Saturday, April 25, 2020

It's All In The Touch

I know many of you have heard of one of J.S. Bach's greatest pieces, his Toccata and Fugue in D minor. 

Toccata means "to touch".  It is a technique (form of composition)  on the piano or organ, where  rapid playing over many of the keys on the keyboard are played [touched].  Many times this is light/quick touching of the keys.

The toccata form of composition was mostly prevalent in the Baroque period-and the quintessential composer of this form was Johann Sebastian Bach; although he was not the only Baroque composer to use this form as Alessandro Scarlatti [father of Domenico] and Pachelbel and others also composed toccatas.   

From: Wikipedia. Toccata: "Beyond the Baroque period, toccatas are found less frequently. There are a few notable examples, however.  From the Romantic period Robert Schumann and Franz Liszt each wrote a piano toccata. Schumann's ambitious Toccata in C Major is considered one of the most technically difficult works in the repertoire and the foremost representative of the genre in the 1800s.  The Liszt toccata is a very short and austere composition from his late period, and is practically a toccata only by name."

In the first video - piano version of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in d minor -watch for the toccata technique around the 55 and 1:19 marks and when the fugue starts  around the 3:00 mark.

Please turn up the volume and enjoy these great toccatas-and remember, it's all in the touch.  :-)

J.S. Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D minor  [piano]:

Alessandro Scarlatti: Toccata #7:

Pachelbel: Toccata in F Major:

J.S. Bach: Toccata in c minor [toccata-movement 2 at about the 3:37 mark]:

Robert Schumann: Toccata in C Major:

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