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Harbison Concerto-Ed Barker

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Simandl Fan, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. I just got back from hearing Ed Barker play the Harbison at Tanglewood. Too bad the acoustics worked against Ed- too many little old ladies in the audience and extremely humid air- but this is a really good work and I sure would love to hear it again.

    It's a great feat to have a new concerto premiered so many times over a two year period with each orchestra's principal player.

    If you have not heard it, the first movement is really a duet between the principal (soloist) and assistant principal (section leader for the concerto).
    It was a lot of fun to watch with my binoculars, and John Harbison came out for a bow with Ed and James Levine.

    Larry Wolfe was principal for the concerto, then Ben Levy, Dennis Roy, Todd Seeber, John Stovall (who plays my teacher's bass), Jim Orleans, and Joe Holt subbing. John Salkowski sat out, but came back for Daphnis and Chloe after the Harbison.

    The music is rental only, and I hope it gets published for general performance soon. I'm looking forward to a recording...does anyone have any info?
  2. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    I don't know anything about the rental/purchase of a part nor a recording.

    I was at the world premiere with Joel Quarrington as soloist with the TSO and it was definitely a very interesting piece and a great performance. I really liked the orchestration and how the bass interacts with the rest of the (relatively small) orchestra.
  3. The concerto is being co-ordinated by the ISB, and there is a two year "exclusivity" period for the 15 orchestras that commissioned it. So, that means at the end of this next season (2007-08), it will be available to everyone.

    There's a great piano reduction that John Harbison made himself, and it the piece sounds really good in that setting, too.

    As far as a recording goes, no one has asked to do one yet. I heard rumors that Boston is going to be recording some other Harbison pieces, and there might be a chance that they could add this one . . . but that's all rumor for now. It would be great to have a recording of the piece with Ed Barker. Or Hal Robinson. Or Joel Quarrington. Hey, I'd even do it ;)
  4. I think there are a few recordings floating around. I was talking to Ralph Jones a few months ago about the piece and he told me of a few recordings. I think he was recorded and I think Joel Quarrington was recorded. I'm not sure if these are professional recordings or bootlegs but they are out there.
  5. p.nemeth

    p.nemeth Guest

    I have a recording of Barker playing the Harbison that I recorded from the radio in very good sound. Outstanding playing, especially given the circumstances of the weather and that he only had six weeks to practice on the Karr-Koussevitzky bass before performing the concerto. Richard Goode had to wipe the keys of the piano because of the rain beforehand during the Mozart concerto, so you can only imagine what the bass was acting like. After listening to the piece multiple times I think that it's a very good composition, very difficult and a nice addition to the double bass repertoire. The slow section is my favorite part and I'm blown away by Barker's bow articulation in the very last section of the piece.
  6. anonymous12251111

    anonymous12251111 Banned

    Apr 6, 2007
    My Teacher (Ed Tait) who was Principal for the TSO Quarrington/Harbison World Premiere gave me a copy of the tape, it sounds fantastic!
  7. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Do any of you who have recordings think you can share them, or is that in poor taste? I'd love to get my hands on one, especially the Quarrington/TSO performance from Calvin.
  8. mcnaire2004


    Jan 17, 2006
    Please, hook us up (especialy me :))
  9. anonymous12251111

    anonymous12251111 Banned

    Apr 6, 2007
    I'll ask Ed in two weeks when I'm back in Toronto. Hopefully it will be kosher, actually I should probably ask Joel as well.
  10. Well, then, please let us all know! We would all be very grateful.

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