ALESSAN­DRO MAR­CELLO Ada­gio from Oboe Con­certo

For this is­sue Brid­get Mermikides ar­ranges and tabs a glo­ri­ous wood­wind piece by a noble Ital­ian poly­math!

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Brid­get ar­ranges and tran­scribes a piece that trans­fers sur­pris­ingly well from orches­tra and lead oboe to solo ny­lon-string gui­tar.

Alessan­dro Mar­cello (1669-1747) was an Ital­ian noble­man and com­poser whose priv­i­leged life­style al­lowed him to ex­cel at sev­eral pur­suits in­clud­ing math­e­mat­ics, po­etry, phi­los­o­phy and of course mu­sic. Although he pro­duced a rel­a­tively small com­po­si­tional out­put (in­clud­ing sev­eral can­tatas, vi­o­lin sonatas and con­cer­tos and arias), he was well re­spected and re­ceived en­dorse­ment by no lesser a mu­si­cian than his con­tem­po­rary Jo­hann Se­bas­tian Bach. The Baroque mas­ter (and one of the great­est West­ern Art com­poser of all time) ar­ranged Mar­cello’s most fa­mous work Con­certo for Oboe and Strings in D mi­nor, op. 1 for harp­si­chord and is cat­a­logued as Con­certo for solo key­board No. 3 in D mi­nor (af­ter Alessan­dro Mar­cello) BWV 974. While much of the work is close to the orig­i­nal, Bach also thick­ened the con­tra­pun­tal tex­tures and or­na­men­tal dec­o­ra­tion in his char­ac­ter­is­tic style.

It is how­ever the open, al­most min­i­mal­is­tic na­ture of Mar­cello’s writ­ing, par­tic­u­larly in the ada­gio, which – although per­haps not per­ceived as par­tic­u­larly so­phis­ti­cated in his con­tem­po­rary con­text – which may ex­plain its en­dur­ing pop­u­lar­ity. There is an un­fussy and soar­ing clar­ity to the move­ment with its open sonori­ties and el­e­gant melody which sounds as much ‘con­tem­po­rary clas­si­cal’ as it does Baroque, and it per­sists not only within the stan­dard oboe reper­toire, but also in flim scores such as The Firm (1993), Lorenzo’s Oil (1992) and The House of Mirth (2000).

I’ve man­aged to keep the orig­i­nal key of D mi­nor here and have used drop D for added res­o­nance and id­iomatic con­ve­nience. I’ve used a ‘black style’ ac­com­pa­ni­ment to mimic the strings of the orig­i­nal, above which the el­e­gant and or­na­mented melody should float. There are three key chal­lenges here. 1) The main­te­nance of the chords in a slow but con­sis­tent rhyth­mic smooth­ness (re­quir­ing proper fret­ting-hand prepa­ra­tion and ab­sorp­tion of the piece). 2) Mak­ing the melody heard against the ac­com­pa­ni­ment (which in­volves bal­anc­ing the vol­ume of ac­com­pa­ni­ment and melody). 3) Ex­pres­sive legato melody (in­volv­ing fret­ting-hand ac­cu­racy of slurs and trills).

Pa­tient prac­tice plus the no­ta­tion/tab cap­tions will help with all three of the chal­lenges, as will the (new for this fea­ture) ac­com­pa­ny­ing video. I hope you en­joy learn­ing and play­ing this time­less work.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.