quips and clips

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue XXIII in B Major, Book One

It’s unpopular to presume any long-range plan to the placement and dramatic resonance of each Prelude & Fugue within each Book, but the good-natured celebration and positivity of the penultimate B Major seems more than just a happenstance feeling of exalted summation.     My 96-episode archive, Everything We Need To Know About Playing The…

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue XXII in b-flat minor, I

Everyone’s favorite Prelude, amirite? The key to the cantilena is actually in the constant readjustment of the bass, between gravity and grace, and in the acknowledgement that here, as in all Bach, ‘chords’ do not exist, only artfully confluent voices.   My 96-episode archive, Everything We Need To Know About Playing The Piano We Learn…

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue XXI in Bb Major, I

I love the dual character of the Prelude: Toccata and Recitative. The 4 trumpet 8th notes of the Fugue: I like varying the length of them to give them direction, contributes to the phrasing arc, too. Wow. I guess a thumbs-up too from YouTube on the thumbnail of my thumbnail. My 96-episode archive, Everything We…

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue XX in a minor, Book One

The deeper one goes into this monumental survey, the more one appreciates the indelible, characterful DNA of each fugue subject. The a minor Fugue’s imperious demeanour commands duty and fealty; its unequivocal rooted weight and didactic discourse are immediately apparent and unyielding.      

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue XIX in A Major, Book One

A Major, the most amiable, affable, aspirational, adorable key. My 96-episode archive, Everything We Need To Know About Playing The Piano We Learn From The Well-Tempered Clavier, is now available at a special introductory rate of $20 for the first month of 10 episodes (that’s 2 /1/2 hours of material on the first 5 Preludes…

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue XVIII in g# minor, Book One

The whorls and swirls of melisma, dove-tailoring in tandem, stand in stark contrast to the fugue subjects final declamatory, incantatory 8th notes, beginning as chant or mantra, ending as curse, destiny. My 96-episode archive, Everything We Need To Know About Playing The Piano We Learn From The Well-Tempered Clavier, is now available at a special…

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue XVII in Ab Major, Book One

Even as some of the Preludes & Fugues were written in keys other than those in which they were eventually slotted in the chromatic catalogue, I’m going to venture a guess that the Ab Major Prelude & Fugue were synesthetically predestined for this symphonically celebratory Ab Major tonality. My 96-episode archive, Everything We Need To…

J.S. Bach ~ Prelude & Fugue XVI in g minor, Book I

The g minor Prelude shows Bach in full-blown Scriabin mode: trills as varied expressive, textural and generative instruments. On the piano, it’s possible to use a trill to radiantly generate an ambient sostenuto of home sonority, or a way of gauging kinetic energy, from the glacial and static to the floating and transcendent. The hurdy-gurdy…

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

Here’s my latest recording from my survey of The Well-Tempered Clavier. In response to listeners’ requests and suggestions about the recorded sound, I’ve shifted the AMT M40 down further away from the action, into the farther end of the frame. The M40 is a stereo, single-capsule condenser mic that mounts on the inside of the…

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

One of my earliest teachers described an Allemande as a dance between teacher and pupil. I’ve never found any historical basis for this description, but this all but strictly two-voiced Prelude does have that sense of voices emulative if not imitative of each other. I love the counter-subject of the Fugue, with it’s keening descending…

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