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After a lapse of 32 years since my graduate recital, I've decided to perform another solo recital (I think I've waited long enough). This time, I'm planning to play one piece each on flute, sax, Eb clarinet, bass clarinet, and Bb clarinet. It should be fun, and I'm getting excited.
As far as the sax piece, I'm planning to play the "Concertino" by Singelee. It's a nice, rather short, crowd-pleasing piece that has some historical significance.
The main point of my thread, however, deals with the piece that I plan to play on bass clarinet. I want to play the first Cello Suite by Bach. I have an arrangement by Michael Davenport that maintains the original key and range, using some low D's on the extended range bass. Because of the length and nature of this piece, it will be prominent on the program (I'm planning to play it just before the intermission).
My question to anyone who has recent recital experience is whether it is acceptable to eliminate some movements from a long piece and perform only part of the full piece (the Bach suite has 6 movements). My accompanist for the other pieces maintains that it is currently fashionable to exclude some movements if desired. I'm not used to that concept.
Another question is whether the music should be played with all repeats. Besides the opening movement, virtually all of the rest of the suite has a repeat. That makes it twice as long.
I'm curious about your opinions about these questions.
Thanks in advance.
 

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I've always been told that if you'd rather not repeat something in Bach, at least repeat the first section and only play the second section once
 

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Thanks for the suggestion, Dannel. That seems like a good compromise. I'm inclined to play all repeats, but I have some concern about it becoming tedious for the listeners and possibly tiring for me.
(There's always the idea in the back of my head that if I screw something up the first time through, I can go back and demonstrate that I am capable of playing it correctly on the repeat.):)
Another related question is whether or not the repeats should be ornamented. I have the recording of the Bach cello suites played by Janos Starker and also the Bach flute sonatas played by James Galway, and neither performance has ornamentation, as far as I can remember. On the other hand, ornamentation on CDs of Handel recorder sonatas and Bach flute sonatas played on recorder, played by Marion Verbruggen and Michala Petri, is prevalent and very effective.
 

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I think it's okay to not play the entire suite. I've actually heard undergrad cello recitals that did not include the entire suite.

As far as ornamentation:

Starker's interpretation of the Bach Suites has been criticized for his tempos (too fast), and ornamentations.

I would recommend Anner Bylsma's recordings of the suites. He is a world reknowned original instrument/baroque interpreter.
 

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Here is what I've always thought about this situation. If you are age going to use ornamentation then play the repeats, the second time with ornamentation. But if you are not going to use ornamentation then you don't really have to play the repeats.

Chris
 

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Usually when I play a baroque style piece this is what I do, I'll play the first section as written and then repeat with ornamentation. I'll just play the second section with light ornamentation with no repeat.

With some Bach stuff, there isn't any need to ornate since Bach pretty much did not leave room for anything to be added since he wrote in all of the ornamentation himself.

But in the end, it's your recital, your performance, therefore you can play anything however you want to! Play a bach cello suite with ghettoblaster, that'd be fun yea???
 

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Great article, thanks.
Good luck with the Bach. It's a tough thing to interpret.
 

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I think I'm inclined to say no ornaments in Bach Cello Suites. They are busy enough as is, and as Dannel mentioned earlier, the master tended to write out ornaments that he wanted. Handel didn't, hence the "simpler" melodies and greater space to "stretch out" and improvise a bit. Good for you tackling the Cello Suites though after such a long layoff from classical saxophone - they're a beast even when playing a lot (especially since it's so easy for other musicians to pick on other musicians when playing Baroque).

Also, just out of curiosity, what are you playing on the other instuments in your recital?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
DWoz5000 said:
Also, just out of curiosity, what are you playing on the other instuments in your recital?
My program is (so far):
Flute - Handel Sonata in F Major
Alto sax - Concertino by Singelee
Bass clarinet - Bach cello suite #1 in G
intermission
Eb clarinet - 4 Dances by William Bolcom
Bb clarinet - Sonata in Eb Major by Brahms

I might make some changes, but I think I'm pretty settled on this lineup.
As an encore I really want to play the Mancini/Galway arrangement of Pink Panther on flute.

From doing a little research, I'm learning that Bach tended to write out his own ornaments, so little or no ornamentation is needed. Handel, on the other hand, is ripe for ornamentation.

I appreciate the comments that have been posted to this thread - thanks.
 
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