Bach: Book on Articulation


S. Gordeevtseva's essay: "Touching a Mystery" A New reading of Clavier Works by J.S. Bach Pedagogical Application to Children's Music School Repertoire, is now available as PDF downloads in English and in Russian, as well as selected scores:


MV Productions представляет учебно-методическое пособие Светланы Гордеевцевой «Прикасаясь к тайне. Новое прочтение клавирных сочинений И.С. Баха».

Пособие предлагает педагогам и ученикам музыкальных школ познакомиться с правилами артикуляции в клавирной музыке эпохи барокко и, в частности, музыке Иоганна Себастьяна Баха. В издание также включены пьесы И.С. Баха из репертуара музыкальных школ, отредактированные С. Гордеевцевой.



Rules of Articulation give the key to reading Bach's Clavier urtext scores that otherwise display no indications of tempi or articulation (that is when to play notes together or separately). These rules are related to string articulation principles, to musical rhetoric and protestant chorals. They define what is called "small speech-like" articulation manner of playing that gives each voice a clearer relief in polyphonic texture. Thus, the symbolism often related to religion and carried by musical motives and their combinations comes to life. The rules were known by Clavier players then and as a result never written on the score. Only exceptions were written for specific effects but were often misinterpreted later by editors of Bach's music as general rules. So to play Bach in style means to make his music intelligible and meaningful.

This topic is evoked by John Terauds on his blog Musical Toronto . "Vancouver-based pianist Svetlana Ponomarëva replied to one of my earlier posts with a link to an instructional video she has created as a companion to a Bach teaching manual. In her approach, she suggests the keyboard player should follow the articulation of a Baroque violinist to make the music sound right.
Hearing Ponomarëva explain it, this suggestion makes an awful lot of sense. The results she gets at the piano are at once clean, crisp and very musical."

Svetlana plays Bach French Suite No. 5 in G Major BWV 816

J.S. Bach Little Prelude in C Minor played in style by Antoine, 6 y old.


"Local concert pianist has key to Bach"

Siberia-born West Vancouver resident Svetlana Ponomarëva helped by translating essay that addresses speech-like articulation and religious meaning behind baroque music
Malcolm Parry, Vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, March 22, 2008

THE WELL-INFORMED CLAVIER: Seated at her own Steinway, Siberia-born West Vancouver concert pianist Svetlana Ponomarëva looks over Passage Island to Vancouver Island. But her mind's eye is on 18th-century Weimar, where Johann Sebastian Bach wrote thousands of notes for clavier (keyboard) instruments.
Musical notes, that is. Not annotation on how to play them. That's because Bach wrote for elite composer-instrumentalists like himself, who understood baroque music's nuances and links to choral tradition.
He did annotate orchestral compositions, but they were played then by amateur-ensemble musicians, who needed guidance.
Centuries passed. Editions of Bach compositions altered the music's manner. So did countless teachers and students who adopted Bach's corrections of errors in individually copied manuscripts as universal rules. But Ponomarëva believes she has a ticket to square one. She got it from teacher Svetlana Gordeevtseva's essay on Evgeni Teregulov's book about triple-A Bach scholar Alexander Alexandrovich Alexandrov.
Gordeevtseva's translated Touching A Mystery addresses the speech-like articulation and religious meaning behind baroque music.
Published by Ponomarëva -- -- and geologist-husband Marc Villéger, it's [correction: offered] at [correction:].
It may help students -- and teachers -- better perform the music Alexandrov called "the foundation we cannot dispense with."

Copyright article, Malcolm Parry, Vancouver Sun