Mozart 39 excerpt octaves question

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by mr.lipski, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. mr.lipski


    Jan 8, 2008

    Got an audition with Mozart 39 on the list and have a question about the octaves in the opening Adagio.

    The last of the semidemiquaver (32nds) runs (the one in bar 18) starts on a low Db, and since I don't have an extension I have to play at least the first two notes up the octave. Wondering where the best place to go back to the proper octave is - after the first two notes? After the first four?

    Any thoughts appreciated, especially from anyone who knows what the standard is in England.

  2. braizahn


    Nov 23, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Don't know much about The English style of playing.. But Rinat Ibragimov plays 2 notes up and then drops back down.
  3. Some people play the first four notes up.
  4. Dbass926


    Jun 20, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    You should consider that the purpose of this audition is to sell the skills you have to this group. You have to then figure out which of those octave choices is going to help you present the best picture of your playing.

    Every other bass player without an extension has to make the same call, so you need to make the committee say "oh, that's the way you're supposed to play that without the low notes!"
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  6. basstrato


    Apr 6, 2013
    play the line, play with conviction.
  7. I can not speak for the standard in England but here in the states playing the first two notes [Db] [Eb] up the octave and going back down to the [F] to finish out the scale is acceptable.

    I wouldn't be opposed to someone playing the first four notes of the scale up the octave either but just as "basstrato" said, play the line out well and play it with conviction. That is what is most important.

    I would, however, be prepared for the committee to ask for either option and have both practiced to a comfortable level just in case.

    Good Luck Man! :)
  8. I think the standard in England is that if you are a working bass player that you will play an instrument which has low notes on it. That said, there are countries where people play on different instruments at home to in their workplace, and there are many reasons why someone would show up to an audition without the low notes on a bass. It should be noted that the concept of 'orchestral instrument' versus 'solo instrument' does not really exist in the UK as it does in mainland Europe, and don't be surprised if the panel seem somewhat baffled by an orchestral audition being played in solo tuning.

    I think this is something worth considering for all bass players all over the world. What message does it send to an audition panel if you show up without the correct tools required to perform what is asked of you? Many bass auditions ask for Heldenleben. What good is it to play an instrument for the audition that cannot produce notes below an open e string? I imagine that any other instrumentalist turning up without the means they need to do what is on the page in front of them would be sent packing immediately. Bass players, to my knowledge, are the only ones still getting away with picking and choosing where to bother to do what is asked of them.

    In answer to your question, I don't see why anyone should object to any solution you offer as long as you play in time, in tune, with a great sound and with musical conviction. That's universal. Personally were I in your situation I would probably play the first two notes up. Best of luck!

  9. As Cozy Cole once said: just ---- it and swing. Play it like you mean it. Dbass926 has some good stuff to say.
  10. Andrew Chilcote

    Andrew Chilcote

    Mar 20, 2007
    Just use that bass I was using there. G string was garbage but the extension worked fine.