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Two-Part Inventions BWV 772-786
Three-Part Inventions BWV 787-801
General Discussions - Part 2 (2003-2008)

Continue from Part 1

Facsimiles of Keyboard Music

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 5, 2003):
I have placed a number of facsimiles mainly from the Inventions and Sinfonias on the BCML under Photos (the Photo and File section of the BRML would not open for me):

Go to: http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/lst
Click on Facsimiles, then select Full Size

These facsimiles are found in the NBA V/3 and V5 volumes.

They may be of interest to those who have been following the discussion of ‘desynchronization’ or ‘vertical rhythmic non-alignment’ or simply ‘rough edges.’ I do not, at this time, wish to give my interpretation of what I see here, but would rather be interested in the opinions of others regarding what they think can be read into or out of these original scores (with the exception of the last one written by a rather young W. F. Bach, who is obviously struggling a bit and perhaps receiving direct guidance from his father as he writes out the music.)

The original draft by J. S. Bach should speak for itself as here his musical ideas are literally flowing directly onto the paper.

Another example shows an early version of Invention 1, where Bach later inserted the triplet figures after first having completed the composition.

Happy hunting!

 

radio show on inventions and sinfonias

Jim Morrison wrote (February 26, 2003):
I forget who brought up the BBC classical radio shows but thanks to whoever who did that because I just came across a nice, though cetainly elementary, show on the inventions and sinfonias. I also listened to the last of the show on the Goldberg variations and there's a passage on the quodlibet in which the pianist plays one of the tunes that is used in the quodlibet and then another, seperating the tunes for those of us that can't play keyboard ourselves.

link at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/classical/discover.shtml

How about that Norah Jones! ;-)

But seriously, some favorite recordings of the inventions for me are by van Asperen, Gould, Leonhardt, Jaccottet.

Donald Satz wrote (February 26, 2003):
[To Jim Morrison] I agree with Jim's preferences and would add Suzuki and Peter Serkin to the list.

 

Angela Hewitt yet again?
Bach's Inventions exciting & challenging

Francine Renee Hall wrote (March 17, 2003):
dear Bach lovers, I sent my cantata message to the wrong group! So sorry! Anyway, I want to thank Peter Bright for recommending the Angela Hewitt Toccatas Hyperion CD. It's incredible. Her performance gave me goosebumps! She's an expensive hobby but well worth it. I also just received her Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue coupled with Bach's Two- and Three-Part Inventions. It's good and Hewitt does the best she can with it. I just think the material itself is not that exciting or challenging.

Peter Bright wrote (March 17, 2003):
[To Francine Renee Hall] Thanks Francine - I'm pleased you agree with my rating of Hewitt's toccatas disc. It's a masterpiece.

Donald Satz wrote (March 17, 2003):
[To Francine Renee Hall] It could be that the material in the Inventions is much better than you think. I find Hewitt's Inventions the least rewarding Bach performance of hers on record.

Peter Bright wrote (March 17, 2003):
[To Donald Satz] I'm going to sit on the fence here and say that I agree both with Francine and Don. As I've said before, I think Angela Hewitt's Inventions disc is her weakest effort (although it has received very good reviews from critics and listeners alike - check Gramophone, Amazon, etc.). But I also agree with Francine about the material. While some Bach purists hate the idea that some of his work was relatively uninteresting, this is how I feel about most of the two and three part inventions. I have the recordings of Gould and Koroliov on piano, and Leonhardt on harpsichord. Koroliov's is the best of these, as far as I am concerned, but I find that this music does not have much to offer the listener. The pieces may represent wonderful and important works for the keyboard player but they do not reward me as a listener very much.

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 17, 2003):
[To Francine Renee Hall] The inventions/sinfonias are indeed exciting and challenging and extremely rewarding, if one plays them with an appropriate amount of melodic rubato: having each of the voices bend in rhythm expressively, and not always having to line up perfectly with one another...great independence.

he only player on recordings whom I've heard bending anything appreciably at all is Wolfgang Rübsam, on piano(!). His expression is beautifully done. But even then, he is bending all the lines TOGETHER most of the time, rather than independently; they still line up with notes struck simultaneously as they look on the page. A good start, anyway, and well worth hearing.

There are some harpsichordists who desynchronize the notes slightly in these pieces, but it doesn't seem to be much beyond normal default harpsichord touch...that is, it seems to be part of generic playing technique (the dynamics of softening loud simultaneous attacks), rather than part of the interpretation of truly independent lines. And the notes are almost always arpeggiated bottom to top, rather than a more interesting mixture of unpredictable sequence (sometimes letting the high notes come out first). That's why I said "appreciable" bending in the above paragraph, an amount of bending that suggest the lines really are independent melodic entities. Everybody still sounds "geometric" (to borrow a term from Richard Taruskin)...the music could stand more doses of Furtwängler!

Peter Bright wrote (March 17, 2003):
[To Bradley Lehman] Just read your post, Brad, after sending mine. From your comments, I still wonder whether the inventions offer more pleasure for the person playing than to the one listening. I am fascinated with Bach's teaching methods and creations, but, in the case of the inventions (and only in this case), I find little to grip me. Perhaps I should try to get my hands on the Rübsam.

Marcus Song wrote (March 18, 2003):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< The inventions/sinfonias are indeed exciting and challenging and extremely rewarding, if one plays them with an appropriate amount of melodic rubato: having each of the voices bend in rhythm expressively, and not always having to line up perfectly with one another...great independence. >
I am curious about which invention/sinfonia you play with the above mentioned melodic rubato. I find that some pieces favor a more straight-forward metered approach such as Sinf.#8,12 and Inv.#10,12, and the ubiquitous Inv.#8, :-) while I tend to play Inv.#2,9,11 and Sinf.#4,11 with more rythmic freedom, because a constant semiquaver "motoring" feels unnatural for these more introspective pieces in the minor key.

 

Time to move on, and back to recordings

Bradley Lehman wrote (November 11, 2003):
Stephen Benson wrote:
Kirk McElhearn wrote:
<< the tone on some of these lists has become so much different than the friendly bantering of yore. >>
< I pity the newcomer to BachRecordings who thinks he has made a wrong turn and wandered onto the set of the Jerry Springer Show.
Could I respectfully suggest that list members adhere to the following guiding principle:
"The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress."
Joseph Joubert, essayist (1754-1824) >
Steve, I agree.

Who (anyone) has favorite recordings of Bach's inventions and sinfonias, and why are those your favorites? For touch, tempo, and flexibility I especially like Rübsam's on piano....

And, I'd like to know e: are there any available recordings of them in temperaments spicier than the typically bland well-temperaments? I expected Blandine Verlet's to be spicy, but it sounds to me like a well-temperament according to the samples at: Amazon.com
...and that CD appears not to have made the rounds in North America!

Related question: given that some of Verlet's Bach recordings on Astree have been notably spicy with meantone temps on the Colmar Ruckers...anybody know why Verlet doesn't show up anymore on the Astree/Auvidis/Naive web site, and why her discs are apparently out of print, showing up as remainders? Has she really been canned by the label, or is that merely what it looks like? [Do record-buyers really hate wild temperament that much, or is it something entirely different from that?]

Leila Baraseh wrote (November 12, 2003):
[To Bradley Lehman]
I can't say I have a favorite recording - I've only heard two, Gilbert and Leonhardt (Sony) and neither of them blew me away. When you pointed out the fact that the works are so obviously mean-tone-friendly (which I had completely failed to notice) I too got very excited about the possibility of a wackily-tempered recording, and thought Verlet was a good bet, so I'm very disappointed to hear there's no joy there.

As far as Verlet and Astree go, I haven't been able to find any news about her being let loose (and I searched around on the web for quite awhile), but I did notice that her Couperin "Barricades Mysterieuses" discs (were these compiled as a sort of greatest hits from her complete series?) are being re-released on Tete-a-Tete, which could be a hopeful sign, or could mean nothing at all.

(Incidentally, I know you were wondering awhile back whether her Astree Partitas were ever sold in the US. At www.cduniverse.com they claim that the discs have been back-ordered for awhile, which I assume means they sold them at one time. I haven't ever seen them on any other US sites, though - glad I got lucky and won them on ebay!)

 

The maligned sinfonias and inventions (was:Re: Religious Affiliation)

Juozas Rimas wrote (May 26, 2004):
Stephen Benson wrote:
< the oft-maligned Inventions and Sinfonias. On Saturday I acquired Wolfgang Rübsam's Naxos recording, hardly expecting to be moved by yet another version of what I previously had thought of as mildly interesting pedagogic exercises. >
sigh... who on earth has spread the nonsense about sinfonias and inventions being maligned mildly interesting exercises? They're wonderful music. The little preludes too! Perhaps teachers of music are to blame (the teachers who torture little kids with sinfonias and inventions, forcing them to hammer the pieces hundreds of times - it's harmful to overdose anything). Then the kids complain to their parents, parents complain to their friends etc and we have the malignancy :)

 

The 2 Part Inventions

Anne Smith wrote (December 3, 2004):
I have a question about the 2 Part Inventions. It may be a stupid question. Please bear with me.

I have been using a tattered old copy of the Inventions for many years. I treated myself to a new Urtext (Bärenreiter) edition of the Clavier-Büchlein for Wilhelm Friedemann Bach.

This morning I began with the E minor 2 Part Invention (BWV 778). The first thing I noticed was that I appeared to be making fingering mistakes so I got out my old copy. It wasn't that I was making fingering errors. Some of the notes were different.

As a 2 Part Invention Bar 12 reads on the 2nd beat of the left hand - a dotted eighth note E and a sixteenth note D. As Praeambulum 3 the E and D are reversed.

As a 2 Part Invention Bar 18 reads on the 1st beat of the right hand - eighth note B and eighth note A. Praeambulum 3 has a quarter note A. In the left hand the 2 Part has sixteenth rest followed by 3 sixteenth notes.
Praembulum 3 has eighth rest followed by 2 sixteenth notes.

These are small details. I expect to find more discrepancies as I proceed. Question - is this an editorial decision or did Bach make the changes?

Thanks.

Thomas Braatz wrote (December 3, 2004):
Anne Smith wrote:
>>I treated myself to a new Urtext (Bärenreiter)edition of the Clavier-Büchlein for Wilhelm Friedemann Bach.
This morning I began with the E minor 2 Part Invention (BWV 778). The first thing I noticed was that I appeared to be making fingering mistakes so I got out my old copy. It wasn't that I was making fingering errors. Some of the notes were different.<<
BWV 778 was not copied or even edited by J. S. Bach. The copyist here is W. F. Bach. In a number of instances, W. F. forgot to add the necessary sharps. In other cases, some notes can be read as either one note or another and trills and mordents extremely difficult to read (are they intended or not based upon this copy.)

Bradley Lehman wrote (December 3, 2004):
Anne Smith wrote:
< I have been using a tattered old copy of the Inventions for many years. I treated myself to a new Urtext (Bärenreiter) edition of the Clavier-Büchlein for Wilhelm Friedemann Bach.
This morning I began with the E minor 2 Part Invention (BWV 778). The first thing I noticed was that I appeared to be making fingering mistakes so I got out my old copy. It wasn't that I was making fingering errors. Some of the notes were different.
As a 2 Part Invention Bar 12 reads on the 2nd beat of the left hand - a dotted eighth note E and a sixteenth note D. As Praeambulum 3 the E and D are reversed. >
The Henle has dotted eighth D, sixteenth E there; and no remark about that spot in its critical notes.

< As a 2 Part Invention Bar 18 reads on the 1st beat of the right hand - eighth note B and eighth note A. Praeambulum 3 has a quarter note A. In the left hand the 2 Part has sixteenth rest followed by 3 sixteenth notes. Praembulum 3 has eighth rest followed by 2 sixteenth notes. >
Bar 20? B, A in the right hand, and rest-G-F#-E in the left.

By comparison, the old 1891 Busoni edition (Schirmer) indicates both conflicting readings of the left hand, there. The one with an eighth rest and two sixteenths is in smaller type.

Anne Smith wrote (December 3, 2004):
[To Thomas Braatz & Bradley Lehman] Thank you to Thomas and Bradley. I guess I'll go with my ancient old copy.

< Bar 20? B, A in the right hand, and rest-G-F#-E in the left. >
Yes, I should have typed Bar 20.

Bradley Lehman wrote (December 3, 2004):
Anne Smith wrote:
< Thank you to Thomas and Bradley. I guess I'll go with my ancient old copy. >
If you don't already have the Henle, I'd urge you to pick one up (and for all the Bach solo pieces). Your earlier question indicated that your old copy of whatever-it-is has a wrong reading in bar 12 of BWV 778.

Inventions/Sinfonias: http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/store/smp_detail.html?sku=HE.64

Good accurate edition, easy to read from, and not terribly expensive. I'm not always happy with the fingerings they suggest, but I ignore them most of the time anyway. (They're primarily piano fingerings recommended in there, not harpsichord or clavichord fingerings.)

Anne Smith wrote (December 3, 2004):
< If you don't already have the Henle, I'd urge you to pick one up (and for all the Bach solo pieces). Your earlier question indicated that your old copy of whatever-it-is has a wrong reading in bar 12 of BWV 778. >
Yes. I bought the last copy of this book in our music store for two students (sisters). It is exellent. Sisters have gone off to university and hopefully one of them took the book with her. One of the reasons I went with the Urtext I bought was because it had no fingering. I thought it would be neater to write in my own fingering without having to cross out the old.

I'll put the Henle on my next order.

Thanks again,

 

Monthly Discussion September 2008 - Two-Part Inventions BWV 772-786

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (October 1, 2008):
Introduction to the Two Part Inventions

The Two Part Inventions BWV-801 have been chosen for the October discussion.

A short note about myself for those of you who don't know me. I have been a pianist for most of my life. I studied harpsichord and organ as a young person and then gave up those instruments for the piano. Most of my adult life I have made my living teaching the piano. I am now studying the organ again and playing a Hallman pipe organ and a piano at a church. I will admit freely to being prejudiced . I simply like the piano better than the harpsichord.

What I have prepared is just an introduction to the Two Part Inventions. Much more can be said. I hope much more will be said.

On the title page of the Inventions and Sinfonias Bach wrote:
"Straightforward Instruction, in which amateurs of the keyboard, and especially the eager ones, are shown a clear way not only (1) of learning to play cleanly in two voices, but also, after further progress, (2) of dealing correctly and satisfactorily with three obbligato parts; at the same time not only getting good inventions, but developing the same satisfactorily, and above all arriving at a cantabile manner in playing, all the while acquiring a strong foretaste of composition.

Laurence Dreyfus analyzed the first Two Part Invention in his book "Bach and the Patterns of Invention".

There are 15 Two Part Inventions. Most artists record all of the Two Part Inventions and follow this with all of the Sinfonias - Three Part Inventions. Glenn Gould recorded an Invention and followed by the Sinfonia in the same key. He changed the order.

I have heard the Inventions played by two contrasting instruments. This works very well.

As a piano student I was warned against all Glenn Gould recordings. I bought them anyway and loved them. As a teacher I play them for students. As much as I love his recording of these pieces I would never recommend a student play them this way for an exam!

As a student I learned to play the Inventions metronomically. Where I live this is the way students need to play them in order to pass exams or do well in competitions. Over the years I have come to appreciate rubato in these works. I remember the first time I heard them played by Wolfgang Rubsam. I couldn't listen to the whole recording. It sounded to me as though the man needed a metronome. Now I can appreciate his playing.

The Bach Cantatas Web Site lists 99 recordings of this work:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV772-801-Rec1.htm

I have 9.
Glenn Gould, Masaaki Suzuki, Peter Watchorn, João Carlos Martins, Misha V. Stefanuk, Richard Troeger, Tatiana Nikolayeva, Wolfgang Rübsam and Ton Koopman. I don't have a favourite. Each performer brings his or her own style to the work. There is something valuable in each recording.

I am looking forward to hearing from everyone. I would especially like to hear about recommendations for clavichord recordings of the Two Part Inventions.

Please write in. I am passionate about these lovely little pieces. If you don't start posting about them I will be forced to send in more e-mails.

Francis Browne wrote (October 1, 2008):
There is an informative programme about the Inventions in the BBC series 'Discovering Music'.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/discoveringmusic/

A simple question . I have never heard this music at a recital and wonder whether either set of inventions is ever performed as a whole in public. It seems right to listen to the Goldberg variations, the Art of Fugue ,the two books of the Well Tempered Clavier, the English and French Suites as a whole .but these Inventions do not so obviously cohere to form a single work. I tend to listen to one or a few at a time. Do others listen to 15 Inventions at once?

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (October 1, 2008):
[To Francis Browne] Thanks for the link Francis. I will look at it later.

>A simple question . I have never heard this music at a recital and wonder whether either set of inventions is ever performed as a whole in public. It seems right to listen to the Goldberg variations, the Art of Fugue ,the two books of the Well Tempered Clavier, the English and French Suites as a whole .but these Inventions do not so obviously cohere to form a single work. I tend to listen to one or a few at a time. Do others listen to 15 Inventions at once?<


My guess is that most performers would think these short relatively simple pieces are beneath them. I do listen to all 15 at once.

John Pike wrote (October 2, 2008):
[To Nessie Russell] Thanks, Anne. I'm a great admirer of these works as well. They may be comparatively easy to play but they are delightful in their simplicity.

I'm a longstanding fan of Gould's as well and I think his recording of these works (and of the Toaccatas) are wonderful...one of his very best recordings. Amongst other recordings I have, I would single out Peter Watchorn on harpsichord as being particularly fine.

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (October 2, 2008):
John Pike wrote
>Thanks, Anne. I'm a great admirer of these works as well. They may be comparatively easy to play but they are delightful in their simplicity.
I'm a longstanding fan of
Gould's as well and I think his recording of these works (and of the Toaccatas) are wonderful... one of his very best recordings. Amongst other recordings I have, I would single out Peter Watchorn on harpsichord as being particularly fine.<
You are welcome John. Glad to hear that someone else enjoys these too. I get the feeling that they are considered kid pieces by many.

I am currently listening to Tatiana Nikolayeva. One of the best of the piano recordings I have.

Julian Mincham wrote (October 2, 2008):
[To Nessie Russell] The recent postings on the name 'recorder' (or not!) demonstrates the sorts of reasons why I have more or less stopped contributing to this list. What a spectacular waste of effort particularly at a time when William Hoffman is offering erudite and enlightening discussions on the cantatas which, by rights, should be stimulating the most richly varied of discussions.

Gazooks!!

Anyway, to add a two-penneth to the discussion on the 2 part inventions. I have learnt several of them and have read through them all so know them pretty well. What is often missed is the fact that Bach intended them as models of composition as much as for students to practice. They demonstrate admirably the art of taking a simple motive and showing the potential it has for extension and development over a complete, albeit miniature movement. The opening 7 notes of the C major invention are heard in every bar either in its original form,?OR inverted OR fragmented into two ideas (the first 4 rising notes and the falling thirds each treated as motives in?their own rights)? The Bb invention begins with a little turn of notes which?is (I think from memory--I last counted them when I was a student) heard nearly 70 times in a mere 20 bars----the ultimate in musical economy and focus.

Bach uses such techniques everywhere, but here in the shortness, simplicity and lack of textural?complexity (i.e. only the two parts) he shows HOW it is done.

Such intensity of material produces a great focus of expression.

Someone (I forget who--was it Tovey?) once said that Mozart is too easy for children and too difficult for adults. I think that the same applies to the inventions. Far from being childish I think that they are very challenging in their own way and? quite difficult to play really well.

Ask Cory Hall if he agrees--I enjoyed his performance of these works which he recently put out on the net. Incidentally, whateverthe process of establishing them might have been, I did find myself in agreement which pretty much all of his chosen tempi as well.

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (October 6, 2008):
The Inventions as models for composition

Julian Mincham said:
> What is often missed is the fact that Bach intended them as models of composition as much as for students to practice. They demonstrate admirably the art of taking a simple motive and showing the potential it has for extension and development over a complete, albeit miniature movement. <
Yes. Thank you for your working out of the first Invention . I have seen this Invention used many times as a composition example.

Another interesting fact about the Inventions is that they are in the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. In this book some of them are slightly differnt. In the C+ Invention from the second eighth note of bar 20 to the first eighth note of bar 21 the left hand is an octave lower. I have noticed a few minor changes in other Inventions. In this book they are in a differnt order.

Bradley Lehman wrote (October 6, 2008):
Nessie Russell wrote:
< Another interesting fact about the Inventions is that they are in the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. In this book some of them are slightly differnt. In the C+ Invention from the second eighth note of bar 20 to the first eighth note of bar 21 the left hand is an octave lower. I have noticed a few minor changes in other Inventions. In this book they are in a differnt order. >
I investigated this briefly a few years ago because I was curious about the two different sequences that Glenn Gould used on his recordings. He shuffled them around one way for the CBC broadcast, and a different way
for the Columbia LP. Neither sequence matched Bach's, though. It was just Gould doing his own thing again, interestingly as usual.

Julian Mincham wrote (October 6, 2008):
[To Nessie Russell] The pedagogical model aspects of the inventions raise a lot of interesting practical and aesthetic questions. Is it, considering their essentially intimate nature, appropriate for them to be performed in public at all? If so which instruments is preferable--the clavichord, harsichord or concert grand? Does the 'teaching model' aspect affect the way in which a keyboard player might approach these little gems? Or the listener for that matter? Are these examples of 'music for the player (whether professional, student or amateur) in the first place and the listener is the second? Are these works nowadays most suited to the medium of recording so that they may be heard in the intimacy of the drawing room rather than in a large concert hall? To what extent is music principally composed for study of composition and/or technique (cf the rather more demanding Chopin studies) best NOT performed in concerts but by students and amateurs at home--or listened to through recordings in the home?

Bradley Lehman wrote (October 6, 2008):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< The pedagogical model aspects of the inventions raise a lot of interesting practical and aesthetic questions. Is it, considering their essentially intimate nature, appropriate for them to be performed in public at all? If so which instruments is preferable--the clavichord, harpsichord or concert grand? >
With the voice crossing in some of the two-part inventions, it really helps to have two manuals: harpsichord.

Dodging the occasional low B and allowing for creative registrational choices, they're brilliant on the organ, too.

Despite the easy-looking key signatures, the book calls for 24 different notes: Bbb, Fb, Cb, Gb, Db, Ab, Eb, Bb, F, C, G, D, A, E, B, F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, E#, B#, Fx, and Cx. It's a tuning challenge to get all those notes sounding good in all their melodic and harmonic contexts. The thin texture of two or three voices lays out all those problems: there's nowhere to hide any tuning errors inside fuller chords. Was that part of Bach's lesson to his students, where it doesn't suffice merely to glance at a key signature when tuning?
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/larips/clavichord.html

Even in the supposedly easy key of D minor, bar 14 of that sinfonia calls for both D# and Eb within the same phrase! My performance and analysis of that:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzQgKRi34C4

Saying that from a compositional point of view: if the keyboard is set up properly to begin with, one *can* compose a little D major sinfonia that requires both E# and F to sound good. Or, an E minor sinfonia needing all four of D#, A#, Eb, and Bb. Or, an F minor sinfonia with all six of Cb, Fb, Bbb, B, E, and A. And here are the examples: as a lesson not only in a "singing" manner of playing the keyboard, handling two or three voices simultaneously, but also as a foretaste of composition.

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (October 7, 2008):
Julian Mincham asked:
< The pedagogical model aspects of the inventions raise a lot of interesting practical and aesthetic questions. Is it, considering their essentially intimate nature, appropriate for them to be performed in public at all? >
As Brad mentioned in another post, these work well on the organ. I have used them as Preludes and Postludes.

I have heard them performed by piano students at recitals and competitions. Glenn Gould used to play the Three Part Inventions in concert. I have never heard of anyone performing the Two Part Inventions in concert.

Jyrki Wahlstedt wrote (October 7, 2008):
Nessie Russell wrote:
< Yes. Thank you for your working out of the first Invention. I have seen this Invention used many times as a composition example.
Another interesting fact about the Inventions is that they are in the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. In this book some of them are slightly differnt. In the C+ Invention from the second eighth note of bar 20 to the first eighth note of bar 21 the left hand is an octave lower. I have noticed a few minor changes in other Inventions. In this book they are in a differnt order. >
Of Inventions, I remember a long time listening to a radio broadcast with the Finnish composer Joonas Kokkonen. He said, though did not elaborate, that he could tell the meaning of every single note in the first Invention. Now that's something showing the economy in all the compositions from Bach.

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (October 7, 2008):
Jyrki said:
< Of Inventions, I remember a long time listening to a radio broadcast with the Finnish composer Joonas Kokkonen. He said, though did not elaborate, that he could tell the meaning of every single note in the first Invention. Now that's something showing the economy in all the compositions from Bach. >
Well said. As I said before, I have seen this Invention used many times as a model for composition. It has to rate up there with some of the easy Chopin Preludes as one of the most well known keyboard pieces ever.

Bradley Lehman wrote (October 7, 2008):
Nessie Russell wrote:
< Well said. As I said before, I have seen this Invention used many times as a model for composition. It has to rate up there with some of the easy Chopin Preludes as one of the most well known keyboard pieces ever. >
The last track on this CD: Amazon.com

is Van Alexander's 1959 instrumental version of "Three Blind Mice" -- putting together that tune with bits from two of the Bach inventions. It starts with the A minor invention, and eventually gets to the C major.

A free play of it pops up here: http://www.rhapsody.com/album/capitolsingskidssongsforgrownups/threeblindmice

David Hitchin wrote (October 7, 2008):
[To Bradley Lehman] But only for readers in the USA, unfortunate.

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (October 8, 2008):
Inventions for fun

David wrote about the link Brad provided:
>But only for readers in the USA, unfortunately. <
I was disappointed too. This sounded like fun.

Cakewalk has a cool version of the A minor Invention called "Bachaus Remix." Any student I ever taught the 13th Invention since I got a computer has really loved playing along with this.

Bradley Lehman wrote (October 8, 2008):
[To David Hitchin] Do a Google search for "van alexander three blind mice" -- other options come up, maybe playable. Good luck! Delightful little arrangement.

 

Inventions & Sinfonias BWV 772-801: Details
Recordings:
1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019
Reviews of Individual Recordings:
I&S - B. van Asperen & E. Joyé | I&S - C. Jaccottet | I&S - E. Koroliov | I&S - G. Leonhardt
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2

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Last update: ýOctober 16, 2008 ý20:45:54