THE DOUBLE BASSChamber and Solo Works
Charlie Barnett, Claude Debussy, Domenico Dragonetti, Robert Oppelt, Gioacchino Rossini, Gunter Schuller
ROBERT OPPELT, double-bass
Nicolette Driehuys Flute
Elizabeth Adkins & Paula Akbar Violin
Ruth Wicker Schaaf Viola
David Hardy & James Lee Cello
Richard Barber, Jeffrey Weisner & Ali Yazdanfar Double Bass
Dotian Levalier Harp
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"...a beautifully performed and thoughtfully prepared program of chamber music...played with enviable clarity...[the Schuller] is the best I have heard, both from the level of technical playing, the musicality and the excellent balance and clarity in the recording ...beautifully recorded."
Sounding Board [November 2007]
"The present CD is [Oppelt's] first solo outing on disc; it makes for an impressive showcase for his talents...[this CD] is superbly executed by a crew of fine musicians and presented in an atmospheric and well-balanced recording."
Fanfare [September/October 2007]
"...[an] entertaining programme, performed with verve and polish...The recording is vivid and true...Oppelt and his fellow bassists offer a dramatic, compelling account [of the Schuller]...Oppelt demonstrates technical agility and fluency in six of Dragonetti's light-hearted waltzes."
The Double Bassist [Autumn 2007]
"The double bass isn't the half of it! The Rossini duo is played with vim and vigor [and] with a light touch...Oppelt is a fine musician and has put together an entertaining and unusual program. "
American Record Guide [July/August 2007]
"A feast for double bass aficionados! --- Bassist Oppelt and most of his collaborating friends on the CD play in the National Symphony orchestra in Washington D.C. He has selected a varied program which provides one of Debussy's finest chamber works featuring the harp, tuneful pieces from Rossini and bass virtuoso/composer Dragonetti, a more atonal work from Gunther Schuller which nevertheless offers plenty of stimulation for your subwoofer(s) with the grumblings of four double basses, and a delightful work for a similar complement to the Debussy Dances. The latter is from a Charlie Barnett, who is not the big band figure but a specialist in music for film and TV. His Serenade does partake of jazzy improvisation sections and a sort of jam session, and also includes a bass and violin duet in the style of a square dance. "
Audiophile Audition [April 2007]
“Robert Oppelt’s playing was agile and sweetly soulful”
The Washington Post
PROGRAM NOTESThis CD features a new recording of Gunther Schuller’s remarkable Quartet for Double Basses (performed by the world-class NSO bassists) and the premier recording of Charlie Barnett ’s popular Serenade for Double Bass. Dragonetti’s unaccompanied Waltzes invite a more personal encounter with the rich sound of the bass.
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Robert Oppelt joined the National Symphony Orchestra bass section in 1982 at the invitation of Music Director Mstislav Rostropovich. He was promoted to Assistant Principal Bass in 1984 and in 1996, under Music Director Leonard Slatkin, was appointed Principal Bass. Mr. Oppelt has appeared as soloist with the NSO in performances of Mozart’s Per Queste Bella Mano, Paganini’s Moses Fantasy, and Koussevitsky’s Concerto for Double Bass. Chamber music collaborations include performances with Yo-Yo Ma, Hillary Hahn, and Joseph Kalichstein.
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This project is designed to promote ALS awareness, with an informative feature in the jacket and a portion of proceeds directed to ALS research.
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For more information, visit www.robertoppelt.com
PROGRAMGIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868)
Duetto for Cello and Double Bass
ROBERT OPPELT (b.1961)
Pas De Deux for Flute and Double Bass
CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Danses Sacree et Profane
DOMENICO DRAGONETTI (1763-1846)
Six Waltzes for Double Bass
GUNTHER SCHULLER (b.1925)
Quartet for Double Basses
CHARLIE BARNETT (b. 1951)
Serenade for Double Bass, Harp and String Quartet