WEEK 3: Heavenly Harmonies of J.S.Bach! 🌤

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

188replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Prelude BWV 997 measures 1-32 Mar 21

    Here is another update on this prelude. I'm still only playing the first 32 measures, and still very slowly, since I can't seem to do it any faster without constant mistakes. I have a lot of mistakes even at this slow speed, and this was the best of about ten takes I recorded. I feel like there is some progress, but not much.

    Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips I think there is definite improvement. I hope you stay with this. It is a great work and you are playing it very well. (Only 10 takes? I'm not sure what your point is. I had to get a new iPad just for recording myself because my iPhone would fill up and I would have to delete all my previous takes to continue.) 🙂

      Like 2
    • Jack Stewart I had the same problem when I used to make videos on my phone. My daughter had to show me how to delete them, since just deleting them once apparently wasn't enough.

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

      Eric Phillips one of my favourite Bach pieces. I can not notice many mistakes, you are doin great!

      Like 2
    • Emma Thank you, Emma!

      Like 1
      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips now I keep listening to your pieces! 

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

      Eric Phillips I just listened to Steve Goss's Live Stream on Bach in which he played Paul Galbraith playing the BWV 997 Prelude. Galbraith plays it quite slowly and it is very effective.  Check out his recording if you haven't already.

      Like 1
    • Jack Stewart I just listened to it, and it was great! Still slightly faster than what I'm playing it at now, but not too much. He plays very few slurs (not needed at the slower tempo). I'll have to listen to what Steve Goss said about it. Thanks for the tip, Jack!

      Like
    • Eric Phillips you are doing great this Eric! I did not hear the prior versions but go ahead! it sound quite clear! thanks for sharing !

      Like 1
    • Nora Torres-Nagel Thank you, Nora. This is my long-term project from this challenge. It will be a while until I have it at performance level.

      Like
  • Andante BWV 1003 Mar 21

    This is from the second Violin Sonata. I am hesitant to play it on guitar, since it sounds so much better on the violin with its sustain. I am reading directly from the violin score, and it is all quite manageable on the guitar. I found some transcriptions for guitar that add to the score, but I'm going with the violin score alone.

    A real weak spot for me is my cadential trills at the end of each of the two large sections. I just don't know how to make them more effective and dramatic.

    If you're interested, here's a recording of it on violin by Hilary Hahn. I can't listen to it without crying, it's so beautiful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s11K70Xs1cE

    Like 3
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips That was beautiful, Eric.  You certainly don't shy away from the weighty pieces. This is a serious work that may not be technically as challenging as some of Bach's other movements (Prelude BWV 997 anyone?), however its  challenge is in performance and interpretation. There is nowhere to hide and it is quite long. You handled those challenges very impressively. 

      Like 1
    • Jack Stewart Thanks, Jack. It's the slow tempo that makes this more manageable to me. My brain just doesn't keep up well when Bach just writes these endless strings of fast notes. The double after this movement is great, but I wouldn't even consider trying to play it.

      On this one, I just wish the sectional cadences sounded better.

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

      It is true, so difficult to memorise Bach music…Eric Phillips this is beautiful 

      Like 1
    • Emma Thanks, again. I'm not sure what it is about Bach that makes him so difficult to memorize. Perhaps because it doesn't lie too comfortably on the guitar, so creating the muscle memory is more difficult?

      Like
    • Eric Phillips so beautiful!

      Like
    • Eric Phillips 

      I recently started learning the Prelude from The First Cello Suite BWV 1007. Sanel Redžić’s lesson has excellent tips on harmonic analysis, and how to learn the piece by dividing into 4 sections. I used David Russell’s advice of learning the piece backwards, I started with the last few measures (38-42) Of ending arpeggios, once I mastered that I learned measures 37-38 ascending chromatic, then measures 31-37 open E pedal… one benefit of learning a piece from the end is you are always going toward to more familiar sections so you will not get lost. 

       

      When I learn any piece, I always sing the notes in solfège , so even though I have not played or looked at the score for Bourrée in E minor, BWV 996, I can still memorize the notes, the treble as mi fa sol, fa mi re, mi fa si, do re mi, and the base line as sol fa mi, la si, sol la si la sol fa mi, etc. Chaconne in my memory will be: la, la mi, mi fa, but I also memorize the chords so in my head I can see the chords as Dm (re fa la), Gm6 (re sol si mi), A7 (do sol la mi), Dm (re fa la fa). Prelude from the thirds cello suite as la, sol fa mi re do si la mi do mi la, and I can transpose it to to the original key in C or to D on the fly. BWV 997 as La, la si do mi sol la sol la fa la…

       

      Here are a couple pictures of me performing the Prelude from the Cello Suite No. 1 for David Russell in a masterclass March 13, 2022 in San José, California. 

      Like
    • Bill Young What an amazing opportunity you had for that masterclass! Your methodical and thorough approach to learning this music is incredible. I definitely lack that discipline (and the ability to sing anything in solfeggio).

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

      Bill Young this is AWESOME, Bill!!! Singing in Solfego is a technique that some of the best performers employ, so you're in great company!! And David is such a cool and humble guy!

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

      Eric Phillips reading from the violin score! Wow! Sounding great! 

      Like 1
      • Wainull
      • Wai_Ng
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips This is my first time to hear this piece, it's so beautiful. Maybe it's just me, I always think that Bach's music sounds better on guitars than on violins. (Don't beat me, violin fans)😂

      Like 1
    • Steve Pederson Thanks, Steve. In this case, it looks just like a guitar score.

      Like
    • Wai Thanks, Wai. In this case, however, I disagree. I think this piece sounds much better on the violin, mostly because of its sustain.

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

      Eric Phillips Beautiful! So expressive, thank you for playing!

      Like 1
    • Moyses Lopes Thank you, Moyses.

      Like
Like Follow
  • 2 yrs agoLast active
  • 188Replies
  • 331Views
  • 18 Following

Home

View all topics