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Robert Brennand playing Mahler 1 solo

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by Eric Swanson, May 7, 2010.


  1. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    My former teacher emailed me this link the other day. Long-time NY Phil Principal Robert Brennand doing the funeral march solo.

    Hit "skip intro," go to " "Mahler's First Symphony," then "The Funeral March," then "Play."

    Wait for Leonard Bernstein to finish talking (I happen to think little of using Mahler's First and this movement as an illustration of "Humor in Music." Mahler would probably choke to hear it, IMHO.).

    Probably gut strings, right (1959)?


    http://nyphil.org/education/mahler/mahler.html
     
  2. Florence Scott

    Florence Scott

    Nov 19, 2017
    I have been trying to negotiate the website above so I can hear Bob playing the Funeral March. I couldn't find anything that said, skip intro. From memory, this was once on youtube but again I no longer can find it. Can you help.
     
  3. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Sorry; just saw this.

    Yes; they changed things; it may be impossible to find now on the NYPhil site.

    Good news is that the clip is part of the "Concerts for Young People" that Bernstein did. Sadly, though, it is in the "Humor in Music" and Bernstein talks uses the excerpt to expound on his point of "humor in music," sort as if the piece is a big joke.

    He talks about the bass being "a very gloomy instrument, indeed," building up the audience laughing as Mr. Brennand plays. Bernstein's commentary notwithstanding, here's the clip, with the tympani intro starting at :26, Mr. Brennand comes in at around :31.

    He doesn't play it as well as I heard him play elsewhere, but his lovely, singing sound is there. Notice the old-school, all G-string fingering from the days of gut. Brennand's playing had a beautiful and unstoppable quality, which comes through, even here.



    Too bad you can't see his right hand; his bow arm was sure, relaxed, fluid, and unstoppable. He, and his student Terry Plumeri, both continue to inspire me with their lovely, breathlike sound production.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  4. Florence Scott

    Florence Scott

    Nov 19, 2017
    Thank you for this. Really beautiful, he was a great player and a wonderful man. He is my son's Grandfather.
     
  5. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    It is my pleasure. He was one of the nicest people I ever met and one of the most inspirational bassists I've ever heard.

    He was so kind to me as a young student. His level of musicianship was so high.

    For example, he assumed that you would memorize your parts. As he said, "How can you think about making music when you are wondering what the notes are?"

    I think of him every day, when I practice...
     

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