April 7, 2009 at 10:58 PM
Brilliant as always Buri. I have the Barenreiter Bach Accompanied Sonatas. Is the Manze an improvement?
What edition of Mendelssohn for the sonatas. I am finally re-editing the concerto for the 4th or 5th time, and last time?—never, it is too great and grand a work.
You always manage to make me laugh, Buri.
Just a month ago I had the privilege of hearing Nadia Salerno-Sonneberg play one of the accompanied Bach sonatas with her accompanist Anne-marie McDermott. (Had my name drawn by the local classical radio music station to attend this "live intimate concert" in the radio station studio.) She waited until after playing it to ask the audience who the composer was--nobody wanted to guess wrong, so she had to tell us it was Bach and his much lesser played accompanied sonatas for violin. I got excited after that b/c I recalled seeing the sheet music for those sonatas at home (my husband's collection). Went home and found that it was for just 3 of the sonatas, and didn't look like the one she played that night was one of them. (She played a hauntingly beautiful slow movement and then a very fast movement.) Anyway, just thought it was interesting to hear about these Bach sonatas.
Buri - as usual, a very thoughtful post. I have always adored the Bach accompanied sonatas and enjoyed very much playing them with an elderly cousin who was a professional pianist while she was still alive. She was 92 the last time we played them together and still going strong (died the next year). I have a marvelous recording of Oistrakh doing them; it is unbelievably beautiful.
Look on youtube for some video of these played by Menuhin and Gould. Even burned out as I am, I love those tapes. Some great moments in them.
Frankly, I couldn't get past, "my good pianist friend wanted to learn the violin rep and so now I'm spending my time playing all the sonatas under the sun with him..." I was too green to read on...;)
Good friends, if some pianist among you needs to learn the violin rep but Buri's already occupied, you know where to find me...
I had much fun many years ago, when my best friend was a pianist and we were doing rather the same thing. We did all the Brahms sonatas together, she did the Franck (PIANO/violin sonata) for the first time...what fun that was, to work with a pianist, instead of hiring someone for two rehearsals and a concert. What different perspectives we brought too each other, too.
Buri you crack me up. thanks for a great post.
Jim, you can`t be burned out yet. We`ve years of arguing to go. I have seen the Menuhin clips on you tube. They are too beautiful for words. I have a 24inch mac screen on order and they are going to be running night and day.
Drew, the new Bach editions by Manze are all Barenreiter(check out the double cocnerto, too). They are quite different from even their most modern predecessors. Of course, as a baroque player Manze eschews highe r positions. But one thing I found straight away was how efficiently he utilizes the lower end of the instrument. Very extensive use of second position. . You can really feel that he isn`t really working poitions in the `modern` sense but crawling musicalyl around the fingerboad. I like his fingerings very much indeed. They work just as well with a more contempoarary set up and approach. Just one example-sonata no 3 , opening Adagio bar 3. Both editions start in 4th but whereas the old edition stays there Manze immediately shifts down to first positon to keep the color and then goes into second position for the last four notes of the bar. One aspect I didn`t like so much was that many of the trills are left on a fourth finger. I don`t know if its just his is really strong but I guess a lot of players will not want to do that all the time. Another interesting feature is that he is not afraid to use less clean fingerings when using half postion. Quite happy to slide that first finger back and fourth. Nothing wrong with it to my mind.
The bowing also reflects his back ground and although it is not obviously radical at first I think even the small changes he makes add up overall to a considerable improvement. Not that I think the older Barenreiter was bad, but it did tend to smooth things out, typically starting with an up bow on long quiet note s for example. Manze doesn`t do that. He also uses up up a little more frequently. But I also find he adds space to long melodic lines by sometimes separating or hooking notes that were legato before. It does work better to my ear. Of coutrse one has to pay even more attention to bow distribution, Interestingly, in the Presto of the last mov of the third sonata he actually smooths out the 8th notes by making extensive use of four note to a bow slurring instea d of the more usual breaking things up into more groups of two and two. Then when he gets to around bar forty and the very long 8th note passages he drops all the Barenreiter slurs (which were quite tasteful and well thought out) and just does straight separates. I have foundThis creates a very nice contrast with the smoother opening . That does seem to be a little bit part of Manze`s approach- he doesn`t hesitate to use bach`s original bowings even when quite complex but in longer 8th note passages he does avoid adding extra slurring just for the sake of it. Its very refreshing.
As a bonus there is also a basso continuo part for a friendly and knowledgeable cellist to join in with. The only caveat I have is that it seems to be on cheaper (?) cream colored paper than the earlier version and it is defintiley harder to read. That is not a small issue in some of the later very complex fugues. Especially if you are getting old!
The Mendelssohn sonatas are also from Barenreiter. I don`t like the editing much at all but ther e is a clean urtext as well and it is very nicely produced. Probably very expensive. I just close my eyes and hand over a credit cvard.
My favorite movement from these is from the E maj. one, I think, and it might be the first mvmt, I think. You'll recognize it because the main theme is distinctively like a children's song. But it also sounds like a theme Bach might cook up himself, for the second part use the first part some interval lower with a little twist, and so on. I'd like to know more about that theme, like if anybody in Germany recognizes it as say part of German Teddy Bear's Picnic.
Buri—thanks for the info.
In bar 3, I shift immediately to 1st pos with B4 and also go to 2nd for last 4 16ths;-)
Last mvt — Presto? Mine is Allegro in 1960 edition. It also has the continuo and additionally has the Urtext violin part full size with the keyboard part—great to work from. Is the Presto within the movement?
I can see why Manze does more legato toward the end as it lends a wonderful variety.Have a Blessed Easter/Passover—Drew
If you want to hear some outrageous Bach harmony, listen to the f minor sinfonia. It's just for keyboard--no violin part.
This one. Bach's most interesting theme.
P.S. Listen to the harmony beginning around 0:38 where the theme comes back in the piano. Like standing on one foot in the door of an airplane.
><In bar 3, I shift immediately to 1st pos with B4 and also go to 2nd for last 4 16ths;-)
Aha! The defintive proof that no Manze is an island.
Aha! The defintive proof that no Manze is an island.
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