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Bach Fantasia in C minor - Grade 8

Change of hands for comfort

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#1 Juan Carlos

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 16:42

Hello everybody!

I'm currently trying to learn the Bach Fantasia in C minor (A1 in Grade 8) without a teacher and while studying page 3, I noticed the hand distribution for the bit starting on bb 24-25 is different from the equivalent part in section 1 (bb 8-9), where the RH plays the broken chords and the LH plays notes or chords in the lower and higher octaves alternately .

My question is whether the same distribution (i.e. broken chords in the RH and notes or chords in the higher and lower octaves alternately in the LH) can be kept in section 2 so that here, too, the RH plays the broken chords, etc..If I have not misread something, the ABRSM edition shows no such distribution as the second Section has the broken chords in the LH. Of course, one has to be fast enough to negotiate the change of hands towards the end of bar 24 (with the last triplet of semiquavers played by the LH to get ready for the broken chords) , but it seems to me to be rather more comfortable to play the broken chords with the RH in both cases.

I hope it's all clear.

Does anybody have any ideas?

Thanks to all of you!


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#2 EllieD

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 10:22

I haven't bought the Grade 8 book yet, but have looked at a video of it with sheet music. There's probably no reason why you can't play it as you suggest in terms of how the piece sounds. But I've got a feeling Bach intended the left hand to do a bit of work at that point, in contrast with the right hand's efforts earlier. Me, I'll be looking to play the piece as written, I think I'd feel like I was cheating if I didn't. I suspect a lot of Bach's music is intentionally written to be educational as well as beautiful.


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#3 fsharpminor

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 10:50

It wasn't unusual for Bach to make small (deliberate)changes when a similar passage occurs a second time. Certainly happens in some of his Organ works and in the English and French Suites. I dont know that Keyboard Fantasia though, will look later on IMSLP.


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#4 Juan Carlos

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 03:58

Thank you, both of you!

Unfortunately, Ellie D I, too, feel I would be cheating if I did it the way I suggested. I'll give it a try and play it as it is written. That sounds more 'honest'.

Thanks again!


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#5 EllieD

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 14:26

I've just treated myself to the Grade 8 book! Too many hard things on the go at the mo. to start the Bach, but am looking forward to trying it.

 

Are you doing the exam at some point, Juan Carlos? Which other pieces would you do? I love Bartok, so that would be my C piece, and have just this minute discovered the Poulenc is totally beautiful. So that's me sorted if I can get to Grade 8 standard in 2 years time (still seems a big jump from Grade 7!!).


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#6 fsharpminor

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 15:46

I think my choice today would also be  the Bach, Poulenc, and Bartok or Debussy (Reverie)


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#7 Crock

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 19:45

I've the book too.  I would have chosen the Bach and the Bartok, but by chance I've been learning the Haydn and the Debussy for some time already.  Still have to make my mind up about List B although have started to tackle the Brahms - will probably start with more than one and see which one suits best (this is what happened with Grade 7 some years ago).  If the COVID situation doesn't improve soon I will think about the Performance Option - although other threads are putting me off this - as I would have the Gershwin "The Man I Love" (a G8 piece some years ago) ready to go.

 

Good luck Juan Carlos, I remember your Grade 7 journey which I think just preceded mine.


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#8 Edwardo

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 13:39

I am insufficiently skilled to be able to offer much in the way of advice, save that playing a similar or identical passage such as you describe with different hands would, even in the hands of a maestro such as Schiff, give the passages a slightly different flavour, which would add to the audience's enjoyment (and the player's advancement).


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#9 Bremmer

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 06:24

I'm kind of sort of possibly intending to take the exam next year having over the years bought the grade 8 book about maybe 5 times, learned the pieces then either not had the time to work for the exam due to having to learn high grade violin accompaniments, or not wanting to shell out for the exam.
This time, I've chosen that Bach Fantasia, still at the very much sub speed note bashing stage, and I've tried both ways of playing that section and thoroughly confused my brain
Otherwise, it has to be the Brahms, one of my favourite composers, and I have printed out the Khachaturian as number three. The change in scales requirements cuts down the time needed to polish that section, but to be honest I think at that level just going for everything on four notes is a step too far in simplification.
However look at Grade 5 theory and compare from what I had to do as a 10 year old way back, (when I was just given the little red book and told to learn it, no instruction ), to he new online exam, and the two don't compare. Writing out ornaments, long gone, completing a phrase, gone, short score to open score, gone, all those fun pitfalls like clef changes in the extract where you have to be on your toes to notice them seem to be pointed out, the keys of pieces of music is indicated rather than up to the candidate to work out. Still, at least the theory is still required unlike other exam boards. It's all progress ?
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#10 dorfmouse

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 06:42

Just out of interest, when did G8 books appear? I did mine in 1989 and you had to buy the pieces separately.
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#11 fsharpminor

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 07:43

Just out of interest, when did G8 books appear? I did mine in 1989 and you had to buy the pieces separately.

Daughter did Grade 8 in 1992 ,  this was the last year a full Sonata was required for list B, and she definitely had  separate copy , and the Bach came from 'my WTC' and the Schumann from my 'Waldscenen'  It may have moved to books when the list B requirement just became one movement in 1993.


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#12 dorfmouse

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 08:12

Ah, sounds reasonable F#.
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#13 zwhe

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 13:58

 

Just out of interest, when did G8 books appear? I did mine in 1989 and you had to buy the pieces separately.

Daughter did Grade 8 in 1992 ,  this was the last year a full Sonata was required for list B, and she definitely had  separate copy , and the Bach came from 'my WTC' and the Schumann from my 'Waldscenen'  It may have moved to books when the list B requirement just became one movement in 1993.

 

I've been reading people's comments about a whole sonata, thinking how glad I am I didn't have to do that. After reading your post, I went and had a look at what I did, as I was fairly sure that was the year I took it - turns out I did play a whole sonata, but completely forgot! I must have blocked the memory!


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#14 fsharpminor

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 15:14

 

 

Just out of interest, when did G8 books appear? I did mine in 1989 and you had to buy the pieces separately.

Daughter did Grade 8 in 1992 ,  this was the last year a full Sonata was required for list B, and she definitely had  separate copy , and the Bach came from 'my WTC' and the Schumann from my 'Waldscenen'  It may have moved to books when the list B requirement just became one movement in 1993.

 

I've been reading people's comments about a whole sonata, thinking how glad I am I didn't have to do that. After reading your post, I went and had a look at what I did, as I was fairly sure that was the year I took it - turns out I did play a whole sonata, but completely forgot! I must have blocked the memory!

 

Daughters was a Clementi Sonata in Bflat. 


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#15 zwhe

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 17:38

I did kenneth leighton sonata 2. I've just played it through and its actually quite easy compared to some of the grade 8 repertoire.


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