This might be a good time to describe some of the equipment I'm using for this project. To make my life a bit more difficult, I decided to use two different instruments, with different tunings, to record the solo and continuo parts. The 'solo' instrument is tuned to more or less standard 'solo tuning' while the continuo uses the common tuning used most often in the orchestra.
The odd tuning of the 4th string in solo tuning only serves the function of eliminating a 'wolf note' on the top string, by sympathetic resonance with the second partial of the lower string. In this sonata, there are no notes on the 4th string anyway. In sonata no. 2, the alternate tuning actually made my life more miserable (as you will hear in due course).
A few words of clarification about tunings and transpositions might be helpful at the outset. The double bass is a transposing instrument. When you give a bass player a part that reads
the sound you get back will be
The examples of the tunings cited above actually sound one octave lower. In addition, parts written for solo tuning are transposed down another whole step, making for a 'D' transposition (which simply means when a player plays a 'C' it sounds like 'D') To avoid confusion, hereafter, any musical examples cited will be at concert pitch (which is the pitch and in the octave in which they sound). When I publish my arrangements of these sonatas, I will of course make the necessary transpositions so bassists everywhere can play them without (believing they are) transposing.
Baroque bow with grip
This movement contains passages like the following
which will immediately remind a lot of bassists of similar passages in the Mozart, Symphony no. 40. I imagine any bass player with an orchestra job has spent a few hours cutting their teeth on those cross-string passages. At first, after picking up the baroque bow, I became dismayed at the prospect of having to relearn the technique. In the long run, things I learned using the baroque bow paid off on the 'modern' bow as well.
click below to listen