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#22249 - 02/20/03 05:30 AM Two-Part Inventions
Eighty-Eight Offline
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Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 23
Loc: CT
Do any of you out there have a preferred order of teaching the Bach Two-Part Inventions? Or do you feel that teaching them in their numerical order would be just as good?

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#22250 - 02/20/03 10:51 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Bontempo Offline
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Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 353
Loc: Belgium/Portugal
Well, I would say that it depends a lot on the particular student, but it's well accepted that some are easier than others, both in terms of voicing and in terms of technical grade.
I would say that usually starting with no. 4 or no. 1 would be nice, then go to no. 8, no. 14 and after that it's more or less equal.

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#22251 - 02/22/03 02:11 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Piano lady Offline
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Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 361
I learned them in numerical order. Doesn't matter. They're all hard. There is no such thing as easy Bach.

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#22252 - 02/24/03 04:44 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Bontempo Offline
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Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 353
Loc: Belgium/Portugal
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano lady:
I learned them in numerical order. Doesn't matter. They're all hard. There is no such thing as easy Bach.


No need to exagerate... Bach is technically demanding and quite a special style when it comes to interpretation, but once you get the basic notions it all makes sense. The 2-part inventions are no where near the 3-part (Sinfonias) when it comes to voicing. Essentially because there's an additional voice. LOL

\:D \:D ;\)

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#22253 - 02/24/03 01:30 PM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Piano lady Offline
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Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 361
Then toss in the Fugues, Suites and Partitas where you get three and four voices going. There is no recovery.

Repeats? Try different voicing and ornamentation.

Sinfonias are far more complex than the Inventions. Yet both require touch, complex voicing, not to mention figuring out the phrasing. Ornamentation is another animal altogether. Good fingering is essential in all.

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#22254 - 02/27/03 06:04 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Bontempo Offline
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Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 353
Loc: Belgium/Portugal
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano lady:
Then toss in the Fugues, Suites and Partitas where you get three and four voices going. There is no recovery.


That's why Bach is served gradually! If someone doesn't master the Sinfonias, it's no good to progress on to the rest. If you are at ease with 2-part Inventions you'll have no problem with Sinfonias, one step at the time.

Ornamentation is surely difficult but I think "sober" should rule. Essentially rely on your personal taste and abilites to choose which ornaments you'll do. No need for complicated figuration, you're not playing the harpsicord. Use them as actual "ornaments".

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#22255 - 03/01/03 04:02 PM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Piano lady Offline
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Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 361
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bontempo:
That's why Bach is served gradually! If someone doesn't master the Sinfonias, it's no good to progress on to the rest. If you are at ease with 2-part Inventions you'll have no problem with Sinfonias, one step at the time.


Not necessarily so. I only did 3 of the Sinfonias before moving on and I'm very comfortable with Bach. But I did all of the Inventions.

 Quote:

Ornamentation is surely difficult but I think "sober" should rule. Essentially rely on your personal taste and abilites to choose which ornaments you'll do. No need for complicated figuration, you're not playing the harpsicord. Use them as actual "ornaments".


I agree. I tend to make things difficult and sometimes freely ornament when I feel like it. Better know the piece well and be very familiar with period styles.

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#22256 - 03/02/03 08:20 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Bontempo Offline
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Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 353
Loc: Belgium/Portugal
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano lady:
Not necessarily so. I only did 3 of the Sinfonias before moving on and I'm very comfortable with Bach. But I did all of the Inventions.


I feel that "mastering" does not necessarily imply "doing all". You can only study 3 of the Sinfonias and master the concept, or play them all and still be unable to go forward.

I once received a transfer student who had played (not STUDIED, I guess) 3 Clementi Sonatinas and ALMOST ALL of the Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook! Anyway, all the pieces were marked and had that look of having been worked (from the partition, I think).
After 2 months lessons, I truely don't understand how this was possible! If a student of mine had arrived at this level and studied this amount of repertoire, s/he would be more than ready for stuff like easier Mozart Sonatas, Little Preludes and Fugues and easier repertoire pieces like some of Debussy's Children's Corner, some Beethoven's Variations sets or even the easiest Chopin Preludes. But this student was clearly BELOW all of this, in fact I still have no idea HOW his former teacher had let him get so far without really LEARNING anything!

He actually PLAYED almost all of Bach's Anna Magdalena, but for my standards he probably couldn't even play the Minuet in G at the level I consider acceptable to progress!!! :rolleyes:

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#22257 - 03/02/03 09:37 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Janice Offline
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Registered: 01/19/01
Posts: 565
Loc: Newalla, Oklahoma, USA
OOOh, I have a transfer student like that. She can rip off many sonatinas, etc, fast and furious but has no idea what she's doing. Doesn't have a clue about counting, can't locate the notes, ledger lines are a mystery to her. When I was counting with her she even said "how do you know to count 4?". I just about fell out of my chair. She has taken 5 years and really knows nothing except how to play fast. I am sooo tired of FAST.
I vote for studying a piece! All the Bach won't make a student a good pianist.

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#22258 - 03/04/03 01:42 AM Re: Two-Part Inventions
Bontempo Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 353
Loc: Belgium/Portugal
 Quote:
Originally posted by Janice:
OOOh, I have a transfer student like that. She can rip off many sonatinas, etc, fast and furious but has no idea what she's doing. Doesn't have a clue about counting, can't locate the notes, ledger lines are a mystery to her. When I was counting with her she even said "how do you know to count 4?". I just about fell out of my chair. She has taken 5 years and really knows nothing except how to play fast. I am sooo tired of FAST.
I vote for studying a piece! All the Bach won't make a student a good pianist.


I mean, the big question should be: What on Earth were these students doing all that time?? And what went throught their teachers' minds in letting them progress so far without actually knowing what they were doing? We're talking about students that should be on Faber PA 1 or maybe 2A!!!


A consciencious teacher should have as a motto "If you can't do something with a minimum quality (and I'm not talking professional pianists here!) then better not to do it at all".

[ 03-04-2003: Message edited by: Bontempo ]

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