Post by MiNe109 Post by Bozo
How were >such classical pieces as Mozart's Variation K. 500 and
Hummel's Etudes, Opus >125, originally played,
Mary Louise Boehm's Vox recording of the Hummel Etudes ; not sure
Thanks! I sampled John Khouri on spotify but can't recommend those
despite his nineteenth century style piano.
The layout of the music certainly encourages the upright posture mentioned.
I guess the headline writer thought Mozart would attract more attention.
I enjoyed the Kobb video included.
Bach's finger technique as described by Forkel just seems totally alien to me; I have tried it a couple time and can't make it work---and certainly not at speed.
According to Sebastian Bach's manner of placing the hand on the keys, the five fingers are bent so that their points come into a straight line, and so fit the keys, which lie in a plane surface under them, that no single finger has to be drawn nearer when it is wanted, but every one is ready over the key which it may have to press down. What follows from this manner of holding the hand is:
(1) That no finger must fall upon its key, or (as also often happens) be thrown on it, but only needs to be placed upon it with a certain consciousness of the internal power and command over the motion.
(2) The impulse thus given to the keys, or the quantity of pressure, must be maintained in equal strength, and that in such a manner that the finger be not raised perpendicularly from the key, but that it glide off the forepart of the key, by gradually drawing back the tip of the finger towards the palm of the hand.
(3) In the transition from one key to another, this gliding off causes the quantity of force or pressure with which the first tone has been kept up to be transferred with the greatest rapidity to the next finger, so that the two tones are neither disjoined from each other nor blended together. The touch is, therefore, as Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach says, neither too long nor too short, but just what it ought to be.
Earlier, Forkel had referred to C.P.E. Bach's statement in his Essay:
Some persons play too stickily, as if they had glue between their fingers; their touch is too long, because they keep the keys down beyond the time. Others have attempted to avoid this defect and play too short, as if the keys were burning hot. This is also a fault. The middle path is the best.31
Continuing his description, Forkel wrote at length:
The advantages of such a position of the hand and of such a touch are very various, not only on the clavichord, but also on the pianoforte and the organ. I will here mention only the most important.
(1) The holding of the fingers bent renders all their motions easy. There can therefore be none of the scrambling, thumping, and stumbling which is so common in persons who play with their fingers stretched out, or not sufficiently bent.
(2) The drawing back of the tips of the fingers and the rapid communication, thereby effected, of the force of one finger to that following it produces the highest degree of clearness in the expression of the single tones, so that every passage performed in this manner sounds brilliant, rolling, and round, as if each tone were a pearl. It does not cost the hearer the least exertion of attention to understand a passage so performed.
(3) By the gliding of the tip of the finger upon the key with an equable pressure, sufficient time is given to the string to vibrate; the tone, therefore, is not only improved, but also prolonged, and we are thus enabled to play in a singing style and with proper connection, even on an instrument so poor in tone as the clavichord is.
All this together has, besides, the very great advantage that we avoid all waste of strength by useless exertion and by constraint in the motions. In fact, Sebastian Bach is said to have played with so easy and small a motion of the fingers that it was hardly perceptible. Only the first joints of the fingers were in motion; the hand retained even in the most difficult passages its rounded form; the fingers rose very little from the keys, hardly more than in a shake [trill], and when one was employed, the other remained quietly in its position. Still less did the other parts of his body take any share in his play, as happens with many whose hand is not light enough.
In the chapter entitled "Bach the Teacher," Forkel tells us:
The first thing he did was to teach his scholars his peculiar mode of touching the instrument, of which we have spoken before. For this purpose, he made them practice, for months together, nothing but isolated exercises for all the fingers of both hands, with constant regard to this clear and clean touch. Under some months, none could get excused from these exercises; and, according to his firm opinion, they ought to be continued, at least, for from six to twelve months. But if he found that anyone, after some months of practice, began to lose patience, he was so obliging as to write little connected pieces, in which those exercises were combined together. Of this kind are the six little Preludes for Beginners, and still more the fifteen two-part Inventions. He wrote both down during the hours of teaching, and, in doing so, attended only to the momentary want of the scholar. But he afterwards transformed them into beautiful, expressive little works of art. With his exercise of the fingers, either in single passages or in little pieces composed on purpose, was combined the practice of all the ornaments in both hands.