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Thread: Bach Organ Works (non choral preludes)

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    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Bach Organ Works (non choral preludes)

    Here's the first installment (BWV 531) Prelude and Fugue in C Major.

    I perfectly understand that tempo indications for Bach's music are purely speculative as we have no idea, really what was intended. (The metronome didn't arrive until Beethoven's time). I base my tempo indications loosely on either of two Scandinavian recordings: Hans Fagius (Sweden) or Knud Vad (Danish) both of which I adore, for different reasons.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

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    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Two gems

    These were already posted but I've moved them here for the sake of being in the same spot.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Mat's Avatar
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    David,

    How do you create a PDF document like this?
    Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.
    -- Victor Hugo


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    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    I use Finale (notation software) and I own Acrobat Professional. Once I've typset the score, using my iMac, MIDI converter and synthesizer et cetera. I then print to PDF, bingo.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

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    Seaman, Mezzoforte Bombard's Avatar
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    I think that that is very smart.

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    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Bombard, I was born in the 60s ... if I can work out computer music notation a horse could.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

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    Seaman, Mezzoforte Bombard's Avatar
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    Well thats true. Hey, isn't that allot like Bachs Pedal exercisium?

    P.S. parden me if i spealt something wrong.

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    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    that's becasue it is Bach's Pedal exercise ... read the title of the thread.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

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    Recruit, Pianissimo
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    I'm not an organist, but I love the music for pipe organ and have an extensive vinyl an CD organ library of organ from ppp to sforzando! all things organ!

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    Commodore con Forza
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    The original posting mentions that the metronome didn't arrive until Beethoven's time.

    I have three or four complete sets of Ludwig's symphonies, one of which is by the Chicago Symphony under Sir George Solti. He carries on quite extensively about faster tempi than has been traditional for Beethoven's symphonies, and that B. himself left metronome markings on his manuscripts.

    If so, why did it take conductors 150 years after Beethoven's death (1827) to suddenly discover the metronome markings? What I'm asking is, if the markings were there, why were they "traditionally" played slower? Somehow, I suspect a bit of just wanting to be different.

  11. #11
    Commander, Assistant Conductor
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    Quote Originally Posted by dll927 View Post
    The original posting mentions that the metronome didn't arrive until Beethoven's time.

    I have three or four complete sets of Ludwig's symphonies, one of which is by the Chicago Symphony under Sir George Solti. He carries on quite extensively about faster tempi than has been traditional for Beethoven's symphonies, and that B. himself left metronome markings on his manuscripts.

    If so, why did it take conductors 150 years after Beethoven's death (1827) to suddenly discover the metronome markings? What I'm asking is, if the markings were there, why were they "traditionally" played slower? Somehow, I suspect a bit of just wanting to be different.
    That 'the metronome didn't arrive until Beethoven's time' is not strictly true.
    An apparatus for fixing tempi was first invented by Loulie in 1696 (according to Percy Scholes :'The Oxford Companion to Music' -8th Ed. 1950 p.573) but the one in common use is based on the clockwork principle of Maelzel who was a contemporary of Beethoven.
    With reference to Beethoven's metronome markings, it would appear that these are not always reliable. His marking of minim = 138 at the head of the 'Hammerklavier' Sonata is impossibly fast and no pianist plays it at that speed.
    Is it, in fact, possible to play it at that tempo and would it be musical ?
    No doubt, therefore, conductors and other interpreters have found it musically necessary to re-think Beethoven's tempo indications.

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