A couple of weeks ago the Columbus Symphony performed the Beethoven Fidelio Overture. The conductor wisely asked for the chords played by the woodwinds and French horns in the opening Adagios to be played without vibrato.
I've noticed that on many recordings, the 1st bassoon very often sounds sharp on Bflat3 at the end of the second line in the above excerpt. Of course, that note is notoriously unstable on just about any bassoon, but I've decided that I'm tired of it! I'm making it my mission to eliminate the "issues" of that note. I'll practice long tones (straight- no vibrato!) with the tuner at all dynamic levels until the note is no longer daunting. I promise to write a report on my progress. Sometimes, by the way, I add the lower auxiliary key (a.k.a. the low D flat key) to that note to stabilize it, but I consider that to be a crutch and I plan to eliminate that trick after my Bflat3 stabilization project has been completed! Adding that key changes the resonance of the note, of course.
I never leave home without my Boss TU-12H electronic tuner with guitar pickup which attaches to the bocal. This enables the tuner to pick up myn pitch even while the entire orchestra is playing. I've been known to play entire rehearsals "plugged in." I don't apologize for it, either, because the bassoon is a tough instrument to play in tune. Oftentimes, the bassoon fools the player into thinking that a note sounds right at the wrong pitch because it resonates better at that pitch!
Tenth anniversary - Today makes ten years since I started the blog. At the five-year mark I did a little retrospective, and I don’t think there’s much need to do it again. Bas...
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