Welcome to this third video in a series on playing chamber music. This video is devoted to variation 7 in the Nielsen Quintet. Well, this is perhaps the highlight of the quintet for the bassoonist. You have a solo variation here that is so wonderfully crafted and so rewarding to study as an exercise in its own right. I want to comment on a couple of places here.

I only breathe twice in this variation. I breathe in the two places I indicate here in the score (which you can see on the screen). This means that I have to regulate my air so that I can make it through the last three lines well. I do make a contrast in the dynamics as given here. After the second breath I increase the dynamics. I feel that the music warrants a bit of crescendo there particularly because you need to decrescendo before you get to the low C.

Now let me comment on one difficult passage here. This is found in the second to last measure. Once we reach that high A you need to come down to the Eb and often that does not respond well on the instrument. What I do—and left me show you with my left thumb—I come from A and then to Eb holding the C# key. Here is high A to the Eb4. I find that the Eb responds a lot better when I do that. That Eb comes out.

Well, here it is. Listen as I perform this.


I think you can hear that I vary the tempo a little bit. I take liberties with the dynamics. I think you need to that. One of the pleasures of this movement is that you are allowed some creativity. I think you should experiment with that. Enjoy this movement! God bless you.

<music: Nielsen Quintet, first movement>