Bach, continued

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Roderick Grant
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Re: Bach, continued

Post by Roderick Grant »

Two minutes and sixteen seconds of applause is a bit much. Of course, all the soloists had to have their moment.

The ads (2) are not a big problem. Five seconds and you can "Skip Ad."

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Re: Bach, continued

Post by SDR »

Yes. I wonder if some users have computers which enable them to operate certain functions from the couch rather than at the keyboard.

My 2009 iMac came with a tiny remote which I never used until I found it as I was discarding the box, a couple of years ago. Its battery was still good. It will pause streaming content, and raise or lower the volume---nothing else---on my current Mac mini.

S

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10303
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: Bach, continued

Post by Roderick Grant »

All you should need to do is say, "Siri, skip ads." You could be washing dinner dishes at the time without having to dry your hands.

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Bach, continued

Post by SDR »

Thanks---hadn't thought of that. My mini would need an accessory mic.

Nice: I ran the video this morning and no ads ! Haven't had that happen before . . .

S

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Re: Bach, continued

Post by SDR »


SDR
Posts: 19640
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Bach, continued

Post by SDR »

It works ! Note the extra dot in the URL below (another cantata from the J.S. Bach Foundation, Rudolph Lutz directing, released today.) The dot goes before the slash.

https://www.youtube.com./watch?v=vJX8hlCZC8M

These people really get into their Bach. Herr Lutz's tempi and timing are spot on, aren't they ? In this work (or this performance, anyway) the instrumental music is perhaps the more rewarding part of the experience---although the alto-tenor duet is a unique tour-de-force !

S

SDR
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Re: Bach, continued

Post by SDR »

https://www.youtube.com./watch?v=TMWDxIkl1fc

An octagonal space, a pair of vocal quartets, syncopation---and a theorbo. What's not to like ?

S

SDR
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Re: Bach, continued

Post by SDR »

It might be of interest that the video editor of that recording favored the left-hand quartet over the one staged at right, though the two groups seem to be singing in unison. Perhaps that is not the case---or are the left-hand singers the "stars" of this ensemble ? We have noted the soprano, the alto, and the tenor at left in other performances under this director.


It appears that the added-dot ploy described just above may not be fool-proof: I ran the previous video this morning and an ad interrupted the performance after the opening chorus.

And, that brings me to remind listeners that, with Bach cantatas, the initial movement---almost always a choral piece employing the full ensemble and very often written around a hymn from the Lutheran liturgy---could stand alone as a performance worthy of one's attention. For those who haven't, at any particular moment, the time or attention to absorb the entire cantata, these opening movements are often the best part of the work and are highly recommended on their own.

In that vein, here is a collection of those initial cantata movements: https://www.youtube.com./watch?v=Duhx8XI8Ldg

Ironically, the cantata presented here is not one such, as its several parts are of equal importance and want to be heard in their entirety. Despite its advanced BWV number, this (relatively brief) work was composed by Bach when in his early twenties.

Finally, in the final moments of the subject video (Cantata 131) one can see, in the overhead shot, twin tracks on the floor on either side of the musicians used by the camera crew to capture the performance. A minor miracle common to all of these videos is the complete absence of visible photographers, while at the same time a great variety of shots is presented to the viewer.

S

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: Bach, continued

Post by Roderick Grant »

When a lengthy piece is posted on this thread, I set it aside, running so I can hear it, but moving on to other sites to do my "business" while Bach effuses in the background. That may diminish the full appreciation of the piece, but I am reminded of a similar instance: Igor Stravinsky fell asleep during the performance of a Schubert symphony. When he was awakened and told he had slept through most of the piece, he replied, "What does it matter, when I was serenaded by genius?" ... or words to that effect.

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: Bach, continued

Post by Roderick Grant »

I paid proper attention to the final, robust movement, and made it through the entire cantata without commercial interruption.

SDR
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Re: Bach, continued

Post by SDR »

Heh-heh. Yes, there is no requirement to watch this (or any other ?) music being performed; it was meant to be heard, after all. The visual component is an entirely optional luxury.

I have always maintained that, if I can hear the music, via whatever medium is available, that is enough: I began my listening career after all in the mono era, and had a very lowly portable phonograph as my first piece of audio equipment. My dad, an amateur audiophile who assembled his own playback device, thought of stereo as a superfluous sales gimmick when it came along in the late 'fifties . . .

S

SDR
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Re: Bach, continued

Post by SDR »

Here we have a vision-impaired solo vocalist in the ensemble, in good hands and in good voice. She appears to be using a Braille score.

Bach's cantatas could be divided into two groups---somewhat arbitrarily: those with trumpets and tympani, and those without. One thinks of Wright: there's cypress, "the wood eternal," and swamp cypress: "more eternal !"

https://www.youtube.com./watch?v=Uz7XHnJ87cY

S

SDR
Posts: 19640
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Bach, continued

Post by SDR »

My new favorite performances of the Well-Tempered Clavier, by a keyboard player I'd never encountered. Here is Book One, a set of preludes and fugues written in each of the 24 key signatures, to (among other things) demonstrate that an instrument can be tuned to sound right in all major and minor keys, an issue in dispute then as now.

( https://www.academia.edu/5210832/18th_C ... emperament )

https://www.youtube.com./watch?v=I0ufknMW0FI

These readings are alive. They are note-perfect but so much more than that; played with what sounds like abandon but which is well-considered at every moment, fully ornamented but never to excess---the antithesis of mechanical playing. This guy gets everything there is to be had in the music, to my ear and heart. And the harpsichord sounds wonderful.

The only thing that spoils the listening are ads inserted (usually but not always !) in the breaks between movements; they eventually disappear. Keep you mouse or whatever close at hand. This music is worth dealing with that unforgivable intrusion.

Book Two of the Well-Tempered Clavier by the same performer is readily available on the same YouTube page. Start wherever you like---and while the concerts are quite long, there is nothing preventing the listener taking them in pieces rather than all at once. I love listening to it while making art . . .


And if this doesn't give you enough great keyboard music, Bach's Art of Fugue, which was almost complete when the composer died, is available on that page, in a performance by Robert Hill (another name new to me) equal in quality to the above-linked Well-Tempered Clavier recordings. The artist seems to have been influenced by the iconic recordings of this music by a twentieth-century Bach master, Gustav Leonhardt, whose students are in turn teaching today's crop of harpsichordists.

S

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