Jon Lee


It got better after the Allemande


Whenever I play piano it ends up being sotto voce, and I should also start playing dolce legato. Lighten the left hand, and in general the bass doesn’t need any help in being heard. The tenor and soprano registers need more assistance.

When playing through the patterns, consider their implied musicality instead of just playing the notes. Approach the beat in cases like pattern 3.

I toured the sharped scales, and it was time to go through the flats. I actually thought I’d keep going around the circle the fifths, but instead we return to C, and go to F and B.

Brahms #17

I’ve successfully completed the cycle, plus revisiting the original starting keys, of this exercise. We decided to move on to another exercise with a similar intent. Brahms #18a, starting with C, C, and D.

Brahms #20

More musical lines are needed. Easiest version of this is crescendo to the top, decrescendo to the bottom.

Next up: F, G.


I went through the whole suite this time, which meant also reviewing the Allemande.

Hinson, author of Guide to the Pianist’s Repertoire, had an instructional video where he paid dancers to dance the various baroque styles. I couldn’t find the DVD itself, but found the ad for it:

Companion DVD of Anthology of Baroque Keyboard Music

I could only find other odd videos for each of the dances.



The beginning was missing the full line of the parallel tenths between the left and right hands.

In the B section, the left-hand bass should be lightened up. In the first measures, make the tenor voice legato and the bass voice more quiet and detached.

Generally I didn’t get many comments about my ornamentation, except for the left hand transitioning to the second half of the B section. I emulated Schiff’s turn, and instead it was suggested that “simple is also good”.



More imitation needs to occur between the hands.


Sarabande à deux

One prominent suggestion on ornamentation is the e minor cadence that comes midway through the B section. It should include an arpeggiated chord with the added 9th.



The two-quarter pickup should bounce. Come off the keys more.



Apparently the dance originated from people creating wine by using their feet to stomp on the grapes. So the 1 and 3 beats should generally feel heavy.



After listening to several recordings I heard the dotted quarter 8 pattern re-interpreted as dotted dotted quarter 16 . This happens in the Sarabande as well. Avoid doing this too much, or do it only on the second time around.


Gigue à deux

It was too fast.

At the conclusion of the A section I substituted a rising figuration with a glissando, which wasn’t the most enthusiastically received. Yet, if I decided to still go for it, there needed to be more gusto with it.

Turning on the metronome, it seems something along the lines of dotted 8 = 128 would be what to aim for, though afterwards I’m thinking about going a little faster.

Hi! Have a comment, question, complaint, observation, or criticism about this post? Leave your comment below!