Powerful bow

The Editorial Committee waged a fierce battle over this phrase; many held that it should read "graceful bow." In the spirit of scholarly compromise, here is a summary of the arguments for and against the two phrases.

"powerful bow"

Better prose; assonance and consonance working with the rythm of the sentence.

More Bottesinistic; adding such a major weapon to the bass arsenal is a sign of power.

"graceful bow"

More accurate; it can be argued that the old German Bow has the advantage when it comes to "power" and that grace is the outstanding feature of the Bottesini Bow.

Less Umbertian; "power" is most often interpreted as "loudness" in the brutish sense -- not the work of an artist-virtuoso who would emulate Bottesini.

Back to "Il Devastatore and the Critics"

"We all must learn where to place our fingers."
© 1997, Jeff Brooks (mtic@aol.com)