2nd year recital

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Herbie 80's, May 21, 2012.

  1. Herbie 80's

    Herbie 80's

    Dec 15, 2008
    hey gang,

    I'm planning to do a 2nd year 1st semester recital for my Undergrad. I'm wondering what you all think of my set list. The first half is unaccompanied, and the second half is accompanied by lute and harpsichord.

    Bach Cello Suite 3
    Vivaldi cello Sonata 5 Mov 1 & 2.


    Handel Sonata in C minor
    Vivaldi Violin concerto in Am 1st movement
    Vivaldi Cello sonata 3

    I'm not really sure whether this is too much material or not enough material, what do you guys think?

    Edit: This recital is based purely on baroque music, as it is a 'baroque recital'.
  2. I can't work out if you're a bass player or a cellist.....

    I would say that your programme is at the least one sided. Is there a stipulation that the whole program should be baroque transcriptions? If not you'll get slated for lack of variety for sure.

    On the other hand it looks very hard work and if you can really play all this stuff then it should count for you.

    My second years recital went like this

    Vivaldi: Bb Sonata
    Geutler: Greensleves Variations
    Gliere: Prelude
    Kousevitsky: Chanson triste, Valse Miniature
    Bottesini: Fantasia on Sonambula

    I'm not saying that this is a better program but it is diverse and shows a variety of styles. I did get praise for good programing for the judges and this helped me get 2nd prize in the strings department.

    You're problem is not too much or too little material but too much of one kind of material.

    Good luck with whatever you chose to play.
  3. Herbie 80's

    Herbie 80's

    Dec 15, 2008
    Hey Fergus,

    It is actually a recital based on baroque music. I am a bass player, not a cello player - should've written that out.

    Second year recitals aren't needed at my school, so it is voluntary. That being said, it allows me to have a recital based on my favourite music (baroque), without being judged on variety.

    I'm mostly unsure of whether this is enough material for a full recital or if I should add more. I don't really want to add more, because it's already so many notes.
  4. Witjas


    Dec 4, 2010
    You know, if it's a little short on time, why not introduce the pieces in the concert? I think the audience would appreciate that more than another piece being inserted just to fill up time. Just an idea. Addressing the audience tends to break the ice and gets them looking forward to hearing you play after. Seeing as you are so interested in the Baroque period I guess you'd have a lot to say. In fact, why you chose to play a Baroque program to begin with and what all those cello pieces are doing in your double bass recital would be a good place to start..
  5. mattgray


    Nov 16, 2007
    Cincinnati, OH
    With a recital of this nature, I'd be nervous about keeping the audience engaged with the program. You've programmed a lot of Vivaldi, which is fine, but I feel as though a bit more variety could keep the audience's attention. I'm not sure how much repertoire is out there for bass (/or can be transcribed for solo bass and harpsichord), but it might be helpful to pick baroque composers from different parts of Europe (or South America) from that time frame; for example, picking an English, Italian, German, and French composer. Perhaps explore works by Biber, Lully, Couperin, Tartini, or maybe Monteverdi. Otherwise a program comprised solely (or mostly) of works by Vivaldi can feel a little bland, and the variety of differences in the national styles of each can let the audience explore the subtleties freely instead of them thinking "Oh, just get to the cadence."

    It could also be beneficial to program a modern piece to 'frame' the setting of the Baroque pieces, as that can provide a contrast for the audience's ear, making the dissonances more accessible in the modern example, while making them more jarring and have a bigger impact in the baroque pieces.
  6. Herbie 80's

    Herbie 80's

    Dec 15, 2008
    Thanks for your suggestions Witjas and mattgray.

    Matt, I don't really want to do the Vivaldi cello sonata 3, I just have it programmed because I couldn't think of anything else. The suggestion to do a more modern piece is also interesting.. I've been thinking of learning Poucha Dass by Rabbath, and I think it would be a great example to show the difference of Baroque to Modern music.

    I also know the Gliere duo for violin and bass, which would be a really cool addition, but getting a violin player as well might be a bit annoying.

    EDIT: I also forgot to mention that I am receiving the Marcello Sonatas and the Eccles sonata as well.

    Would this program be better?

    Bach Cello Suite 3
    Vivaldi cello sonata 5 Mov 1, 2


    Eccles Sonata
    Vivaldi concerto for violin in Am mov 1
    A marcello sonata
    Handel Sonata
  7. I'd drop the single movements from the program. Stick to the complete works unless there is a musical reason to play seperate movements (Aire from the 3rd orchestral suite for example). Do play the bach with repeats or just the first repeat? The 3rd suite should last about 20 minutes or so This needs a break 'cos you can't listen to stuff after that. You could start with a Sonata you are comfortable with and finish the first half with the Bach. You have to decide whether you want to come on the stage alone at the begining or if you'd feel better with company. It's up to you.

    The second half should finish with something special. If one of the Sonatas has a set of variations for the last movement then put that last. Whatever you do try to end the program on a flourish, that way you get the maximum applause effect! (it wasn't chance that put Sonambula at the end of mine!)

    Talking to the audience is good but try to keep it short and humorous too. Keep away from too much technical detail but tell them stories about Vivaldi's Girl's school virtuoso cellist which explains why there are so many of these sonatas etc. Rehearse it all like an actor.
    I find that talking to the audience just gives me one more thing to get nervous about...

  8. Herbie 80's

    Herbie 80's

    Dec 15, 2008
    Hey Ferg,

    I'd say that I'm the most comfortable with the Handel sonata, so maybe:

    Handel Sonata
    Bach cello suite 3

    and then intermission.

    The Handel sonata will take the nervousness away and my fingers won't cramp up after the work out on the second movement. I play the Bach with just the first repeat unless for some reason I want to do more repeats (usually not, unless it's the Bourree). I really enjoy my interpretation of Vivaldi's violin concerto in Am, so maybe I'll do that piece last in the second half as it sounds spectacular and can be an intense piece. I'll probably play everything with sheet music except for the Bach.. I have the Vivaldi and Handel memorized, but since it's a sonata with two other instruments, I think having the sheet music is passable.
  9. that sounds like a good plan!
  10. I think Eccles and Marcello are a good idea. They may both be transcriptions, but they're basically bass rep at this point. Also, Eccles might be a good finale depending on how fast you're able to rip that last mvmt
  11. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Play what sounds the best! Record yourself and be honest.There's absolutely no point in creating a "more diverse" program that you play poorly!!! If you want to go all- Baroque, +2 for Eccles and Marcello. Also, +2 for doing complete pieces. Always.

    Baroque practice is largely based on informed decisions so feel free to do some research, discuss the pieces (as mentioned above,) and consult with someone with extensive experience in the period regarding ornamentation, accent, and tempi. Also, do you have recordings of these pieces? Interpretation varies widely. Finally, if you have access to a harpsichord, go for it!
  12. Herbie 80's

    Herbie 80's

    Dec 15, 2008
    Hey Chicago,

    Unfortunately, the recital won't be using baroque performance, but modern performance. I'd love to use gut strings and tune to A415, but I have to play in Orchestra as well, and can't leave my bass like that while I prepare.

    I don't like to listen to recordings of music before I learn the piece. I don't do this because I find it more important to have my own version of it than forming my initial version off of someones interpretation. However, after I finish my initial realization of the piece, I'll usually look up a few different versions. Most of the time, I put the music into Finale so that I have a naked copy of the music that I can modify to how I want it. Again, I wouldn't do this if it was baroque performance based.

    Fortunately, I will be accompanied on harpsichord and lute. I use to play the Vivaldi sonatas with a guitar and loved doing that, so I can't wait to do it with a lute instead.
  13. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Well, Herbie,

    Maybe you should figure out what the harpsichord is tuned to before you say you're going to play at 440? :D

    The majority of bassists playing Baroque music today are using largely modern technique and setup. There may be three guys in the midwest playing on gut with frets and the "traditional" bow. Much respect to them, though! Current double bass Baroque performance is MUCH more about informed, intelligent phrasing and musicality.

    Though I was taught (and tend to agree) that one should avoid listening to recordings before learning a piece, Baroque is one glaring exception. There is an amazing community that knows the history, and can guide you into making musical decisions you wouldn't make otherwise. I say this from the vantage of looking like an @ss playing for a Gambaist recently... after practicing Baroque every day for 17 years!!!!
  14. Herbie 80's

    Herbie 80's

    Dec 15, 2008
    Yeah, the recital is many months away, and I won't be playing with the accompanists for a while just yet. The school generally tunes the harpsichord to what you want, but we'll see when the recital rolls around - if the harpsichord isn't in A440, and they don't want to tune it, then I'll just play with a piano.

    My teacher has been playing baroque music ever since he started his career, and he says that my interpretations are fine. The point of the recital isn't to represent baroque music in a baroque context, but the music in a context that I comprehend in a modern sense. I could do very baroque interpretations, but for me this isn't the point.

    Again, I would love to do an real-life baroque recital on gut strings, tuned to A415, or even just modern setup but baroque interpretations, but the point of the recital is to present baroque music in my modern realization of what the music means to me, and that might sound baroque (for the Bach it definitely does), but for other pieces it may not.
  15. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Well, there are no absolutes regarding interpretation, but I'm sure you already know the obvious-

    Dance movements have a strong down bow on the down beat.

    The up bow is weaker, due to the nature of the old school bow.

    Vibrato is reserved for long, held notes.

    Everything is lighter.... Mozart is lighter than Beethoven.... Baroque is lighter than Mozart.

    It's a music of finesse, rather than the obvious.

    Certainly you and your teacher have discussed these things. Cheers for undertaking such a difficult program. To do it well is an arduous undertaking. Sometimes academia glosses over the difficulties of performing Baroque well. The best to you and yours.
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