Taming the Beast -Advanced Orchestration for Contrabassoon – Part 5 – The Solo Contrabassoon

The solo Contrabassoon is the rarest sound in the orchestra.  You can point to great solos for every single instrument that are lyrical and beautiful, but it’s nearly impossible to find for the Contra.  Even the rare visitors to the orchestra, like Alto Flute, Oboe d’Amore, Bass Oboe and even Flügelhorn have more extensive orchestral solos than the regular Contrabassoon.  So, when the solo Contra does appear, it’s a rare treat. Continue reading “Taming the Beast -Advanced Orchestration for Contrabassoon – Part 5 – The Solo Contrabassoon”

Taming the Beast -Advanced Orchestration for Contrabassoon – Part 4 – Orchestral Combinations

Today, I will look at some common and not so common orchestral combinations involving the Contrabassoon.

Contra and Basses

This is by far the most common orchestration device for the Contrabassoonist.  Assuming a large section of Basses (6 or more), the Contra’s sound, in unison, will blend in and not make much of an impact.  The real reason for this is to add solidity to the bottom of the orchestra.

To best illustrate how this works, I will use a personal experience.   Continue reading “Taming the Beast -Advanced Orchestration for Contrabassoon – Part 4 – Orchestral Combinations”