After one of my piano students suggested we work on a Bach Little Prelude, I dove in and practiced the one first chosen, (in d minor) And just a few days into exploring it, my discoveries multiplied and intensified to very personally satisfying levels. When the pupil turned up on Skype to “read” through it this morning, I gained even more perspective about the composition’s multifaceted ingredients.
Again and again, Bach’s harmonic rhythm illuminates his phrasing. Even with an Urtext edition, that has little if any slurs or directions, one can discern curves and shapes of lines by the flow of chords underlying melody.
This was something we focused on to gain insights about interpretation.
In this particular prelude, there are so many broken chords spun out, than any “surprises” such as a glaring deceptive cadence (measures 24-25) must be
“heart-felt” and not overlooked.
Likewise, resolutions of diminished chords and dominants should be curved down. Not to forget that clashes or dissonances have their own autographed journeys.
So blocking out chords from the treble down through the bass illuminates Bach’s sculpture and how to mold phrases in their outflow.
I can’t say enough about the deep, probing process that belongs to all of Bach’s works whether long or short, so I will refer readers to these two video excerpts from a Skype lesson-in-progress followed by a composition analysis I prepared for the student as a supplement to his lesson.
POST LESSON VIDEO for SKYPE STUDENT