Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

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Ricflair
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Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by Ricflair » Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:11 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:51 am
Paul Cezanne wrote:Should the F really be played on the 2nd string up the neck a bit? I guess I can see that why with the second finger then? I guess that finger is better than the pinky because it is just stronger, but you have to move your hand so much.
You don't have to move your hand at all - you overlooked the fact that the arrangement begins in fifth position.
soltirefa wrote:
(But I still don't know why the 2nd finger is used, not the 4th.)
Because the G# played with 1 is on the 4th string and the D is played with 3 on the 3rd string, making 2 fall naturally on the F. Also all those strings ring out. That's why he fingered it like that.
As Soltifera points out, Yates is intent on creating a campanella style over-ringing effect but this is nothing more than an affectation on his part - and a complete misjudgement. One would think that he has no understanding of Bach at all regardless of the erudition shown elsewhere in the volume.

Fortunately there is an unfingered comparison score included - I advise you to work from that instead (at least to begin with), always bearing in mind that a linear approach will help you understand Bach's use of interval as an expressive, rhetorical device.
Mark,
Bach's use of an interval it is unaccompanied string music is usually to imply polyphony. Although there are rhetorical, expressive leaps in the cello suites and other unaccompanied string music, the great majority of the time it is the implication of polyphony. It is perfectly legitimate within the context of baroque music to use campanella textures in scale runs. There are many approaches to playing Bach.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:57 pm

Ricflair wrote:Mark, Bach's use of an interval it is unaccompanied string music is usually to imply polyphony.
Emphatically wrong - Bach's use of wide intervallic movement ... sometimes ... implies polyphony. One needs to be able to tell the difference.

Beware - guitarists in particular are fond of searching out polyphony where there is none and, more annoyingly, overlook it altogether when it should be blindingly obvious. Hence all those ridiculous extra "bass" note in many cello suite arrangements, undermining and sometimes completely masking Bach's brilliant original lines.
Ricflair wrote:It is perfectly legitimate within the context of baroque music to use campanella textures in scale runs.
Really? That's rather a broad statement. Who legitimsed it? Should we exercise it in all baroque music, all the time? Should we do it at the cello and keyboard too? If not, when exactly?

This is another common guitarist's error - based on a limited understanding of lute realisations and nothing more. Anyone who has performed baroque lute music on the original instrument will recognise it as hogwash. On the whole, the nearest thing that you will find in the literature comes from the baroque guitar (and occasionally theorbo) repertoire where it is sometimes used as a special effect.

Conall
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Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by Conall » Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:10 pm

Presumably harpists who play Bach transcriptions are permanently using a de facto campanela effect!

It's difficult to say definitively whether campanela is "appropriate" for Bach on the guitar / whether Bach might have expected it to be used lute music since he didn't write for guitar & probably didn't even write for lute.

My view is that, although I don't use often use campanelas in Bach, as long as the effect is not overused / over emphasised it can be useful in very fast or legato passages provided overhanging strings are damped soon after. One example might be the fastest scale passages in the Prelude from BWV 996.

Ricflair
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Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by Ricflair » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:22 am

Emphatically wrong - Bach's use of wide intervallic movement ... sometimes ... implies polyphony. One needs to be able to tell the difference
.

Emphatically CORRECT. Quite the contrary, Mark. Mainstream scholarship is with my original statement. Cite your sources. I am a high enough level of musician to spot the difference myself. Here is a published article written by a violinist and music theory professor supporting implied polyphony is the backbone and genius of these compositions. I chose this article because it wasn't written by guitarist.

http://www.mtosmt.org/issues/mto.11.17. ... davis.html

There are many published articles supporting my views by renowned guitar scholars (Yates, Koonce- arguably two of the most respected Bach scholars for the guitar!) which you disagree. Why don't you publish your ideas in a scholarly journal for guitarists and set their poor scholarship straight? If you have published articles on the matter, please direct me to them.
Really? That's rather a broad statement. Who legitimsed it? Should we exercise it in all baroque music, all the time? Should we do it at the cello and keyboard too? If not, when exactly?
Don't be condescending. We are talking about guitar. The campanella texture is used in scale passages throughout the output of de Murcia and Sanz in Mixed style on baroque guitar. This sets a presidence for it's use.

Crofty
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Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by Crofty » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:45 am

I liked this conclusion:

"He then proposed that “it is not certain that the composers who used this technique would have called for such an unambiguous separation of musical lines even if the players could have achieved it."

soltirefa
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Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by soltirefa » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:15 am

"Hey, I noticed you aren't using the campanella fingerings in that Bach piece now. I thought it sounded really nice. Why did you change how you play it?

"Oh, some guy on the guitar forum told me it's wrong."

Conall
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Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by Conall » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:23 am

Looks like we're getting bogged down in "the right way to play Bach on guitar" argument.

Ultimately there's no conclusively "right" approach to Bach on our instrument or the modern piano or any other instrument not written for by the great composer.

We can fight forever about whether campanelas / cross string trills / vibrato / rubato etc are "correct" or appropriate for Bach's music on the guitar but in the end all we can do is listen to scholars & performers & finally decide for ourselves. Listeners & critics will then judge us on our performances & some will like our solutions & others will profess to abhor them.

Ideally we should read up as much as possible about performance practice in Bach's time and listen to HIP ("historically informed" performances) on Baroque instruments but things get complicated when we transcribe keyboard pieces (eg Bach's keyboard partitas) on the guitar - should we use lute type ornamentation or keyboard ornamentation?!

Then again there's no guarantee we will like the scholars' editions. I'm personally not a fan of Yates' cello suite arrangements for example. As a life long fan & almost daily player & listener of Bach's music, I just don't find some of his realisations convincing ("Bachian" sounding) or particularly to my taste musically. Whereas Itzhak Perlman's violin partitas & sonatas are definitely not "Bachian" in some respects (little ornamentation, loads of vibrato & some rubato for example) but in pure musical terms are, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful & emotional performances I've heard of Bach's music.

Choose what works for you & what you like & worry less about what others think.

kirolak
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Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by kirolak » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:30 am

Very pertinent thread & replies, I have also been pondering along these lines. . . .

Ricflair
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Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by Ricflair » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:26 pm

[
quote=Conall post_id=1342044 time=1551687797 user_id=94681]
Looks like we're getting bogged down in "the right way to play Bach on guitar" argument.

Ultimately there's no conclusively "right" approach to Bach on our instrument or the modern piano or any other instrument not written for by the great composer.

We can fight forever about whether campanelas / cross string trills / vibrato / rubato etc are "correct" or appropriate for Bach's music on the guitar but in the end all we can do is listen to scholars & performers & finally decide for ourselves. Listeners & critics will then judge us on our performances & some will like our solutions & others will profess to abhor them.

Ideally we should read up as much as possible about performance practice in Bach's time and listen to HIP ("historically informed" performances) on Baroque instruments but things get complicated when we transcribe keyboard pieces (eg Bach's keyboard partitas) on the guitar - should we use lute type ornamentation or keyboard ornamentation?!

Then again there's no guarantee we will like the scholars' editions. I'm personally not a fan of Yates' cello suite arrangements for example. As a life long fan & almost daily player & listener of Bach's music, I just don't find some of his realisations convincing ("Bachian" sounding) or particularly to my taste musically. Whereas Itzhak Perlman's violin partitas & sonatas are definitely not "Bachian" in some respects (little ornamentation, loads of vibrato & some rubato for example) but in pure musical terms are, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful & emotional performances I've heard of Bach's music.

Choose what works for you & what you like & worry less about what others think.
[/quote]

I agree Conall. I said in my first post there are many approaches to Bach. The Yates editions are excellent for the approach Stanley followed (added bass notes etc...), but there are other ways too. Last I heard they are the best selling classical guitar edition in the history of Mel Bay! These were really hot arrangements when they first were published. We are modern people, playing on modern instruments, living in modern times. All of this informs our interpretations.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:28 pm

Ricflair wrote:Emphatically CORRECT. Quite the contrary, Mark. Mainstream scholarship is with my original statement.
Ricflair - my objection is not with "mainstream scholarship" but with your word choice i.e. usual rather than sometimes.
Ricflair wrote: Here is a published article written by a violinist and music theory professor ...
Thank you - I am already well versed in Bach's compositional process, implied polyphony, rhetoric, affektenlehre etc.
Ricflair wrote:Why don't you publish ... ?
Far too busy elsewhere but, as it happens, I am in the mid-stages of producing a volume devoted to Bach which addresses these subjects. Don't hold your breath though - work is sporadic.
Ricflair wrote:Don't be condescending.
Apologies, it was not my intention to be condescending - my questions were (are) meant in good faith.
Ricflair wrote:We are talking about guitar.
Not me, I am talking about the interpretation of Bach.
Ricflair wrote:The campanella texture is used in scale passages throughout the output of de Murcia and Sanz in Mixed style on baroque guitar.
Why are you telling me this as if I am unaware? I already referenced the baroque guitar repertoire and know it reasonably well (I occasionally perform on this instrument).
Ricflair wrote:This sets a presidence for it's use.
I'm sorry but I fail to understand how the use of an idiosyncratic technical effect by the exponents of one instrument sets a precedent (sic) for the interpretation of works by a completely different composer who never wrote for that instrument?

Nevertheless, let's assume that indeed it has been decided that it is legitimate to employ campanella in Bach; what criteria should we apply then in judging which passages this may be found to be musically fitting?

I have already acknowledged by the way (see 9th or 10th post on the second page of this thread) that, as performers, we might do as we like for the sake of entertainment and/or our own pleasure - that is hardly in question.

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