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Elegy No.2 (Romanza Drammatica)

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72 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.

Only available in SOLO TUNING.

Elegy No.2 (Romanza Drammatica) has a completely different character and style to Bottesini's other elegies, with a dramatic and serious feeling which exploits many aspects of the double bass. The opening theme is both lyrical and effective and, although much of the music is still scale or arpeggio based, it is suffused with the operatic style and dramatic potential of the mid 19th-century. Bottesini exploits scalic and arpeggio figures in a musical way, alongside powerful and dramatic double stops and harmonics, and the overall character is one of great beauty and elegance. He uses the bass-friendly keys of D minor and ending in D major, which opens up the harmonic possibilities. The minor key is both wistful and reflective contrasting music of a more dramatic and technical nature in the tonic major, and this is Bottesini at his most serious and thoughtful. Elegy No.2 is not as showy as many other pieces by Bottesini, but it does allow the player to demonstrate both a technical and music prowess alongside the ability to exploit the lyrical, cantabile and dramatic possibilities of the double bass.

"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.

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Cat No. RM936
Supplier Code RM936
Price £6.50
ComposerGiovanni Bottesini
EditorDavid Heyes
CategoryDouble Bass & Piano
PublisherRecital Music
SeriesHeritage Series
Difficulty level8, Advanced
ISMN 979-0-57045-936-0
EAN-13 9790570459360
Weight 90 grams
Published 5th April 2017
Availability 3 in stock
See also...
RM008  Elegia
RM252  Elegia (Orchestral Tuning) (DOUBLE BASS AND STRING ORCHESTRA)