Easy Recorder / Difficult Piano duets?

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    Daniel Clark

    Does anyone know of some classical or jazz pieces that’d be good for a beginner recorder player and a near-concert-level classical pianist (who also plays around with jazz)?

    So basically can’t go too easy on the recorder, can’t go too difficult on the piano 🙂

    Jason Cone

    With that combination of musicians, my first thought it that it would be an excellent opportunity for the pianist to work on or learn basso continuo improvisation. There should be a wealth of relatively easy recorder melodies with figured bass notation. That’s especially cool since the pianist is also interested in jazz, so the required improvisation should fit right in, and can be as simple or as complex as the pianist desires within the context of the bass and harmony.

    On example that comes to mind: Schott publishes a book named 5 leichte Suiten aus dem Barock (für Altoblockflöte und Basso continuo) (Five Easy Suites). Catalog# OFB 97.

    The only drawback I can think of is that most modern published music which includes basso continuo provides a “realized” basso continuo score (i.e., already written out, rather than improvised) instead of just figured bass notation. (The Schott book I mentioned, above, takes this approach.)

    Searching on IMSLP might turn up some older scores with simple melodies and figured bass notation, though.

    Richard Hureau

    I think that’s an excellent idea (learning to play continuo). That ought to level the playing field! Much of the Baroque music on IMSLP does not have a continuo realization, and can be difficult to play along with without it. A keyboard player who knows how to do it is a hero!! There is a pretty good introduction here:

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