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Pizzicato Polka

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Price £9.50

97 publications in this series

The Transcriptions Series series

Recital Music publish a wealth of original works for double bass alongside a popular, accessible and growing range of transcriptions for bassists of all ages and abilities. Most transcriptions published by Recital Music are by David Heyes, who has a successful and proven track record when arranging for double bass.

In 1869 Josef Strauss (1827-70) and his brother Johann (1825-1899), ‘the Waltz King’, were invited by the St. Petersburg Tsarskoye-Selo Railway Company to conduct the orchestra in Pavlosk (Russia) during the summer months. In 1892 Johann wrote about the joint collaboration of the Pizzicato Polka:

“I advised by brother Josef - so that he could secure the St. Petersburg engagement (I have been there 10 times and earned lots of money) - to compose something which would catch on in St. Petersburg, and suggested he should prepare a pizzicato polka. He did not want to do it - he was always indecisive - finally I proposed to him that the polka should be created by the two of us. He agreed, and just look - the polka caused a furore in the true sense of the word.”

The Pizzicato Polka was first performed on 12 June 1869 and was played no less than nine times that evening. It was the first all-pizzicato work, other notable examples being by Léo Delibes (Pizzicato Polka from ‘Sylvia’) and Benjamin Britten (Playful Pizzicato from ‘Simple Symphony’), and has captivated audiences for 150 years.

Arranged by David Heyes for a concert series in Mallorca, it can be performed by single players or larger forces.

Get those plucking fingers ready!

"This is a fine arrangement of the old Viennese chestnut. Although Recital Music also publish a version for four basses, this particular edition for bass trio has the top part going up to thumb position, and the other players firmly wihtin the orchestral tessitura. The parts are nicely spaced, so you should be able to achieve a well-balanced and effective performance. The original Pizzicato Polka for strings received no less than eight encores at its world premiere in 1869, so plucky trio bassists should take care of their pizzicato fingers. Bravo!" [ESTA News & Views]

"This famous polka needs little introduction. It was first performed in St Petersburg in 1869, and has remained a popular concert favourite ever since. This new Double Bass Quartet arrangement by David Heyes is a welcome addition to the quartet repertoire. The parts are arranged in typical SATB in ascending order of difficulty. The tune is mainly in the upper part and the key of C major (and F major for the second sections) should provide little technical difficulty, however there are lots of dynamics to keep you interested. This arrangement is enormously entertaining to play and I am sure will become a standard item in many a bass concert." (Bass News)

"Who better to play the Pizzicato Polka properly than the undisputed champions of pizzicato, the basses?! Very straightforward and perfect for hot Summer Pops or warming up a cold winter's crowd." (ISB).

Performance Level: Grade 6-8

Also available for double bass trio (RM089).

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVFve-f9_p0

Samples available

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Cat No. RM032
Supplier Code RM032`
Price £9.50
ComposerJohann & Josef Strauss
EditorDavid Heyes
CategoryDouble Bass Quartet
PublisherRecital Music
SeriesTranscriptions Series
Difficulty level6 - 8
ISMN 979-0-57045-032-9
EAN-13 9790570450329
Weight 66 grams
Published 1st January 1999
Availability 4 in stock
See also...
RM016  Tritsch-Tratsch Polka
RM020  The Ragtime Bass Player