"It's outstanding and has more information than any other website for the contrabasso. My hat is off to you, Vito!"
NO - PROFIT WEBSITE
Dear collegues and visitors,
I have to explain some little things.
This a no professional website but it is a simple "my invention".
Naturally I will talk about myself, my country (Italy) ,my little town Conversano, my parents, my friends and so on.
But I would like also to talk about the "Culture of the Double Bass" in every sense, expecially in relation to the "classic doublebass" (also Jazz players, naturally, are welcomed!).
I don't know a lot about the classic doublebass and so it's a good manner to study it better.
In every page you will find a lot of "OFF TOPIC"!!
I know my English is terrible and no correct. I beg your pardon!
My Best Bass Regards.
P.S.: remember that this site is ALWAYS UNDER CONSTRUCTION ...when I have
free time I add something ... until the megabytes don't finish!
You can find scores (sheet music) or Methods or EVERYTHING YOU NEED EVERYWHERE :-) !!
A little bit of "Divertimento Concertante" by Nino Rota for Telenorba TV (italian television broadcasting). I was 21 years old with an enormous emotion. Telenorba TV didn 't give me the the rights of their shots. So I thank my brother Rino for his amatorial shots remembering me of this incredible experience. Musics of the hole recital:
"Divertimento concertante" by Nino Rota, Koussevitzky Concerto in Fa#-, "Capriccio di Bravura" by G. Bottesini, "Elegia and Tarantella" by G. Bottesini.
In these very old videos the input level recording of camera is always the same: the final result is that you can't appreciate the correct dynamics!!!
GARY KARR says:
your Bottesini Tarantella performance is very impressive and makes me wonder why you are afraid to play with Tom Martin? You're great and have a terrific facility. Bravissimo! Your musical concept makes a lot of sense to me, but I'm not Italian! If anyone should know how to interpret a Tarantella, it's YOU!!
TOMAHS MARTIN says:
I listened to your Tarantella. I thought the general level very good and I enjoyed listening to it. I thought the tempo for a Tarantella correct if a hair too slow. With many it becomes a caracature owing to a too fast non tarantella tempo. For example as you rightly do, there is no "meno mosso" where the melody comes - it only says "Cantabile" indicating that the two tempi are the same. Intonation seems very good.
Vito Liuzzi and "Romanza Drammatica" (G. Bottesini)
GARY KARR's brief opinion:
All your musical instincts are excellent. You have a wonderful sound and a lyrical concept that I like very much. You have a very good sense of the bow draw (unlike most solo bassists) but you need to learn how to relax more with the bow and play closer to the bridge without pressing. You're a great talent and I am flattered that you asked for my opinion.
"I like to play the final part in Koussevitzky all staccato or spiccato -and not legato- just because in a large hall the public can apprepiate every note, from the first to the last one.
Everytime I have to decide what it's better also in relation to the acustical problems !!"
GARY KARR talks about my WEBSITE:
"I'm not surprised by the success of your new website. It's outstanding and has more information than any other website for the contrabbasso. Your design is simple to use, very well organized and very attractive to the eye. I love your photos of your technique with the bow. They are a very useful tool for teachers and students. In fact, the entire website is a gold mine of information. Bravo to you, Vito, for creating this excellent reference source for anyone interested in our instrument. What you accomplished is nothing short of brilliant! My hat is off to you!".
Thanks a lot Maestro Karr.
This site is simply "an idea" to do something different expecially for young students. Perhaps they can find much more than I was a young student.
NATURALLY IN A NO-PROFIT WEBSITE with NO ADVERTISEMENTS !!!
La trovo una iniziativa fantastica. Hai fatto un lavoro
enorme e,ritengo, utilissimo, perché dà la possibilità a tutti di prendere
almeno coscienza di questi grandi del passato, peraltro un passato
abbastanza recente. Sorprendente che nessuno ti abbia ringraziato per questo
grande lavoro (tra l'altro ho visto che ci sono anche altri titoli
interessanti), sicuramente lo faccio io, grazie Vito!, credo che davvero sia
un grande contributo per la storia italiana del nostro strumento. "Pino Ettorre"
I find it a great idea. You have done a job
enormous and, I think, very useful, because it gives the chance for everyone to take
least aware of these greats of the past, also a past
quite recently. Surprising that no one has thanked you for this
great job (among other things I have seen that there are other titles
interesting), I certainly do, thanks Vito!, I think that really is
a great contribution to Italian history of our instrument.
"I have visited your website and find it really, really wonderful and with so much interesting material! Bravo!!"
I looked at the your site ... Great!
"It is the most comprehensive contrabass site I have ever seen. A person could spend a lifetime perusing through Mr. Liuzzi pages of information
history and music files. And site keeps growing. A job VERY well done! Thank you Vito."
TOKUTAKA It was owned by James Merritt in London. He was very old at the time and had retired. After he died, it was sold to a scoundrel who purchased it from Merritt's wife for almost nothing! He then sold it to an instrument company in Japan for 2000 times what he paid for it and then the instrument company sold it to a Dr. Kumada (a prominent psychiatrist) who build a high platform in his house which displayed the great Testore.
Well, at the moment we know other things. Doctor KUMADA has death some years ago.The family doesn't sell teh Testore of Bottesini.
One of a reason
Daughter's husband is contrabass player who graduated from a college of music. He is not a professional doublebass player.
Just some doubts: in all over the world there are other supposed Testore. Are they original?? Is it the Kumada family's one the original. My research stops here.
But sincerly I think Kumada family in Japan has got the original one, in Osaka.
ACTUALLY (July 2017) Mr. TOKUTAKA IS THE OWNER OF TESTORE 1716 by BOTTESINI
In THOMAS MARTIN's WORDS
I believe that the bass bar was changed at the same time. The work was done, I believe, by Hill and Son
who certified the instrument as well at that time. The instrument during Bottesini’s ownership had a slightly raised bottom nut which may have been there when he bought it but was surely there
from the 1860s onwards through Hobday’s ownership. When Claude Hobday died, the instrument was purchased by James Merrett Sr., the well-known London player and teacher, and on his death the
instrument was left to his son, James Jr. It was at this time that I came to know the instrument. (1 replaced James Jr. as professor at the Guildhall School of Music, London.) When James Jr. died
in 1974, the instrument was offered for sale for 3,500.00 Pounds and the wish was expressed that it not leave England. An instrument dealer, a Mr. Duffy, purchased the instrument, and I
understand that it is now in Japan! According to my colleague, Adrian Beers, who was certainly the finest pupil of Hobday, the box for the bass, which was literally covered with exotic luggage
labels and stickers from all over the world, was left to disintegrate behind the Royal College of Music. At least we are left the instrument, hopefully to survive us all into history. Bottesini
admired most the instruments of Gasparo da Salo though he wouldn’t have selected an instrument of such a grand pattern as a solo instrument, and owned a number of instruments at various times
including another Testore, I understand. The 1716 instrument, however, was his constant companion throughout his playingcareer. Considering the traveling that Bottesini did, I’m amazed to say
that, when I knew the instrument, it was in very good condition. It might also be interesting to mention that, while there have been attempts over the years, Herr Horst Grunert of Penzberg, W.
Germany has succeeded, to my mind, at producing a copy of the instrument which is superb in every respect. The tone is magnificent and the material and workmanship beyond fault. The varnish is
the traditional one in oil. In my opinion Grunert will emerge in the future as one of the most important makers of basses.
Bottesini’s instrument, in addition to the normal and genuine label dated 1716, has several repair records inside, one from Madrid in 1871 and another from Buenos Aires in 1879 (the date of the production of Ero & Leandro there).
STEFAN J. KRATTENMAKER
Stefan Krattenmacher examines the instrument and ist histtory.Like many double basses from the early 18th century, Milanese maker Carlo Antonio Testore (1693-1765) built this instrument as a three-stringer. Tuned to a-d-g, the lack of the bottom string enables greater playability and frees up the sound, having far less pressure on the table. Giovanni Bottesini seemed to have preferred this set-up and wrote his own compositions within the range of this instrument. In fact, his motto might have been: 'Playing the bass is hard enough, therefore you shouldn't complicate things with too many strings.'
Made in Milan in 1716, Bottesini bought this double bass after discovering it in a marionette theatre, where it had laid in a dark and dusty room since the death of its previous owner, the Milanese bassist Fiando. When Bottesini purchased the instrument it was in poor condition, but once cleaned up it was to accompany Bottesini throughout his life. Carlo Antonio Testore made this bass when he was 23 and it was clearly influenced by the late-17th century Milanese violin-making tradition, a time when the profession's economy was very buoyant. Working until 1765, when he was 78, Carlo Antonio Testore was a more prolific maker than his father, Carlo Giuseppe Testore (c.1660-1716), and in later years his style could vary quite considerably from that of both his father and the Grancino family.
This instrument, with its compact shape, shows grace and elegance throughout. And the more we look at the complex shape of Testore's work, the more we realise that this model, with its open C-bouts (typical of the Milanese school at that time), the slightly sloping shoulders and the powerful, rounded bottom, is created with harmony and style. The well-proportioned outline makes it seem quite large, but after looking at the measurements we learn that the body width of 49.4cm (top bouts), 36.2cm (centre bouts) and 64.7cm (lower bouts) is rather on the medium side. The corners have a fairly worn appearance, but with some imagination one could see the young master's courage, making long and elegant corners which still look strong and suit the outline of the instrument. Much of the soft, dark-brown varnish still remains. Laid on a striking, dark golden-brown ground, the varnish is of a thick consistency and adds to the characteristic features of the instrument.
The inward-pointing f-holes are unique to Testore's work. The shafts are rather narrow, but perform a parallel curve into the circles, of which the upper circle looks bigger than the lower one. However, the cut, with its straight line and precision of the soundholes, shows a great master at work. The lower f- hole wing is slightly hollowed. Testore, like his father and the Grancinos, preferred to finish the woodwork using just a scraper, a technique which alters the levels between the winter grain and the summer grain, forming the ideal base for a three-century-old patina.
The four-piece table is made of a distinctive medium-grained spruce and the purfling is made out of poplar or a similar wood. While the purfling's white centre is slightly bigger than the usual medium width, the stained-black stripes are in relation to it; placed close to the edge, the double-purfling floats neatly into the corners. The flat, poplar back is also made of four pieces and is completely straight. Its outline marks consist of a double-ink line and are worn in the common places (corners, right-hand upper bout, lower bouts). To ink the outline, rather than cutting and purfling into the back, is characteristic of the Milanese school. This feature saved time and was later seen on many German instruments and on early Lowland (Flanders) instruments. This magnificent scroll is kept fairly narrow at the top edge in order to give it flowing elegance. The width of the ears is wide in comparison and adds more detail to the character. The chamfers are small, emphasising master craftsmanship, and the side cuts of the scroll are very clean.
For the past 25 years this double bass has been kept in a private collection in Japan. Its owner, a retired doctor and amateur bassist who plays the Testore in various orchestras, bought it from a dealer in Tokyo; before that it was played in Holland. Although kept in Japan, the bass has travelled to Europe recently and was seen in an exhibition in Cremona's town hall last October. It could also be heard during the fourth International Giovanni Bottesini Double Bass Competition in neighbouring Crema that same month, when artistic director Franco Petracchi gave a recital on the instrument. According to German bass professor Günther Klaus, it sounded as free and as powerful as if Bottesini had played a concert on it the night before.
THE SOUND OF THE "GASPARO da SALO'" (DRAGONETTI's DOUBLEBASS) 1590 IN THIS INCREDIBLE VIDEO.
PINO ETTORRE PLAYS WITH THE ORIGINAL DRAGONETTI's BOW.
Go at the end of the page about Michele Cellaro, or click on the photo for "Beatles Fantasy" (double bass and piano)
All about Giovanni Bottesini also in English translation
THE BLOG ABOUT THE DOUBLEBASS
Please contact the link above or the one on the right of this site (directly to Naxos) to buy the new Cd vol 5 by Thomas Martin and Timothy Cobb.
And please don't copy it among you. For a doublebass player it's no morally accepted.
Great job, imho. HR