Welcome to my blog

I have created this site in order to provide performers, listeners and composers with a description of a composer's experiences with the creative process. The posts will provide discussions of the inspirations, challenges, and successes of a composer from the inception of the piece to the culmination in performance. I will provide a link to where you can see and hear the works in progress. Comments and questions are always welcomed. They will not posted unless you grant me permission.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Transcription of Bach Orchestra Suite No. 1 - Courante

The Courante was much easier to transcribe than the Overture because it was shorter and less technical. I was able to do what I originally intended for the Overture in the Courante, i.e. using the soprano saxophone to enable the oboist to rest. The Courante was four voices throughout as the two oboes were in unison and doubled the 1st violin. I gave the bass line to the bassoon, the viola part to the bass clarinet, the 2nd violin to the clarinet, and divided the 1st violin part between the oboe and soprano saxophone.

My biggest challenge was to find the most appropriate places to switch between oboe and soprano saxophone. In the first section, I just made the switch at the repeat. I also added a dynamic change on the repeat, from f to p. In the second section, I made the switch on the 2nd beat of M. 17. I felt this is where the phrasing felt natural and also worked as another dynamic change for variety. I had everyone play from the eighth note pick up to M 22 to the end at a forte dynamic to end the movement with strength.

Bach's score has very little in terms of articulation. There are a few slurs that I preserved. I added a few slurs of my own on some rapid notes and trills. I also added the style description of Stately as all the remaining notes should be performed with a slight separation.

To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/bach_orchestra_suite_blog.html. You will be viewing a transposed score.

As always, your comments are appreciated.

Dr. B

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