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Solo Rep Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by APeck, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. APeck


    Sep 1, 2012
    Clarksville, TN
    Hello -

    I'm a Music Education Masters student, but I'm choosing to continue to study privately and be active in the university orchestra. I was wondering if you all could give me any suggestions for solo rep to work on in the next few semesters.

    Last semester I worked primarily on the Koussevitsky Concerto, just the first movement, to give an idea of playing level. Honestly, I'd rather have rep that's a bit more readable, if that makes sense. I had never attempted a concerto before, and I think I probably should have tried something a bit less meaty first! I'm not going to be performing on anything more than an informal recital, so I'm just looking for a few things that would be enjoyable to work on.

    I am looking to do another concerto at some point, but I'd like suggestions from any category. Also, if the sheet music is available on IMSLP that would be a bonus. Thanks in advance!
  2. Bach Suites? Pick your movements carefully, don't just start at the beginning. The *last* movement of the 1st suite is quite playable, and there are other relatively straightforward ones. Bach is always musically difficult, even if not always technically difficult.

    The Eccles Sonata is very approachable. Hindemith less so, but the 1st movement isn't so difficult.
  3. eerbrev


    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    the Bottesini Elegy (in D, though there are two others) is around the level you're talking about. +1 for the Eccles as well. You might want to look at one of the classical concertos as well, maybe the Dittersdorf or the Vanhal. They're a lot of fun to play, as well as a pleasant challenge.

    There's also the Misek sonatas and the Fuchs Sonata which are good.
  4. I recommend the Marcello and Vivaldi sonatas. They are very playable yet challenging. They don't go into thumb position, and they all lie well on the bass.
  5. Will Yager

    Will Yager Supporting Member

    May 7, 2006
    Iowa City, IA
    I agree with Marcello, Vivaldi, and Eccles. The Capuzzi concerto is a solid first concerto to tackle. There are some nice Telemann sonatas as well. You might like to try Koussevitzky's miniatures before the concerto. I wouldn't recommend any Bottesini or Bach cello suites until you can handle the Koussevitzky concerto.
  6. APeck


    Sep 1, 2012
    Clarksville, TN
    I've performed the first movement of the Koussevitsky and it went well, I just had to do more work initially on it then I'd like to when I start my next few pieces, if that makes sense. I wasn't able to sightread it really.

    I've done a Marcello sonata (though it was a while ago!), and the Eccles. I've heard the Capuzzi and it sounded kind of dull to me, but I will look into some of the Koussevitsky miniatures. I've done some movements from the Bach 2nd Suite as well. I'm kind of looking for something just a step below the Koussevitsky Concerto probably.
  7. APeck


    Sep 1, 2012
    Clarksville, TN
    And thank you all for the suggestions so far - more are welcome!
  8. Mau


    Dec 19, 2012
    Dragonetti concerto is one step below Koussevitzky and fun to play..Sperger sonata B minor is also good. Koussevitzky Chanson Triste a short beautiful peace.
  9. bejoyous


    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    There's lots of interesting solos in the Zimmerman Pink Book. The pieces range from not too hard to Kousivitsky concerto difficult.

    Bourree (from 3rd Cello Suite) - Bach, J. S.
    Grave - dall' Abaco, E. F.
    Concerto (1st movement from Violin Concerto in A minor) - Vivaldi, A.
    Prelude and Allegro (from Sonata in G major) - d'Andrieu, J. F.
    Sonata in C minor - Handel, G. F.
    Sonatina - Beethoven, L.
    Minuet - Beethoven, L.
    Elegy - Bottesini, G.
    Andante (from Concerto No. 2) - Bottesini, G.
    Aria (from Rigoletto) - Verdi, G.
    Adagio (from Concerto for Contrabass) - Geissel, J.
    Vocalise Rachmaninoff, S.
    Romance (from Lt. Kije) - Prokofiev, S.
    Introduction and Tarentelle - Franchi, C.
    Serenade (from Sonata for Bass Viol and Piano) - Beveridge, T.
    Chaconne - Russell, A.
  10. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    I second the recommendation to work on some Baroque sonatas. If you haven't already done so, learn some stuff about Baroque practice. The people who have devoted their lives to this music are very happy to share, and the shift in approach provides an amazing set of challenges. The Vivaldi sonatas in particular lay well on the bass, and focusing on interpretation can lend a certain joy to the music that transcends the perceived "difficulty" of the pieces.

    In much of the Baroque rep transcribed for the bass, the notes come easily, but the music takes time, analysis, and context. FWIW, adding this set of challenges to the already treacherous task of Bach-at-pitch explains why the unaccompanied suites are in many ways the ultimate pinacle of our craft.
    Garagiste likes this.
  11. I agree... Baroque sonatas! Work on something that you will be able to polish well. Builds confidence and great for auditions. Also in opposition to that view, I recommend pieces that have a lot of legato and slow bow practice such as the Faure Elegy.
  12. APeck


    Sep 1, 2012
    Clarksville, TN

    Thank you so much for the advice about the Baroque pieces - honestly I had avoided Bach as I became very frustrated while learning the Prelude from the 2nd Suite in undergrad - it was difficult to figure out exactly how to interpret that, and I hit a wall with it. That was several years ago, and I've grown very much as a player, so I think I'll look into some of the Vivaldi rep and take it from there, in addition to some of the more modern things that have been suggested in the thread.
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