As I'm preparing for our upcoming Bach St. Matthew Passion workshop, here's something which I feel is exciting to share:
When playing those chorales, it's easy to think that the music seems simple and there's not much to it. But in fact chorales brought the congregation spiritually together as they were known to everyone. They are thus very important points in the work and conveying the text through the albeit simple melody is the key in playing them.
Take a look at this excerpt from "Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen". There are 3 things that are happening around the word "Schuld" (crime):
- It's an important word in the text
- the "d" in "Schuld" is more like a "dt" in German pronunciation which gives the word a definite closure
- There's a comma afterwards
So all these things make the end of that "Schuld" note slightly detached from the rest, the sound has to close before going on, in order to reflect the text accurately. Going on directly or making the sound legato with the next note will degrade both the literal and emotional intent of the passage.
Isn't this amazing - the concept is so simple and yet it can have such a profound effect on us players as well as our listeners? And it's a whole lot of fun to discover these connections!
ABOUT THE BLOG:
I got inspired to document my own observations in flute-playing and music-making. Also, I thought it's important to pass on the teachings of the great Wilbert Hazelzet, as well as many other mentors who have influenced my artistic visions one way or the other. Enjoy this potpourri of tips, inspirations, and musings.
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