View Poll Results: Bach: harpsichord vs. piano

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  • Harpsichord

    83 43.68%
  • Piano

    107 56.32%
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Thread: Bach: Harpsichord or Piano

  1. #361
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Scarpia View Post
    This is wonderful thread. Here, all lined up in a row, a compilation of all of the members of this board who feel justified in declaring a performance style that they don't enjoy to be illegitimate! It's like an ignore list that writes itself!
    What is legitimate? What the composer probably intended or what one enjoys the most regardless of the composers intentions? Or both?
    Last edited by premont; Sep-14-2018 at 15:37.

  2. #362
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    I'm convinced that a great sounding instrument can do wonders for Baroque or music from any era regardless of what it was originally played on.
    I really like Bach played on a great sounding accordion.
    If Bach had lived to hear it, he would have loved it.

  3. #363
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    Quote Originally Posted by premont View Post
    What is legitimate? What the composer probably intended or what one enjoys the most regardless of the composers intentions? Or both?
    The essence of Bach's music is counterpoint. He couldn't prevent himself from writing fugues even for an unaccompanied violin. Whatever illuminates Bach's counterpoint is legitimate, in my view. I find skillful performers on piano are at no disadvantage bringing out Bach's counterpoint. If I were to limit myself to recordings on harpsichord, I would simply never listen to Bach keyboard music at all.

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  5. #364
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Scarpia View Post
    The essence of Bach's music is counterpoint. He couldn't prevent himself from writing fugues even for an unaccompanied violin. Whatever illuminates Bach's counterpoint is legitimate, in my view. I find skillful performers on piano are at no disadvantage bringing out Bach's counterpoint. If I were to limit myself to recordings on harpsichord, I would simply never listen to Bach keyboard music at all.
    Well, you know, he couldn't prevent himself writing expressive music either, and hence expessiveness is at least as central to his art as fugues. And so one central question in this debate is, how does the instrument measure up to the expressive demands of the compositions. This is what I was thinking about when I suggested above that the ricercar a 3 from opfer isn't really a pianistic piece

  6. #365
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Scarpia View Post
    If I were to limit myself to recordings on harpsichord, I would simply never listen to Bach keyboard music at all.
    Understood. You should listen to Bach's keyboard music on the instruments that give you the greatest enjoyment. The comments that particular Bach pieces do not work well on the modern piano are only opinions; try not to pay attention to them.

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  8. #366
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    I have big problems with harpsichord. Even if Bach composed it for harpsichord, I find piano much bether to listen to. The music is the same. And with piano it is accessible to me ☺️

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  10. #367
    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skaarse View Post
    I have big problems with harpsichord. Even if Bach composed it for harpsichord, I find piano much bether to listen to. The music is the same. And with piano it is accessible to me ☺️
    I used to have great problems listening to most music played on harpsichord - but with some rooting about on Qobus and Spotify I discovered it was a combination of average playing, or recording of poor sounding instruments I had an issue with.

    Don't give up I'm sure all our tastes modify as the years go by.

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  12. #368
    Senior Member Dan Ante's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malx View Post
    I used to have great problems listening to most music played on harpsichord - but with some rooting about on Qobus and Spotify I discovered it was a combination of average playing, or recording of poor sounding instruments I had an issue with.

    Don't give up I'm sure all our tastes modify as the years go by.
    You can tell poor sounding instruments on Spotify? ????

  13. #369
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Ante View Post
    You can tell poor sounding instruments on Spotify? ????
    Sure. If something sounds poorly on Spotify, it'll likely sound even worse if you buy the physical product.

  14. #370
    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Ante View Post
    You can tell poor sounding instruments on Spotify? ????
    wkasimer beat me to the answer.
    Whilst spotify may not have hifi sound a poor sounding harpsichord that grates (imo) when listening is noticeable to my ears, and when played through my hifi at home it will sound even more grating.
    But the fact remains my issue was a combination of the things I mentioned in my post.
    Last edited by Malx; Sep-17-2018 at 17:47.

  15. #371
    Senior Member Dan Ante's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    Sure. If something sounds poorly on Spotify, it'll likely sound even worse if you buy the physical product.
    You have obviously heard more on spotify that I have, from what little I have heard all instruments sound terrible to me, more so when the volume is increased.
    "Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car, oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car.

  16. #372
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Ante View Post
    You have obviously heard more on spotify that I have, from what little I have heard all instruments sound terrible to me, more so when the volume is increased.
    I think terrible is going to far, at least in their premium mode. But yes, Spotify do something to the sound which harms the overtones and other nuances of the tone, and delicacy and refinement, and sense of ambiance, sense of room. And with an instrument like an old Flemish harpsichord, where so much of the soul of the music comes from the complexity of the overtones and the sheer delicacy the sound, this can be a serious problem.

    But it’s cheap and cheerful, and it has a huge catalogue, and compared to other streaming services their music is well tagged. So we should be grateful IMO.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Sep-18-2018 at 07:14.

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  18. #373
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    I think Bach would have kicked, bitten, and elbowed his way to the front of the line to try out a Steinway, then would have refused to leave the stool so the next could try.

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  20. #374
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    I think Bach would have kicked, bitten, and elbowed his way to the front of the line to try out a Steinway, then would have refused to leave the stool so the next could try.
    That is almost certainly true, but he probably would have written different music to take advantage of the different capabilities of the piano.

    I still see harpsichord or clavichord performance as the most appropriate for Bach's keyboard music. I have listened to everything at least once on harpsichord, just so I feel I understand what he was imagining when he wrote that music. But the sound of the instrument (on recordings) gives me no pleasure and I look to performance on piano that are true to Bach's style.

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