which Prelude in C to tackle first?

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MrSteve
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which Prelude in C to tackle first?

Post by MrSteve » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:21 pm

I have always loved both the Prelude in C Major Bach (BMV 846) as well as the Prelude in C minor Barrios.

While neither is easy? which of these two would be the one considered easier? or at least kinder to those that attempt it.

Probably will eventually work on both, but want to attempt the one that won't frustrate me too much initially

thanks
Steve
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Re: which Prelude in C to tackle first?

Post by Guero » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:05 pm

C minor versus C major? No flats versus three flats?

Usually the answer is quite easy. And this special case is no exception.
Barrios' prelude is way harder than Bachs prelude! (for the left hand, right hand both are the same)

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MrSteve
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Re: which Prelude in C to tackle first?

Post by MrSteve » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:23 pm

Thank you Guero

I thought that might be the case, although I love the haunting quality of the Barrios piece.
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Re: which Prelude in C to tackle first?

Post by Conall » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:12 pm

At least the C minor Barrios prelude is playable exactly as written on the guitar. No guitar arrangement of BWV 846 really does it justice. But there are plenty of other preludes by Bach that work fine on guitar, particularly the lute / lute-harpsichord ones.

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David Norton
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Re: which Prelude in C to tackle first?

Post by David Norton » Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:36 pm

I'm going to offer a different suggestion: "Prelude pour Nicolas", by Jean-Marie Raymond. It is very reminiscent of the Bach 846 Prelude, but is written for guitar. And it is reasonably easy to play! I've performed it several times, and had people (who didn't read the program) come up and say "Oh Bach sounds so nice on the guitar", thinking they were hearing the famous WTC Prelude.

Here is the composer playing it, a link to the score (Les Productions d'Oz) is in the YT:

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MrSteve
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Re: which Prelude in C to tackle first?

Post by MrSteve » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:02 am

Thanks David

I think you once mention that piece to me in a previous post and I purchased the piece (amongst others in a book).

You are right, it was an easy piece but really enjoyable to play. It sounds beautiful.

I’m alwats open to similar suggestions.

Thanks
Steve
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Re: which Prelude in C to tackle first?

Post by Conall » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:02 am

David Norton wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:36 pm
I'm going to offer a different suggestion: "Prelude pour Nicolas", by Jean-Marie Raymond. It is very reminiscent of the Bach 846 Prelude, but is written for guitar. And it is reasonably easy to play! I've performed it several times, and had people (who didn't read the program) come up and say "Oh Bach sounds so nice on the guitar", thinking they were hearing the famous WTC Prelude.

Here is the composer playing it, a link to the score (Les Productions d'Oz) is in the YT:


I'm not averse to a bit of pastiche having written a couple of unpublished examples myself (not specifically of BWV 846). My wife is no frequent listener of CG or Baroque music but she knows I'm a JSB fanatic & when I played Raymond's piece to her she thought it was Bach - so I guess it can fool some people!

Ah, but why not just learn BWV 999 - OK, normally played in Dm on guitar (but since you mentioned Barrios Cm prelude) - is the real deal!


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Re: which Prelude in C to tackle first?

Post by ronjazz » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:53 pm

I think there are two or three distinct advantages to learning the Barrios: it's written for guitar, it's in a key we rarely utilize, and it's not as well-known as it should be. It's also a RH pattern that will really help balance out your hand, and it's quite a bit shorter. Well, that's 5 advantages, on top of which it will prepare you for the Bach! Imagine playing the Barrios and Bach together as a little set, could be quite charming.
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MrSteve
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Re: which Prelude in C to tackle first?

Post by MrSteve » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:42 pm

Thanks to all who have offered advice.

I have a question.

Many have suggested that one of the reasons the Barrios piece is better (or advantageous) is that he wrote specifically for the guitar. Why is it that important that a piece of music was written for our instrument? Why does that translate into the music sounding better?

That would eliminate anything written by Beethoven or the majority of composers who wrote for piano? Moonlight sonata (to my ears) also sounds nice when played on a guitar despite the fact that he never thought for a moment about our instrument.

If a piece is arranged for classical guitar that was originally designed for a different instrument, shouldn’t that transcription be held in equal esteem as something originally written for guitar?

Thanks
Steve
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Re: which Prelude in C to tackle first?

Post by SteveL123 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:04 pm

I think works written by a guitarist for the guitar makes for a more logical natural flow for both the left and right hand. Often, transcriptions of works written for other instruments can be a real knuckle buster.

I don't play many Barrios pieces. Of the pieces I do play, I find the above to be true.

I love playing the Preludio in C minor! You have to be efficient with Barre technique with a well set up guitar. Enjoy!

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MrSteve
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Re: which Prelude in C to tackle first?

Post by MrSteve » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:48 pm

SteveL123

Well I do have a well set up guitar, efficient with Barre technique... er not so much

Would having the same name as you help???

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Steve
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Conall
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Re: which Prelude in C to tackle first?

Post by Conall » Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:46 pm

BWV 846 played on guitar contains far too many compromises compared to the original. The piano has a vastly larger range compared to guitar so bits have to be placed down or up the octave and plenty of notes left out. In the Bach prelude notes cannot be held for their full value in many bars / measures either. Sometimes chord voicings are altered too.

Piano pieces by Beethoven, Chopin etc, although in the past often arranged for guitar, leave out a large amount of important notes & are nowadays largely ignored by pro CG performers because of this.

So yes, if you want to play these (in the opinion of many) inferior arrangements go ahead - it's a free world but don't expect these much thinner / highly compromised arrangements of piano works to be regarded seriously by CG recitalists or pianists no matter how well the notes of the arrangement appear to be played.

Bach's unaccompanied violin, cello & lute/ lautenwerk pieces are much better choices to arrange for guitar because their textures are much thinner & ranges within the range of the guitar (with a few bass notes put up an octave in some cases).

If you are dying to play BWV 846 it wouldn't take long to learn it on piano as it's very straightforward on that instrument even for near beginners.

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Re: which Prelude in C to tackle first?

Post by MrSteve » Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:43 pm

Thanks Conall

Your answer and explanation makes sense.

I appreciate you taking the time to share this with me


Regards

Steve
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Conall
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Re: which Prelude in C to tackle first?

Post by Conall » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:17 pm

MrSteve wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:43 pm
Thanks Conall

Your answer and explanation makes sense.

I appreciate you taking the time to share this with me


Regards

Steve
No problem Steve, I could give you a long list of problems associated with arranging prelude BWV 846 for guitar but I've bored you & everyone else enough. If you find an arrangement you like enough then don't let anyone stop you trying to learn it but if you then question why it's not the same after listening to it played in keyboard you'll have an idea why!

BWV 846 is indeed a beautiful piece and, frustratingly, it looks on paper (on the keyboard score) as if it should work well on the guitar as the opening is a very guitaristic arpeggio. It's only later the problems become apparent (dammit!).

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MrSteve
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Re: which Prelude in C to tackle first?

Post by MrSteve » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:52 pm

Thanks Conall

Any similarly nice sounding arpegiated (is that even a word?) you could recommend at an easy intermediate level would greatly be appreciated.

Prelude for Nicholas is my ideal target skill level. bMV 999 has too many challenges that would force me into the fetal position giving up all hope!

Thanks

Steve
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