by Daniel Hathaway
Friday morning’s harpsichord master class was the last opportunity to formally pick our mentor’s brains, and performances by the last set of students inspired Mark Edwards and Lisa Goode Crawford to deliver some very useful tips.
Performance No. 1 was a C-major prelude from the Wilhelm Friedemann Bach Notebook — a set of pieces Johann Sebastian Bach expressly selected for the tutelage of his eldest son beginning in 1720. Edwards began by asking what type of piece it was. Answer: a figuration prelude, in style brisé, which is meant to imitate the lute. In fact, Edwards said, the harpsichord is really a giant lute with keys. Advice to student: overhold notes (including octaves in the left hand), let the strings vibrate, and think of articulation in terms of wetness vs. dryness. [Read more…]