Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
ddray
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by ddray » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:49 pm

Conall wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:36 pm

Schulenberg's reference to BWV 964 looks interesting but it still leaves some room for doubt. Having just played through it again it sounds pretty "Bachian" to me although there's a little chromatic motif that doesn't sound quite typical to me in the fugue (no matter what Sch. thinks)! But I guess it's possible or maybe probable it's by Bach.

But I think any scholarship is welcome and much more preferable to personal, subjective opinions on whether Bach sounds good on guitar or not (whether tongue in cheek or not). Thanks for all the information!
Much of the scholarship is also based on personal, subjective opinions as well, in the absence of "hard data" and provability. Many scholars just don't "feel" that Bach ever wrote for the lute. That little chromatic motif that just doesn't "sound quite typical". The couple of flute sonatas that "feel" more like C.P.E.'s compositions. And so on.
Bei einer andächtigen Musik ist allezeit Gott mit seiner Gnaden Gegenwart.
-- J. S. Bach

astro64
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by astro64 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:52 pm

Did someone already mention that Bach apparently himself rewrote the 5th cello suite into a lute ("lautenwerke" if you want) suite? That hardly supports the argument the cello suites are no good when played on a guitar...

Conall
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by Conall » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:25 pm

ddray wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:49 pm
Conall wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:36 pm

Schulenberg's reference to BWV 964 looks interesting but it still leaves some room for doubt. Having just played through it again it sounds pretty "Bachian" to me although there's a little chromatic motif that doesn't sound quite typical to me in the fugue (no matter what Sch. thinks)! But I guess it's possible or maybe probable it's by Bach.

But I think any scholarship is welcome and much more preferable to personal, subjective opinions on whether Bach sounds good on guitar or not (whether tongue in cheek or not). Thanks for all the information!
Much of the scholarship is also based on personal, subjective opinions as well, in the absence of "hard data" and provability. Many scholars just don't "feel" that Bach ever wrote for the lute. That little chromatic motif that just doesn't "sound quite typical". The couple of flute sonatas that "feel" more like C.P.E.'s compositions. And so on.
Many scholars know that, for example, the E major partita BWV 1006a is well-nigh impossible on Baroque lute since it is tuned in D minor. Nigel North plays it in F major to make it playable on the lute. I'm not a scholar so I was just noting one small motif that sounded slightly out of place (my subjective opinion) in an arrangement of another work deemed doubtful by a number of Bach scholars. I'd still hold the critical observations of those who have been studying Bach's music all their working lives (and Baroque lutenists who confirm the scholars' suspicions) way above the personal preferences & opinions of those who don't have the same level of expertise (such as me) as they do. If the experts come back & confirm that BWV 964 is unequivocally by Bach then I'll happily accept my discomfort with the motif is my problem.

But whatever, everyone is entitled to an opinion, even a certain President. After all, I gather this is the era of "alternative truth".....

ddray
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by ddray » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:52 pm

astro64 wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:52 pm
Did someone already mention that Bach apparently himself rewrote the 5th cello suite into a lute ("lautenwerke" if you want) suite? That hardly supports the argument the cello suites are no good when played on a guitar...
Bach, along with other composers of his era, was constantly reworking and adapting his own works and the works of others. I prefer to hear the cello suites on the cello. That doesn't mean I think it's inappropriate to play them on guitar. I play selections from them myself. They sound lovely on guitar. It's just a preference. [Edited to remove a remark that sounded more snide than I intended :lol: ]
Conall wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:25 pm
I'd still hold the critical observations of those who have been studying Bach's music all their working lives (and Baroque lutenists who confirm the scholars' suspicions) way above the personal preferences & opinions of those who don't have the same level of expertise (such as me) as they do.
It might be better to ask how the experts arrive at this or that conclusion as well since any two experts can reach quite conflicting conclusions on the subject. I'm not prepared to accept Helga Thoene's hypotheses just on the basis of her academic credentials. The analyses of academic Zoltan Göncz really resonate with me. But they could be wrong regardless of Göncz's academic achievements.
Many scholars know that, for example, the E major partita BWV 1006a is well-nigh impossible on Baroque lute since it is tuned in D minor.
Which doesn't say much about BWV 997, for example.
Last edited by ddray on Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Bei einer andächtigen Musik ist allezeit Gott mit seiner Gnaden Gegenwart.
-- J. S. Bach

CliffK
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by CliffK » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:50 pm

The original thread question raised was whether Bach and the guitar mix. The consensus seems to be they do mix and Bach and “Bachian” can sound beautiful on the guitar. My reference to 964 intended then to focus on how best to help them mix, ie approaches to transcription and arranging that, for example, the student sought to understand and illustrate.

The Henderson performance pointed out earlier in the discussion I think makes the point well. The manuscript of the composition and arrangement apparently was in the hands of Bach’s son in law which is close enough for me to be at least “Bachian” despite the quibble over the arrangement.
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riffmeister
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by riffmeister » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:33 pm

In the hands of a skilled performer, the music of Bach works very well on the guitar, imo. For example the four lute suites as performed by John Williams.

Conall
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by Conall » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:04 pm

ddray wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:52 pm
astro64 wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:52 pm
Did someone already mention that Bach apparently himself rewrote the 5th cello suite into a lute ("lautenwerke" if you want) suite? That hardly supports the argument the cello suites are no good when played on a guitar...
Bach, along with other composers of his era, was constantly reworking and adapting his own works and the works of others. I prefer to hear the cello suites on the cello. That doesn't mean I think it's inappropriate to play them on guitar. I play selections from them myself. They sound lovely on guitar. It's just a preference. [Edited to remove a remark that sounded more snide than I intended :lol: ]
Conall wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:25 pm
I'd still hold the critical observations of those who have been studying Bach's music all their working lives (and Baroque lutenists who confirm the scholars' suspicions) way above the personal preferences & opinions of those who don't have the same level of expertise (such as me) as they do.
It might be better to ask how the experts arrive at this or that conclusion as well since any two experts can reach quite conflicting conclusions on the subject. I'm not prepared to accept Helga Thoene's hypotheses just on the basis of her academic credentials. The analyses of academic Zoltan Göncz really resonate with me. But they could be wrong regardless of Göncz's academic achievements.
Many scholars know that, for example, the E major partita BWV 1006a is well-nigh impossible on Baroque lute since it is tuned in D minor.
Which doesn't say much about BWV 997, for example.
Thanks for that ddray - I had to remind myself about Thoene- I'd forgotten it was herself who had "found" hidden chorales in the Chaconne but I have a version for lute & 2 voices (Moreno, Kirkby & Men's) - which I do like (even if you don't like her hypotheses). I know nothing of the rest of her work on Bach & nothing at all about Göncz - but thanks to you I will try to seek them out (because I'm genuinely interested).
Yes of course experts disagree. I remember I almost bought a great tome about Baroque ornamentation that included one major difference to what other scholars suggested, namely that trills should start on the principal note rather than the note above it (unless specified). But I felt that suggestion to be less likely given that the appoggiatura effect at the start of a trill would then be absent - and that pretty much everyone else does it / suggests the opposite. I didn't buy the (very expensive) book.
But we seem to have moved slightly off topic here - the OP was more or less just expressing a preference for Bach on other instruments rather than mentioning arrangements / transcriptions & their "authenticity" etc on the guitar.

Conall
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by Conall » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:16 pm

ddray wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:52 pm
astro64 wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:52 pm
Did someone already mention that Bach apparently himself rewrote the 5th cello suite into a lute ("lautenwerke" if you want) suite? That hardly supports the argument the cello suites are no good when played on a guitar...
Bach, along with other composers of his era, was constantly reworking and adapting his own works and the works of others. I prefer to hear the cello suites on the cello. That doesn't mean I think it's inappropriate to play them on guitar. I play selections from them myself. They sound lovely on guitar. It's just a preference. [Edited to remove a remark that sounded more snide than I intended :lol: ]
Conall wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:25 pm
I'd still hold the critical observations of those who have been studying Bach's music all their working lives (and Baroque lutenists who confirm the scholars' suspicions) way above the personal preferences & opinions of those who don't have the same level of expertise (such as me) as they do.
It might be better to ask how the experts arrive at this or that conclusion as well since any two experts can reach quite conflicting conclusions on the subject. I'm not prepared to accept Helga Thoene's hypotheses just on the basis of her academic credentials. The analyses of academic Zoltan Göncz really resonate with me. But they could be wrong regardless of Göncz's academic achievements.
Many scholars know that, for example, the E major partita BWV 1006a is well-nigh impossible on Baroque lute since it is tuned in D minor.
Which doesn't say much about BWV 997, for example.

Conall
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by Conall » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:18 pm

Oops, submitted twice by mistake, sorry.

ddray
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by ddray » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:20 pm

Here's a good starting point re: Göncz:

http://www.bachsociety.hu/pdf/Bach_tanu ... lish-2.pdf
Last edited by ddray on Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bei einer andächtigen Musik ist allezeit Gott mit seiner Gnaden Gegenwart.
-- J. S. Bach

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by Andrew Fryer » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:26 pm

When this thread has ended, will the Segovia-bashing begin all over again?
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Conall
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by Conall » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:57 pm

ddray wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:20 pm
Here's a good starting point re: Göncz:

http://www.bachsociety.hu/pdf/Bach_tanu ... lish-2.pdf
Thanks, that's where I'll start.... though I'm still reading that other dissertation!

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prawnheed
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by prawnheed » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:23 pm

Andrew Fryer wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:26 pm
When this thread has ended, will the Segovia-bashing begin all over again?
What makes you think it will ever end?

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prawnheed
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by prawnheed » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:27 pm

CliffK wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:50 pm
The original thread question raised was whether Bach and the guitar mix. The consensus seems to be they do mix and Bach and “Bachian” can sound beautiful on the guitar. My reference to 964 intended then to focus on how best to help them mix, ie approaches to transcription and arranging that, for example, the student sought to understand and illustrate.

The Henderson performance pointed out earlier in the discussion I think makes the point well. The manuscript of the composition and arrangement apparently was in the hands of Bach’s son in law which is close enough for me to be at least “Bachian” despite the quibble over the arrangement.
There is no consensus, there are differing opinions.

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prawnheed
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Re: Can I be the Grinch and say Bach and guitar don't mix...

Post by prawnheed » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:40 pm

Conall wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:25 pm
ddray wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:49 pm
Conall wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:36 pm

Schulenberg's reference to BWV 964 looks interesting but it still leaves some room for doubt. Having just played through it again it sounds pretty "Bachian" to me although there's a little chromatic motif that doesn't sound quite typical to me in the fugue (no matter what Sch. thinks)! But I guess it's possible or maybe probable it's by Bach.

But I think any scholarship is welcome and much more preferable to personal, subjective opinions on whether Bach sounds good on guitar or not (whether tongue in cheek or not). Thanks for all the information!
Much of the scholarship is also based on personal, subjective opinions as well, in the absence of "hard data" and provability. Many scholars just don't "feel" that Bach ever wrote for the lute. That little chromatic motif that just doesn't "sound quite typical". The couple of flute sonatas that "feel" more like C.P.E.'s compositions. And so on.
Many scholars know that, for example, the E major partita BWV 1006a is well-nigh impossible on Baroque lute since it is tuned in D minor. Nigel North plays it in F major to make it playable on the lute. I'm not a scholar so I was just noting one small motif that sounded slightly out of place (my subjective opinion) in an arrangement of another work deemed doubtful by a number of Bach scholars. I'd still hold the critical observations of those who have been studying Bach's music all their working lives (and Baroque lutenists who confirm the scholars' suspicions) way above the personal preferences & opinions of those who don't have the same level of expertise (such as me) as they do. If the experts come back & confirm that BWV 964 is unequivocally by Bach then I'll happily accept my discomfort with the motif is my problem.

But whatever, everyone is entitled to an opinion, even a certain President. After all, I gather this is the era of "alternative truth".....
I think your definition of truth is quite Trumpian. The question is by its nature subjective and therefore the answer can only ever be based only on opinion. By claiming that there is a "truth" that can be found by scholarship (or any other way), you are following quite closely to my definition of alternative truths.

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