Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Scheherazade -- Technical Matters

Here are some technical solutions I use for some of the difficult passages in the rest of the piece.

First movement, last note

This from a guy who wrote a classic book on orchestration!! High B is certainly one of the most unstable notes on the bassoon. I can put mine anywhere within about a minor third range if I want!

Second bassoon has an E in the staff, so you can tune with that part. However, Clarinet 1 has the B an octave higher (often sharp!). So you need some flexibility with this.

Here are some fingerings to try, especially if you find you are sharp on this note or it sticks out.

Note that neither fingering uses the low Eb key. Try your regular high B fingering without the low Eb key. It may have a better sound!

Octave G's

 This passage with the G's might flow better if the upper G's are played with the left index finger completely removed. Watch for cracked articulation, though!

Last movement meter changes

In the last movement comes a section that alternates between three to the bar and two to the bar. Meters represented are 2/8, 3/8 and 6/16. In all cases, the duration of each bar is the same and the section is conducted in one.

Thus, it's just a matter of deciding how each bar is divided up.

The writing is confusing at times and maybe not always correctly written.

I've marked in red where the meter changes. Note: at D the figure should be played as two triplets, whereas at F, the figure is written the same, but the grouping must be three to the bar. Listen to a recording and you'll see what I mean.

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