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On playing Bach
Asking for opinions, advice and comments on a bach's allemande
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Hermes
Agrinio, Western Greece, GR
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May 29, 2015 - 12:55 pm
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Hello to everybody!

First of all I have to apologise if this is in the wrong forum section, but just posting an audio recording was more handy at this time (since I regularly record myself when I practice)

Among some other stuff I am currently working on Bach's Allemande, the first movement of the 2nd Partita for solo Violin.

I've read many things and opinions about playing Bach, and most of them coincide in the fact that you should do something that makes you feel certain and express your approach and don't be fake. (I would not try to recreate a true baroque sound, that would involve many many things) My problem is that I am not sure on some things OR that I find many things suiting the piece.

For example I both like it playing it the way it's in this very recording, and slower, even slower than hilary hahn's interpretation (it was the slower I found with a quick search) . The same applies to some eighth notes at the beginning or ending of the phrases especially those in the lower octaves. Sometimes I feel like they are the very base of an analysed chord in the melody and they should be emphasised, and some other times i feel I should send them(not carelessly but away with some grace). Another thing is vibrato. How much would seem reasonable? It's definitely not Schumann but, we have to do something...don't we? 

Today I felt like I needed to play it a little faster than what I usually prefer . I've heard opinions on Allemandas claiming that it's definitely not a slow dance, but this particular composition seems as if it bears some darkness contrary to those of other composers....Lots of years ago I worked on the Bach concerto in e major bwv 1042, and even it's still bach, I felt something is different here....

I welcome all your comments (bear in mind it's not a great recording, I didn't even warm up, there should be many flaws -that we all love cool)

P.S for our purposes, it's just the first part 🙂

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Jim Dunleavy
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May 29, 2015 - 2:59 pm
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A very nice rendition of the Bach. I like the general style of your playing. smile

The only thing I would say as a generalisation with baroque music is that I don't agree with the 'no vibrato' approach for solo instruments; however, I would say you should use the minimum amount required to 'warm up' the longer notes, particularly at the end of phrases. Disclaimer - I'm no expert (though I do play quite a bit of baroque music on the flute).

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Hermes
Agrinio, Western Greece, GR
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May 29, 2015 - 5:04 pm
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Thank you. I'll try to implement your recommendation

 

I tend to believe that there is indeed a minimum amount of vibrato that is necessary. Besides the endings of the phrases , as some people prefer, it could also be combined with a lighter and faster bow stroke on some other long notes that tend to peak out otherwise...But again something far from ending up with notes like "fireworks" which would again have the same impact before "processing" them 🙂

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coolpinkone
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May 30, 2015 - 1:02 am
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I love it.  I don't know all the technical stuff.

I adore it.   I could listen for hours.

thank you 

Awh.. So happy to hear that before bed.

bravo!!!!  Not an expert on anything but I know what is beautiful! And that was.!

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 30, 2015 - 7:21 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Great job Hermes. 🙂 Keep it up!

Although I find it extremely hard to resist using vibrato when playing Bach, I do enjoy hearing talented violinists perform Bach with no or very little vibrato. Of course it takes more effort and talent to make the phrasing and dynamics more interesting without but it can be very special when done properly. Again, do as I teach not as I do. LOLI sometimes practice with no vibrato and challenge myself to make it as interesting as possible using all enhancements except vibrato. Exaggerating dynamics and swells. You can surprise yourself over how much you will accomplish. Turning on the vibrato afterwards is a bonus.

Your new violin sounds great. Are you as happy with it as the one that got damaged?

I don't know if you ever shared the music video's of you playing with your group here. I think everyone would love that. 🙂

Thanks for your post!

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Hermes
Agrinio, Western Greece, GR
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May 30, 2015 - 10:31 am
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Fiddlerman said
Great job Hermes. 🙂 Keep it up!

Although I find it extremely hard to resist using vibrato when playing Bach, I do enjoy hearing talented violinists perform Bach with no or very little vibrato. Of course it takes more effort and talent to make the phrasing and dynamics more interesting without but it can be very special when done properly. Again, do as I teach not as I do. LOLI sometimes practice with no vibrato and challenge myself to make it as interesting as possible using all enhancements except vibrato. Exaggerating dynamics and swells. You can surprise yourself over how much you will accomplish. Turning on the vibrato afterwards is a bonus.

Your new violin sounds great. Are you as happy with it as the one that got damaged?

I don't know if you ever shared the music video's of you playing with your group here. I think everyone would love that. 🙂

Thanks for your post!

Thank you Pierre for all your advice

I usually turn the vibrato off (I really liked this expression of yours, may I use it constantly from now on?  afro ) when I practice, because I find it hides imperfections and intonation mistakes especially on chords. And then I am playing something with as much vibrato possible to ensure I don't lose it lol.

Regarding my new violin, I am super happy. Of course it sounds better than what is sounds in the recording. It's far more powerful than my previous one more character, and has nice low end - but balanced. I am still trying to get used to not having to dig into it so there are definitely notes that peak out in their start and they don't sound polite, but I think I'll solve this

For the recording I used a cellphone sitting in my music stand and since I installed new strings some hours before that, I had to slightly touch the really high end frequencies in terms of dB (but not much) afterwards because recording a violin with a cellphone up close could sound like...something bad..So in real life its a little more silky in the high end.

I am trying to find a decent way to record a video without altering my true sound as possible so as to have a good conversation afterwards...my laptop doesn't do the trick unfortunately 🙁

Right now I do some chamber music just violin and piano...I'd love to post but what would be the best diy way to record ?

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Hermes
Agrinio, Western Greece, GR
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May 30, 2015 - 10:33 am
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coolpinkone said
I love it.  I don't know all the technical stuff.

I adore it.   I could listen for hours.

thank you 

Awh.. So happy to hear that before bed.

bravo!!!!  Not an expert on anything but I know what is beautiful! And that was.!

Thank you coolpinkone!

Bach is always beautiful, for playing, listening to, everything!

I hope my playing would get better, when I realise some improvement I'll post it again smile

 

Pierre,I forgot to ask, when asking you before about what you suggest in terms of recording, white microphones you use when taking a sample from a fiddlershop instrument?

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 31, 2015 - 9:24 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11702

Right now we are using AKG C 214 Matched Stereo Pair hooked to our video camera. Recent addition 🙂

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Hermes
Agrinio, Western Greece, GR
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May 31, 2015 - 10:41 pm
Member Since: August 28, 2014
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Fiddlerman said
Right now we are using AKG C 214 Matched Stereo Pair hooked to our video camera. Recent addition 🙂

Cool. I just checked their specs...They seem like a good investment 🙂

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