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Archive for March 31st, 2008

The Scottish Ensemble were joined by the grammy award winning double bass player Edgar Meyer for their most recent concert in Perth.

Double basses don’t get much of a serious profile in the classical world, although most will know the famous “Elephant” from Carnival of the Animals.     

Meyer shambled onto the stage with his bass, and set himself up in the centre, leaning into his bass at an angle that reminded me of a pair of lovers walking down a country lane.     

He gave a literally jaw-dropping performance of Bottisini’s B Minor Concerto.   It was almost unbelievable to watch as Mayer produced sounds that I would have thought ‘impossible’ from a double bass.    We then had a couple of solos from Meyer – ‘Pickles’ and an Irish Jig, and then the Ensemble rounded off the first half with David Diamond’s exhilarating Rounds for String Orchestra.

The second half was given over to Meyer’s compositions, and began with a trio for bass, ‘cello and violin.    I would have to say, not just a virtuoso part for the bass, but very demanding for guest director Laurent Quenelle on the violin and Alison Lawrance on ‘cello, who both played splendidly.    The evening rounded off with the first movement of Meyer’s Quintet arranged for a string ensemble.   

The publicity for this concert “Bluegrass Across the Water” suggested that Meyer and the Ensemble might actually play some bluegrass music, so it was a little disappointing not to hear some perhaps.    And I think I would have put the Rounds to open, then the Meyer pieces, and the Bottesini to finish. 

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