WEEK 2: Bach in March Practice Updates
As we enter week 2 of Bach in March, I'm pleased to share that I've finished memorizing my Bach Toccata in D minor and I can't wait to play it for you on March 20 in my upcoming livestream, Counterpoint Come Alive. I'll talk about how one can use dynamics and articulation to bring out Bach's playful counterpoint.
For this week's discussion prompts, I want to shake things up a bit! Instead of me asking you questions, I want you to ask each other questions!
Here are some questions that may help you enter into conversation and understand how your fellow pianists play, practice, and experience music. Listen and read their practice update and identify something you're curious about. Then - ask them!
- How did you decide upon your tempo?
- What makes you feel connected to your piece?
- Who have you heard play this piece before?
There's always going to be a first person to post... so that's going to be me! Here's a short video of an excerpt from my D minor toccata. Please ask me a question, and I'll respond!
I'll be so curious to see what we all learn from and about one another!
Here is the D minor fugue from book 2, which I've been working on for the past month... It's my first piece by Bach, and I'm really enjoying it! I just love playing and hearing the counterpoint, since I want to be a composer, and it really helps me to understand counterpoint. There are one or two errors, but I think it turned out well.
I chose my tempo partly because that's what just seemed "natural"; this is a piece that reminds me of the Tempest (The type of storm more than the Shakespeare play or the Beethoven Sonata, though it does share the key with the Beethoven sonata...), with the winds blowing about...
One of the things that really intrigues me in this piece is Bach's use of bi-tonality, where, for example in the beginning, you have the second voice enter in A minor like a good second voice, but the first voice is outlining the D minor triad beneath, and other things like that.
I have listened to a few performances of this piece, though the one that most readily comes to mind is that of Sir Andras Schiff, who's performance is I think a bit more laidback than mine (maybe not the best word, but I hope you'll all understand what I really mean...).
First, thank you everyone for the nice comments on the video I posted last week.
Second, this month is from he** for me because I am the administrator for an international string competition, and it starts on Monday. People are coming here from as far away as China, and there are dozens of time-consuming tasks I need to finish up before then, plus I need to be at the thing itself. The following week, we are off to New York for a few days.* I've been practicing the piano when I can but probably won't have anything to contribute.
*Is anyone here planning to go hear Simone Dinnerstein play the Goldberg Variations on March 31 (https://www.millertheatre.com/events/2022/03/31)? Meet up?