Like Mere Bagatelle IV (ARS: MLE#55), Mere Bagatelle III is a brief scherzo in ABA form for three alto recorders. The Lydian scale (doh-re-mi-FI-sol-la-ti) figures prominently. Technical complications are few, but much slow practice is essential for a well synchronized rendition at tempo. The quick shifts from Bb to Ab in Alto III, bb. 27-9, are facilitated by half holing finger 6 on the Bb. For playing at tempo, one might explore other alternative or simplified fingerings, such as the omission of finger 4 on Eb and finger 7 on Bb. Half holing C# with finger 3 (cf. baroque oboe’s G#) may also be expedient. At tempo, one may be tempted to try getting through phrases in one breath. But fingers begin to seize when breath is running low. So where there are no rests, do take quick sniffs of air where commas indicate.
The composer plays all three parts on the accompanying multi track recording.
The composer has provided Play-along files for Mere Bagatelle IV. Play-along instructions Play-along files All three versions are included in this file so you can play any of the three parts. Time stamps for the beginning of each version are included in the instructions.
A swirling whirlwind of slurred undulation at top speed - what a blast! Be sure to savor all 3 parts, they each have something special to offer. One fun way to take it all in, since it’s so short, is to read it through 3 times and move to the next part each time. But be careful- the composer inserts surprise breaks in the expected patterns and you might stub your toe if you’re coasting through. This piece isn’t especially difficult except for the speed and the ensemble challenges that introduces; the waves fall under the fingers fairly neatly in most instances. Two low Bb-Ab-Bb groups in the third part, one slurred and the other staccato, are not encountered that often and so deserve special attention. (This reviewer anchors finger 4 and rotates the wrist to pull finger 6 away from the half-hole.)