Ivana Svarc Grenda / Slawomir Grenda

Double Bass Recital

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Bassists have long turned to transcription to increase the instrument's repertoire given the dearth of original compositions for the instrument. The challenge: maintain the original musical intent of the composer without compromising the natural sonorities of the double bass. This rather blandly titled Zuk Records, Double Bass Recital, is an excellent example of how careful, thoughtful transcription can produce very natural-sounding performances. Polish-born bassist Slawomir Grenda performs his own transcriptions of Schumann's Op. 73 Fantasiestüke, Brahms' E minor Cello Sonata, and Franck's A major Violin Sonata along with pianist Ivana Svarc Grenda. Chief among Grenda's assets is the beautiful, rich, singing tone that he coaxes from his instrument. His choices in his transcriptions as to register keep the bass in its middle to high range where its sound is the warmest and most able to project. Grenda's technical skills are also quite strong: clear articulation, broad dynamics, and immaculately smooth bow changes and string crossing. Intonation is generally solid, although there are a few big, ascending shifts that land a bit flat. The only thing working against Grenda on this disc is balance and recorded sound level. With such a desirable tone, it's a shame that listeners have to work so hard to be able to hear him when the piano is playing at full volume.

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