The Keyboard Music of Bach

Discussion in 'Classical Music' started by Rodrigo de Sá, Jun 19, 2003.

  1. Rodrigo de Sá

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

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    Contrapunctus XIV breaks off abruptly in the middle of the third section at bar 239.
    The sum of 14 first primes is 239.

    239 = September 23 is frequently the day of the Autumnal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.

    According to Jewish tradition the world was created on the day of the Autumnal Equinox
    (=September 23) about 6000 years ago.

    Can this be a coincidence?

    It seems that the end of the world will come on September 23. :p

    By the way, K239 is Mozart's only work for two orchestras.
     
    bat, Aug 29, 2010
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  2. Rodrigo de Sá

    pe-zulu

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    Was this Fugue meant to be part of the Art of Fugue at all?

    And if it was (something I seriously doubt), the numbering is completely conjectural, as Bach's intentions concerning the sequence from Contrapunctus XI and on is unknown. So was it actually meant to be Contrapunctus XIV?


    The sum of the digits in 239 is 14.

    Can this be a coincidence? :D
     
    pe-zulu, Aug 29, 2010
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  3. Rodrigo de Sá

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

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    Bach was the 14th member of the Korrespondierenden Sozietät der Musikalischen Wissenschaften

    But this is really weird: the autograph of the AoF ends in the 14th fugue with a note in the handwriting of Bach's son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
    (born in 1714) who died on 14 December 1788

    CPE Bach died exactly 14 000 days after his father's death. :eek::eek::eek:

    Can this be a coincidence? :eek:

    OK... It was 14 008 days... I couldn't resist...

    Now comes the weirdest part:

    CPE Bach was born on 8 March.
    So was I.
    He was born to the day 248 years before I.
    The sum of the digits in 248 is 14 .

    Can this be a coincidence? :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2010
    bat, Aug 29, 2010
  4. Rodrigo de Sá

    shallots

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    Hmm...Why did this thread die?
    I enjoy it so much!
    Does anyone have an opinion about Watchorn's WTC II or II? How about Tilney's Toccatas?
    How about Brookshire's AOF? or Hill's? How about Hill's Lute-harpsichord?
    Anyone ever bother with Jacques Ogg's Goldberg? Or Wilson's Goldberg?
    Anyone here a fan of the harpsichord concertos? Any favorite versions? (maybe a different thread?)

    Hey, here's the dumbest question you'll find on a forum like this:
    Sometimes the keyboard is recorded as if the listener is sitting in front of it (bass on the right) and sometimes it's recorded as if one is behind it (playing it- bass on the left). Any idea why one would choose one way over another? Do they flip a coin?
     
    shallots, Oct 6, 2010
  5. Rodrigo de Sá

    shallots

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    I meant Watchorn's WTC I and II...
    And I should have said "panned" with the bass on the left or right rather than "recorded."
    Obviously it can be mixed either way.

    I could add another question: Anyone here a fan of Biggs' Trio sonatas on the pedal harpsichord?
     
    shallots, Oct 6, 2010
  6. Rodrigo de Sá

    pe-zulu

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    Welcome to this entusiastic if somewhat intermittent thread.

    This thread is not dead at all - it flames up in between, when someone writes anything of general interest. Like your questions above, some of which I shall try to answer, but I have to do some listening first.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2010
    pe-zulu, Oct 6, 2010
  7. Rodrigo de Sá

    shallots

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    Thanks a lot. I love the thread. I'm immersed in Bach's keyboard music. But I know nothing about music. I still like reading about it here even though I can't understand much of what is said.

    I'd also love to see a thread about baroque keyboard music performance in general (recordings of the Couperins, Rameau, etc.), and about later music (classical and romantic) performed on period keyboards. But since I don't having anything interesting to say, I wouldn't start one.

    Keep up the Bach-talk!

    After reading the recommendation of Leonhardt's English Suites I acquired the recording. Wonderful!
    I read a glowing review of Wilson's WTC and bought that. It's a real joy!
    I'm interested to read what folks in this forum have to say about Watchorn's WTC pedal-harpsichord recordings.
     
    shallots, Oct 7, 2010
  8. Rodrigo de Sá

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

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    A tip for the moderator:
    this thread urgently needs some kind of constant Bach-talk generator.

    It could be based on artificial intelligence and previous Bach-posts.
    Once we have the generator, there is no need for new Bach-posts.
    Then we can concentrate on the purpose of our lives which is listening to Bach's music.

    Tune in tomorrow — same Bach-time, same Bach-channel!
     
    bat, Oct 8, 2010
  9. Rodrigo de Sá

    shallots

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    I always feel a bit shy to post anything in these forums because I'm so musically uneducated.

    I enjoy a lot of baroque keyboard music, from the Couperins to Rameau to Scarlatti.

    But Bach is always on a higher plane. Why is this so? Why is Bach's music so enduring? So satisfying? So moving and touching?

    Why? Does anyone want to try to express an answer?
     
    shallots, Oct 8, 2010
  10. Rodrigo de Sá

    pe-zulu

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    Not easy to put in words. Remember that music can tell things which words cannot. :)

    Relistened to Watchorns WTC I to day. Deliberate, mannered, not to my taste. And the use of pedal does not add anything important at all IMO, it rather disturbs the natural balance of the parts when it is used. Beautiful sounding instrument though and good recorded sound.

    Tilney's Toccatas are solid and reliable, but not outstanding. I would rather recommend van Asperen (Teldec) or Leon Berben (Ramée), the latter coupled with a CD of the organ toccatas played upon the Schnitger organ, St. Laurents church. Alkmaar.

    Hill's AoF is very energetic and the part-playing is transparent and telling. Very good sound.

    I also very much like Power Biggs' triosonatas on pedal harpsichord. Far from HIP, but filled with exuberant joy and life. A very stimulating interpretation.

    I do not know Brookshire's AoF or Wilson's Goldbergs. Would be interested in acquiring both, but they are not easy to get hold of here in Europe, where I live. Nor do I know Ogg's Goldbergs. It is on my second rank wish-list.

    The harpsichord concertos (I suppose you are referring to the concertos for harpsichord and strings) have always belonged to my favorites. I prefer generally the recording by Pinnock (Archiv) or Mortensen (CPO - not including the multiple harpsichord concertos).
     
    pe-zulu, Oct 9, 2010
  11. Rodrigo de Sá

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

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    The question: is Bach's music really good or is it just in our heads?
    What if it is bad music and we just have a bad taste?

    In my opinion,
    Bach's music is not on a higher plane or enduring or satisfying or moving or touching.
    It is just music that we are fond of, and we feel it is on a higher plane, etc.

    To put it other way, it is all just in our heads.
     
    bat, Oct 10, 2010
  12. Rodrigo de Sá

    shallots

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    I thought I liked Ogg's Goldberg but I tired to re-listen to it today and couldn't get through it. I don't like the sound of the instrument. But I feel unqualified to judge anything. I'm totally uneducated musically. In the past I didn't care for Ross' Goldberg but I listened to it last night from beginning to end enthralled. Today I listened to Gilbert's Goldberg and also found it wonderful.

    I like the Watchorn recordings of the WTC but I can understand what you are saying.
    From what's been said here, I guess I need to get Leonhardt's WTC?

    Perhaps I'll pick up van Asperen's Toccatas.
     
    shallots, Oct 10, 2010
  13. Rodrigo de Sá

    shallots

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    An epistemological question rather than an ontological one.
     
    shallots, Oct 10, 2010
  14. Rodrigo de Sá

    shallots

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    I really appreciate the attempts that have been made to record the concertos with a smaller number of players. For me, the smaller the group the better.
    Plectra released a live recording (some of it with Moroney on the harpsichord) with, I believe, only a string quartet. It's really dirty and flawed but fun to listen to. Both Dantone and Cuiller have studio recordings with smaller groups. Pinnock has the big booming orchestra. The samples I heard of Mortenson also sound big but maybe I should investigate further.
     
    shallots, Oct 10, 2010
  15. Rodrigo de Sá

    shallots

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    Is there any way to explain to someone who is musically uneducated how a performance of the trios on a pedal harpsichord might be different if it were informed by HIP? Perhaps this is too difficult to explain. Perhaps it's a lazy question.
    I find myself gravitating towards what are described as HIPerformances. It's what I like best, I think, but I can't explain why. In fact, all the music I listen to is performed on period instruments, and I believe informed by HIP (I haven't gotten into any "classical" music any more contemporary than Debussy).

    Or maybe a better example is someone like Wanda Landowska? I know when I listen to her Goldberg that there is something different than the HIP performances. She's a strange one isn't she? Having tried to keep alive the harpsichord by using a strange un-harpsichord like instrument and playing in a style that, I guess, has not much to do with the harpsichord?
    But I really know nothing so I might be making talking nonsense.
     
    shallots, Oct 10, 2010
  16. Rodrigo de Sá

    shallots

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    I find Hantai's Goldbergs to be sublime.
    Drinking scotch and enjoying a cigar to this music...
    What more does one need?

    I'm driven to the heights!
    Ah the vicissitudes of life. Somehow I find redemption.
    Bach, in this way, makes me feel like life is magical.

    A flood of emotions.

    Did you see "Man on Wire"?
    It's the same feeling. Like walking in the sky!
    I can rejoice once more.
     
    shallots, Oct 29, 2010
  17. Rodrigo de Sá

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

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    I have been listening to Christian Rieger's recording of the AoF on harpsichord. It's quite new, from last year. I'm sure pe-zulu has it too...
     
    bat, Nov 27, 2010
  18. Rodrigo de Sá

    pe-zulu

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    You are right, except about his name, which is Christian Rieger.

    It is a most symphatic and consistent interpretation IMO.

    Very much recommended, not the least for fugacholics.;):)

    You have edited his name, you wrote Johannes Rieger first.
     
    pe-zulu, Nov 27, 2010
  19. Rodrigo de Sá

    Marc

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    Coincidence?

    NO!

    Apparently Rieger has got more fans!

    Right now I'm dancing on Contrapunctus II! :)
     
    Marc, Nov 29, 2010
  20. Rodrigo de Sá

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

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    The Slovenian industrial band Laibach has also recorded the AoF.

    They did it entirely with computers, synthesizers and sequencers

    Obviously some kind of techno version. recommended for Marc?
     
    bat, Nov 29, 2010
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