Allegro Assai, from Sonata no. 3 in C

  1. Ken_P
    I'll kick off the discussion here with the movement I'm currently working on. It's a wonderful movement that falls very naturally on mandolin. The key is very comfortable, and it's got a constant stream of notes to keep the sound alive. Most recordings you hear take it at a pretty fast tempo, but I've discovered (by necessity!) that it sounds great at a more moderate pace as well. Anybody else play this movement and have any wisdom to share?
  2. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    I'm a big fan of "more moderate pace" in all things mando! Don't have the Sonata No. 3 ... I'm pretty tethered to the Partitas.
  3. Tacomando
    Which Partita(s) would you recommend to start with?
  4. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Don't have my book handy (I'll find it and update this) but the Allemande movement of Partita II in D minor is slow and playable and quite lovely. The Gigue movement (I think in the same Partita) is fast, but doable and you can start off slow -- and with a metronome. A bunch of people play the Gigue. If you've ever heard Thile or Marshall play Bach, you've heard it.
  5. Tacomando
    What books do you recommend for references? I have the Mike Marshall book and like the layout and size of the print... However, I wonder what I'm missing when after 14 measures of Sonata I in Gm the notation says, "Original continues till m94" <sic>. Now those 14 measures are GREAT and they've kept me busy for a year now, off and on, but what happens between m15-m94? Is it Bad Bach? Not playable on mando? Inquiring minds.

    Back to the original discussion that Ken started us on - I have not tried the Sonata III in C, but it certainly looks interesting. I'll give it some attention over the summer and see where it takes me.
  6. Ken_P
    I've been working out of a print copy of the score. This Dover edition, in fact. It's useful for mandolin because it's just the notes, no fingering or bowing suggestions like you'll find in violin editions.
  7. Nat
    For the sonatas and partitas, I use the edition edited by Ivan Galamian. It's printed by International Music Company and has a photocopy of Bach's hand-written score in the back.

    Galamian often suggests some extravagant fingerings (even some violinists think so), but I actually find that very useful. Much of the fun I have in trying to learn these pieces is in coming up with fingerings that work, and Galamian often is putting fingers in places that hadn't even occurred to me. I've often worked through a Bach piece, then had an epiphany about how to finger it in an easier or more sonorous manner. But having to strip things down and start over like that helps you to really understand the internal workings of the piece...

    The downside is that I'm never certain whether I'm doing things in an optimal way... I've been tempted to look at one of the mando-specific Bach editions as a comparison, but I have some innate (irrational?) prejudice about straying from the edition that violinists use. Can someone who has a mandolin-specific Bach edition tell me if the notes themselves are ever altered, or if the only mandolin-specific additions are fingerings (and, I suppose, tab)?

    I look forward to more conversations about specific pieces (sorry that we seem to have thread-jacked this one a little) so people could ask for help in specific areas. There are definitely measures of this Bach piece or that where I'd love some assistance.

    As to a good partita to start with... I think the first one I attempted was the Allegro of sonata number 2.
  8. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    I use the Dover edition, myself. My kid has a really nice ur text collection ... I think the Henle edition, which appears to be out of print. The Allegro from Sonata No. 2 is a beauty! And easier to play on the mandolin than the violin.
  9. Ken_P
    Since I was the one who started this discussion, I'd like to provide a sample of what's become of it! I'm rather proud of this recording, even though there are many many things that could (and hopefully will at some point) be improved. Enjoy!

  10. Jim Garber
    Jim Garber
    I prefer to work from urtext editions (no markings, dynamic or fingerings). The violin phrasings do not always mesh with the feel of the mandolin ansd besides, these are usually the editings done much later than the original compositions. I prefer to work out my own fingerings.
  11. Jim Garber
    Jim Garber
    Nice playing Ken. That is a bear of a piece...
  12. aconnormartin
    Sounds great! Good work!
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