Country : Austria / Germany Label : Berlin Classics Genres and styles : Classical Year : 2024

Dominik Wagner – Double Bass Rhapsody

· by Frédéric Cardin

Double bassist Dominik Wagner takes us on a journey through the great sound of the classical double bass. He moves back and forth between Baroque and Romanticism (and two escapades in Pop), alternating arrangements (all of them) in solo, duo or quartet format, with his friends who are just as much double bassists as he is! Wagner impresses with the great accuracy and precision of his playing, a remarkable challenge for an instrument ill-suited to virtuosity. Particularly well rendered are the romantic pieces by Rheinberger (Abendlied) and Bruckner (two respectful arrangements of choral works, Locus iste and Christus factus est). The dark resonance of the instrument is well-suited to these pieces. That said (is it the recording?), the sonic presence of the physical vibration of the lower strings seems sometimes to be exaggerated against the harmonic roundness of the music. The problem is more disturbing (but not overwhelming) in the Chaconne from the Partita for violin No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004, but it becomes more irritating in the arrangements of the Largo from Dvorak’s New World Symphony and Barber’s Adagio for strings, played in a quartet format, i.e. with four double basses all recorded with the same bias. The result creates an occasional, and inadequate, drone in this music.

In stark contrast, Bach’s Cello Suite in G major, BWV 1007 is marvellously light, with just enough of that little oumpf in the lower pitch to flesh out the whole affair. Accuracy and articulation are impeccable. Wagner is certainly an excellent double bassist.

The young man ends the programme with two popular pieces, classics of the genre: Bohemian Rhapsody, by Freddy Mercury/Queen, and The Final Countdown by Rolf Magnus Joakim Larsson, aka Joey Tempest/Europe, a masterpiece (!) of the “arena rock” genre, quite pompous, but with a melody that is, let’s face it, memorable. It’s a repertoire that’s been done plenty of times by 2Cellos and other Classical-Pop ensembles of the same ilk. Here, the style is more respectful, less “show-off”, and without electronic bass reinforcements (of course!). The arrangements are lean and economical but effective. Nice.

Latest 360 Content

Vampire Weekend – Only God Was Above Us

Vampire Weekend – Only God Was Above Us

Karina Gauvin – Marie Hubert : Fille du Roy

Karina Gauvin – Marie Hubert : Fille du Roy

P’tit Belliveau Talks About His New Album, Frogs, and Income Tax

P’tit Belliveau Talks About His New Album, Frogs, and Income Tax

At Annie-Claude Deschênes’ table: between utensils & sound experimentation

At Annie-Claude Deschênes’ table: between utensils & sound experimentation

Noah Kahan: An Emotive Performance with Goofy Banter

Noah Kahan: An Emotive Performance with Goofy Banter

Université de Montréal | Jean-François Rivest’s Grandiose Farewell

Université de Montréal | Jean-François Rivest’s Grandiose Farewell

OSL | Naomi Woo | Musique du Nouveau Monde

OSL | Naomi Woo | Musique du Nouveau Monde

Anderson & Roe, piano duo great innovators

Anderson & Roe, piano duo great innovators

Nadia Labrie – Flute Passion – Claude Bolling : Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio

Nadia Labrie – Flute Passion – Claude Bolling : Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio

David Jalbert – Prokofiev : Piano Sonatas vol. II

David Jalbert – Prokofiev : Piano Sonatas vol. II

HOMESHAKE – CD Wallet

HOMESHAKE – CD Wallet

Hawa B or not Hawa B ? “sadder but better” EP answers the question !

Hawa B or not Hawa B ? “sadder but better” EP answers the question !

Willows and Soleil Launière: A post-eclipse luminous evening

Willows and Soleil Launière: A post-eclipse luminous evening

Kevin Johansen – Quiero Mejor

Kevin Johansen – Quiero Mejor

Shades of Bowie, composed for the man behind Blackstar

Shades of Bowie, composed for the man behind Blackstar

Bahar Harandi’s feminist Iran

Bahar Harandi’s feminist Iran

Sunglaciers – Regular Nature

Sunglaciers – Regular Nature

Canicule – BOYZ

Canicule – BOYZ

David Jacques – 16 histoires de guitares III

David Jacques – 16 histoires de guitares III

Abel Selaocoe: the wind that blows away

Abel Selaocoe: the wind that blows away

Single of The Day – “everyday it rains” – Sea Shapes

Single of The Day – “everyday it rains” – Sea Shapes

Tolemn – Jango

Tolemn – Jango

Single of the Day – “OVEROVEROVER” – OH, BERLIN

Single of the Day – “OVEROVEROVER” – OH, BERLIN

Beyoncé – Cowboy Carter

Beyoncé – Cowboy Carter

Subscribe to our newsletter