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Dragonetti

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Johnny L, May 9, 2003.


  1. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I'm not familiar with Dragonetti's work (or work under his name). Is Gary Karr's Dragonetti recording on the album Virtuose Kontrabasskonzerte the same as the Dragonetti Concerto that David Walter came out with recently? If so, is the cadenza Gary Karr plays written out in David Walter's version? If no to both questions, what is the name of this work and where would I obtain the sheetmusic? I'll do my best to mirror that cadenza by ear if I must.

    Thanks,
    Johnny
     
  2. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Man, I just can't believe that no one surfing these forums has heard the clip for this song and can't offer any answers, or thinks that this song isn't worth any kind of discussion.

    So what if the clip is in solo tuning and the lines between the open string and double-stop breaks aren't Rabbath-velocity runs?
     
  3. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Well, my impersonation of Gary Karr playing a clip from this Dragonetti song didn't do very well in my quest to find the name of this song from my teacher either (heh), so I'm just going to have to remain blissful in my ignorance for now.

    When I make it all the way to the first mvmt. in the Dragonetti Concerto maybe this will be in it somewhere and I'll get another shot at this clip in the right context...
     
  4. Shlomobaruch

    Shlomobaruch

    Dec 31, 2002
    Boise, ID
    To end the suspense... Dragonetti only wrote one concerto - they would have to be the same thing. As far as not answering to you, what do you mean "written out in the David Walters version?" This suggests you're referring to a printed edition when the rest of your post sounds like you're comparing recordings. Which is it? Not owning anything of David Walters' in any form, and not even knowing who he is, I honestly couldn't tell you.

    As far as Gary Karr's cadenza being written out, I haven't seen it. IMC's edition doesn't use it, and there aren't too many other editions. You can order some cadenzas for the first and second movements written out by Teppo Hauta-aho, which are nice. Or write one yourself. Composing one better than Mr. Karr's shouldn't be difficult, in fact I fail to see what impresses you so much about it. I have some sketches of one I've worked out myself basically using fancy string crossings over the same chord progression as the movement but nothing finished or solid by any means. At any rate, it's more congruent with the spirit of the movement as opposed to Karr's leisurely plunking through the changes.
     
  5. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Shlomobaruch,

    Thanks for the information. Fate has directed me to dig into the solo bass repertoire only recently, and I have much to learn.

    I only had the Gary Karr clip to work from until my lesson last week, where I had just snagged George Vance's books...the first movement of the Dragonetti Concerto is in the last book, but the clip is from some other part and my teacher didn't want to conclusively identify what I had played for him as the song in question.

    I think David Walter is a Julliard music professor, but I don't really know. I just have a magazine with a writup on a David Walter-edited take on the Dragonetti Concerto and was trying to connect the clip that inspired me to learn what Gary Karr played by ear with some real sheetmusic I could learn from.
     
  6. Shlomobaruch

    Shlomobaruch

    Dec 31, 2002
    Boise, ID
    If you've hit the solo repertoire only recently there's better things to be tackling than the Dragonetti. I know, I've done that. I got my copy of the concerto somewhere within my first year of learning the instrument and dove right in having little idea of working in thumb position, and have since been faced with the fact that I'll have to unlearn much of it and relearn it correctly - a project I've deemed not currently worth my time.

    Personally, I'd recommend the Eccles sonata - it uses thumb position to some degree in all movements, even using your thumb on pitches below the octave harmonic, but it doesn't spend all the time there. There's also Capuzzi's Concerto, which would give you much of the same exposure without the demands of the Dragonetti.

    Although I have issues with Slatford's edition of Bottesini's Method, volume two, published by Yorke, contains the solo exercises, and that could be worth your while as well. Others would surely recommend Simandl's method volume two as well, which would give you plenty of practice playing in all keys in thumb position, as well as transitioning from normal to thumb. Petracchi's thumb position method comes highly recommended, but I haven't been in a position to order it myself.
     
  7. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    If I could have it my way, I'd be shaking the stage for a fine orchestra already and praising Simandl's insights exclusively...but my teacher put me on the George Vance fast-track to thumb position success last week...good timing, it seems, as the last song in hia books is the first movement of the Dragonetti Concerto. My luck is improving. I'm even seeing improvement when I revisit one of my pet Simandl etudes.

    I think I'll always love the lower positions and notes best for the bass (who can deny the awesome power the basses bring even when doubling the cellists in Mozart's or Beethoven's symphonies any more than a Motown song?), but I am lucky to have a great teacher and access to the solutions he and other bassists have found to share in their trials for performance excellence.

    I'm still baffled that any aspiring bassist wouldn't want to make at least some facet of Gary Karr's facility and musical expression his or her own, but I can only speak for myself. There's got to be something there you can find to admire and adopt though, especially since he's giving you so much opportunity to find it.
     
  8. Shlomobaruch

    Shlomobaruch

    Dec 31, 2002
    Boise, ID
    ...without a completely solid and thorough understanding of your entire instrument, you wouldn't be allowed anywhere near a fine orchestra. So again, your remarks leave me at a loss. You seem to be suggesting that studying thumb position is holding you back from the "real" matter of playing, but more than half of the instruments true range occurs beyond the octave harmonic, not to mention the playing situations where thumb position is handy *below* the octave. If you want to babble I guess it's your prerogative, but I'd like to know what you're trying to say.

    As for Mr. Karr... there isn't anything specifically unique to his playing that I would want. Expressiveness certainly, but that isn't unique to him or to the instrument. If any sense of musicality inspires me, it would be that of Martha Argerich on piano, who often opts for transparency and letting the music speak for itself through her rather than imposing her vision on it, something which Mr. Karr is sometimes nauseatingly guilty of - the Koussevitsky legacy hard at work I guess.
     
  9. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    To end some real suspense, Dragonetti didn't write that concerto, Edouard Nanny, a prof at the Paris conservatory did. maybe back in the 1920's or 1930's and tried to pass it off as a discovery. But don't let me make you jaded, some people perform it very nicely.

    Anyway, think of your study as training. You can't really be the master down in the low positions without having been all over the fingerboard.

    you just have to learn everything if you want to be an awesome player. I personally feel like I got half position down and really felt in tune probably after playing a bunch of stratospheric stuff. There is a lot of room between those notes.
     
  10. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Thanks for the clarification on who composed the Dragonetti Concerto, Alex. I won't let it prevent me from learning to play it, and I agree with both of you that learning to play everything can do wonders in playing something.

    I think fine orchestras have no choice but to demand that their members be held to high performance standards...even in the upper registers...but you're right Shlomobaruch, I am expressing personally held convictions about "real" bass playing in an orchestra setting. I'll go on to clarify - playing notes above the G octave harmonic is not why I enjoy hoping to play the bass in an orchestra or why I care to listen to a bass section performing orchestral repertoire.

    But it is true that we are talking about solo repertoire, and in particular the Dragonetti concerto, here. I hope my "babble" has not created too much offense.
     
  11. Shlomobaruch

    Shlomobaruch

    Dec 31, 2002
    Boise, ID
    No offense taken, just wanting to be sure we were all clear on what you were trying to say.

    Orchestras require you to know your entire instrument because the repertoire requires it. Strauss, Shostakovich, Debussy, Mahler, and Stravinsky have bass parts that go into thumb position, just to name a few. Several modern composers seem fascinated with artificial harmonics on the bass - maybe they think it makes them seem intelligent to know the bass can do such things, regardless, if it could be called for, you need to know how to do it. There are some that will also argue that thumb position below the octave harmonic (meaning actually on the neck of the instrument) facilitates better fingering options for Mozart. As I stated to some degree before, thumb position is applicable to well more than half of the instruments' range. Working in the upper register will also help fine tune your pitch which can only help your playing in all respects. So thumb position work, while perhaps not in your most familiar register, is in no way seperate from orchestra work and has everything to do with "real" bass playing - not just solos.
     
  12. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    best post I have seen in a while, schlo,
    you are right, everything needs to be thought out very clearly if you wnat to be the bass player with the fewest technical holes
     
  13. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Thanks, Shlomobaruch, for sharing your insight. You are right...there is so much music written out there to be brought to life, music that may exploit the full range of all the instruments assembled on a stage...and the composers probably didn't pay any mind to the line I drew in the sand between orchestra repertoire and double bass solo repertoire.

    I already have some idea of what you mean after working through the Shostakovich 5th 1st mvmt. audition excerpt (the dramatic buildup to the march in the center of the song).
     
  14. Dondi

    Dondi

    May 3, 2003
    NYC
    It is OUR DUTY to know as much about our instrument's capabilities (range, timbres, etc.) as possible. If this was not the case, folks, we would never have some of great bass parts in the orchestral and solo literature that we do have,precious as they are. Thank goodness that Dragonetti and Beethoven were acquainted and perhaps friends. There is a story of how they first met and Mr. Dragonetti played some of Beethoven's own cello sonatas on his bass (only three strings, by the way). We have this relationship as at least partial thanks for the wonderful bass parts in the 5th and 9th symphonies.
    Should Mr. Dragonetti have spared Beethoven the trivialities of advanced technique on the bass, since they would probably be of little use in orchesral music?
     
  15. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    For the record

    David Walter is currently on the faculty at Juilliard. He has recently published a bunch of new editions for Liben(maybe). He published the Dragonetti and Koussevitsky Concerti as well as the Koussevitsky "suite" of songs. His cadenza for the Dragonetti concerto is completely original and in no manner mirrors that of Gary Karr.
     
  16. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Having lifted Gary's cadenza on this, I'd say:
    Get a CD player with A-B repeat and try to pick it out. If you like it, maybe you will find some elements of the cadenza you can use to make your own. When I studied with him, he said he has many variations on it, and that he can expand many of his ideas. He made a joke about a conductor that raised his arms to cue the orchestra when he started a trill, so he modulated and kept playing 5 more minutes, with the conductor's arms up in the air the whole time.

    Schlomo, I think you're knocking Gary a bit too much here. The man has done more for solo bass playing in this century than any other, and we owe him our respect. Though, that's just my opinion, of course.

    Best regards,
    Laurence
     
  17. Shlomobaruch

    Shlomobaruch

    Dec 31, 2002
    Boise, ID
    Yes he has, beyond any doubt or argument. But this has to with his tireless concertizing (to get the instrument heard as a solo instrument) and with his equally tireless work away from the instrument. If there's any quality of Gary Karr's that I admire, it would be his boundless love for his instrument that has enabled him to do this work for decades. Perhaps I should have said as much to balance my disparaging remarks regarding his style.

    That being said, I still don't like how he plays.
     
  18. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Yeah, the ISB website says that David Walter passed away a few months ago at the age of 90, and that he gave a master class weeks before he passed away. If I'm able to make it to 90 and still kick that hard I will feel truly blessed.

    Thanks for the A-B repeat CD player suggestion. I hadn't considered trying to learn the entire concerto (or even one movement) that way, but it certainly would be a fun project...especially since I'm not in solo tuning. My luck would have me reversing the bow direction and then getting to re-learn it all with my teacher's bowings!
     
  19. davidsbass

    davidsbass

    Dec 5, 2010
    Actually, it was written by Edouard Nanny FOR Dragonnetti. Most people dont know that.
     
  20. benharrisfan

    benharrisfan Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2009
    LOL