Instrumentalists: A Singing Bass:

New Life in the Lily Pond

In musical prestige as well as pitch, it is hard to get any lower on the scale than the double bass. Rumbling and ungainly, it is the bullfrog of the orchestral lily pond—laughed at by laymen, slighted by composers, and even cursed by its own players, who call it a "monster" or a "baroque doghouse." Once, after Conductor Serge Koussevitzky gave his Boston Symphony players a dazzling demonstration of bass playing, one of them said he was so good that "he sounded like a lousy cellist." At...

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