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David Heyes

Bottesini: Reverie for double bass & string orchestra (Solo Tuning)

Bottesini: Reverie for double bass & string orchestra (Solo Tuning)

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About the Composition

Bottesini’s Reverie is at the heart of the solo double bass repertoire today but was probably only arranged for the double bass in the 1950s. Originally a song for voice and piano (Quando cadran le foglie), composed in Naples on 6 March 1879 and then published in Nice in a version for cello or violin and piano, it was probably never played by Bottesini and is described by Chris West as “one of his most inspired melodies”.

Reverie is lyrical and evocative, essentially a ‘song without words’ and is ideal for the progressing intermediate bassist who is confident playing in thumb position. The music is passionate and dramatic, tender and poignant, and is a wonderful into Bottesini’s world of lyrical and melodic solos.

"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]

Recital Music also publishes an edition for Orchestral Tuning [RMD1391]

About the Composer

Giovanni Bottesini (1821-1889) 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 today. He spent much of his life in the opera house, as 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.

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