Tristan & Isolde – Act 1

We had a run-through of Tristan & Isolde on Sunday last…  A nice surprise – for a couple of hours there were four double bassists!  Unfortunately, one of ’em had to go at lunchtime, but it bodes well for the main event weekend when we should have up to five…

It’s a far cry from the bad old days when I was all alone, boo, sniffle…

Right.  On to the notes.  I think I may have been slightly hampered by the rehearsal room – instead of our normal large hall, we were rehearsing in a nightclub, and the lighting was not all that it might have been.  Wagner with a glitter-ball…

I think my friend was a bit optimistic when he described the notes as being straightforward…  generally, yes.  There are, however, a few bits that would benefit from some study.

Starting with Act 1, Scene 1, half way down the first page, we get a few unpleasant bars of heavily-accidentalled quavers:

The good news is that that should more-or-less fall under the fingers, if you’ve got the right starting point, and a big-ish left hand.

Nothing to worry about in Scene 2, which is good.

And on to Scene 3. Just a couple of oddments:

It’s a combination of speed, dynamics and accidentals that put paid to being able to read that on the fly in the dark…  but the next bit from just over the page was more fun:

“Sehr Schnell” is about right.  “Goes like stink” is another way of putting it.

Just before the end of Scene 4, we have the following:

“More of the same”, I hear you think.  And that’s what some of us thought, as we went at it at full tilt, failing to realise that it’s rather slower than it looks…  Oops!

The rest of the first act is straightforward.  Apart from about half of the last page of it.  You have been warned!

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