Posts tagged ‘Berg’

September 12, 2009

It’s a lonely life…

One of the reasons behind the name of this blog is that last year, I was playing in Gotterdammerung, and I was the only double bass.  Which wasn’t really so bad, all things considered, except when the part said “nur 4” (only 4).  However, when the part said “nur 8”, I did wonder just how big was the bass section for which Wagner was writing?

Anyway, just for a change, this year I am not the only double bass in the Northern Wagner Orchestra.  The programme this year is a little lighter than it has been, after we completed the Ring in 2008.  The programme:

  • Wagner – Wesendonck Lieder (nothing to worry about here for the bass section.)
  • Berg – excerpts from Wozzeck (tricky and exposed solo in the second excerpt, the notes of which I shall attempt to post up here tomorrow.  The rest is straightforward.)
  • Stravinsky – Rite of Spring  (oh dear.  I’ve done this before, and forgotten just how fiendish it is in places.  The notes themselves aren’t so bad, but the rhythms, particularly at the end.  Why couldn’t he just pick a time signature and stick with it?)

I’m sorry – did I say “lighter” music?  Since when was that little lot “light”?

Where was I?  Oh yes.  I have been joined this year, swelling the section to two.  Luxury!  But still not enough, for the bass part in Rite divides into 6 at the top of page 2.  Ah well…  There’s a rumour that there’ll be a third player tomorrow, but, given her previous record, I’m not holding my breath.

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