Mudcat Café message #3246482 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #134838   Message #3246482
Posted By: GUEST,Josepp
28-Oct-11 - 11:37 PM
Thread Name: Bought a double bass today
Subject: RE: Bought a double bass today
I was just re-reading this and I realized I kept called Gladstone by the name of William. I must have been high on dangerous drugs at the time. His name is Robert--Robert Gladstone. William was some British guy who used to cross horns with Disraeli. I read my earlier posts and I did a double take. WHAT??? Robert Gladstone--many apologies.

I bought this book online called "The New History of the Double Bass" by Paul Brun who is an orchestral bassist himself. Cost me $129 and that was the cheapest price I could find. I guess it's a pretty rare book. But it teaches a lot about how double bass evolved and came to be THE bass of symphony orchestras. I'm learning a lot from this book.

I didn't know that bassists were the original conductors. Orchestras did not originally have a guy waving a baton. Instead, everybody listened to the main bassist. Domenico Dragonetti was said to be the best. He kept any orchestra he belonged to playing in unison. Orchestras were divided into Great Choirs and Small Choirs and, for a time, had a basso continuo but eventually did away with it. The Italians did the most to make the double bass popular.

Basses had to be played by strong young men then because they were so big and unruly that they wore older men out. While I am learning classical pieces, I knew nothing about orchestras but this book is a big help. Guys like Gladstone and Zimmerman were orchestra players--that's what they did.

It's amazing how good you have to be just to be in an orchestra playing behind some virtuoso soloist. It takes tremendous skill to back one of these people. It's not a job for a hack.

This book also referred to my teacher's teacher's teacher as Hermann Reinshagen and not Henry. I'm probably wrong on that too but I could swear other source said Henry. Henry, Hermann--whatever. Welp, time to go practice.