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Performance Methods for Different Composers

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by ClassicalDB, Sep 20, 2005.


  1. ClassicalDB

    ClassicalDB Guest

    Apr 9, 2005
    Beverly Hills
    Hey guys, long time no post.
    I have a question regarding different composers. Different composers definitely had a different idea of how everything should be played, technique wise, to get a different sound out. Aside from the compositional styles being different, the technique also makes a baroque piece different from a romantic piece. However, I recently had a lesson with Principal Bassist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic: Dennis Trembly. We were working on a Mendehlson Concerto for Violin and he was explaining to me how Mendehlson would have wanted each note to be played (in respect to the bass). He was saying how the bow strokes should be short, but ring out for its duration instead of having bowed the entire note for its full length and then abrubtly stopping. I thought this was great information and I felt like knowing different techniques for every composer would be something very useful and would definitely set myself apart from the other bassists I play with. So my question is, does anyone know the techniques for how other composers (Bach, Mozart, Anyone!!) would have wanted their music played in respect to the bass. Thanks!
     
  2. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Hello ClassicalDB I can't offer anything here but I do have questions.

    If you added in your description that you were playing off the string, then you'd be describing exactly the kind of spiccato sound I work for no matter what I'm playing...an excercise, whatever

    Is that what you're talking about with the short strokes?
    Are all short strokes played off the string?
    Did Trembly talk about not damping adjacent strings with your left hand too?

    Thanks, Johnny
     
  3. ClassicalDB

    ClassicalDB Guest

    Apr 9, 2005
    Beverly Hills
    i c where your coming from but its not just with spicatto...im saying specifically to every composer
     
  4. ClassicalDB

    ClassicalDB Guest

    Apr 9, 2005
    Beverly Hills
    cummon guys i need help with this!
     
  5. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Listen to recordings of the pieces. Are the strings playing long, short or a combination of both? Are they playing with a light sound or full sound? Go to orchestra concerts. Besides hearing you can also see what they are doing. The only rule of thumb that I can give you is earlier composers are played with a lighter sound than later composers. Like anything there are exceptions to that rule.
     
  6. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    o.k. sorry to bother you with my questions
     
  7. ClassicalDB

    ClassicalDB Guest

    Apr 9, 2005
    Beverly Hills
    jallen, thats the best help ive received so far. I definitely do attend many concerts and can receive some insight from observation, however, it is hard to get the specifics down without having been told.
     
  8. While you're at concerts or listening at home listen for character and nuance that the composer and conductor is trying to portray. Something I have done in the past has been to listen to recordings of Beethoven symphonies while looking at a full score or a bass part. That enables you to hear and see what you're hearing at the same time. It will help you to practice a piece using the proper style and feel.
     
  9. ClassicalDB

    ClassicalDB Guest

    Apr 9, 2005
    Beverly Hills
    Bruce I am feeling a bit of Deja vu because the orchestra I am playing in is currently working on Beethoven's 6th. What I was wondering though is if there is a certain site or book or anyone that could list/explain it flat out. Thank you though.
     
  10. Trembly's formidable experience notwithstanding, you still have to deal with the conductor.
     
  11. Classical DB-

    You've got to have that "storm" mentality I guess.
    Seriously maybe you can go to the Beethoven website or get a biography of him to read what was going on in his life at the time he was composing the 6th. This may be going way above and beyond what's neccessary to successfully play this piece. It all takes time.
     
  12. ClassicalDB

    ClassicalDB Guest

    Apr 9, 2005
    Beverly Hills
    Bruce, that sounds like a very good idea. I did recently purchase a book called THE SYMPHONY, A LISTENERS GUIDE. From what I saw it goes through most every symphony and throughly gives the background on it.
     
  13. There's an awful lot of information floating around in this day and age. Expose yourself to it as much as you can. Some of it will be right.
     
  14. ClassicalDB

    ClassicalDB Guest

    Apr 9, 2005
    Beverly Hills
    Ya but where is all that info, where can I find it?
     
  15. Google, ISB, Bass World, Double Bassist Magazine, Music Journals, Bass Workshops and masterclasses...
     
  16. ClassicalDB

    ClassicalDB Guest

    Apr 9, 2005
    Beverly Hills
    Oh well of course the information is definitely scattered out there. However, I was wondering if anybody could relay this information to me all at once, instead of having to go around compiling and researching.