Playing a Bach Invention: Say what you mean, and mean what HE said

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.

Flash Forward:

My play through:

Lesson excerpts with a Bach aficionado in Chico, California:



J.S. Bach Invention 1, page 1

J.S. Bach Invention 1, page 2

About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: OR or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
This entry was posted in Bach, Bach Inventions, Bach Two-part Inventions, J.S. Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano lessons by Skype, Two-part Inventions, word press, you tube and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s