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David Heyes

Bottesini: Two Arias for soprano, double bass & piano (edited by David Heyes)

Bottesini: Two Arias for soprano, double bass & piano (edited by David Heyes)

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"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]

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.

About the Compositions

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.

Tutto il Mondo Serra is a transcription of Frederic Chopin's 'Étude in C sharp minor' Op.25, No.7, originally for solo piano, but also transcribed by many others for different instrumental combinations. The words for both arias are by an unknown author and are unlikely to be by Bottesini.

About the Edition

The double bass part in the piano accompaniment includes the original Bottesini bowings, and the printed solo parts are edited by David Heyes.

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