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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    • Debbie
    • Debbie
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Whaaat??? The kickoff hasn't even started and ya'll are off to the races! Great work by everyone! 

    I have only learned a few of Bach's pieces: Jesu Joy (Per-Olov's Version), Prelude in D minor BWV 999, Bouree and Allemande from the first Lute Suite. The only one I still currently play is the Bouree. I'm trying to decide if I should use this challenge to relearn the others, maybe try to add another from the first lute suite or something else entirely. I've always wanted to learn the 1st Cello Suite. It's such a classic and everyone loves to hear it. So that's an option. Looking forward to whatever happens!

    One unfortunate thing is that I've had a nail disaster (pima) - don't ask 🙈- so my playing may be terrible. Thank god it's temporary and they grow back! 

    Like 2
      • Moyses Lopes
      • Classical Guitarist and Electroacoustic Interpreter
      • Moses
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Debbie We are looking forward to your posts, Debbie! I hope you haven't had injuries with your nails disaster.

      Like
  • Sinfonia (Arioso) BWV 156 Mar 7

    Here is today's update of this piece. I'm not sure it's any better, but I thought I'd record it one last time.

    Like 3
    • Eric Phillips that sounds really good Eric, far more direction in your phrases and voicing, huge improvement since your first entry. 💪

      Like 1
    • Blaise Laflamme Thanks, Blaise.

      Like
  • Wachet Auf (Sleepers Awake) BWV 140 Mar 7

    I thought I'd try another well-known melody from a cantata. The transcription is by Joseph Castle. The original is in Eb, so I used a capo to bring it up to that same key. Let me know if you think it works.

    Like 5
      • Brett Gilbertnull
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Lovely transcription and playing.  I should have done this one in Dec. instead of the much more difficult Russell one (which is in D so Capo on 1st fret).  Anyway, the capo works well and now I'm curious to pick-up his hymn book - the one with a lute on front right?  Speaking of which,  I was catching up on old posts and happy to see you posted a lute video.  Very cool.

      Like 1
    • Brett Gilbert Hey Brett! Thanks  for listening. I forgot that you worked on this one in December. I found this transcription in a very old Mel Bay Publications book I have called "Best of Bach: Chosen Music for Classical Guitar". It does have a painting on the cover with both a guitar and a lute in it, as well as what looks like a strange coffee pot. It was published in 1977, and I have no memory of how I came to posses it. (I doubt I bought it when I was just 8 years old!) Not sure if that's the book you're thinking of.

      Like
    • Brett Gilbert the Russel transcriptions are very difficult, but so well done regarding the voicing.  This one was beautifully played Eric. Thank you for sharing

      Like
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips That's very nice, Eric. It is amazing how well almost anything by Bach sounds great on any instrument. (Well, maybe not the Chaconne on comb and tissue).

      I have a version of this by Parkening, however, he adds a second guitar intermittently and I figured that if he needs a second guitar I'm not about to try it.

      Like 1
    • Jack Stewart C’mon, Jack! Anything Parkening can play on two guitars, you could play on one guitar, blindfolded, with both hands tied behind your back (playing with your feet, I guess).

      I remember one piece he played where he actually tuned his sixth string down from D to C during the piece. Was that this one, or maybe Simple Gifts?

      Like
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips It wasn't this piece that he retuned (I don't think, unless he forgot to drop D and it took him a while to figure out why it didn't sound right).

      Actually I don't know why he included this transcription in his Bach collection. The second guitar doesn't appear until 16 measures in and then it is only a single voice and intermittent after that. It's like the guy that plays the triangle in the orchestra - he sits there for a long time and only occasionally does something. (I've always wondered how the triangle guy practices.🤔)

      Like 1
    • Jack Stewart Yes, and does he get paid the same as first violinist? If so, I’m putting in an application with my local orchestra.

      Like
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips I'm glad you chose this one, Eric. I just discovered this piece and am adding it to my repertoire to learn. Such a beautiful piece. Wonderful job - as usual! 

      Like 1
    • Steve Pederson Great, I hope we get to hear you play it.

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips well done Eric, and yes for me the capo works pretty well.

      Like 1
    • Blaise Laflamme I think I like it a little better with the capo than without.

      Like 1
      • Moyses Lopes
      • Classical Guitarist and Electroacoustic Interpreter
      • Moses
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Great, Eric! Lovely playing! The voices are really clear and the capo works fine, thanks for sharing.

      Like 1
    • Moyses Lopes Thank you, Moyses!

      Like
    • mattnull
    • matt.1
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Wow! This is very exciting.  I just started working on some Bach pieces. This challenge will be excellent motivation for me to keep up the practice.  

    I just started learning McFadden's transcription of the minuets from BWV 1007 and I'm revisiting Lorimer's transcription of the prelude from bwv 1010. I'm leaning towards focusing on the prelude for this challenge.

    Hopefully I can get a week 1 video before the end of the week.

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      • martinTeam
      • LIVE
      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      matt Fantastic, keep us updated!!! The 1007 is so beautiful, have you dipped your toes into the prelude as well??

      Like
      • mattnull
      • matt.1
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Martin Yes I have played the prelude to 1007.  It's great. Maybe I'll try to bring that one back too. I tried the prelude for 1010 a few years ago and got close but it was above my skill level at the time.  Most likely it's still above my skill level 🙂 but I want to give it another go.

      Like
  • Wachet Auf (Sleepers Awake) from BWV 140 Mar 8

    Here's an updated version of this piece. Today, I played in without capo, so it's in C major (Bach wrote it in Eb major). Any preference for one key over the other?

    Like 4
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Nice progress Eric. I kinda like the deeper mellow sound of the key of C on this recording. 

      Like 1
    • Steve Pederson That's funny, I just listened to both of then on my evening walk with the dog, and I think I preferred it in Eb major (with capo). Thanks for listening.

      Like 1
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips all good. I won't feel slighted if you go with the Eb version. 😁

      Like 1
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