Whether in performance or teaching, we are all bound to come across solo music during the Baroque period, from Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for violin, Cello Suites, Keyboard Suites and the Flute Partita, to Telemann’s Solo Fantasias for flute, violin and viol. In the context of today’s pandemic, solo repertoire has also become increasingly useful and convenient whether for digital content online, or for socially distanced live performances.
In this course, baroque specialist Alan Choo takes participants through the historical context of these pieces, and provides guidance on how to take a historically-informed approach toward understanding and performing these masterworks.
ALL instrumentalists are welcome, including those who perform transcriptions of Bach’s works (violists, bassists, percussionists, trumpeters, guitarists, etc.). Active participants also get the unique opportunity to workshop repertoire of their choice with Alan, co-concertmaster of the Grammy-winning Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra and Founder of Red Dot Baroque.
Singaporean violinist Alan Choo has established himself on the global stage as a leading soloist, chamber musician and historical specialist. He made his solo debut at the Tanglewood and Ravinia Music Festivals 2017 with Apollo’s Fire, the Grammy Award-winning baroque orchestra in the United States with which he currently serves as Artistic Leadership Fellow and takes on soloist, concertmaster and guest director roles. He is also Founder and Artistic Director of Red Dot Baroque, Singapore’s first professional period ensemble, which has enjoyed multiple sold-out concerts and critical acclaim since their formation in August 2018. In May 2019 he was invited as guest concertmaster and soloist with the Shanghai Camerata, and has conducted masterclasses and workshops at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Baldwin-Wallace College, Bowling Green State University and Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, his alma mater.
Situating solo instrumental music in the context of the Baroque Era
Solo music of Bach and Telemann: a historical background
A historically-informed approach
– Introduction to period instruments
– Baroque performance practice basics
– Contemporary treatises
– Stylistic developments and traits
The sonata da chiesa Corelli’s Op. 5, ornamentation and links to Bach
(Priority for Sonatas 1-3 of the Bach violin solos)
The dance suite
Individual dances and their characteristics
(Priority for Partitas 1-3 of the Bach violin solos, cello suites, flute partita, keyboard suites)
The “fantasia” as a genre
(Priority for Telemann Fantasias for violin, viol, flute)
Solo works by lesser-known composers: Gabrieli, Biber, Pisendel, Westhoff, Vilsmayr, Vitali, Geminiani
The keyboard tradition: Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, Frescobaldi, Froberger, Couperin, Rameau
Harmony; Tension & Release