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!
Hilda, I would like to attend but don't know where to sign up . Also, would you or Dominic or anyone else wants to put on a lesson for the Brahms op 10 specifically No 2 is sophisticated and demanding in details? The op.10 is a worthwhile project of what Brahms demanded thank you for considering.
Thank you Hilda for posting the Toccata to inspire us this week!
My hand finally recovered enough to play so here is the first movement of Bach BWV 992 Capriccio sopra la lontananza del fratello dilettissimo “Capriccio on the departure of a beloved brother”.
This is a unique early Bach piece composed when he was just 19. It is a programmatic work and follows a narrative, the first movement roughly translated from the German as “His friends gather and try to dissuade him from leaving”. Some speculate it may be about his brother Johann Jakob.
I’m using the Henle edition from book HN 262. I hope to get through all 6 movements for this challenge.
Thank you Hilda for setting off on Week 2. There are two questions that spring to mind 1) How does one really learn to memorise more than a few bars? 2) How does one memorise Bach, and other lenghty, complicated works? No need to answer, as I am concentrating presently on reading faster and making sure that I use the correct notes, not ones that are in the chord/harmony and I have used because they seem to fit better under my hand. It's only occasionally!
I have four shortish Bach pieces that I am working on presently that are all in my diary. They are basic up to intermediate level. I am pleased that after a week the ornaments are settling down.
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...).