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Programme Notes

JS Bach - Sonatas and Partitas

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JS Bach - Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin
Arranged for Alto Flute by Carla Rees


Arrangements of one kind or another have been at the heart of alto flute repertoire since Boehm's own arrangements of well-known works at the time of the instrument's development in the mid 1850s. For an instrument that lacks its own repertoire before the mid nineteenth century, adapting earlier works provides both useful practice material and a broader range of musical material.


This adaptation of the violin Sonatas and Partitas is formed from studying various printed sources, including a facsimile of the composer’s manuscript, with slight modifications made (especially in the Fugue movements) to suit a single line instrument and the idiosyncrasies of the alto flute. Articulations are based on those found in the source material, but may be altered to suit the interpretation and requirements of the individual player, as is commonly the case with violin performances. Double stopping has been represented by grace notes, which may be allowed more time or omitted altogether depending on the skill and tastes of the performer.


Inevitably, breathing is a challenge when playing music originally conceived for strings on the alto flute, and I have decided not to include suggestions for breath marks to allow greater flexibility for the individual player. However, I would recommend that the more difficult breathing passages can be used to help build stamina and develop greater breath control, and are ideal for use as studies.


Although intended for the alto flute (and transposed so that when played on the alto flute the music sounds in the original key), these arrangements may also be played on other members of the flute family.


Carla Rees
July 2012

Buy Now - Sonatas
Buy Now - Partitas