Bass Blog

Michael Hovnanian formerly played bass with an orchestra located in a large midwestern city.

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Friday, May 06, 2011

Marcello Sonatas recording project 06

Blame it on Bruckner

Not much to say about this movement. I had a faster tempo in mind, but as the 'recording session' took place immediately after playing a Bruckner Symphony for the fourth day in a row, my fingers were something less than fresh. So, instead of a fast Allegro, I settled for something a bit more more jaunty.

In the bass edition I used until I found the facsimile, the F-sharps in measures 5 and 6 were 'corrected' to F-naturals. By the time I got hold of the facsimile, I was pretty much playing from memory, and so it wasn't until I started to do some layout work for my own edition that I spotted the F-sharp and realized, just in time, I'd been playing a wrong note all along.

This movement has some curious slurs, which I took to be phrasing indications, rather than bowings, coincidentally, in the same measures with the changed accidentals. Mostly, I just didn't feel like slurring those notes, so I didn't.

</ F-sharpsp and slurs 5-6, mm.>
mm. 5-6, slurs and F-sharps

Also, one passage became inordinately difficult due to the tuning of my lowest string (D, rather than F-sharp, or E) – a small price to pay for getting rid of the 'wolfy' A-string.

a pain to play with a low 'D' string

click below to listen


Dimsky said...

Hello, Michael:

Continuing to enjoy your work on this-the first thing I do after checking out my favorite soft-porn site is to see if there is a new installment.

Since you've been talking a little bit about "source" material, some small details and the like, I have a question about that D-natural grace note in Sonata No 1, 3rd Mvt., measure 13. To my ear at least, it makes for such a striking direct fifth with the G-natural in the lower voice that, at that instant (before it moves up to the E-natural), I feel like I'm almost transported back about a hundred years to a earlier harmonic world. When I play it with the inner voices on the piano it's mitigated somewhat, but not entirely.

Any thoughts?

Michael Hovnanian said...

Thanks for bearing with me.

Marcello dind't write in too many grace notes or ornaments (in these sonatas at least) so it is possible he was onto the same thing you hear. I also enjoy the moments when it seems as if the music is coming from a time before the 'high' baroque - something different from the ubiquitous Bach, Handel, and Telemann.