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David Heyes

Bottesini: Une Bouche Aimée for soprano, double bass & string orchestra

Bottesini: Une Bouche Aimée for soprano, double bass & string orchestra

Regular price $15.00 USD
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About the Composition

Une Bouche Aimée 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.

The double bass employs the lyrical and sonorous solo register of the instrument, in music which has delighted audiences since this piece came to prominence in the 1980s. Bottesini’s manuscript is undated but it is likely that he met Gounod in the 1870s, then living in London, or heard the song and realised that it would transcribe beautifully for the double bass.

Une Bouche Aimée is also available in orchestral tuning and is successful as a stand-alone work or alongside Bottesini’s Tutto il Mondo Serra. The double bass part in the full score includes the original Bottesini bowings alongside an edited version by David Heyes.

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.

"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]

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