Posted by Jay Bertolet on February 10, 2003 at 08:26:14:
In Reply to: Bydlo Question posted by Matt A on February 08, 2003 at 23:56:25:
My opinion that the solo should never be played on tuba is well documented. I won't even get into this issue because that horse is already dead. You would do well to read Matt Good's comments about his recent performance of this solo (posted in a thread above this one) and hear his view (very similar to my own) which shows an accurate reflection of the way today's professional tubists deal with this solo.
As far as interpretation, I've always felt the oxcart should be coming towards you, then receding. I simulate that by starting softly and then making a big crescendo, to the tutti section, and then a gradual decrescendo to near niente at the end. This makes that last G# a real nail-biter. It must be very quiet. I envision a polish peasant, driving the oxcart, and singing a country tune while driving. I definitely approach this solo from a vocal perspective. I even try to imagine words for the tune. I also try and do lots of dynamic contrast, especially at the D-natural half-note tied to the quarter-note, near the end of the first statement. I make a big drop in dynamic there (subito p) and then a huge crescendo, as if the oxcart suddenly dipped behind a mound and then emerged even closer than before. I also tend to play really softly at the beginning and the conductors seem to like this alot. I've actually had a conductor ask the orchestra to play softer at the beginning so as not to cover me up. That's nice! Other than that, I just try to be as lyrical as possible. Intonation is always a real concern under these circumstances.
My opinion for what it's worth...