Handel Sonatas – Accompaniment

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Richard Hureau October 17, 2020 at 7:30 pm.

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  • #1145

    Ken In Dallas
    Participant

    I recently purchased Handel’s Complete Sonatas, the Lasocki/Bergmann edition published by Faber. While I’m usually inclined to seek out books with CD accompaniment, this has none. On YouTube I found an accompaniment to the ‘Siciliana’ to Sonata 4 in F Major, but it didn’t match my book or even the notation included in the YouTube. I’m wondering what other players have found or are using – if anything – to accompany this edition, which I researched and found is the largest selling ‘Complete Sonatas’ for Alto. I’ll attach the cover below. Any help appreciated. — k —

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    #1159

    Richard Hureau
    Participant

    You can get a Dowani 3-tempi playalong CD on Sheet Music Plus:

    https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/sonata-for-treble-alto-recorder-and-bc-op-1-no-4-sheet-music/4956943

    Also a Music Partner playalong edition:

    https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/flute-sonatas-10-complete-in-3-volumes-volume-3-sheet-music/5857267

    Sometimes the Music Partner playalongs are pretty fast, but not as bad as the Music Minus One editions which seem to think that everyone is a virtuoso.

    If you do some searching on the very powerful menu system on SHeet Music Plus, you can find more stuff. For example, to find the 2 above (plus others) I did a general search on the top of the home page for “handel sonata”, then using the left menu I picked Instrument>woodwind>recorder and Format>playalong. Works great!

    #1160

    Richard Hureau
    Participant

    Another thing – you can “roll your own” playalongs using MuseScore:

    https://musescore.org/en

    It can be tedious, but once you have the sheet music (with realized continuo), you can enter it into the software and have it play back for you at any speed you want.

    #1161

    Ken In Dallas
    Participant

    Richard, Thank you for all the information. I did get a response from the publisher saying that they had no accompaniment for the book in any form. Though I hate to buy the same music twice, the Dowani may be my only available option, and then for only one of the six sonatas.

    My understanding is that Music Partner – being for modern flute – would require transposition to match the Alto Recorder. Is that your understanding as well?

    Also.. I think I remember that Musescore’s accompaniment is with synthesized instruments. I swear, when this Pandemic is over, I promise I will never again complain about anything during rehearsals with live musicians. I do miss the ensemble I was with. Right now I have a copy of Finale with synthesized instruments. Ehh.. So, so. Am I right about Musescore being synthesized too?

    While I’ve got your ear… I’ve read other contributions you’ve made on this forum. Thank you for the depth and breadth of your knowledge. — k

    #1162

    Jason Cone
    Participant

    I don’t use Musescore (although I do use Lilypond when creating scores), but I believe its playback relies on software instruments via MIDI, so the quality of the playback will depend on the quality of the software instrument. If you have high quality multisampled instruments it can sound quite good, but if you’re using built in synthesized stuff it can be pretty poor. It just depends.

    (FWIW, you can hear some higher quality software instruments in a recent recording I made. Sorry, no recorder in this one, but the drums and bass are both multisampled software instruments played on a MIDI keyboard. Harmonica and guitar are real instruments. St. James Infirmary Blues)

    #1163

    Ken In Dallas
    Participant

    I thought I was the only one that still played that song. I braced myself… but you sang in tune! Nice job!

    I once looked into the synth instruments at Native Instruments, but they price-packaged themselves out of my market for just the instruments I wanted – including Recorder choir.

    For the Handel, I’ll likely do what I do for my students: I’ll transcribe the keyboard and bass scores and record it on either lute or classic guitar. The latter usually records better, but my lute has those great low strings.

    Again, thank you for all the information and the old tune. — k

    #1164

    Jason Cone
    Participant

    I thought I was the only one that still played that song. I braced myself… but you sang in tune! Nice job!

    Haha! Thanks. Glad my vocal didn’t make you cringe. 🙂

    I once looked into the synth instruments at Native Instruments, but they price-packaged themselves out of my market for just the instruments I wanted…

    The ones I’ve been using came packaged with my DAW (Bitwig Studio). If I recall correctly, the ones on that track are Nektar drums and Sneaky bass.

    For the Handel, I’ll likely do what I do for my students: I’ll transcribe the keyboard and bass scores and record it on either lute or classic guitar. The latter usually records better, but my lute has those great low strings.

    That sounds like a great plan.

    On the lute: I’m jealous! I’d love to own a lute, but I haven’t got around to that, yet. (I did just record a simple/short version of Robin Reddocke from Ballet’s Lute Book, but I used a classical guitar, and added recorders and a frame drum. There’s a link in the recordings section of these forums.)

    Again, thank you for all the information and the old tune. — k

    Glad to be of service. (And I’d love to hear a recording with that lute and some recorder, if you don’t mind me making a request!)

    #1165

    Richard Hureau
    Participant

    My understanding is that Music Partner – being for modern flute – would require transposition to match the Alto Recorder. Is that your understanding as well?

    Also.. I think I remember that Musescore’s accompaniment is with synthesized instruments.

    While I’ve got your ear… I’ve read other contributions you’ve made on this forum. Thank you for the depth and breadth of your knowledge. — k

    Ken,
    Concerning the Music Partner, no, I think you are incorrect. That Peters edition is for alto recorder and continuo, and the description says it, and also, if you look closely at the sheet music that is included, you’ll see that recorder is one of the instruments. I think I may actually have that edition buried away in the pile… I am 94.6% sure it does not require transposition.

    Edit: forget the 94.6%; I just looked at my CDs and I have the actual Music Partner CD, with the same catalog number, musicians, etc. It is definitely for alto recorder.

    As far as the Musescore instruments, they are music samples, as mentioned by Jason Cone. They sound so-so, but the flexibility is good to have.

    I should have mentioned that if you have ANY MP3 recording (for example, a ripped MusicMinusOne or Music Partner CD), you can change the playback speed and/or pitch WITHOUT affecting the sound by using software. So the whole Dowani idea of 3-tempi is getting obsolete, although I admire their efforts.

    Thanks for the kind words about my contributions. 🙂
    Rich

    #1167

    Richard Hureau
    Participant

    Ken,
    I also want to mention that the Music Partner playalongs can also suffer from extreme speed (at least for me). For example, I don’t know if you are familiar with the Telemann Sonata in F Major, TWV 41:F2 (pretty often played by intermediate players like myself; not too difficult). Well, the first movement is Vivace and they take that VERY literally, playing it at metronome speed approximately 112. I guess if you have the chops, that’s possible, but from looking at my old practice sheets, the highest I ever got on that was 104, and I am currently revisiting it and am only at 92. I am actually using a MuseScore version instead because of this. Although, as I said, I could use some software to slow the Music Partner version down some.

    Another example is the Music Partner playalong for the Suite in A Minor (an actual orchestra – very cool!); the Rejouissance movement is at approx 119. Yikes! Yeah, it’s supposed to be fast, but do they think that Dan Laurin and Michala Petri are the folks buying these playalongs?!? So for something like that, you’d want to slow it down, I would think.

    #1169

    Ken In Dallas
    Participant

    You’ve given me a great deal to think about and explore. Is the Suite in A Minor also Telemann’s?

    Early on I got into the Open Source software and have ridden along as they’ve gotten better and better. “VLC Media Player” has several plus-and-minus play speeds that usually permit my bringing a piece up to the ‘as recorded’ speed. I also sometimes take recordings into “Audacity,” which gives me absolute control over speed and pitch.

    I have the complete series – 8 books/CDs – of the Schott Renaissance and Baroque Recorder Anthologies. I like bringing a whole book up to speed so that I can just start their CD of accompaniment and then play along for the entire book page after page in sequence. The fastest pieces are “speed perishable.” I get rusty if don’t practice regularly, and it’s a large library.

    So now, moving away from ‘anthologies’ with their hodge-podge collections, I’m looking to play ‘composers.’ That’s how I landed on the Handel Sonatas. It seemed and I found true that the entire range of difficulty within the Sonatas are well within my playing skills if I approach them with discipline.

    Get’n long winded. Better Stop. Again, thank you! — k

    #1173

    Richard Hureau
    Participant

    Well, I don’t know what happened to the reply that I typed in and has now disappeared. I’ll say it again:

    Ken,
    Yes, the Suite in A Minor is by Teleman. Some people call it the “7th Brandenburg,” because it is a similar type – small Baroque orchestra, etc. The recorder is the only solo instrument in it. VERY pretty, although somewhat harder than the Handel pieces, I think.

    Glad you have a good program to change speed on MP3. Audacity is really fine, although you have to export to a new MP3 in order to use its results. Other programs, like VLC, allow you to change speed on the fly.

    Probably the best program like this is called “Transcribe!” (Note the exclamation as part of the name):

    https://www.seventhstring.com/index.html

    It is very popular and quite powerful. For example, you can use it to loop within a section so you can closely listen to it and figure out what is happening. It’s mostly used for what it’s called – for transcriptions, also by say a guitarist trying to figure out a fancy lick in a guitar solo. In a Baroque context, you could use it to figure out the ornamentation used by a soloist. I have used it to figure out a continuo realization for the Hasse “Cantata” (Sonata in Bb Major). Only wrinkle is that it costs $39. But I think it is worth it, for sure.

    Good luck with the Handel!
    Rich

    #1174

    Jason Cone
    Participant

    Probably the best program like this is called “Transcribe!”…It is very popular and quite powerful…Only wrinkle is that it costs $39. But I think it is worth it, for sure.

    I’ll second that recommendation. Transcribe! is what I use for this kind of thing, too.

    #1178

    Richard Hureau
    Participant

    Ken,
    I just noticed an ad in a FaceBook recorder group for playalong MP3 downloadable files at this website:
    https://www.catonthekeysmusic.co.uk/

    They call them “Early Music Backing Tracks.” They are very reasonably priced and they have Handel recorder sonatas (as well as many others), so you should check it out. I never heard of them till now.
    Rich

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