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Air Varie on a theme of…
Meditation from Thais
Intermezzo from 'Goyesca…
The Can-Can
Va Pensiero (Chorus of t…
La Traviata Prelude
Rigoletto Solo
Romance de L'Elisir d'Am…
Otello Solo
Two Russian Arias

The A night at the Opera series

The world of opera has long inspired composers and players to plunder the best arias and melodies to transcribe for other instruments. The double bass is no exception and Bottesini's operatic fantasias are still at the very heart of our solo repertoire into the 21st-century.
Recital Music publish a number of opera transcriptions - works for double bass and piano or double bass ensemble - and there are many more works in various stages of publication. It's difficult to keep a good tune down!

This new edition includes piano accompaniments for both solo and orchestral tunings for the first time and the arias are taken from Bottesini's Method for Double Bass. Intended to demonstrate the lyrical and melodic potential of the double bass, Bottesini included six works for double bass and piano, including his own Elegia, and making use of the bel canto operatic repertoire.

Newly edited by David Heyes, only treble and bass clefs are used - avoiding the dreaded tenor clef!

The pieces are charming and accessible for anyone with a working knowledge of thumb position and are ideal for both study and recital repertoire, or even as an encore. Enjoy.

"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.


  • 1. Serenade du Barbier de Seville (Rossini)
  • 2. Air d'il Trovatore (Verdi)
  • 3. Final de Sonambule (Bellini)
  • 4. Carnival de Venise

Samples available

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Cat No. RM573
Supplier Code RM573
Price £7.50
ComposerGiovanni Bottesini
EditorDavid Heyes
CategoryDouble Bass & Piano
PublisherRecital Music
Series A night at the Opera
Difficulty level8, Advanced
ISMN 979-0-57045-573-7
EAN-13 9790570455737
Weight 95 grams
Published 26th February 2013
Availability 12 in stock
See also...
RM008  Elegia
RM015  Romance de L'Elisir d'Amore
RM041  Reverie
RM624  Poeme
RM713  Dolorosa