Technical Problems

Technical Problems Addressed by Pieces on this Site

List of technical problems and the pieces (qua studies) that address these technical issues. This list could also be taken as a warning if one does not wish to take on these problems. Unfortunately, we cannot vouch that the list is complete or comprehensive.

NB: Quite a few of the pieces below are not presently listed in the catalog. But shoot us an email at <> and we shall put them on and notify you to that effect ASAP.

  1. Articulation
    1. Switches between staccato and legato: Mozart K. 279/1, 281/1, 622/1-3, K. 543/4, 309/1
    2. Switches between slurring and not slurring: Bach Cantata 7/4
  2. Remote keys: Mahler IV/1, IV/4, Adagietto, Trinklied from Das Lied von der Erde, IX/1, IX/4, X/1,  Bach Deposuit in f, Cantata 41 in f, Ferrabosco Fantasia.
  3. Chromatic scales: Scarlatti K. 51, 115, and 386, Bach Musical Offering 3-pt. Ricercar, Art of the Fugue Aug. & moto contrario Canon, Mozart K. 488/1, K. 622/3, K. 283/3
  4. Studies in trills: Bb Partita Prelude, Scarlatti K. 507
  5. Low Notes
    1. Extended passages in low register: Bach Toccata, Adagio and Fugue 564/1
    2. Low F#/Gb in connection with upper register: Bach Gavotte en Rondeau for Solo Vn. BWV 1006., Gavotte I from  6th Cello Suite, Cantata 7/4
    3. Low G#/Ab: Bach Gamba Sonata BWV 1029/1
    4. Scales with both Low F# and G#: Bach Concerto, BWV 1052/1, F Maj Prelude from Well-tempered Clavier Book 2, Scarlatti K. 198.
    5. Practicable (and gorgeous!) low E (for alto): Goldberg #13, also Cantata 97/4 (harder, but it’s forgivable if F results). Hard but possible: 2-pt. Invention #14 (Orig. in Bb), G Major Fugue from Well-tempered Clavier Book 2, Mozart K. 279/3; all have an option to play 8ve higher.
  6. High Notes: (It should be noted that in the great majority of cases a lower option is provided for these high notes. The contexts of almost all of the remainder make the notes reasonably doable. The only exceptions are in cases where the difficulty of the whole piece is such that anyone at a high enough level to undertake them at all will have at least some shot at executing them.)
    1. High Ab/G#: Cantata 114, 1008 Cello Prelude, Mozart K. 280/3, Symphony #34/3, String Quintet K. 516/1 1008 Cello Prelude, Satie 3 Morceaux/2
    2. High F#/Gb: Bach Organ Fugue 542/2, Cantata 157, 51/4, 41 in f, 114, 1008 Cello Allemande, Mozart Symphony #34/1, /2 and /3, String Quintet K. 516/1.
    3. Going back and forth between high F and notes in first or second register: Chorale Prelude BWV 649, Allemande from E major French Suite, Handel Sinfonia from Acis and Galatea.
    4. High A: Cantata 51/1, 205/9, 113, 114, Organ Prelude 544/1, 542/1, Capriccio from Kbd. Partita #2, Art of Fugue 13/Inversus, Mozart K. 279/1, 280/3, Symphony #34/3
    5. High Bb: Cantata 205/13
    6. High B: Satie 3 Morceaux/3
    7. High C: Cantata 101/2
    8. Trills between high F and G: Mozart K. 279/2 (Ø134568, trill 456 [8 means cover bell with knee])
  7. Music for Solo Recorders of Diverse Sizes (At modern pitch unless otherwise indicated)
    1. Voice Flute
      • @415: Goldberg #25
      • @440: Cantata 13 (if playing at old pitch; see below), Concerto #5, Mahler IV/3
    2. Alto @392: Cantata 13 (if playing at modern pitch—see above), Scarlatti K531
    3. Music in E or A major for Alto @415: Schubert “Lebenstürme” (Version for Kbd. & Rec., and also one of the options for Rec. Duet), Schubert Str. 5tet/2, Mozart K. 488.
    4. 6th Flute (@415): Sousa “Stars & Stripes Forever” (in alternation with alto @440)
    5. 4th Flute (@415): Mozart K. 622/1&3
    6. Bass Recorder—Music that fits the bass recorder uniquely: Mahler, Excerpt from 3rd Symphony, Satie “Son binocle.” See also Recorder Duets section in Catalog, and Bach 4/3 for recorder trio
    7. Bass Recorder—Music that fits the bass recorder uniquely but involves switching with other recorders: Mahler IV/3, V/4, IX/1 & 4
    8. Bass Recorder—Music that fits the bass recorder in addition to fitting alto: Cantata 7/2, 33, 41, 68, 157 Oboe d’Amore aria, Easter Oratorio “Saget,” Gamba sonatas, most of the Solo Strings music, Concerto #3 BWV 1054/2, Cantata 51/3
    9. Tenor: Ferrabosco Fantasia, Mozart K. 622/2, Cantata 205/9 (alternates with Alto), Mahler Excerpt from 2nd Mvmt. of 4th Symphony (1st section), Satie Gnossienes and Gymnopédies. See also Recorder Duets section in Catalog.
    10. Soprano: Ferrabosco Fantasia, Mozart K. 338 (optionally for a short section), Mahler Excerpt from 2nd Mvmt. of 4th Symphony (2nd section), Satie Gnossienes (optionally). See also Recorder Duets section in Catalog, and Bach 4/3.
  8. Switching between recorders: Cantata 205/9 (alto & tenor), Ravel Tombeau Menuet (alto & soprano), Scarlatti K. 531 (alto @440 & alto @392), Goldberg #25 (Alto @440 and voice flute @415), Schubert “Lebenstürme” (both Rec. & Kbd. & Rec. Duet versions), Mahler IV/2 (Ten. & Sop.).
  9. Leaps and the need for breathing that prepares for passages with both high and low registers: Dbl. Concerto, BWV 1043/1, A major concerto (#4, 1055/2), Capriccio from Partita #2, 1054/3 mm. 23-4, 59-60, etc., 1010/Allemande, 1009/Gigue, 2-pt. Invention #12 (Orig. in A maj.)
  10. Diminished chords/Diminished 7th chords descending chromatically: Well-tempered Clavier Book 1, #6/1 [Prélude orig. in d] Brandenburg #5/1
  11. Changing between 2, 3, and 4 to the beat: Art of Fugue Canon @ 12th, Musical Offering: 3-pt. Ricercar
  12. Octaves: Haydn C Major Pf. Sonata, H. XVI/21
  13. Arpeggios involving challenging chords/chord changes: Cantata 205/9, 7/4, Art of Fugue Canon @ 8ve
  14. Extensive Grace Notes as approximations of double stops
    1. Single Grace Notes: Menuet I & II from BWV 1006, Solo Vn. Partita #3
    2. Double Grace Notes: Loure from BWV 1006, Solo Vn. Partita #3
  15. Long passages where short breaths must be taken quickly (or one must use circular breathing): BWV 734 Nun Freut euch, bm flute suite/1, Concerto from BWV 35/3, 1056/3, 1054/3, Scarlatti K. 55.
  16. Tonguing exercises: Scarlatti K. 141.
  17. Cantabile: Schubert Str. 5tet/2, Mozart K. 488/1 & 2, Goldberg #13, BWV 97 “Ich traue seiner Gnaden,” Em prelude Well-tempered Clavier Book 1, all the 2nd movements from Concerto #2, 3, 5, 7, Double Concerto.
  18. Most virtuosic: Cantata 205/9, 99/3, 113, 29, Haydn “Joke” Quartet/4.
  19. Most accessible: Handel Polonaise (either Kbd & Rec. or Rec. duet), Well-tempered Clavier Prelude #22 from Bk. 2, Prelude #19 from Bk. 1, Satie “Petit Prélude à la Journée.”
  20. Tricky coördination issues between Rec. and Kbd.: BWV 564/3, 543/2.
  21. Tricky rhythmic coördination:
    1. Three against two: Mahler “Das Himmlische Leben” (Recorder Duet)
  22. Accidentals/enharmonics that are unusual in recorder music:
    1. Low A# (Concerto, BWV 1054/3, Trio Sonata BWV525/2)
    2. High A# (Concerto, BWV1054/3, Trio Sonata BWV525/1)
    3. Middle Gb—Gamba Sonata BWV 1029/1, Concerto from BWV 35/1, 1043/3, 1023/2
    4. Trill from Middle Gb to Ab—Keyboard Partita #3, Allemande
  23. Rapid arpeggios: 1009 Cello Allemande m. 19, Mozart K. 622/2.
  24. Realizations of arpeggios (chords-only notation in originals): BWV 1008, Prelude from 2nd Cello Suite, BWV 1015, 2nd mvmt. (Allegro assai) from 2nd Sonata for Violin and Continuo.
  25. Realizations of possible improvisation (cadenzas) on Baroque- and Classical-era fermatas: Lute Suite, BWV 997/Prelude, Harpsichord Concerto #2/1, Mozart K. 622/1&2.
  26. Swoops (Glissandos/portamentos as designated by the notation of “sticks”): Mahler IV/1&3.
  27. Keeping 2 contrapuntal lines going in a monophonic line: Concerto from Cantata 35/3.
  28. Large jumps to high register that must be done smoothly: 115 Aria,, “Bete aber auch dabei.”
  29. Rapid passages emphasizing 7ths: Scarlatti K. 10 (Also has 6ths & 8ves, less unusually).