personal preference for phrasing in baroque

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by IvanMaly, Jul 25, 2013.

Do you use phrasing when playing baroque?

Poll closed Jul 25, 2014.
  1. All the time

    2 vote(s)
  2. In some places

    0 vote(s)
  3. Never

    2 vote(s)
  1. IvanMaly


    Jul 23, 2013
    I see that there are a number of baroque players on this forum. Hence the poll: do you personally employ phrasing when playing baroque music on your electric bass? All the time, in some places, or never? I mean to ask about the practice you follow when actually playing, and realize that it may be different from your views on the historical use (or non-use) of phrasing in the baroque period.
  2. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    Bernstein once said in an interview he started each day with Bach, usually the 2 part Inventions and tried to play them as expressively as possible. That sort of idea is a great musical concept. Why do things the same way all the time? Why reserve musical concepts to only one style?
  3. IvanMaly


    Jul 23, 2013
    Chuck, it is indeed a great musical concept. Starting each day with a plain white marble ancient Greek sculpture and painting it as expressively as possible would also be a great concept in sculpture ;)
  4. Bainbridge


    Oct 28, 2012
    Why wouldn't you pay attention to phrasing in Baroque music? There are phrases, after all.
  5. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    euh ... classical music is more expressive than the music of the past 60 years ... especially on the bass.

    So yes I put some expression in it while retaining the tempo. Just listen to Glenn Gould playing Chromatic Fantasy ... it is something else than the very plain and unmusical version Jaco did.

  6. IvanMaly


    Jul 23, 2013
    Phrasing for me is shaping of the music by the performer that goes beyond what is in the original notation. Modern editions with phrasing added to the original Baroque score do not count for the purposes of this definition. In the general case, I cannot be certain that there are any phrases in the original. I may see or hear some, but I will not conclude that they are there objectively, that the composer meant them, or that they were originally emphasized during performance.

    I am not a proponent of one approach at the expense of another - irrespective of which is historically correct. After all the aforementioned Greek sculptures were originally brightly painted - the colors just did not survive, so we don't know exactly how to paint them.
  7. IvanMaly


    Jul 23, 2013
    Clef, adding some expression while retaining the tempo is a great approach.

    Thanks for the link! Jaco's version is great playing and a great show, but too fast to bring out the music (if I am permitted to say so... so seem to be many Baroque performances today, not just on the electric bass).
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