Deceptive Piece d'Orgue
Will mess up inner voices,
If you're not careful.
Today's question was sent by Robert. Here's what he writes:
I'm studying the BWV 577 Fugue I purchased last week, although easy reading not so easy to execute smoothly! Wow! What a great piece though.
So now then I turn to BWV 572. It looks easy to play but it's still pretty tough for me. Now the last movement "Lentement"! Any pointers on these measures of 32nd notes? One almost has to memorize these 3 pages to get anywhere I think.
Whats the best approach? Or is it just determined, "stick to it -ish"?
Listen to our full answer at #AskVidasAndAusra
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Vidas: Hello, guys. This is Vidas ...
Ausra: And Ausra.
Vidas: Let's start Episode 19 of #AskVidasAndAusra Podcast. Today's question was sent by Robert. He is studying Piece d'Orgue, right now, BWV 572. His question is about the last episode, “Lentement” where there are a number of 32nd notes, and for him it's almost like he has to memorize these three pages. He asks, "What's the best approach to learn it." Ausra, you are practicing this piece right now.
Vidas: What's your experience with this section?
Ausra: Actually, it's quite comfortable for me, because you play three notes in the left hand and then three in right throughout all those ending pages, so it's not that hard for me.
Vidas: What would be the tricky part for an average person to play this correctly? Why Robert is stuck here? What do you think?
Ausra: The problem might be, if you are practicing in faster tempo than you should, the texture might get muddy, you might lose some of the notes.
Vidas: So your suggestion is to really slow down considerably?
Ausra: Yes, to slow down, especially if it's the case you are practicing on non-mechanical organ, because if you are practicing it on the piano or on the mechanical organ, then it should be fine because it gives you sort of a gravity on the key.
Vidas: And the resistance.
Ausra: Yes, the resistance. You know you cannot play as fast, and things will not get muddy. And you should not lose the beat, strong beat, because the meter here is 12/8, so I would suggest that you have perhaps two strong beats in each measure.
Vidas: One and three? Basically the down beat and the middle of the measure, right?
Ausra: Yes, and the middle of the measure. Yes. If you would look at the harmony, this is also the point on the strong beat and then on the middle of the measure when the harmony actually changes.
Vidas: Would Robert benefit from playing just one line at a time, one system at a time, and then stopping and repeating?
Ausra: That might work, too. Actually, if things get muddy, you can work probably with different rhythmical combinations. For example, not playing all the equal notes, but maybe make them with the dots.
Vidas: Right. But, actually, you can also reverse the data rhythms, right?
Vidas: You can do the first long and the second short. But then you reverse short, long, short, long. That's also helpful. Ausra, the middle movement for me, when I played it, was more difficult, the five part texture.
Ausra: Yes, because that texture was so thick, and you have to be very careful about what you do in the middle section.
Vidas: Yeah. Although it's slow, but lots of things are going on there.
Vidas: Yeah, and you need to learn in separate voices and voice combinations, and there are not four voices by five there. So you have to multiply the combinations considerably.
Ausra: And sometimes even six voices.
Vidas: Six, right, at the end. Exactly. What do you think would be your suggestion for the beginning section, “Tres vitement”.
Ausra: For me, the beginning actually is trickier than the end. Because sometimes my tempo's changing in that section. At the beginning you have those 16th notes, but then also the 8th note at the end of the passage and you those places when there are all 16ths running and two 32nds after that.
Ausra: This sort of gives me probably the most trouble, because I get rhythmic spasms on those shorter sections. But actually what works for me is that I subdivide the notes with my tongue right from the beginning.
Vidas: You have to hear it, listen to the subdivisions?
Vidas: If you succeed in listening, then you will succeed in playing?
Vidas: Then it will be not too fast and not too rushed.
Vidas: Good advice. I hope people will benefit from this answer. Please send us more of your questions. Overnight, a couple of people have sent me a couple of questions, and tonight we're going to record those answers. This is going to be really fun, Asura, right?
Ausra: Excellent. Yes.
Vidas: Where people can find out more about our activities and blog and subscribe to get the opportunity to email us?
Ausra: Of course, at our blog, www.organduo.lt.
Vidas: Yes. If you subscribe there to get updates and for 10 days mini-course of organ playing, then you will get the opportunity to connect with us and ask those questions. This is the best way, probably, to contact us.
Excellent. Guys, go ahead and practice, because when you practice ...
Ausra: Miracles happen.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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