Repertoire with the Low B

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Snakewood, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Snakewood

    Snakewood Guest

    Dec 19, 2005
    Hey, I'm curious as to what orchestral repertoire contains a Low B. I believe Resphigi's Pines does, and Berg's Wozzeck?

    Anything else?
  2. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathrusta
  3. One of the Tchaikovsky symphonies, sorry don't know which one.
  4. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Probably 6th. I know it's not 4 or 5, and 6 is more likely than 1, 2, 3 based on the period.
  5. I think there's a Brahms Symphony where it can be done. It's not in the part, but it makes the most sense with the low B.
  6. Snakewood

    Snakewood Guest

    Dec 19, 2005
    I have two versions of his selected works, one of them the Oscar Zimmerman, the other is INTL publishers. Tchaikowsky never wrote below Contra E for the basses in his work. The lower notes were added in later by established orchestral bassists.
  7. JayR


    Nov 9, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    The college orchestra I play in just got a piece from a local composer, Mark Alburger. I've played a couple other of the guy's pieces before, and he has no clue what the range of any string instrument is, I swear. He writes good music, but the bass part to this suite we just got is almost literally unplayable, containing multiple low A's that would require a 5 stringer to tune down and all sorts of runs that arent possible unless you plant your thumb on D-string C. Other than that, I've never seen a low B. Outside of band music. which doesnt count.
  8. Snakewood

    Snakewood Guest

    Dec 19, 2005
    Well in Band music the bass usually doubles the tuba or euphonium part if there isn't a specific string bass part. It may be possible that the composer wrote the Low A in ACTUAL pitch, and doesn't realize that bass music needs to be transposed one octave higher for the sanity of reading.
    It's a possibility, OR...he may also be a terrible composer with no basic training in orchestration.
  9. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    This confirms my thoughts. I wasn't going to argue when someone else thought he had done so however, so I speculated.

    I was wrong :p
  10. Snakewood

    Snakewood Guest

    Dec 19, 2005
    it's all good :)

    ps best tchaik symphony recordings = oslo phil with jansons!! especially no 6!@!
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Shostakovich 4th Symphony ends on a massive low C from th basses! :)
  12. bassist14


    Oct 17, 2005
    ok, maybe it´s not the right´s not about a low B, just a half step down... :)

    today i´ve seen a bass-part of the cäcilien-messe from gounod.
    in the bendictus there were several low Bbs

    i dont know if this is original, it was an arrangement.
    does somebody now the original score?
  13. Brahms 2, I think; the opening is obviously designed to go down to D. :)
  14. Smetena's Vshrhad (i forget how u spell it...)
    lots of Eb's near the closing.

    Respighi's Pines of Rome. Low D's

    movie music. big time. (Phantom of the Opera, Gladiator... etc.)