For the well-tempered pianist
April 10, 2006 2:26 AM   Subscribe

An interactive Shockwave-based look at Bach's Well-tempered Clavier. Go one level up and explore the entire coverage of Bach.
posted by Gyan (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I linked to the Art of Fugue page couple of years back.
posted by Gyan at 2:26 AM on April 10, 2006

Ah, I've nearly posted this before, but felt like I would be a doubling your earlier post. Here's another good WTC page, which has all the subjects, countersubject, and various forms they appear in; and a corresponding page for Shostakovich's 20th century homage to Bach, the 24 preludes and fugues of Op. 87. I am always awed by the variety and imagination in the Shostakovich set. And if you know Shostakovich only from his symphonies, the joy & playfulness in Op. 87 is stunning.

It is a fun and humbling challenge to try writing your own fugue on one of these subjects.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:02 AM on April 10, 2006

Gyan: Thank you! I've been trying to understand the whole fugue thing for a while, but it seems every site either just has music files and says "listen to how this melody is counterposed by the contrapunct tetrad baritones within the diadic stanzas", or describes very well what is going on, but without any music and without any visual aids. Now I can see and hear what the hell they're talking about, and it finally makes some sense.
posted by Bugbread at 5:46 AM on April 10, 2006

Fantastic. Thanks, Gyan.
posted by languagehat at 6:24 AM on April 10, 2006

Another aspect of fugues - esp for piano - is the challenge to the performer to shape the phrasing of each 'voice' in the fugue so it sounds like three separate sound sources. I think it's captivating and notoriously difficult to spread 3 different voices over 2 hands.

Well-tempered Clavier and Hanon's Virtuoso Pianist 4EVAR!
posted by ao4047 at 6:42 AM on April 10, 2006

Ditto "thanks." Good post.
posted by cribcage at 8:11 AM on April 10, 2006

Thanks for this. Fascinating and rich in detail, albeit a bit bloodless. Where is the Donald Tovey of the Web?
posted by QuietDesperation at 9:06 AM on April 10, 2006

Listening to WTC right now as Monday morning unfolds. Thanks for the unexpected pleasure!
posted by Lynsey at 9:13 AM on April 10, 2006

This is amazing, and the worst thing for me to have seen before I was to leave the apartment. Merci Infiniment
posted by Busithoth at 10:54 AM on April 10, 2006

Many thanks! A really amazing site, I'll definitely be able to use this with my students, too.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:46 AM on April 10, 2006

I didn't see this before I made my FPP!
posted by Eideteker at 3:16 PM on April 10, 2006

Bach's contribution to the literature is truly amazing. Even though there are other composers who are arguably better, it doesn't get much better than Bach if you're looking for Baroque. Good post!!
posted by fvox13 at 8:12 PM on April 10, 2006

Scores of metafilter-reading former piano students are shuddering now as they remember grueling hours spent trying to master the WTC (and hanon too, ao4047).
posted by casconed at 3:20 PM on April 11, 2006

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