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Re: Off topic - SITT 20 Studies in Double Stops

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Off topic - SITT 20 Studies in Double Stops
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 21:10:34 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Lukas-Fabian Moser <address@hidden> writes:

>>> One might add that string players sometimes tend to not precisely
>>> adhere to the written note length in polyphonic double stops: Think of
>>> the instances where Bach writes a longer note combined in polyphony
>>> with shorter notes which are _not_ legato.
>>> Playing non-legato and repeating the long note over and over again
>>> would be silly.
>> So?  You detach the bow from the string with the non-legato note and
>> keep it on the string with the long note.  Then you make bow contact
>> with the non-legato string again for its next note, never stopping the
>> sounding of the long note.
>> It's sort of a rocking bow action while continually playing the long
>> note.  Been there, done that.  Indeed, in Bach partitas.  Takes a bit of
>> practice in order not to let the long note wobble too much but very well
>> worth it.
> Yes, of course one can do that, albeit with some upper bound on the
> tempo in which this is possible (which can be practiced to some quite
> high level and is no obstacle for most of the Bach cello works I
> cited). It does not help, though, for the example from BWV 1011, for
> fingering reasons. (I seriously doubt whether Bach intended the high
> position for the left hand you need to move to in order to realize
> this strictly as written, but admit that I'm no expert in period
> string playing style.)
> Also thanks for the fascinating insight into accordion technique!

If you are dealing for too long with any instrument capable of
polyphony, I suspect that weird tricks raise their head.

One theory I've heard about the overly simplistic Toccata and Fugue
BWV565 is that it was an organ test piece by Bach, among others for
checking out the robustness of its air supply.  Alternating tutti
passages with descending full chords followed single thin-registered
high lines: without good air management, the main bellows weight would
continue travelling downwards driven by inertia after the tutti passage,
cruelly overblowing the small pipes.  There was sort of an arms race
between Bach and Silbermann, with the result that the only historic
organs from that time considered to be playable by modern standards
without significant reconstruction are Silbermann's.

Also Silbermann hated Bach who in turn held Silbermann in highest

The accordion's air management is a hand-operated microcosmetic model
reenacting that epic battle.

David Kastrup

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