Most difficult Bach pieces to play on Classical Guitar?

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tubeman
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Re: Most difficult Bach pieces to play on Classical Guitar?

Post by tubeman » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:53 pm

Jim Davidson wrote:My first instinct is to say the Chromatic Fantasy.

Search for "Jorge Caballero plays Bach Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue (1/3)" on YouTube.

That said, it's difficult mainly for it's speed, and it's mostly one voice in a straight line. I think the hardest kind of music by Bach to play convincingly on a guitar would be a fugue. Couldn't tell you which one is the most difficult to play.
The fugue in the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue is not "mostly one voice in a straight line"! It's densely contrapuntal and is viciously hard, if not nearly impossible to play at a keyboard speed with proper legato. It, most of the keyboard Partitas, and the Goldberg Variations are probably the hardest overall.
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Jim Davidson
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Re: Most difficult Bach pieces to play on Classical Guitar?

Post by Jim Davidson » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:24 am

tubeman wrote: The fugue in the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue is not "mostly one voice in a straight line"! It's densely contrapuntal and is viciously hard, if not nearly impossible to play at a keyboard speed with proper legato. It, most of the keyboard Partitas, and the Goldberg Variations are probably the hardest overall.
Sorry, I should have been clearer: I was referring to the Fantasia, not the Fugue. The Fugue is also crazy hard!

In general, I'd say that dense counterpoint is the biggest challenge in playing Bach on guitar. That's why I would say a fugue of some sort (whether it be 903, 997, 998, 1000, etc.) is probably the top spot in my book. I just don't know them well enough. I'm terrified of the idea of having to concertize one!
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Guitar Maniac
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Re: Most difficult Bach pieces to play on Classical Guitar?

Post by Guitar Maniac » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:31 am

When it comes to technical difficulty, I would say Prelude from BWV 1006 or Presto BWV 1001 or Allegro BWV 998...

But in term of both technical difficulty, endurance and musical difficulty, imo nothing is harder than Chaconne from BWV 1004, it's very hard to interpret this masterpiece musically well.

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Re: Most difficult Bach pieces to play on Classical Guitar?

Post by Lawler » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:56 am

It's a tie between the fugues from BWV 997 and 998.



Thinking further, I'd say the 997 fugue is the one. Why? Because the 998 fugue sounds beautiful if you just play the notes as written (as if that's easy!), whereas the 997 fugue has more elements in it that you have to decipher to make it work, compositionally. That's how it is for me, anyway. I've performed both in recitals.

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guitareleven
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Re: Most difficult Bach pieces to play on Classical Guitar?

Post by guitareleven » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:04 pm

twistedblues wrote:What are some of the most difficult Bach pieces to play on Classical Guitar? And why?
Since your question was unqualified as to confining the scope of inquiry to those pieces that commonly are played on guitar, would it be untoward of me to suggest that something like a complete transcription of the B minor Mass might be amongst the most difficult? (But maybe much of it would qualify as "song", to the satisfaction of those who objected-- rightfully so-- in the tangential discussion further up in the thread).

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