It’s another nerve racking night. I’m on pins and needles waiting for the completed upload of my latest Bach offering to You Tube, the Invention 8 in F Major, BWV779. I had already posted Inventions 1 and 4, and there are 15 in all, so if you want to set a goal for yourself, it’s a good idea to learn and master the whole collection.
Bach posed quite a challenge to the player. Two independent, yet simultaneously co-dependent voices have to dialog back and forth but also overlap at times. It’s like two people conversing amiably but then interrupting the other before a sentence is completed.
A better example of this musical cross conversation, is that which occurs in the round, “Are You Sleeping,” or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” where one singer starts the tune, and the other comes in with the identical melody about a measure or so into the piece. A “round” or “canon” are good descriptions of this interactive “counterpoint,” a fancy name for what Bach and his contemporaries studied and developed during the period between 1685 and 1750 (The Baroque era) Think “imitation” and you’re off to a great start understanding the relationship between voices in Bach’s works.
I had been sweating it out for about 40 minutes as my camcorder glared me down just a foot or so away from my Steinway grand and when I decided to call it quits, I’d finally felt confident enough to post Number 8 on the network. But who on earth can know whether I’ll wake up tomorrow morning with the same musical afterglow I’m experiencing right now.
Only time will tell. Oops, there it’s finishing up– about 3 minutes to lift off. I’m a nervous wreck and there’s no audience waiting for me to go out on stage. Just an Internet group of savvy listeners who’ve been practicing the Inventions and find them bummers to master.
There it is! Roll it: