Claudio Arrau, J.S. Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, piano technique

Piano Technique: Shaking out Bach Ornaments! and the influence of Claudio Arrau

When working on executing ornaments with an adult student as they appear in J.S. Bach's Prelude in F minor, I thought instantly of Claudio Arrau's allusions to "shaking" these out, without having a thread of tension in the arms, wrists, and hands. One of his biographers, Joseph Horowitz, profiled the pianist in an extensive interview… Continue reading Piano Technique: Shaking out Bach Ornaments! and the influence of Claudio Arrau

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Getting immersed in LEARNING Bach’s F minor Fugue, BWV 881 (Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2)

My journey through the Baroque master's Fugue no. 12 has been a labor of love though the form enshrined by J.S. Bach can be intimidating by its structural nit-pickings. Wikipedia, for example, cites BWV 847 in C minor, (the Fugue) as a model of internal order, with a carefully marked out Subject;  Answer (a fifth… Continue reading Getting immersed in LEARNING Bach’s F minor Fugue, BWV 881 (Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2)

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First Love Bach Fugue in F minor, BWV 881

What a divine pairing from J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2! The ethereal, "sighing" Prelude is joined by a somber, though monumental Fugue in three voices. The Subject with its characteristic three-8th note repetitions followed by two-16ths, meanders in stepwise movement with small skip deviations while its borrowed melodic and rhythmic components weave through the… Continue reading First Love Bach Fugue in F minor, BWV 881

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J.S. Bach’s ethereal Prelude in F minor, BWV 881 (contour and voices)

A kindred musician friend and Baroque scholar residing on the East Coast tipped me off that my "first love" reading of Bach's Prelude in F minor a few months back, was just the very top layer of a more in depth relationship to come. And as time bore out, she was right because my earliest… Continue reading J.S. Bach’s ethereal Prelude in F minor, BWV 881 (contour and voices)

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Teaching J.S. Bach

As mentors immersed in a two-way sharing process with students, we're grateful for opportunities to delve deeply into the masterworks. One companion traveler of mine dotes exclusively on the music of J.S. Bach, preferring this singular journey to any other. And without doubt, I can sympathize with his emphasis because the Baroque Master's body of… Continue reading Teaching J.S. Bach