Discussion:
Playing Bach Well
(too old to reply)
David Kotschessa
2004-08-14 14:25:20 UTC
Permalink
Can you have too much Bach in your repertoire? For some reason I think
not.

What do you think are the keys to really playing back *WELL*? I mean,
when I hear somebody say "He really understands Bach," what is it that
they really understand that I perhaps don't?

One thing I know for certain in my own playing is that I tend to neglect
the bass as an independent voice. I'm sure I do not need to go into too
much detail explaining the remedy for this which involves exgaggerating
the bassline for awhile, sometimes even practicing it separately.

Who do you think are some of the best (CG) players of Bach are?

Besides practice, what are some things it would behoove me to understand,
maybe historically, theoretically or otherwise?

Basically I hear about those that can play Bach well and I hear about
those who don't, and I want to be in the former category if at all
possible!

Thanks,
-D
John Oster
2004-08-14 17:23:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kotschessa
Can you have too much Bach in your repertoire? For some reason I think
not.
What do you think are the keys to really playing back *WELL*? I mean,
when I hear somebody say "He really understands Bach," what is it that
they really understand that I perhaps don't?
One thing I know for certain in my own playing is that I tend to neglect
the bass as an independent voice. I'm sure I do not need to go into too
much detail explaining the remedy for this which involves exgaggerating
the bassline for awhile, sometimes even practicing it separately.
Who do you think are some of the best (CG) players of Bach are?
Besides practice, what are some things it would behoove me to understand,
maybe historically, theoretically or otherwise?
Basically I hear about those that can play Bach well and I hear about
those who don't, and I want to be in the former category if at all
possible!
Thanks,
-D
I enjoy Paul Galbraith's Bach. Wonderful clarity, tone, elegant phrasing,
etc. For more visceral thrills, Eliot Fisk is hard to beat! His latest set
of Bach's Sonatas/Partitas is amazing--too bad his tone is not as warm as
Galbraith's.
--
To e-mail me, make nets singular
Paolo
2004-08-14 19:03:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kotschessa
Who do you think are some of the best (CG) players of Bach are?
This might not be a very popular post, but I
think John Williams' recording of the 4 lute suites is a classic. I have
always really liked Williams' rugged tone, and I think his no-nonsense,
motoristic interpretation really works on some of the fast dances. I
think a lot of guitarists get way too fussy with ornamentation on the
repeats. The fact that Bach wrote out a lot of his ornaments, rather than
leaving it up to the discretion of the performer, suggests that he himself
wasn't too keen on a heavily-ornamented, ostentatious approach to his
music. Williams also handles some of the really difficult movements with
consummate ease (as usual).

I also really like Fabio Zanon's recording of
the violin sonata (BWV 1003) on his Naxos recital cd (its the only Bach on
the recording, though).
Tom Sacold
2004-08-15 18:21:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paolo
Post by David Kotschessa
Who do you think are some of the best (CG) players of Bach are?
This might not be a very popular post, but I
think John Williams' recording of the 4 lute suites is a classic. I have
always really liked Williams' rugged tone, and I think his no-nonsense,
motoristic interpretation really works on some of the fast dances. I
think a lot of guitarists get way too fussy with ornamentation on the
YES YES YES
Post by Paolo
repeats. The fact that Bach wrote out a lot of his ornaments, rather than
leaving it up to the discretion of the performer, suggests that he himself
wasn't too keen on a heavily-ornamented, ostentatious approach to his
music. Williams also handles some of the really difficult movements with
consummate ease (as usual).
Agreed.
sycochkn
2004-08-14 17:51:40 UTC
Permalink
Did Bach ever write any music for the guitar?

Bob
Post by David Kotschessa
Can you have too much Bach in your repertoire? For some reason I think
not.
What do you think are the keys to really playing back *WELL*? I mean,
when I hear somebody say "He really understands Bach," what is it that
they really understand that I perhaps don't?
One thing I know for certain in my own playing is that I tend to neglect
the bass as an independent voice. I'm sure I do not need to go into too
much detail explaining the remedy for this which involves exgaggerating
the bassline for awhile, sometimes even practicing it separately.
Who do you think are some of the best (CG) players of Bach are?
Besides practice, what are some things it would behoove me to understand,
maybe historically, theoretically or otherwise?
Basically I hear about those that can play Bach well and I hear about
those who don't, and I want to be in the former category if at all
possible!
Thanks,
-D
John Oster
2004-08-14 19:57:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by sycochkn
Did Bach ever write any music for the guitar?
Not as we know it...he did write for the lute or the lautenklavier.
--
To e-mail me, make nets singular
Tom Sacold
2004-08-15 18:24:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Oster
Post by sycochkn
Did Bach ever write any music for the guitar?
Not as we know it...he did write for the lute or the lautenklavier.
--
Not an issue.

Bach is played on pianos, modern strings, modern orchestras. In most cases,
in my opinion, sounds much better on modern instuments. Eg Angela Hewitts
performance of the keyboard music on the piano.
Jim A
2004-08-15 00:30:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by sycochkn
Did Bach ever write any music for the guitar?
Bob
Nope. Closest he came was composing for lute. There are four Bach
lute suites (although even here there is some debate if all four were
really written for the lute).

The Bach works played on guitar come from these lute suites, as well
as Bach's music written for unaccompanied cello, works for
unaccompanied violin, and some of his keyboard pieces.

--Jim
Stanley Yates
2004-08-15 02:29:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim A
Post by sycochkn
Did Bach ever write any music for the guitar?
Bob
Nope. Closest he came was composing for lute. There are four Bach
lute suites (although even here there is some debate if all four were
really written for the lute).
There's even doubt that any them were written for the lute...
--
Stanley Yates
http://www.StanleyYates.com
Richard Yates
2004-08-15 02:49:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stanley Yates
There's even doubt that any them were written for the lute...
Stanley Yates
And certainly none of them were written ON the lute.

Richard Yates
Howard Posner
2004-08-16 00:14:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Yates
And certainly none of them were written ON the lute.
What makes you so certain? Is it so obvious that Bach did not become
proficient on the lute he owned?
Richard F. Sayage
2004-08-16 02:01:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard Posner
Post by Richard Yates
And certainly none of them were written ON the lute.
What makes you so certain? Is it so obvious that Bach did not become
proficient on the lute he owned?
This is possible! Bach was known as a quick study, as well as a
collector and purveyor of instruments. Records show that his home was
filled with various instruments. As for the Lute works, it is a matter of
conjecture as to what he wrote them for, but the obvious is that they are
playable on both the lute and the lute clavier. Leave it Bach to be so
flexible. Also, Bach did the majority of his writing away from his
instruments (actually his keyboards) in the latter part of his career, as
documented by his sons, I think it was Carl, so writing ON the instrument
may not be an issue in this case.

Rich
--
Richard F. Sayage
www.savageclassical.com

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John Wasak
2004-08-15 03:24:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim A
The Bach works played on guitar come from these lute suites, as well
as Bach's music written for unaccompanied cello, works for
unaccompanied violin, and some of his keyboard pieces.
--Jim
And what about "Jesu" and those grazing sheep and those awakening
sleepers?....


jw
Jim A
2004-08-15 23:35:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Wasak
Post by Jim A
The Bach works played on guitar come from these lute suites, as well
as Bach's music written for unaccompanied cello, works for
unaccompanied violin, and some of his keyboard pieces.
--Jim
And what about "Jesu" and those grazing sheep and those awakening
sleepers?....
jw
OK... and the occasional cantata and even an orchestral piece or two
(lest someone brings up "G String" or some similar piece), though not
without substantial arranging...

--Jim
John Wasak
2004-08-15 03:19:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by sycochkn
Did Bach ever write any music for the guitar?
Bob
Well, I could tell you all about it, but then some folks'll get their dander
up and tell me I'm gonna' drive you away, Bob.

And I wouldn't want to do that.


jw
Post by sycochkn
Post by David Kotschessa
Can you have too much Bach in your repertoire? For some reason I think
not.
What do you think are the keys to really playing back *WELL*? I mean,
when I hear somebody say "He really understands Bach," what is it that
they really understand that I perhaps don't?
One thing I know for certain in my own playing is that I tend to neglect
the bass as an independent voice. I'm sure I do not need to go into too
much detail explaining the remedy for this which involves exgaggerating
the bassline for awhile, sometimes even practicing it separately.
Who do you think are some of the best (CG) players of Bach are?
Besides practice, what are some things it would behoove me to understand,
maybe historically, theoretically or otherwise?
Basically I hear about those that can play Bach well and I hear about
those who don't, and I want to be in the former category if at all
possible!
Thanks,
-D
unknown
2004-08-14 20:08:09 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 14 Aug 2004 10:25:20 -0400, David Kotschessa
Post by David Kotschessa
What do you think are the keys to really playing back *WELL*?
I don't claim to know all the keys to playing Bach well, but I do know
that one of the keys is to be able to "hear" it in your head. If you
can whistle or sing every note of a piece by Bach away from the
guitar, you will be able to play it quite well on the instrument
(assuming adequate technique).

One of the things often said of Glenn Gould's performances of Bach is
that he knew absolutely where every note fit into the piece -- where
every voice led and how each voice fit in with the others. There was
no doubt as to how each note should be played because he could hear it
in his head so clearly.

Here's an interesting test for anyone who is working on a piece by
Bach right now: Play the first note on your guitar, then sing or hum
or whistle the rest of the piece. When you get to various points in
the piece, check what your ears think the next note should be compared
to what it really is on your guitar.

Tim





http://timberens.com
A Website for Guitarists
Learn something...Have some fun
timb at erinet dot com
Jasper Riedel
2004-08-14 21:31:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by unknown
...
One of the things often said of Glenn Gould's performances of Bach is
that he knew absolutely where every note fit into the piece -- where
every voice led and how each voice fit in with the others.
Of course is a soloist to know every piece of the pieces he plays
absolutly perfect. In terms of Bach this is especially easy as every
voice of his pieces are always easily cantable and make perfect
music-logical sense. It is even hard to try to modify them.
Post by unknown
There was
no doubt as to how each note should be played because
he could hear it in his head so clearly.
Nearly every professional musician can imagine -that is hear-
music in his head at will. This comes with early childhood or it
comes by time.

What comes or does not come is an absolute pitch, which
makes things absolutely easy! Glenn Gould was that happy
and owned an absolute pitch.


Regards
Larry Deack
2004-08-14 22:56:23 UTC
Permalink
<Tim Berens