WEEK 1: Discovering J.S.Bach! 🕴

Welcome to the Main Thread for the first week of the J.S.Bach Challenge! This is the place to post submissions of the first week!


If you want to describe your process (optional), feel free to use the following template.

  • Things you found easy:
  • Things you found difficult:
  • (Optional): a video of you performing it!
  • (Optional:) questions

↓ Reply below with your submissions and questions! ↓

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  • Sarabande BWV 997 measures 1-16 (and repeat) Mar 11

    Here is the entire A section of this Sarabande. Eventually, I would love to be able to do lots of cool ornamentation on my sectional repeats, but here I pretty much just play the entire section twice.

    One thing I'm really happy about is the relative ease with which I can now damp bass notes when needed. This is a technical skill I have been working on for a while, and it's finally getting to a point where I can do it without thinking too hard about it. As always with technique, progress is very slow and gradual.

    Like 3
    • Moyses Lopes Thanks, Moyses.

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      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips beautifully played Eric… you make it seem so easy… a very good sign

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    • Emma Thank you so much, Emma.

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    • Eric Phillips I love this Sarabande and I was playing it a lot...now I forgot it...., very difficult to memorize....

      I enjoy how you are playing it Eric! thanks for sharing.

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    • Jack Stewart
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    • Jack_Stewart
    • 2 yrs ago
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    BWV 1002 Sarabande and Double

    I did manage to get these is in a single video(!). I think these are a bit better, though they are not without their problems.

    I do find them somewhat stilted and need to focus on interpretation and phrasing.

    Like 4
      • ivan paolonull
      • amateur guitarist
      • ivan_paolo
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Jack Stewart

      it is clear that Bach comes from a long experience, my compliments.

      bravo.

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    • Jack Stewart  this is really wonderfull...great interpretation Jack... I particularly enjoy the Double....this continous of notes...."el gran JSBach"  and your inerpretation. Thanks for sharing!

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      • Wainull
      • Wai_Ng
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Jack Stewart Well played! Recording a 6mins performance in one sitting is no easy feat, really amazing!

      Like
      • Moyses Lopes
      • Classical Guitarist and Electroacoustic Interpreter
      • Moses
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Jack Stewart Bravo, Jack! Nice play, nice tone, great interpretation. Some more time and you'll reach your goals. Bravo!

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 yrs ago
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      ivan paolo Thanks (again) Ivan. These have been in my repertoire on and off for years. I really want to finally get them down and polished. I still have a way to go but progress is there.

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Nora Torres-Nagel Thanks Nora. The double is fun to play though it still trips me up.

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Wai Thanks Wai. A 6' recording is especially challenging for me!

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Moyses Lopes Thanks Moyses. I hope to have another revision soon.

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    • Jack Stewart
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    • Jack_Stewart
    • 2 yrs ago
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    BWV 995 Gavottes I and II (separately)

    These are also revivals though fro further back in time. They are close to being under my fingers, though, once again, lacking in nuance. I didn't play the repeat on Gavotte II as I noticed it was getting pretty dark.

    Like 5
      • ivan paolonull
      • amateur guitarist
      • ivan_paolo
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Jack Stewart Great work on a very chellenging pieces, they are under your fingers and darkness is inspiring...bravo.

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    • Jack Stewart Very impressive, Jack! So much shifting and odd fingering going on there, but you accomplish it accurately and in time. Both of these have a nice dance quality to them.

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 yrs ago
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      ivan paolo Thanks Ivan. Glad you liked my mood setting. 🙂 That just shows how many takes I had to make to get this video.

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Eric Phillips Thanks Eric. I had worked these up several years ago and would occasionally stumble thru them over time. After some focussed time they seem to have come back. I just need to push myself to actually finish them.

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    • Jack Stewart Great work Jack! This piece is in my wish list for years. I played the Gavotte II for some time, not well, but for fun and always wanted to play the complete Gavotte I and II. Congrats. Was it very challenging or what are your thoughts on it. This makes me want to put this piece as a Bonus if I can decently learn the BWV 999 in time.

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Fernando Ruiz Diaz Thanks Fernando. These pieces have been pretty challenging for me. I have stumbled thru them for a while and decided to really focus on them for this challenge. It does seem to have payed off, assuming I continue working on them. I think they are good to work on as long term projects - I find much of Bach are long term projects but more than worth it.

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    • Jack Stewart guauuuu really good Jack! I could dance with your Gavotte II and the articulation of your RH sounds very clear and the voices are talking and dancing together. Thanks for your music.

      Like
  • This week I concentrated on performance run -throughs of the first two movements from BWV1007, the Prelude and Allemande. I'm adopting a performance practice approach mentioned by Sanel Redžić in his recent masterclass that involved getting about 20 - 30 run throughs on two or three movements over the course of a day. I'm doing two movements each week for this month in the hopes of being able to improve the whole suite at the end.

    Playing in front of a camera has certainly helped widen my awareness of the relationship between each movement. I need to pay more attention to phrasing and evenness of pulse, and I think I could play the Prelude with a bit more energy - but the overall sense of comfort and consistency improved this week. In the second repeat of the B section of the Allemande, m. 21, I had a memory slip but quickly recovered. It alarmed me at first, but then I realized my muscle memory jumped right into the next measure - a very good thing!  Next week - Courante and Sarabande. 

    Like 7
    • Rick Lord That prelude just makes me melt, right from the first few notes. I honestly don't think it needs more energy - I really like the relaxed, calm mood you created. I've played this, but now I want to play more like you do.

      The allemande has a sense of "largeness" (I can't think of a better word right now) without being overplayed. You really put the beauty of the composition on display. As I listen, I'm thinking about the music and not about your hands or technique.

      That was so wonderful to listen to!

      Like
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Rick Lord Rick, you play these pieces beautifully. I think the slower tempo works very well with your phrasing. I think there is some latitude in tempo and interpretations depending on how you hear it.

      And you obviously hear these pieces wonderfully.😁 

      I am really looking forward to your performance of the entire suite.

      Like
    • Eric Phillips Thanks Eric - glad you enjoyed it.  The Prelude and Allemande really do offer a "large" or "expansive" palette for all the sonorities of the guitar.  I hear it in your Sarabande too!

      Like
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