Saturday, 16 June 2007

The double bass solo in Mahler's First Symphony

Taken during one of NUS Symphony Orchestra's concerts. Photo credit: Jay.

Currently, members of d'Bassists are taking a break from ensemble playing. Instead, we are practising orchestral works.

This Wednesday, I was informed by the President of our symphony orchestra that our orchestra would most likely be playing the third and fourth movements of Mahler's First Symphony. There is a double bass solo part in the third movement of the symphony. Our dear tutor gave us a good overview to the double bass solo part this Wednesday during our double bass sectional, and I very much like his demonstrations of the various ways that various conductors would like that double bass solo part to be interpreted.

Coincidentally, one of Jason Heath's posts pointed me to an online article put up by National Symphony Orchestra's Principal Bassist Robert Oppelt. The article covers Robert Oppelt's approach to the double bass solo from the third movement of Mahler's Symphony No. 1 in D Major. Robert Oppelt also provides some historical context for the work.

I find Robert Oppelt's article an insightful read, do check it out here:
My Approach to the Bass Solo in Mahler's First Symphony (Robert Oppelt, June 10, 2007): http://www.robertoppelt.com/page6.html

Please also visit the following URL to catch a short clip of Claudio Abbado rehearsing the third movement of Mahler's First Symphony so as to listen to the principal double bassist play that very double bass solo part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lI7icWPfoc

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About the photo in this post:
Taken during NUS Symphony Orchestra's concert held on 16 Mar 2007.
Photo credits: Jay


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By the way, Emily has performed the double bass solo from the third movement of Mahler's First Symphony. You can read her accounts by clicking on this link.

Updated: 17 Jun 2007

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