The latest episode of Contrabass Conversations is now out! This episode features the first part of our interview with François Rabbath. I had a great time doing this interview, and I hope you all enjoy it!
CBC Episode 16 Show Notes
Contrabass Conversations Episode 16 Show Notes
Interview with François Rabbath
Welcome to Contrabass Conversations – life on the low end of the spectrum!
Episode Length: 27:02
Release Date: 4/15/07
Voicemail Line: 206-666-6509
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Last week’s episode featured the first part of a great interview with National Symphony Orchestra bass section member Ira Gold. You can check out the episode with Ira here.
François Rabbath was in
François Rabbath biography (from Liben website)
Every now and then, just when you thought you had things all neatly arranged in their proper order, someone comes along and not only upsets everything you’ve done, but demands that you change your entire way of thinking before you can even begin to put them back together again. François Rabbath is one of those people.
From 1964 he became active composing much music for movies and the theater. At the same time he started to play solo recitals, first in
François Rabbath’s uniqueness stems from his refusal to accept any traditional limitations. Whether performing his own fascinating compositions, the music of others or the classical repertoire, one is always moved by his profound musicianship and dazzling virtuosity. You quickly discover that he brings you such a sense of security that the most difficult passages sound effortless.
In 1978 Rabbath met the American composer-double bassist Frank Proto. A close friendship quickly developed when the two discovered that they had many shared musical experiences and philosophies. Neither had any respect for the boundaries that separated classical, jazz and ethnic musicians. Both were as comfortable playing chamber music at a formal concert one day and improvising with jazz musicians the next. In 1980 the Cincinnati Symphony asked Proto to compose a concerto especially for Rabbath. The resulting Concerto No. 2 for Double Bass and Orchestra was premiered by
We are fortunate in that Rabbath has recorded constantly through the years. His sequel to Bass Ball – Multi Bass ’70 (Red Mark 9202) is still available, as is Live Around the World (Red Mark 9201), a collection of his own compositions recorded in concert. The original Carmen Fantasy for Double Bass and Piano with the composer at the piano, was recorded recently along with his own Concerto No. 3 and Two Miniatures – Carmen! (Red Mark 9203).
The importance of François Rabbath to the development of double bass playing can be compared with that of Paganini to the violin. Since the early 1800s when Nicole Paganini established the violin as a virtuoso instrument, solo violinists have practiced the most brilliant of instrumental art. Meanwhile, the development of double bass playing had been seriously neglected. The great and popular 19th century composers did not consider the bass worth their attention and in turn the bass repertoire did not attract potential virtuoso performers with enough genius to change the situation. It demanded an artist with the unique qualities of François Rabbath to break this impasse.
Recordings and Publications by François Rabbath
CD02 – Live Around the World
Breiz, Poucha Dass, Ordis, et al.
CD03 – Multi Bass ’70
Poucha Dass, Incantation, et al.
CD04 – Carmen!
Proto: A Carmen Fantasy for Double Bass and Piano. Rabbath: Incantation pour Junon; Reitba; Concerto No. 3.
CD05 – Rabbath Plays Proto
A Carmen Fantasy for Double Bass and Orchestra; Fantasy for Double Bass and Orchestra; Concerto No. 2.
CD06 – François Rabbath: 60
Rabbath’s recordings of the 1960s, including the legendary “Bass Ball” album.
Jason also congratulates double bassist Matt Heller’s recent successful audition for the Calgary Philharmonic. Check out his excellent blog at http://hellafrisch.blogspot.com.