Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

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robin loops
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Re: Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

Post by robin loops » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:03 pm

Not sure if it’s been mentioned yet but about the rests (no. 2). It’s worth mentioning that being originally written for cello it would be quite difficult to play it without the rests. I suppose it would be possible but perhaps not practical.

When transcribing to guitar often the fact that notes can continue to sound after being plucked and don’t require bowing to do so often results in rests being abandoned in guitar transcriptions (from bowed instruments). Basically a way of taking advantage of the guitar’s strengths and/or compensate for its weaknesses. Purists argue that rests must be obeyed but in reality, to be 100% accurate to the original you would have to play it on a cello.
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ddray
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Re: Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

Post by ddray » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:41 pm

Even among cellists there are disagreements and uncertainties. Since there isn't a J. S. Bach autograph for the cycle, will it be Anna Magdalena Bach's manuscript, or Kellner's or one of the late 18th century copies? Slurs or no slurs? Vibrato or not? Heck, it's even argued that the suites aren't for the cello we know at all, but for a "cello da spalla" or a 'viola pomposa"...and looking at pics of those instruments they look awfully uncomfortable to play btw.

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Charles Cook
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Re: Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

Post by Charles Cook » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:42 pm

Tom - Thank you, I enjoyed listening to your clip. I'm determined to keep working on it.
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AAA

Re: Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

Post by AAA » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:33 am

Perhaps helpful, perhaps not...

I went out and got a copy of the cello original so I could look at what Bach wrote. A cello edition is cheap, and so many pieces from the cello suites have been transcribed for guitar that it's nice to have a copy of the original composition so as to see what the editor/transcriber added (or occasionally took out).

To the best of my recollection (my copy is upstairs), everything is single line.

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gilles T
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Re: Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

Post by gilles T » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:13 pm

Hello,

just to share my personal experience, I must say that what helped me the most in a deeper understanding of this wonderful music is the curious habit I took to work the whole piece in three keys, i.e the common D major (standard tuning or drop D), C major (standard tuning) and A major (with drop D). I always felt the D major a bit unsatisfactory, but it works very nice on baroque guitar with the use of some campanela scales. Transcriptions in A major are quite uncommon but sound nicely and resonant, with an emphasis on the lowest register of the guitar. But I'm definitely convinced by C major which, IMHO, raises beautiful overtones and fits the guitar range almost perfectly.

I'm used to play the whole suite, or at least the Prelude, at least once a day since the last six years and it always sounds new and fresh to my ears. Bach is the only composer that I never get rid of, and we are blessed that the cello suites are so guitar-friendly. I guess that's what they call genius...

regards,
Gilles

AAA

Re: Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

Post by AAA » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:03 am

gilles T wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:13 pm
Hello,

just to share my personal experience, I must say that what helped me the most in a deeper understanding of this wonderful music is the curious habit I took to work the whole piece in three keys, i.e the common D major (standard tuning or drop D), C major (standard tuning) and A major (with drop D). I always felt the D major a bit unsatisfactory, but it works very nice on baroque guitar with the use of some campanela scales. Transcriptions in A major are quite uncommon but sound nicely and resonant, with an emphasis on the lowest register of the guitar. But I'm definitely convinced by C major which, IMHO, raises beautiful overtones and fits the guitar range almost perfectly.

I'm used to play the whole suite, or at least the Prelude, at least once a day since the last six years and it always sounds new and fresh to my ears. Bach is the only composer that I never get rid of, and we are blessed that the cello suites are so guitar-friendly. I guess that's what they call genius...

regards,
Gilles
C major sounds fascinating. Is there a transcription available anywhere in C major?

AA

AAA

Re: Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

Post by AAA » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:51 am

After watching the video (and thank you for posting it!), I have to admit that I prefer the slower rendition. It's more meditative, and there's a quiet stillness behind that notes that seems like a deep well, or pond, into which the notes are dropping. In contrast, the faster version, which it indeed might well have emphasized the chordal aspects of the prelude, seemed not so much joyous as tense. Maybe being a professional, educated, and trained musician causes one to hear things differently, but that's my take.

One of the reasons I sat through the video and watched carefully, was to see the cellist's bowing in order to give myself some idea of which notes/sections are normally played legato by a cellist, and which are played...uh...detached. Sight reading through the prelude as I am, and comparing transcriptions (Lorimer's and Thorlaksson's), I notice that both are pretty much consistent (and sparing) in their use of slurs, confining them to the second pair of sixteenth notes in the first beat of the arpeggiated measures, and using similar restraint in the non-arpeggiated "single-lining"; whereas my ear and my hand want to slur considerably more.

Is this a guitar vs cello thing (I slur because I can) or am I just damned outright wrong and ought to have my fingers amputated?

Needless to say, what I hear in this piece is very different from what is considered orthodox.

AA

gilles T
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Re: Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

Post by gilles T » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:25 am

@Agedangel

Hello, here is a link to a nice and free transcription in C major : http://www.slooven.net/fs/docs/index.ph ... anguage=en

You can find another one on the Savage classical guitar site (no link here since it's a commercial site).
Hope this helps, keep us posted; I would like to know if you enjoy 1007 in C.
Regards,
Gilles

Wuuthrad
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Re: Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

Post by Wuuthrad » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:31 am

AgedAngel wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:03 am
C major sounds fascinating. Is there a transcription available anywhere in C major?

AA
Stanley Yates has published a book of Bach Transcriptions which include BWV 1007 in C for guitar:

"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." -Jean Sibelius

Wuuthrad
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Re: Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

Post by Wuuthrad » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:47 am

Remember this concept, popular in Europe, of Bach Machines.

Many of us will fall into this trap, almost automatically with Bach. His music requires such technical mastery, especially since it was written for other instruments, that it is difficult to properly interpret his music in an individual fashion, which is hopefully devoid of familiarity and sameness. I believe this is one of the major problems of Classical Guitar in general; not enough interpretation!

When someone suggests that there is only a specific way to play Bach (and really who could accurately say such a thing with any authority, given the historical circumstance of his compositions,) I think they're more than likely stuck in the "Bach Machine."

But of course machine music is popular these days.

I'll bet in time the true genius of Bach will be revealed : that he was nothing more than an improvising court jester who was also the performer and pen name of the ghost writer Anna Magdalena!
"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." -Jean Sibelius

AAA

Re: Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

Post by AAA » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:02 am

Thanks to all for the help/reassurance and the pointers to the files/books.

I freely admit to messing severely with the pieces I play. In fact, I don't think I have a "standard" interpretation of anything in my repertoire. I'm always thinking things like "What if I played this very mysteriously? Or softly? Or just whispered it? Or turned it into a march? Or slammed it out with something like a backbeat?" I usually play pieces the way I feel at the moment. Eventually, when I (hopefully) get the cello prelude under my fingers, the variant interpretations will open out like a flower. The maestro in the posted video might turn green, but (fortunately) I'm not playing for him!

Thanks again.

AA

Wuuthrad
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Re: Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

Post by Wuuthrad » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:21 am

I just wanted to add what I forgot to mention; Stanley Yates book is a 'performance edition' which may be of some importance to you. In essence he has made the music somewhat more easy to play for guitarists!

I like your ideas about interpretations of music by the way, they are very familiar with my own as I share many of them!
"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." -Jean Sibelius

AAA

Re: Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

Post by AAA » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:31 am

Thank you, Wuuthrad. It's nice to have company among the "renegades".

I'm continuing my "hack and slash" rewrite of 1007. I think it's turning into a slur study. At least the first 2/3 of the piece. From measure 29 on, I'm leaving out slurs entirely, allowing the descending passages to cascade one over the other with individual notes. It's a nice contrast.

I'm sure many people will find my approach quite objectionable. Perhaps I should take to wearing spandex for my performances. Maybe face paint? No...no...my tongue's not long enough.

AA

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prawnheed
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Re: Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

Post by prawnheed » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:36 am

franks59 wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:19 pm
It took me about 4 or 5 months to get comfortable with the Barrueco transcription.

As far as ringing notes, Benjamin Zander of the Boston Philharmonic seems to think they all should ring because he thinks they were meant to sound more like chords than individual notes.

Here's an amusing video of him giving a masterclass to some poor cellist.



Frank
Great video. Ta.

Wuuthrad
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Re: Bach BWV 1007 Prelude

Post by Wuuthrad » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:39 pm

Aged Angel, that sounds like a great interpretation, please let us know how it goes!
"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." -Jean Sibelius

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