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Strauss Don Juan - Bass

Edited by Paul Ellison


Title: Don Juan
Composer: Richard Strauss
Instrument: Bass
Edited By: Paul Ellison
Instrumentation: Orchestral
Pages: 6

The bass part for Don Juan, Op. 20, by Richard Strauss, has been edited by Paul Ellison, former principal bass of the Houston Symphony and currently Professor of Double Bass at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.  Ellison's bowings, fingerings and other editorial markings have been added throughout the score.  Based on the poem by Nikolaus Lenau, Strauss' Don Juan was written in 1888.  The composer conducted its premiere on November 11, 1889 with the orchestra of the Weimar Opera, where he served as Court Kapellmeister.

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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.

-Paul Ellison

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