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.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Transcription of Bach Orchestra Suite No. 1 - Gavotte

As you can see, I'm rolling along on the transcription. I approached the Gavottes in a similar manner as the Courante. I needed to adjust the appearance of the repeat signs because I wanted a different instrumentation on the first repeat and repeating to the first full measure and the use of first and second endings made the notation clearer. I went back to the repeats in the middle of the measure for the other repeated sections. The D.S. has the pick-ups to Gavotte I written out before the D.S. By the way, the D.S. does not occur in the playback of the file.

Another thing that I had to deal with was interpreting Bach's articulation markings, or maybe I should say this edition's articulation markings as I have no way of knowing for sure whether they were actually Bach's. It is during Gavotte II where the markings are unclear. Most of the time, two eighth notes are slurred. Sometimes, there is no slurring and other times four eighth notes are slurred. Was this a mistake or is there a reason for it? When the four eighth notes are followed by a half note, I perceived this as the main motive which I hear as being more separated, therefore no slurs looked and sounded correct. The four eighth note slurs are the ones I question the most as I cannot find a reason for the articulation change from two slurred. I decided to leave the notation as it appeared in the score and let the musicians decide if they feel all the articulations should match. The last articulation concern was the two same pitch quarter notes that are slurred in the bassoon part. This did not make any sense at all, so I changed it to two staccato quarter notes which seems to fit with what is going on around it.

I adjusted the dynamics in the first repeated section of Gavotte I to create an loud-soft echo phrase. The Gavotte II is marked piano and is essentially a trio of oboe, soprano sax, and bassoon with occasional insertions by the strings or in this case, the clarinet and bass clarinet.

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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