39:49 AM
Does that fit with the chronology, however? Please correct me if I'm wrong, the concerto was pre-Leipzig while the set of trio sonatas came later. Although there might have been an overlap between the concerto and the P&F.

This reference indicated 1738-40 for the composition of BWV1044

http://imslp.org/wiki/Concerto_for_Flute,_Violin_and_Harpsichord_in_A_minor,_BWV_1044_%28Bach,_Johann_Sebastian%29

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on August 28, 2012, 06:15:59 AM
This reference indicated 1738-40 for the composition of BWV1044

http://imslp.org/wiki/Concerto_for_Flute,_Violin_and_Harpsichord_in_A_minor,_BWV_1044_%28Bach,_Johann_Sebastian%29

Thanks. I'm not able to find a definite date on this too. I assumed that all of Bach's extant concerti (or transcriptions thereof) were from an earlier period (Köthen).
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 28, 2012, 06:20:44 AM
In that catagory of Bach transcribing from keyboard there is BWV1044, Concerto for flute, violin and harpsichord with string orchestra and continuo.  Outer movements were transcribed from a prelude and fugue for solo harpsichord (BWV894) and the central movement was transcribed from the organ sonata in d-minor (BWV527).

The harpsichord prelude and fugue in question is not transcribed for flute, violin and strings in the strictest sense, since the original harpsichord part was left almost unchanged (well expanded a bit). The flute and violin parts as well as the string ensemble parts are newly composed, added parts. And it is almost certain that the organ sonata was transcribed from a triosonata for two melody instruments and continuo (or a "trio" for melody instrument and harpsichord obligato like the six sonatas for violin and harpsichord), the slow movement of which constituted the model for the second movement of the concerto. 
Title: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on September 01, 2012, 07:17:25 AM
What is the consensus of Tureck's Goldberg recordings. After the experience of her DG account I wonder what to get next.

And I'm wondering about her Partitas too, which one to get? At least to start since I'll get 'em all eventually ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Scarpia on September 01, 2012, 09:07:36 AM
I've been listening to some of Rubsam's recordings of Bach Partitas and Suites (on Naxos).  Very much worth hearing.  Generally I prefer performances that emphasize the origin of the music in dance (rhythmically precise and lively) but Rubsam takes a different approach, freely playing with rhythm to draw attention to moments of melodic or harmonic interest.  Sometimes it resonates with me and sometimes it doesn't but it enables me to hear different things in the music, which is all good.  The prelude from the first partita and the allemande from the second were particularly enlightening.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 01, 2012, 09:11:52 AM
I've been listening to some of Rubsam's recordings of Bach Partitas and Suites (on Naxos).  Very much worth hearing.  Generally I prefer performances that emphasize the origin of the music in dance (rhythmically precise and lively) but Rubsam takes a different approach, freely playing with rhythm to draw attention to moments of melodic or harmonic interest.  Sometimes it resonates with me and sometimes it doesn't but it enables me to hear different things in the music, which is all good.  The prelude from the first partita and the allemande from the second were particularly enlightening.

Tell me what you think of the slow movements of the 4th when you get time to listen. I'll listen again to the second. I like the 6th too.

I like all his Bach, despite or because of it's romanticism.  The WTC especially.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 01, 2012, 09:15:18 AM
What is the consensus of Tureck's Goldberg recordings. After the experience of her DG account I wonder what to get next.

And I'm wondering about her Partitas too, which one to get? At least to start since I'll get 'em all eventually ;)

I like the Partitas record on Great Pianists, and the Goldbergs there too, and the four dueti. The other disc I like is on VAI and it's called something like "The Visionary". Oh I used to play the Partitas on Doremi a lot and thought they were excellent --but since  I got the Great Pianists I never bother with the Doremi because the sound is so much better. I would say that the Great Pianist records sound quite different from the later recordings.

Generally IMO the earlier the better with her.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Scarpia on September 01, 2012, 09:26:18 AM
I like all his Bach, despite or because of it's romanticism.  The WTC especially.

I'm not aware of a WTC by Rubsam, what label is it on?.   Naxos assigned the WTC to Jando.

I'm not sure I'd characterize Rubsam's Bach as Romantic, just free rather than strict, and striving for way to make use of the capabilities of modern instruments. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 01, 2012, 10:35:20 AM
I'm not aware of a WTC by Rubsam, what label is it on?.   Naxos assigned the WTC to Jando.

I'm not sure I'd characterize Rubsam's Bach as Romantic, just free rather than strict, and striving for way to make use of the capabilities of modern instruments.


There's a selection of WTC on Naxos, from Book 1. Sorry I can't paste links with this ipad.

I know it's contentious to say that his style is romantic. Rubato is a trait of romanticism.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Scarpia on September 01, 2012, 01:22:42 PM
I know it's contentious to say that his style is romantic. Rubato is a trait of romanticism.

For what it's worth, The booklet for the first set of Partitas has an essay by Rubsam himself in which he describes the recording as a document of his project to develop a modern performance style for Bach's music.   He criticizes "romantic" interpretations as antithetical to the music. 

As far as rubato, I don't recall noticing Rubsam employing it.  He indulges in pauses, or varies the tempo, sometimes slowing down as a significant moment is reached, but it seems to be similar to the flexibility of tempo that occurs in many performances on harpsichord.  I didn't notice much romantic "rubato," in which one part of the phrase slows down, resulting in another part of the phrase rushing to catch up to the beat (or vice versa).
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 01, 2012, 11:28:43 PM
Yes, you're right to distinguish rubato and agogics like that, but I think that hesitation was part of the romantic style -- listen for example to Cortot's 1948 performance of his arrangement of the adagio from Bach's BWV 1046

http://www.youtube.com/v/XWh3sJdQSbU

What Rubsam says in the booklet to the first set of recordings of Partitas seems to me sufficiently complicated and interesting to cut and paste here:

Quote from: Wolfgang Rübsam
This recording was produced to communicate, stimulate and encourage the interpretation of Bach's keyboard works on the modern piano. It is based upon recognized fundamental elements of performance practices of early music.

The interpretation of Bach's music on the modern piano remains a confusing issue in light of the fact that the instrument basically evolved with the romantic period. It is, therefore, no surprise that attempts frequently result in romantic readings, a direction which can be most musical at times but may be stylistically confusing if not actually foreign to the score. Musical preferences also favor a clean, mathematical and metronomic realization - a safe but somewhat noncommittal solution to the communication of Bach's artistry.

On a different level, then, is the enjoyment of incorporating the often neglected elements of rhetoric, enegalité, the structures of the strong and weak within a given pulse and meter, and the fingering techniques of the time (shifting and sequential fingerings rather than consecutive scale fingerings). These components, which are strongly interrelated and directly influence choices of articulation and flexibility of rhythm, often answer automatically questions of style, especially when they are understood as basic elements of the musical language.

The complex subject of ornamentation, both Bach's written out ornaments and the liberty given in repeats of movements, is most challenging and rewarding when there is the concept of freedom of execution and the manner is improvisational and imaginative.

Dynamic shadings within figurations, motivic material, and entire musical lines in any part of the polyphonic structure become particularly exciting and meaningful upon melodic (and harmonic) analysis. Important pitches, in the greater sense of the direction, can be pointed out by dynamic control and nuance and by the effect of rhythmic flexibility within the structure of the melodic line. The degree of such bending in time is most personal and strongly communicative when applied with balance and refinement of taste.

The process of merging the "old" and the "new" in Bach's keyboard works will be an ongoing pursuit for me as it will most likely be for the pianists with an interest in early music who strive for reorganization of the ear before fingers are expected to reflect such inner feelings. Since such musical detail is best demonstrated by the music itself, it is my hope that this recording will be a helpful example in this process and that listeners and students alike will find it an enjoyable means of communication.

What interests me is to try and say exactly what the similarities and differences are between his style and Romantic style -- it strikes me that there's enough overlap to help really clarify what's involved in period performance ideas today. Shared elements between Wolfgang Rübsam piano style  and full fledged romantics like Cortot are rhythmic freedom and lingering tempos and an emphasis on beauty of  tone -- but they're relatively superficial IMO. More importantly it's his confidentiality that I hear as romantic -- his style is so intimate and expressive, you feel as though he's confiding a private secret to you. In the allemande in the 4th and the 6th, for example, I feel he's almost spilling his heart out. And what could be more romantic than that!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on September 02, 2012, 12:58:47 AM
What is the meaning of "enegalité"? (Almost every reference in Google leads back to the notes by Rübsam.) Is it, by chance, inegalité, meaning inequality in French, with a typo? If so, to what does it refer?
Title: Bach on the piano
Post by: pbarach on September 02, 2012, 01:56:15 AM
Inegalite refers to performing a string of notes notated with the same rhythmic value as if they were notated with different rhythmic values.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on September 02, 2012, 02:19:51 AM
Inegalite refers to performing a string of notes notated with the same rhythmic value as if they were notated with different rhythmic values.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Scarpia on September 02, 2012, 05:21:34 AM
What interests me is to try and say exactly what the similarities and differences are between his style and Romantic style -- it strikes me that there's enough overlap to help really clarify what's involved in period performance ideas today. Shared elements between Wolfgang Rübsam piano style  and full fledged romantics like Cortot are rhythmic freedom and lingering tempos and an emphasis on beauty of  tone -- but they're relatively superficial IMO. More importantly it's his confidentiality that I hear as romantic -- his style is so intimate and expressive, you feel as though he's confiding a private secret to you. In the allemande in the 4th and the 6th, for example, I feel he's almost spilling his heart out. And what could be more romantic than that!

We don't have any recordings of Bach playing, so we will never know, but I think people in those days were very aware of the expressive capability of music  I don't think there is any incompatibility between intimacy or expressiveness and baroque performance practice.  What, to my minding, is romantic piano music is the overwrought, histrionic style of a stereotypical piece by Liszt.   I associate that with performances of Busoni transcriptions.  I listen to that stuff too, sometimes,  but I don't feel that it gets as close to the essence of Bach's music.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on September 02, 2012, 05:39:23 AM
I like the Partitas record on Great Pianists, and the Goldbergs there too, and the four dueti. The other disc I like is on VAI and it's called something like "The Visionary". Oh I used to play the Partitas on Doremi a lot and thought they were excellent --but since  I got the Great Pianists I never bother with the Doremi because the sound is so much better. I would say that the Great Pianist records sound quite different from the later recordings.

Generally IMO the earlier the better with her.

Thanks Mandryka, I will check those releases out. I was going to get the Doremi but decided to wait for the Great Pianist release instead.



Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on September 02, 2012, 05:51:19 AM
Recent discussion has led me to listen to Rubsam, right now listening to his French Suites. I'm really liking what I'm hearing, I can't wait to hear his Partitas.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 02, 2012, 06:19:24 AM
We don't have any recordings of Bach playing, so we will never know, but I think people in those days were very aware of the expressive capability of music  I don't think there is any incompatibility between intimacy or expressiveness and baroque performance practice.  What, to my minding, is romantic piano music is the overwrought, histrionic style of a stereotypical piece by Liszt.   I associate that with performances of Busoni transcriptions.  I listen to that stuff too, sometimes,  but I don't feel that it gets as close to the essence of Bach's music.

Agreed in a way -- I wouldn't like to hear Bach played by Ervin Nyiregyhazi.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 02, 2012, 06:20:15 AM
Recent discussion has led me to listen to Rubsam, right now listening to his French Suites. I'm really liking what I'm hearing, I can't wait to hear his Partitas.

So you don't find that all the hesitations are making you feel a bit sea sick?  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on September 02, 2012, 06:38:40 AM
So you don't find that all the hesitations are making you feel a bit sea sick?  :)

 ;D Got my sea legs on!

Interesting, from the liner notes by Rubsam, I expected to hear something different from what I'm hearing in performance. There is an intellectual rhetorical quality (almost like Gould), combined with gentleness, romantic-like in tone or quality.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Scarpia on September 02, 2012, 06:51:22 AM
Interesting, from the liner notes by Rubsam, I expected to hear something different from what I'm hearing in performance. There is an intellectual rhetorical quality (almost like Gould), combined with gentleness, romantic-like in tone or quality.

I think you've put your finger on it.  For all of the little expressive touches that Rubsam uses (variations in tempo, dynamic shading, variations in articulation) he seems to maintain a strong emphasis on making the individual melodic lines in the contrapuntal texture very clear.  It is like Gould + humanity.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Sammy on September 03, 2012, 03:03:49 PM
What is the consensus of Tureck's Goldberg recordings. After the experience of her DG account I wonder what to get next.

And I'm wondering about her Partitas too, which one to get? At least to start since I'll get 'em all eventually ;)

I find her most recent GV account on DG the most rewarding piano version I know.  Her Great Pianist comes next; the VAI versions come in last.
Title: Bach on the piano
Post by: pbarach on September 03, 2012, 05:34:16 PM
Perahia's Partitas are some of his best playing on records IMO.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: rickardg on September 05, 2012, 10:57:21 AM
There is an intellectual rhetorical quality (almost like Gould), combined with gentleness, romantic-like in tone or quality.

I think someone on this thread said that Rubsam plays like the originals were for clavichord rather than harpsichord, which to me fits well with descriptions like this and with my own impressions. FWIW, I really like Rubsam, but I haven't heard a lot of the competition.

I really came here to ask if anyone has heard Andras Schiffs new WTC on ECM?

(http://player.ecmrecords.com/uploads/andras-schiff/cover.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Sammy on September 05, 2012, 08:13:31 PM
I think someone on this thread said that Rubsam plays like the originals were for clavichord rather than harpsichord, which to me fits well with descriptions like this and with my own impressions. FWIW, I really like Rubsam, but I haven't heard a lot of the competition.

I really came here to ask if anyone has heard Andras Schiffs new WTC on ECM?

(http://player.ecmrecords.com/uploads/andras-schiff/cover.jpg)

I recently acquired the new Schiff WTC and find it absolutely stunning.  He covers all the bases from tender refrains to powerful declarations.  Whatever each piece requires, Schiff always delivers:  his caressing of phrases is exquisite and heartwarming while the inner joy he brings to much of Bach's music is spiritually wonderful.  Recording is top-notch.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting all this from Schiff.  Although I loved his ECM Goldbergs, I found it rather thin on delving into Bach's dark side. 
Not so with his WTC; Schiff's a man for all seasons on this one and joins Gould, Gulda, Fellner, Tureck, Woodward and a few others at the top of my preferences.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: DavidRoss on September 07, 2012, 03:46:21 AM
I recently acquired the new Schiff WTC and find it absolutely stunning.  He covers all the bases from tender refrains to powerful declarations.  Whatever each piece requires, Schiff always delivers:  his caressing of phrases is exquisite and heartwarming while the inner joy he brings to much of Bach's music is spiritually wonderful.  Recording is top-notch.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting all this from Schiff.  Although I loved his ECM Goldbergs, I found it rather thin on delving into Bach's dark side. 
Not so with his WTC; Schiff's a man for all seasons on this one and joins Gould, Gulda, Fellner, Tureck, Woodward and a few others at the top of my preferences.
Oy vey! Don't tell me I need another  WTC set now...? Visiting some of these threads can be dangerous for my bank account!

Question: How did you like Sheppard, Don?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: ChamberNut on September 07, 2012, 04:36:58 AM
I recently acquired the new Schiff WTC and find it absolutely stunning. 

It is terrific, I agree!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Sammy on September 07, 2012, 07:48:53 AM
Oy vey! Don't tell me I need another  WTC set now...? Visiting some of these threads can be dangerous for my bank account!

Question: How did you like Sheppard, Don?

I like it very much although I have to say that it doesn't blow me away like the new Schiff or Sheppard's set of the Partitas. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: DavidRoss on September 07, 2012, 02:21:01 PM
I like it very much although I have to say that it doesn't blow me away like the new Schiff or Sheppard's set of the Partitas. 
Wow. Damn the torpedos, just click on "Buy?"
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Coopmv on September 08, 2012, 08:24:00 AM
Wow. Damn the torpedos, just click on "Buy?"

Can't be easier than one-click checkout ...     ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on September 09, 2012, 05:39:15 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/TdzLWKuo0YA

Excerpts from an interview with András Schiff on the 48. As expected, he has some opinions with which a lot of people may disagree.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: DavidRoss on September 09, 2012, 05:50:12 AM
Can't be easier than one-click checkout ...     ;D
That's what I did...but for Fellner, not Schiff!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on September 09, 2012, 05:56:32 AM
I recently acquired the new Schiff WTC and find it absolutely stunning.  He covers all the bases from tender refrains to powerful declarations.  Whatever each piece requires, Schiff always delivers:  his caressing of phrases is exquisite and heartwarming while the inner joy he brings to much of Bach's music is spiritually wonderful.  Recording is top-notch.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting all this from Schiff.  Although I loved his ECM Goldbergs, I found it rather thin on delving into Bach's dark side. 
Not so with his WTC; Schiff's a man for all seasons on this one and joins Gould, Gulda, Fellner, Tureck, Woodward and a few others at the top of my preferences.

How does this new one compare with his old Decca set, Don?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Gordo on September 09, 2012, 06:04:57 AM
I recently acquired the new Schiff WTC and find it absolutely stunning.  He covers all the bases from tender refrains to powerful declarations.  Whatever each piece requires, Schiff always delivers:  his caressing of phrases is exquisite and heartwarming while the inner joy he brings to much of Bach's music is spiritually wonderful.  Recording is top-notch.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting all this from Schiff.  Although I loved his ECM Goldbergs, I found it rather thin on delving into Bach's dark side. 
Not so with his WTC; Schiff's a man for all seasons on this one and joins Gould, Gulda, Fellner, Tureck, Woodward and a few others at the top of my preferences.

It's great to know, Don. Some weeks ago, I attended a recital of András Schiff and, as I hoped, it was a formidable experience. Then I thought we're fortunate because Schiff is still a middle-aged man and -if all goes well- we can wait for 20 or more years of recordings by him.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Gordo on September 09, 2012, 06:10:19 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/TdzLWKuo0YA

Excerpts from an interview with András Schiff on the 48. As expected, he has some opinions with which a lot of people may disagree.

I won't watch this, Navneeth, but Schiff is indeed  a man of strong opinions. He likes to start any comment of the WTC with some "warm" words dedicated to the harpsichord.  ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on September 09, 2012, 06:16:49 AM
I won't watch this, Navneeth, but Schiff is indeed  a man of strong opinions. He likes to start any comment of the WTC with some "warm" words dedicated to the harpsichord.  ;D

Nah, it's not that bad. He doesn't have any strong words against the harpsichord; he simply dismisses it outright when it comes to the WTC. ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 09, 2012, 10:13:57 AM
Some weeks ago, I attended a recital of András Schiff and, as I hoped, it was a formidable experience.

Did he play Bach at that recital?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Gordo on September 09, 2012, 10:28:46 AM
Did he play Bach at that recital?

Yes, but just the last encore: the first movement of the Italian Concerto. A lovely and highly spirited way of finishing a great recital.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Sammy on September 09, 2012, 07:49:18 PM
How does this new one compare with his old Decca set, Don?

For me, Schiff's new WTC is better than the Decca:  superior sound quality and no more irritating mannerisms.  Most important, I sense that Schiff and Bach are now as one; too often on Schiff's Decca recordings I had the feeling that he was on the sidelines observing the music.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: PaulSC on September 10, 2012, 08:29:10 AM
I suppose I shall have to get over Schiff's ugly dismissal of the harpsichord (which put me off his ECM Goldbergs) and give the new WTC set a chance. After all, I like his first WTC cycle reasonably well, and the occasional fussiness of those performances seems to be something he has outgrown as his playing has matured.

Yes, but just the last encore: the first movement of the Italian Concerto. A lovely and highly spirited way of finishing a great recital.
For what it's worth, I love Bach on both piano and harpsichord, as long as the right musician is seated at the keyboard. Arguments in favor of one instrument or the other are beside the point for me. But even the most ardent harpsichord lover might admit it would be a shame if we couldn't hear Bach in recital alongside Beethoven and Bartok.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Marc on September 10, 2012, 09:07:55 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/TdzLWKuo0YA

Excerpts from an interview with András Schiff on the 48. As expected, he has some opinions with which a lot of people may disagree.

Sure, but no problem to me.
It's still nice, entertaining and insightful to listen to.

Personally: disagreement with f.i. his harpsichord problem(s), agreement f.i. with his tempo interpretations (Andante) and most of all: agreement with his statement that Bach composed human music with a down-to-earth message. After all, that great man was human himself and living on that good ole planet earth, like us. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on September 10, 2012, 09:19:26 AM
agreement with his statement that Bach composed human music with a down-to-earth message. After all, that great man was human himself and living on that good ole planet earth, like us. :)

Hear, hear.

Yet, that paradoxically makes him seem super-human, if you get my drift. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Marc on September 10, 2012, 09:36:13 AM
Hear, hear.

Yet, that paradoxically makes him seem super-human, if you get my drift. :)

Yet, even already as a non-super-human child ;), I felt immediately at home with his music.

I know many people tend to say or suggest that this great religious composer called Bach must be some demi-God or at least the Fifth Evangelist, but in my Book ;) religion, Gods and Gospels were created by humans, too.

But I'm going off-topic now.
Schiff's WTK will be on my (far too long and expensive) wishlist.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 10, 2012, 10:34:06 PM
I've started to listen to FR5 here:

(http://i.prs.to/t_200/euroarts2058138.jpg)

It's not at all bad. But not top notch IMO. There's not enough emotional contrasts between the dances for me, and there's a certain jumpy nervousness I can hear in his style which I don't like. I don't think he is as emotionally deep in the slow dances as Koroliov and I don't think he's as free and spontaneous  as Gilels in the fast dances. He doesn't come close to good harpsichord versions like Koopman's.

Gilels remains my top dog in this one on piano - I think this is a particularly wonderful Bach piano performance, especially in the Courante:

http://www.youtube.com/v/1VD2_o7npZo http://www.youtube.com/v/TEBJu4FsMMo
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Verena on September 11, 2012, 01:33:56 PM
I've started to listen to FR5 here:

(http://i.prs.to/t_200/euroarts2058138.jpg)

It's not at all bad. But not top notch IMO. There's not enough emotional contrasts between the dances for me, and there's a certain jumpy nervousness I can hear in his style which I don't like. I don't think he is as emotionally deep in the slow dances as Koroliov and I don't think he's as free and spontaneous  as Gilels in the fast dances. He doesn't come close to good harpsichord versions like Koopman's.

Gilels remains my top dog in this one on piano - I think this is a particularly wonderful Bach piano performance, especially in the Courante:

http://www.youtube.com/v/1VD2_o7npZo http://www.youtube.com/v/TEBJu4FsMMo


Yes, the Gilels is wonderful - thanks for making us aware of this recording. I do like that Schiff DVD on the whole, at least on first listen.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: PaulSC on September 14, 2012, 08:42:21 AM
Schiff is performing both books of the WTC in a pair of October recitals in nearby San Francisco. Seriously considering tickets…
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: DavidRoss on September 15, 2012, 12:20:45 PM
Schiff is performing both books of the WTC in a pair of October recitals in nearby San Francisco. Seriously considering tickets…
Thanks for the tip! Is this through SF Performances, Mondavi, or Cal? & where in or near the Bay Area are you? (Please pm if you'd rather not disclose your location publicly. ;) )
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: PaulSC on September 15, 2012, 01:41:11 PM
Thanks for the tip! Is this through SF Performances, Mondavi, or Cal? & where in or near the Bay Area are you? (Please pm if you'd rather not disclose your location publicly. ;) )
It's part of the San Francisco Symphony season (their recital series). I'm down in Santa Cruz…
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: springrite on October 10, 2012, 05:07:25 AM
Bach Partitas (Zhu Xiao-Mei)

This is what I texted to a friend about this set:

"If you had a wife who plays Bach for you every night, you'd want her to play it just like this: Warm, intimate, without being overly passionate or sexy; technically secure and polished without flashy virtuosic display. In one word: homey."
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Scarpia on October 10, 2012, 06:48:32 AM
Schiff is performing both books of the WTC in a pair of October recitals in nearby San Francisco. Seriously considering tickets…

That sounds wonderful, except that I can't imagine an entire book of the WTC in one sitting.   I normally listen to them a few at a time.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: PaulSC on October 10, 2012, 11:06:31 AM
That sounds wonderful, except that I can't imagine an entire book of the WTC in one sitting.   I normally listen to them a few at a time.
It was wonderful, even though I too prefer smaller doses. Schiff proceeded quickly from the end of each fugue to the beginning of the next prelude. Not with any pretense that successive P&Fs were connected, but with an effect of sustained concentration. He played the C major from Book II as an encore.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Toccata and Fugue on October 14, 2012, 09:16:03 AM
I've  been enjoying Caspar Frantz' set of French Suites on the Ars label--this SACD has superb sound and his playing is very vibrant.
(http://cdn.7static.com/static/img/sleeveart/00/018/521/0001852109_500.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on October 29, 2012, 11:20:58 AM
I love Schliessmann's Schumann recordings.  I've had his Goldbergs for a couple of years but don't find it special (yet).

I bought a copy of this in the end and I like what I'm hearing -- I like the way he separates the voices and gives each voice its own character, I like the slightly disconcerting quality that that brings when he brings the voices together - it's as if they don't fit, and yet they do. Especially in the 2nd half.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Sammy on October 29, 2012, 02:10:37 PM

I bought a copy of this in the end and I like what I'm hearing -- I like the way he separates the voices and gives each voice its own character, I like the slightly disconcerting quality that that brings when he brings the voices together - it's as if they don't fit, and yet they do. Especially in the 2nd half.

Glad you're enjoying Schliessmann's Goldbergs.  It's probably been over a year since I last played it; guess it's about time for a few more spins.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: trung224 on October 29, 2012, 03:58:39 PM
 has anyone heard this


  For me, Tharaud takes a convincing romanticized Bach especially in minor key concertos :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on October 30, 2012, 05:58:10 AM
convincing romanticized Bach

Contradictio in adjecto??
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Gordo on October 30, 2012, 06:24:36 AM
Contradictio in adjecto??

... or maybe it's simply a wise adaptation to the "spirit" of the piano? I mean: Can Bach really sound Baroque when is played on electric guitar? Do the instruments have some the "spirit" of their time? I think all of these questions allow different degrees of "yes" as answer.  :-\

 :)

 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: San Antone on October 30, 2012, 06:41:44 AM
I've seen more than one article about Andras Schiff's recent performances of Bach in NYC and elsewhere.  In every one of these interviews/articles mention is made of his choice not to use the sustaining pedal.  This, I think, is a wise decision since it acknowledges that these works were written for instruments that did not have such technology and the performer was expected to connect the notes with his fingers.  Organists do this, as do harpsichordists, and I agree with Schiff that to play Bach on the piano it makes also sense not to rely on the sustain pedal in order to produce legato phrasing.  Using the pedal also tends to blur the lines and creates what I consider an unidiomatic effect.

He also comments that most of his colleagues disagree with this choice. 

His newer EMC recordings benefit from this kind of playing and I believe these recordings to be superior to his earlier Decca traversal.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: aukhawk on October 30, 2012, 07:44:30 AM
He also comments that most of his colleagues disagree with this choice. 

He would say that though, wouldn't he?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on March 28, 2013, 09:17:23 AM
(https://www.outhere-music.com/data/cds/2858/BIG.JPG)
Though my love of Bach, and classical music in general, started with Glenn Gould, I haven't been much interested in Bach on the piano these last few years. However, I find this new recording to be very interesting. I think it's especially so since they are able to do something new (to me) with the chorales. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Opus106 on March 28, 2013, 09:36:42 AM
(https://www.outhere-music.com/data/cds/2858/BIG.JPG)
Though my love of Bach, and classical music in general, started with Glenn Gould, I haven't been much interested in Bach on the piano these last few years. However, I find this new recording to be very interesting. I think it's especially so since they are able to do something new (to me) with the chorales. 

I noticed three or four (quite a large number, relatively speaking) CDs of CP transcriptions (mainly piano) in the list of "Future Releases" at Presto. And today, Jens made a favourable comment in the listening thread about another new Bach-Kurtág disc. Good times!

You may also be interested in this series (http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/s.asp?s=S_16&vw=dc) from Hyperion. And in the recommendations I was offered in this thread, here (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9885.msg623809.html#msg623809).
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Beorn on March 28, 2013, 09:42:16 AM
This is a genius thread. I wonder who thought of it.

Anyway, cool recommendation, milk.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on March 28, 2013, 10:30:17 AM
I noticed three or four (quite a large number, relatively speaking) CDs of CP transcriptions (mainly piano) in the list of "Future Releases" at Presto. And today, Jens made a favourable comment in the listening thread about another new Bach-Kurtág disc. Good times!

You may also be interested in this series (http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/s.asp?s=S_16&vw=dc) from Hyperion. And in the recommendations I was offered in this thread, here (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9885.msg623809.html#msg623809).
Lots of stuff there! Thanks!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jlaurson on March 28, 2013, 10:53:07 AM

this fits the bill:



(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B006ZV6V60.01.L.jpg)
Bach / Kurtag
"Crossings"
Piano Transcriptions
Naxos (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B006ZV6V60/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B006ZV6V60/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B006ZV6V60/goodmusicguide-21)

The performances are a few percentage points short of perfection... but the music is absolute perfection. Bach-Kurtag (his four-hand piano arrangements of Bach works) is like getting G*d injected in the ears. Very much recommended.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on March 28, 2013, 05:56:58 PM
this fits the bill:



(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B006ZV6V60.01.L.jpg)
Bach / Kurtag
"Crossings"
Piano Transcriptions
Naxos (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B006ZV6V60/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B006ZV6V60/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B006ZV6V60/goodmusicguide-21)

The performances are a few percentage points short of perfection... but the music is absolute perfection. Bach-Kurtag (his four-hand piano arrangements of Bach works) is like getting G*d injected in the ears. Very much recommended.
With that recommendation, who can resist?!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on March 28, 2013, 11:42:58 PM
(https://www.outhere-music.com/data/cds/2858/BIG.JPG)
Though my love of Bach, and classical music in general, started with Glenn Gould, I haven't been much interested in Bach on the piano these last few years. However, I find this new recording to be very interesting. I think it's especially so since they are able to do something new (to me) with the chorales.

I enjoyed listening to this recording and I'll definitely be exploring othef things by Inge Spinette and Jan Michiels. I liked the Bach and the Bartok transcriptions in fact, and I thought the whole programme was imaginative and stimulating. Their style too, which doesn't try to render the music anodyne, is just my cup of tea. Thanks for mentioning it.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on March 29, 2013, 02:23:32 AM
I enjoyed listening to this recording and I'll definitely be exploring othef things by Inge Spinette and Jan Michiels. I liked the Bach and the Bartok transcriptions in fact, and I thought the whole programme was imaginative and stimulating. Their style too, which doesn't try to render the music anodyne, is just my cup of tea. Thanks for mentioning it.
[/quote]
I also love Michiels's recording of Debussy's Études on a period Erard. This duo recorded a program of Debussy's works on period pianos as well. I also should say a thanks to jlaurson as I am enjoying "crossings." 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on March 29, 2013, 02:42:15 AM
(http://static.rateyourmusic.com/album_images/7803cd2274bfa4407b6250c0dbd6028c/2708681.jpg)
I guess I must be branching out a bit because I'm also delighted by this recording by Edna Stern. It has only a few transcriptions on it. James Manheim, on allmusic, describes it as "Romantic adoration of the Baroque."
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on April 29, 2013, 09:14:32 AM
I'm really impressed with Andrei Gavrilov's French Suites, there is such excited drive in the execution of the minuets and gigues, and the sarabandes are heavy with reflection, amazing!

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on May 25, 2013, 03:20:33 AM
.


Of late, I find myself unable to resist these transcription albums.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Parsifal on June 13, 2013, 04:57:51 PM
Unable to resist the low prices, I've been exploring Glen Gould's Bach recordings.  I started with the Partitas.  There is something to be said for his sheer dexterity and the transparency of his stacatto performance style.  The clarity brings out inner voices and melodies that are often overlooked.  But on the whole my impression is negative.  The lack of variation in his strict articulation quickly becomes tiresome, and I find myself with the impression that I am listening to a recording of a piano-roll.   Just before switching to Gould I was listening to Tureck's old 1953 Well Tempered Clavier.  At her best, Tureck manages a comparable transparency but with a more flexible and varied articulation which allows the music to "come alive" in a way it doesn't under Gould's fingers.

Anyway, just my impression.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Sean on June 14, 2013, 12:08:46 AM
Parsifal

Quote
The lack of variation in his strict articulation quickly becomes tiresome, and I find myself with the impression that I am listening to a recording of a piano-roll.


Gould was seeking inwardness- compare his Goldbergs 1954 pianism with the masterly 1982.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: George on October 10, 2013, 08:00:57 PM
What do folks think of Harold Samuel's Bach?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on October 31, 2013, 04:13:48 AM
]

Just lately I've become interested in Feinberg again. What I like is the way he uses fluctuations in dynamics, especially in WTC (2) The fluctuations in loudness often take place across short phrases, a way of creating cells,  a dynamic level of articulation. What I like is that they're so organic, they make the music live, they're like someone breathing in and out. It seems a really distinctive thing, I don't think I hear the same dynamic ideas in Neuhaus or Gilels or Richter, for example.



Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on October 31, 2013, 04:26:17 AM
What do folks think of Harold Samuel's Bach?

Not very interesting
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on January 08, 2014, 02:53:58 PM
Bach Partitas (Zhu Xiao-Mei)

This is what I texted to a friend about this set:

"If you had a wife who plays Bach for you every night, you'd want her to play it just like this: Warm, intimate, without being overly passionate or sexy; technically secure and polished without flashy virtuosic display. In one word: homey."

I like Zhu Ziao-Mei's Bach, your text describes my feelings exactly. In particular, I love her Goldbergs and WTC cycle.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on August 13, 2016, 09:56:21 AM
I like Zhu Ziao-Mei's Bach, your text describes my feelings exactly. In particular, I love her Goldbergs and WTC cycle.



I've been enjoying this Bach recital immensely, as played by Remi Geniet. Light articulation and graceful phrasing. Aces!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Toccata and Fugue on August 19, 2016, 11:11:12 AM
I have most of Vladimir Feltsman's Bach CDs and thoroughly enjoy his playing and interpretations. He doesn't hide the fact that he's playing a modern concert grand, but he doesn't just hold down the sustain pedal and pound out a series of blurred notes, either! He does occasionally take liberties such as raising or lowering a line an octave, but the results to my ears are always effective. I most recently bought this one:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61Jo8GtmRrL.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: kishnevi on August 19, 2016, 11:12:31 AM
I have most of Vladimir Feltsman's Bach CDs and thoroughly enjoy his playing and interpretations. He doesn't hide the fact that he's playing a modern concert grand, but he doesn't just hold down the sustain pedal and pound out a series of blurred notes, either! He does occasionally take liberties such as raising or lowering a line an octave, but the results to my ears are always effective. I most recently bought this one:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61Jo8GtmRrL.jpg)

Seconded.   Although I actually prefer his non Bach recordings to his Bach recordings.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Toccata and Fugue on August 21, 2016, 01:48:02 PM
Seconded.   Although I actually prefer his non Bach recordings to his Bach recordings.

Have you heard his late Beethoven Sonatas? If so, how are they?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: kishnevi on August 21, 2016, 05:36:34 PM
Have you heard his late Beethoven Sonatas? If so, how are they?
Yes, I have them.  I liked them, but it has been long enough since I listened to those recordings that I can't say more than that. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Que on December 26, 2016, 03:46:21 AM
Is there a dedicated thread Bach on modern piano? Couldn't find it....

So I'll post this here
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41pNCPL4m6L.jpg)

Overall, well done, about equal to Angela Hewitt's set (which I like greatly) in general quality.
VOID is his own label, set up when he could find no backing for the project (although he's also released a number of non Bach recordings on VOID as well).

ASIN is B0053HBKZO.

Here it is... :)  And I agree, that is an excellent set.

Ivo Jansens' Bach has had some long time fans here.


Q
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on December 29, 2016, 02:55:08 AM
It seems that the single discs of the Janssen set are comparably/too expensive, but are there any particular favorites (I am certainly not getting a big box).
And does anyone like the quirky recordings by Joao Carlos Martins? I have his partitas and the live recording where he and another one alternate preludes by Bach and Chopin (which is fascinating but the sound is rather poor) and I am not quite sure what to make of them. It also seems that Martins recorded some Bach twice, once in the 1960s as a young man and then later in middle age in the 1980s or 1990s.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on December 30, 2016, 02:23:40 PM
It seems that the single discs of the Janssen set are comparably/too expensive, but are there any particular favorites (I am certainly not getting a big box).

All of it is very good. If I had to choose from it, I would choose the WTC.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on January 01, 2017, 06:16:35 AM
Latest on Forbes:

The 10 Best Classical Recordings Of 2016 (Re-Releases)
(http://blogs-images.forbes.com/jenslaurson/files/2016/12/Forbes-Best-Classical-Recordings-of-2016-R08-Bach-Gulda_laurson-1200x470.jpg?width=960)
Johann Sebastian Bach, The Well Tempered Clavier (Books I & II), Friedrich Gulda, MPS / Edel (0300650MSW) (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2017/01/01/the-10-best-classical-recordings-of-2016-re-releases/2/#7551580876a1)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on January 01, 2017, 12:56:53 PM
Latest on Forbes:

The 10 Best Classical Recordings Of 2016 (Re-Releases)
(http://blogs-images.forbes.com/jenslaurson/files/2016/12/Forbes-Best-Classical-Recordings-of-2016-R08-Bach-Gulda_laurson-1200x470.jpg?width=960)
Johann Sebastian Bach, The Well Tempered Clavier (Books I & II), Friedrich Gulda, MPS / Edel (0300650MSW) (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2017/01/01/the-10-best-classical-recordings-of-2016-re-releases/2/#7551580876a1)

I agree about the new Gulda transfer and the performance. The only thing I'm less enthusiastic about than you in the review is Zhu.

But then I've noticed that the French seem to have a bit of a love affair with her!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on January 01, 2017, 01:16:08 PM
I agree about the new Gulda transfer and the performance. The only thing I'm less enthusiastic about than you in the review is Zhu.

But then I've noticed that the French seem to have a bit of a love affair with her!

Yes. I'm not French, actually, but she's the 'secret great'; they key to showing one's sophistication by way of appreciation. She's what Sokolov used to be. But even seeing right through that, I still love her performances. Haven't heard her new Goldbergs yet, though.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on January 01, 2017, 09:35:28 PM
Yes. I'm not French, actually, but she's the 'secret great'; they key to showing one's sophistication by way of appreciation. She's what Sokolov used to be. But even seeing right through that, I still love her performances. Haven't heard her new Goldbergs yet, though.

Yes it's interesting that Sokolov lost that cachet as soon as he signed with DG.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on March 09, 2017, 07:02:53 AM
Here it is... :)  And I agree, that is an excellent set.

Ivo Jansens' Bach has had some long time fans here.


Q
Great CD set, including wonderful interpretations of Inventions and Sinfonias.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on March 09, 2017, 07:12:08 AM
Sunny side of the street.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on March 11, 2017, 08:08:20 AM
Sick.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on August 04, 2017, 06:46:00 PM
Anybody, any opinion on this?

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on January 12, 2018, 11:26:36 PM
Lise de la Salle Bach/Busoni chaconne, not her commercial recording, this came up on rmcr, I like it very much. Curious about other opinions.

https://www.youtube.com/v/H8gBThplm5I&feature=youtu.be
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on March 18, 2018, 04:42:53 PM
Yes, sugary, overly sentimental, and a lot of reverb. Still irresistible. He proffers his own aestheticism.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on March 19, 2018, 07:06:14 AM
Lise de la Salle Bach/Busoni chaconne, not her commercial recording, this came up on rmcr, I like it very much. Curious about other opinions.

https://www.youtube.com/v/H8gBThplm5I&feature=youtu.be

I have only listened to the first ca. 8 minutes (until the major episode starts). The arrangement as well as the interpretation are unashamed ultra-romantic, using the possibilities of the modern grand to the full (great contrasts both in texture and dynamics), and there is not much Bach left. One can argue, that a piano transcription/arrangement should be completely piano-idiomatic like this one, but I am not a great fan of that kind of romantic piano music, my temper does not oscillate with this kind of uninhibited emotional outbreaks.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on March 21, 2018, 09:08:47 AM
. . . my temper does not oscillate with this kind of uninhibited emotional outbreaks.

I don't mean to be cheeky, or not much anyway, but this comment went through my mind while listening to this recording of Buxtehude fantasies. It's interesting to have them all collected together, and the way that Peretti plays them, the music is indeed littered with sudden changes, which you could say are "uninhibited emotional outbreaks."

We've mentioned the issue of transitions in Buxtehude before . . .


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51zwZXhT3-L._SS500.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on March 21, 2018, 11:23:21 AM
On Bach's 333rd Birthday:

Classical CD Of The Week: Anton Batagov's Bach Is For Tripping

(https://thumbor.forbes.com/thumbor/960x0/smart/https%3A%2F%2Fblogs-images.forbes.com%2Fjenslaurson%2Ffiles%2F2018%2F02%2FForbes_Classical-CD-of-the-Week_BACH_PARTITAS_BATAGOV_MELODIYA_Classical-Critic-Jens-F-Laurson-960_.jpg) (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2018/03/21/classical-cd-of-the-week-anton-batagovs-bach-is-for-tripping/#4e7c39192767)

Every click helps keeping classical music coverage (of which I am sadly the only exponent) alive on Forbes.com. Which, even if you don't like it much or think me an ass, is better than it not being there, right?

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on March 21, 2018, 02:50:36 PM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DYz-RrVW4AAV0SJ.jpg)

#morninglistening to #violinsonatas by #womencomposers for cello & piano on #Gramola w/#ThomasAlbertusIrnberger & #BarbaraMoser

: http://a-fwd.to/6vHQRcD

Corny title, hideous cover photo, shamelessly pandering - but good music gorgeously played!… http://ift.tt/2FQIbkV  (http://a-fwd.to/6vHQRcD)

Anything by Bach here?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on March 21, 2018, 02:59:58 PM
Anything by Bach here?
Nope - that was a brainfart.

Meant to post this:

On Bach's 333rd Birthday -- something that is Bach, and isn't.

Classical CD Of The Week: Anton Batagov's Bach Is For Tripping

(https://thumbor.forbes.com/thumbor/960x0/smart/https%3A%2F%2Fblogs-images.forbes.com%2Fjenslaurson%2Ffiles%2F2018%2F02%2FForbes_Classical-CD-of-the-Week_BACH_PARTITAS_BATAGOV_MELODIYA_Classical-Critic-Jens-F-Laurson-960_.jpg) (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2018/03/21/classical-cd-of-the-week-anton-batagovs-bach-is-for-tripping/#4e7c39192767)

Every click helps...

No, that wasn't it, either. I don't even know what that was then. State of confusion.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on March 21, 2018, 03:08:22 PM
Nope - that was a brainfart.

With such an explicit explanation you are readily forgiven. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on March 21, 2018, 03:51:14 PM
I don't mean to be cheeky, or not much anyway, but this comment went through my mind while listening to this recording of Buxtehude fantasies. It's interesting to have them all collected together, and the way that Peretti plays them, the music is indeed littered with sudden changes, which you could say are "uninhibited emotional outbreaks."

We've mentioned the issue of transitions in Buxtehude before . . .


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51zwZXhT3-L._SS500.jpg)

I own this recording, and I do not recall any uninhibited emotional outbreaks. On the contrary I recall controlled spontaneity a la Leonhardt. I think I shall relisten to this as well as to his Clavierübung III.

There is so much to listen to, I do not think I quite can keep up with all of it. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on April 19, 2018, 04:59:21 AM
(https://images-fe.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51aCDCeKxgL._SS500.jpg)

Stefano Greco made a recording of AoF with Aldo Ciccolini, which I've been unable to find. Anyway, while searching I came across this GV - the whole caboodle, and IMO stylishly and attractively played, with just one two lapses of judgement. More moderate than demonic, more beautiful than muscular, more tranquil than barnstorming. There's a lightness about what he does which I find interesting as an approach. His website suggests a thoughtful and curious musician who prioritises concerts rather than recordings.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on April 19, 2018, 06:48:34 AM
Stefano Greco made a recording of AoF with Aldo Ciccolini, which I've been unable to find.

One might get the impression, that it never has been released.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on April 19, 2018, 07:26:47 AM
I came across something totally unexpected today - AoF for modern piano and organ (Lausanne),  some of the fugues turned into duets! Christoph Geiser and Elizabeth Sombart.

Re Greco, in one respect the above post is too charitable, he probably does use more dynamic variation to highlight short phrases than he should. As they all do. What an unsubtle and inelegant way to attract the listener's ear!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on April 19, 2018, 10:41:36 AM
I came across something totally unexpected today - AoF for modern piano and organ (Lausanne),  some of the fugues turned into duets! Christoph Geiser and Elizabeth Sombart.

Yes, I was also surprised when I saw it , because I would expect a large modern church organ  and a piano to blend poorly. And they do indeed. Maybe a chamber organ would be better. I also find the actual interpretation much too earth-bound.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on October 05, 2018, 12:52:37 AM
What are your favorite recordings of transcriptions of organ pieces?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on October 05, 2018, 03:00:13 AM
What are your favorite recordings of transcriptions of organ pieces?

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61z9wKL4xaL._SL1200_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: JCBuckley on October 05, 2018, 03:06:08 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61z9wKL4xaL._SL1200_.jpg)

+1
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on October 05, 2018, 01:44:56 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61z9wKL4xaL._SL1200_.jpg)
I Haven't heard this. I will give it a try. Recently, I discovered that I can't get through the romantic transcriptions. Maybe they're just generally not for me. Let me see about this one.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on October 05, 2018, 05:27:09 PM
Just listening to Nikolai Demidenko and Vikingur Olafsson...there's so much dynamics in these. Why do they all get so heavy and loud? Does anybody play Bach transcriptions without the tacky banging?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on October 05, 2018, 08:58:11 PM
Just listening to Nikolai Demidenko and Vikingur Olafsson...there's so much dynamics in these. Why do they all get so heavy and loud? Does anybody play Bach transcriptions without the tacky banging?

Yes well they all do that, that's the way they play C19 music so they apply the same trick to C18 music too.

When I saw your post I thought of five: Koroliov, Naoumoff, Hewitt, Block and Grinberg. But on relistening I think they’re all not recommendable really.

One to check is the handful that Kempff made in the 1950s, which are much much better than his later ones for DG. Some (but not all) are on his Great Pianists, and all of them are reissues on an Australian Eloquence on a CD of encores (with a Für Elise)

When Feinberg's second recording of his transcription of BWV 662 was released in a Russian Pianists CD, piano inclined friends of mine were really impressed, it may be worth hunting out -- be careful he made two, the one that is supposed to be special lasts over 8 minutes, I can't see it on youtube, they only have the earlier one. The later one has a romantic back story because he made it just before he popped his clogs, probably quite justifiably for once.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on October 05, 2018, 09:05:24 PM
Just listening to Nikolai Demidenko and Vikingur Olafsson...there's so much dynamics in these. Why do they all get so heavy and loud? Does anybody play Bach transcriptions without the tacky banging?

Alexandre Tharaud, for one. http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/05/dip-your-ears-no-58.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/05/dip-your-ears-no-58.html)

But I thought the Olafsson was actually quite good.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on October 05, 2018, 11:03:55 PM
Yes well they all do that, that's the way they play C19 music so they apply the same trick to C18 music too.

When I saw your post I thought of five: Koroliov, Naoumoff, Hewitt, Block and Grinberg. But on relistening I think they’re all not recommendable really.

One to check is the handful that Kempff made in the 1950s, which are much much better than his later ones for DG. Some (but not all) are on his Great Pianists, and all of them are reissues on an Australian Eloquence on a CD of encores (with a Für Elise)

When Feinberg's second recording of his transcription of BWV 662 was released in a Russian Pianists CD, piano inclined friends of mine were really impressed, it may be worth hunting out -- be careful he made two, the one that is supposed to be special lasts over 8 minutes, I can't see it on youtube, they only have the earlier one. The later one has a romantic back story because he made it just before he popped his clogs, probably quite justifiably for once.
Is everyone working off old/romantic transcriptions? Maybe it's a fertile area if musicians experiment more with it. It goes without saying that there's a boatload of amazing organ music from Bach; it seems like everyone does the same handful of pieces transcribed by Busoni and a few others? I can see what would have been attractive about this kind of music for C19 dudes...this, in addition to the WAY they play this stuff which really is unbearable. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on October 05, 2018, 11:08:33 PM
I should say that I do like "Bach: Metamorphosis" by Angelika Nebel as well as the album by Stephanie/Saar. For the Nebel recording, I don't recognize the transcribers' names at all (except for V. Williams).
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81xlzepZ0hL._SX355_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on October 05, 2018, 11:55:32 PM
Is everyone working off old/romantic transcriptions?

No, Kurtag made his own transcriptions as did Kempff and Feinberg.

in addition to the WAY they play this stuff which really is unbearable.

Is it any different than what they do all the time?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on October 06, 2018, 01:17:38 AM
No, Kurtag made his own transcriptions as did Kempff and Feinberg.

Is it any different than what they do all the time?
I take your point. It's not. I seem to have a much greater tolerance for a variety of styles with WTC. I suppose the transcriptions are much less widely tackled and so there's less variety in what we find on the market?
Doesn't it seem also seem like much more music could be transcribed from the organ ouvre? Maybe I don't know what's out there already though. Do you think pianists/transcribers like/liked to do the Chorales because they're open to dynamic treatment? Is this replacing what registrations did on organ (I've no idea)? There also many beautiful preludes and fugues. I imagine some ingenious musician making a new "book" of piano music, maybe involving more of Bach's (organ) fugues. Perhaps I'm just off the deep end tonight.   
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 02, 2018, 04:42:52 AM
Piotr Anderszewski's Bach partitas...or Fray's...any thoughts? I should rest on my collection but the desire to hear more...But, unless it's a must-have I should pass.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 02, 2018, 05:14:45 AM
Fray in the CD with Partita 6, it’s an imaginative vision, for better or for worse. Anderszewski less groundbreaking I think, though these things are hard to measure - Anderszewski still has plenty of ideas of his own about nuances, voices to bring out, rhythms etc, the usual stuff.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 02, 2018, 05:17:40 AM
I should rest on my collection

No. These guys have got things to say, all of them. You must hear everything even if only once. This is why streaming is so good.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 02, 2018, 05:21:05 AM
No. These guys have got things to say, all of them. You must hear everything even if only once. This is why streaming is so good.
i have some obsession about owning it somewhere - stupid and costly!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 02, 2018, 05:32:03 AM
Have you heard the Partita 6 here?  I think it’s not bad at all.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91ErukVcqRL._SX355_.jpg)

i have some obsession about owning it somewhere - stupid and costly!

I recommend hypnosis to cure you of this obsession. (I’m only half joking actually. I am extremely suggestible and I’ve used hypnosis to great effect to lose weight)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 02, 2018, 05:59:01 AM
Have you heard the Partita 6 here?  I think it’s not bad at all.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91ErukVcqRL._SX355_.jpg)

I recommend hypnosis to cure you of this obsession. (I’m only half joking actually. I am extremely suggestible and I’ve used hypnosis to great effect to lose weight)
Looks like an interesting concert. I like Woodward. I'll check it out. I guess I have to consider, like Spotify? I should ask this somewhere else but which is best?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 02, 2018, 07:03:50 AM
Looks like an interesting concert. I like Woodward. I'll check it out. I guess I have to consider, like Spotify? I should ask this somewhere else but which is best?

Spotify has a big catalogue but not the best sound, maybe adequate sound especially given the price, and if you like something and want better sound, you can buy the CD or a better download. A lot depends where you are, I can only speak for the UK. Th big question is how you’re going to listen - if you want to listen through a hifi system which isn’t wired to  your computer things become more complicated, but very doable,
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: aukhawk on November 02, 2018, 08:33:37 AM
Not to derail the thread but Spotify sounds perfectly good to me listening on good speakers or headphones, and I'm a (retired) sound engineer.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on November 02, 2018, 10:40:49 AM
Is everyone working off old/romantic transcriptions? Maybe it's a fertile area if musicians experiment more with it. It goes without saying that there's a boatload of amazing organ music from Bach; it seems like everyone does the same handful of pieces transcribed by Busoni and a few others? I can see what would have been attractive about this kind of music for C19 dudes...this, in addition to the WAY they play this stuff which really is unbearable.

You really have to think of these as original works inspired by Bach pieces, rather than transcriptions. I can digest them in limited quantities.

The Hyperion Bach Transcription series has a transcriptions by a variety of composers, not just Busoni, and some have a lighter touch and some are fairly literal, rather than puffed up. It is the more literal ones that seem most successful to me.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 02, 2018, 01:50:17 PM
You really have to think of these as original works inspired by Bach pieces, rather than transcriptions. I can digest them in limited quantities.

The Hyperion Bach Transcription series has a transcriptions by a variety of composers, not just Busoni, and some have a lighter touch and some are fairly literal, rather than puffed up. It is the more literal ones that seem most successful to me.
Makes good sense. I do like transcriptions that show up here and there. Especially piano duos which I guess are bound to be more literal.
And thanks to others for the replies re: streaming. Amazon has streaming too. Hmm...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on November 02, 2018, 02:34:42 PM
Makes good sense. I do like transcriptions that show up here and there. Especially piano duos which I guess are bound to be more literal.
And thanks to others for the replies re: streaming. Amazon has streaming too. Hmm...

When Busoni transcribes Bach organ music he seems to add lots of extra notes which I suppose are supposed to invoke all the reverberation and varied overtones of the different ranks of the organ. Reger seems to have a lot more respect for the music of Bach. I particularly like his two-piano transcription of the Brandenburgs.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 02, 2018, 02:41:43 PM
When Busoni transcribes Bach organ music he seems to add lots of extra notes which I suppose are supposed to invoke all the reverberation and varied overtones of the different ranks of the organ. Reger seems to have a lot more respect for the music of Bach. I particularly like his two-piano transcription of the Brandenburgs.
Oh! Haven’t heard those! Any particularly recommended recording?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on November 02, 2018, 02:51:08 PM
I like this.


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 02, 2018, 03:10:19 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61rcg9xIgoL._SR600%2C315_PIWhiteStrip%2CBottomLeft%2C0%2C35_PIAmznPrime%2CBottomLeft%2C0%2C-5_PIStarRatingFIVE%2CBottomLeft%2C360%2C-6_SR600%2C315_ZA(12%20Reviews)%2C445%2C291%2C400%2C400%2Carial%2C12%2C4%2C0%2C0%2C5_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg)
I just noticed this.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on November 02, 2018, 03:14:54 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61rcg9xIgoL._SR600%2C315_PIWhiteStrip%2CBottomLeft%2C0%2C35_PIAmznPrime%2CBottomLeft%2C0%2C-5_PIStarRatingFIVE%2CBottomLeft%2C360%2C-6_SR600%2C315_ZA(12%20Reviews)%2C445%2C291%2C400%2C400%2Carial%2C12%2C4%2C0%2C0%2C5_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg)
I just noticed this.

That, in my humble opinion, is a horror. Your results may vary, of course. :)

Search works! I found the previous discussion of it.

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,11592.msg1141643.html#msg1141643

I think Jens quote sums up my reaction

Oh heaven help, that IS awful.

Very mechanical performance and cluttered arrangement.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 02, 2018, 03:26:59 PM
That, in my humble opinion, is a horror. Your results may vary, of course. :)

Search works! I found the previous discussion of it.

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,11592.msg1141643.html#msg1141643

I think Jens quote sums up my reaction

Very mechanical performance and cluttered arrangement.
I just turned it off and came back here (I'm trying out Amazon music). Yup. Sounds like something you'd hear at the dentist's. OK, I'll try a Reger transcription recording.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 05, 2018, 05:37:29 AM
I've lately been enjoying some Liszt transcriptions a great deal, specifically György Sándor playing transcriptions of the Prelude & Fugue in a minor, BWV 543, and the Fantasia & Fugue in g minor, BWV 542.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 08, 2018, 03:29:52 AM
Marcelle Meyer experimented with Bach on a modern piano. The result is light and civilised, like refined dance music almost, ballet. Not at all disagreeable to hear. It makes me think of music for a girls prep school in Surrey.

https://youtube.com/v/NwjxXmwdb00
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 08, 2018, 05:38:06 AM
Maria Tipo also tried to find a way to play Bach on a modern piano. Her performance here is rather solemn, and she makes me think of music for to accompany a film of a solemn major event: in fact, this may be spot on if Egarr’s right to suggest that Partita 6  encodes ideas and affects related in the baroque mindset to The Passion of Christ.

https://youtube.com/v/Jmdi17AsqBc
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: zamyrabyrd on November 08, 2018, 05:46:03 AM
I've lately been enjoying some Liszt transcriptions a great deal, specifically György Sándor playing transcriptions of the Prelude & Fugue in a minor, BWV 543, and the Fantasia & Fugue in g minor, BWV 542.

OT, perhaps, but I played for Sandor in a masterclass in the early 80's. He was a kind and perceptive teacher. At the time he was promoting his excellent book "On Piano Playing", about the best description of piano technique and how to develop it. He also played the 3rd Piano Concerto of Bartok in concert, for which he was quite renowned.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 09, 2018, 04:09:32 AM
(https://classicstoday-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/81WVE3N0HWL._SL1500-225x225.jpg) Shepkin plays the 6. I like this so far. How's his French and WTC? Anyone a fan of his? He's new to me but he seems very connected to the music.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: springrite on November 09, 2018, 04:20:37 AM
(https://classicstoday-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/81WVE3N0HWL._SL1500-225x225.jpg) Shepkin plays the 6. I like this so far. How's his French and WTC? Anyone a fan of his? He's new to me but he seems very connected to the music.
I have him in Goldberg and the partitas. He is excellent. I have never heard his kind of attention to details but sometimes he does seem to try to manipulate every note a bit too much. That having been said, he is certainly one of a kind and I am glad I have these recordings.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 09, 2018, 04:24:17 AM
I have him in Goldberg and the partitas. He is excellent. I have never heard his kind of attention to details but sometimes he does seem to try to manipulate every note a bit too much. That having been said, he is certainly one of a kind and I am glad I have these recordings.
I notice some really shining moments in the Partitas. He sustains an inventiveness. But, maybe he goes a bit wrong here and there. I wonder what people think of his WTC.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 09, 2018, 04:35:28 AM
I watched this movie called Private Life yesterday (which I didn't like much). There are three or four moments in the movie with Bach on the soundtrack. It's immediately noticeable that this is Glenn Gould and I realized for the first time how truly disagreeable I find his playing. First of all he really jumps out. His Bach is jarring, and uniquely so - and I don't mean this in a good way. It's cloying. Second, his playing is disagreeably monotonous, without rubato or even the sense of a "normal" amount of emotion. I'm not sure I understand anymore how Gould got so famous or why people always go back to him as if no one else plays Bach. I almost think the people who continually throw Gould on soundtracks don't really know or love Bach that well; it's like they located Bach through an association w/Gould and never have gone any further with the music. Or could it be that they really think Gould is the top of the heap after comparing him with others? Sorry for my rant. I'm sure there are Gould lovers here who can speak to his good points and his enduring legacy. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on November 09, 2018, 04:58:58 AM
It's immediately noticeable that this is Glenn Gould and I realized for the first time how truly disagreeable I find his playing. First of all he really jumps out. His Bach is jarring, and uniquely so - and I don't mean this in a good way. It's cloying. Second, his playing is disagreeably monotonous, without rubato or even the sense of a "normal" amount of emotion.

This is not far from my sentiments.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 09, 2018, 05:16:04 AM
This is not far from my sentiments.
I'm sure I'm not being fair to his fans. But, at the same time, I realized when he popped up in this movie that there's a kind of propaganda in this that this is THE WAY Bach IS and if one is only a casual observer of classical music there's a good chance one would not know anything else. That kind of sucks. Why did Gould get to "take over" Bach? Even in intellectual circles this is the case: I remember a decade ago when I first got into Bach (and classical) I only knew the first Gould and a Professor asked me how I compare the two GBVs and I didn't know what to answer because I didn't know the second. Maybe I should give Gould more credit. Would Woody Allen's joke exist without Gould having popularized this music ("I always thought the GBVs were something Mr and Mrs Goldberg tried on their wedding night")? 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on November 09, 2018, 06:54:27 AM
I'm sure I'm not being fair to his fans.

What do you mean?

What has critizising somebody to do with his/her fans?





Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 09, 2018, 02:57:22 PM
What do you mean?

What has critizising somebody to do with his/her fans?
Yeah, I put that wrong, you're right. Maybe there is something I should try harder to understand about the importance of Gould. To bring the case against myself, I have to admit that Gould was the first Bach I listened to, and I listened a lot. I remember watching a long documentary on him when I was trying to understand the music better. But looking back now, it seems like maybe some of the reason for his success is the mystique around him as a person...his idiosyncrasies. If he's the reason some people like Bach, I wonder if he's also partially the reason why some people describe Bach as too serious or academic.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on November 09, 2018, 03:02:32 PM
Somehow the Gould thing passed me by. Up until two years ago I had purchased only one Gould record (French Suites) and found it so repellent that I think I only listened to it once. I found it baffling that Gould's Bach got so much attention.

I learned Bach keyboard music from Andras Schiff, mostly. Then Hewitt. Recently I got some of the Gould releases in the big reissue. I find them impressive for the dexterity demonstrated, they strike me as "unmusical." I might go to them occasionally to see if I hear something different in them, but I have no love for them.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 09, 2018, 03:12:56 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81N96fAZMsL._SL1500_.jpg)

Actually, I'm just listening to BK I. I really like this a lot.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Iota on November 10, 2018, 07:44:47 AM
Not a lot of love hereabouts for Gould! :laugh:  A vivid example it seems to me of how differently people can hear things.
I have no interest whatsoever in any personal mystique or idiosyncrasies surrounding Gould. I love his Bach for one reason which is that when it is right (which for me is most of the time) it is one of the most joyful musical experiences I know.
His Bach playing always dances to its core, it's like someone turning on a light at the heart of the music ... he always seems to land on the pulse with such a natural terpsichorean joy. I find this often particularly true when others appear to deem him 'rattling along'. And you could bet your house on the clarity of his polyphony. All of this to my ears comes naturally out of the music, is a genuine celebration of it (i.e not an egotistical celebration of his own abilities).

I assume by idiosyncrasies some reference is being made to his vocalisations. Far from appealing, this put me off his playing to the extent that for two decades I could hardly listen to him. It still bothers me sometimes, like sonic graffiti on great art. But when I'm able to put that to one side I hear music making that makes me glad to get up in the morning.

I don't feel the same about his playing of other composers, his appeal for me lies in the dance and polyphony of Bach's music.
[/quote]
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 10, 2018, 08:35:25 AM

His Bach playing always dances to its core, it's like someone turning on a light at the heart of the music ... he always seems to land on the pulse with such a natural terpsichorean joy. I find this often particularly true when others appear to deem him 'rattling along'. And you could bet your house on the clarity of his polyphony. All of this to my ears comes naturally out of the music, is a genuine celebration of it (i.e not an egotistical celebration of his own abilities).





I may be wrong about this, but I don't think anyone's going to dispute that he brought a solid pulse to the music. Not everyone will agree that this is a good thing, because it makes the music more predictable. You know, Bach didn't write music to dance to as far as I know! He didn't expect anyone to clear the furniture to the walls . . .

Hearing the voices is not at stake here, but what the voices are doing is. How he makes the voices interact is a more contentious aspect of his art, especially in the light of experiments in interpreting polyphony made after he died by, for example, Sergio Vartolo and his student Matteo Mesori, and in the USA by Glen Wilson. Obviously it wouldn't be fair to expect him to play like a good 21st century keyboard player, nevertheless, these days Gould's style seems dated.

Some other areas of contention lie around touch (portato) and tempo.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Iota on November 10, 2018, 09:20:24 AM
I may be wrong about this, but I don't think anyone's going to dispute that he brought a solid pulse to the music. Not everyone will agree that this is a good thing, because it makes the music more predictable.

I didn't say 'solid pulse', that sounds dull and leaden in this context. I said (perhaps a bit colourfully ...) that it lands on the pulse with a natural terpsichorean joy, which I hope implied something very different.

You know, Bach didn't write music to dance to as far as I know! He didn't expect anyone to clear the furniture to the walls . . .

I do. I mean his music dances, and prompts a similar feeling within me. I'm sorry all these things weren't clear in my post.

Hearing the voices is not at stake here, but what the voices are doing is. How he makes the voices interact is a more contentious aspect of his art, especially in the light of experiments in interpreting polyphony made after he died by, for example, Sergio Vartolo and his student Matteo Mesori, and in the USA by Glen Wilson. Obviously it wouldn't be fair to expect him to play like a good 21st century keyboard player, nevertheless, these days Gould's style seems dated.

Some other areas of contention lie around touch (portato) and tempo.

Interesting. But to me in my current state of knowledge, it *is* about hearing the voices clearly, in a way that seems appropriate to the music, and that imo is what he very successfully does with great freshness and bouyancy. I'm not sure in what way his playing/touch is deemed contentious bearing in mind he's already playing on a concert grand. Sometimes he accents heavily for example, but even then it nearly always seems wholly pertinent to something in the music. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 10, 2018, 09:47:54 AM
I didn't say 'solid pulse', that sounds dull and leaden in this context. I said (perhaps a bit colourfully ...) that it lands on the pulse with a natural terpsichorean joy, which I hope implied something very different.



Terpsichorean joy is certainly a good thing, an irresistible thing, in dance music.


I mean his music dances, and prompts a similar feeling within me. I'm sorry all these things weren't clear in my post.




Sure, I understand. He swings.

in a way that seems appropriate to the music,

Appropriate is papering over a lot of stuff here. He's playing the notes in the right order more or less, so what he comes up with is bound to be

wholly pertinent to something in the music.

There may be other ways which give you lots to think about, and unexpected things to feel too. I doubt that anyone is better than him at making feet tap though, there we agree.



I'm not sure in what way his playing/touch is deemed contentious bearing in mind he's already playing on a concert grand.

Just he sometimes chooses to to play with notes which are rather disjointed, which sounds a bit kooky to me.


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 10, 2018, 11:20:57 AM
For me the absolutely most critical aspect of Bach, and I say this as a performer and listener of his music, is playing so that the 'beat' is crystal clear. This has nothing to do with predictability, and I don't even understand why that comment was made. Now, not everyone may agree with me, but I think all successful performances of Bach have this trait. When I look for or hear a great performance of Bach, this is one of the universal traits.

Gould has this in spades. He also has great expressivity within that. It's not monotonous, it's precise and clean.

Can I also say how I find it a bit unexpected to see complaints about lack of rubato in Bach. Rubato is generally viewed as a 'romantic' practice. But I think rubato is generally unhelpful in much of Bach's keyboard works.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on November 10, 2018, 11:36:52 AM
Of course Bach's music must be played with a clear basic pulse, but this does not mean, that each note should be played metronomically. Within the frames of the basic pulse there should be room for rhetoric and rhythmic rubato for affective expressive purposes. This has nothing to do with the sentimentality of romanticism.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 10, 2018, 12:12:28 PM
For me the absolutely most critical aspect of Bach, and I say this as a performer and listener of his music, is playing so that the 'beat' is crystal clear. This has nothing to do with predictability, and I don't even understand why that comment was made. Now, not everyone may agree with me, but I think all successful performances of Bach have this trait. When I look for or hear a great performance of Bach, this is one of the universal traits.

Gould has this in spades. He also has great expressivity within that. It's not monotonous, it's precise and clean.

Can I also say how I find it a bit unexpected to see complaints about lack of rubato in Bach. Rubato is generally viewed as a 'romantic' practice. But I think rubato is generally unhelpful in much of Bach's keyboard works.

Why do you think rubato is unhelpful in Bach? If it's used well, it's expressive, which seems helpful.

Noone is saying that in Bach there shouldn't be a pulse, the problem for me comes if the beat is always landing on the pulse like a metronome.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 10, 2018, 12:17:44 PM
Of course Bach's music must be played with a clear basic pulse, but this does not mean, that each note should be played metronomically. Within the frames of the basic pulse there should be room for rhetoric and rhythmic rubato for affective expressive purposes. This has nothing to do with the sentimentality of romanticism.
I disagree. Bach's keyboard works definitely benefit from a tilt toward the metronomic side (of course, my opinion) - perhaps better to say a stricter adherence to it. My tolerance for rubato in Bach (and music like it) is much lower than in other styles. Of course, there are degrees and I suspect that we are disagreeing about that. I would not (necessarily) equate sentimentality with rubato.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 10, 2018, 12:22:13 PM
Why do you think rubato is unhelpful in Bach? If it's used well, it's expressive, which seems helpful.

Noone is saying that in Bach there shouldn't be a pulse, the problem for me comes if the beat is always landing on the pulse like a metronome.
As I wrote above, I lean toward metronomic in Bach. The reason is that the line is more easily lost in Bach without it.

Rubato is unhelpful because, in my view, it distorts the music (particularly in Bach). Where in Beethoven it lends meaning and emphasis, it removes that somewhat in Bach. Within a stricter rhythmic approach, there still needs to be a musical sound. It should not be robotic, but Gould is anything but that.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 10, 2018, 12:31:04 PM
As I wrote above, I lean toward metronomic in Bach. The reason is that the line is more easily lost in Bach without it.

Rubato is unhelpful because, in my view, it distorts the music (particularly in Bach). Where in Beethoven it lends meaning and emphasis, it removes that somewhat in Bach.

I don't understand why you have a double standard here -- why rubato in Bach isn't meaningful and rubato in Beethoven is. "The line", need not be lost -- I could give you tons of examples of Bach with rubato and linearity. Here, cpt 1



https://www.youtube.com/v/3dx63njjrs0[/flash]


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 10, 2018, 12:59:20 PM
I don't understand why you have a double standard here -- why rubato in Bach isn't meaningful and rubato in Beethoven is. "The line", need not be lost -- I could give you tons of examples of Bach with rubato and linearity. Here, cpt 1



https://www.youtube.com/v/3dx63njjrs0[/flash]


Don't like this particularly - those pauses sound somewhat unnatural and exaggerated (mind you, this isn't the worst I've heard). Beethoven's music doesn't snap the way I feel Bach sometimes does with Rubato. This version you linked seems to me to stutter it's way through. I am not actually advacating no rubato, it's a question of degree (though no rubato doesn't necessarily bother me).  Not really being an aficionado of Gould, here is an example I prefer in the partitas. Compared to other versions I've heard, this one has less rubato (and in some places much less):

https://www.youtube.com/v/wWoJjlxtVd8


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 10, 2018, 01:26:13 PM
Before you were talking about romanticism, meaningfulness and linearity, now you're talking about what you like!

I need to compare more carefully Schepkin's rubato in the sarabande of partita 1 and Leonhardt's in cpt 1, prima facie I'm not sure what you're hearing that makes such a difference to you.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 10, 2018, 01:45:27 PM
Before you were talking about romanticism, meaningfulness and linearity, now you're talking about what you like!

I need to compare more carefully Schepkin's rubato in the sarabande of partita 1 and Leonhardt's in cpt 1, prima facie I'm not sure what you're hearing that makes such a difference to you.
Well, we are talking about a mix of things. Poster dislike of Gould, his metronomic approach, rubato, etc. On rubato, I am saying that less rubato suits (and helps) the keyboard music of Bach. I've always felt it served the music better. I've explained why.

But it's all relative too. Compared to most versions on the piano that I have heard (and I have not done an exhaustive search), he (Schepkin) uses less.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on November 10, 2018, 01:51:16 PM
I'm don't know how Bach should be performed, but I know what works for me. Gould generally does not. I agree a strong rhythmic pulse is vital, but I find that rigidity of beat is not necessary, or always desirable, in establishing a strong pulse.

Clarity of counterpoint is supreme for me. I think a pianist should use every trick in the book (articulation, dynamics, pedaling, rubato, tempo variation) to illuminate counterpoint.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 10, 2018, 04:20:09 PM
I disagree. Bach's keyboard works definitely benefit from a tilt toward the metronomic side (of course, my opinion) - perhaps better to say a stricter adherence to it. My tolerance for rubato in Bach (and music like it) is much lower than in other styles. Of course, there are degrees and I suspect that we are disagreeing about that. I would not (necessarily) equate sentimentality with rubato.
I wonder what you make of Rubsam's new recordings. I'll give Gould one thing: one always knows it's him. It's hard to mistake him for someone else. I'm not a pianist or musically trained so sometimes it's hard for me to tell well aspects of articulation that make a performance. I've decided this morning to try to understand which performances employ rubato in a pleasing way. I'm not sure but Piotr Anderszewski's Sarabande in the first Partita makes him seem a candidate.
I notice there's a performance on Youtube but I haven't watched it, just listened to his recording. Here's a live performance though:
https://www.youtube.com/v/Kvhurpp-wDc
Has anyone heard of the pianist Sontraud Speidel? Now that I'm on a streaming service I'm able to get further off the beaten path. She uses rubato and she also brings out counterpoint nicely. I'm not sure what I think of her recording as a whole though. 
https://www.youtube.com/v/nUbDAas9Qaw
Another new pianist for me is Risto Lauriala. So far, I quite like his partitas. He really plays around with articulation. I may give his transcriptions a try though I usually can't get far on that sort of thing.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 10, 2018, 10:13:40 PM
I don't hear Edward Aldwell's name mentioned much around here. He seems to be known as a Bach interpreter on the piano. Any thoughts anyone?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 10, 2018, 11:30:26 PM
I wonder what you make of Rubsam's new recordings. I'll give Gould one thing: one always know it's him. It's hard to mistake him for someone else. I'm not a pianist or musically trained so sometimes it's hard for me to tell well aspects of articulation make a performance. I've decided this morning to try to understand which performances employ rubato in a pleasing way. I'm not sure but Piotr Anderszewski's Sarabande in the first Partita makes him seem a candidate.
I notice there's a performance on Youtube but I haven't watched it, just listened to his recording. Here's a live performance though:
https://www.youtube.com/v/Kvhurpp-wDc
Has anyone heard of the pianist Sontraud Speidel? Now that I'm on a streaming service I'm able to get further off the beaten path. She uses rubato and she also brings out counterpoint nicely. I'm not sure what I think of her recording as a whole though. 
https://www.youtube.com/v/nUbDAas9Qaw
Another new pianist for me is Risto Lauriala. So far, I quite like his partitas. He really plays around with articulation. I may give his transcriptions a try though I usually can't get far on that sort of thing.

The Anderszewski recording is quite pleasing (though I didn't have time to listen to the end), and there is very little rubato for the most part. It is very well articulated as well, giving nice differentiation between ideas. Of course, the Saraande section employs it much more.  I like how he changes how he hits the keys to emphasize the legato and staccato in certain sections.

Here's an example of what I think doesn't work well (and you can hear it right off the bat in the first one):
https://www.youtube.com/v/8dF7TMecJWo
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 11, 2018, 12:29:29 AM
The Anderszewski recording is quite pleasing (though I didn't have time to listen to the end), and there is very little rubato for the most part. It is very well articulated as well, giving nice differentiation between ideas. Of course, the Saraande section employs it much more.  I like how he changes how he hits the keys to emphasize the legato and staccato in certain sections.

Here's an example of what I think doesn't work well (and you can hear it right off the bat in the first one):
https://www.youtube.com/v/8dF7TMecJWo
Thanks for posting that. I'm listening to Schiff through all of the first partita. I'm surprised by this performance. I had avoided Schiff for a long time. It seemed to me that he didn't get much love around here. I can see why you might not like it. I guess there's room for all on the Bach boat. I do like the Schiff and I can realize it does have much more shifting of tempos. I might have to give Schiff's WTC a try. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 11, 2018, 12:57:00 AM
Sergio Fiorentino's Partita #4 Allemande is 15 minutes and 15 seconds long! Suzuki's is only 12 minutes!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: San Antone on November 11, 2018, 01:07:14 AM
Thanks for posting that. I'm listening to Schiff through all of the first partita. I'm surprised by this performance. I had avoided Schiff for a long time. It seemed to me that he didn't get much love around here. I can see why you might not like it. I guess there's room for all on the Bach boat. I do like the Schiff and I can realize it does have much more shifting of tempos. I might have to give Schiff's WTC a try.

Which Schiff?  He recorded all of Bach's keyboard music for Decca (I think) and he has been doing it again for ECM New Series.  The latter recordings are well-thought-of, I think.  Not sure how his earlier set is received. 

I like Bach played on anything by just about anybody.  His music is hard to screw up.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 11, 2018, 01:31:24 AM
Sergio Fiorentino's Partita #4 Allemande is 15 minutes and 15 seconds long! Suzuki's is only 12 minutes!

How long does Rubsam take?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 11, 2018, 01:50:13 AM
Which Schiff?  He recorded all of Bach's keyboard music for Decca (I think) and he has been doing it again for ECM New Series.  The latter recordings are well-thought-of, I think.  Not sure how his earlier set is received. 

I like Bach played on anything by just about anybody.  His music is hard to screw up.
He's referring to the Schiff I linked to, which appears to be the Decca recording from 1983 (if comments are correct).
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on November 11, 2018, 02:30:08 PM
He's referring to the Schiff I linked to, which appears to be the Decca recording from 1983 (if comments are correct).

Which would surprise me in the Partitas -- where his second recording is so much more dance-inflected than the rather dour reading for Decca. (See also: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2015/11/25/the-real-top-10-bach-recordings/ (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2015/11/25/the-real-top-10-bach-recordings/))
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 11, 2018, 05:13:49 PM
Which would surprise me in the Partitas -- where his second recording is so much more dance-inflected than the rather dour reading for Decca. (See also: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2015/11/25/the-real-top-10-bach-recordings/ (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2015/11/25/the-real-top-10-bach-recordings/))
I was streaming something at home but I have to check which recordings I listened to for Schiff. I believe it is the same as the one linked. I think Schiff has a live recording Of the Partitas also. Rubsam’s recording of the Allemande clocks at 11:46. BTW: it was my impression that the new lautenwerk recordings are markedly different in concept from his piano recordings but I’m not sure. I have to go back to his partitas but in the past I didn’t like that particular recording much. Should I give them another listen? I did contact Rubsam to ask if he planned to re-record these on the lautenwerk. He was nice enough to respond, although he didn’t thank me for the question and was not discernibly friendly (but whatever, never mind I’ve shelled out $ for at least a dozen of his recordings), and he said he has no plans to do them again. I’d love to hear how the partitas would sound on the lautenwerk but I’d also love to hear his sort of radical broken style for the partitas or French on any instrument.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on November 11, 2018, 10:19:26 PM
To purloin/corrupt/commandeer a phrase:

For pleasure, listen to ten minutes of Glenn Gould--for punishment, twenty.

I am also curious aboot Nelson Freire. I heard a brief snippet of the Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue, and enjoyed it very much. I am interested to sample more.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on November 12, 2018, 01:54:09 PM
Which would surprise me in the Partitas -- where his second recording is so much more dance-inflected than the rather dour reading for Decca. (See also: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2015/11/25/the-real-top-10-bach-recordings/ (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2015/11/25/the-real-top-10-bach-recordings/))

Dour?!?! I think the word you are looking for is "magnificent."
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on November 12, 2018, 03:43:54 PM
Dour?!?! I think the word you are looking for is "magnificent."

I always mix those words up!  :P
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 13, 2018, 10:45:09 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71sWcJcZwzL._SY355_.jpg)
I'm listening to this Schiff's WTC for the first time. I can't believe I'd totally ignored him before (and confused him with Periah too - another pianist I've somehow ignored). Is this his only recording of WTCI? This is magnificent. I mean, Schiff makes the music new again for me. He has an ingenious way of finding new melodic highlights, new shades of meaning and emotion. I don't know why I had totally ignored Schiff previously. I'm curious to go back and see how Schiff figured in those comparison reviews by Don Satz. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 13, 2018, 11:10:25 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71sWcJcZwzL._SY355_.jpg)
He has an ingenious way of finding new melodic highlights, new shades of meaning and emotion.

This seems right, Don liked it and didn't like his first recording, I'm not so sure I agree, but possibly the first recording doesn't stress catchy melodies so much for you to hum along too, and the phrasing is less incisive  and the piano is less colourful. I'm thinking really about the second book rather than the first.  Every time I listen to his first recording my intuition -- which may be worthless -- tells me that there's something interesting going on there,  I'd have to put more work in to articulate it. It's something to do with lyricism maybe, and a more homogeneous approach to the voicing. Sometime I'll give both recordings the attention they may or may not repay.

Part of it may be a special sort of British puritan masochism -- the second recording is so fun and easy and accessible that I just don't trust it.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 14, 2018, 01:01:34 AM
This seems right, Don liked it and didn't like his first recording, I'm not so sure I agree, but possibly the first recording doesn't stress catchy melodies so much for you to hum along too, and the phrasing is less incisive  and the piano is less colourful. I'm thinking really about the second book rather than the first.  Every time I listen to his first recording my intuition -- which may be worthless -- tells me that there's something interesting going on there,  I'd have to put more work in to articulate it. It's something to do with lyricism maybe, and a more homogeneous approach to the voicing. Sometime I'll give both recordings the attention they may or may not repay.

Part of it may be a special sort of British puritan masochism -- the second recording is so fun and easy and accessible that I just don't trust it.
it’s certainly fun and it really sounds good too. Lots of little inventive details but they don’t seem contrived.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: amw on November 14, 2018, 01:10:36 AM
This seems right, Don liked it and didn't like his first recording, I'm not so sure I agree, but possibly the first recording doesn't stress catchy melodies so much for you to hum along too, and the phrasing is less incisive  and the piano is less colourful. I'm thinking really about the second book rather than the first.  Every time I listen to his first recording my intuition -- which may be worthless -- tells me that there's something interesting going on there,  I'd have to put more work in to articulate it. It's something to do with lyricism maybe, and a more homogeneous approach to the voicing. Sometime I'll give both recordings the attention they may or may not repay.

Part of it may be a special sort of British puritan masochism -- the second recording is so fun and easy and accessible that I just don't trust it.

The first recording is on Decca. I actually own it as well as the ECM one but haven't listened to it in several centuries—probably due to making an unfair judgment that the Decca recording is played at a uniformly mezzo-forte dynamic with excessively smoothed over phrasing. I call that unfair because if it's true, it is equally so of the second recording, which just has better sound.

Someday I will listen to more of these WTCs on piano—at the moment I enjoy listening to Dominique Merlet who seems very unpretentious and nice and also plays everything about mezzo forte.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 14, 2018, 02:00:00 AM
The first recording is on Decca. I actually own it as well as the ECM one but haven't listened to it in several centuries—probably due to making an unfair judgment that the Decca recording is played at a uniformly mezzo-forte dynamic with excessively smoothed over phrasing. I call that unfair because if it's true, it is equally so of the second recording, which just has better sound.

Someday I will listen to more of these WTCs on piano—at the moment I enjoy listening to Dominique Merlet who seems very unpretentious and nice and also plays everything about mezzo forte.
I'm going to search out Merlet. Dynamics is one thing that sometimes annoys me so I might like Merlet as well. Hmm..."Smoothed over phrasing"...I went looking for what would be the opposite of that for contrast and came up with Turek.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on November 14, 2018, 02:48:03 AM
Didn't you have Schepkin's? I have only one Volume, I think, but I seem to recall this as not mainly/only mezzoforte. Also Koroliov (his WTC and French suites are on Tacet, GVB, Inv/Sinf and Clavierübung II on Hänssler) could be a consideration (sorry I did not read the whole thread, all these might have been covered in detail).
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 14, 2018, 03:29:45 AM
Didn't you have Schepkin's? I have only one Volume, I think, but I seem to recall this as not mainly/only mezzoforte. Also Koroliov (his WTC and French suites are on Tacet, GVB, Inv/Sinf and Clavierübung II on Hänssler) could be a consideration (sorry I did not read the whole thread, all these might have been covered in detail).
I didn't pay enough attention to Schepkin and need to listen again. Now that I'm streaming stuff, my concentration is getting scattered.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on November 14, 2018, 07:56:22 AM
The first recording is on Decca. I actually own it as well as the ECM one but haven't listened to it in several centuries—probably due to making an unfair judgment that the Decca recording is played at a uniformly mezzo-forte dynamic with excessively smoothed over phrasing. I call that unfair because if it's true, it is equally so of the second recording, which just has better sound.

Fair or unfair, I can't say. I regard Schiff's traversal of the Bach Piano music on Decca as one of the great recording projects. Not flashy, but creates a perfect texture in which Bach's counterpoint effortlessly emerges. There are other recordings that I love, but I would never be without this collection.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 14, 2018, 10:00:21 PM
Fair or unfair, I can't say. I regard Schiff's traversal of the Bach Piano music on Decca as one of the great recording projects. Not flashy, but creates a perfect texture in which Bach's counterpoint effortlessly emerges. There are other recordings that I love, but I would never be without this collection.
Why doesn't his later tries equal the Decca? Hmm, now I have to go and listen to that too!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on November 14, 2018, 10:42:41 PM
Why doesn't his later tries equal the Decca? Hmm, now I have to go and listen to that too!

Of his second traversal on ECM I have only listened to the Goldberg Variations. I found the second recording equally interesting, and I could not say which I prefer.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 15, 2018, 03:54:54 AM
I went back to Rubsam's French Suites tonight. I can understand what he's doing more in light of his Lautenwerk stuff. I'm not sure why the strategy seems more convincing to me on the plucking instrument. Sometimes his French Suites are a little stilted. On the other hand, he brings out counterpoint especially on the slower sarabandes. Is it a combination of going "all in" on the Lute-harpsichord and the sound of the instrument itself?   
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on November 15, 2018, 09:01:11 AM

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71sWcJcZwzL._SY355_.jpg)

Part of it may be a special sort of British puritan masochism -- the second recording is so fun and easy and accessible that I just don't trust it.

 ;D Very possibly.

I've just and finally listened to his second, ECM, Goldberg Variations and was very pleased with those, too. (Though the difference between the two Partita sets may be starker, still.)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 15, 2018, 11:54:45 AM
Someone -- milk maybe -- was asking about Rubsam's piano recordings, in the light of the style he's trying out on lautenwerk. I've been listening to the partitas, and it's intersesting because stylistically it's mixed I think. For example there's some genuinely "horizontal" non chordal counterpoint in the allemande of the 6th, but in the toccata it sounds to me more like more traditional voicing, with some interesting ideas about which voices carry the melody sometimes, but the effect comes from rubato and tempo rather than from the counterpoint.

As far as his rubato is concerned, I want to paraphrase a friend of mine's comment about the new violin sonatas and partitas by Giuliano Carmignola. He said that Carmignola has mastered the art of making the music uneven, the art of transcending  the bar lines, in order to avoid forcing things, to avoid hammering the musical ideas home. And I would add, to avoid pounding out the chords that mark the pulse. And that Carmignola does this with fluidity and naturalness.

Now here's the question. Can you say the same of Rubsam?


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 15, 2018, 03:49:53 PM
Someone -- milk maybe -- was asking about Rubsam's piano recordings, in the light of the style he's trying out on lautenwerk. I've been listening to the partitas, and it's intersesting because stylistically it's mixed I think. For example there's some genuinely "horizontal" non chordal counterpoint in the allemande of the 6th, but in the toccata it sounds to me more like more traditional voicing, with some interesting ideas about which voices carry the melody sometimes, but the effect comes from rubato and tempo rather than from the counterpoint.

As far as his rubato is concerned, I want to paraphrase a friend of mine's comment about the new violin sonatas and partitas by Giuliano Carmignola. He said that Carmignola has mastered the art of making the music uneven, the art of transcending  the bar lines, in order to avoid forcing things, to avoid hammering the musical ideas home. And I would add, to avoid pounding out the chords that mark the pulse. And that Carmignola does this with fluidity and naturalness.

Now here's the question. Can you say the same of Rubsam?
it seems to work out better on the Lautenwerk. I think “yes,” for the most part.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 15, 2018, 10:01:47 PM
it seems to work out better on the Lautenwerk.

I think one way the Naxos piano recordings are like the lautenwerk is that they are unpredictable and they give the impression of spontaneous improvisation. Maybe they are spontaneous improvisation. They are a constant source of surprises, even after knowing them for years they’re challenging and ravishing to revisit.

I have not heard a set of piano partitas as stimulating and rewarding as Rübsam’s. One thing I love about what he does is how he so thoroughly breaks with conservatory style with such style and passion. In that way he reminds me of Bjorn Schmelzer.

Another thing I like about them is the calmness and restraint - enhanced by the small, almost clavichord like sound. And the disarming honesty of the feelings he expresses.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 15, 2018, 10:52:18 PM
I think one way the Naxos piano recordings are like the lautenwerk is that they are unpredictable and they give the impression of spontaneous improvisation. Maybe they are spontaneous improvisation. They are a constant source of surprises, even after knowing them for years they’re challenging and ravishing to revisit.

I have not heard a set of piano partitas as stimulating and rewarding as Rübsam’s. One thing I love about what he does is how he so thoroughly breaks with conservatory style with such style and passion. In that way he reminds me of Bjorn Schmelzer.

Another thing I like about them is the calmness and restraint - enhanced by the small, almost clavichord like sound. And the disarming honesty of the feelings he expresses.
It's a recommendation I can't pass up. I suspect I will have to listen to them with headphones and open my mind a bit.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 15, 2018, 11:47:35 PM
I think one way the Naxos piano recordings are like the lautenwerk is that they are unpredictable and they give the impression of spontaneous improvisation. Maybe they are spontaneous improvisation. They are a constant source of surprises, even after knowing them for years they’re challenging and ravishing to revisit.

I have not heard a set of piano partitas as stimulating and rewarding as Rübsam’s. One thing I love about what he does is how he so thoroughly breaks with conservatory style with such style and passion. In that way he reminds me of Bjorn Schmelzer.

Another thing I like about them is the calmness and restraint - enhanced by the small, almost clavichord like sound. And the disarming honesty of the feelings he expresses.

As it happens, this Rubsam recording is on Prime. So I started listening. I don't think I've heard a partita I disliked so much. It IS very personal, so I suppose if you like this sort of thing, perhaps that is what you like. But if this first one is representative of the rest, I thought he mangled it. I say this because (for example in the opening) he plays the phrases as if they have no context or relationship to each other. It's like lurching from phrase to phrase without meaning. The left hand seems lost a bit.  I just don't think his approach here works very well.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 16, 2018, 12:39:08 AM
As it happens, this Rubsam recording is on Prime. So I started listening. I don't think I've heard a partita I disliked so much. It IS very personal, so I suppose if you like this sort of thing, perhaps that is what you like. But if this first one is representative of the rest, I thought he mangled it. I say this because (for example in the opening) he plays the phrases as if they have no context or relationship to each other. It's like lurching from phrase to phrase without meaning. The left hand seems lost a bit.  I just don't think his approach here works very well.
I also had to turn off Rubsam's piano partitas tonight. I don't know why exactly. I really like his lautenwerk stuff. I might still try again but, yeah, listening to the first partita was unpleasant for some reason.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 16, 2018, 04:25:18 AM
In fact I can't remember his first partita. The two I enjoy most are 4 and 6. But, having just played it, if this comment is supposed to be about the opening movement of Partita 1

I say this because (for example in the opening) he plays the phrases as if they have no context or relationship to each other. It's like lurching from phrase to phrase without meaning. The left hand seems lost a bit.

it's not right IMO. It makes it sound as if the internal relationships between the phrases, the tonal and motivic relationships, are masked. But that's incorrect. Neither does he lurch. And expressively it's full of meaning.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on November 21, 2018, 05:55:20 AM
Listening to Sviatoslav Richter's WTC for the first time. Wow. This is a spiritual experience. Edit: Bk1.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on May 07, 2019, 08:09:19 PM
People who like this sort of thing will like this sort of thing, people who don’t won’t.

(https://img1.doubanio.com/lpic/s6955979.jpg)

Beautifully recorded, immaculately executed, refined and nuanced and subtle aberrations.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on May 07, 2019, 10:14:02 PM
I don't know that one but they have at least one more volume with piano (4 hand or two pianos) arrangement mostly by Reger (which I did not keep).


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on May 08, 2019, 04:38:18 AM
I was listening to Levit's partitas today, something I've liked very much in the past, but felt something was missing. Like, some voices are given a really soft touch, especially in the sarabands, and this seems kind of linear to me. I went and compared this to Suzuki. Of course on the harpsichord the voices are going to come out more evenly. But Suzuki is even clearer than others, like Mortensen. Actually, the Suzuki almost moved me to tears. Does it seem like there's a lot of temptation on the piano to futz with the voices in a way that sometimes detracts from the content of the music?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on May 08, 2019, 08:49:36 AM
something was missing.

 What the pianists can't do is have voices cut through each other, interrupt each other. The voices don't intersect, they hover around, or slink around, each other. I don't know why, but they can't do it, I suspect it's a limitation of the instrument. This became really clear to me this week listening to Andersiewski play Well Tempered Clavier.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on May 08, 2019, 09:07:11 AM
I was listening to Levit's partitas today, something I've liked very much in the past, but felt something was missing. Like, some voices are given a really soft touch, especially in the sarabands, and this seems kind of linear to me. I went and compared this to Suzuki. Of course on the harpsichord the voices are going to come out more evenly. But Suzuki is even clearer than others, like Mortensen. Actually, the Suzuki almost moved me to tears. Does it seem like there's a lot of temptation on the piano to futz with the voices in a way that sometimes detracts from the content of the music?

I've not heard Levit. I like pianists who avoid the temptation to "futz" with the voices. The best Bach pianists (in my view) used subtle variation in articulation and volume to distinguish the voices without upsetting the balance. Hewitt and Schiff achieve this, IMO.

What the pianists can't do is have voices cut through each other, interrupt each other. The voices don't intersect, they hover around, or slink around, each other. I don't know why, but they can't do it, I suspect it's a limitation of the instrument. This became really clear to me this week listening to Andersiewski play Well Tempered Clavier.

If Andersiewski's (whoever that is) can't do it, that is a limitation of Andersiewski, not the instrument, IMO.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on May 08, 2019, 09:39:39 AM


If Andersiewski's (whoever that is) can't do it, that is a limitation of Andersiewski, not the instrument, IMO.

Well honestly, I don't see that that proposition should is true a priori, just stated bluntly like that it sounds a bit wrong. After all there are all sorts of instrumental effects which you can do on piano but not on harpsichord, which is one reason why piano's better for Debussy. Why shouldn't the same be true the other way round.

The specific harpsichord effect which I never hear on piano is something I used to liken to static electricity sparking from one voice to another, or burrs of metal cutting through a voice. You can it hear once or twice in the prelude here

https://www.youtube.com/v/FIdAji209bs

What does futz mean?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on May 08, 2019, 09:48:15 AM
Well honestly, I don't see that that proposition should is true a priori, just stated bluntly like that. After all there are all sorts of instrumental effects which you can do on piano but not on harpsichord, which is one reason why piano's better for Debussy. Why shouldn't the same be true the other way round.

The specific harpsichord effect which I never hear on piano is something I used to liken to static electricity sparking from one voice to another, or burrs of metal cutting through a voice. You can it hear once or twice in the prelude here

https://www.youtube.com/v/FIdAji209bs

I only mean that if one person can do it on the piano, that proves the piano can do it. To prove the piano can't do it you have to show that every pianists who ever lived can't do it, and that still doesn't rule out that someone will do it someday

The harpsichord has a different timbre than the piano which can lend itself to more transparency. That is an advantage. I find it hard to listen to, it irritates my ears, and oddly enough the more HiFi the recording the more irritating. A low resolution recording on crap headphones sound best to me.

I liked that YouTube you linked. Hantai, is it? The recorded sound of the instrument sounded better to me that 99% of Harpsichord recordings.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on May 08, 2019, 09:59:40 AM
Maybe you're right, I just remembered thinking that Joanna Macgregor comes very close to a  harpsichord sound on piano in her recording of The French Suites, ironically music which probably wasn't designed with harpsichord in mind! I keep meaning to explore what she does with Bach more closely.


https://www.youtube.com/v/WRj-gLhi97w

By the way, just maybe you're listening to harpsichord recordings with too high a volume, I don't know.

It's nice to see inside Hantai's house!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on May 08, 2019, 10:12:24 AM
Maybe you're right, I just remembered thinking that Joanna Macgregor comes very close to a  harpsichord sound on piano in her recording of The French Suites, ironically music which probably wasn't designed with harpsichord in mind! I keep meaning to explore what she does with Bach more closely.


https://www.youtube.com/v/WRj-gLhi97w

By the way, just maybe you're listening to harpsichord recordings with too high a volume, I don't know.

It's nice to see inside Hantai's house!

I think record labels don’t record harpsichord to my taste. They try too hard to juice it up. I found one of hantai’s proper records (WTC I) and I didn’t like it at all. I wish I could get an album made in his living room.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on May 08, 2019, 10:24:11 AM
I think record labels don’t record harpsichord to my taste. They try too hard to juice it up. I found one of hantai’s proper records (WTC I) and I didn’t like it at all. I wish I could get an album made in his living room.
I generally am not a huge fan of the harpsichord sound. But one interesting thing I noticed going through the Bach box is that there are significant differences from one to the next. I don't think I quite appreciated just how different they can be from one another. The one recording that really stood out in terms of sound was the Kenneth Gilbert harpsichord used on the Well-Tempered Clavier recordings. Wow, what a deep, beautiful sound. I'm not sure if he used the same instrument on all or just some of his recordings, and there were a couple others that had a more pleasing sound on the box, but this one grabbed me immediately.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on May 08, 2019, 10:41:10 AM
I generally am not a huge fan of the harpsichord sound. But one interesting thing I noticed going through the Bach box is that there are significant differences from one to the next. I don't think I quite appreciated just how different they can be from one another. The one recording that really stood out in terms of sound was the Kenneth Gilbert harpsichord used on the Well-Tempered Clavier recordings. Wow, what a deep, beautiful sound. I'm not sure if he used the same instrument on all or just some of his recordings, and there were a couple others that had a more pleasing sound on the box, but this one grabbed me immediately.

I remember Gilbert's recording of the Inventions and Sinfonias and listened to some samples. I was expecting them to be bad because they are early DG digital, but found them attractive. Will have to revisit.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on May 08, 2019, 10:47:42 AM
For some reason I found early digital Archiv Produktion usually seems to have better sound that a lot of early digital standard DG, e.g. the early/mid 1980s Bach and Telemann by Musica Antiqua has very good sound, I am not familiar with the harpsichord solo recordings by Gilbert. Probably different teams were involved than in the orchestral/modern piano recordings.

And while my audiophile friends will claim that it might be the fault of the setup and they could be right, I think changing the volume often helps a lot already if the harpsichord sounds annoying.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on May 08, 2019, 11:22:23 AM
Does it seem like there's a lot of temptation on the piano to futz with the voices in a way that sometimes detracts from the content of the music?

Spot on!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: JBS on May 08, 2019, 12:53:45 PM

If Andersiewski's (whoever that is) can't do it, that is a limitation of Andersiewski, not the instrument, IMO.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71sgwX-7y1L.jpg)(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51e9pjBrQUL.jpg)(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61wXP1ZgxAL.jpg)

Plus on multicomposer CDs, Partita 2 and English Suite 6,
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on May 08, 2019, 07:33:26 PM
I generally am not a huge fan of the harpsichord sound. But one interesting thing I noticed going through the Bach box is that there are significant differences from one to the next. I don't think I quite appreciated just how different they can be from one another. The one recording that really stood out in terms of sound was the Kenneth Gilbert harpsichord used on the Well-Tempered Clavier recordings. Wow, what a deep, beautiful sound. I'm not sure if he used the same instrument on all or just some of his recordings, and there were a couple others that had a more pleasing sound on the box, but this one grabbed me immediately.

It’s an old Flemish harpsichord given a pretty serious going over by the French! This sort of instrument was given its apotheosis on record by Anne Marie Dragosits, on this CD - though I should say that I don’t much care for the music there.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/ya/up/ss03ox8qiupya_600.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on May 28, 2019, 03:56:43 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61yVjcOwR%2BL._SX355_.jpg)


Really nice little appreciation of this recording, which I think contains a very special Partita 6. It can be done on a modern piano, but you need someone who is touched by a moment of grace like this.

Quote
ROGER WOODWARD AND HIS RECITAL AT THE SENDESAAL (CHAMBER MUSIC HALL) OF RADIO BREMEN


ROGER WOODWARD'S piano recital on January 6th 2007 was not only a memorable highlight of the On Black and White Keys Bremen concert series, it also had a remarkable story. It was just short of a year earlier that the Australian pianist —professor at the San Francisco State University—had first walked onto the stage of the Bremen Radio Studios, on January 18th 2006. He had travelled to the city to record the piano cycle Book of Hours by the Bremen composer Hans Otte. Woodward was replacing the pianist Nikolaus Lahusen, also from Bremen, who had died in 2005 after a long battle with cancer. Eckart Rahn, the head of Celestial Harmonies, had completed a number of CD projects with Lahusen and planned several more, including this recording of Otte's Book of Hours. After discussions with Lahusen's widow Christine, Rahn had finally suggested Woodward as a replacement — a musician I had been aware of but had never heard myself.

This was shortly to change when Woodward came to Bremen, having enthusiastically and thoroughly prepared Otte's engaging cycle. The meeting between Woodward and the Bremen chamber music hall and its Bosendorf 275 concert grand piano was love at first sight. Woodward's immediate comment was: "When my hands touched the keyboard, they couldn't breathe". Hans Otte had selected this wonderful instrument himself in the late '7os during his time as Music Director for Radio Bremen. An excellent pianist, he had a preference for Viennese instruments. Roger Woodward decided immediately on the Bosendorfer over the other instruments available to him. It was not just a matter of the perfect match between music and pianistic sonority, but also an almost metaphysical correspondence between piano,
composer and performer. During the recording sessions Woodward even • spoke to Otte himself to clarify some musical details. Later—after having heard Woodward's recording—Otte characterized him as "He is sensitive but has power; a musical genius". The composer died later the same year, on December 25th, 2007.

The sessions in January 2006 ran without complications and to general satisfaction. On the final day of recording, having completed the cycle, Woodward ran through some of his colossal repertoire just for pleasure. My attention was captivated as he intoned some of Debussy's Preludes. I had never heard Debussy like this: technically masterful, tonally extremely varied and clearly viewed from the perspective of modernism. I remember my spontanious reaction: "When I heard his Debussy, I was in heaven".

For decades Roger Woodward had been an icon of new piano music and had worked with practically all important composers of the day. In his hands Debussy no longer sounded like decadent salon music, it became strikingly modern. I eagerly enquired whether he might like to perform in 2007 in the On Black and White Keys series we were running for Radio Bremen. Woodward accepted enthusiastically, and we soon agreed upon a date and recording sessions on the following three days for both books of the Debussy Preludes. Woodward had also already decided on his programme: Debussy's Estampes and 2nd book of Preludes, Chopin's Mazurkas Op.59 and Bach's 6th Partita as triumphant conclusion. All three composers figure as Woodward's personal favourites, and he consciously avoided arranging them in chronological order. Bach, not only in Woodward's eyes the greatest of all, had to conclude the recital.

When I met him at the train station the day before the concert, Woodward seemed a little tense and under jet lag; after all, he had been flying from the Australian summer with 90°F directly into the German winter.

However, once in the concert hall his nerves immediately settled and he waxed lyrically about the state of his beloved Bosendorfer. Gerd Finkenstein, the internationally acclaimed technician from Hanover, had worked on it and unlocked an even wider spectrum of sonority than it had revealed the year before.

During his rehearsal Woodward wandered around the hall, singing to test and enjoy the superb acoustics of the venue. Built in 1952 with 270 seats, the hall rests in complete but inspiring and dynamic silence. For over so years celebrated musicians of many genres have worked in this magical place, from Nikolaus Hamoncourt to Keith Jarrett and Alfred Brendel. Woodward sensed this great tradition in every corner of the hall and described it as a shrine to music. Since 1990 the hall has also been the home of the On Black and White Keys concert series and has hosted a large number of celebrated pianists, from established stars to  acclaimed newcomers. At 64, Roger Woodward was the oldest debutant in the series, and it was therefore a particular honour to welcome this world-renowned musician to this stage — a legend of the keyboard in the Radio Bremen concert hall!

Just before walking onto the stage Woodward whispered to me "OK, hope I will be in form...". Not only was he in form, he captivated the audience from the first moment. After the opening Estampes, which are not included on this CD for timing reasons, Woodward played the znd book of Preludes as if in one long breath. A journey of thirty or so minutes through a vivid world of sound with a pianist capable of producing the widest range of sonority. In Feux d'artifice, the concluding Prelude, Woodward played the glissando at the end with his fist. A shocking attack with a shocking sound. After the concert the pianist confided that he had learned this technique from his friend, the composer Iannis Xenakis.

After the intermission, Woodward presented the Three Mazurkas of Op.59 by Chopin as a bridge between Debussy and Bach. Woodward belongs to the foremost Chopin pianists of our time and played with consummate ease, balancing rhythm and intimacy. Having studied for many years in Poland he became an admirer of Chopin's music, and even garnered the praise and respect of the great Chopin "pope" Artur Rubinstein. The culmination of the recital came with the concluding 6th Partita by Bach. Its seven movements form one of Bach's most moving piano works and were performed by Woodward with great intensity, meditative immersion and finely chiselled ornamentation. This live performance is even more extreme than the studio recording made shortly before the concert, awarded the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. The Sarabande takes three minutes longer here due to an additional repeat, and the final Gigue is an incredible two minutes shorter than the studio version. The adrenalin of live
performance functions as legal doping with astounding results — how lucky we are that these unforgettable and unrepeatable moments were captured for posterity.

Roger Woodward's live CD from the Bremen Radio concert hall is a document of great, radical and uncompromising piano playing. This is no styled and streamlined greenhorn; it is a musician with the wisdom of many years of experience. One can agree or disagree with Woodward's polarizing vision of music, but he is certainly one of the great pianists of our time. His recital in Bremen in 2007 testifies to this in a forceful manner.


Wilfried Schaper Music Department, Radio Bremen


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on July 15, 2019, 11:07:18 PM
https://www.youtube.com/v/fCIjJAd9g20

J S Bach in the Age of Romanticism: WTC I Preludes. Robert Hill, fortepiano (live)
24 Preludes from WTC I, performed in the key order of the Chopin Préludes Op. 28.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on July 15, 2019, 11:17:42 PM
There is a also live recording on modering piano with Joao Carlos Martins playing the Bach Preludes and Arthur Moreira-Lima playing the Chopin. As far as I recall I found this quite interesting but the sound is not so great.

ASIN: B003D1T6IK
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on July 16, 2019, 09:29:31 AM
(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal/Takehisa-G-K02a[ALM-2CD].jpg)

Totally independent voicing in the allemande of Partita 4, and somehow rather poignant -  they're not listening to each other much at all -- trapped in their private worlds, unable to reach across the abyss. And then they kiss, they embrace. it's like a Carter quartet avant la lettre, better than a Carter quartet.

A rather refined piano.

There's a video of him doing it on youtube which is nothing like! And that makes me think he's a very interesting musician probably, unpredictable. This studio recording is better IMO.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on July 16, 2019, 02:39:52 PM
(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal/Takehisa-G-K02a[ALM-2CD].jpg)

Totally independent voicing in the allemande of Partita 4, and somehow rather poignant -  they're not listening to each other much at all -- trapped in their private worlds, unable to reach across the abyss. And then they kiss, they embrace. it's like a Carter quartet avant la lettre, better than a Carter quartet.

A rather refined piano.

There's a video of him doing it on youtube which is nothing like! And that makes me think he's a very interesting musician probably, unpredictable. This studio recording is better IMO.
ah! I finally got you on this one! 1000 points for you BUT one point for me! I researched a bit to find this guy in Japan but it was quite difficult. I think he has a website that hasn’t been updated in years. I’m gonna search again but he’s a bit of a mystery. He did a concert of something weirdly different a couple of years ago in Osaka. I want to say it was accompanying lieder.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on July 16, 2019, 02:40:32 PM
https://www.youtube.com/v/fCIjJAd9g20

J S Bach in the Age of Romanticism: WTC I Preludes. Robert Hill, fortepiano (live)
24 Preludes from WTC I, performed in the key order of the Chopin Préludes Op. 28.
this is well worth anyone’s time.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on July 16, 2019, 07:34:43 PM
ah! I finally got you on this one! 1000 points for you BUT one point for me! I researched a bit to find this guy in Japan but it was quite difficult. I think he has a website that hasn’t been updated in years. I’m gonna search again but he’s a bit of a mystery. He did a concert of something weirdly different a couple of years ago in Osaka. I want to say it was accompanying lieder.

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?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on July 18, 2019, 01:28:12 AM
A newish release.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D_wEVQCX4AEualk.jpg)

#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

☆☆ (http://a-fwd.to/4r91MNL)

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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: aukhawk 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.)

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka 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.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/A14aj2Qxk5L._SS500_.jpg)

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
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) 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. :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: aukhawk 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.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71f8CwXrFoL._SL1400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty 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.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71f8CwXrFoL._SL1400_.jpg)

Olfasson's is much more successful -- as is Alexandre Tharaud's (https://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/05/dip-your-ears-no-58.html). Or, where it comes to making extant individual bits a new whole, the Scarlatti recording of Claire Huangci's (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/06/02/classical-cd-of-the-week-scarlatti-classical-and-en-suite/).

... 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 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...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on July 20, 2019, 06:06:47 AM
Does anyone know if Fellner has any plans to record Book 2?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on July 22, 2019, 11:06:20 PM
A newish release.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D_wEVQCX4AEualk.jpg)

#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

☆☆ (http://a-fwd.to/4r91MNL)

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
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EAD8caKWkAApKo7.jpg) (https://www.classicstoday.com/review/rubinsky-bach-a-grand-suite-of-dunces/)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk 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.   
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka 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.



Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias 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"
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on July 25, 2019, 02:39:20 PM
Pompously written piece of hagiography from Bryce

The "groves of academe" indeed!

I wonder what people think of this
I have the exact opposite opinion to her’s. I always think, “ah. This is Tureck’s Bach.” There’s an irony to thinking you have a direct line: ends up sounding kind of “cultish.” That’s why I like it but definitely need a pallet cleanser.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 01, 2019, 11:34:45 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.

I listened to the first few pieces in  the BBC one this afternoon, Bk 2. I thought the pieces were full of dynamic changes and changes in touch which, as far as I could see,  served no structural function. I don’t think they made the music sound beautiful either.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: betterthanfine on August 02, 2019, 10:26:09 AM
Have people been listening to this recent release yet?



Gramophone selected it as recording of the month a little while ago, and I must say, it is absolutely gorgeous.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on August 02, 2019, 09:51:30 PM
Have people been listening to this recent release yet?



Gramophone selected it as recording of the month a little while ago, and I must say, it is absolutely gorgeous.
thanks. I’m enjoying this so far.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Leo K. on August 12, 2019, 06:24:28 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71sWcJcZwzL._SY355_.jpg)
I'm listening to this Schiff's WTC for the first time. I can't believe I'd totally ignored him before (and confused him with Periah too - another pianist I've somehow ignored). Is this his only recording of WTCI? This is magnificent. I mean, Schiff makes the music new again for me. He has an ingenious way of finding new melodic highlights, new shades of meaning and emotion. I don't know why I had totally ignored Schiff previously. I'm curious to go back and see how Schiff figured in those comparison reviews by Don Satz.

I've returned to Schiff's ECM account of both books again and can't get enough of them. They are so refreshing and lively, full of beautifully thought-out nuances of tone!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: bluto32 on August 16, 2019, 11:19:07 AM
Do you happen to have Schiff's earlier Decca recording, too? If so, how do the ECM and Decca recordings compare in terms of interpretation and sound quality?
I have only a couple of WTC (Richter and Ashkenazy) and am considering supplementing them with one of Schiff's.

Bluto
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 16, 2019, 08:57:40 PM
Do you happen to have Schiff's earlier Decca recording, too? If so, how do the ECM and Decca recordings compare in terms of interpretation and sound quality?

Bluto

The phrasing, touch and the way of bringing out inner details are different.

You can hear examples of his former and more recent approaches on YouTube and so decide which one you prefer.

The sound quality of both are absolutely fine, the ECM exceptionally. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on August 16, 2019, 11:09:22 PM
I don't know either WTC but if you consider Schiff's Decca recording, the eloquence box with *all* of his ~1980s solo Decca Bach is dirt cheap (under EUR 20) from German amazon or jpc.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on August 16, 2019, 11:15:10 PM
Daniel-Ben Pienaar’s recordings of both books of WTC are some of my favorites on piano. He really is imaginative and lively.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on August 17, 2019, 01:06:30 AM
I don't know either WTC but if you consider Schiff's Decca recording, the eloquence box with *all* of his ~1980s solo Decca Bach is dirt cheap (under EUR 20) from German amazon or jpc.

Alas, the Decca Schiff tends to be proper and stiff compared to the ECM remakes which are, without exception (albeit to different degrees) superior. Most especially so in the Partitas, I find.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 17, 2019, 01:41:06 AM
Alas, the Decca Schiff tends to be proper and stiff compared to the ECM remakes which are, without exception (albeit to different degrees) superior. Most especially so in the Partitas, I find.


What I think I think is this - the first is modern-piano-istic. He plays with the the sort of phrasing and legato and melody voice/accompaniment conception that you might pick up in a regular music school geared teaching the kids how to play c18 and c19 music. I like the first set very much for its authenticity, I mean its truth to the instrument being used. I bet modern piano people will like it.

The second has more interrupting voices, more equality of the voices, a different portato (I wonder why), and is more incisively articulated.

I don’t agree that the first WTC is stiff, I mean not in the sense of a rigid pulse, maybe there’s some other sense of stiff. I don’t know quite what you mean by proper, but it is serious.

I would hesitate to say that one is better than the other except in sound terms, and it’s of course impossible to say which one anyone will enjoy more.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on August 17, 2019, 06:15:08 AM
I didn't want to recommend the Decca Schiff recordings, only point out that if one wants that Decca WTC it might be worth getting the whole box because it is so cheap. And as far as I recall many people likes his Suites better than the WTC.
I only have his recording of the English suites which are certainly not bad but not extraordinary either.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: jwinter on August 18, 2019, 11:38:00 AM
Greetings.  Just wondering if anyone's heard this?  Seems like an awful lot of marketing hype ("most significant Bach recording since Gould," etc.), curious if it's actually worth checking out...


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71Kf9woMEFL._SX425_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on August 18, 2019, 11:46:43 AM
Greetings.  Just wondering if anyone's heard this?  Seems like an awful lot of marketing hype ("most significant Bach recording since Gould," etc.), curious if it's actually worth checking out...

Yes, I get that feeling too. On the other hand many posters (here and elsewhere) have spoken highly about it. I have decided to pass it by, but I am not a great fan of Bach on piano.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: bluto32 on August 18, 2019, 12:04:55 PM
Thanks for the opinions on Schiff's two WTC recordings; I'll check out his YouTube clips as suggested.

I've looked up the box set of Schiff's Bach on Amazon.de - it is indeed very good value. Sadly, it appears to have AMSI remastering which has had negative press in various reviews (one for this box set, and I also recall seeing AMSI getting panned elsewhere... a reissue of Karajan's 70s Beethoven symphonies if I recall correctly).

Bluto
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 18, 2019, 12:05:19 PM
Greetings.  Just wondering if anyone's heard this?  Seems like an awful lot of marketing hype ("most significant Bach recording since Gould," etc.), curious if it's actually worth checking out...


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71Kf9woMEFL._SX425_.jpg)

  He  has a distinctive touch, makes a distinctive sound. And the music he’s chosen is not “standard” You can surely find examples of his style on YouTube.


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on August 18, 2019, 12:14:50 PM
I have not heard Olafson but the comparison with Gould seems misleading because a lot of the disc are arrangements of organ, chamber, choral music. If one wants this kind of arrangements I'd rather go with Hewitt/hyperion or Tipo/EMI. Recordings of the a minor aria variata on piano (or any) are not exactly thick on the ground,  I think the only one on piano I have heard is Gould's.

As for AMSI: I cannot help there. I don't have more than two or three discs (not including the Schiff) with that dubious remastering and never noticed anything strange. I guess the old Decca issues are mostly findable as used copies cheaply.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: JBS on August 18, 2019, 04:55:19 PM
Thanks for the opinions on Schiff's two WTC recordings; I'll check out his YouTube clips as suggested.

I've looked up the box set of Schiff's Bach on Amazon.de - it is indeed very good value. Sadly, it appears to have AMSI remastering which has had negative press in various reviews (one for this box set, and I also recall seeing AMSI getting panned elsewhere... a reissue of Karajan's 70s Beethoven symphonies if I recall correctly).

Bluto

I have that Schiff set, and some others that were also AMSI. My equipment is extremely low-end, but I can't say there was any discernible difference from nonAMSI stuff.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: JBS on August 18, 2019, 04:57:29 PM
I have not heard Olafson but the comparison with Gould seems misleading because a lot of the disc are arrangements of organ, chamber, choral music. If one wants this kind of arrangements I'd rather go with Hewitt/hyperion or Tipo/EMI. Recordings of the a minor aria variata on piano (or any) are not exactly thick on the ground,  I think the only one on piano I have heard is Gould's.


Re the Aria variata; I vigorously suggest Hewitt's recording.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 18, 2019, 10:04:49 PM
Re the Aria variata; I vigorously suggest Hewitt's recording.

Gilels recorded that too. As did Tureck and Samuel Feinberg.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: aukhawk on August 18, 2019, 11:17:39 PM
Greetings.  Just wondering if anyone's heard this?  Seems like an awful lot of marketing hype ("most significant Bach recording since Gould," etc.), curious if it's actually worth checking out...

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71Kf9woMEFL._SX425_.jpg)

I enjoyed it very much.  A welcome change from the usual turgid 'all the Toccatas', 'all the Suites', 'all the Goldberg Variations' collections.  But it's probably the sort of disc that is bound to disappoint if your expectations have been raised too high, by, for example, a string of glowing reviews.

I like everything he's done - it's not the only Bach he's recorded - there is a disc of Partitas 2 & 5, accompanied true to form, by the 24 Chopin Preludes.  And of course his collection of 10 of the Glass Etudes is a modern classic, even if he omitted a few of my favourites.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on August 19, 2019, 01:23:19 AM
Greetings.  Just wondering if anyone's heard this?  Seems like an awful lot of marketing hype ("most significant Bach recording since Gould," etc.), curious if it's actually worth checking out...


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71Kf9woMEFL._SX425_.jpg)

Very good, indeed!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 19, 2019, 03:20:42 AM

I like everything he's done -

Have you heard the two “Bach Reworks” recordings? I’m not actually sure what I’m hearing, I can’t find any details online, whether they’re his ideas or someone else’s.

Here’s a confession, I find it really difficult not to be cynical about such sweet music. I know that tame sweet music has its uses in therapy and in hairdressers’ salons, but really, where’s the insight and the humanity? I guess he’ll make a bit of money from it, but I think it’s a pile of rubbish, touted shamelessly by DG.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on August 19, 2019, 04:03:28 AM
Have you heard the two “Bach Reworks” recordings? I’m not actually sure what I’m hearing, I can’t find any details online, whether they’re his ideas or someone else’s.

Here’s a confession, I find it really difficult not to be cynical about such sweet music. I know that tame sweet music has its uses in therapy and in hairdressers’ salons, but really, where’s the insight and the humanity? I guess he’ll make a bit of money from it, but I think it’s a pile of rubbish, touted shamelessly by DG.
I was inspired to put it on today.
It's worth hearing but I don't find myself returning to it nor does it stick with me. I'll definitely listen to it again some day. But it's something to recommend to the people who complain Bach is stern, perhaps. The word anodyne comes to mind.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on August 23, 2019, 02:36:54 AM
Just on a lark tonight: Heinrich Neuhaus, to be found on youtube as well as the "Russian Piano School" series of I don't know what label - they also put out Feinberg's WTC - well this is very interesting playing - perhaps approaching Feinberg's level of astoundingly beautiful Bach - sensitive, perhaps romantic...
Anyone else know if there are any others to check out in this series?
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51klBL6tEsL._SX355_.jpg) 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on August 27, 2019, 02:28:37 AM
Revisiting some of my collection I listened to two and a half piano recordings of the partitas:

Craig Sheppard: Quite straightforward and overall very good without being very "personal"

Joao Carlos Martins: This is highly personalist, actually quite crazy at times, even more than I remembered but I loved most of it, e.g. his very slow outer movements of the e minor.

Anderszewski (6,3,1) I think I used to like this a lot but I found quite a bit of it fairly annoying this time. The toccata in 6 is way too fast for my taste (esp- the sections usually taken more slowly) and while I liked the 1st partita best some of it was rather mannered, e.g. a register chance in the menuet that made it sound like a musical clock. For some reason Martins quirkiness worked much better for me than Anderszewski's (who has considerably better sound, though).

(I have another two and half: Gould, Tipo and the ones Marcelle Meyer recorded, I think 1-3,6)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 27, 2019, 06:23:24 AM

Anderszewski . . .  The toccata in 6 is way too fast . . .  the sections usually taken more slowly.

I wonder if that’s true, I mean that f,e, the introduction in the toccata is usually taken more slowly than Anderszewski.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on August 27, 2019, 09:57:13 AM
Maybe I was not clear: Anderszewski plays the "introductory sections" very fast. maybe not compared to some harpsichordists but clearly compared to the 3 or so other piano versions I I listened to.  I don't much care for the tempo of the "flourishes" either way but then there is a more melodical section where I prefer a much broader tempo. The central fugal section is not especially fast but also faster than the overall very slowish Martins (who needs more than 10 min. for the whole thing).
Anderszewski is also blazing through the gigue of the B flat major partita but this might be more common. It's not mainly tempi that somewhat annoyed me but all kinds of mannerisms.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on August 28, 2019, 12:06:00 AM
I've been sampling Joao Carlos Martins, whom I'd never heard before. I'm really curious for reactions to this pianist's Bach. To me, so far, I don't think it's good. But it IS different. I really don't understand what this guy was up to.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on August 28, 2019, 12:24:28 AM
I've been sampling Joao Carlos Martins, whom I'd never heard before. I'm really curious for reactions to this pianist's Bach. To me, so far, I don't think it's good. But it IS different. I really don't understand what this guy was up to.

It's worth contrasting him with Rubsam on modern piano, and Landowska too, see if you think one makes more sense to you than the other. David Cates is another one worth throwing into the mix.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on August 28, 2019, 01:54:41 AM
The Partitas are almost the only Martins I have heard (I also have a live recording with WTC I Preludes alternating with Chopins played by another pianist). He recorded the WTC in the sixties, maybe a few other pieces and then almost everything in the 1980s. I am not really sure in my opinion either, some of it seems just crazy and not quite successful (e.g. a breakneck praeambulum in #5, here he seems the opposite of Rübsam whereas in other pieces slow tempi and rubato might be common to both) but I love his slowish Toccata in the e minor. And overall I found the partita set interesting enough to keep.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: vers la flamme on September 08, 2019, 09:39:45 AM
Any love for Igor Levit? I listened to his Bach/Brahms Chaconne for the left hand and thought it was amazing. I then sampled some of his Partita recordings and like what I heard. Kind of reminded me of Murray Perahia's Bach with maybe a bit more "bite".

What say you all? Is he a good younger Bach pianist, or is he a middling talent vastly overhyped by his label and publicists?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on September 10, 2019, 12:57:21 AM
I like Levit a lot. He takes a lot of movements slowly and I think delivers a sensitive and artistic performance but he’s not gimmicky. The sound on that recording is really nice too. I haven’t listened much to his Goldbergs.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: aukhawk on September 12, 2019, 12:38:28 AM
Yes I prefer Bach on the piano and I like this Levit set of the Partitas.  As a set of 6 he has easily replaced Hewitt and Perahia as my go-to.  Normally though I would not listen to more than two Partitas at one sitting so I am quite receptive to part-sets.  Recently these have included Edna Stern (1,2, 6), Olafsson (5, 2) and - for that special occasion - Batagov (4, 6). 
Or a mixed recital such as one that I really enjoy from Maria Pires (Partita 1, English Suite 3, French Suite 2).

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71UeHp0nlgL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on September 12, 2019, 03:33:29 AM
Any love for Igor Levit? I listened to his Bach/Brahms Chaconne for the left hand and thought it was amazing. I then sampled some of his Partita recordings and like what I heard. Kind of reminded me of Murray Perahia's Bach with maybe a bit more "bite".

More "bite" than Perahia in Bach (or Mozart) is not a very high distinction... (Sorry, have not heard the Levit.)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 12, 2019, 03:45:56 AM
In the booklet essay for Levitt’s recording we are told that Bach

Quote
eventually abandoned his plans to include a seventh partita in the set 

Is that true?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 12, 2019, 03:53:58 AM
The above mentioned essay seems to have been written by a journalist, but Levitt apparently asked for this quote from Schumann to be included 

Quote
The profoundly logical, poetic and humoristic element in more recent music has its origins for the most part in Bach: in terms of their music, Mendelssohn, [William Sterndale] Bennett, Chopin, Hiller and all the so-called Romantics (I invariably mean only the Germans) are far closer to Bach than to Mozart, just as they were all so profoundly familiar with Bach and just as I myself confess my sins to this loty figure every day, while seeking to purify and strengthen myself through him ... I’m convinced that Bach is unbeatable: he is incommensurable.

That’s to say, Levitt wants to interpret the partitas in a way which reveals connections to c19 music for keyboard, Davidsbundlertanze and the Diabelli Variations are singled out for special mention.

What is this romantic connection? The essay is explicit, it is that the music is revealed to be full of

Quote
dark hints and striking gestures

Is Levitt successful? Does he hint at darkness? Does he make the musical gestures striking?  Not that I noticed but maybe I haven’t listened carefully.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 12, 2019, 03:58:18 AM
In the booklet essay for Levitt’s recording we are told that Bach

Is that true?

I think I read somewhere, that the French ouverture in the embryonal phase was planned to be seventh partita. Considering the fact that Bach's sets always contain numbers divisible with 3 (the holy trinity), this may be the reason why he changed the plans.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 12, 2019, 03:59:27 AM
. Considering the fact that Bach's sets always contain numbers divisible with 3 (the holy trinity), this may be the reason why he changed the plans.

Indeed!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 12, 2019, 04:03:21 AM

That’s to say, Levitt wants to interpret the partitas in a way which reveals connections to c19 music for keyboard, Davidsbundlertanze and the Diabelli Variations are singled out for special mention.

What is this romantic connection? The essay is explicit, it is that the music is revealed to be full of dark hints and striking gestures


The usual bunch of nonsense. Bach didn't know the Romantics, and to make retrospective connections to these in his music is just senseless.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: San Antone on September 12, 2019, 04:06:48 AM
The above mentioned essay seems to have been written by a journalist, but Levitt apparently asked for this quote from Schumann to be included 

That’s to say, Levitt wants to interpret the partitas in a way which reveals connections to c19 music for keyboard, Davidsbundlertanze and the Diabelli Variations are singled out for special mention.

What is this romantic connection? The essay is explicit, it is that the music is revealed to be full of

Is Levitt successful? Does he hint at darkness? Does he make the musical gestures striking?  Not that I noticed but maybe I haven’t listened carefully.

First, Igor Levit spells his name with one "L".   >:D

Next, I wouldn't assume that the inclusion of that quote from Schumann indicates that Levit is performing Bach as if he were playing Chopin, or as if the music was from the 19th century.  That said, he utilizes the dynamics of a piano, but I wouldn't say that his performance is overly influenced by a Romantic approach.

Those quotes you posted are an example of why I don't read CD booklet essays as a rule.  I find that the ideas they present can get in the way of enjoying the recording.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 12, 2019, 04:07:37 AM
(https://www.francoisdumont.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Bach_Dumont_1121-550x550.jpg)

Listening to the French suite here, 814, who could resist when the marketing blurb says

Quote
The French pianist offers a dynamic vision of the Cantor’s work. Demonstrating a deep understanding of its polyphony, his magnificent and colourful playing unleashes the most thrilling dancing energy.

As the PR copy says, the courante is indeed remarkable for its “thrilling dancing energy” but what  I’m enjoying most is the delicacy and refinement of the embellishments in the sarabande.

Worth a quick listen once I would have thought.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 12, 2019, 04:22:38 AM

Listening to the French suite here, 814, who could resist when the marketing blurb says

Quote
The French pianist offers a dynamic vision of the Cantor’s work. Demonstrating a deep understanding of its polyphony, his magnificent and colorful playing unleashes the most thrilling dancing energy.

As the PR copy says, the courante is indeed remarkable for its “thrilling dancing energy” but what  I’m enjoying most is the delicacy and refinement of the embellishments in the sarabande.

Worth a quick listen once I would have thought.

The word "colorful" used about a pianist playing Bach doesn't give me great expectations.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 12, 2019, 04:27:47 AM
The word "colorful" used about a pianist playing Bach doesn't give me great expectations.

In fact, I think that bit of the blurb is a stretching things a bit!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: San Antone on September 12, 2019, 04:52:47 AM
I have a basic question: do we know why Bach titled them "partitas" instead of "suites"?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: amw on September 12, 2019, 08:10:43 AM
I wasn’t that impressed with the Levit set but to be fair my current picks for partitas on piano are Rübsam and Robert Levin so maybe that’s why. (And for the Romantic influenced sets: Maria Tipo does it better)

The title of Partita seems to be the influence of Froberger & other early north germans, although they used the term to mean a segment of a larger work (eg Froberger’s “Partite auf die Maÿerin” is divided into “Partita I”, “Partita II” etc). It’s possible Bach just misinterpreted the meaning and we’ve been stuck with it ever since, much like the common time “gigues” in Partita 6 and one of the French suites.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Florestan on September 12, 2019, 08:24:47 AM
(And for the Romantic influenced sets: Maria Tipo does it better)

Oh yeah!  8) My favorite recording of the Partitas, hands down.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ras on September 12, 2019, 08:42:55 AM
My favorite Bach solo piano cd is R. Buchbinder's 2015 Sony recording - sadly these three works is the only Bach he has recorded.  :-X :-\

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 12, 2019, 08:52:02 AM
The title of Partita seems to be the influence of Froberger & other early north germans, although they used the term to mean a segment of a larger work (eg Froberger’s “Partite auf die Maÿerin” is divided into “Partita I”, “Partita II” etc). It’s possible Bach just misinterpreted the meaning and we’ve been stuck with it ever since, much like the common time “gigues” in Partita 6 and one of the French suites.

I do not think so. Bach's youthful organ partitas (O Gott du frommer Gott, Sei gegrüsset Jesu Christ and Christ der du bist der helle Tag) use the term partita in Froberger's (and Böhm's) old fashioned meaning. I think the term partita in the Clavierübung I sense is more modern, f.i. Graupner used that term for a keyboard suite too.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on September 12, 2019, 09:06:16 AM
Bach does use partita in the old sense occasionally as in "partite diverse sopra Christ der du bist der helle Tag". So he must have been aware of that meaning and usage.
And I think Biber and other 17th century people used the term in the singular already synonymously with "suite". Actually not quite, they use "partia" or "Partie". Not sure if anyone else used partita for a suite or sonata. But I am pretty sure the name is not significant.
Later the German "Satz" also means both "setting" (as in vierstimmiger Satz or Choralsatz) and "movement".

edit: Premont already gave examples while I was typing.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on September 12, 2019, 09:08:57 AM
Why must these recitals almost always pick the c minor Partita and/ the g minor English suite...? I like Bach on piano but I am not probably not getting Pires or Buchbinder because these pieces are so overrepresented in my shelves already.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 12, 2019, 09:10:12 AM
I wasn’t that impressed with the Levit set but to be fair my current picks for partitas on piano are Rübsam and Robert Levin so maybe that’s why. (And for the Romantic influenced sets: Maria Tipo does it better)



In what way exactly is Tipo romantic influenced and Rubsam not?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on September 12, 2019, 09:15:46 AM
I have only 5+6 with Rübsam and it is very strange, but doesn't sound "romantic" to me whereas Tipo does. Not sure how to pinpoint this. But Rübsam does play "linearly" or horizontally with an organist's feeling for independent voices. He is odd in tempi and rubato but I am not sure if these oddities confirm to "romantic". Tipo uses more legato, more colour, cares less for the polyphony (although tbh I'd have ro relisten. Last time I liked them but for too slow final movements of the c minor where I am spoiled by Argerich and others with a take no prisoners approach).

Another one I might call romantic is Pogorelich in English Suites 2+3.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 12, 2019, 09:31:06 AM
I have only 5+6 with Rübsam and it is very strange, but doesn't sound "romantic" to me whereas Tipo does. Not sure how to pinpoint this. But Rübsam does play "linearly" or horizontally with an organist's feeling for independent voices. He is odd in tempi and rubato but I am not sure if these oddities confirm to "romantic". Tipo uses more legato, more colour, cares less for the polyphony (although tbh I'd have ro relisten. Last time I liked them but for too slow final movements of the c minor where I am spoiled by Argerich and others with a take no prisoners approach).



These sound very plausible ideas about their approaches, what I'm not sure about is why independence of voices or legato playing should be labelled romantic.

Another question. That quote from Schumann that so much inspired Levitt, what does humoristic mean? Bach is, allegedly,  humoristic, and it's suggested that this is romantic and something Levitt wants to bring out. Schumann wrote a piece called Humoresque didn't he, does it turn out that he was inspired by Bach there?

According to Schumann there are three aspects of Bach's music which are shared by Chopin and Mendelssohn, viz

logical
poetic
humoristic

It's all strange and maybe vacuous when you think about it. I'm going to get drunk.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 12, 2019, 09:46:31 AM
These sound very plausible ideas about their approaches, what I'm not sure about is why independence of voices or legato playing should be labelled romantic.

Because that kind of (longer stretches of) legato playing wasn't used in the Baroque era but was used endlessly in the Romantic era. And because less care for polyphony results in a more Romantic kind of homophony (= sequences of chords). Jo498's reference to Pogorelich is also spot on, because Pogo treats the two Bach suites like melody (upper voice) with accompaniment all through, - a technique which was much used in the Romantic era..
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Florestan on September 12, 2019, 09:56:15 AM
melody (upper voice) with accompaniment all through, - a technique which was much used in the Romantic era..

It had been extensively used in the Galant Style and the Classical period long before the advent of musical Romanticism.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 12, 2019, 10:12:50 AM
It had been extensively used in the Galant Style and the Classical period long before the advent of musical Romanticism.

Yes, I know. But the Romantics took this technique to their hearts. Contrary to Bach's keyboard suites, which are concentrated polyphony.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on September 12, 2019, 10:21:47 AM
humoristic in Schumann does not mean "humourous". But don't ask me what it means.
But it's not true that the romantics viewed Bach as melody and accompaniment. They were interested in polyphony as well. Besides actual fugues and fughettes or the canonical studies (some of which must be among the more successful combinations of strict? canon and melody since Bach), there are Schumann pieces that sound like a "capsized Bach fugue or invention", e.g. maybe the 7th piece in Kreisleriana (can't exactly recall the examples I used to find most striking). And they were also interested in the motoric aspect of some baroque music, e.g. Schumann's toccata. Or take Mendelssohn's P&F, especially the famous e minor.

tldr I think one should distinguish between the diverse compositorial receptions of Bach by the 19th century romantics and a mid/late 20th century playing style of pianists.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 12, 2019, 10:24:58 AM
It had been extensively used in the Galant Style and the Classical period long before the advent of musical Romanticism.

Correct, and philosophically romanticism is opposed to the enlightenment ideas which inspired classicism.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 12, 2019, 10:26:38 AM
In French there are two words humour and humeur.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 12, 2019, 10:28:23 AM
humoristic in Schumann does not mean "humourous". But don't ask me what it means.
But it's not true that the romantics viewed Bach as melody and accompaniment. They were interested in polyphony as well. Besides actual fugues and fughettes or the canonical studies (some of which must be among the more successful combinations of strict? canon and melody since Bach), there are Schumann pieces that sound like a "capsized Bach fugue or invention", e.g. maybe the 7th piece in Kreisleriana (can't exactly recall the examples I used to find most striking). And they were also interested in the motoric aspect of some baroque music, e.g. Schumann's toccata. Or take Mendelssohn's P&F, especially the famous e minor.

tldr I think one should distinguish between the diverse compositorial receptions of Bach by the 19th century romantics and a mid/late 20th century playing style of pianists.

The gallant style was also interested in fugues, but they didn't want the logic of the contrapuntal process to lead the music into dissonance. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 12, 2019, 11:29:11 AM

But it's not true that the romantics viewed Bach as melody and accompaniment. They were interested in polyphony as well. Besides actual fugues and fughettes or the canonical studies (some of which must be among the more successful combinations of strict? canon and melody since Bach), there are Schumann pieces that sound like a "capsized Bach fugue or invention", e.g. maybe the 7th piece in Kreisleriana (can't exactly recall the examples I used to find most striking). And they were also interested in the motoric aspect of some baroque music, e.g. Schumann's toccata. Or take Mendelssohn's P&F, especially the famous e minor.

tldr I think one should distinguish between the diverse compositorial receptions of Bach by the 19th century romantics and a mid/late 20th century playing style of pianists.

It is of course true, that some Romantic composers e.g. Mendelssohn and Schumann were interested in Bach and wrote som contrapuntal pieces. But the main part of their production was predominantly homophonic music. And this had never-the-less a long lasting infective effect, so even if a number of the following classical composers sometimes wrote a little contrapuntal music, it is only a few people of to day (classical music listeners as well as and particularly popular music listeners), who are able to listen contrapuntally. The whole idea, so many have, of playing Bach on a modern piano - an instrument essentially created for homophonic music - shows, that polyphonic music is rarely sought after except by nerds like me and like-minded people. That Robert Levin (certainly a HIPster by name) recently recorded the Bach partitas on piano "to meet the listeners expectations" illustrates my point. I feel that many pianists reason for playing in the way they do rests on the same intentions. And often they deliver some blahblah in the CD booklet and programme notes to justify their choices, which essentially are commercially directed.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 12, 2019, 11:39:25 AM
Why should humoristic be romantic? It is a common human affect, used already from the beginning of our musical history.

But I don’t know what humorostic means, it’s not a word I’ve ever seen before, maybe it’s American, I don’t know. Does it mean funny, humorous? That doesn’t sound like a basic part of Bach’s music to me.


Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 12, 2019, 11:47:15 AM
But I don’t know what humorostic means, it’s not a word I’ve ever seen before, maybe it’s American, I don’t know. Does it mean funny, humorous? That doesn’t sound like a basic part of Bach’s music to me.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/humoristic
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 12, 2019, 12:02:12 PM
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/humoristic

OK, but it’s extraordinary that Schumann thought that Bach’s music was comedic!  The word Schumann used in German is Humoristische, which does seem to mean “amusing”

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Verena on September 12, 2019, 12:24:40 PM
OK, but it’s extraordinary that Schumann thought that Bach’s music was comedic!  The word Schumann used in German is Humoristische, which does seem to mean “amusing”

Maybe Schumann had an older (in his times probably already outdated) meaning of the word "Humor" in mind, something like "mood", so he might mean by humoristisch something along the lines of "deeply affecting one's feelings".
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 12, 2019, 12:37:59 PM
Maybe Schumann had an older (in his times probably already outdated) meaning of the word "Humor" in mind, something like "mood", so he might mean by humoristisch something along the lines of "deeply affecting one's feelings".

Yes that was my guess, you have a similar thing in English, it's old fashioned but you can still say "he's in bad humour" for "he's in a bad mood" -- and everyone knows about the four humours.

If so what's interesting is that the idea of Bach's music as expressing moods, affekts,  was current in the c19. And that Schumann sees this as of a piece with, for example, Chopin's music, with all its demands for rubato.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Florestan on September 12, 2019, 10:22:54 PM
Yes, I know. But the Romantics took this technique to their hearts.

So did Haydn, Mozart, Clementi, Kozeluch and several dozens other Classical-era composers of keyboard music. Heck, even Beethoven's piano music  is mostly "melody with accompaniment". Keyboard polyphony had died long before Romanticism was born.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on September 12, 2019, 11:16:04 PM
There is plenty of baroque music that is melody plus accompaniment, e.g. most slow movements of most Vivaldi concerti.

The "founding innovation" of the baroque around 1600 was not polyphony (that had existed already >300 years) but monody = melody + basso continuo, i.e. the emancipation of the melody usually in a high register of voice or violin.

Heck, the best known example of romantic Bach reception is Gounod turning the C major prelude into an accompaniment for his soppy Ave Maria tune. So Baroque could not only be polyphony or melody + accompaniment, it could even be broken chords accompaniment without melody ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on September 12, 2019, 11:26:59 PM
The gallant style was also interested in fugues, but they didn't want the logic of the contrapuntal process to lead the music into dissonance.
I don't even think it was dissonance per se, it was a striving for more simplicity and clarity, stressing the melodic and expressive qualities of a fugal subject in favor of the contrapuntal elaboration. Most of the oft-quoted criticism by 1730-60s contemporaries of JS Bach readily acknowledges his superior skill but they found that it obscured the expression and understandability of the music. Their ideal balance was not necessarily simplistic melody + accompaniment but probably something like the simpler choral fugues of Handel that roughly speaking subordinated contrapuntal development to monumental gestures.

Still, one also has to keep in mind that while choral Handel remained more popular, the "learned" keyboard music of Bach did not fall into obscurity but was known among musicians and already around 1800 we have a strong publicized interest in Bach with Forkel and Naegeli. Beethoven had copies/prints of the most important manualiter keyboard music by Bach in his library.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Florestan on September 13, 2019, 12:43:15 AM
There is plenty of baroque music that is melody plus accompaniment, e.g. most slow movements of most Vivaldi concerti.

The "founding innovation" of the baroque around 1600 was not polyphony (that had existed already >300 years) but monody = melody + basso continuo, i.e. the emancipation of the melody usually in a high register of voice or violin.

Indeed, a point well worth stressing.

Re: Schumann/Bach/ Humoristic, we should take into account that as time went by many words have changed their meaning and usage. For instance, sentimental is today a pejorative term while back then in the 1750s it had positive connotations. So, if we want to correctly understand Schumann's remark we must know what Humor / Humoristisch meant in German at the time when he used those words. Frankly, humor / humoristic in the modern English meaning is the last thing I associate with Bach's music, if at all.

On the other hand, the workings of Schumann's mind were not those of an ordinary person, so he might very well detected --- or rather fancied to detect --- humor in that music. When Chopin read his (Schumann's, that is) review of La ci darem la mano Variations he said something to the effect that "the wild imagination of this German made me die of laughter" (quoted from memory).



Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 13, 2019, 12:48:14 AM
There is plenty of baroque music that is melody plus accompaniment, e.g. most slow movements of most Vivaldi concerti.

The "founding innovation" of the baroque around 1600 was not polyphony (that had existed already >300 years) but monody = melody + basso continuo, i.e. the emancipation of the melody usually in a high register of voice or violin.

All this is irrelevant in this context, We were talking about Bach and his polyphonic keyboard suites.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 13, 2019, 12:57:41 AM
Maybe Schumann had an older (in his times probably already outdated) meaning of the word "Humor" in mind, something like "mood", so he might mean by humoristisch something along the lines of "deeply affecting one's feelings".

Interesting. Is this factual knowledge on your part or just something you suppose?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 13, 2019, 01:02:46 AM
Indeed, a point well worth stressing.

Re: Schumann/Bach/ Humoristic, we should take into account that as time went by many words have changed their meaning and usage. For instance, sentimental is today a pejorative term while back then in the 1750s it had positive connotations. So, if we want to correctly understand Schumann's remark we must know what Humor / Humoristisch meant in German at the time when he used those words. Frankly, humor / humoristic in the modern English meaning is the last thing I associate with Bach's music, if at all.

On the other hand, the workings of Schumann's mind were not those of an ordinary person, so he might very well detected --- or rather fancied to detect --- humor in that music. When Chopin read his (Schumann's, that is) review of La ci darem la mano Variations he said something to the effect that "the wild imagination of this German made me die of laughter" (quoted from memory).

Remember John Paul on musical humour

Quote
When he measures out the small world, as humour does, against the infinite world and sees them together, a kind of laughter results which contains pain and greatness. Whereas Greek poetry, unlike modern poetry, made men cheerful, humor, in contrast to the ancient jest, makes men partly serious; it walks on the low soccus, but often with the tragic mask, at least in its hand.


I guess the small world is the world I more or less am familiar with. I wonder what the infinite world could be about.

There’s also the man  himself on Humoreske

Quote
The whole week I sat at the piano in a state and composed, wrote, laughed, and cried; now you can find all this beautifully painted in my Opus 20, the great Humoreske
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Verena on September 13, 2019, 02:17:18 AM
Interesting. Is this factual knowledge on your part or just something you suppose?

I kind of knew about the older meanings of the word and then checked a German dictionary website, which also includes etymological information:
https://www.dwds.de/wb/Humor
(Unfortunately in German only).
Reading the entries more closely now, the noun “Humor” is still used to refer to “mood” in general in some parts of Germany, but it is outdated (I wouldn’t use the word in this sense; I’m a native speaker of German). The etymological dictionary says that in the second half of the 16th century the word entered the German language in this older sense of “mood”; so one could use a phrase such as  “melancholy humour” back then without contradicting oneself. The more modern sense of the word “Humor” can be traced to the influence of the English /Old French word “humour”, which had narrowed its original meaning to refer to a special type of “mood” only. This modern sense entered the German language in the middle of the 18th century. But words usually don’t completely change their meaning over night, so I guess Schumann had the older sense in mind when using the word, especially given that some Germans use the word in that sense even today.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on September 13, 2019, 02:21:36 AM
Thanks, Verena, very informative.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Florestan on September 13, 2019, 02:23:28 AM
Thanks, Verena, very informative.

+ 1.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Verena on September 13, 2019, 02:32:14 AM
+ 1.
You’re both welcome  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Cato on September 13, 2019, 03:14:17 AM
Thanks, Verena, very informative.

+ 1.


Concerning Schumann's Humoreske: I have a Duden Herkunftswörterbuch which defines Humoreske as a "kleine humoristische Erzählung" (little, humorous story), the word itself constructed as a parallel from Burleske and Groteske.



Remember John Paul on musical humour


Is that the 19th-century novelist Jean Paul?  My first thought was about the Pope John Paul II.   0:)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 13, 2019, 04:15:09 AM
Excellent work Verena, thank you.

And yes, Cato, Jean Paul!

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Verena on September 13, 2019, 10:26:13 AM
Excellent work Verena, thank you.

And yes, Cato, Jean Paul!

You’re all welcome.  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on September 15, 2019, 11:02:37 PM
I know Gulda has been discussed (perhaps quite) a bit on GMG. I listened to some of his clavichord recordings today, which are a real novelty - in a good way. Then I moved on to his piano. He seems very lyrical to me - almost like he makes chords of some of the counterpoint. I want to say he seems very anti-baroque for someone who went to the clavichord. I didn't realize until looking at wikipedia that he was into jazz. I take it that his approach to Bach (wtc) was much different than his contemporaries? I haven't really compared him to Demus but I'm thinking Gulda is quirky by comparison. Some Gulda is very interesting and some of it kind of annoying. Can anyone comment on what Gulda was up to?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 15, 2019, 11:24:15 PM
I take it that his approach to Bach (wtc) was much different than his contemporaries?

Not in those clavichord recordings IMO, where his happy-clappy feel reminds me of Glen Gould, Anthony Newman, The Swingle Singers and sometimes Wanda Landowska and André Isoir for the sense of swing, the foot-tapping-ness of it.

In  early music of the time, the record companies found that the public had an appetite for strange instruments, and that clavichord he uses, which to me sounds like Loudon Wainwright III's guitar, fits the bill here.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: aukhawk on September 15, 2019, 11:46:59 PM
I know Gulda has been discussed (perhaps quite) a bit on GMG. I listened to some of his clavichord recordings today, which are a real novelty - in a good way. Then I moved on to his piano. He seems very lyrical to me - almost like he makes chords of some of the counterpoint. I want to say he seems very anti-baroque for someone who went to the clavichord. I didn't realize until looking at wikipedia that he was into jazz. I take it that his approach to Bach (wtc) was much different than his contemporaries? I haven't really compared him to Demus but I'm thinking Gulda is quirky by comparison. Some Gulda is very interesting and some of it kind of annoying. Can anyone comment on what Gulda was up to?

I remember this double LP from 1971:

(https://img.discogs.com/dHID3Np9GjQT-96ViLfp3k2IpOA=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-2295395-1384358857-2262.jpeg.jpg)
The Long Road to Freedom

(Long anticipating Nelson Mandela's book of a similar title.)  Which started with some Bach or maybe even earlier music I can't remember the details, and progressed over 4 sides to modernity finishing with an extended 'out there' free jazz solo improvisation.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on September 16, 2019, 12:00:57 AM
Gulda was extremely quirky, but not mainly in Bach, and more in his personality and public persona than in his actual playing. I admittedly have not heard his recordings on an electric? clavichord but remember that he also performed Viennese chanson style music under a pseudonym and on other occassions performed bare-naked. He was never as successful as a jazz player as in classical music, though.
His main Bach recording is the WTC (I have not heard his other Bach, a couple of suites and some shorter pieces I think). This was recorded extremely closely and drily (there are some new remasterings I don't know if they sound more pleasant or more extreme than the mid 1990s twofers). It's been a while that I heard it but I used to like it quite a bit. It is not as quirky as his persona and while somewhat percussive at times, the sound overall does not distract. I wouldn't call it lyrical, though. Overall it is more on the straightforward and "objective" side.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on September 16, 2019, 04:14:55 AM
sounds like Loudon Wainwright III's guitar
  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
It does sound pretty strange. I was enjoying it this morning - actually kind of amazed by it. I was gonna say it's like some weird synthesizer.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: aukhawk on September 16, 2019, 07:44:55 AM
Well Gulda recorded an adaptation of 'Light My Fire' (on the LP referenced above) so perhaps he also did 'Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road'.  Perhaps in the privacy of his own home. 
(Incidentally - useless and irrelevant - I once tuned LWIII's guitar for him.)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on September 16, 2019, 07:47:45 AM
I once tuned LWIII's guitar for him.

Tell the story please
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Florestan on September 17, 2019, 01:19:35 AM
Gulda played the guitar? Blimey, I never knew it.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on October 24, 2019, 03:06:13 PM
Virginia Black’s partitas are really outstanding. How does she do it? They’re very natural but not un-pianistic, if that makes sense. I think she pulls off a kind of magic and makes it sound effortless. Perhaps it’s a kind of even dynamics while employing artful articulation - stressing counterpoint. Or maybe she’s doing something like Rübsam? - Not as extreme, and without being cerebral, perhaps. I don’t know about that but I don’t think there’s a hint of romanticism. Listening to Levin, it strikes me he’s similar in his restrained sense of dynamics yet he’s so much more extroverted and virtuoso. I want to say “manly” but that might cause trouble. Levin can’t really be accused of sentimentality or sensitivity. But Black isn’t exactly those things either and she has more color and she doesn’t tire me out like Levin.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on October 26, 2019, 02:18:35 AM
Confirming what many have already pointed out in this thread:

(Also heard him in concert a few days ago and it was stunning. Review to follow as well.)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EGcq0TIWsAEX3gi?format=jpg&name=small)
Icelandic #Bach With Heart and Panache

https://classicstoday.com/review/icelandic-bach-with-heart-and-panache/
 
10/10
 (https://classicstoday.com/review/icelandic-bach-with-heart-and-panache/)

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on October 26, 2019, 12:52:02 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61ZA24qUX3L._SY355_.jpg)

I think this is something that milk will enjoy -- the transcriptions CD I mean!

There's no Bach in it, but let's not let that get in the way. Hats off to Bartok for exploring Muffat, della Ciaia etc.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on October 26, 2019, 03:37:10 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61ZA24qUX3L._SY355_.jpg)

I think this is something that milk will enjoy -- the transcriptions CD I mean!

There's no Bach in it, but let's not let that get in the way. Hats off to Bartok for exploring Muffat, della Ciaia etc.
I'm listening to it but am having a hard time figuring it out. Like, there are transcriptions but I can't track down what is being transcribed since what I can find is mostly about the famous transcribers.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: San Antone on October 26, 2019, 03:44:45 PM
Recently I've been listening to Bach on the piano by Zhu Xiao-Mei, Dina Ugorskaja, Till Fellner and Jeremy Denk.  While Denk has recorded The Goldberg Variations, he has not done a complete Well-Tempered Clavier.  I wish he would record more Bach since he does a really good job with the TGV.  Of the other three, I like Dina Ugorskaja best, but both Till Fellner and Zhu Xiao-Mei are very enjoyable to listen to. Zhu seems to have recorded the most Bach.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: amw on October 26, 2019, 05:28:37 PM
I’ve debated getting the Ugorskaja since her recent (and unfortunately posthumous) Schubert has a deep transcendental quality, and her Beethoven and Handel are at least pretty good as well. Feel like I might have too many WTCs on piano already though, especially since all of the ones I already have are somewhat unsatisfactory in specific pieces. None of my recent WTC acquisitions—Woodward, Levinas, Hill—were exactly what I wanted in a few key pieces (eg the C major and B minor from book I or the G sharp minor, A minor and B flat major from book II) so I didn’t end up listening to any of them complete.

I like some of Zhu’s Bach (remember enjoying the new goldbergs on accentus) but her WTC has never appealed to me for some reason.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on October 26, 2019, 06:35:09 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61ZA24qUX3L._SY355_.jpg)

I think this is something that milk will enjoy -- the transcriptions CD I mean!

There's no Bach in it, but let's not let that get in the way. Hats off to Bartok for exploring Muffat, della Ciaia etc.
I have a hard time enjoying stuff like this. I don't know why. Are these organ transcriptions maybe? Sometimes there's a very heavy quality to transcriptions and certain pianists. It's like they've sucked all the baroque out of it.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on October 26, 2019, 08:56:39 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61ZA24qUX3L._SY355_.jpg)

I think this is something that milk will enjoy -- the transcriptions CD I mean!

There's no Bach in it, but let's not let that get in the way. Hats off to Bartok for exploring Muffat, della Ciaia etc.

I have a hard time enjoying stuff like this. I don't know why. Are these organ transcriptions maybe? Sometimes there's a very heavy quality to transcriptions and certain pianists. It's like they've sucked all the baroque out of it.

I got that one wrong then!

To be honest,  the thing that impressed me as much as anything was that these aren’t just more bloody Bach transcriptions. It’s not that there’s too much Bach in the world, it’s that there’s too little of all the other great earlier baroque keyboard composers.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on October 27, 2019, 02:50:37 PM
I got that one wrong then!

To be honest,  the thing that impressed me as much as anything was that these aren’t just more bloody Bach transcriptions. It’s not that there’s too much Bach in the world, it’s that there’s too little of all the other great earlier baroque keyboard composers.
some perspicacious pianist is going to come along with a Froberger recording to wow us. I can’t believe it hasn’t been done yet (not exactly). There are a few good early English recordings out there but not many.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: aukhawk on October 28, 2019, 08:08:24 AM
Confirming what many have already pointed out in this thread:
(Also heard him in concert a few days ago and it was stunning. Review to follow as well.)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EGcq0TIWsAEX3gi?format=jpg&name=small)
Icelandic #Bach With Heart and Panache

https://classicstoday.com/review/icelandic-bach-with-heart-and-panache/
10/10
 (https://classicstoday.com/review/icelandic-bach-with-heart-and-panache/)

Absolutely 10/10.
Just stay clear of him crossing over to the Dark Side  ???

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/717pMeabExL._SS500_.jpg)
Bach Reworks (Part 2) : Víkingur Ólafsson
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on October 28, 2019, 08:50:17 AM
some perspicacious pianist is going to come along with a Froberger recording to wow us. I can’t believe it hasn’t been done yet (not exactly). There are a few good early English recordings out there but not many.

Have you heard Sokolov?

https://www.youtube.com/v/2krTDn6MSWY
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: San Antone on October 28, 2019, 08:56:53 AM
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81RUUTQfhuL._SS500_.jpg)

Bach : Partitas
Anton Batagov

I like this.

Was it milk that said he did not like this Batagov?  Conversely, I am enjoying it, and wish he would record more Bach.   8)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on October 28, 2019, 09:03:16 PM
Have you heard Sokolov?

https://www.youtube.com/v/2krTDn6MSWY

yes, you pointed me to this a while back and I ended up grabbing a bunch of other Sokolov too. It’s pretty amazing stuff. Too bad he doesn’t really record. I have to listen again today but it seemed to me that Sokolov is on a weird plane of his own.
I think he does Frescobaldi Byrd and Buxtehude too?
Was it milk that said he did not like this Batagov?  Conversely, I am enjoying it, and wish he would record more Bach.   8)
Should I try this again? At the time I listened, it just offended my ears but maybe another try will change things. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on October 29, 2019, 12:20:08 AM
Have you heard Sokolov?

https://www.youtube.com/v/2krTDn6MSWY
His recorded Bach doesn’t light me up like this live baroque.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on October 29, 2019, 06:19:58 AM
His recorded Bach doesn’t light me up like this live baroque.

In his are of fugue, the way he makes the piano play counterpoint is something which impressed me! There’s a lot which is debatable about the performances, for example for me the way he uses loud and soft doesn’t really enhance the music.  But I think from the point of view of counterpoint, he has shown that it can be done on such an instrument.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on October 30, 2019, 08:12:57 AM
Absolutely 10/10.
Just stay clear of him crossing over to the Dark Side  ???

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/717pMeabExL._SS500_.jpg)
Bach Reworks (Part 2) : Víkingur Ólafsson

 ;D I've heard about that. Now I perversely must inquire.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81RUUTQfhuL._SS500_.jpg)

Bach : Partitas
Anton Batagov

I like this.

That's a good one, indeed! Whacky, but splendid. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2018/03/21/classical-cd-of-the-week-anton-batagovs-bach-is-for-tripping/ (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2018/03/21/classical-cd-of-the-week-anton-batagovs-bach-is-for-tripping/) (The only review I wrote that Philip Glass was ever complimentary about. :))
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on October 30, 2019, 08:47:36 AM
(The only review I wrote that Philip Glass was ever complimentary about. :))

The reference to Einstein on the Beach made me think of something, a cluster of ideas I want to propose possibly to be refuted.

One thing that is striking about Glass’s music from that time is that it is totally superficial - what I mean is that it’s all about surface sound, where you have many instruments playing they all play at the same volume, and in a way which means they never collide, they always produce simple harmonies. There’s no sense of mystery, of poetry concealed in deep levels of the music - it’s all in ya face.

Now Batagov’s Bach is like this, that’s what happens when you slow it down and when you align the voices like he does. The most you can say for it is that Batagov’s Bach was a composer who liked playing two tunes at the same time and he knew how to do that and make it sound slick.

He’s taken the counterpoint out of the greatest contrupuntalust ever.

It is true that you could imagine a vocalise and melody instrument performance like Batagov’s toccata from Partita 6, the vocalise being made of solfège. 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3.



Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on November 01, 2019, 09:11:07 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/618z32IHBiL._SY355_.jpg)

Listening to the 4th and 5th suite here for the first time in years, what I’m struck by is the beautiful and imaginative ornamentation.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: San Antone on November 01, 2019, 09:19:27 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/618z32IHBiL._SY355_.jpg)

Listening to the 4th and 5th suite here for the first time in years, what I’m struck by is the beautiful and imaginative ornamentation.

Yes, I like Koroliov's Bach quite a lot.  I have also been listening to Vladimir Feltsman, and while his treatment of this music is very different from Koroliov's, his Bach recordings are also enjoyable but for entirely different reasons.

Vladimir Feltsman : The Bach Collection

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71G-P3snz9L._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: San Antone on November 09, 2019, 03:05:07 PM
Cédric Pescia has recorded three of the major keyboard works by Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, The Goldberg Variations, and Art of Fugue.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/61W+kG94tzL._SS500_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81YRouT6O6L._SX522_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/5114%2BpPlmuL.jpg)

I just discovered them, and am finding them very good.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on February 04, 2020, 06:28:03 AM
(https://cdbaby.name/i/v/ivojanssen16_large.jpg?v=76af9a0a-0d56-4420-ba39-583332b4b178)
Rambling about WTC tonight:
Ivo Janssen: I like the way this is recorded. It favors the left hand and low end. It’s in his playing too: stressing voices. He’s in the camp of using rubato liberally. I like the realistic raw sound of his piano. This with his separation of voices gives him melancholy and drama without sentimentality. We were talking about hammerless in the Debussy forum and that pops into my when comparing Janssen to Fellner. Fellner is much more rhythmically strict or pulse driven and I would think of him as hammerless, if that’s what it is. It does make Fellner sound more dreamy and impressionistic but not as attentive to counterpoint. It’s beautiful but not as satisfying. Pescia is a bit like Fellner as well. So is Poblocka.
There’s so much more variety and drama in Janssen, IMO.
I’m more and more interested in the different ways to play this music on the piano. Tonight I’m comparing. It’s always jarring and fun to listen to Rosalyn Tureck from time to time. Does she get a bad rap around here? What a unique artist she was. And while she doesn’t seem to play around with rubato that much, she’s also not dreamy or slick or glib. She has so much affinity with the music.
I don’t know what to make a Schiff tonight. He’s meticulous. Really meticulous. Everything seems very even. Is it his attack? He has so much control. Too much?
Someone I’d like to discuss more: Pienaar. He’s interesting: exciting, flamboyant at times but, as in his b-flat minor fugue in Bk 1, sometimes devastating.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: vers la flamme on February 07, 2020, 04:43:45 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71lA5kaRIiL._SL500_.jpg)

This is an absolutely killer CD. The Bach is just as good as the Boulez and vice versa. I have Mandryka to thank for putting me onto it, and it's my turn now to recommend it to you all. Get it while it's cheap. I'll be seeking out more of Fray's recordings, he's a natural Bachian pianist I think. Kind of a legato heavy interpretation, not for everyone maybe.

--

For the second part of my post, I have a question for you all. The Partitas, I do not have a complete set. I have heard great things about the recent Angela Hewitt, has anyone heard it? I did not much like her earlier Bach recordings, but she's a little older now and probably does not play quite the same as she used to. My other contenders are Igor Levit and András Schiff (ECM).
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: JBS on February 07, 2020, 12:28:59 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71lA5kaRIiL._SL500_.jpg)

This is an absolutely killer CD. The Bach is just as good as the Boulez and vice versa. I have Mandryka to thank for putting me onto it, and it's my turn now to recommend it to you all. Get it while it's cheap. I'll be seeking out more of Fray's recordings, he's a natural Bachian pianist I think. Kind of a legato heavy interpretation, not for everyone maybe.

--

For the second part of my post, I have a question for you all. The Partitas, I do not have a complete set. I have heard great things about the recent Angela Hewitt, has anyone heard it? I did not much like her earlier Bach recordings, but she's a little older now and probably does not play quite the same as she used to. My other contenders are Igor Levit and András Schiff (ECM).

I vote for Schiff. I don't think Hewitt's second recording is substantially different from her previous one. Have not heard the Levit, however.

If you are interested in a radically non HIP, hyper romantic approach, get Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 07, 2020, 01:01:07 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71lA5kaRIiL._SL500_.jpg)

This is an absolutely killer CD. The Bach is just as good as the Boulez and vice versa. I have Mandryka to thank for putting me onto it, and it's my turn now to recommend it to you all. Get it while it's cheap. I'll be seeking out more of Fray's recordings, he's a natural Bachian pianist I think. Kind of a legato heavy interpretation, not for everyone maybe.

--

For the second part of my post, I have a question for you all. The Partitas, I do not have a complete set. I have heard great things about the recent Angela Hewitt, has anyone heard it? I did not much like her earlier Bach recordings, but she's a little older now and probably does not play quite the same as she used to. My other contenders are Igor Levit and András Schiff (ECM).

I assume you've seen this

(http://davidfraymusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/cover_5099907094422.jpg)

Give me some time to see whether I can think of anyone who plays the music in a way which resembles Fray, given that you've responded so positively to what he does. Tatiana Nikolayeva may be an idea to explore.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: vers la flamme on February 07, 2020, 03:49:21 PM
I assume you've seen this

(http://davidfraymusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/cover_5099907094422.jpg)

Give me some time to see whether I can think of anyone who plays the music in a way which resembles Fray, given that you've responded so positively to what he does. Tatiana Nikolayeva may be an idea to explore.

I did see that. I might like to get it as well. I ordered another CD of Fray and friends playing the Bach concerti for multiple keyboards with the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse. I'm looking forward to a very French, very un-HIP recording of these concerti, most of which are unfamiliar to me.

Nikolayeva, I've heard good things about her Art of Fugue, but also bad things about her latter-day recordings in general. I'll have to check it out. Otherwise, let me know if you think of anything.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 08, 2020, 02:10:09 AM
Otherwise, let me know if you think of anything.

Got there. This -- Virgininia Black.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/91xRZePiEgL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 08, 2020, 02:18:20 AM
I'm looking forward to a very French, very un-HIP recording of these concerti, most of which are unfamiliar to me.

Then get this

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51ZIO-ooy0L._AC_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on February 08, 2020, 03:24:17 AM
I have not heard Schiff, Fray or Hewitt but for the partitas on piano my favorites are Gould for his uniqueness (that works better here than in many other recordings of this pianist), Tipo for romantic un-Hipness and probably Sheppard for an overall very good straightforward no-nonsense approach.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Florestan on February 08, 2020, 03:28:58 AM
If you are interested in a radically non HIP, hyper romantic approach, get Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Never heard Ashkenazy but Maria Tipo fits that description to a tee.

(https://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Tipo-B01[EMI].jpg)

Sometimes I felt like I was listening to Schumann.  :)

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: aukhawk on February 08, 2020, 04:18:46 AM
For the second part of my post, I have a question for you all. The Partitas, I do not have a complete set. I have heard great things about the recent Angela Hewitt, has anyone heard it? I did not much like her earlier Bach recordings, but she's a little older now and probably does not play quite the same as she used to. My other contenders are Igor Levit and András Schiff (ECM).

Hewitt's playing hasn't changed much.  She says as much herself, in the booklet for her newer Partitas recording.  She plays a different piano - a Fazioli as opposed to a Steinway - in a different venue (though both central European) - but substantially the same production team.

As an alternative I do like the Levit set - but I haven't really listened to many others.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Florestan on February 08, 2020, 04:52:24 AM
Has anyone heard this?

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51EovgtDCcL._SX355_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on February 08, 2020, 05:01:20 AM
Has anyone heard this?

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51EovgtDCcL._SX355_.jpg)
I love Demus but I realize I may never have heard his partitas. Anybody?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: vers la flamme on February 08, 2020, 05:14:12 AM
I'll be checking out the Ashkenazy in addition to Hewitt, Levit and Schiff. I'm a big Ashkenazy fan in other repertoire. I've already heard just about the entire Schiff ECM and it's great, so I think that's the frontrunner. Levit and Hewitt are up there because these are pianists whose artistry I wish to explore, I'm mostly unfamiliar with them. I mentioned I was unimpressed with Hewitt in the past, but I've really not heard much of it, just bits and pieces. She'll be playing an all-Bach recital near me next month, maybe I'll have to go check her out, and then decide whether or not to buy the CD after that.

Tipo I'm unfamiliar with, but Schumannesque Bach sounds tempting.  ;D

Edit: Pulled the trigger on Schiff/ECM for the Partitas. I saw that it was offered by a seller for $7 brand new, couldn't resist. I'm familiar enough with Schiff to know that he will not disappoint.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 08, 2020, 07:52:56 AM
Hewitt's playing hasn't changed much.  She says as much herself, in the booklet for her newer Partitas recording.  She plays a different piano - a Fazioli as opposed to a Steinway - in a different venue (though both central European) - but substantially the same production team.

As an alternative I do like the Levit set - but I haven't really listened to many others.
Have a listen to earlier and later Hewitt in, for example, the Sarabande and Toccata of 830, or the allemande of 828, and see whether you think there’s some evolution. I do. I’ll check the booklet later.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: aukhawk on February 08, 2020, 08:55:29 AM
I was basing my own opinion on her original and remake of the WTC, where I don't think the remake improves on her first go (I have both).  In the new Partitas booklet she writes along the lines of "don't expect Gould-like evolution, an Allemande is still an Allemande after all".
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 08, 2020, 09:10:26 AM
I was basing my own opinion on her original and remake of the WTC, where I don't think the remake improves on her first go (I have both).  In the new Partitas booklet she writes along the lines of "don't expect Gould-like evolution, an Allemande is still an Allemande after all".

Ah yes, i expect you’re right about WTC!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 08, 2020, 09:45:36 AM
Has anyone heard this?

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51EovgtDCcL._SX355_.jpg)

Yes, it sounds like some bloke playing Bach on a horrid sounding piano.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 08, 2020, 12:03:10 PM
Quote
Re-recording the Bach partitas

Back in 2014, when the director of London's Wigmore Hall, John Gilhooly, approached me to perform the complete solo keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach in twelve recitals over four years, my first reaction was to say no. I had already spent so much time with Bach—both in performance and in the recording studio—and there is much else I still wish to do. But it didn't take long to change my mind, and the subsequent 'Bach Odyssey' (which began in September 2016, ending in June 2020) is proving to be one of the highlights of my life.

It never bothered me to be associated so closely with Bach. How could it? There is no greater music, and to develop in his company one's musical intelligence, technique, beauty of sound, and spirit is a great gift and a lifelong adventure. The offer from Hyperion Records, back in 1994, to record all his major keyboard works gave my career a purpose and direction that have been profoundly fulfilling.

In the second year of the 'Bach Odyssey', I presented the six partitas in concert around the world, once more marvelling at their inventiveness, range of expression, and sheer brilliance—not just in technique but also in perfection of form. No wonder these suites have stood the  test of time and are among the most frequently played of his keyboard compositions.

As my first recording of them was done over twenty years ago (1996-97), I thought it time to record them again—this time on my own Fazioli piano, and in the beautiful acoustics of the Kulturzentrum Gustav Mahler in Toblach/Dobbiaco. The sound engineer for the first album of that 'early' recording, Ludger Bockenhoff, took over also as producer for the second one in that box set—and now at the time of writing we have worked together for twenty-five years. It has been a relationship in which we have both grown tremendously, which has kept me on my toes, and for which I am hugely grateful.

So what's different this time? Well, you'll have to listen to find out! Don't expect huge differences of Gouldian proportions. An allemande is still an allemande; a French courante should still not be rushed; a gigue must remain danceable. Twenty years of life have intervened—twenty years spent practising his music, always trying to do better, to bring it to life even more. The older we get, the more music means to us, and it gives me great joy to share these partitas with you once again. ANGEL% HEWITT © 2019
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: vers la flamme on February 08, 2020, 01:05:40 PM


Thank you for sharing that. From what I'm reading, if she writes accurately, it seems she has changed more than folks are giving her credit for. I never expected her to slow down dramatically à la Gould Goldberg '81 or anything like that, but still, one's playing can change a lot over 20 years even in very subtle ways. That being said, if one already owns one recording or the other, whether there's any real reason to buy the other is a different question.

How do we feel here generally speaking of Hewitt's Bach? Is she a worthy interpreter...?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: JBS on February 08, 2020, 01:15:35 PM
Thank you for sharing that. From what I'm reading, if she writes accurately, it seems she has changed more than folks are giving her credit for. I never expected her to slow down dramatically à la Gould Goldberg '81 or anything like that, but still, one's playing can change a lot over 20 years even in very subtle ways. That being said, if one already owns one recording or the other, whether there's any real reason to buy the other is a different question.

How do we feel here generally speaking of Hewitt's Bach? Is she a worthy interpreter...?

I very much like her. I just didn't find that much difference between her first and second recordings.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 08, 2020, 01:26:49 PM

How do we feel here generally speaking of Hewitt's Bach? Is she a worthy interpreter...?

Tame, polite, insipid. Bach for your grandma.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on February 08, 2020, 04:23:27 PM
Tame, polite, insipid. Bach for your grandma.
I wonder how she does in romantic and impressionist genres? I can’t imagine much better. I wonder how she rose up?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 08, 2020, 04:48:53 PM
How do we feel here generally speaking of Hewitt's Bach? Is she a worthy interpreter...?
Some of it is very good, and some of it is less so. But she always seems to have something to say regardless.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: JBS on February 08, 2020, 04:55:57 PM
I wonder how she does in romantic and impressionist genres? I can’t imagine much better. I wonder how she rose up?

She's very good in French repertoire.
But I disagree with Mandryka's image of a grandmother, unless it's a grandmother who is relatively young, quite active, and capable of inflicting a bon mot on her friends.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on February 09, 2020, 02:59:30 AM
She's very good in French repertoire.
But I disagree with Mandryka's image of a grandmother, unless it's a grandmother who is relatively young, quite active, and capable of inflicting a bon mot on her friends.
She’s never landed with me but means nothing because I often find things in performers that I’d missed. Some day I’ll give her a try again. I saw her perform the Goldberg-s live many years ago.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: vers la flamme on February 09, 2020, 05:20:50 AM
There's actually one thing of Hewitt's I've heard and liked, and that's the Schumann F-sharp minor sonata and the Humoreske. I trust Hyperion's A&R people. Somehow I doubt they would sign an artist to record the entire major keyboard works of Bach, twice, whose interpretations were "tame, polite & insipid". Somehow I doubt the grandma market is large enough to recoup so much marketing and production money. But what do I know. I didn't really like what I heard. I'm not one to give up on a performer. If I don't like something, my train of thought usually follows that there's something I missed.

Anyway, are the 6 Partitas the apex of Bach's suites, or what? There is so much great, unique, life-affirming music in them.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 09, 2020, 09:40:59 AM


Anyway, are the 6 Partitas the apex of Bach's suites, or what? There is so much great, unique, life-affirming music in them.

On keyboard you have Clavier Ubung 1, The French suites and the English Suites. And there are minor things, often with disputed authorship like BWV 832 (which Hewitt plays quite nicely, her greatest achievement on record apart from the new partitas.) . Some people think that the so-called lute suites were probably meant for keyboard, since they don't actually fit on a lute -- but Bach seems to have been quite cavalier about that sort of thing. In addition there are keyboard transcriptions of the sets of suites for cello and violin.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 09, 2020, 09:49:26 AM
Somehow I doubt the grandma market is large enough to recoup so much marketing and production money.

There are 962 million people over 60 years old. Not to mention all the younger people who have a grannie temperament. Hewitt must be rolling in $$$$$$$$$$$.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: vers la flamme on February 09, 2020, 10:15:41 AM
There are 962 million people over 60 years old. Not to mention all the younger people who have a grannie temperament. Hewitt must be rolling in $$$$$$$$$$$.

OK, point taken. In that case she's doing a great thing for those older ladies. Grannies need Bach, too.  ;D
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Florestan on February 09, 2020, 10:22:52 AM
There are 962 million people over 60 years old. Not to mention all the younger people who have a grannie temperament.

You overlook people over 60 who have a youthful temperament.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: JBS on February 09, 2020, 11:19:17 AM
You overlook people over 60 who have a youthful temperament.

Speaking of those over 60,  has the situation with your parents improved?

[ Your inbox is full again!]
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on February 09, 2020, 11:20:44 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71lA5kaRIiL._SL500_.jpg)

This is an absolutely killer CD. The Bach is just as good as the Boulez and vice versa. I have Mandryka to thank for putting me onto it, and it's my turn now to recommend it to you all. Get it while it's cheap. I'll be seeking out more of Fray's recordings, he's a natural Bachian pianist I think. Kind of a legato heavy interpretation, not for everyone maybe.

--

For the second part of my post, I have a question for you all. The Partitas, I do not have a complete set. I have heard great things about the recent Angela Hewitt, has anyone heard it? I did not much like her earlier Bach recordings, but she's a little older now and probably does not play quite the same as she used to. My other contenders are Igor Levit and András Schiff (ECM).

I really like Andras Schiff's ECM recording of the Partitas, but I have not heard David Fray in anything other than in one Schubert disc so I'm not sure how it will compare.

Schiff's ECM recording is angular, pointed and he sounds so inspired. Whenever I put it on with the intent of hearing one or two it's hard not to listen to the rest.

Does anyone have suggestions for some of Rubsam's particularly good JS Bach piano performances? I was streaming the F sharp minor Toccata at the gym and found it quite provoking.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Florestan on February 09, 2020, 11:37:24 AM
Speaking of those over 60,  has the situation with your parents improved?

[ Your inbox is full again!]

YHM.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 09, 2020, 12:09:10 PM

Does anyone have suggestions for some of Rubsam's particularly good JS Bach piano performances? I was streaming the F sharp minor Toccata at the gym and found it quite provoking.

French Suites,
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on February 09, 2020, 01:17:54 PM
Anyway, are the 6 Partitas the apex of Bach's suites, or what? There is so much great, unique, life-affirming music in them.
As a collection they are my favorites. But one could argue that the b minor French ouverture from Clavierübung II and several of the English suites are as important (and on a larger scale than partitas 1,3,5). The French suites are small scale but also very nice; the three or four "odd" suites not part of collections (a minor in two versions, E flat major and maybe another one) are more for the completist, I'd say. Lute, Cello and violon are better in the original versions although lute harpsichord is my preference because I am not too fond of lute and guitar.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on February 09, 2020, 02:18:13 PM
French Suites,

Interesting performances, quite broad tempi throughout but I suppose it's expected with Rubsam. I found the fourth suite quite enjoyable, a poetic reading that is still sharply articulated. I found the 6th a bit of a let down, he has lost the singing, dance line in the Allemande and it sounds deconstructed. Now on the 5th suite and I have a similar feeling with the Allemande in it as well.

I have the CD of Toccatas on the way, I suppose I don't mind his style here as these pieces to me are more inward looking.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 09, 2020, 02:36:29 PM
Interesting performances, quite broad tempi throughout but I suppose it's expected with Rubsam. I found the fourth suite quite enjoyable, a poetic reading that is still sharply articulated. I found the 6th a bit of a let down, he has lost the singing, dance line in the Allemande and it sounds deconstructed. Now on the 5th suite and I have a similar feeling with the Allemande in it as well.

I have the CD of Toccatas on the way, I suppose I don't mind his style here as these pieces to me are more inward looking.

I've never heard the toccatas CD, in fact I didn't know it existed until you mentiioned it. I'll check it out tomorrow.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: vers la flamme on February 09, 2020, 03:35:57 PM
Is Rübsam's piano Bach good? I do not really like his lute-harpsichord Bach. But something makes me curious to hear him play Bach on a modern piano.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: vers la flamme on February 09, 2020, 03:37:42 PM
I really like Andras Schiff's ECM recording of the Partitas, but I have not heard David Fray in anything other than in one Schubert disc so I'm not sure how it will compare.

Schiff's ECM recording is angular, pointed and he sounds so inspired. Whenever I put it on with the intent of hearing one or two it's hard not to listen to the rest.

Does anyone have suggestions for some of Rubsam's particularly good JS Bach piano performances? I was streaming the F sharp minor Toccata at the gym and found it quite provoking.

I ended up buying the Schiff/ECM. He is a damn fine pianist and I've never been less than impressed with one of his recordings. I really want to get my hands on his ECM WTC too, but it's expensive.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ratliff on February 09, 2020, 03:59:36 PM
Is Rübsam's piano Bach good? I do not really like his lute-harpsichord Bach. But something makes me curious to hear him play Bach on a modern piano.

I like both.

I ended up buying the Schiff/ECM. He is a damn fine pianist and I've never been less than impressed with one of his recordings. I really want to get my hands on his ECM WTC too, but it's expensive.

I have his complete Bach on Decca, and I think they are wonderful recordings. (They were among the first Bach-on-piano recordings I have heard.) I have a few of the ECM recordings, and didn't find them to be an improvement.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on February 09, 2020, 04:13:42 PM
Is Rübsam's piano Bach good? I do not really like his lute-harpsichord Bach. But something makes me curious to hear him play Bach on a modern piano.

I think his piano recordings should be heard when you have already listened to loads of JSB on piano and are looking for something else. If there is one generalization to be made from what I've heard of his organ, harpsichord and now piano recordings is he likes broad tempi. Sometimes to the detriment of things sounding like they're coming to a stop. Still, he is a very serious musician and my reservations shouldn't hinder you from exploring his piano recordings. I was quite taken with the F sharp minor Toccata and streamed more of the Toccatas on my main system then quickly went to mash the order button.

In general with Rubsam (all instruments) I'd say it isn't music interpretation like Murray Perahia's 21st century recordings of Bach that are rounded, soft edged that anyone can pick up and enjoy.

I have been meaning to hear Schiff's interpretation of WTC on ECM. What I have heard from him on ECM is radically different from the bland Decca recordings. But of recent, whenever I think of WTC I play Jorg Demus' final recording which soars like a man who has 300 years of the WTC in his blood.

And after catching up on this thread my evening listening has been to more Bach on piano. I have to agree with Mandryka on Evgeni Koroliov's French Suites, one of my absolute favorites for these. Very tasteful ornaments, beautifully played and a Sarabande from the 6th Suite that melts my heart while still being music that is firmly baroque and not trying to make it 18th century piano music.

I also listened to some Bach organ transcriptions by Busoni played by John Ogdon and finally gave this a listen below, interesting music video. Can't say I've heard any organ interpretation that speeds it up like that towards the end. I haven't heard anything else from this pianist but I see there are many posts about him about the last time where I left off reading this thread.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3-rNMhIyuQ
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: j winter on February 09, 2020, 07:22:37 PM
... whenever I think of WTC I play Jorg Demus' final recording which soars like a man who has 300 years of the WTC in his blood....

Now that's an interesting description.  Do you mean this one?

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81DjhLom-wL._SS500_.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on February 10, 2020, 02:20:59 AM
Is Rübsam's piano Bach good? I do not really like his lute-harpsichord Bach. But something makes me curious to hear him play Bach on a modern piano.
It is very controversial and found excentric (mostly wayward and slow) by many listeners/commenters. At Naxos/used prices or streaming it is certainly worth trying out but, admittedly based on one disc only (partitas 5+6), I would not generally recommend it.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 10, 2020, 08:24:53 AM
It is controversial and wayward. I don’t believe it is slow, thought it is slower than many.

When it comes to modern piano recordings of music as early as this, questions about HIP are irrelevant. It’s just not HIP! Given that, the question that matters most to me is this - is there here an interesting, revealing, intersection of music and performer? I think the answer is that there is in the French Suites,  for this reason. What Rubsam does is very expressive, tender, intimate, confidential. Like a token of love that Bach made to his wife. In truth I don’t know a piano recording of these suites which I prefer, and maybe I like Rubsam the most, I’m not sure. I guess it depends on my mood.

I havent heard his recording of The English Suites or the toccatas, it’s not music which I explore really. The partitas are a different kettle of fish from The French Suites, and I’ve already made some piano suggestions - Virginia Black, for example, and Hewitt II, and Nikolayeva.  But Rubsam is not without interest too in some of them, maybe more interest.

Is Rübsam's piano Bach good? I do not really like his lute-harpsichord Bach. But something makes me curious to hear him play Bach on a modern piano.

If you don’t like the things he did on lute harpsichord then I think you should focus on the less contrapuntal music he recorded on piano, like the French Suites.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: amw on February 10, 2020, 11:35:23 AM
It is controversial and wayward. I don’t believe it is slow, thought it is slower than many.
It is definitely on the slow side but in e.g. the allemande from the D major partita Masaaki Suzuki is even slower & people do not generally take exception to his tempi. Rübsam's playing generally sounds slower and more disjunct than it really is.

I have the Partitas, Toccatas and English Suites from him; would not describe any of them as favourites but they are always worth hearing.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Ratliff on February 10, 2020, 11:48:58 AM
There are idiosyncratic tempo variations and other indulgences in Rubsam which I like.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 10, 2020, 12:22:31 PM
There are idiosyncratic tempo variations and other indulgences in Rubsam which I like.

Do you think there are more "indulgeances" than in Suzuki, in the D major allemande for example? Or are his tempo variations less idiosyncratic?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on February 10, 2020, 05:02:57 PM
Now that's an interesting description.  Do you mean this one?

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81DjhLom-wL._SS500_.jpg)

His final recording of WTC was made between 1999 and 2000.

It is definitely on the slow side but in e.g. the allemande from the D major partita Masaaki Suzuki is even slower & people do not generally take exception to his tempi. Rübsam's playing generally sounds slower and more disjunct than it really is.

I have the Partitas, Toccatas and English Suites from him; would not describe any of them as favourites but they are always worth hearing.

For more recent recordings Igor Levit also plays that Allemande that slowly. I don't mind this tempo and I enjoyed Rubsam in this one, I'll have to stream the rest of that disc.

I think it sounds slower because he adds these pauses here and there that, along with his tempi give people that impression. Though there are some organ recordings where the average is four or five minutes where he'll double that!
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 10, 2020, 09:44:38 PM
His final recording of WTC was made between 1999 and 2000.

For more recent recordings Igor Levit also plays that Allemande that slowly. I don't mind this tempo and I enjoyed Rubsam in this one, I'll have to stream the rest of that disc.

I think it sounds slower because he adds these pauses here and there that, along with his tempi give people that impression. Though there are some organ recordings where the average is four or five minutes where he'll double that!


Rubsam doesn’t believe that the music is for dancing, so he can play it at a way which lets the listener really smell the roses. Levitt and Hewitt want to preserve the dance connection, I’m not sure why.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Florestan on February 11, 2020, 03:55:59 AM

Rubsam doesn’t believe that the music is for dancing, so he can play it at a way which lets the listener really smell the roses. Levitt and Hewitt want to preserve the dance connection, I’m not sure why.

Because the movements are dances?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 11, 2020, 05:02:31 AM
Because the movements are dances?

Dances which aren’t for dancing.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Florestan on February 11, 2020, 05:03:39 AM
Dances which aren’t for dancing.

Chopin's Waltzes or Mazurkas are not meant for dancing either, yet there's no reason for treating them as anything else than dances.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on February 11, 2020, 05:21:55 AM
When it comes to modern piano recordings of music as early as this, questions about HIP are irrelevant. It’s just not HIP! Given that, the question that matters most to me is this - is there here an interesting, revealing, intersection of music and performer?

I feel similarly. But I think it is detrimental when it sounds so deconstructed that you've lost the overall line of the music.

Here is Rubsam in the Allemande of the 6th French Suite I mentioned on the previous page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXMMqUJ7PR4

And Murray Perahia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5LnNe5NLiM

I'm only using Perahia here because I think he illustrates the stark contrast nicely, not because I necessarily enjoy them. Here Rubsam sounds so disjointed that it sounds like a series of notes without consideration for how the overall piece fits together.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on February 11, 2020, 05:22:50 AM

Rubsam doesn’t believe that the music is for dancing, so he can play it at a way which lets the listener really smell the roses. Levitt and Hewitt want to preserve the dance connection, I’m not sure why.

I mean in that D Major Partita's allemande that amw mentioned, Levit does play it slowly like Rubsam at a very similar overall tempo (I haven't heard Suzuki), but with more pianistic flair. I find I can't make any generalization about Levit's tempi through the six Partitas, they seem pretty varied but in general yes stylistically I think he plays them a bit more like Maria Tipo and the like.

I really did enjoy Rubsam quite a bit in the third and fourth Partitas and have that CD on the way as well  :laugh: I'll be checking out the rest of them through the week.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 11, 2020, 05:32:59 AM


Here is Rubsam in the Allemande of the 6th French Suite I mentioned on the previous page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXMMqUJ7PR4



It's like a duet for two hands.

the overall line of the music.


How many independent lines are there at any given time? Perahia's says one, Rubsam says two. I think Perrahia dumbs it down.



but with more pianistic flair.

What's that?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 11, 2020, 06:26:42 AM
Chopin's Waltzes or Mazurkas are not meant for dancing either, yet there's no reason for treating them as anything else than dances.

I just don't know how anyone could think that it's right to play the alemande from the 5th partita like something which people would actually move their fert to.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Florestan on February 11, 2020, 06:40:52 AM
I just don't know how anyone could think that it's right to play the alemande from the 5th partita like something which people would actually move their fert to.

Maybe these would help:

Quote from: Johann Gottfried Walther, Musikalisches Lexicon (Leipzig, 1732)
[the Allemande] must be composed and likewise danced in a grave and ceremonious manner.

Quote from: Johann Mattheson, Der Vollkommene Capellmeister (Hamburg, 1739)
[the Allemande is] a serious and well-composed harmoniousness in arpeggiated style, expressing satisfaction or amusement, and delighting in order and calm.

Plus, it stands to reason that if Bach wrote Allemande as a title for this or that movement then he intended them to be played in the spirit of an Allemande, otherwise he would have written Gigue (wait, he did that, too!) or nothing at all (wait, he did that, too!). He wrote Allemande so he clearly wanted Allemande. Any performance which does not convey the spirit, the feeling and the mood of an Allemande is a travesti.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on February 11, 2020, 08:11:12 AM
I think that in Bach (as in Chopin or Schumann) the "dances" are all over the place.
Some are fairly close to actual dances one could (almost) use as dance music, others are very far removed. Especially the Allemandes by Bach are often so "grave and ceremonious" (or actually it's usually a slow main tempo with flowing 16th/triplets/32nds) that I can hardly perceive any dance character. Even some sarabandes convey more of a slowish ceremonious dance than the typical allemandes. The most dancelike seem menuets, passepieds, gavottes, bourées and some courantes and gigues. So I'd probably perceive interpretations that totally ignore the dance aspect as graceless.
But some of the greatest gigues like the ones in the 5th and 6th partitas depart from this and are angular fugues with only a passing resemblance to any gigue rhythm.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 11, 2020, 08:49:39 AM
Maybe these would help:

Plus, it stands to reason that if Bach wrote Allemande as a title for this or that movement then he intended them to be played in the spirit of an Allemande, otherwise he would have written Gigue (wait, he did that, too!) or nothing at all (wait, he did that, too!). He wrote Allemande so he clearly wanted Allemande. Any performance which does not convey the spirit, the feeling and the mood of an Allemande is a travesti.

I just don’t see how you can dance to the allemande to the 5th.


Collin Booth suggested that CU1 is a study of the possibilities of French suite forms, it may well be interesting to listen to the allemandes in sequence, the sarabandes in sequence etc.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on February 11, 2020, 02:24:20 PM
It's like a duet for two hands.

How many independent lines are there at any given time? Perahia's says one, Rubsam says two. I think Perrahia dumbs it down.

What's that?

Breaking down so clearly what the left and right hand are doing and are almost independent of each sounds very unusual. But I saw those posts you quoted by him from Talk Classical and listened to pieces of his recording of the Goldberg Variations so I guess this is not unusual to him. I don't like Perahia in the French Suites, it was one that illustrated the difference very easily.

I was referring to Levit's recordings of the Partitas in general- he uses more dynamic range, tonal color, pedals and plays with much more legato.

I'm also not entirely sure JS Bach had this intention of making his music into something academic where things like voices are deconstructed so meticulously and laid bare. Didn't people have an issue with pianists playing Art of Fugue because this is what they tended to do?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 11, 2020, 10:07:42 PM
Breaking down so clearly what the left and right hand are doing and are almost independent of each sounds very unusual.

 The voices should sound as though they’re interacting, creating tension through their interaction. A duet, an interaction like madrigal singers. I think Rubsam is often, nearly always, very good at creating this inner tension, at least on harpsichord (I don’t listen to the piano recordings so much because I don’t like the instrument.) it must be very hard to do. There’s a passage by Forkel I think where he talked about how when Bach played he created a sort of life from within the music, I’ll try to find it later.

The Goldbergs is by far the most challenging recording Rubsam has made, for me. That’s one reason why I value it most, why I find it the most rewarding, 

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on February 12, 2020, 05:38:21 AM
I have been meaning to hear Schiff's interpretation of WTC on ECM. What I have heard from him on ECM is radically different from the bland Decca recordings. But of recent, whenever I think of WTC I play Jorg Demus' final recording which soars like a man who has 300 years of the WTC in his blood.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3-rNMhIyuQ
I've mentioned this before but I had an opportunity to see Demus play WTC in Japan a few years ago in a small room. It was a transcendent experience.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on February 12, 2020, 07:31:00 AM
The voices should sound as though they’re interacting, creating tension through their interaction. A duet, an interaction like madrigal singers.

I hear this in the Toccatas disc which is why it was of such interest to me. I'm not really hearing it in French Suites 4 through 6, but I'll keep revisiting them.

Quote
The Goldbergs is by far the most challenging recording Rubsam has made, for me. That’s one reason why I value it most, why I find it the most rewarding,

I haven't listened Goldbergs this much since discovering Ekaterina Derzhavina's recording, and Andrew Rangell and Lori Sims have been getting a lot of play time. And I've been messing around with them on piano, mostly Variation 4. I plan to listen to the rest of Rubsam when I'm a bit less burned out on them.

I've mentioned this before but I had an opportunity to see Demus play WTC in Japan a few years ago in a small room. It was a transcendent experience.

I imagine it was, haven't really heard them played with this much imagination and interaction/weaving of the voices in many other piano recordings. It's like he is spontaneously playing them just for himself and not for a recording.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on February 12, 2020, 08:01:54 AM
IN the mid-1990s or so Piano Quarterly or a similar magazine chose Demus' WTC as the best. But this was a ca. 1970 LP recording.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 12, 2020, 08:45:57 AM

I haven't listened Goldbergs this much since discovering Ekaterina Derzhavina's recording, and Andrew Rangell and Lori Sims have been getting a lot of play time. And I've been messing around with them on piano, mostly Variation 4. I plan to listen to the rest of Rubsam when I'm a bit less burned out on them.


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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: San Antone on February 12, 2020, 09:08:00 AM
To bring the thread back on topic, a few pianists who play Bach well, IMO

Zhu Xiao-Mei
Cedric Pescia
Mikhail Pletnev
Andras Schiff (the ECM recordings)
Maria Tipo
Dina Ugorskaja
Jeremy Denk
Simone Dinnerstein
Vladimir Feltsman
Glenn Gould
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 12, 2020, 09:11:59 AM
To bring the thread back on topic



Oh bloddy hell -- just go away if you're going to behave in such an unpleasant and silly manner.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: San Antone on February 12, 2020, 09:21:26 AM
Oh bloddy hell -- just go away if you're going to behave in such an unpleasant and silly manner.

You are accusing me of being unpleasant?   ::)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 12, 2020, 09:26:02 AM
And silly.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 12, 2020, 09:36:09 AM
To bring the thread back on topic, a few pianists who play Bach well, IMO

Zhu Xiao-Mei
Cedric Pescia
Mikhail Pletnev
Andras Schiff (the ECM recordings)
Maria Tipo
Dina Ugorskaja
Jeremy Denk
Simone Dinnerstein
Vladimir Feltsman
Glenn Gould

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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: j winter on February 12, 2020, 11:45:35 AM
IN the mid-1990s or so Piano Quarterly or a similar magazine chose Demus' WTC as the best. But this was a ca. 1970 LP recording.

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!   
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty 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. :-)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Jo498 on February 12, 2020, 11:59:22 AM
Sorry, I don't know.
I'd guess that this is the Westminster from the 50s
https://www.discogs.com/JS-Bach-J%C3%B6rg-Demus-The-Well-Tempered-Clavier-Book-Two/release/14210584

This is the LP I have (almost, I have a slightly different edition from 1975)
https://www.discogs.com/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-J%C3%B6rg-Demus-Das-Wohltemperierte-Klavier-2-Teil-BWV-870-893/release/8009100
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: j winter 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....
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka 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!

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: San Antone 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: San Antone on February 12, 2020, 03:24:29 PM
Martin Stadtfeld : English Suites

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51DMaE2feNL.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: San Antone 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on February 13, 2020, 07:43:43 AM
Martin Stadtfeld : English Suites

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51DMaE2feNL.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka 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 (https://shop.new-art.nl/assets/image.php?width=800&image=/content/img/new_products_queue/1442316564.jpg) this is a good Bach concept CD, well worth checking out imo (https://www.odradek-records.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/ODRCD357-Fred-Thomas-Bach-solo-Cover.jpg)

https://www.odradek-records.com/album/fred-thomas-dance-suites/
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty 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/ (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 (http://a-fwd.to/4WBzycy)


Latest on Forbes.com:
Classical CD Of The Week: Liszt Inspections (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/03/02/classical-cd-of-the-week-liszt-inspections-2/#2202ad6627f0)

Formenti: Kurtag's Ghosts: https://ionarts.blogspot.com/2009/12/best-recordings-of-2009-3.html (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://blogs-images.forbes.com/jenslaurson/files/2016/02/Forbes_Classica-CD-of-the-Week_KARUS_Liszt-Inspections_Formenti1200-1200x469.jpg)
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/03/02/classical-cd-of-the-week-liszt-inspections-2/#2202ad6627f0 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/03/02/classical-cd-of-the-week-liszt-inspections-2/#2202ad6627f0)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka 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/ (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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Iota 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka 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.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka 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
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Iota on February 15, 2020, 03:32:13 AM
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/03/02/classical-cd-of-the-week-liszt-inspections-2/#2202ad6627f0

Excellent review.

"Marino Formenti pulls your ears longer and open wider, and no one does it so persuasively and gently."

Quite.


Fwiw, I liked what I've heard of Dina Ugorskaja (WTC1), she sounds like she wishes to make the structural/emotional trajectory of each piece very clear, one can almost hear her breathing in between the lines of the poem, between shifts of emphasis in the prosody, but it all sounds like the real thing.

Dinnerstein did sound somewhat cosmetic to my ears when I listened her Bach C minor Partita (Sony), there were moments where I thought wow that sounds lovely, but in the end I found myself tiring of it. It's been a while though.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on February 15, 2020, 12:41:18 PM
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.

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/ (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:

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 (http://a-fwd.to/4WBzycy)

She is indeed very good. There is a lot to take in here, definitely not something you can form an opinion on while doing other things. Many of the major key pieces are exceptional as well like the A major Prelude from Book 2. The closest pianist she reminds me of is early Pogorelich with her phrasing, clarity and clairvoyance.

Thanks for the article Jens, I was aware of her unfortunate passing. I'll check out the Fred Thomas and other concept albums soon.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on February 16, 2020, 02:03:21 AM
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.

I wasn't _too_ keen on the Brahms, to be honest... but found it worth listening to, knowing the pianist's ways. I do, however, find the Schumann and Schubert and Beethoven to be very intriguing and mostly very good.

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

Excellent review.

Thank you!

This is even more so the case for Tipo

Yikes. What must that sound like, then! :-|
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on February 16, 2020, 06:08:04 AM
I wasn't _too_ keen on the Brahms, to be honest... but found it worth listening to, knowing the pianist's ways. I do, however, find the Schumann and Schubert and Beethoven to be very intriguing and mostly very good.

Her Handel disc is also worth checking out, she has my favorite interpretation of the third suite in D minor on a piano.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 16, 2020, 06:15:38 AM
I wasn't _too_ keen on the Brahms, to be honest... but found it worth listening to, knowing the pianist's ways. I do, however, find the Schumann and Schubert and Beethoven to be very intriguing and mostly very good.


I tried op 111 and one other, op 109 I think, last week, it seemed OK without having the exceptional candour of the Schubert and WTC2. Maybe I didn’t listen carefully enough, you know what these things are like.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on February 16, 2020, 06:32:50 AM
I tried op 111 and one other, op 109 I think, last week, it seemed OK without having the exceptional candour of the Schubert and WTC2. Maybe I didn’t listen carefully enough, you know what these things are like.

Have you heard the Hammerklavier? I didn't think it had the deep transcendental quality I'm looking for in the Adagio. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 16, 2020, 06:34:48 AM
Have you heard the Hammerklavier? I didn't think it had the deep transcendental quality I'm looking for in the Adagio.

Just thinking of the first movement gives me the heebie jeebies, I’m afraid I’m not a fan of Beethoven, I’m trying to cut out his music completely, it’s just that I get distracted by things like this Ugorskaja. I must show more self discipline: NO MORE BEETHOVEN.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on February 16, 2020, 08:31:54 AM
NO MORE BEETHOVEN.

I am sure that you will not be able to maintain this for more than a few weeks.  :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 16, 2020, 12:16:51 PM
Here's a nice thing by Ugorskaja, it seems to me that she had a real swan song before her death, like Loraine Hunt Lieberson. This performance of Galina Ustvolskaja's 5th sonata has the same candour and darkness as the late Bach recordings I think . . . other people who play it don't find such pain in it.

https://www.youtube.com/v/aDtRgWtx7eY
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on February 17, 2020, 06:04:26 AM
Here's a nice thing by Ugorskaja, it seems to me that she had a real swan song before her death, like Loraine Hunt Lieberson. This performance of Galina Ustvolskaja's 5th sonata has the same candour and darkness as the late Bach recordings I think . . . other people who play it don't find such pain in it.

https://www.youtube.com/v/aDtRgWtx7eY

Nice. Yes, she had a real talent for finding pain and darkness in music...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on February 19, 2020, 01:53:40 PM
Rubsam's recordings of the Toccatas is really paying dividends, these are extremely interesting performances. I'm drawing parallels to it with serial solo keyboard music, not in technical terms but in his style, easily a best of 2020 discovery!

I received the 3rd and 4th Partitas CD as well, looking forward to really getting to know that.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: vers la flamme on February 27, 2020, 09:11:43 AM
Rubsam's recordings of the Toccatas is really paying dividends, these are extremely interesting performances. I'm drawing parallels to it with serial solo keyboard music, not in technical terms but in his style, easily a best of 2020 discovery!

I received the 3rd and 4th Partitas CD as well, looking forward to really getting to know that.

Your enthusiasm is infectious. I'll be checking it out (the Toccatas) along with some of Rübsam's organ Bach recordings. I just got Peter Watchorn's Toccatas recording, but that's another story for another thread. Haven't opened it yet.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on February 27, 2020, 11:39:45 AM
Your enthusiasm is infectious. I'll be checking it out (the Toccatas) along with some of Rübsam's organ Bach recordings. I just got Peter Watchorn's Toccatas recording, but that's another story for another thread. Haven't opened it yet.

Which Watchorn? He recorded them twice, the second (Musica Omnia) by far the best.

Concerning Rübsam  I would advice you to listen to some of his other Bach piano recordings (English suites, Partitas e.g.) rather than to his Naxos Bach organ recordings. The latter may easily become tedious, if you are not in the right mood.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: vers la flamme on February 27, 2020, 05:35:18 PM
Which Watchorn? He recorded them twice, the second (Musica Omnia) by far the best.

Concerning Rübsam  I would advice you to listen to some of his other Bach piano recordings (English suites, Partitas e.g.) rather than to his Naxos Bach organ recordings. The latter may easily become tedious, if you are not in the right mood.

Why is that? Too slow? I find Rübsam's recent Goldberg Variations on a lute-harpsichord quite tedious, actually, for its slow tempo and unusual rubato, but I sense something is there in his musicianship that I'm missing out on. Hence my desire to explore his organ and piano recordings.

I got the Watchorn Bach toccatas on Hänssler. It was very cheap and I heard good things about it. What about the Musica Omnia makes it better "by far"?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on February 28, 2020, 02:12:54 AM
Why is that? Too slow? I find Rübsam's recent Goldberg Variations on a lute-harpsichord quite tedious, actually, for its slow tempo and unusual rubato, but I sense something is there in his musicianship that I'm missing out on. Hence my desire to explore his organ and piano recordings.

Precisely. I had to get accustomed to his new style by means of the piano recordings, which are not too eccentric, before I was  able to appreciate his more eccentric recordings (which are many of the Naxos Bach organ recordings and his Bach lute-harpsichord recordings).

Quote from: vers la flamme
I got the Watchorn Bach toccatas on Hänssler. It was very cheap and I heard good things about it. What about the Musica Omnia makes it better "by far"?

The toccatas are difficult to bring out. They should sound improvised but still integrated. Otherwise they may seem too long and diffuse. Watchorn succeeds better with this in the Musica Omnia version, but this doesn't mean that the Hänssler version is bad.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on February 28, 2020, 03:23:05 AM
Your enthusiasm is infectious. I'll be checking it out (the Toccatas) along with some of Rübsam's organ Bach recordings.

Presumably it's Rubsam's Bach Toccatas recording on piano which you're interested in. In fact I've never heard it, I didn't know it existed until it was mentioned here a few days ago.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: vers la flamme on February 28, 2020, 04:21:27 AM
Presumably it's Rubsam's Bach Toccatas recording on piano which you're interested in. In fact I've never heard it, I didn't know it existed until it was mentioned here a few days ago.

Yes, that's correct. I am intrigued with hvbias' mention of serial keyboard music; I'm always on the hunt for ties between music of different eras.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on February 28, 2020, 06:44:26 AM
premont I once again find myself very much in agreement with you on everything you've written. I think even his Philips recordings are best served to exploring later on even if they aren't as extreme as the organ recordings on Naxos.

Also in agreement that there should be a balance between improvised and integrated, for me just slightly more towards integrated. 

With all this discussion of the Toccatas I thought I'd revisit Mahan Esfahani and while I've softened my views on it I still find it goes too far to the other extent in being unyielding. I will look up Watchorn on Musica Omnia, those recordings are rarely flat or provoke opinions of indifference.

Yes, that's correct. I am intrigued with hvbias' mention of serial keyboard music; I'm always on the hunt for ties between music of different eras.

Not to be taken literally :)

I find the instrument he plays pretty interesting, there is an abruptness to it that suits this music. I can't pinpoint what it is, or if it's a modified instrument.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: vers la flamme on March 01, 2020, 02:35:17 PM
premont I once again find myself very much in agreement with you on everything you've written. I think even his Philips recordings are best served to exploring later on even if they aren't as extreme as the organ recordings on Naxos.

Also in agreement that there should be a balance between improvised and integrated, for me just slightly more towards integrated. 

With all this discussion of the Toccatas I thought I'd revisit Mahan Esfahani and while I've softened my views on it I still find it goes too far to the other extent in being unyielding. I will look up Watchorn on Musica Omnia, those recordings are rarely flat or provoke opinions of indifference.

Not to be taken literally :)

I find the instrument he plays pretty interesting, there is an abruptness to it that suits this music. I can't pinpoint what it is, or if it's a modified instrument.

Of course  ;)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on March 02, 2020, 09:32:04 AM
I've been really enjoying this Bach Busoni prelude played slowly, metaphysically, by DemiD today.

https://www.youtube.com/v/xVStfDG1-r4

Edwin Fischer played it also, very differently. There's no rights or wrongs with Bach Busoni I guess.

https://youtube.com/v/wrp2P9cM8pM
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: hvbias on March 03, 2020, 07:51:14 AM
I've been really enjoying this Bach Busoni prelude played slowly, metaphysically, by DemiD today.

https://www.youtube.com/v/xVStfDG1-r4

Edwin Fischer played it also, very differently. There's no rights or wrongs with Bach Busoni I guess.

https://youtube.com/v/wrp2P9cM8pM

Edwin Fischer is a favorite here. The Demidenko Bach/Busoni CD flew under my radar, looking forward to hearing the full thing.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on March 12, 2020, 05:54:59 AM
Joanna MacGregor's French Suites: Boy do these sparkle and stimulate! She's so subtle with dynamics and even with touch you'd almost think she was imitating a harpsichord on the piano. There's a magic in how even and balanced she keeps things without being boring in the least.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on March 12, 2020, 06:27:20 AM
Joanna MacGregor's French Suites: Boy do these sparkle and stimulate! She's so subtle with dynamics and even with touch you'd almost think she was imitating a harpsichord on the piano. There's a magic in how even and balanced she keeps things without being boring in the least.

Yes. I don’t know whether you’ll think her other Bach recordings are as interesting.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on March 12, 2020, 07:04:14 AM
Joanna MacGregor's French Suites: Boy do these sparkle and stimulate! She's so subtle with dynamics and even with touch you'd almost think she was imitating a harpsichord on the piano. There's a magic in how even and balanced she keeps things without being boring in the least.

Each to his own ears. I found her style in the French suites irritating.

Her AoF is on the other hand unsensational but more eatable.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on March 13, 2020, 02:13:59 AM
Each to his own ears. I found her style in the French suites irritating.

Her AoF is on the other hand unsensational but more eatable.
Which do you prefer for the French Suites?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Marc on March 13, 2020, 04:52:05 AM
Which do you prefer for the French Suites?

May I suggest Ivo Janssen?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ3F9iKK6PI

https://www.youtube.com/v/KQ3F9iKK6PI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc3LEv-cDsA

https://www.youtube.com/v/Zc3LEv-cDsA

https://www.amazon.com/J-S-Bach-Complete-Keyboard/dp/B0053HBKZO/?tag=goodmusicguideco
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on March 13, 2020, 05:06:45 AM
Which do you prefer for the French Suites?

I think you have to ask this question. Do you want someone who will manage the transfer to a piano in a way which is conservative?  I mean they will not use effects which just weren't possible or weren't probable on harpsichord or clavichord. For example, they will tend to use rhythmic rubato and ornamentation rather than volume changes to emphasise a note or a phrase.  Or do you want someone who is modernist, a musician who creates an imaginative encounter between the modern instrument and the ancient score.

Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on March 13, 2020, 05:48:30 AM
May I suggest Ivo Janssen?
I quite like him but I haven't heard his French Suites. I might do it tonight. I like the way his piano sounds. Or maybe it's his touch.
I think you have to ask this question. Do you want someone who will manage the transfer to a piano in a way which is conservative?  I mean they will not use effects which just weren't possible or weren't probable on harpsichord or clavichord. For example, they will tend to use rhythmic rubato and ornamentation rather than volume changes to emphasise a note or a phrase.  Or do you want someone who is modernist, a musician who creates an imaginative encounter between the modern instrument and the ancient score.


I think I can appreciate both but I also have to reappraise things because my tastes change. Would you say Janssen is conservative and someone like David Fray or Andrea Bacchetti is modernist? Where does Schiff fall? In-between but more conservative (Schiff seems almost meticulous to a fault to me)? And maybe Demus is in-between as well but on the conservative side? It'd be fun to see a list - just a quick one with a few names. Is Feinberg the king of modernists (for his time)?   

I wonder if there are some successful pianists who play Bach but never consider this question and just play it the way they were taught to play the piano. When Yuja Wang plays Bach, does she really care a wit about baroque performance practice?
BTW What do you think of Robert Levin's partitas? It's obviously very conservative stuff. I only listened once and I've been meaning to hear it again. 
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: j winter on March 13, 2020, 05:48:56 AM
I think you have to ask this question. Do you want someone who will manage the transfer to a piano in a way which is conservative?  I mean they will not use effects which just weren't possible or weren't probable on harpsichord or clavichord. For example, they will tend to use rhythmic rubato and ornamentation rather than volume changes to emphasise a note or a phrase.  Or do you want someone who is modernist, a musician who creates an imaginative encounter between the modern instrument and the ancient score.



That's an interesting distinction, though I don't know how universally it applies.  For myself, if I'm listening to baroque works on the piano I think I almost always lean towards modernism as you define it -- I want someone who's going to fully engage with the possibilities of the instrument they are playing -- I want their interpretive choices, including whether or not to hold back on volume changes etc., to be based on their personal aesthetic relationship with the work and how they want to express themselves through it, not on whether or not something was technically feasible in 1720.  The historical questions are fascinating too -- I'm a bit of history nerd -- but if I'm looking to concentrate on that, I would listen to a period instrument recording.  To me, I would hope that the performer would either go all in for the piano, or not -- I would think that doing it halfway, or with some sort of artificial guardrails in place, would be counterproductive.

That said, I love quite a few piano recordings that would seem to fall under both categories, so what the hey... :)
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on March 13, 2020, 06:02:27 AM
That's an interesting distinction, though I don't know how universally it applies.  For myself, if I'm listening to baroque works on the piano I think I almost always lean towards modernism as you define it -- I want someone who's going to fully engage with the possibilities of the instrument they are playing -- I want their interpretive choices, including whether or not to hold back on volume changes etc., to be based on their personal aesthetic relationship with the work and how they want to express themselves through it, not on whether or not something was technically feasible in 1720.  The historical questions are fascinating too -- I'm a bit of history nerd -- but if I'm looking to concentrate on that, I would listen to a period instrument recording.  To me, I would hope that the performer would either go all in for the piano, or not -- I would think that doing it halfway, or with some sort of artificial guardrails in place, would be counterproductive.

That said, I love quite a few piano recordings that would seem to fall under both categories, so what the hey... :)
Sometimes limits can produce interesting results. And maybe even something radical. Like, if you never use dynamics and force yourself to use other means on the piano...I like the piano but I don't soft-loud (ironic?). I think if they'r playing the piano they've already acknowledged they're past what was feasible in 1720?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: j winter on March 13, 2020, 06:22:09 AM
Sometimes limits can produce interesting results. And maybe even something radical. Like, if you never use dynamics and force yourself to use other means on the piano...I like the piano but I don't soft-loud (ironic?). I think if they'r playing the piano they've already acknowledged they're past what was feasible in 1720?

Very good points, I agree -- I have to admit I don't normally think about it in the terms Mandryka was using, food for thought...
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on March 13, 2020, 06:25:04 AM
I’m listening to the French Suites lately. For some reason Shepkin put me off last time I tried his WTC but tonight I’m finding his ornamentations very charming. It seems very French and very baroque.
Has anyone listened to Papastefanou?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: (: premont :) on March 13, 2020, 06:51:05 AM
Which do you prefer for the French Suites?

Generally I am not that keen on Baroque keyboard music played on piano. We have discussed this very often, and I shall not repeat it here. If we use Mandryka's definition, I think that the more modernistic playing, the more anachronistic and therefore to me less appealing. (If pianists want to use the full effect of the piano, there are lots of other music better suited for this kind of playing.) This is why I prefer what Mandryka names conservative playing. Ivo Janssen offers relatively conservative playing.  And Wolfgang Rübsam has a restrained playing style. His expressivity does not depend on exaggerated dynamic contrasts but rather on articulation and rubato.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on March 13, 2020, 07:50:36 AM




I wonder if there are some successful pianists who play Bach

What does that mean? Success only makes sense relative to a goal.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: milk on March 13, 2020, 05:22:11 PM

What does that mean? Success only makes sense relative to a goal.
I guess I mean performers who get praised by critics, draw a big audience and sell recordings but who’s music is not the result of deep study or understanding. Is that possible?
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Mandryka on March 14, 2020, 12:34:44 AM
I guess I mean performers who get praised by critics, draw a big audience and sell recordings but who’s music is not the result of deep study or understanding. Is that possible?

My feeling is no. The critics and the record producers wouldn’t have the vision to support such an artist, and audiences typically follow their lead.


By the way a pianist who’s a bit like McGregor in Bach is Daniel Ben Pinaar, in WTC .
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
Post by: Marc on March 14, 2020, 12:49:46 AM
Well, thanks to this thread, I'm listening to Glenn Gould right now, playing the Partita in D, BWV 828. From the Gould Bach output that I know, I really like 'his' Partitas best. Can't explain why, but it's just great.
Title: Re: Bach on the piano
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