Strauss Death and Transfiguration – Bass Part
Edited by Paul Ellison
Title: Death and Transfiguration
Composer: Richard Strauss
Edited By: Paul Ellison
The bass part for Strauss' Death and Transfiguration (Tod und Verklärung) has been edited by Paul Ellison, in-demand double bassist, professor, presenter, and former Houston Symphony Orchestra principal bassist of 23 years. Ellison's bowings, fingerings and other editorial markings have been added throughout the score.
Strauss began work on his tone poem Death and Transfiguration in the late summer of 1888 and completed it on November 18, 1889. Scored for large orchestra, Death and Transfiguration depicts an artist who reviews his entire life in his mind's eye as he lies dying. His childhood innocence, the struggles of his manhood, and the attainment of his worldly goals all lead him to his longed-for transfiguration in death. The work is dedicated to Strauss' friend Friedrich Rosch.
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Dear bassist or interested party,
All my editing is done in the spirit of "living editions." They are never finished or to be considered set in stone. Bowings, articulations, fingerings, dynamics and phrasings may change with conductors, historical performance considerations, change of instrument, bow or strings, differing venues, individual physical considerations, change of climate or altitude not to mention additional acquired knowledge or change in personal taste. Asking oneself to have about five ways to play most passages seems to cover the fluctuating circumstances mentioned in addition to giving oneself reason and context for choices to be made. Each set of performances of any major work is likely to prompt some change(s). The very nature and future of music as an art form demands live, dynamic, fresh interpretations which frequently necessitates realizing that there actually is no "rule book" and that the "bass police" will never actually show up.
Please accept this editing in the spirit of knowing that our skills and abilities are in constant flux and may require many possibilities. Here's to great music making.
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