Petite Musique

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February 26th, 2013

This year the University of Nebraska-Omaha Department of Music presents a new concert series known as Petite Musique. The intent is to bridge a gap in Omaha’s music scene.

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“The idea is a sort of chamber series and solo performances series that lets people hear faculty members or professionals around the community play that they wouldn’t ordinarily get a chance to see in performance.

That was double bassist Dani Meier, who performs on the “Petite Musique” concert this Thursday. Meier plays with both the Omaha and Lincoln symphonies and also teaches double bass at Iowa Western Community College. Meier says as a solo instrument, the double bass faces unique challenges, especially when deciding what to play.

“For one thing, we don’t necessarily have the repertoire that other instruments do – which is why I and a lot of other bassists steal music on a regular basis. I don’t mean steal from your local store, but just in general. The first thing I’m playing is the Second Suite from J. S. Bach’s “Suites for Solo Cello,” and that is not written for the bass by any stretch of the imagination. But it’s such beautiful music!”

Sticking with the “cello music not played by cello” theme, Meier will also perform Rossini’s “Duetto” with an unexpected partner.

“Originally it’s double bass and cello, but I have a trombonist at my disposal, and I’m using him to play the cello part.”

That trombonist is none other than the Omaha Symphony’s principal trombone, Patrick Pfister. Also on the program is Frank Proto’s “Carmen Fantasy.” Even though it is based on music from Bizet’s familiar opera, Meier says Proto’s approach is fresh and unique.

“Not your typical ‘Carmen Fantasy,’ primarily because he wrote it for double bass! Also there’s a lot of bluesy, jazz, even James Bond elements that you don’t really expect to get out of Bizet.”

Double Bassist Dani Meier and friends perform on the next “Petite Musique” concert, Thursday, February 28, at 7 pm at UNO’s Strauss Performing Arts Center.

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