Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20

Thread: virtuosity

  1. #1
    Newbies
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default virtuosity

    Can someone pls explain me, why do we say for some instruments that they are virtuous, and some don't? -for example cello is virtuoso instrument, but double bass is not.

  2. Likes hpowders liked this post
  3. #2
    Junior Member Valjuan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    39
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I've never actually heard instruments themselves being referred to as "virtuosic", usually this term is applied to the performer. What's the context of where you heard that?

  4. Likes Pugg liked this post
  5. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    38,640
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    What's the context of where you heard that?
    That's what I like to know also.

  6. #4
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    5,464
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default

    The term virtuoso as a noun is used almost exclusively for soloists who have mastered the most difficult solo literature for their instrument. Often, the most difficult solo literature consists of concertos specially written for virtuosos. The term tends only to be applied to those who play an instrument on which one can hope to support a career as a soloist. So we mostly hear about piano, violin, and cello virtuosos, although it is applied occasionally to flutists, trumpeters, etc.

    The reason you don't hear about double bass virtuosos is because no one makes a living playing solo bass music and virtually no one writes concertos for the instrument.

    The noun virtuosity is used to describe supreme skill on any instrument, whether or not it is a common instrument for touring soloists.

    Your frogs make me shudder with intolerable loathing and I shall be miserable for the rest of my life remembering them.
    — Mikhail Bulgakov, The Fatal Eggs

    When a true genius appears on the earth, you may know him by this sign, that all of the dunces are in confederacy against him.
    — Jonathan Swift

  7. Likes Nate Miller liked this post
  8. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    18,933
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jovana95 View Post
    Can someone pls explain me, why do we say for some instruments that they are virtuous, and some don't? -for example cello is virtuoso instrument, but double bass is not.
    Who said the double bass isn't a virtuoso instrument? The Bach cello suites have been transcribed for double bass and anyone who can play those notes at tempo with excellent intonation is a full-fledged virtuoso of the double-bass.
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

  9. Likes Valjuan, JamieHoldham, Bettina and 4 others liked this post
  10. #6
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    19,995
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Bottesini certainly considered the bull fiddle a virtuosic instrument, and so did his audiences evidently. He was known as "The Paganini of the double bass."

    Added: Edgar Meyer is a current double bass virtuoso and has written two concertos for that instrument. I've heard one -- it was very good.
    Last edited by KenOC; Dec-10-2016 at 21:24.


  11. Likes Valjuan, jovana95, Matthewv789 liked this post
  12. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Wales
    Posts
    1,717
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    Bottesini certainly considered the bull fiddle a virtuosic instrument
    Quite so, here's Bottesini's Gran Duo, gloriously played by the talented father/daughter combination of Alina Ibragimova and Rinat Ibragimov:



    It's one of my favourite finds on YouTube. Well worth watching all the way through but, for the impatient, 10:44 is as good a place as any to start.

  13. Likes KenOC, jovana95, Matthewv789 liked this post
  14. #8
    Senior Member Retrograde Inversion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    169
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Just about all instruments are capable of virtuosity, except (arguably) the very simplest such as the triangle. In the eighteenth century, there was actually quite a broad range of instruments that could be used as soloists, notably most wind and brass, which had solo concerti written for them by Haydn and Mozart, while Bach used a variety of instruments as soloists in his Brandenburg concerti, as well as a great variety of solo instruments in his sacred music. Trumpet parts in the Baroque period were often particularly notable for their virtuoso character.
    During the nineteenth century, however, the piano and violin came to occupy center stage as instruments regarded as soloists, with Dvořák's Cello Concerto and Brahms' Double Concerto being relatively unusual for their time. It was only in the twentienth century that composers started to treat all instruments equally, including the hitherto neglected percussion and, yes, bass; with various modernists being particularly unstinting in their instrumental demands, not only in solo works, but also in large ensemble and chamber works.

  15. Likes jovana95 liked this post
  16. #9
    Newbies
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Our professor told us that cello is harder to play than bass, because its virtuous instrument, and double bass is not..

  17. #10
    Newbies
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    My teacher said that. really I didn`t know that. I don`t play bass nor cello, so I really don`t know much about it. But, now I know a little bit more. Thanks.

  18. #11
    Newbies
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I haven`t heard Bottesini till know and I can tell that its sounds wonderful and virtuous. Thank you. I`m going to open the debate with professor in our next class.

  19. Likes Matthewv789 liked this post
  20. #12
    Senior Member Retrograde Inversion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    169
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jovana95 View Post
    I haven`t heard Bottesini till know and I can tell that its sounds wonderful and virtuous. Thank you. I`m going to open the debate with professor in our next class.
    I'm not sure if English is your native language or not, but I'd just like to point out that the word "virtuous" means "morally good". The adjective you want is "virtuosic". (Those naughty, naughty basses...)

  21. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    413
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hpowders View Post
    Who said the double bass isn't a virtuoso instrument? The Bach cello suites have been transcribed for double bass and anyone who can play those notes at tempo with excellent intonation is a full-fledged virtuoso of the double-bass.
    he's not talking about what is possible, or about what unique players have done

    Bela Flek is a fantastic player, but banjo is still not a virtuoso instrument.

    It has more to do with tradition and the body of works in the instruments solo repertoire. The cello suites were transcribed for bass, but actually written for the cello.

    and FWIW, I've played with some upright bass players that were virtuoso players in my double life and a jazz guitarist. But I didn't consider the bass a virtuoso instrument because of its very nature. I've had lots of friends that are professional bass players (that comes in handy when you are a working musician) I have heard them describe their instrument as "a contact sport" or "like playing a dog house with strings on it". So the sheer force and energy required to operate the instrument is why nobody in their right mind writes virtuosic parts for the double bass. They give those parts to the cello so they get played and have done with it.

  22. Likes Bettina liked this post
  23. #14
    Senior Member JACE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Marietta, GA, USA
    Posts
    2,831
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    96

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nate Miller View Post
    FWIW, I've played with some upright bass players that were virtuoso players in my double life and a jazz guitarist. But I didn't consider the bass a virtuoso instrument because of its very nature. I've had lots of friends that are professional bass players (that comes in handy when you are a working musician) I have heard them describe their instrument as "a contact sport" or "like playing a dog house with strings on it". So the sheer force and energy required to operate the instrument is why nobody in their right mind writes virtuosic parts for the double bass. They give those parts to the cello so they get played and have done with it.
    But Nate wouldn't you regard Charles Mingus as a virtuoso of the bass? Or Ray Brown? Or Oscar Pettiford? Or Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen? Or George Mraz?
    Last edited by JACE; Dec-13-2016 at 16:39.
    Blog Index of JACE's 100 Favorite Classical Recordings: 1 - 50 and 51 - 100

  24. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    413
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JACE View Post
    But Nate wouldn't you regard Charles Mingus as a virtuoso of the bass? Or Ray Brown? Or Oscar Pettiford? Or Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen? Or George Mraz?
    no, absolutely I would.

    but what Ed was getting at is that in the tradition, the double bass is not a virtuoso instrument. That doesn't mean that there are no virtuoso bass players.

    I think a better illustrative example of this is probably the banjo. Bela Fleck is a virtuoso player, but the banjo is not a virtuoso instrument. There are no concertos written for banjo and orchestra. Brahms never wrote for solo banjo...that sort of thing

    its commonly accepted that the violin and the cello are the virtuoso instruments from the string section

    I'm not sure if there are any instruments in the brass and wind sections are not considered virtuoso instruments. It would be good to hear from some players from those sections

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Virtuosity (and people's infatuation with it)
    By Turangalîla in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 107
    Last Post: May-18-2013, 08:56
  2. Georgian Pianist shows some amazing virtuosity
    By Saul_Dzorelashvili in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Dec-29-2010, 04:05

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •