Performing solo Bach
When performing part of a Bach partita, would it be appropriate to just play a slow movement, or should you have a fast movement after it?
I'm planning a recital and wondering whether it would be a faux pas just to perform the first movement of one of them. I can't see my teacher for another two weeks as she's away and would like to hear your opinions.
Gemma even if you had asked your teacher, it would still have been fine to ask our opinions too! I know, you were just trying to avoid the dreaded one-liner "ask your teacher" :-) Anyway, my opinion is that these movement can certainly stand on themselves, and I don't see who you could offend by doing what you are wondering about.
It depends entirely on the level of the student recital. A high school student, sure, there's no reason to avoid playing only one movement (unless it ends on a dominant, like the first movements of the second and third sonatas, which sound funny unresolved). An optional recital, you can do whatever you want.
For some, you want to play the pair -- for instance, a dance movement and its double.
I think we should be more tolerant here. The idea that only a whole piece will do is fairly new. In earlier times (Spohr's for example) they would not hesitate to program only a movement or two out of a symphony or a sonata, maybe followed by an aria from some opera, then by a quartet (not necessarily complete either) etc.
I think you should play a selection of pieces that you play well, and try not to worry too much about the vagaries and vicissitudes of "proper" recital programming. You'll likely have a nice contrasting selection just because you've been working on a variety of material.
I think there are no rules. Just be true to yourself, entertain your audience, and have a nicely balanced program. One movt. of Bach is totally fine.
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