Strauss Metamorphosen

A fun start to the week. I was invited at short notice (half an hour or so) to play the Strauss Metamorphosen, in the arrangement for String Septet (2 vln, 2 vla, 2 vlc, cb) as a sort of musical night-cap.

Technically, it’s not really that complicated – there’s a short stretch in the tenor clef (not a thing to spring on a lad after a long day’s drive), and a couple of exposed passages where (shock) the double bass has the tune, but it’s really quite playable. Assuming, that is, that there’s a clear beat from a strong leader. Oh, and it helps to know how quickly you can detune your bottom string to a C (if, like me, you’ve only got an ordinary, un-extended 4-string bass). This is important – it’s the bottom of the last chord, and needs to be that low, and it is noticeable when you get it right. (I’ve done this before in the full 23-part version, and the conductor complimented me on the low note afterwards.)

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet been able to find a copy of the score on the interweb from which I can extract the hairy bits that need to be looked at, so will have to go grovelling in the morning.

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