Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chamber Music--Good for the Soul

I just spent the weekend at a chamber music workshop put on by the Chamber Musicians of Northern California. I'm a very grateful member of this group of amateur musicians. Quarterly, we get together at a college or university campus to play music together.

I got to work on two exciting pieces this weekend. One was a Czech composer Dvorak's Bass Quintet. As a bass player I often play with groups with more than four other musicians--for example, an octet with 8 of septet with 7 (see the photo, taken last June). These groups include string and wind players.

For the Drovak piece, it was five folks with different-sized members of the violin family--violin, viola, cello and bass. What a nice sound. This is one of the "warhorses" of the bass chamber music repertoire, apparently, but it was only my second time through it and I'd gladly play it again anytime.

Today, I joined a dozen other musicians, all of whom were wind-powered, for a glorious Gran Partita by Mozart. We worked all day perfecting (well, improving) our performance and played some of it for some other musicians in the afternoon.

My hands, arms and lower back are sore now from my efforts, but I'm happy!

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