My latest awakening occurred during a piano lesson last night with a student who loves Bach and nearly dotes upon his compositions exclusively. And that’s fine with me who’s a companion traveler sharing a comparable love for the composer and his diversity of keyboard works.
Invention 1 in C, BWV 772 is one of my favorites for its saying so much in two pages, and yet it can be played mechanically, without insights into its ingenious form.
Not only does the composer traverse the keys of C, G, D minor, A minor, F Major, returning to C, but the devices he uses with the Subject are worth probing to gain a deeper perspective of form, structure and interpretation.
And that’s what is meant by not only playing with a clear understanding of a composition’s ingredients, but communicating what the composer intended on multiple levels.
A few years ago I mapped out Invention 1, discovering more than I expected about the Subject and its development in the course of 22 measures, so I will let this blog and its embedded video lay the foundation for this discussion.
But beyond the pure Analysis of a work comes inspiration springing from knowledge and this is where a teacher and student can bond together in pursuit of playing that reaches to the stars, as Seymour Bernstein well said in his inspired book, With Your Own Two Hands.
My play through:
Lesson excerpts with a Bach aficionado in Chico, California: