I have two CD's distributed to family and friends, and we are all learning about copyright. The next piece I would like to record on to a sound file is Prelude number 3 book 2 by J. S. Bach. I like it very much. The beauty is evident from the first notes, and the top note of each group is longer than the others, and is to be brought out a little. Have still to find out the general dynamics of the piece. Towards the end it breaks out into a fast three eight time to finish. This part of the prelude I find very challenging.
I have also started working on the fugue which I find joyous. It is to played in a slightly pompous style.
There is a lot of information about Glen Gould on the Internet. I was never interested in finding out about him because he hummed a lot on the LP record I have of him playing the French Suites by J.S.Bach. However recently I decided to find out more about him. It is interesting that he became very good at a finger technique he learned from a well recognized teacher in Canada. It was a detached sound suited to baroque music. His playing of polyphonic music was admirable. When he was in his mid twenties he had a successful concert tour in Russia.
One student said that her father told her she had to learn the piano for ten years.
An adult student said she never understood legato until she came to me, and I explained that for a very short time there were two notes down on the key bed together before the first note was released.
Bach's keyboard music was written for harpsichord and clavichord, as the pianoforte was not yet invented. When a key is depressed on the harpsichord a string is plucked and sounds for a short time after the key is released. When playing for example a fugue by Bach, sometimes it may be necessary to use the damper pedal on the piano to obtain legato between two notes. On the harpsichord the two sounds will sound connected as the sounds of the harpsichord continue for a brief time after the key is released.
Some pianists very rarely, if at all, use the sustaining pedal when playing Bach.
I would like to say a few words about J. S. Bach. Recently I was in conversation with a member of the Western Australian Music Teachers Association, and we were talking of the tremendous output in composition, of Bach. I wondered whether he used a keyboard while he composed, or whether he did it without anything.
Bach is popular with many people.
Good interpreters of Bach have a relaxed, calm style of playing Bach, and there is no sign of impetuousness. This is how a lot of his music is, i.e. calm and relaxed, sometimes warm and comforting.
The Jacques Loussier Trio, played a lot of Bach. Many years ago I looked forward to seeing them on television at lunchtime every Sunday. They added something to my day. Years ago when traveling through Adelaide I was fortunate to see them perform.
The individual sounds of the harpsichord.
The next post will be about performing Bach on the piano. I am currently working on a few of Bach's preludes and fugues. Posts after that will include some anecdotes while teaching, Glen Gould, choirs, music craft, and playing for sing-alongs at the senior centre.