I tire easily of listening to Bach

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 18505
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Lance » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:45 pm

Simply cannot get enough of Bach - anytime, day or night. The only work of his I do not enjoy is Art of the Fugue. But just think of the VARIETY of Bach's music, from keyboard, to violin, to choral, cantatas, magnificats ... it's just incredible. How could one man have so much talent? We could ask that of many, I'm sure, including Haydn, Mozart ... many.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17669
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:11 pm

Lance wrote:Simply cannot get enough of Bach - anytime, day or night. The only work of his I do not enjoy is Art of the Fugue. But just think of the VARIETY of Bach's music, from keyboard, to violin, to choral, cantatas, magnificats ... it's just incredible. How could one man have so much talent? We could ask that of many, I'm sure, including Haydn, Mozart ... many.
Yes, me too, I have just about every kind of AATF from Organ to String Quartet but never really found it that enjoyable...
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

Marc
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:45 pm

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Marc » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:16 pm

Tastes differ. :o

:wink:

I think that Die Kunst der Fuge is one of those eternal masterpieces.
I have been listening a couple of times lately to complete KdF's, played on harpsichord (Sebastien Guillot, Naxos) and organ (Lionel Rogg, EMI). Never a dull moment, really. On the contrary:

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17669
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:24 pm

Marc wrote:Tastes differ. :o

:wink:

I think that Die Kunst der Fuge is one of those eternal masterpieces.
I have been listening a couple of times lately to complete KdF's, played on harpsichord (Sebastien Guillot, Naxos) and organ (Lionel Rogg, EMI). Never a dull moment, really. On the contrary:

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
I guess you still have a Nanny Complex... :lol:
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

Marc
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:45 pm

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Marc » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:31 pm

Chalkperson wrote:
Marc wrote:Tastes differ. :o

:wink:

I think that Die Kunst der Fuge is one of those eternal masterpieces.
I have been listening a couple of times lately to complete KdF's, played on harpsichord (Sebastien Guillot, Naxos) and organ (Lionel Rogg, EMI). Never a dull moment, really. On the contrary:

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
I guess you still have a Nanny Complex... :lol:
Mmmm .... at least it would be a Complex I could live with! :wink:

Oh Mr Marc! You wanna play THAT tune? OK! You're the boss and I'm the nanny: you give me a raise, and I'll give you one!

Prometheus
Posts: 746
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:34 pm

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Prometheus » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:42 pm

Marc wrote:
I think that Die Kunst der Fuge is one of those eternal masterpieces.
I have been listening a couple of times lately to complete KdF's, played on harpsichord (Sebastien Guillot, Naxos)
That Naxos disc is my favorite version of the work in any of its varied transcriptions.

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17669
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:36 am

Yes, if I had to pick it would probably be that disc too...or the only Emerson Quartet recording that I actually enjoy...
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

Carnivorous Sheep
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:49 pm

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Carnivorous Sheep » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:26 am

I am with IcedNote. I could easily listen to Beethoven's symphonies in a row, or his sonatas in a row, but I've always found Bach...bland, dare I say, boring? Same with many other Baroque and Classical era conductors.

The only Baroque composer so far that I've found myself fully enjoying is Vivaldi.
Last edited by Carnivorous Sheep on Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Holden Fourth
Posts: 1492
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:47 am

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Holden Fourth » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:28 am

Cliftwood wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:
Cliftwood wrote:Chalkie..

I didn't know you were a Scarlatti devotee! :D

I assume you have a good number of recordings. We need to compare notes! :lol:

I have had a passion for DS for many years!
I have every decent Scarlatti Keyboard disc that I know of, for Piano renditions I especially like Anthony di Bonaventura's discs on Titanic and Centaur, Maria Tipo on EMI, Constantin Scherbakov on Naxos, Yevgeny Sudbin on BIS, Andras Schiff on Decca and Ivo Pogorelich on DG.....
Chalkie..

Hard to dispute those recordings you listed. I would add Babayan, Pletnev, Tomsic and Andjaparidze . :lol:
as another DS devotee I'd also add Marcelle Meyer and Mordecai Shehori

Heck148
Posts: 3568
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Heck148 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:51 am

listening to Bach to me is most relaxing and satisfying - it is very much like jazz.
one can listen very intently, paying great attention to the music and its development, or one can simply have it on, to listen to as we go about various activities..jazz, like Bach simply progresses on its inevitable development and conclusion...you know where the music is going to end up, it's inevitable, but the journey is most satisfying and enjoyable.
My wife breast-fed all of her children, and used to love to nurse the babies to Bach. she said the little ones would suck right along most contentedly in tempo with the pulsing rhythm. :)

Jack Kelso
Posts: 3004
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:52 pm
Location: Mannheim, Germany

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:09 am

Heck148 wrote:listening to Bach to me is most relaxing and satisfying - it is very much like jazz.
one can listen very intently, paying great attention to the music and its development, or one can simply have it on, to listen to as we go about various activities..jazz, like Bach simply progresses on its inevitable development and conclusion...you know where the music is going to end up, it's inevitable, but the journey is most satisfying and enjoyable.
My wife breast-fed all of her children, and used to love to nurse the babies to Bach. she said the little ones would suck right along most contentedly in tempo with the pulsing rhythm. :)
For me, J.S. Bach has about as much in common with jazz as Haydn does with country 'n western. :lol:

I could never figure out how folks found expression in "listening" to most jazz types (John Coultrane might be an exception), while "playing" it can truly be fun.

Jazz elements in art-music is often wonderful (e.g., Milhaud, Hindemith, Gershwin, etc.).

My daughter was breast-fed with Beethoven and Schumann piano music in the background---and doesn't ever listen to art-music anymore! :wink:

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

ContrapunctusIX
Posts: 971
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:40 am

Lance wrote:The only work of his I do not enjoy is Art of the Fugue.
Wow. That happens to be one of my favorite works of Bach. I must own at least 10 versions of it, ranging from string orchestra, baroque ensemble, string quartet, solo piano, harpsichord, even a quartet of viols.

Heck148
Posts: 3568
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Heck148 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:39 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:For me, J.S. Bach has about as much in common with jazz as Haydn does with country 'n western.

you're kidding of course!! :wink:
the bass lines alone are often totally reminiscent of Bach. the way the melodies and harmonies progress, resolve, absolutely parallel.
Jazz elements in art-music is often wonderful (e.g., Milhaud, Hindemith, Gershwin, etc.).
Bach elements in jazz are most excellent as well!! :D
My daughter was breast-fed with Beethoven and Schumann piano music in the background---and doesn't ever listen to art-music anymore!
doesn't matter -

ContrapunctusIX
Posts: 971
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:59 pm

Heck148 wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:For me, J.S. Bach has about as much in common with jazz as Haydn does with country 'n western.

you're kidding of course!! :wink:
Perhaps if Jack knew more about jazz he'd feel differently. Some of Parker's work in particular has quite a bit in common with Bach. Plenty of jazz musicians have commented that Bach came remarkable close to some jazz progressions in some of his more exploratory works - to say nothing of the kinship his improvisations have in common with the entire genre.

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17669
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:22 pm

Holden Fourth wrote:
Cliftwood wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:
Cliftwood wrote:Chalkie..

I didn't know you were a Scarlatti devotee! :D

I assume you have a good number of recordings. We need to compare notes! :lol:

I have had a passion for DS for many years!
I have every decent Scarlatti Keyboard disc that I know of, for Piano renditions I especially like Anthony di Bonaventura's discs on Titanic and Centaur, Maria Tipo on EMI, Constantin Scherbakov on Naxos, Yevgeny Sudbin on BIS, Andras Schiff on Decca and Ivo Pogorelich on DG.....
Chalkie..

Hard to dispute those recordings you listed. I would add Babayan, Pletnev, Tomsic and Andjaparidze . :lol:
as another DS devotee I'd also add Marcelle Meyer and Mordecai Shehori
I did that from memory, I certainly should have added Marcelle Meyer, I did not find Babayan's disc to my taste but I would also add Clara Haskil to the list, the disc came free with the Philips Great Pianist's series, if memory serves me correctly it was originally recorded for Westminster...Christian Zacharias and Alexis Weissenberg also have good Scarlatti discs out there, Tomsic and Andjaparidze I have not heard...
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:32 pm

ContrapunctusIX wrote:
Heck148 wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:For me, J.S. Bach has about as much in common with jazz as Haydn does with country 'n western.

you're kidding of course!! :wink:
Perhaps if Jack knew more about jazz he'd feel differently. Some of Parker's work in particular has quite a bit in common with Bach. Plenty of jazz musicians have commented that Bach came remarkable close to some jazz progressions in some of his more exploratory works - to say nothing of the kinship his improvisations have in common with the entire genre.
Without intending to disparage jazz or its devotees, these supposed resemblances are specious. In the first place, Bach is best understood in terms of counterpoint and its resultant harmonies, not in terms of "progressions." Any resemblance between the move from one measure to the next in his work and a jazz progression is both superficial and coincidental. More importantly, Bach's work, even at its most chromatic and improvisatory (insofar as we can infer anything about his improvisations), is always profoundly tonal in a structural sense, something that jazz most certainly is not.

I'm all for maximizing appreciation of art forms, but it is neither necessary nor desirable to go hunting for connections that are not there in order to do so.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Brendan

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Brendan » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:49 pm


jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:25 pm

I don't know what your intention was in posting that, but the fact that Bach motifs can be the takeoff point for a jazz improvisation is not support for a non-trivial connection between the two. They also both use the same system of pitches and some of the same instruments, and to visitors from the planet Xixel in orbit around Beta Orionis they would probably sound no different. The question is what they share that is within the realm of our artistic discernment, and the answer is nothing important, any more than using the notes of a popular tune as a fugue subject establishes a strong connection between pop writing and fugue writing.
Brendan wrote:

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Teresa B
Posts: 3057
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 11:04 am
Location: Tampa, Florida

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Teresa B » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:06 pm

I love Bach, but I have experienced the tiresome component. In my case it's the tambre rather than the fugal quality or the necessity to concentrate. I can probably listen to most Bach orchestral or vocal works (or piano!) without any problem for a long time, but if it is a long stretch of harpsichord, it begins to wear. Also, anything such as the Brandenburg 4 that has a lot of recorder in high registers--a little is fine, just not too much.

Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

Heck148
Posts: 3568
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Heck148 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:23 pm

jbuck919 wrote: Without intending to disparage jazz or its devotees, these supposed resemblances are specious.
nonsense, they are perfectly valid and readily apparent.
In the first place, Bach is best understood in terms of counterpoint and its resultant harmonies, not in terms of "progressions." Any resemblance between the move from one measure to the next in his work and a jazz progression is both superficial and coincidental.
again, nonsense - jazz often is typified by counterpoint - with the soloist playing the embellished melody over a melodic bass line. yes, jazz bass lines are often definitely melodic.

the counterpoint, and resultant harmonies are established by the simultaneous sounding of the pitches in the different melodic lines - just as we hear with Bach -
two or more melodic lines sounding, interacting to establish harmonies, and yes chord progressions that fit perfectly the primary melodic line..
More importantly, Bach's work, even at its most chromatic and improvisatory (insofar as we can infer anything about his improvisations), is always profoundly tonal in a structural sense, something that jazz most certainly is not.
:? :? where are you coming up with this stuff?? jazz is most often, very tonal. I don't have any idea what your jazz listening tastes are, but jazz is usually very tonal, even tho the chords and progressions may be quite distant or obscure at times...
the contrapuntal effect of the improvised melodic lines over the bass lines is directly parallel with the compositions of Bach...

all of those fine jazz musicians who study Bach, and explore and learn his various bass lines are not crazy....

Heck148
Posts: 3568
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Heck148 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:27 pm

jbuck919 wrote:The question is what they share that is within the realm of our artistic discernment, and the answer is....
they may share the basic technique of counterpoint - of polyphony, not homophony...much jazz is rendered in contrapuntal fashion, not block chords played in support of a melody. some jazz may be like that, but much of it is not, certainly those jazz works with moving, melodic bass lines are very much similar in technique to that used by Bach.

Heck148
Posts: 3568
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Heck148 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:29 pm

Teresa B wrote:but if it is a long stretch of harpsichord, it begins to wear.
I agree, but the problem for me is timbral, it has nothing to do with Bach.
plucked instruments are not my favorites, and the monotony of sound soon becomes tedious to me...

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:02 am

Heck148 wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:The question is what they share that is within the realm of our artistic discernment, and the answer is....
they may share the basic technique of counterpoint - of polyphony, not homophony...much jazz is rendered in contrapuntal fashion, not block chords played in support of a melody. some jazz may be like that, but much of it is not, certainly those jazz works with moving, melodic bass lines are very much similar in technique to that used by Bach.
You are confusing polyphony and counterpoint. There is none of the latter in jazz (I wouldn't try to tell a jazz pianist that his playing is full of parallel fifths, since such rules which are essential to counterpoint are alien to jazz). The "polyphonic" aspect--that like all western forms of music other than plainchant it consists of more than one voice or multiple voices moving in parallel--does not distinguish jazz from anything else and does nothing to bring it into close kinship with Bach. Saying that jazz is "like Bach" for such superficial reasons is like saying that a newspaper article is "like poetry" because each sentence could be printed as a separate line. I do not understand why there is a felt need to find deeper similarities when the enormous and essential differences between the two forms of music are evident to the listener.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 18505
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Lance » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:25 am

I have seriously attempted to get involved with the work and have a number of recordings of it. These include Charles Rosen's (piano); Fine Arts Quartet (transcribed by Samuel Baron); Glenn Gould (organ); Paul Jordan (organ, Walcha pupil); Tatiana Nikolayeva (piano), Helmut Walcha (organ). Quite frankly, the Walcha DGG recording opened up many things for me. Still, this Bach work is not at the top of my list. It's just one of those things. Perhaps it's an aquired taste, eh?
ContrapunctusIX wrote:
Lance wrote:The only work of his I do not enjoy is Art of the Fugue.
Wow. That happens to be one of my favorite works of Bach. I must own at least 10 versions of it, ranging from string orchestra, baroque ensemble, string quartet, solo piano, harpsichord, even a quartet of viols.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Brendan

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Brendan » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:11 am

From a Jazz Arranging Tutorial http://webpages.charter.net/dbristol4/t ... chcoun.htm:

COUNTERPOINT
It should be strongly noted that anyone interested in composition should study 18th century counterpoint, as the ability to write good counter melodies is very important.

The example below is written in the style of a fugue. The subject is an eight measure long melodic line that is then repeated a 4th higher in the saxophones. The answer is a P4 higher in the saxophones, but it's entrance is only four measures after the trombones have started. This technique of beginning the answer before the subject has finished is called stretto. The trumpets then enter a P4 higher than the saxophones. During Bach's era the third entrance would have been in the tonic - the same starting pitch as the subject. This style of writing is not common to big band arrangements, but this writer has heard it used on several occasions.

North Rim

The type of counterpoint below is very common to big band writing. The counter melody, in the tenor saxophones, is most active when the melody has a sustained note and visa versa. It is common for a blues melody to be stated twice and during the second playing a counterline is added to create variety.

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 18505
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Lance » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:31 am

Chalkperson wrote:{snipped} I did that from memory, I certainly should have added Marcelle Meyer, I did not find Babayan's disc to my taste but I would also add Clara Haskil to the list, the disc came free with the Philips Great Pianist's series, if memory serves me correctly it was originally recorded for Westminster...Christian Zacharias and Alexis Weissenberg also have good Scarlatti discs out there, Tomsic and Andjaparidze I have not heard...
The Dubravka Tomsic Scarlatti recording was issued on Pilz 160106 and contained 13 Scarlatti sonatas. Some of Tomsic's records were issued by myriad labels of the same exact performance. Oddly, the Westminster-derived Clara Haskil sonatas was, for me, disappointing. She didn't seem comfortable playing this repertoire though, if you're a Haskil fanatic as is yours truly, you would certainly want to hear anything played by Haskil. The Westminster recording was at its best remastered by DGG and issued as 471 214 (now deleted). Another recording of the same material was reissued on Archipel [0060]. Try to go with the DGG/Westminster remastered disc for those that seek it. I'm sure Chalkster already has it. Andjaparidze's recording is on Naxos [8.553061], and a winner it is. Here's an highly underrated pianist for whatever reason. Absolutely superaltive on the scene of pianists today.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Holden Fourth
Posts: 1492
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:47 am

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Holden Fourth » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:00 am

Bach's music lends itself to various transmogrifications and he did this himself, rewriting many of his own works for different instruments and ensembles and in different forms. Modern musicians have also done this very successfully. In the Jazz idiom we have the Jacques Loussier Trio whose reworkings of Bach warhorses are very inspired. I have a number of the JLT CDs and love very one of them.

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:04 am

IcedNote wrote:I find his counterpoint to be absolutely exhausting. I mean, it's magnificent, but hot damn, one can only take so much!

Who's with me? :mrgreen: :?

-G
My sentiments exactly. I've been saying the same thing for decades. He's just too distracting after about 30-60 seconds, I can't find the melody in that pile of notes, and as soon as I find it, I've lost it again.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Heck148
Posts: 3568
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Heck148 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:43 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Heck148 wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:The question is what they share that is within the realm of our artistic discernment, and the answer is....
they may share the basic technique of counterpoint - of polyphony, not homophony...much jazz is rendered in contrapuntal fashion, not block chords played in support of a melody. some jazz may be like that, but much of it is not, certainly those jazz works with moving, melodic bass lines are very much similar in technique to that used by Bach.
You are confusing polyphony and counterpoint. There is none of the latter in jazz
nonsense. the walking, running, bass-lines of modern jazz pieces is very much the same as those bass-lines of Bach - they perform the same function, and establish the same polyphony with its resultant harmonic progressions to accompany the melody. these bass lines are very much melodic, just as Bach's bass lines are.
in these cases we have polyphony, with its resulting harmony, not homophony, with its block or arpeggiated chords supporting a melody..
I don't know what your hang-up is about jazz - but so often it parallels the works of Bach for precisely the reasons I've described - and I know alot of jazz musicians who feel very much the same way...
that certainly doesn't mean that all jazz follows this pattern, but a significant portion of it does.

Jack Kelso
Posts: 3004
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:52 pm
Location: Mannheim, Germany

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Jack Kelso » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:31 am

In reading and re-reading the previous posts, I must agree with John Buck in his explanations and analyses on this theme.

But PERSONALLY, I find 98 percent of the jazz I've heard to be directionless harmonically, a beginning but no progressive harmony to drive it to a true conclusion.....not to mention the general formlessness of it. Nevertheless, I can occasionally enjoy some gentle progressive jazz in the background....

By the way, my comparison with Haydn wasn't so poor: he used (western) Croatian folk-melodies in the final movements of many of his finest symphonies! :P

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

Marc
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:45 pm

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Marc » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:42 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
IcedNote wrote:I find his counterpoint to be absolutely exhausting. I mean, it's magnificent, but hot damn, one can only take so much!

Who's with me? :mrgreen: :?

-G
My sentiments exactly. I've been saying the same thing for decades. He's just too distracting after about 30-60 seconds, I can't find the melody in that pile of notes, and as soon as I find it, I've lost it again.
Distracting after about 60 seconds ....
No melody ....
Pile of notes ....

Are you sure it was Bach you've been listening to? :mrgreen:

Anyway: to me, Bach is the ultimate composer of eternal patience.
So, for those who do not 'get' him immediately, I would advice: just take your time. Do not listen to the entire Matthäus-Passion or Die Kunst der Fuge at once, but begin with a selection.
Yet, if after decades and decades Bach is still a name that creates (musical) nightmares :wink:, I'm afraid that this advice might come too late.

But I'd like to add this: when melody is concerned, then Bach is also my favourite tuneful composer. When I was about 12 years old, I heard f.i. arias like Ich will dir mein Herze schenken, Blute nur, du liebes Herz, Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen, Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben and Mache dich, mein Herze, rein of the above mentioned Matthäus-Passion. Those tunes still belong to my favourite melodies! Or his arioso-like recitatives for the Jesus-part during the Last Supper .... lovely lovely lovely!

Still, I realize it's just my tuppence worth.

Tiger
Posts: 453
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Albuquerque

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Tiger » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:46 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
IcedNote wrote:I find his counterpoint to be absolutely exhausting. I mean, it's magnificent, but hot damn, one can only take so much!

Who's with me? :mrgreen: :?

-G
My sentiments exactly. I've been saying the same thing for decades. He's just too distracting after about 30-60 seconds, I can't find the melody in that pile of notes, and as soon as I find it, I've lost it again.
What melody are you looking for? In Bach's counterpoint, there are multiple lines, each one of significance. Often, there is no primary line unlike in romantic era music where one line dominates. A listener can key on all lines at once or just key on one particular line. That's one of the great aspects of Bach's music.

Marc
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:45 pm

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Marc » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:58 pm

Tiger wrote: What melody are you looking for? In Bach's counterpoint, there are multiple lines, each one of significance. Often, there is no primary line unlike in romantic era music where one line dominates. A listener can key on all lines at once or just key on one particular line. That's one of the great aspects of Bach's music.
And, maybe even the great aspect. :)
The melodic richnesses in all parts make it worthwhile to listen to his music again and again, because there's always something new to discover.
Also, different musicians feel invited to highlight different lines and aspects of Bach's contrapunt, which makes comparising listening rather satisfying, too.

Tiger
Posts: 453
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Albuquerque

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Tiger » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:05 pm

Marc wrote:
Tiger wrote: What melody are you looking for? In Bach's counterpoint, there are multiple lines, each one of significance. Often, there is no primary line unlike in romantic era music where one line dominates. A listener can key on all lines at once or just key on one particular line. That's one of the great aspects of Bach's music.
And, maybe even the great aspect. :)
The melodic richnesses in all parts make it worthwhile to listen to his music again and again, because there's always something new to discover.
Also, different musicians feel invited to highlight different lines and aspects of Bach's contrapunt, which makes comparising listening rather satisfying, too.
Right on target. I've heard folks say that counterpoint is essentially non-musical; that's the opposite of my feelings about it.

IcedNote
Posts: 2963
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NYC

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by IcedNote » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:01 pm

Have any of you seen the BBC special on Bach? I showed it to my kids yesterday. Pretty good.

Charles Rosen says at one point (paraphrasing): "Bach wrote the most emotional music of all time, the most intellectual music of all time (referring to counterpoint), and the most challenging music of all time (referring to performance). To have all three in one man's music is extraordinary."

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:27 pm

IcedNote wrote:Have any of you seen the BBC special on Bach? I showed it to my kids yesterday. Pretty good.

Charles Rosen says at one point (paraphrasing): "Bach wrote the most emotional music of all time, the most intellectual music of all time (referring to counterpoint), and the most challenging music of all time (referring to performance). To have all three in one man's music is extraordinary."

-G
Much as I admire Rosen, I must consider that posturing. He knows better, and the statement sounds positively sophomoric coming from him.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Tiger
Posts: 453
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Albuquerque

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Tiger » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:11 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
IcedNote wrote:Have any of you seen the BBC special on Bach? I showed it to my kids yesterday. Pretty good.

Charles Rosen says at one point (paraphrasing): "Bach wrote the most emotional music of all time, the most intellectual music of all time (referring to counterpoint), and the most challenging music of all time (referring to performance). To have all three in one man's music is extraordinary."

-G
Much as I admire Rosen, I must consider that posturing. He knows better, and the statement sounds positively sophomoric coming from him.
What do you find wrong with Rosen's statements?

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:29 pm

Tiger wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
IcedNote wrote:Have any of you seen the BBC special on Bach? I showed it to my kids yesterday. Pretty good.

Charles Rosen says at one point (paraphrasing): "Bach wrote the most emotional music of all time, the most intellectual music of all time (referring to counterpoint), and the most challenging music of all time (referring to performance). To have all three in one man's music is extraordinary."

-G
Much as I admire Rosen, I must consider that posturing. He knows better, and the statement sounds positively sophomoric coming from him.
What do you find wrong with Rosen's statements?
Beethoven wrote the most emotional music of all time if by "emotional" one is referring to expressiveness and nothing cloying. Very obviously, many composers wrote music that is more challenging to perform than Bach. The only one that's up in the air is "most intellectual," and even there Beethoven is at least Bach's equal. It is difficult to see the author of The Classical Style in a statement one might expect to find in a popularizing guide to elementary music appreciation.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Tiger
Posts: 453
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Albuquerque

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Tiger » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:44 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Tiger wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
IcedNote wrote:Have any of you seen the BBC special on Bach? I showed it to my kids yesterday. Pretty good.

Charles Rosen says at one point (paraphrasing): "Bach wrote the most emotional music of all time, the most intellectual music of all time (referring to counterpoint), and the most challenging music of all time (referring to performance). To have all three in one man's music is extraordinary."

-G
Much as I admire Rosen, I must consider that posturing. He knows better, and the statement sounds positively sophomoric coming from him.
What do you find wrong with Rosen's statements?
Beethoven wrote the most emotional music of all time if by "emotional" one is referring to expressiveness and nothing cloying. Very obviously, many composers wrote music that is more challenging to perform than Bach. The only one that's up in the air is "most intellectual," and even there Beethoven is at least Bach's equal. It is difficult to see the author of The Classical Style in a statement one might expect to find in a popularizing guide to elementary music appreciation.
I prefer what Rosen said. :)

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:05 am

Marc wrote: Distracting after about 60 seconds ....
No melody ....
Pile of notes ....

Are you sure it was Bach you've been listening to?

Positive. De gustibus and all that.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Imperfect Pitch
Posts: 652
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:55 pm
Location: Brookline, MA

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Imperfect Pitch » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:45 am


I still remember hearing Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #2 in my elementary school music class. It was indescribably magical. That's the moment when I became smitten with classical music, and after all these years Bach remains one of my favorite composers. I find that his music rewards repeated listening.

Tangentially, I will mention: Bach's keyboard works have always seemed very intuitive to me, performance-wise. Frustratingly, for whatever reason, I find other composers much harder to get "right" from an interpretive standpoint regardless of how much I like the work, or technical degree of difficulty. Had I been blessed with 1,000 times more talent and become a concert pianist, I think I would be a Bach keyboard specialist.

Marc
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:45 pm

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Marc » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:25 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Marc wrote: Distracting after about 60 seconds ....
No melody ....
Pile of notes ....

Are you sure it was Bach you've been listening to?
Positive. De gustibus and all that.
Yep.
As I comforted the thread starter before: luckilly there is more music to enjoy. :)
Like errr ..... Mozart.
(Though de gustibus et al some might not agree with that.)

Jack Kelso
Posts: 3004
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:52 pm
Location: Mannheim, Germany

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Jack Kelso » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:23 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Tiger wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
IcedNote wrote:Have any of you seen the BBC special on Bach? I showed it to my kids yesterday. Pretty good.

Charles Rosen says at one point (paraphrasing): "Bach wrote the most emotional music of all time, the most intellectual music of all time (referring to counterpoint), and the most challenging music of all time (referring to performance). To have all three in one man's music is extraordinary."

-G
Much as I admire Rosen, I must consider that posturing. He knows better, and the statement sounds positively sophomoric coming from him.
What do you find wrong with Rosen's statements?
Beethoven wrote the most emotional music of all time if by "emotional" one is referring to expressiveness and nothing cloying. Very obviously, many composers wrote music that is more challenging to perform than Bach. The only one that's up in the air is "most intellectual," and even there Beethoven is at least Bach's equal. It is difficult to see the author of The Classical Style in a statement one might expect to find in a popularizing guide to elementary music appreciation.
Now, John---that's posturing, too! "Most emotional music", "most expressive"----musicology doesn't concern itself with such abstractions. Is the "Eroica" the most emotional symphony? Or is it Schumann's Second? Or Tschaikowsky's "Pathetique"?! They are ALL emotional. The listener must determine what is most emotional for him/her. I can't decide on one single work myself!

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:34 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Tiger wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
IcedNote wrote:Have any of you seen the BBC special on Bach? I showed it to my kids yesterday. Pretty good.

Charles Rosen says at one point (paraphrasing): "Bach wrote the most emotional music of all time, the most intellectual music of all time (referring to counterpoint), and the most challenging music of all time (referring to performance). To have all three in one man's music is extraordinary."

-G
Much as I admire Rosen, I must consider that posturing. He knows better, and the statement sounds positively sophomoric coming from him.
What do you find wrong with Rosen's statements?
Beethoven wrote the most emotional music of all time if by "emotional" one is referring to expressiveness and nothing cloying. Very obviously, many composers wrote music that is more challenging to perform than Bach. The only one that's up in the air is "most intellectual," and even there Beethoven is at least Bach's equal. It is difficult to see the author of The Classical Style in a statement one might expect to find in a popularizing guide to elementary music appreciation.
Now, John---that's posturing, too! "Most emotional music", "most expressive"----musicology doesn't concern itself with such abstractions. Is the "Eroica" the most emotional symphony? Or is it Schumann's Second? Or Tschaikowsky's "Pathetique"?! They are ALL emotional. The listener must determine what is most emotional for him/her. I can't decide on one single work myself!

Tschüß,
Jack
I stand by my evaluation, which is shared by many musicians and most musicologists, including I imagine Rosen if he were called on this (in spite of what he may have spouted in an offhand moment). I mention that not to lend myself authority, but to establish that I am not expressing an idiosyncratic opinion. I cannot help it that contrariness on this subject is the prevalent state of things here.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Marc
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:45 pm

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Marc » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:55 pm

Well, if one checks the Yellow Pages one might easily find a musicologist who would claim:
"Bach wrote the most emotionless music of all time, the most cerebral music of all time, and the most impossible playable music of all time. To have all three in one man's music is extraordinary catastrophic."

Personally, Rosen's statements make some sense to me, but who am I to judge? All I know is, that I shed most musical tears in my life whilst listening to compositions of a certain mr. J.S. Bach.
And I don't blame him for that.

Tiger
Posts: 453
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Albuquerque

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Tiger » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:15 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Tiger wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
IcedNote wrote:Have any of you seen the BBC special on Bach? I showed it to my kids yesterday. Pretty good.

Charles Rosen says at one point (paraphrasing): "Bach wrote the most emotional music of all time, the most intellectual music of all time (referring to counterpoint), and the most challenging music of all time (referring to performance). To have all three in one man's music is extraordinary."

-G
Much as I admire Rosen, I must consider that posturing. He knows better, and the statement sounds positively sophomoric coming from him.
What do you find wrong with Rosen's statements?
Beethoven wrote the most emotional music of all time if by "emotional" one is referring to expressiveness and nothing cloying. Very obviously, many composers wrote music that is more challenging to perform than Bach. The only one that's up in the air is "most intellectual," and even there Beethoven is at least Bach's equal. It is difficult to see the author of The Classical Style in a statement one might expect to find in a popularizing guide to elementary music appreciation.
Now, John---that's posturing, too! "Most emotional music", "most expressive"----musicology doesn't concern itself with such abstractions. Is the "Eroica" the most emotional symphony? Or is it Schumann's Second? Or Tschaikowsky's "Pathetique"?! They are ALL emotional. The listener must determine what is most emotional for him/her. I can't decide on one single work myself!

Tschüß,
Jack
I stand by my evaluation, which is shared by many musicians and most musicologists, including I imagine Rosen if he were called on this (in spite of what he may have spouted in an offhand moment). I mention that not to lend myself authority, but to establish that I am not expressing an idiosyncratic opinion. I cannot help it that contrariness on this subject is the prevalent state of things here.
Of course your opinion is not an idiosyncratic one, but others are entitled to hold their own opinions as well. That's not being contrary, just different.

Jack Kelso
Posts: 3004
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:52 pm
Location: Mannheim, Germany

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by Jack Kelso » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:17 pm

Whether or not one enjoys or respects Wagner, he was no fool when it came to music. I would like to quote him here, i.e. emotionalism in music:

"Georg Friedrich Händel war der einzige Komponist der bluten konnte." (George Frideric Handel was the only composer who could bleed). What a beautiful compliment to the greatest opera composer of them all! Talk about emotion!

As one can see, Wagner's opinion was quite different from that of Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms. They held primarily to J.S. Bach, also wonderful.

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

hangos
Posts: 983
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:44 pm
Location: England

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by hangos » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:05 pm

Heck148 wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Heck148 wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:The question is what they share that is within the realm of our artistic discernment, and the answer is....
they may share the basic technique of counterpoint - of polyphony, not homophony...much jazz is rendered in contrapuntal fashion, not block chords played in support of a melody. some jazz may be like that, but much of it is not, certainly those jazz works with moving, melodic bass lines are very much similar in technique to that used by Bach.
You are confusing polyphony and counterpoint. There is none of the latter in jazz
nonsense. the walking, running, bass-lines of modern jazz pieces is very much the same as those bass-lines of Bach - they perform the same function, and establish the same polyphony with its resultant harmonic progressions to accompany the melody. these bass lines are very much melodic, just as Bach's bass lines are.
in these cases we have polyphony, with its resulting harmony, not homophony, with its block or arpeggiated chords supporting a melody..
I don't know what your hang-up is about jazz - but so often it parallels the works of Bach for precisely the reasons I've described - and I know alot of jazz musicians who feel very much the same way...
that certainly doesn't mean that all jazz follows this pattern, but a significant portion of it does.
And now for the verdict of a renowned pianist on Bach and jazz; warning - the blurred fingers are for real! :?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS7te1DmLt8

Enjoy!
Martin

ContrapunctusIX
Posts: 971
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:18 pm

hangos wrote:
And now for the verdict of a renowned pianist on Bach and jazz; warning - the blurred fingers are for real! :?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS7te1DmLt8

Enjoy!
Martin
zu schnell!

ContrapunctusIX
Posts: 971
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: I tire easily of listening to Bach

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:27 pm

Heck148 wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Heck148 wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:The question is what they share that is within the realm of our artistic discernment, and the answer is....
they may share the basic technique of counterpoint - of polyphony, not homophony...much jazz is rendered in contrapuntal fashion, not block chords played in support of a melody. some jazz may be like that, but much of it is not, certainly those jazz works with moving, melodic bass lines are very much similar in technique to that used by Bach.
You are confusing polyphony and counterpoint. There is none of the latter in jazz
nonsense. the walking, running, bass-lines of modern jazz pieces is very much the same as those bass-lines of Bach - they perform the same function, and establish the same polyphony with its resultant harmonic progressions to accompany the melody. these bass lines are very much melodic, just as Bach's bass lines are.
in these cases we have polyphony, with its resulting harmony, not homophony, with its block or arpeggiated chords supporting a melody..
I don't know what your hang-up is about jazz - but so often it parallels the works of Bach for precisely the reasons I've described - and I know alot of jazz musicians who feel very much the same way...
that certainly doesn't mean that all jazz follows this pattern, but a significant portion of it does.
The problem I have with those that argue that there is no Bach-Jazz link is, they are arguing from the standpoint that Bach never aimed at being a forerunner to jazz. Of course he didn't! That doesn't mean jazz musicians didn't absorb and assimilate some of his characteristics into their music. I would also add, most jazz musicians - fine musicians, well-schooled in musical theory, in spite of the stigma assigned to them by certain classical congoscenti - have noticed a link between elements of jazz and the improvisatory nature of some of Bach's works. I don't think anyone is saying Bach foresaw jazz, rather that elements of his style have been assimilated by various jazz musicians over the years. Look no further than Brubeck's distinct compositional style, which fuses elements of Northern European classical - counterpoint included - with traditional jazz sensibilities.

It also appears as though the majority of those who see no link between jazz and Bach haven't actually, you know, listened to very much jazz. It's hard - or at least it should be hard - to make comparisons when you don't know very much about one of the things being compared. But it seems as though some have written jazz off in some Hesse-ian way as degenerate and base, and thus have flippantly cast aside any potential connection as mere coincidence.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests