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Two Arias - solo tuning

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71 publications in this series

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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.

Giovanni Bottesini was the greatest double bass virtuoso of the 19th-century and many of his compositions for double bass are still at the heart of the solo repertoire. He spent much of his life in the opera house, as both conductor and composer, and his music is inspired by the lyrical, cantabile and virtuosic pyrotechnics of 19th-century Italian opera. He also transcribed a number of works for his own recitals and both arias are attributed to Bottesini, but are in fact by other composers.

Une Bouche Aimee is originally by Charles Gounod (1818-1893) and is based on 'My Beloved Spake', for soprano, violoncello obbligato and piano. Composed in London in 1871/72 and setting words from 'The Song of Solomon', Bottesini transcribed it for voice, double bass and piano, transposing it into a lower key and adding new words.

Tutto il Mondo Serra is a transcription of Frederic Chopin's 'Etude in C sharp minor' Op.25, No.7, originally for solo piano, but also transcribed by many others for different instrumental combinations. The words for both arias are by an unknown author and are unlikely to be by Bottesini.

The double bass part in the piano accompaniment includes the original Bottesini bowings, and the printed solo parts are edited by David Heyes.

"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. Une Bouche Aimee
  • 2. Tutti il Mondo Serra

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Cat No. RM774
Supplier Code RM774
Price £12.50
ComposerGiovanni Bottesini
EditorDavid Heyes
CategoriesVoice, Double Bass & Piano
Double Bass & Voice
PublisherRecital Music
SeriesHeritage Series
Difficulty level8, Advanced
ISMN 979-0-57045-774-8
EAN-13 9790570457748
Weight 160 grams
Published 5th March 2018
Availability 5 in stock
See also...
RM180  Tutto il Mondo Serra (DOUBLE BASS & VOICE)
RM214  Rêverie - Solo Tuning edition (DOUBLE BASS AND STRING ORCHESTRA)
RM384  Tutto il Mondo Serra (DOUBLE BASS & VOICE)
RM773  My Beloved Spake (VOICE, CELLO & PIANO)
RM775  Two Arias - orchestral tuning (DOUBLE BASS & VOICE)