HISTORY (11)

The history of the double bass

by FRANCISCO JAVIER ALMENARA

Francisco Javier Almenara - STORIA DEL C
Documento Adobe Acrobat 33.1 MB

www.recitalmusic.net

PORTRAITS FOR FRIENDS - B. SALLES

This is surely a 'golden age' for the double bass. The level of playing and teaching has never been better; the number of works written for the instrument has never been greater and, at long last, the double bass is becoming a more accepted solo instrument in its own right.

The history of the double bass includes many player-composers who have enriched the repertoire, writing sonatas, concertos, methods, study books and much more. Many have written music which has survived, still performed and taught to the present day, whilst others have been long forgotten as new composers and repertoire have taken their place. The late 20th and early 21st-centuries have seen an explosion of new music being written for the double bass, from open string pieces for mini-basses played by countless thousands of children, to the virtuoso works written for some of the greatest bassists performing today.
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French bassist, Bernard Salles, follows this long line of player-composers and in recent years has produced a wealth of impressive, inventive and beautifully written works for double bass. I'm not sure whether Bernard would class himself as a composer first, or conductor, double bassist or teacher, but he combines all the necessary skills to write music which is both idiomatic for the instrument, enjoyable to perform, connects readily and easily with an audience, but is also great music.

Bernard Salles was born in 1954 and began his musical education in his home town of Perpignan (France) where he studied double bass, organ, composition and orchestral conducting at the Conservatoire. In 1973 he want to the Conservatoire of Versailles and in 1976, at the age of 22, he was awarded a double bass teaching diploma. Since then he has taught at the Conservatoire of Pau (South-west France) and played with many major French orchestras including the Orchestre de Paris and the National Orchestra of France, under the direction of conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Metha and Lorin Maazel. In 1983 he began a parallel career as a conductor and was Music Director of the Orchestra of Pau from 1996-2001. He has directed the Orchestra of Pamplona (Spain) and is currently Music Director of the OSSO (Orchestre Symphonique du Sud-Ouest).

As a composer he has written over 30 works including two symphonies, a cantata, a psalm for bass and orchestra, a concerto for double bass and small orchestra, Rhapsody for viola and orchestra, Triptych for orchestra, Prelude for cello and orchestra, a symphonic poem for soprano, cello and orchestra, as well as works for chamber groups, and for choir and organ.
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Beginning in 2010, Bernard Salles began writing a series of short musical portraits for unaccompanied double bass of many of his double bass friends. To date he has produced thirty five portraits in five volumes - four volumes are already published and the fifth will be published in 2015.

The composer wonderfully describes the project: "During the double bass course in Capbreton (South-west France) in 2010, I met several fabulous double bassists in a very friendly atmosphere: Catalin Rotaru, Jeff Bradetich, Dan Styffe and Thierry Barbé, who I had known for a long time already. After this course, rich not only in musical exchanges but also on a human level, I wanted to thank my new (and old) friends, in my own way, by writing a short piece for unaccompanied double bass for each one of them. The pieces were intended as a small gift in the form of a portrait: an instant, a souvenir snapshot of a moment spent in their company.

And so the idea of writing other “portraits” of my double bass playing friends was born. David Heyes (Recital Music), who agreed to publish them for me, suggested grouping them in collections of seven, a little like the suites for solo instruments written in Bach’s time – although these pieces have no musical link between them. Five collections have been written so far. I will add further portraits to the catalogue as I encounter other double bass players.

Several people have asked me why no women appear in the "portraits"? And it is true! Let us say that the opportunity has not yet arisen, but I am sure that with time and with future encounters I will also write for female double bass players… But to avoid being called a sexist, I should mention that I have written four portraits for Marina P. [Marina Pacowski], who is the favourite pianist of many double bassists!

The collections of portraits are generally written at the end of the summer, at the rhythm of one colection a year. I try, in my composition, to be more of an artisan than an artist, and I force myself to write the portrait in a day, to keep the spontaneity of the snapshot, or the moment that I want to describe in music. I am not trying to describe a person in their entirety (for that, you would need a symphony for each musician!), but just a character trait, or something that stood out for me in that person at a particular moment in time.

All of this is just my own vision and feeling regarding another person… expressed through an art which is very subjective: music… and the rest, to use a French expression, is my own “cuisine”: at a restaurant, if the meal is good, we don’t ask the chef to reveal his recipe!"
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Portraits for Friends is a remarkable series of miniatures for unaccompanied double bass. They offer musical and technical challenges in equal measure, and each is a perfect snapshot of a bassist, and possibly their personality and playing style. They are exquisitely drawn and structured, ranging in duration from Alexander Shilo (1'04) to Jorma Katrama (4'30), and all the others fall somewhere between. An international line-up of players is included in the series - Norway, USA, France, Romania, Italy, UK, Tussia, Czech Republic, Finland. the Netherlands - and the composer presents a number of styles and idioms to offer contrast and interest.

Bernard Salles writes in a modern, lyrical and effective idiom, with contemporary influences adding to the mix, but this is music which should appeal to many bassists and audiences alike. He explores the entire range of the solo double bass, including contemporary effects to add contrast and depth, and none of the pieces outstay their welcome. A group of five or six could easily be grouped together to make an effective recital work and are ideal for the advanced bassist looking for new repertoire and challenges.

Dan Styffe (Norway) was the first of the series and his piece reflects Dan's contemporary specialism, but the music is still approachable and accessible. Thierry Barbe (France) is represented by a lyrical and reflective piece which explores the sonorous and cantabile qualities of the double bass. Catalin Rotaru (Romania) and Alberto Bocini (Italy) are both fast and virtuosic, whereas Thomas Martin (UK) has the most glorious of pieces and, to my mind, is one of the best of the series. Jiri Hudec (Czech Republic) is fast, a moto perpetuo almost, with a lyrical middle section, and is also one of my favourites. A few jazz bassists are included, hence the jazz-inspired pieces and styles, and overall this is a developing series which should offer many things to many people.

My own piece, the last of Book 4, is lively, energetic, rhythmic, quirky and mercurial - all characteristics I possess according to my wife - and is great to play. I was enormously flattered to be included as part of this wonderful series and am even prouder to publish the entire series with Recital Music (www.recitalmusic.net).

Dan Styffe has recorded Books 1-4 (FABRA FBRCD-13) and the result is magnificent. Recorded in February 2014 in Oslo with the composer present, and released towards the end of 2014, this is a true tour-de-force and demonstrates the wealth of great music in the series.

The double bass has a rich heritage of music from the past 250 years. The best works, on the whole, have survived into the 21st-century but there is still space for new music which has something to say. So many bassists nowadays are open to playing contemporary works alongside the standard repertoire, and there are many more opportunities to perform, record and broadcast than ever before. There is no defined 21st-century 'compositional style', but so many different approaches and idioms are being explored that contemporary music is no longer to be feared or avoided. Bernard Salles writes in a modern, but also traditional and lyrical style, which has much to say. His voice is one for bassists to explore further and thanks to the internet, Facebook and all styles of modern communication it has never been easier to disseminate information and to discover new and exciting music. This truly is a 'golden age' for the double bass.

David Heyes [19 January 2015]

The 'Dragonetti Concerto' has been in print for 90 years and is probably one of the most performed works for progressing young bassists. The music is technically challenging, but not too virtuosic; is melodic and catchy, but not too sophisticated; and isn't taxing or demanding for an audience. It ticks many boxes and now exists in a number of published editions. Amazingly, one of our most popular works isn't even by the composer on the title page but is a fake and 'in the style of' the great Venetian bassist.
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The 'Dragonetti Concerto' was first published in 1925 by Alphonse Leduc in Paris as No.23 of Edouard Nanny's 'Les Classiques de la Contrebasse'. For many years no one questioned its authenticity, but as more research into Dragonetti's original works for double bass was made, concerns began to arise. Many of Dragonetti manuscripts survive in the British Library thanks to Vincent Novello who donated them in 1849, three years after Dragonetti's death and on Novello's retirement to Italy, but there is no original manuscript for this work. As bassists began to edit and perform a wide range of Dragonetti's works it became clear that this concerto bore little resemblance to any of his other pieces. The work does, however, have many similarities to Nanny's Concerto in E minor for double bass, also to his other solo works and even studies from his Method. Eventually most people came to the conclusion that this is not an original work by the great Venetian bassist but is by Edouard Nanny, and in the style of the late 18th-century. Having said that, this is still a charming and evocative work which has much player and audience appeal and is very easy on the ear. Many of the challenges for the soloist are technical and, almost a century after its first publication, it is still as popular as ever. Published in 1925, the first movement was performed at London's Wigmore Hall on 15 April the following year by Victor Watson (double bass) and Sidney Crooke (piano), and was described as a 'Contrabass Concerto by Dragonetti-Nanny'.

Edouard Nanny (1872-1942) was the leading French bassist of his generation, taught at the Paris Conservatoire for 20 years, and is recognised as the founder of the modern French double bass school. He composed and transcribed many works for double bass, most are still in print, and his Method for Double Bass is as relevant today as when it was first published almost a century ago. So why did he compose the 'Dragonetti Concerto'? Was he trying to fool the audience into thinking this was a lost gem of the repertoire which he had discovered? I think the explanation is far simpler and with no subterfuge or intrigue intended at all.

In 1901, under the chairmanship of Camille Saint-Saens, the Société des Anciens Instruments (Society for Historical Instruments) was founded by the violist, Henri Casadesus (1879-1947). The ensemble included Henri Casadesus (viola d'amore), Marius Casadesus (Quinton, a five-string instrument with a range of viola and violin), Régina Patorni-Casadesus (harpsichord), Lucette Casadesus (viola da gamba), Maurice Devilliers (bass viol) and Edouard Nanny (double bass) and they gave concerts until about 1939. Nanny and Casadesus explored a wealth of Baroque music, largely by forgotten composers at the time, including works by Ariosti, Borghi, Mascitti, Haessler, Tope, Bruni and Andre. Their concerts included an enormous breadth of music from the contemporary works of the late 19th-century, such as Saint-Saens, Grieg and Lalo, alongside transcriptions of works by Bach, Schumann, Bruch and Beethoven. The group also 're-discovered' works from the 18th-century notably the Viola Concerto in D major by J.C. Bach and a Sinfonia Concertante for viola d'amore and double bass by Lorenziti, both actually composed by Henri Casadesus. A concert on 16 January 1903 also includes a performance of a 'Gavotte by B. Lorenziti for viola d'amore and double bass', which may be a first outing of the Lorenziti Gavotte, probably composed by Nanny, which is now part of the standard repertoire for double bass and piano.

So the likelihood is that Edouard Nanny simply followed his friend's example and composed the Concerto in A major in the style of Dragonetti. There was no subterfuge and they were simply performing a range of long-forgotten music and 're-discovering' others. Henri Casadesus's works 'composed' by J.C. Bach and Handel have entered the repertoire and found a place for themselves, much as the 'Dragonetti' Concerto has.

For a long time there was speculation that the Concerto in A major was not composed by Dragonetti but no real evidence. Eventually members of the double bass community came to the conclusion that the Concerto was a fake' and it is almost certain that Edouard Nanny had composed it. The similarities between this piece and Nanny's other works for double bass are too numerous to have any doubts or reservations.

In three contrasting movements, the Concerto includes scales, arpeggios, harmonics, double stops, always within the traditional technique of the early 20th-century, and is an excellent educational piece for the progressing young bassist. The first movement (Allegro moderato) begins with a dramatic rising G major arpeggio before plunging into the lower register of the instrument and the technical phrases blend seamlessly with lyrical melodies. There is much here to enjoy and explore for the soloist and to demonstrate a developing solo technique throughout the range of the double bass. The slow movement (Andante) has a simple and lyrical opening melody which is repeated later in double stops and harmonics, and ends with the only written cadenza of the concerto. The third movement (Allegro giusto) is a brisk and lively 6/8 romp through the range of the double bass, sprinkled with simple but effective harmonic passages. The movement ends with great energy and drive, bringing the work to a happy and successful conclusion.

Does it matter that one of our most popular works is by Edouard Nanny rather than Domenico Dragonetti? No, I don't think it does. The music is still accessible and full of lively music which is successful as both a teaching and recital piece. It offers many challenges to the soloist, consolidating the many hours of technical work but always within a musical framework. This isn't a work of great musical or emotional depth but still has a great charm and warmth which has endeared it to players and audiences for almost a century. I'm sure that Edouard Nanny would be amazed and astounded that it has now been in print for ninety years, probably also flattered that it is part of the standard repertoire into the 21st-century, and pleased that its charms still appeal to bassists.

David Heyes

The history of the double bass repertoire can be neatly divided into two categories - the first comprises works composed by bassists who also composed, and the second made up of works written by non-bassists, but inspired by a particular player. I doubt there are many works which fall into neither category, although there will always be the exception that proves the rule.

Nino Rota's Divertimento Concertante for double bass and piano is definitely in the second category and has become something of a 'classic' in the double bass repertoire and often in it's orchestral version.

Nino Rota (1911-1979) was a prolific and enormously successful Italian composer, primarily remembered for his film music. He studied at the Milan Conservatoire and, encouraged by Arturo Toscanini, at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, and after he completed his studies in America he returned to Italy and gained a degree in literature from the University of Milan. He is considered by many as one of the greatest Italian film composers and produced 157 film scores including the first two of The Godfather films, La Dolce Vita, The Glass Mountain and Waterloo. Alongside the film music he composed 12 operas, 30 dramatic works including ballets and instrumental music for stage, radio and television, three symphonies, at least ten concertos, chamber music and around 60 vocal works. Giordano Montecchi described Rota's musical style as "...the renewal of Italian music with a body of work that has an immediacy of gesture and is rooted in a rare lyricism, built on harmonic languages, formal structures and rhythmic and melodic idiom which sound distinctive and original."

Despite writing so much music, Nino Rota was also appointed a Lecturer at the Bari Conservatoire and, luckily for double bassists, served as its Director from 1950-77. From 1967 Franco Petracchi (b.1944), the great Italian double bass virtuso, teacher, conductor and composer, taught at the Bari Conservatoire and asked Rota for a work for double bass and piano. Rota's office was below the double bass class and Rota could hear Petracchi's double bass lessons incessantly - a fact he recalled when he was teaching at Trinity College of Music (London) in the 1980s. Although the Divertimento Concertante is known for its four movements, it began as a single work and the Marcia, now its second movement, was the first to be composed and Petracchi writes: "This Marcia contained numerous exercises that I used to give to my students, a kind of training music, realised in living music to 'make them [the exercises] more enjoyable', as Rota said. Ih fact his studio and his sitting room were situated right below my classroom. It certainly was not enjoyable for the Maestro to rest at certain times with that 'concert of scales'."

In 1968 the Aria was composed (now the third movement) and was originally intended as music for the film of Doctor Zhivago. After a performance in Rome the piece was described by the Italian critic and musicologist Fedele D'Amico as "one of the best Italian pieces written in the last fifty years." It was originally written as the motif of the film Doctor Zhivago but, due to disagreements, Rota withdrew from the project and the double bass world is all the richer because of it. Petracchi writes: "For the interpretation, Rota told me that I should think of a slow march of Russian exiles heading towards Siberia at night and then, bit by bit, lentemente and with ampiezza, at the unfolding of dawn (like Respighi's The Pines of Rome)."

The Finale was the third movement to be composed and dates from 1969. It was originally intended as a 'galop' but renamed as 'Finale' when the complete work was published in 1973. The first movement (Allegro) was composed in 1971. Divertimento Concertante has been described as "a concerto in all but name " by Gerald Larner and, lasting around 22 minutes, does have a concerto-like feel about it. As a successful film composer Nino Rota has a wonderful orchestration skill, eliciting a wealth of colours and textures which contrast, support and challenge the solo double bass. Rota's music is both exciting and challenging, treating the double bass as a true solo instrument and working with the possibilities and limitations of the instrument throughout its entire register. Each movement has its own character and style, contrasting and complementing, and producing a work which has become something of a modern classic. It was published in Italy in 1973 by Carisch, after some revisions, and has been in print ever since.

Although probably better known with piano accompaniment, Divertimento Concertante has been recorded a number of times and the wonderful orchestral colours and textures demonstrate a composer as the top of his game. The solo part is challenging, but always playable, exploring the entire range of the solo double bass and is a successful collaboration between performer and composer. The orchestral version is scored for double woodwind, two horns, two trumpets, timpani and strings and the writing is carefully placed to allow the soloist to be heard at all times. The orchestral tuttis are exciting and dramatic, tender and passionate, and Nino Rota really understood the character and possibilities of the double bass, at a time when the double bass, thanks to the likes of Gary Karr and Franco Petracchi, was slowly emerging from its role from inside the orchestra to the soloist at the front.

The first movement (Allegro maestoso) is the longest of the four and is dramatic, lyrical and rhapsodic. A neo-classical feel, and the accessible. lively, humourous and sardonic music of Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Kabalevsky are never far away, producing a work which has great character and spirit. The Marcia (Alla marcia, allegramente) features many scale, arpeggio and chromatic figures, obviously reminding the composer of Petracchi's double bass class at the conservatory, and is energetic and dramatic, offering much to soloist and audience alike.

The third movement (Aria - Andante) is the contrasting slow movement of the work, emphasising the lyrical and sonorous qualities of the solo double bass in all registers, alongside passages of pizzicato arpeggios and high harmonics to bring the aria to a successful conclusion. The Finale (Allegro marcato) is fast and furious, testing the technical prowess of the soloist and is an excllent conclusion to a work of charater and invention.

Klaus Trumpf, who recorded the work in 1998, writes: "...The work combines sprightliness, humour and serenity. In terms of virtuosity and intensity of expression, this is a very rewarding piece for the soloist." I couldn't have put it better myself!

www.recitalmusic.net  and prof. DAVID EYES

2015 marks the 75th anniversary of the death of Frantisek Cerny, an important figure in the history of the Prague School of Double Bass. He combined a successful career as a performer, teacher and composer, and is also renowned for discovering the Grancino double bass of 1693 which was subsequently owned by his student Oldrich Sorejs (1891-1953), and in turn by Frantisek Posta (1919-1991), a former student of Professor Sorejs.

Frantisek Cerny composed a wealth of music for double bass including nine characteristic works for double bass and piano, a Suite in 5 movements for double bass and orchestra or piano, alongside four concertos and educational music - 30 Etudes-Caprices, Technical Studies in Thumb Position and a Method in 3 volumes. Although his music has fallen out of favour a little, the works with piano are typical of the salon music from the late 19th-century, but are of the highest quality and worthy of rediscovery in the 21st-century.

Frantisek Cerny was born in Pardubitz, Bohemia (now Pardubice, Czech Republic) on 23 January 1861 and studied double bass at the Prague Conservatoire with Vendelin Sladek (1851-1901). He studied at the Paris conservatoire for two years with V.F. Verrimst, where he also worked with the French bow but opted for the Czech bow on his return to Prague. During his years in Paris he played with the Colonne-Lamoreux Orchestra from 1884-90, directed by Charles Lamoureux (1834 - 1899), and is reputed to have also spent six months in London. Cerny returned to Prague in 1890, and succeeded his teacher, Vendelin Sladek, as Principal Bass of the National Theatre Orchestra and achieved his lifelong ambition of teaching at Prague Conservatoire.

Cerny taught at Prague Conservatoire from 1890 until his retirement in 1932 and his most notable students included Emilie Fialova-Kornerova, Rudolf Tulacek, Oldrich Sorejs, Frantisek Hertl, Karel Sejna, Bohuslav Oupic, Frantisek Hubicka and Josef Cisar. Cerny's educational music for double bass dates from his Conservatoire years and obviously was written with his students in mind. His 'Modern Double Bass School' was published in Leipzig in 1906 and was probably intended to replace Simandl's Method, maintaining the same rigorous technical skills and training but with studies of a more lyrical and musical nature. Although long out of print, many of the studies offer useful and approachable didactic practice material in the 21st-century. Cerny's Method has been described by Miloslav Gajdos as "...remarkable for its methodical perfection and the high quality of its musical content..."

Cerny's 30 Etudes-Caprices followed in 1923 and his book of Thumb Position Studies (Technicke studie v palcove poloze) in 1927, both as a result of his teaching experience at Prague Conservatoire. Frantisek Cerny died in Prague on 3 September 1940, leaving behind an important legacy as a teacher and composer.

Nocturno e Intermezzo for double bass and piano is one of Frantisek Cerny's finest works for the instrument, and a particular favourite of Frantisek Posta who recorded it for a live Czech television programme in the 1970s, interestingly playing the same Grancino double bass owned by the composer. It was first published in 1913 by Jul. Heinr. Zimmermann of Leipzig, alongside Danse des Satyres, and is written in solo tuning. The form is ABA (Nocturno/Intermezzo/Nocturno) and the original edition also included fingerings by the composer. The work lasts around eight or nine minutes and is salon music, but of the highest level and quality. There are musical and technical challenges for the soloist, but always worthwhile and demonstrating the lyricism and cantabile qualities of the double bass. A wonderfully supportive and inventive piano accompaniment demonstrates Cerny's pianistic skills and he alsoi produced a number of works for solo piano which have been completely forgotten today.

The lyricism of the Nocturne, which returns at the end of the piece but slightly truncated and played 'con sord.', emphasises the singing quality of the double bass and makes effective use of the solo register of the instrument. A dramatic nine-bar piano interlude links the reflective qualities of the opening section with the more rhythmic, energetic and exciting middle section (Intermezzo) and offers the bassist many opportunities to demonstrate both technical prowess and dramatic spirit, alongside great passion and beauty. The solo piano links the two parts with a return of the opening few bars of the piece before a two-bar Lisztian study exercise descends into the lower register which slowly returns to the opening theme for the double bass. This section is almost a reflection or memories of the beginning of the piece and the gently moving and rocking chords lead to a successful conclusion as the double bass ascends towards the end of the fingerboard with a slow and sustained E flat major arpeggio. The work ends gently, much as it began, but after passages of great drama and rhythmic energy.

Salon music may be out of fashion today, but Cerny's Nocturno e Intermezzo is worthy of a place in the solo repertoire even in the 21st-century. It exploits many facets of the solo double bass, namely the lyrical and sonorous qualities of the instrument, in a way which still communicates to present-day audiences. If you don't know anything about Frantisek Cerny, this piece is a great starting point for anyone looking for interesting repertoire which fits the instrument like a glove.

David Heyes [25 February 2015]

I was privileged to study this piece, and other Cerny works, with Frantisek Posta (1919-1990) during my studies with him in Prague in the late 1980s, and also to play Cerny's music on the Grancino double bass which the composer had used to play his own music. I organised a concert at Farnham Maltings (Farnham, Surrey) on 3 September 1990, fifty years to the day after Cerny's death and the performers were Frantisek Posta, Matthew Gibbon and myself, with pianist Alvin Moisey. At the time two of Cerny's daughters were still living in Prague and Frantisek Posta visited on his return to the city and tok them photographs and a programme of the concert.

3 September 2015 marks the 75th anniversary of Cerny's death and I am organising an informal concert on Sunday September in my local village hall featuring some of his music, alongside other Czech repertoire (Kuchynka, Simandl, Misek, Dvorak). The bassists include myself, Ben Groenevelt, Jim Rintoul, Thea Sayer, Peter McLoughlin and Jan Cowell, with Sarah Poole (soprano) and Derek Harris (piano) and the concert will be followed by a Czech meal and good Czech beer.

 Dubensky - Prelude & Fugue for double bass quartet.
(thanks to prof. DAVID EYES and www.recitalmusic.net )

The double-bass repertory is of course small; a curiosity is Dubensky's Fugue for ten double-basses. For the position of the double bass in chamber music...Van Dieren left a string quartet (very difficult) with double-bass instead of cello."

This short extract is taken from The Oxford Companion to Music by Percy A. Scholes (OUP, 10th Edition 1969, p.1084) and fascinated me for almost forty years, but in that time I have found no trace of the Fugue for ten double basses. I have, however, been able to amass much information about Arcady Dubensky, a Russian emigre who lived in America for most of his life, and discovered two forgotten works for double bass by him which are now published by Recital Music.

Arcady Dubensky was born in Viatka, Russia on 3 October 1890 (other sources state 15 October) into a musical and artistic family - his father was a dramatic Shakespearian actor and his mother an opera and operetta singer - and began to study the violin from the age of six. He became a member of the Viatka Cathedral Choir when he was eight years old and, two years later, made his concert debut at the Viatka City Theatre as part of the Cathedral choir. In 1904 he was offered a scholarship to study at the Moscow Conservatoire, where he stayed until 1910, studying violin for two years with Duloff and four years with Grijimali, and counterpoint with Alexander Illinsky, and subsequently studied in Switzerland with Cesar Thomson (violin) and in Paris with Alexander Glazunov (composition). After graduation Dubensky joined the 1st violins if the Moscow Imperial Opera Orchestra (1910-1919), at the same time taking conducting lesson from Arends, the director of the ballet. He often played as a soloist, including a memorable performance in 1914 as the blind violinist in Rimsky-Korsakov's opera 'Mozart and Salieri', when the famous Russian bass Fyodor Chaliapin performed the role of Salieri.

Dubensky left Russia in 1919 and worked for a time in Constantinople, arriving in America in July 1921 and becoming a naturalised American citizen on 22 September 1927. From 1921-22 he played 1st violin with the Capitol Orchestra (New York) and also with the New York Symphony Orchestra (1923-28) until its amalgamation with the New York Philharmonic Society in 1928. From that date until the mid-1950s Dubensky played as a 2nd violinist with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, alongside his work as talented and active composer and arranger. He died at his home in Tenafly, New Jersey on 14 October 1966, aged seventy-six.

Arcady Dubensky was a prolific composer and arranger writing orchestral and operatic works, alongside chamber music and transcriptions, with at least two works for double bass, or possibly three if the Fugue for 10 double basses is ever unearthed. He described himself as "...one of the American composers who have followed the traditions and forms of the old classical school" writing music which was beautifully crafted and shaped, with the added advantage of also being very audience friendly. Many of his orchestral works were performed by leading conductors and orchestras and his friendship with Serge Koussevitsky, Fabien Sevitsky and Leopold Stokowski helped to promote his works with the very best symphonic forces at the time.

Occasionally the New York Philharmonic organised questionnaires amongst its members and these have helped to provide added biographical details about Dubensky, the musician and the man. In one he mentions that he also played the viola and piano, enjoyed reading as a hobby, played a French violin by Lupot, that his wife Olympia was not a musician, that he was awarded an Italian violin as the prize at his graduation from the Moscow Conservatoire, was an only child, and that the music of Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner and modern composers were the most difficult in the orchestral repertoire for violin. More amazingly, for a questionnaire aimed at professional musicians was the question 'Do you like to cook? What is your favorite food? If possible, give recipe - your own or your wife's or mother's'. Dubensky answered "I don't like to cook. I like Russian piroshki. Here is the recipe (Recipe of Mme Dubensky), followed by the ingredients and instructions of how to make dish. You don't find this type of information in the history books!

Dubensky appears to have been a very practical and utilitarian composer and possibly many of his works were written at the behest of his orchestral colleagues or friends who were in search of a piece for a specific or unusual instrumentation. He was quite prolific and seemed to have composed throughout most of his performing career producing four operas, a Symphony, Trombone Concerto, two string quartets, a string sextet and other chamber and orchestral music. Alongside these 'traditional' forms is an intriguing body of music for more unusual combinations notably a Fugue for 18 violins (1932), which was probably his most famous work (performed in New York, Berlin, Paris, London, Palermo, Buenos Aires and Brazil, to name but a few), a Trumpet Overture for 18 toy trumpets and 2 bass drums (1949), Variations for 8 clarinets (1932), Theme & Variations for 4 horns (1932), Suite for 4 trumpets (1935), Suite for 9 flutes (1935) but more importantly for double bassists is his Prelude & Fugue for double bass quartet, dating from 1933.

The score of Dubensky's Prelude & Fugue for double bass quartet was completed on 16 May 1933 and remained in manuscript until it was published in 2013 by Recital Music. This work, alongside the Suite for double bass quartet by Bernhard Alt (1903-1945), vies for the title of the first double bass quartet to be written. In the case of Dubensky's Prelude & Fugue there appears to be no documentation about it's history or performances, apart from the date it was completed. Was it written for the composer's double bass colleagues in the New York Philharmonic? Was it written as a technical exercise for the composer? Was it written in response to the premiere of Alt's Suite in Berlin by four bassists from the Berlin Philharmonic in 1933? At the moment all are credible but mere speculation. If Dubensky's quartet was composed for his double bass composers in the orchestra it is likely that it was premiered in New York in the 1930s. The composer kept many concert programmes and newspaper clippings about performances of his music (many of which are now in my collection) but there is no mention of the double bass quartet.

Alt's Suite for double bass quartet used two tunings - basses 1 and 2 are in solo tuning and basses 3 and 4 in orchestral, which was also used by Th.A. Findeisen in his Quartett-Suite, published in 1934. Dubensky used the same tuning for all four players and composed a work for an unusual combination of instruments but in a traditional setting. Ever since J.S. Bach's 48 Preludes & Fugues composers have used the form for both instrumental and orchestral works. Dubensky, as a self-confessed traditionalist, was only following a long line of other composers, producing an interesting and inventive work for the time, and also used the form for other compositions.

The Prelude is in 3/8 time, in the key of E minor, and in the style of a minuet and trio. The melodic style is tonal and approachable, with each bass staying within its own register, much like a choral work for SATB where the spacing is important. Bass 1 has most of the melodic material, primarily in the higher register, but there is something of interest for each player. A unified rhythmic pattern is used to good effect throughout the movement and the spacing is expertly applied, giving clarity throughout, indicating that Dubensky knew the potential pitfalls and problems when writing for double bass quartet.

The Fugue, also in E minor, begins with Bass 3 and is in the same key and style as the Fugue in Joseph Lauber's Suite for double bass quartet. Each bass enters in turn - bass 2 follows with the theme a 5th higher, bass 1 has the original fugue subject but an octave higher than the first entry and bass 4 enters with the same subject as bass 2 but an octave lower and in the low orchestral register. The music builds to a cadential point after 27 bars leading into a more virtuosic and lively fugue which continues to develop, offering challenges for each player. Bass 4 reintroduces the original theme, in the lowest register with scurrying semiquaver passages above, eventually leading to a two-part section where the two different subjects are heard together. The movement ends with a fast and furious coda which leads into a slow and solemn E major conclusion.

The original manuscript includes a few fingerings for bass 1 and some additional pencil markings but no other clues to indicate if it was ever performed or even rehearsed. A virtuosic two-bar section has been crossed out in the Fugue but apart from that the music is fairly clear to read, although not the neatest of copies. Bass 1 and 2 are written in bass clef with an octave sign above which was usual for the time I am certain.

Arcady Dubensky was a fine craftsman and composer who seemed to relish the challenge of writing for unusual instrumental combinations. He was a dedicated traditionalist rather than a ground-breaking radical and composed music which has integrity, character and ingenuity. His Prelude & Fugue for double bass quartet is not as adventurous as Gunther Schuller's quartet, composed 15 years later, but is still a fascinating work in the relatively short history of the quartet medium. It demonstrates the level of bass playing at the time and it is unlikely that such an experienced orchestral violinist and composer would write music which was unplayable. It may be challenging but it is more than probable that he knew the bassists he was writing for and their skills as performers.

A long forgotten masterpiece? I don't think so, but still a work which is important in the history of the double bass quartet and ideal for any serious-minded bass quartet who have tired of transcriptions and the 'fun' element of the double bass. Overlooked but certainly it shouldn't be forgotten.

"The double-bass repertory is of course small; a curiosity is Dubensky's Fugue for ten double-basses. For the position of the double bass in chamber music...Van Dieren left a string quartet (very difficult) with double-bass instead of cello."

This short extract is taken from The Oxford Companion to Music by Percy A. Scholes (OUP, 10th Edition 1969, p.1084) and fascinated me for almost forty years, but in that time I have found no trace of the Fugue for ten double basses. I have, however, been able to amass much information about Arcady Dubensky, a Russian emigre who lived in America for most of his life, and discovered two forgotten works for double bass by him which are now published by Recital Music.

Arcady Dubensky was born in Viatka, Russia on 3 October 1890 (other sources state 15 October) into a musical and artistic family - his father was a dramatic Shakespearian actor and his mother an opera and operetta singer - and began to study the violin from the age of six. He became a member of the Viatka Cathedral Choir when he was eight years old and, two years later, made his concert debut at the Viatka City Theatre as part of the Cathedral choir. In 1904 he was offered a scholarship to study at the Moscow Conservatoire, where he stayed until 1910, studying violin for two years with Duloff and four years with Grijimali, and counterpoint with Alexander Illinsky, and subsequently studied in Switzerland with Cesar Thomson (violin) and in Paris with Alexander Glazunov (composition). After graduation Dubensky joined the 1st violins if the Moscow Imperial Opera Orchestra (1910-1919), at the same time taking conducting lesson from Arends, the director of the ballet. He often played as a soloist, including a memorable performance in 1914 as the blind violinist in Rimsky-Korsakov's opera 'Mozart and Salieri', when the famous Russian bass Fyodor Chaliapin performed the role of Salieri.

Dubensky left Russia in 1919 and worked for a time in Constantinople, arriving in America in July 1921 and becoming a naturalised American citizen on 22 September 1927. From 1921-22 he played 1st violin with the Capitol Orchestra (New York) and also with the New York Symphony Orchestra (1923-28) until its amalgamation with the New York Philharmonic Society in 1928. From that date until the mid-1950s Dubensky played as a 2nd violinist with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, alongside his work as talented and active composer and arranger. He died at his home in Tenafly, New Jersey on 14 October 1966, aged seventy-six.

Arcady Dubensky was a prolific composer and arranger writing orchestral and operatic works, alongside chamber music and transcriptions, with at least two works for double bass, or possibly three if the Fugue for 10 double basses is ever unearthed. He described himself as "...one of the American composers who have followed the traditions and forms of the old classical school" writing music which was beautifully crafted and shaped, with the added advantage of also being very audience friendly. Many of his orchestral works were performed by leading conductors and orchestras and his friendship with Serge Koussevitsky, Fabien Sevitsky and Leopold Stokowski helped to promote his works with the very best symphonic forces at the time.

Occasionally the New York Philharmonic organised questionnaires amongst its members and these have helped to provide added biographical details about Dubensky, the musician and the man. In one he mentions that he also played the viola and piano, enjoyed reading as a hobby, played a French violin by Lupot, that his wife Olympia was not a musician, that he was awarded an Italian violin as the prize at his graduation from the Moscow Conservatoire, was an only child, and that the music of Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner and modern composers were the most difficult in the orchestral repertoire for violin. More amazingly, for a questionnaire aimed at professional musicians was the question 'Do you like to cook? What is your favorite food? If possible, give recipe - your own or your wife's or mother's'. Dubensky answered "I don't like to cook. I like Russian piroshki. Here is the recipe (Recipe of Mme Dubensky), followed by the ingredients and instructions of how to make dish. You don't find this type of information in the history books!

Dubensky appears to have been a very practical and utilitarian composer and possibly many of his works were written at the behest of his orchestral colleagues or friends who were in search of a piece for a specific or unusual instrumentation. He was quite prolific and seemed to have composed throughout most of his performing career producing four operas, a Symphony, Trombone Concerto, two string quartets, a string sextet and other chamber and orchestral music. Alongside these 'traditional' forms is an intriguing body of music for more unusual combinations notably a Fugue for 18 violins (1932), which was probably his most famous work (performed in New York, Berlin, Paris, London, Palermo, Buenos Aires and Brazil, to name but a few), a Trumpet Overture for 18 toy trumpets and 2 bass drums (1949), Variations for 8 clarinets (1932), Theme & Variations for 4 horns (1932), Suite for 4 trumpets (1935), Suite for 9 flutes (1935) but more importantly for double bassists is his Prelude & Fugue for double bass quartet, dating from 1933.

The score of Dubensky's Prelude & Fugue for double bass quartet was completed on 16 May 1933 and remained in manuscript until it was published in 2013 by Recital Music. This work, alongside the Suite for double bass quartet by Bernhard Alt (1903-1945), vies for the title of the first double bass quartet to be written. In the case of Dubensky's Prelude & Fugue there appears to be no documentation about it's history or performances, apart from the date it was completed. Was it written for the composer's double bass colleagues in the New York Philharmonic? Was it written as a technical exercise for the composer? Was it written in response to the premiere of Alt's Suite in Berlin by four bassists from the Berlin Philharmonic in 1933? At the moment all are credible but mere speculation. If Dubensky's quartet was composed for his double bass composers in the orchestra it is likely that it was premiered in New York in the 1930s. The composer kept many concert programmes and newspaper clippings about performances of his music (many of which are now in my collection) but there is no mention of the double bass quartet.

Alt's Suite for double bass quartet used two tunings - basses 1 and 2 are in solo tuning and basses 3 and 4 in orchestral, which was also used by Th.A. Findeisen in his Quartett-Suite, published in 1934. Dubensky used the same tuning for all four players and composed a work for an unusual combination of instruments but in a traditional setting. Ever since J.S. Bach's 48 Preludes & Fugues composers have used the form for both instrumental and orchestral works. Dubensky, as a self-confessed traditionalist, was only following a long line of other composers, producing an interesting and inventive work for the time, and also used the form for other compositions.

The Prelude is in 3/8 time, in the key of E minor, and in the style of a minuet and trio. The melodic style is tonal and approachable, with each bass staying within its own register, much like a choral work for SATB where the spacing is important. Bass 1 has most of the melodic material, primarily in the higher register, but there is something of interest for each player. A unified rhythmic pattern is used to good effect throughout the movement and the spacing is expertly applied, giving clarity throughout, indicating that Dubensky knew the potential pitfalls and problems when writing for double bass quartet.

The Fugue, also in E minor, begins with Bass 3 and is in the same key and style as the Fugue in Joseph Lauber's Suite for double bass quartet. Each bass enters in turn - bass 2 follows with the theme a 5th higher, bass 1 has the original fugue subject but an octave higher than the first entry and bass 4 enters with the same subject as bass 2 but an octave lower and in the low orchestral register. The music builds to a cadential point after 27 bars leading into a more virtuosic and lively fugue which continues to develop, offering challenges for each player. Bass 4 reintroduces the original theme, in the lowest register with scurrying semiquaver passages above, eventually leading to a two-part section where the two different subjects are heard together. The movement ends with a fast and furious coda which leads into a slow and solemn E major conclusion.

The original manuscript includes a few fingerings for bass 1 and some additional pencil markings but no other clues to indicate if it was ever performed or even rehearsed. A virtuosic two-bar section has been crossed out in the Fugue but apart from that the music is fairly clear to read, although not the neatest of copies. Bass 1 and 2 are written in bass clef with an octave sign above which was usual for the time I am certain.

Arcady Dubensky was a fine craftsman and composer who seemed to relish the challenge of writing for unusual instrumental combinations. He was a dedicated traditionalist rather than a ground-breaking radical and composed music which has integrity, character and ingenuity. His Prelude & Fugue for double bass quartet is not as adventurous as Gunther Schuller's quartet, composed 15 years later, but is still a fascinating work in the relatively short history of the quartet medium. It demonstrates the level of bass playing at the time and it is unlikely that such an experienced orchestral violinist and composer would write music which was unplayable. It may be challenging but it is more than probable that he knew the bassists he was writing for and their skills as performers.

A long forgotten masterpiece? I don't think so, but still a work which is important in the history of the double bass quartet and ideal for any serious-minded bass quartet who have tired of transcriptions and the 'fun' element of the double bass. Overlooked but certainly it shouldn't be forgotten.

J.M. SPERGER by prof. David Eyes

www.recitalmusic.net

J.M. Sperger is an important figure in the history of the double bass. He was the most prolific double bass composer of the late 18th-century but, even more importantly, his music library contains the only known copies of some of the concertos which are at the heart of the repertoire today. Double bass concertos by Dittersdorf, Hoffmeister, Pichl, Vanhal and others would be lost were it not for the copies he preserved. For many years the music was hidden away in the former East Germany and thanks to the pioneering efforts of a number of enthusiasts the works of Sperger are now being performed, recorded and published.

Johannes Matthias Sperger was born on 23 march 1750 in Feldsberg (today Valtice, Czech Republic). It is believed that he studied with the organist Franz Anton Becker before moving to Vienna where he studied double bass with the renowned soloist Friedrich Pischelberger (1741-1813) and composition with Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (1736-1809). Pischelberger and Albrectsberger were important musicians in Vienna at the time - Mozart had composed his concert aria 'Per questa bella mano' for the great bassist and Albrechtsberger was the teacher of Beethoven - so Sperger was in good company. From 1777 to 1783 he was a member of the orchestra of Prince Joseph von Batthyanyi in Pressburg (now Bratislava), from 1783-86 entered the service of Count Ladislav Erdody in Fidisch, and from 1788, until his death on 13 March 1812, he was member of the Court Orchestra of the Archduke Friedrich Franz I of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in Ludwigslust. A fortnight after Sperger's death he was commemorated with a performance of Mozart's Requiem which gives some indication of the respect and esteem with which he was held.

Sperger was a prolific composer, writing in many genres, and produced a wealth of music for double bass which has been unearthed over the last few decades. He composed 18 double bass concertos, 3 sonatas for double bass and viola, a sonata for double bass and cello, several concert arias with obbligato double bass, and many chamber works with a solo role for the double bass. Alongside his own compositions Sperger also collected a number of works by his contemporaries and these copies are the only known manuscripts of many of the favourite double bass concertos from this period. Without Sperger's collection these works would be lost and the 18th-century repertoire the lesser for this.

A fifty year period, almost encompassing Sperger's entire life, saw the use of a double bass tuning which was used almost exclusively by Sperger, Haydn, Mozart, Vanhal, Dittersdorf, Pichl, Zimmermann, Kozeluch and many others, which favoured the key of D major. Viennese tuning, as we know it today, used a series of intervals of a third or fourth for the open strings (A, F#, D, A. F), with A as the top string, and the vast majority of works from this period are in the key of D major. An occasional scordatura of tuning the strings a semitone higher allowed for the variety of E flat major, but overall the tuning favoured the key of D. As the noted Sperger scholar Klaus Trumpf noted: "As the 18th-century tuning of the double bass fell into oblivion, so too did the musical works of Sperger." Over the years many editions have been edited and published enabling the 18th-century repertoire to be performed, usually edited for a modern 4-string double bass and tuned in 4ths, but in recent years there has been more interest in performing this repertoire with the original tuning, original key and at the correct octave. Whatever your preference, this is still great music and a treasure trove which is only now being plundered.

Although the double bass concertos of Dittersdforf, Vanhal, Hoffmeister and Pichl are standard repertoire today, Sperger's music is not there yet. His Sonatas for double bass and viola (or cello) have been published with the viola part being enlarged to a piano accompaniment, making them more accessible to the 21st-century bassist, but his works with orchestra are still relatively unknown. He was a very prolific composer and not just for double bass, producing concertos for flute, trumpet and horn, sacred choral works, string quartets and much, much more. In 1791 Sperger composed what is probably the very first concert aria for soprano, double bass and orchestra - 'Selene, del tuo fuoco non mi parlar' and a decade later arranged the work for bass voice, double bass and orchestra, possibly to make it a companion piece to Mozart's aria 'Per questa bella mano'.

In September 1793 Sperger composed a second concert aria for soprano, double bass and orchestra - 'Non t'avvilir la cura'. He obviously had the services of wonderful singers as the vocal line is florid and virtuosic and similar in style and design to the operatic arias by Mozart. Although forgotten for two hundred years, Frantisek Posta (1919-1991), performed the work a number of times in the early 1980s. Originally in the key of E flat major, the solo double bass part was written for Viennese tuning and used a semitone scordatura - the music is written in D major but sounds in E flat major. Professor Posta retained the D major solo part but transcribed it for the double bass tuned in 4ths, and changed some of the octaves to make it playable on the modern double bass. Miloslav Gajdos, one of the most enthusiastic and proactive bassists in central Europe has also created and performed his own edition of the work. He has researched this repertoire tirelessly for many years and has also written a number of wonderfully effective, virtuosic and idiomatic cadenzas for many classical concertos which deserve to be far better known.

'Non t'avvilir la cura' begins with a brief and dramatic recitative (Andante maestoso) in C minor for soprano and orchestra which sets the mood, with intimations of fate and passion never far from the surface. The orchestral tuttis emphasise the mood with the dark keys of C and F minor, ending with a simple perfect cadence in G minor before the solo double bass launches into the Aria (Allegro moderato), which follows without a break, and the key change to E flat major has a more optimistic feel. A 38 bar opening ritornello for the double bass and orchestra introduces a number of themes which return in the recapitulation, scale and arpeggio figures abound, making great use of the D major tonality and virtuosic possibilities. The soprano begins with a martial theme, centred around an e flat major arpeggio and directing the drama forward endlessly. The two soloists often work together in octave unison, followed by coloratura passages of running semiquavers for the soprano, answered by the double bass playing arpeggio accompanimental figures or with a theme to complement the vocal line.

The solo double bass part is typical of many works from this period and anyone who has played concertos by Dittersdorf, Vanhal or Hoffmeister will recognise the style. Much use is made of scale and arpeggio figures, lyrical melodies, harmonics and arpeggio figurations across three strings. The octaves need to be amended for modern tunings but the original Viennese tuning will highlight the virtuosic skill of the performer and the composer's original intentions. Sperger often uses tutti passages in octave unison for dramatic purposes which creates points of drama and momentum.

The words are taken from Act 1 of Temistocle, written in 1736 by the Italian poet and opera librettist, Pietro Metastasio (1698-1782), and are spoken by Temistocle, an Athenian general and politician.

Soprano Sarah Poole has performed the work on many occasions and it is interesting to hear from the singer's perspective rather than from the bassist. Sarah writes: "This incredible Concert Aria is a 'tour de force' for the two soloists and not for the faint hearted. The soprano part ranges across two octaves making use of a dramatic recitative, followed by a sparkling aria with wonderful exuberant semiquaver runs and interjected with beautiful ensemble passages with the double bass which is almost the 'voice' of a second character. The orchestra is not let off either and has strident and dramatic accompaniments including octave passages giving a full bodied and dramatic effect. For those who are not familiar with the music of Sperger, this could easily be mistaken for an aria by Mozart. It has many similar characteristics and Sperger uses the voice fully and resplendently. The lively runs explore the entire register of the soprano's range and are exciting and rewarding to sing. Although it is a challenging piece, it is gradually becoming better known and is a very welcome addition to the repertoire for Double Bass and Soprano. It is a real audience pleaser, which we have performed with orchestra and piano many times, and is equally as exciting to sing and play as it is to hear!"

David Heyes [8 March 2015]

THOMAS MARTIN says:

"We all must thank you, Dear Vito, for your tireless work for all of us bassists!"  You are doing so much for your colleagues and your art.

prof.dr. Vito Domenico Liuzzi "Doctor of Law" -"Magna cum Laude"

dr. Vito Liuzzi
dr. Vito Liuzzi

TRANSLATOR

"A TRIBUTE TO TEPPO" - Teppo Hauta-aho "THE KING" by Nbbrecords

DAN STYFFE "Octophonia" NEW CD

THIERRY BARBE'

CATALIN ROTARU or "The PAGANINI of the DOUBLE BASS"

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Click on the image for the free download

SPERGER DUO - "Sonatas for Double Bass and Piano" with PILIP JARO & Xénia Jarovà

GOLDBERG VARIATIONS

PINO ETTORRE

LEON BOSH

BOTTESINI

ALBERTO BOCINI

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DAXUN ZHANG

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MARCOS MACHADO

METAMORFORA
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Garden Scene

ORAZIO FERRARI

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MICHAEL WOLF BOOK, if you like click on to Schott Edition
MICHAEL WOLF BOOK, if you like click on to Schott Edition

 

PIERMARIO MURELLI

PIERMARIO MURELLI - "Nuova didattica per contrabbasso " Ed. Ricordi (click on the picture to read more).

ALFREDO TREBBI

ALFREDO TREBBI - Novissimo manuale semiserio per contrabbasso (click on the picture above to read more)
ALFREDO TREBBI - Novissimo manuale semiserio per contrabbasso (click on the picture above to read more)

RICCARDO CROTTI

GEIRD REINKE

BOGUSLAW FURTOK

SILVIO DALLA TORRE

ENRICO FAGONE

IRINA KALINA GOUDEVA

MICHAEL KLINGHOFFER

OVIDIU BADILA

ALFRED PLANIAVSKY

MAURIZIO TURRIZIANI

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Thomas Martin & Timothy Cobb

SILVIA MATTEI

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THE BASS SONORITY

THE BASS SONORITY: Vito Liuzzi, Michele Cellaro, Vincenzo Chiapperini, Leonardo Presicci, Giuseppe Lillo, Giovanni Rinaldi
THE BASS SONORITY: Vito Liuzzi, Michele Cellaro, Vincenzo Chiapperini, Leonardo Presicci, Giuseppe Lillo, Giovanni Rinaldi

DONOVAN STOKES

STEFANO SCODANIBBIO

Dead in Macerata at 55 years old

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CATALIN ROTARU

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CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO BUY

ALFREDO TREBBI

Lo Zen e l' arte di imparare uno strumento
High Recommended

THOMAS MARTIN & his "Requiem" by Bottesini

PAOLO BENELLI

Dragonetti: Solos for double bass

by PAOLO BENELLI for CARISCH
by PAOLO BENELLI for CARISCH

FEDERICO BAGNASCO

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MICHELE VERONESE

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Mr. PETRU IUGA "invention" !!!

Vito Liuzzi !!

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