Double Bass Dimensions

Double Bass Dimensions

Watch Episode Four

This four-part original mini-series produced by principal bassist Andy Butler explores some of the great melodies in classical music in quick, bite-size episodes—to educate, entertain and enliven in just 6 to 10 minutes each!

20/21 season subscribers and donors: You are invited to join an online watch party with Andy as each episode premieres Thursday evenings at 7pm on March 18, 25, April 1 and 8. Check your email the week of the event to register for reminders and contact us if you’re missing your invitation at info@californiasymphony.org or 925.280.2490.

Episodes are available to the public on this website and on California Symphony social media channels the day after each premiere.

Want to join a watch party? Become a donor today

The Series

Episode One: The Swan—Saint-Saëns


“The Swan is, of course, probably one of the most famous melodies of all time! Ironically, the double bass variation from Camille Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals, is the elephant. It’s wonderful, gruff, and full of heaviness. The Swan, which is the cello variation, is light, elegant, soaring, and transcendent. It just felt soothing to play and I wanted to share its richness with our audience.”—Andy Butler, Principal Bassist

Episode Two: Air on the G String—Bach


“Episode Two is full of fun facts about the double bass, and features Bach’s amazing Air on the G String, from the third orchestral suite. This piece is often requested for both weddings and funerals, and I’ve performed it in both types of events. It has a rich optimistic flavor, which has really been a necessity during the pandemic.”—Andy Butler, Principal Bassist

Episode Three: Meditation from Thais—Massenet

“Episode Three departs from the “Great Melodies of the Orchestral Repertoire” and takes us into the world of opera. Massenet’s Meditation from his opera Thais is a turbulent, dramatic, and highly charged journey of contemplation and resignation. The rapidly changing emotional states are compelling and a perfect mirror for our current shared experience.”—Andy Butler, Principal Bassist

Episode Four: Serenade—Schubert

“Episode Four, Schubert’s Serenade, is much lighter, simpler, and feels quite revitalizing! It’s a story of romance and longing—a refreshing gentle breeze following a full year of endless drama.”—Andy Butler, Principal Bassist

Further Reading