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Stabat Mater Pergolesi

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by DoubleBassBass, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. DoubleBassBass


    Oct 6, 2013
    Just got the dots for the Stabat Mater for a concert in May - very excited as it is such a beautiful lyrical piece.

    I am the only bassist playing in a small community chamber orchestra with two cellists and I forming the Basso Continuo section. The first 'strings only' rehearsal is next week and we get to meet the soloists in a couple of weeks time.

    As the rules for playing Baroque are different, thoughts regarding the Continuo part generally or thoughts specifically on this piece/Pergolesi would be welcome. Perhaps a huge open ended topic but good to share some ideas!
  2. eerbrev


    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    A couple of notes I've received from my teacher regarding playing early music (it's her bread and butter). Of course, these are all huge generalities with lots of exceptions, but they're a good start:

    1.) Whenever possible, Down bow on downbeats

    2.) Heirarchy of beats is 1324 in 4/4 time, even if you are in a crescendo or decrescendo

    3.) more bow, less weight.

    www.earlybass.com has a lot of really great resources as well, if you have the time to check them out.

    cheers, enjoy!

  3. Chris Grzesik

    Chris Grzesik

    May 19, 2009
    Storrs CT
    I conducted this piece back in the 70's at the university of ct. Beautiful piece, as you say. We did it with soprano and counter-tenor, which added a whole different timbre to the piece.
  4. DoubleBassBass


    Oct 6, 2013
    Thanks for the link eerbrev - looks interesting , I've not come across that site before.

    Funnily enough I was listening to a version of the piece trying to figure out whether the singers in the first duet section were two sopranos or a soprano and countertenor. Either way, beautiful music.

    For me, I am finding that the continuo is really deceptively challenging to play well. The notes fall under the fingers quite naturally however my immediate thought playing through for the first time is that its about purity of playing. A case of something that sounds like its easy to play is actually quite technically demanding. Judicious and limited use of vibrato, meticulous timing, subtlety, not overpowering the sound but driving forwards, clean bowing, musicality without grand gestures. Theres lots to unpick!