Posts tagged ‘Strings’

April 28, 2013

Mussorgsky Pictures – String Quintet version?

I was spending a quiet afternoon listening to the Ravel orchestration of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures In An Exhibition”, and found myself getting mugged down memory lane from the times I spent helping out behind the scenes at the Leeds International Piano Competition. I also found myself hunting for a score on IMSLP. I found much more than I bargained for – Robert Patterson of Great River Music has arranged this for string quintet (quartet + bass). The score and parts are available at IMSLP.

This looks like it could be fun. I’m going to have to see if I can play this with some friends soon… It’ll make a change from that blasted Beethoven/Khym quintet!

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August 16, 2009

Dvorak Quintet

Played the Dvorak quintet (string quartet + double bass) this morning – and am doing it again this evening (hopefully more successfully this time).

There are some tricky passages to look at here – more details later.

To add to the fun, there’s a mistake in the double bass part – 1st movement, 10 bars before the final “Piu mosso”, the first three quavers should be triplets. This problem is in both the editions I’ve looked at today. Oops. You have been warned.

August 15, 2009

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.