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David Heyes

Cerny: Bohemian Bass Clef Studies Book 1 for double bass and piano (ed. Heyes)

Cerny: Bohemian Bass Clef Studies Book 1 for double bass and piano (ed. Heyes)

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About the Book

These studies, aimed at the progressing young bassist, are taken from František Černý's Method for Double Bass, which has been long out of print and is ideal for both study and concert use. The accompaniments are inventive and colourful, adding a new perspective to each study, and there are effective and accessible musical and technical challenges throughout.

Černý composed piano accompaniments for fourteen studies from his Method for Double Bass, and Book 1 features seven, which remain in bass clef. A range of keys and time signatures are used and teachers and students should add new bowings and dynamics as they feel appropriate.

The added accompaniments will help to develop music skills alongside technical improvements and several of the studies could be played an octave higher for the more advanced student.

About the Composer

František Černý was a Czech bassist, teacher and composer. He was born on 23 January 1860 in Pardubice and studied at the Prague Conservatoire (1876-82) and in Paris, where he later became a member of the Orchestre Colonne-Lamoureux from 1884-1890. He returned to Czechoslovakia in 1890, when he was appointed Principal Bass of the National Theatre Orchestra in Prague (1890-1900), and it was at this time that he discovered the wonderful Grancino double bass of 1693, later owned by Oldrichs Sorejs and František Pošta.

Černý was an outstanding teacher and taught at the Prague Conservatoire for 31 years (1900-31) and many of the leading Czech bassists at the beginning of the 20th-century were taught by him. He was not a prolific composer and most of his works were written for the double bass, including a Method (1906), 30 Etudes-Caprices (1923), Technical Studies in Thumb Position (1927), 4 Concertos and ten salon pieces for double bass and piano.

Černý studied composition with Antonín Dvořák and much of his music reflects the salon style of the late 19th-century. All his works are melodic and appealing, combining the late-Romantic idiom of Dvořák and Brahms, with Czech lyricism and influences, and he makes full use of the solo capabilities of the double bass.

František Černý died in Prague on 3 September 1940.

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