Today I’d like to share with you some exceptionally sublime keyboard music by J.S. Bach. If you are having “one of those days” then take two minutes and give it a listen. It will purify your psyche and nourish your spirit.
Sinfonia comes from the Italian word for symphony, “to sound together”. It’s another title for 3-Part Invention. This one is part of a collection. You may have heard of Inventions if you ever took piano lessons. 2-Part Inventions and 3-Part Inventions were pieces which helped Bach’s students understand the workings of counterpoint. I read somewhere that they were actually composition exercises. It’s probably taken me ten times longer to learn this than it would have taken Bach and his pupil to come up with it! Anyway, counterpoint is simply various musical lines being woven and braided together. This was a time before solid chords. If you listen very carefully you may be able to detect the three individual parts (that’s also up to me as the performer to make crystal clear).
On a personal note, this piece has been a good exercise to rework old habits of stretching and twisting. I’ve made the fingering less complicated, avoided holding notes longer than necessary when paired with moving notes in the same hand, and used a lot of pedal to tie it together. The trick with pedalling in Bach is that it shouldn’t be detectible.
I hope that you enjoy this short performance and that it clears you head. Sit back, breathe and listen. For more videos and recordings visit darrylspiano.com/recordings