Sunday, December 09, 2007

bass blogroll and Schumann video

I've been delinquent in blogging lately, preoccupied with moving to a new place and trying to find a tenant to take over my lease. In the meantime though, Stan Haskins has started a series of copycat video posts, messing around with weird camera angles and obscure Mendelssohn excerpts! It's an honor to help spread bass geekery around the blogosphere.

And Michael Hovnanian wrote a very entertaining post about orchestral seating arrangements, titled "Bass-Ackward". Just like at a wedding reception, you can never please everyone -- no matter how hard you try, someone's going to get stuck with a trumpet bell aimed at their head, a violin turned the wrong way, or a bass pizzicato going off like a bomb behind their ear.

Since I'm too distracted to write much, I'll post another video of my own. This is a movement from Schumann's Five Pieces in Folk Style, originally for cello and piano, which I worked on with Donald Palma as an undergrad at NEC. Each week, Don would try subtly to dissuade me from playing the piece, pointing out all the awkward compromises in the transcription, but I wouldn't listen. I finally performed it on my junior recital, to the muffled applause of a very charitable audience.

This movement is marked 'Mit Humor', and what could be more humorous than cello music played on the bass? I'll leave it up to my readers to decide whether it's worth bringing it back before the public, or I had better keep it confined to poorly-lit locker rooms.


Talon Davis said...

So Matt, I was just wondering, How many takes do you attempt per video? Just try it until you're satisfied? Can you elaborate a little on how you incorporate video into your practicing/performance? Any insight would be appreciated!

Also, I saw you at the ISB (I was one of those people in blue shirts helping people rather than enjoying the convention) and heard you in a few master classes, and I was very impressed!

Heather said...

This is beautiful! I like it on bass, and found your performance convincing. Speaking of cello pieces on bass, I recently heard Larry Wolfe's marvelous recording of the Arpeggione Sonata. Cellos, beware!

Trevor B said...

Hi Matt,

Your blog is great! I love the videos. It's good for students to see this kind of stuff.

Kind of off topic, who made your bow? Also, would you attribute that ultra-quick attack you're capable of to your technique, your arm weight, your bow, your bass, your bow hair, or your rosin, or all of the above being awesome?

I'm currently on a bow search, so if you have any advice, makers, or sources for my quest, I'd love to hear them.