quips and clips

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue XV in G Major, II

This Prelude enlists another one of the known techniques of the time, making a blooming sound out of a completely natural, colloquial position of the hand. The parallel voices I seek to subvert, instead of following their inexorable tandem procession, I highlight 3-note melodic cells, through articulative transparency and dynamic shading, first in the upper…

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue XIV in f# minor, II

Maybe my favorite of all the cantabile Preludes; reminds me of the Minore Variation #25 in the Goldberg Variations. The multivarious subjects of the Fugue run from the stentorian rhetorical to the motive, emblematic to the fluid and accumulative semi-quavers. And those new Steinway hammers are coming in nicely, I think. All my video performances…

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue XIII in F# Major, II

Book II of The Well-Tempered Clavier is distinguished by Bach’s ever-evolving experiments, alchemical meldings of genres, styles, forms and formats. The F# Major Prelude, with its martially-dotted thorough-going texture suggests a French Overture, but in performance one finds instead this most stringently regulated yet most opulently resounding two-voice texture. The Fugue begins on the trilled…

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue XII in f minor, II

Immersed as I am, recording and expostulating upon The Well-Tempered Clavier, it’s immensely invigorating engaging learned minds on my own journey. Of particular note, for historical, analytical and philosophical context is David Ledbetter’s indispensable study of The 48. We tend to think of The 48 as a sui generis demo for the latest 2.0 of…

Always nice to hear from the fans

  Our friend, Ruth, sent this here to the website: copy of comment to NPR re. FROM THE TOP:For a number of years, we have so looked forward to listening to From the Top, with Christopher O’Riley as the host par excellence. He was well-prepared, interactive, sensitive, and seemed to have a natural ability to…

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue XI in F Major, I

Just as the Fugues of the Well-Tempered Clavier are exemplars of the most masterful ingenuity of the form, each of the Preludes in the compendium is a textural world all its own. I particularly like the F Major for the slurred four-note melodic quavers; the slur is not just a suggestion of legato but in…

Free episode of my Bach series

Those of you subscribing to my 96-episode series, Everything We Need To Know About Playing The Piano We Learn From The Well-Tempered Clavier, will receive Episodes 31-40 this morning. I’ve lately taken to heart suggestions to include a bit more analysis in addition to the wealth of specific suggestions for execution on the piano for…

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue X in e minor, II

So glad you can see the unattended pedals in the Prelude. This strict two-voice texture demands truest independence of dynamic arc and voice-specific varietal articulative spectrum. The more I play him, the more synesthetic Bach feels to me. I know that some of the more complex-keyed Preludes & Fugues are more than likely to have…

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue IX in E Major, II

    My 96-episode archive, Everything We Need To Know About Playing The Piano We Learn From The Well-Tempered Clavier, is now available by subscription at Become A Member    

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue VIII in d# minor, II

My latest share in my social media traversal of the Well-Tempered Clavier. It was after recording the d# minor Prelude & Fugue that I had my superb piano tech, Oleg Schramm, see to the pianos. They’d not been tuned since the spring, but on a steady diet of Bach, they’d remained almost completely perfect in…

Send this to a friend