Author Topic: Bach and the 48 Preludes and Fugues for well tempered clavier  (Read 400 times)

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David Pinnegar

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Bach and the 48 Preludes and Fugues for well tempered clavier
« on: September 12, 2018, 11:58:43 PM »
In researching for a lecture about tuning in the 18th century I discovered that perhaps it's time to challenge the big assumption about Bach.

In 1787 the harpsichordist Christian Schubart wrote about the effects induced by playing in the different keys of the scale. https://www.wmich.edu/mus-theo/courses/keys.html

Playing Mozart piano sonatas on a piano tuned . . . to Meantone . . . is particularly revealing.

So I decided to go for the jugular to prove how ghastly playing the Well Tempered Clavier on an organ tuned to meantone is - and I discovered that it's not the tuning that's ugly - it's the registration. In the "bad" keys Bach wrote quite differently and if you register them on a sensitive stop with suppressed harmonics such as a Stopped Diapason or Lieblich Gedakt . . . the pieces in Ab major and Bb minor and all the rest are not only playable but make sense in the emotional Affects recorded by Schubart.

Those with access to Hauptwerk or another meantone capable organ please try it. What do you think?

Start in C major with registration on a simple plain Diapason and then in the major keys add registration according to Schubart's scale of Affekt.

And if you perform or record them please give a link and credit to this post!

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

David Pinnegar

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Re: Bach and the 48 Preludes and Fugues for well tempered clavier
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2018, 01:11:38 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4NX_n2j_kg is a recording of some of the Bach preludes in the worst Meantone keys. It's not impossible to play the Bach 48 in Meantone . . .
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

dragonser

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Re: Bach and the 48 Preludes and Fugues for well tempered clavier
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2018, 09:30:42 AM »
Hi,
 the above links are very useful...  Thank you.
Regards Peter B

 


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