On the Record – Matt Good


Principal Tuba Matt Good (Dot & Paul Mason Chair) is an avid record collector.  In this episode, he shares how his favorite LPs have shaped his passion for music and inspired his approach to tuba playing.

Matthew Good_Principal Tuba_Dot & Paul Mason Chair_Dallas Symphony

RICHARD STRAUSS: Vier letzte Lieder, Im Abendrot

“Im Abendrot is a metaphysical sunset, and you just have this idea of this really intense red sunlight, hitting your face.  It’s about an old couple that are sitting together.  They’re at the end of their lives and this sunset starts to represent where they are in life. Then, like the sun at the end, it dips down and the soprano asks ‘Is this death?’ and then you hear that quote from Death and Transfiguration at the end.  It’s Strauss’ last piece he ever wrote, and it is absolutely the most beautiful thing.” 

MAHLER: Symphony No. 6

“There are so many just incredible moments in the sixth symphony.  First off, you listen to it and it sounds very erratic and it goes from one thing to the other.  But you have to listen to it many times before you can make all these connections in the piece.  There’s a set of cowbells that are in the piece, and Mahler wrote that when your spirit leaves your body, it’s the last sound you hear as your spirit goes over the mountains, which I think is really beautiful.  He also uses it in the first movement but his use of it in the second movement… the second movement is about his love for his wife, and the cowbells are used almost like in sort of a sense of ecstasy.  He loves her so much that his spirit is soaring in the sky and you hear those cowbells.” 

ELLA FITZGERALD/LOUIS ARMSTRONG: “Can’t We Be friends” from Ella and Louis

“What I love about listening to Ella Fitzgerald is she has the most beautiful voice. It’s just this crystal clear voice, lyrical and musical.  It’s so captivating, I start listening to this album and before I know it, I have to flip it over.  It’s just something that makes me so happy.”

BILL BELL: “When Yuba Plays The Rumba On The Tuba” from Bill Bell and His Tuba 

“This is the very first tuba LP, and it’s one of the best if not the best… I put this record on every now and then just to remind me what an incredibly beautiful tuba sound is like, because his sound is like none other.  I can remember the man that played in the Philadelphia Orchestra from the mid 40’s until the early 70s, Abe Torchinsky, I remember him telling me, “When Bill Bell played the tuba, everything, including yourself, vibrated.’ It was just such a big beautiful sound… in ‘When Yuba Plays The Rumba On The Tuba Down In Cuba’, he sings on that, and it’s the most incredible sounding voice.  I just love that selection.”

HENRYK SZERYNG PERFORMING J.S. BACH:  Violin Partita No.2 in D minor, BWV 1004

“I bought [the record] on a recommendation from a friend, and I took it home and I listened to it and it just embodies everything about music making and perfection and beauty and just incredible intonation, just incredible technique.  I can listen to this thing and it always seems kind of new to me.” 

Listen to other episodes of On The Record with Sarah Kienle: