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.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Transcription of Bach Orchestra Suite No. 1 - Forlane

I find it interesting how each movement of this orchestra suite presents its own challenges for transcription. In the Forlane, the challenge was the continuous eighth notes in the 2nd violin and viola parts. There was simply no place to allow the wind players to breathe. I could have omitted some notes and inserted rests for places to breathe, but I opted instead for dividing each line between two instruments and overlapping the parts by one note to assist with continuity.

Since I needed more alto than soprano instruments, I had the saxophonist switch back to alto saxophone. The clarinet and saxophone alternate every measure on the violin 2 line. The bass clarinet and bassoon alternate every measure between the viola line and the bass line. Even though both these instruments are playing continuously, the bass line has places to breathe. In the second section, the alternation becomes two measures at times as the viola line got too high for bassoon.

Once more I added dynamics and articulation to assist with interpretation. The first section is f first time through and p the second. The second section uses one 4 measure f-p echo phrase and one 1 measure f-p echo phrase. Since constant eighth note pattern stops during four measures near the end, I used the last echo phrase as a place to change orchestration to allow the oboist its first rest during this movement.

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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