Turn Up the Bass!
Gioachino Rossini: Duo for Cello and Double Bass in D major
Sergei Prokofiev: Quintet for Oboe, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, and Double Bass in g minor, Op. 39
Antonin Dvorak: Quintet for String Quartet and Double Bass in G major, Op. 77
Nurit Pacht, violin
Dov Scheindlin, viola
Nathan Farrington, double bass
Max Blair, oboe
Turn Up the Bass spotlights the double bass and its role in three very different and equally fascinating works.
Rossini is not generally known as a chamber music composers but rather one of the greatest opera composers of all time. As was customary at the time, the work was commissioned by and written for a wealthy patron, also a cellist, who was eager to play with the preeminent bass player of Italy at the time. The resulting work retains Rossini's characteristic lightness and humor, even in the face of the depth of sound created by these two instruments.
Prokofiev wrote his Quintet in g minor for "Trapeze", a ballet in a circus environment, meant for a traveling dance troupe. This coloristic work features the bass mainly in the second movement, with an extended opening solo, and in the fifth movement with a jazzy bass pizzicato kicking it off.
Dvorak's String Quintet in G major brings with it a full orchestral palette. The addition of the double bass to the traditional string quartet brings greater depth and range, and frees up the cello to take on a more active melodic role. Dvorak's typical folksy style combined with his mastery of form and heartfelt Romanticism easily shine through and bring the season to a thrilling and satisfying conclusion.