David Murray, bass 

Four and a half stars

Faculty Artist Series, Butler University; Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall; Oct. 2

I’m not a fan of the bass as a solo instrument, and I say that as a bassist myself. However, my mind changes about this whenever I hear David Murray play. His ability to effortlessly traverse his instrument is a delight to both watch, and hear. Murray took on some difficult pieces, most notably Johannes Brahms Sonata in d minor, which was actually written for cello. Murray relished this piece, and played it very convincingly. Catherine Bringerud was equally convincing with her piano playing — she and Murray made a good musical pairing. Murray also showed off in Jon Deak’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a piece for narrator and bass — both parts being the same person. Murray pulls pieces like this off better than most. His showmanship is second to none and was at its best for this work, where he played a tricky bass part whilst telling a Sherlock Holmes story, with each character having its own voice and personality. This recital was a hit, as the minute Murray finished, the standing room only audience was on their feet, wildly applauding — all of it completely deserved.

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