Is that banter I read from the first basses? Our normal interaction with them is the receipt of a withering ‘over the shoulder’ look of rebuke as we stumble on our note, or our diction, or our entry, or our key, or our inevitable loss of our trusted pencil or water bottle that have inexplicably wandered towards the tenors?
Was there a tenderness and sympathy in their script or did the words belie a hostility based on our observations of their rhythmic, unshaven ear hair?
Surely voices that often share words and notes should feel a sense of camaraderie even if the sticks on their notes sometimes point upwards and they cannot aspire (or is it ‘despire’) to the depths of our singing? There is only one thing lower than a rattlesnake’s fundament and that is second basses on a bottom ‘E’!
And in all that is canine about our character the comparison to a spaniel is a deeply misguided response. We resound as Basso Profondo in our guise as Dogue de Bordeaux, not the Labradoodle or Poodle style of those that sit before us.
And do not insult our intelligence. Everyone knows a smorzando is a Swedish sausage unless of course it is a description of the art of being a second bass? Dying away I believe?
But there is never hostility from our ranks. We treasure the cover provided for us by the firsts both physically and musically and would never deliberately sing more quietly in the passages they are struggling with.
We have after all not only a clear view from the rear but also one of rears. Treat us not as windmills but as gentle giants. Introverted we may be but never ask us to come out of our shells. Try saying that to a snail.