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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.

Reverie is now available as a PDF download. The ABRSM and TCL are happy to accept official downloads for examinations. https://dbbpublications.gumroad.com/l/bottesini_reverie

Bottesini's music is still at the heart of the solo repertoire, almost 120 years after his death, and this beautiful and evocative Reverie is an effective way into Bottesini's world of lyrical and melodic solos. Originally for cello (or violin), this new edition is a wonderful opportunity to develop both musical and technical skills within the solo register of the double bass.

Grade 8 - Trinity-Guildhall 2010 onwards

The edition is published with piano accompaniments for both solo and orchestral tunings.

Reverie is also available for double bass with string orchestra (RM214 - Solo tuning / RM215 - Orchestral tuning).

Performance Level: 8

"How he bewildered us by playing all sorts of melodies in flute like harmonics, as though he had a hundred nightingales caged in his double bass... I never wearied of his consummate grace and finish, his fatal precision, his heavenly tone, his fine taste. One sometimes yearned for a touch of human imperfection, but he was like a dead shot; he never missed what he aimed at, and he never aimed at less than perfection." [H.Haweis, 1888]

Giovanni Bottesini was called the 'Paganini of the Double Bass' and was the finest double bass soloist of the 19th-century. He was born in Crema (Lombardy) on 24 December 1821 and studied at the double bass at the Milan Conservatoire with Luigi Rossi, alongside harmony and composition with Nicola Vaccai (1790-1848) and Francesco Basili (1767-1850). His remarkable career as a soloist began in 1839 and lasted fifty years, taking him to every corner of the world. From Italy, his travels took him to Cuba (1846), USA (1847), England (annually from 1849), Egypt, Ireland, France, Germany, Russia, Mexico, Spain, Belgium, Monte carlo and many other countries throughout a long and distinguished career.

Bottesini was also famous as a composer writing at least 13 operas (Cristoforo Colombo, 1847 / Il diavolo della notte, 1856 / Ali Baba, 1871 / Ero e Leandro, 1879), a Messa da Requiem (1880) and an oratorio, The Garden of Olivet (1887 - first performed at the Norwich Festival), works for orchestra, 11 string quartets, string quintets, songs and many virtuoso works for double bass. As a conductor he is remembered primarily for directing the first performance of Verdi's Aida in Cairo in 1871, but was also a repsected composer of Italian opera, including seasons in Mexico, Paris, Palermo, Barcelona, London, Buenos Aires and Parma.

Bottesini's music for double bass is still at the heart of the solo repertoire into the 21st-century, even though his orchestral and operatic music has generally fallen from favour, but his Elegia for double bass and piano is one of the most recorded works of the 20th-century.

Giovanni Bottesini died in Parma on 7 July 1889.

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

Double Bass - grade 8

Samples available

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Cat No. RM041
ComposerGiovanni Bottesini
EditorDavid Heyes
CategoryDouble Bass & Piano
PublisherRecital Music
SeriesHeritage Series
Difficulty level8
ISMN 979-0-57045-041-1
EAN-13 9790570450411
Weight 74 grams
Published 19th July 2009
Availability OUT OF PRINT.
Unavailable - sorry!
See also...
RM008  Elegia
RM015  Romance de L'Elisir d'Amore
RM018  The Ragtime Bass Player
RM214  Rêverie - Solo Tuning edition (DOUBLE BASS AND STRING ORCHESTRA)
RM215  Rêverie - Orchestral Tuning edition (DOUBLE BASS AND STRING ORCHESTRA)
RM252  Elegia (Orchestral Tuning) (DOUBLE BASS AND STRING ORCHESTRA)
RM573  Arias