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71 publications in this series

The Heritage Series series

The history of the double bass features many player-composers who created a wealth of music for bassists of all abilities. Recital Music publish a wide and eclectic range of music by these important figures from the history of the instrument, particularly from the 19th and early 20th-centuries, and more works are in preparation. Some names are well known today, others almost forgotten, but each made a valuable contribution to the repertoire of the double bass and helped create a unqiue repertoire which deserves to be performed.

Romance by Hegner is now available as a PDF download. The ABRSM have confirmed that they are happy to accept pdf downloads for examination purposes.


First published in Hegner's Method for Double Bass, Romance is a good introduction to cantabile playing and is based on an aria from Hegner's musical theatre work. The solo part is ideal for the progressing bassist, remaining in bass clef throughout, with the ability to demonstrate the sonorous and cantabile qualities of the double bass.

Ludvig Hegner (1851-1923) writes in a tonal and traditional style, making effective use of the capabilities of the solo double bass, and Recital MUsic plan to publish several more of his works as part of an ongoing 'Heritage Series'.

Recorded by Danish bassist, Per Knudsen.

"Hegner's Romance is written in the Italian style and is in a highly lyrical and romantic vein...easily playable by an intermediate bassist." (ISB)

Over the past 200 years many bassists across the world have made a significant contribution to the development of the double bass - some as performers, others as composers or teachers, or even a combination of all three. Bassists are nothing if not industrious and entrepreneurial and Ludvig Hegner (1851-1923) was all of the above and so much more, influencing many generations of Danish double bass players. Ludvig Albert Hegner was born on 1 May 1851 in Copenhagen and initially studied violin and piano before embarking on a year of study of theory and composition at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with Niels Gade (1817-1890), the leading Danish composer of his day. There appears to be no documentation about his double bass studies but Hegner must have been a proficient player quite quickly and played in Folkteatret's orchestra as well as the Tivoli orchestra. From 1884 became a member of the Royal Theatre Orchestra and two months later was promoted to the position of Principal Bass, succeeding Axel Waldemar Lanzky, and remained with the orchestra until 1919. Alongside his orchestral duties, Hegner also gave many solo performances often playing his own works, or those of his fellow bassist-composers such as Bottesini or Simandl, and after a solo performance in America the New York Times compared Hegner to the great Dragonetti and Bottesini. He transcribed a number of works for double bass, notably the Romance for violin and piano by Johan Svendsen (1840-1911), the conductor of the Royal Theatre Orchestra at the time, which is a work that Mette Hanskov, the present Principal Bass of the Royal Danish Opera Orchestra, has also played on many occasions. During his early years in the Royal Theatre Orchestra Hegner was awarded a bursary grant which he used to travel to Vienna to study with the Czech bassist, Frantisek [Franz] Simandl (1840-1912). Simandl was one of the most influential bassists of his day and the two players struck up a friendship and dedicated compositions to each other. On his return to Copenhagen a report about Hegner was included in a newspaper: "Royal Theatre musician Ludvig Hegner has returned from studies abroad. Mr Hegner has spent most of his time in Berlin, Dresden and Vienna. In Vienna he has played in several musical circles, among others Prof. Franz Simandl's, where he performed for a number of members of the Vienna Hofcapella. The professor is himself a recognised soloist and has dedicated his latest composition to Mr Hegner as well as presenting him a gift of newly published solo pieces for bass. Mr Hegner has enjoyed and profited greatly from his experiences abroad." Simandl dedicated his Scherzo Capriccioso Op.72 to Hegner with the dedication 'Seinen lieben Freunde Herrn Ludvig Hegner, Contrabasvirtuos in Copenhagen'. It was published in Part III of Simandl's 'High School for Double Bass - Advanced Course' - a series of 49 original works and transcriptions from some of the leading double bassists of the day. Hegner contributed three works to the series (Legende, Nocturne, Andante con variazioni von Haydn) and also dedicated his 'Fantasie on a song by Franz Abt' to 'Simandl in Vienna' and the two bassists appeared to have had great mutual respect for each other. In the early 1890s Hegner was appointed the first Professor of Double Bass at the Danish Academy of Music and in 1896 his 'Tutor for the Double Bass' was published by Wilhelm Hansen, with text in Danish, German and English. Although out of print for many years, the tutor includes many studies which are both musically and technically interesting and worthy of study today. Hegner suggests using a four finger system - a semitone between each finger - a tradition which is still popular in parts of Denmark today, and the tutor covers everything from open strings and harmonics with examples of the solo repertoire of the day. Ludvig Hegner died in Copenhagen on 7 November 1923 and his son Louis, and later his grandson Oscar, both succeeded him as soloist in the Royal Danish Orchestra. Ludvig Hegner composed a number of works for double bass, which fall into the category of 'characteristic' or 'salon' music, and are typical of music being written and performed at the end of the 19th-century. His music, however, is charming and well written for the double bass with effective and accessible accompaniments which support but never overshadow the soloist. The lyrical style, alongside the technical challenges, produce works which are idiomatic and certainly deserving of the occasional performance today. Whilst Hegner is not in the same league as Bottesini, and his music follows the traditional Czech tradition rather than the virtuosic 19th-century Italian operatic style, these short and accessible pieces deserve to be in print and are part of the rich heritage of music written by leading players of the day. [David Heyes]

[Grade 7 - LCM]

Performance Level: 7

See https://dbbpublications.gumroad.com/l/hegnerromance

Syllabus info
Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music: Bowed Strings 2020 - 2023   (until Dec 2023)  

Double Bass - grade 7

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Cat No. RM028
Price £7.50
ComposerLudvig Hegner
CategoryDouble Bass & Piano
PublisherRecital Music
SeriesHeritage Series
Difficulty level7
ISMN 979-0-57045-028-2
EAN-13 9790570450282
Weight 64 grams
Published 19th July 2009
Availability 4 in stock
See also...
RM015  Romance de L'Elisir d'Amore
RM023  Cavatine
RM174  3 Dances for Sophie