Good Morning All,
As you were asking about recorder concertos and speaking about Handel, I also thought you were intending sonatas – since Handel’s recorder concerto contributions are minimal.
Ok, I will take upon myself the challenge, try to answer with as many explanations as I can, and later on will make this a page in my site
As this mail is planned to be comprehensive, it will be probablyy written and mailed in part – but I hope it shall give a nice overview of the sunject, and anyway, it is a good thing for me to finally sit and write it down…so, I have an hour until an academy students arrives for a lesson, lets see how much I manage to write…i hope that by the weekend I shall finish most of it.
I shall start by making lists: of what exists there in the market for us, try to add it to youtube recordings, so you all will know what I am talking about, and then try to explain what are the problematic issues of each and when to introduce them.
The English Concertos are certainly the ones to begin with:
They are rather simple – very short, so a young player can focus on them and start building himself towards the more major concertos:
So, I always start with John Baston. Not much information about him as one can see, his wikipedia definition is as short as it gets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Baston.
It might be interesting to know that the Baston gave the first known performance of a recorder concerto in 1708 (read about that in the Cambridge companion for recorder). The book claims Baston was a cello player. I myself find it interesting that he composed more interesting parts for the recorder than for the cello…
Out of the 6 concertos – the second one appears in D major – but since it was scored for a 6th flute, recorder in D, the fingering is the same as playing in C on a regular soprano. I looked all over the net for a free sample – but could not find any (I here by declare that in this set of mails – and and on, I shall try to give you links to free files on the net, and only if that was not possible, I shall refer you to editions that have to be bought on line).
And could not find the concertos anywhere, except on Andrea Bornstein’s fantastic site: www.flauto-dolce.it
Andrea charges for d-loading his editions (and rightfuly so – as he is a publisher) – and to all those who suspect, I make no money by reffering people to him – so here is the general link fo the site – and you’ll have to do the leg work yourself…
on his site you can find the complete edition of the 6 concertos in the full scoring, with parts, but in the original keys.
Schott have great editions for this concerto already transposed (one can get it anywhere).
A little about the concerto – and the reasons why I always take it as the first concerto to play:
The first movement
here performed by a cute girl in what sounds to me like the Schott edition (the cqadence is the one offered there…), has a very simple structure in which one can understand easily the difference between solo and tutti parts, and the technical facilities needed are non un attainable for young players.
I would like to add here that in teaching I am a great fan of short pieces, as younsters need to have immediate satisfaction, and since tichnique, sound production and articulation control are matters that require years of practice (and we havent even started talking about intonation, holding the instrument, phrasing…etc…) – so at least in rather short pieces, I can make them listen and try to control issues and “see a light at the end of the tunnel”
So – this movement I already taught to children of third year – 101 measures in total…with more technical passage work in 24 of them, some repetative.
the 2nd movement is a very lyrical one, not hard finger wise, but excellent for young players to be working on dotted rhythms and creating melodic lines while playing…allowing their air flow to stream ….very good practice on that, as in this perfromace here.
The girl here adds ornaments, which I do not agree with all, but one has to strat with that.
If you listen to the entire 2nd movement – you shall be surprised to hear the 1st movement performed after the second. A very usual decision when a student is not able (yet) to perfrom the bit harder 3rd movement, or we hadn’t had time to teach him…
The 3rd ovement in this concerto is not simple – it is in 3/8 presto, which is a very fast tempo, so i also do not insist on making the students play it so early…unless they realy want to!
The second concerto I would go to at that stage could be …
(And here I can add that I have many discussions with colleagues if we should introduce pieces that correspond with the person’s ability to finger – or the person’s ability to feel…if you read my posts -you probably know I am for the latter – becuase I firmlu believe that we should make it a point to educate people that music is a language – and that as I will not give adult books to youngsters – even though they are able to read the words, I shall not give “adult Pieces’ to youngsters…in my experience people who are allowed to grow – also mentally and emotionaly to pieces, arrive there more comfortably, and come out with a better “product” – but more important it becomes a part of them that benefits their overall growth as human beings and not just a technical – usualy not so intersting anecdote – …but I am a Stanislavsky acting teaching buff…so…)
Ok, back to the next concerto:
William Babell’s concero in C (same story as Baston’s – composed originally in D for a D flute).
Again, was unable to find a free sample on the net – sending you to the Andrea’s site.
If you notice the concerto is scored for 4 violins in the string section (and bc) – so it is rather perfect for conservatorie s- where violas are rare…
I tried to look for the edition I know in C (I forget now which publication house it was – but those are the white books with green line around it…alas, too early for me in the morning to remember…): A little deeper digigng showed me ther eis an “Alfred Publishing” that carries it.
Ther eis a nice item about him in wikipedia.
Babell had a name for as a very creative ornamenter and had published books about it.
So, her eis a rather nice performance of this concerto: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XpKcDzzE6w
As you can hear, it is a great way to master scales in C major… not very difficult, and very impressive for the audience…
The second movement is a simple one, which calles for ornaments. i find that younger students that are able to perform the first movement are not always mature enough to insert into this movement what they need.
The 3rd movement is not too difficult – once one masters the syncopations.
All in all this is a very satisfying concerto to study and perform, and is great for working on different articulation patterns in different 16th note combinations.
And here I conclude this for thhis morning….an hour had passed (wow, it takes time to actualy write something meaningful and liik for all the link) -
I am going to make myself a cup of tea and prepare for the lesson…
Will write soon and continue.