Herbert, Peter - Nakes bass II CD

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Herbert, Peter - Nakes bass II CD
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The title of the album encourages me to tell you something about the instrument that can be heard on it. It was built around 250 years ago and some of the original parts have been preserved to this day. A number engraved on a peg indicates that it was owned by a Viennese instrument rental company around 1900, which may not have made its existence easy. It was very likely that it was present at the Vienna premiere of Mahler's 8th Symphony in 1926, which was attended by a thousand musicians, including numerous bass players who needed a loaned instrument. At some point it fell into the hands of a hard-hearted Dixieland sideman who usually carried it in the passenger seat of his small car with the top down, which meant he would sometimes have to scrape the dead insects off the fretboard before concerts. In 1982, the man put an ad in the newspaper offering the poor instrument for sale.

By the late 1970s, Peter Herbert was heading towards a career as a professional climber. But his other passion, namely the double bass, got in the way. Since practicing both professions was impossible due to the strain on the fingers, a decision had to be made and it was in favor of the bass. During his training in Graz, the young musician was looking for an instrument that would allow him to further develop his personal sound and playing techniques. He answered an ad, was led into a dark parking garage and saw his future companion standing in a damp corner, dusty and naked. A restorer took care of the mistreated piece and saved its life. Since then, Peter Herbert has been on stage with his bass at several thousand concerts around the world. Mostly together with other musicians, very often as a soloist, or as a kind of two-person team that ventured to heights where hardly anyone else could be found.

When I see and hear Peter Herbert playing, I sometimes think that the decision was made in favor of the bass, but not against the mountain. The climber - in some passages of this album you can clearly hear his breathing - is still within him. As powerfully as he gripped the rock back then, he grips the strings today. And he looks for artistic paths that few have taken before him. The compositions of Naked Bass II show the peaks he has now reached. (Wolfgang Mörth, February 2024)