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Duo in D major

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Based on Concerto No.2 by Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf, Italian bassist-composer Stefano Dall'Ora has created a tasteful and virtuosic transcription for double bass duo. The melodic material is shared between each player, offering musical and technical challenges in equal measure.

Stefano Dall'Ora writes: "Dittersdorf's Concerto in D major is undoubtedly a cornerstone in the solo repertoire for the double bass. Yet, I must confess that I've always had mixed feelings about it: on one hand I appreciate that its study is beneficial for those bassists who want to master a certain classical lightness in their performance (surely not the easiest thing to achieve from our instrument); on the other hand, its renditions, as heard in music schools and academies, usually lack musical interest and variety.

One reason for this could be that the solo part is originally written for Viennese tuning (A-F#-D-A-F); whenever the concerto is played with today's tuning (be it orchestral or solo), a lot of natural harmonics and resonances are lost and many passages become technically much more challenging than originally intended by the composer: even more so if the performer isn't willing to give up that quest for lightness I mentioned before. A rather flat piano transcription of a quite ordinary orchestral part doesn't help, either.

Some time ago, a student of mine was making his first attempts with the concerto; during the lesson, in order to help him grasp the right musical intention, I grabbed another bass and began improvising an accompaniment loosely based on the original harmonies. I think the idea of rearranging the whole piece came to me after that episode; the result, besides being beneficial to familiarise bass students with ensemble performances, has turned out quite well from a musical point of view, too. Many longish orchestral passages have been cut, thus compacting and concentrating the musical ideas, and the relentless repartee between the two players adds spark and interest to the piece.

Once again, the old adage proves to be true: "Two heads are better than one"..."

Born in Varese, Italy Italian double bassist Stefano Dall'Ora has had a busy career as a performer and recording artist covering the spectrum from classical music to jazz. He graduated in 1982 with full marks from the prestigious Conservatorio 'Giuseppe Verdi' di Milano under the guidance of Giuseppe Russotto, and later with Franco Petracchi in Fiesole, Italy.

He has appeared as Principal Bass with a number of symphony and chamber orchestras such as the Orchestra da Camera di Brescia, Orchestra Sinfonica Haydn di Bolzano e Trento and Orchestra del Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano and has worked in many countries with leading soloists such as Mstislav Rostropovic, Gidon Kremere and Krystian Zimerman.

Stefan Dall'Ora has performed twice at Carnegie Hall (New York) with the Origines Trio (voice, classical guitar, double bass). He is a member of the Arke String Quartet and in 2007 they recorded, with the famed Indian percussionist, Trilok Gurtu, the CD 'Arkeology' which was voted one of the best World Music recordings of the year by several international music magaines.

Stefano Dall'Ora currently teaches double bass at the Conservatorio 'Giuseppe Verdi' di Como.

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Cat No. RM709
Supplier Code RM709
Price £10.50
ComposerKarl Ditters von Dittersdorf
ArrangerStefano Dall'Ora
CategoryDouble Bass Duet
PublisherRecital Music
Difficulty level8, Advanced
ISMN 979-0-57045-709-0
EAN-13 9790570457090
Weight 130 grams
Published 12th May 2014
Availability 7 in stock
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