Friday, November 12, 2010

on bach and the simple pleasures in life

Got back to dorm from lecture for my two hour lunch break - to hear somebody practicing (rather badly) Bach's Invention No. 1.  Which reminded me of those lovely times in grade school when I actually had time to practice piano an hour a day (or rather, my mom told me to get up an hour early to practice before school, because it "warmed up" my brain).

Of all the Bach pieces that I've played, his Inventions are probably my favorites - more than the Preludes and Fugues - because they are so simple, yet somehow complex!  In two pages of music and a single theme expressed in only two voices but so many different colors, one can understand true music.  Don't get me wrong, I love the Romantics, and I deeply respect the improvisational skills of jazz and popular pianists, but I believe that a person cannot truly become a full pianist until they have played all of the Bach Inventions.  (Including that beast of a piece, Invention No. 8 in F Major - I'm not sure I've ever heard a person play it at a recital or a competition without messing it up!  I have no idea why, it's not that difficult of a piece, but I, too, have fallen into The Trap).

Whoops - I guess I'm not a full pianist yet either; I think I've only learned about half of the Inventions!  (My new project for Christmas break?).

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