Bach Talk

April 27, 2004 at 08:51 PM · i'm going to perform some bach on wednesday, to an audience who most likely hasn't been exposed to the sonatas and partitas, so i thought i'd give a really short pre-concert talk. really really short. I'd imagine a lot of you have done this before, i never have, what sort of things should i say?

Replies (20)

April 27, 2004 at 08:58 PM · I'm not sure exactly what all I would include in the lecture, but from having both shared history of the pieces I'm performing with the audience and a person sitting in the audience, I've always liked having the option to ask questions after the lecture part is done.

April 27, 2004 at 09:12 PM · You could talk about the dances they stem from? Learn how to do them and demonstrate with a bashful young filly in the front row.

April 27, 2004 at 09:03 PM · Tell the class you are interested in their thoughts and feelings, and to please feel free to share them -- both positive and negative -- after the pieces. Then be completely open to any dialogue: if as a result of the dialogue your auditors become self-motivated to explore these pieces further, you have succeeded. Share your own feelings about these pieces without in any way suggesting that your listeners "should" feel the same. Be warm, open and non-judgemental, unless you want to be another lecturer. Thanks for reading this.

April 27, 2004 at 10:46 PM · You might let the audience know that although Bach was known as an Organist, he played the violin quite well which is why these Sonatas sound so great on the Violin. They are quite violinistic. You may also explain that they were written for unaccomanied violin, hence the term Sonatas and Partitas senza Basso (without Base or Continuo) Which means that the violin must accompany itself. You can mention that there are 3 Sonatas and 3 Paritas and explain the difference between the two. Partitas are a series of Dance Movements. The other 3 follow the Basic Sonata form.

Slow movement, Fugue, slow movement, fast movement(to simplfy it)

April 27, 2004 at 11:51 PM · Greetings,

the biggets hook to hang your Bach on apart from the dances is the ground bass that provides the structure. I don`t know which ones you are playing, but if I waadoing the g minor Adagio for example, I would demonstrate this, then the chords and then show how the melody emrges from all this. I would only demonstarte small chunks though.



April 28, 2004 at 06:12 AM · My daughter finds it fascinating that Bach had 20 children.

April 28, 2004 at 12:08 PM · To Bach,to had 20 children was an easy matter. Ask his wifes!!

April 28, 2004 at 09:21 PM · Greetings,

Carlos is right. That is just twenty times five minutes work then back to reading the funnies,



April 28, 2004 at 10:24 PM · it only takes five minutes? cool, more time to practice when i get another girlfriend.

April 29, 2004 at 02:24 AM · Twenty-five, that's pretty, well, grrr. How do you know, Buri, were you there??

April 29, 2004 at 05:01 AM · Greetings,

Kismet, every musician should be familiar with Bach"s organ works,



April 29, 2004 at 06:11 AM · ---outch---

April 29, 2004 at 06:39 AM · Buri says: "Greetings,

Kismet, every musician should be familiar with Bach"s organ works,"

Yeah, we're all too familiar with his organ works, seems like his organ didn't have any stops! :)

April 29, 2004 at 11:50 AM · Greetings,

I guess the National Health Service came later...



April 29, 2004 at 12:57 PM · Owen, you could just read this entire thread for your talk, dramatically, of course.

April 29, 2004 at 05:05 PM · well too late now, i did it last night. I should have just talked about bach's organ stops though, that might have actually interested them. It went pretty well actually, except halfway through my talk i heard the orchestra behind me giggling, it seems i had a piece of paper stuck to the back of my pants, but didnt know it at the time, i kept talking until the second chair violinist lunged at me and grabbed it off my pants, god only knows what that looked like to the audience. The actual piece itself went well, it was the adagio from G minor i decided upon at hte alst minute, i crunched the last chord, but other than that it was pretty good. I think when people who arent exposed to music like that very often hear that they either have two reactions.

1 boredom

2, they get so excited that they attack you afterward with wide eyes saying weird things that could be taken as comments or not. One lady was trying to say she could die happy or something but it came out "You could die right now, and it would be all right." whoops, she became quite flustered after that and i had to escape out the back stage.

April 29, 2004 at 06:04 PM · LOL, Owen!

April 30, 2004 at 03:17 AM · I've had the issue of my dress coming unbuttoned if I moved my arms back to far, but Owen, your story is great!! :D

April 30, 2004 at 08:17 AM · Well done Owen - things must have gone well if you had to escape backstage to avoid being mobbed by the audience!

May 1, 2004 at 05:15 AM · either that or they were music scholars greatly angered by my interpretation

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

2023 Authenticate LA: Los Angeles Violin Shop
2023 Authenticate LA Shopping Guide Shopping Guide


Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine