Not sure if this has been asked already or not, but what are some of the technically easier movements of the sonatas and partitas? I'm looking to start some soon after I learn the A minor and E major concertos.
Thanks for any suggestions
Funny, because I never saw the E major concerto until I had already played partita 2 (no chaconne) and the sonata 1 fugue.
There was a thread that recently discussed this topic - you might want to look for it.
The first four movements of Partita #2 (the Allemande and Gigue are the easiest of those)
I "like" Mary Ellen's suggestion. Why are they the easiest? Because they are not lightning-fast (the Gigue movements are somewhat fast), and because they do not have more than the occasional double stops. Along these lines (but after those that Mary Ellen listed) you might consider the B Minor Corrente and Double. Once you have done the E Major Concerto (up to a good standard, that is), these pieces should not be terribly hard for you.
I don't mind the speed. After all, if you can play it slowly you can playbit quickly...
I agree with Paul and Mary Ellen's suggestions. The Presto movements of the Sonatas are also not that difficult as long as you start slowly and work the speed up.
What Mary Ellen said was my intro. IMO the best one to start with was P2, Alemande and then the Gigue. As said, they avoid double stops but they allow you to get used to the 'unrelenting notes' Bach style though undoubtedly you have come across this in studies before. After those two the Preludio of P3 which really introduces double stops as sort of 'broken double chords' because you have to make the same L hand frames without the R hand technique necessary for the multiple string chords. OTOH the string-to-string bowing necessary is another dimension.
"But using Bach to *learn* double stops from ground zero will be a frustrating nightmare...."
I think there 3 levels of difficulty in the Bach S&P Collection. 1) the single note movements, 2) Double-stop movements, 3) the Fugues and the Chaconne. You want to do a lot of double-stop training from the various exercise and etude books, encounter the mysteries of fine-tuning intervals, before doing Bach. My mistake in my early years was starting Bach S&P before mastering the higher positions.
From ground zero, no, but if you've done some Sevcik and Kreutzer double stop exercises, I wouldn't wait too long to start getting to know Bach.
Joel why is that? In general these don't go too high up the positions.
The E major one does, if I remember correctly
I don't know why someone would want to work on a "monster" like the C minor fugue before doing the D minor and B minor sarabande movements. It's very rare for students to perform entire sonatas or partitas anyway. Maybe a student recital might have a couple of contrasting movements from the same sonata (my daughter is going the Loure and Gigue from E major on her upcoming recital). So skipping around isn't really a problem. Silly Bach ... didn't write them in the order of difficulty. Fugues are super hard musically too. I mean, I learned them as a child studying *piano* and they were hard then, even when you've got ten fingers to play the various lines.
@--Gabriel, - clarifying that- I meant that the practice time and effort that I put in at that stage would have been better spent working on my high positions, instead of the Bach S&P double stop movements. I still have trouble finding and tuning those ultra high notes in the 1st violin orchestra parts, especially when they come from a long distance shift, unprepared.
@joel - so play second violin parts;)
@- Jake,- Yes! I am usually 2nd violin or viola.