It would be impossible to applaud J.S. Bach too much. Perhaps the greatest composer who ever lived. As a young pianist, I learned to play the instrument in part based on learning his two part inventions for piano, which to this day I think are some of the finest compositions I have ever played. The piece I link to here, the Prelude in C major, is much simpler than those two part inventions, but is absolutely lovely and heart-wrenching. Any novice pianist could play this piece, it's that simple. But nonetheless, utterly beautiful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc-0MtJ2Jc8
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Well said, Gav, I absolutely agree, there is no one like J.S.
The musical rewards are far greater than the musical effort required for any young musician.
This is no.1 of the 48 preludes and fugues and for further enjoyment here is a link to all of them in scrolling score (played on piano), but purists can also search youtube for the original harpsichord versions.
Thanks for getting me into the mood!
One of my childhood favorite pieces was Bach's invention no.8, which was probably my first encounter with a 2-part fugue.
In F Major. My favorite of them all.
Yeah, I love how in the opening bars, the 16th note figures in the 1st voice are punned by the 2nd voice by reinterpreting as notes of a different chord, thus cleverly leading to a modulation without modifying any notes until the quarter notes enter in the 2nd voice!
Good piece for learning how to do progressions.
It's worth noting that the most simple pieces are the hardest to interpret well.
Regarding this one specifically, the "orthodox" approach (which I usually follow) is to not use any pedaling at all, as with all (or most of) bach. At the same time, the pianist needs to maintain a stable feel and not fall into the trap of 'romanticising' the piece, while keeping in mind that the original was written for a harpsichord, which should dictate certain, subtle, subtle playing choices.
Personally, i find it rather hard to play to my satisfaction, even though pressing the notes is a piece of cake. Perhaps that's how you know you're dealing with something important.
Respectfully in disagreement.
That statement by the Juilliard teacher isn't true. In my opinion, it isn't even untrue. It's too nonsensical to deserve the label "wrong". I am aware, however, that similar views are held fairly widely. It sits well in our present Western understanding of the world as a material clockwork. If one accepts that clockwork framework, then it becomes possible to argue that the statement is "wrong".
We could start with the claim concerning rhythm, and point out that the prelude in question has one of the simplest rhythms one might find in a random sample of European classical music? Should we bother comparing it rhythmically with different types of music from India which, to untrained ears, are nearly impossible to follow?
To me, this prelude is a clear example of unclear distinction between melody and harmony. In polyphonic music generally, is this distinction even definable?
What to say of the notion that "everything" in music can be known? Even in principle. Is there an "everything" in music? Or is music ever evolving into previously unknown arenas? Like people and our societies.
What to say of the notion that "everything" in music can be learned through "careful examination"? Of 2 pages or an infinite number of pages.
I am a huge JS Bach fan, and I am a scientist by profession. Perhaps I am an unlikely candidate, then, to diverge so completely from the Julliard teacher's opinion. But so it is. I am continually amused by the notion that his music was somehow the application of mathematical rules. It is amusing because Bach never learned mathematics. It is also rather sad, because it implies that the listener is missing the depth of meaning in Bach's music and instead is focusing on comparatively superficial issues of regularity of patterns. The regularity emerges spontaneously from the depth of spirit under the constraints of time (sorry, I know this statement is unintelligible, but I don't know how to explain what I mean, and to even try would take many pages). Good music may create certain patterns, in the same way that things that are good are beautiful or will become beautiful in time.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
- Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio
Fredrick zinos said:
I am talking about the Prelude that started this thread, posted by Gav: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc-0MtJ2Jc8
Yes, I've heard it and I've played it. It is extremely simple rhythmically.
Fredrick zinos said:
Ever tried playing it backwards?
Spiros, Why do you ask about playing this prelude backwards?
Spiros Makris said: