the other thing that messes up easy/difficult in the Schott series is that they are heavily influenced by Gudrun Heyens' Germanic approach, where descant is taught first, and alto later, so alto is by definition placed at a later (= higher skill) stage of a student's development, even though, of course, there's nothing fundamentally harder about learning alto. And apart from cadential trills, I think most ornamentation can be happily left aside anyway, and still leave a perfectly tolerable musical experience to be enjoyed. It is better (I think, with my listener's hat on) to under-ornament than to over-ornament and lose the plot. There is a lot to be said for playing first with no ornamentation, and adding it only when it seems right; it's a good way to get a good view of the construction of a piece, and how it works, so that subsequent twiddles enhance rather than detracting from the structure. As for Laurin and Bosgraaf, they both play with such heart-melting gorgeousness that I can only look from afar with gratitude and admiration.
Posted 24 January 2021 - 07:54
The Heyens' tutor book takes that as a premise as well. She is constantly swapping between the two, to start with. I do like the way that both she and Bonsor build on knowledge of the descant; though Bonsor has another version of the treble tutor book that doesn't assume that. I'm playing the treble again. I've struggled with getting all the notes and I've always wondered if bad posture was the problem. Anyway, this time round it's much easier to reach the holes - I doubt my hands have grown. I do find - still - that occasionally I start playing the descant. But weirdly not the other way round. The other 'thing' that gets to me is the that the treble's notes appear to be higher than the descant's when of course it's the other way round. I'm so used to it, I have to remind myself that the descant was shifted upwards to make it easier to read...
I really like the Schott series for the descant. I enjoy the backing material too but they do rattle along at some speed! If the assumption is that by the time you get to the treble, you're already pretty good then I expect I'd struggle with the rest of the series. But if there any 'must have' easy treble please all yell...
Posted 24 January 2021 - 10:11
I also find the whole "start on soprano, move to alto when better" thing a bit tiresome. Not that it matters, but I think ABRSM's related strategy of only allowing soprano up to grade 5 just plain wrong. It perpetuates, it seems to me, the notion that soprano recorders are instruments for children. If it were my choice, I'd allow people to take the grades on any recorder they liked. Yet another thing I'll have to sort out when I'm in charge of everything
In the meantime, one of the things I like about tenor (which applies also to soprano) is that it's much easier to find music because a great deal of music scored for flute or oboe is suitable.
As far as the Schott anthologies go, books 1 and 2 were straightforward on tenor, but I have transposed books 3 and 4 down to C. It would be much easier if they would offer them in both F and C versions - there must also be people who start on alto and would like to have access to the first two books in each series. Given that the books are probably set digitally, and you can buy many of Schott's books as pdf downloads, it can't be beyond the realms of the possible to make alternative versions available, but presumably there isn't much demand for it.
Zixi: have you found Enote to be any use so far? I believe you said you had subscribed. I have not yet even looked at it.
Posted 24 January 2021 - 11:29
I agree over the soprano. It seems as if some people come to music late - as in retirement. It would be nice to offer them routes with 'rewards' so they could follow whichever path they wanted. I can't wait for you to be in charge! I'd help you but I'll be too busy putting this daft and too frequently very unkind world to rights...
Enote mailed me to say I was on the list and they'd get in contact when I'd been allowed access but since then silence. It's funny really. It's one thing I'm actually qualified to do... which is quite ironic
Would you mind doing me a favour OaG? It's next time you're near your treble Haka and with a tape measure, could you measure the gap between the top hole and the bottom one on the foot, please? I'd really, really like the Haka treble but it's pointless getting it if I can't stretch that far and if I haven't showed some commitment. I've promised the 5 year old me that she can have a Haka for her birthday if she's convinced me she's serious. The 5 year old's birthday isn't for a long time so there's no hurry. I daren't tell my husband as he'll buy the 5 year old a Haka and whatever else she has a whim for... and it isn't good for her... However, I have to say that the treble is coming along nicely. This is the most hopeful I've felt about it. I'm enjoying 'Fun and Games' and the Hellbach book. If you can pretend you're a child (I find pretending I'm an adult hard) they're wonderful. I even enjoy the pencil exercises.
Like you though, I still prefer instruments in C. There's something satisfying about starting at C...
Posted 24 January 2021 - 12:20
D instruments have (almost) exactly the range of a baroque flute, which means they're perfect for the whole baroque flute (and oboe) repertoire in the intended key. Violin is of course a bit more iffy because adventurous violin composers may have taken advantage of its enormous range, and used double-stopping, but there's a lot of violin stuff out there that's approachable too.
Unfortunately D instruments seem to cost about ten times as much as C or F instruments.
Yup, OaG, please do complain about the low status of the descant recorder. Anyone who thinks the descant is a kid's toy is welcome to retain that opinion so long as they can give a convincing performance of Van Eyck's Wat zalmen op den Avond doen, the "noch verscheyden Veranderinge", including Modo 6 please.
(ohje, I just made the mistake of listening to Bosgraaf's Boffons. I hate that man. Not really. But it's outrageous. It's not the fast bits that make me want to scream (though they do), it's the absolute precision and the fluidity of how he does the theme and the first variation, how he brings out the relationships between every bit of the tune, how every note is shaped perfectly. There is so so much in it).
Posted 24 January 2021 - 12:29
There's something satisfying about starting at C...
Yes, there is, I like it a lot. I have occasionally considered getting a baroque flute to play with but, quite apart from not having sufficient ability that I can afford to spread it too thinly, starting on D is not attractive.
No problem re the Aulos: the complete set of spacings is 32 30 (36) 36 25 31. But, just get one! They don't exactly cost a king's ransom.
Posted 24 January 2021 - 12:33
elemimele: absolutely agree wrt Eric Bosgraaf! Also, yes, it's a pity D instruments are so expensive: despite my comment about preferring to start at C, I would get an Aulos baroque flute just to try it if they cost about the same as Aulos recorders, but they are a LOT more expensive.