Adagio for Strings Samuel Barber
9 November 2015, 13:29
Double bassist Colin Corner was flying from Atlanta with Southwest Airlines to play a concert in Rochester. His instrument did not have a good flight.
Corner’s bass is not just any ordinary instrument: it’s the Karr-Koussevitsky bass, previously owned by the boss of the bass, the legendary Serge Koussevitsky. And what’s more, Corner was due to perform Koussevitsky’s own double bass concerto at the concert.
As with most flights, room in the cabin was too limited for Corner to transport the bass personally, and it had to be stowed in the hold. This was what Corner saw when he took the instrument out of its case.
Fortunately, there’s a happy ending to the story. According to a comment on the Slippedisc blog, the instrument was repaired in time and Corner was able to perform the Koussevitsky concerto for double bass to rapturous applause:
“Both Colin and the bass sounded superb! The audience literally leapt to their feet at the end of the Koussevitzky concerto. Colin then performed a movt. from the Bach b-minor suite to another round of enthusiastic applause. I should add that Maestro Ward Stare gave the audience a heads-up on the story, and gave recognition to Luthier Mike Griffin for his expert repair on the instrument. At the end of the concerto, Maestro Stare graciously held the bass so that Colin could cross the stage over to Mike and publicly shake his hand in gratitude for saving the bass for the performance.”
Here’s Colin warming up for Bach: