Amateur pianist Michael Brazile plays the Aria from the Bach Goldberg Variations in this original video, and offers advice on how to handle the tempo and repeats.
On the surface, sameness is the defining feature of the Bach Invention No. 14 in B-flat Major. The entire piece is built from the opening motif of a little turn executed on the note B-flat, all in 32nd notes. Bach takes this rhythmic gesture and uses it in every way possible, inverting it, tossing it back and forth between the right and left hands, and playing it against itself with both hands.
A pianist seated at a grand, a violinist standing nearby in a small recital room: at first we expect a conventional performance video of a Bach violin concerto.
The Bach French Suite No. 4’s Allemande is relatively short, making its contrapuntal demands on the player manageable; get tips on how to play the piece.
On a wintry Wednesday, my scarf wrapped over my face, I walked to the university’s music building for my piano lesson. In my gloved hand, I held a book with the Bach Invention No. 1 in C Major, with its tricky piano trills. On the rhododendron bushes lining the path, the leaves hung limply.
If there is a single piece of music that unifies adult piano students of all ages and across all geographies, it must be the Bach Prelude in C Major, the score technically approachable, yet the harmonies like voices of seraphim.
The Bach French Suites, groupings of short pieces originally most likely written for the harpsichord, now played on the piano, provide many of the benefits of studying more complicated music by Bach.
Bach is my basic. It’s always back to Bach, the grand master. As a teenager, I played Bach’s Two-Part Inventions, then the Preludes and Fugues (from the Well-Tempered Clavier Books I and II), and then I discovered the French and English Suites, and I played a lot of both.
What makes the contrapuntal music of Bach difficult for adult piano students?
For a train journey down south, Paul Elie took along a triple-CD set of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.