Which bach solo...

November 30, 2019, 9:45 AM · Hi everyone. So today my teacher said That I should play a movement from bach partitas. She gave me these options:
B minor: Courante, 1 double, presto
D minor: Allemande, gigue, Courante
É major: prelúdio, minuet 1, minuet 2, gavotte et rondeau

I can only choose one. Which one is the best? My last piece was Schumann violin sonata n1

Replies (16)

November 30, 2019, 10:27 AM · Of those options and guessing at your level, I'd suggest the E Major preludio. Second choice Gavotte en Rondeau.
November 30, 2019, 10:52 AM · Just personal preference but the E major is really fun.
November 30, 2019, 11:04 AM · I'd advice the two ones that were adviced to you before, and i'll add the d minor allemande if you like it. In the end, it's all about personal preference, or for most part.
November 30, 2019, 11:04 AM · The E preludio has one very difficult bowing spot. It is one of those things that you can do or not do, no in-between.
November 30, 2019, 9:17 PM · The E Major preludio is not easy but if the OP successfully performed the Schumann sonata, it should be within his grasp.
November 30, 2019, 10:49 PM · E Major Praeludio is fine. After all, it's just what you'd be working on first. Eventually, over time, you'll learn them all.
December 1, 2019, 12:44 AM · Too bad we can't tag folks, but I am curious...

Joel Quivey, where is the "one difficult bowing spot" in the E preludio? I mean, there are a few tricky spots, but I can't recall having a particular spot that haunted me.

December 1, 2019, 1:28 AM · continued- that spot in the E preludio is measures 17--28, and also, 67--78. If you can do that, fantastic. If our paths cross someday, you can show me how. I tend to get mentally tangled there.
December 1, 2019, 9:31 AM · I'd say the E Major Preludio requires some physical stamina being all 16ths for four full pages plus counter-instinctive string crossings in those two passages. It is also by far the longest movement on this menu.

Any of these movements are well worth working on, so choose the one hat appeals to you most.

Edited: December 1, 2019, 11:56 AM · " If our paths cross someday, you can show me how. I tend to get mentally tangled there."

Short of on-the-spot brain surgery, I'm having trouble imagining how physical presence might effect mental untangling.

One approach for mental un-entanglement is to make it apparently mechanical, not mental. As a pianist might do it, say for a left-hand repetitive pattern, repeating it in isolation until it's mechanical and semi-conscious, similarly learning the right hand by itself, then adding the right hand to the left, keeping the left mechanical. Reversing hands of course for repetitive bowing - focusing simply on the string crossings without finger changes at first, adding them incrementally once the crossings are mechanical, keeping them so. The note fingerings can be practiced without bowing.

But you know all this, so I guess it's neurosurgery. Probably worth it to play Bach.

Edit: On further thought, I shouldn't make light of it. I think this sort of mental un-entanglement is a big part of the challenge and subsequent accomplishment of playing advanced solo Bach, so should be considered as mental progress, which cannot be entirely mechanical.

December 1, 2019, 6:17 PM · Joel... Oh yeah, that. I'm trying to remember at the moment whether you've done fiddling--and I think so, right? I think of those "bariolage" passages as being like the Orange Blossom Special of the Baroque--the classic "double-shuffle" thing bluegrass fiddlers do. I have heard mechanical machine-like performances of the E prelude where it is hard to hear the beat in these passages, but having been a fiddler first, I am not afraid to give this music a little drive. With that in mind, I approached those passages as being a right-hand groove (a la OBS), and my interpretation does give it a sort-of chugga-CHUGga backbeat drive to that passage that might alarm people who think it should be mechanical, but it seems appropriate to me. But I do think that you have to get past playing each note in that section--it is more that you hold the triple-stop and run the groove machine. This is common in various fiddle traditions (not just OBS), and that's how I got it to work. And now if I want to play it with less of a groove, I can certainly do that... but why?
Edited: December 1, 2019, 10:21 PM · --Paul, J.,-- Thanks for the sympathy. Yes, the trick is get into some kind of groove, and Not think about what you are doing. I Have done some fiddle styles, including the Joe Venutti/Georgia shuffle pattern. I understand how to do that spot, and have even taught students how to do it (!), but somehow I still stumble somewhere in the middle of that spot. What I definitely do not want to do is what I have seen in some lesser quality performances; an all arm motion sloppy thrashing about. (Sorry- a preposition is a terrible thing to end a sentence with)
December 2, 2019, 9:05 PM · I am a big fan of the Presto and the Gavotte et Rondeau. Have fun!
Edited: December 3, 2019, 6:45 AM · Apparently noone likes D minor allemande. It's easy to play and very expressive.
December 3, 2019, 9:22 AM · I like the allemande too. It may be easy to play but not so easy to play well.
Edited: December 4, 2019, 6:28 PM · The D-minor allemande is more difficult musically than you think. You think you've got to the climax and then there's another one that peaks it and then another one that peaks that and ...
You have to hold your horses, because you spoil the flow if you dip between these climaxes.

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