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David Heyes

Max Dauthage: 20 Melodic Pieces: Book 1 for double bass & piano

Max Dauthage: 20 Melodic Pieces: Book 1 for double bass & piano

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About the Pieces

20 Melodic Pieces was first published in Vienna and Leipzig in 1911. They offer excellent teaching and recital repertoire for the good intermediate bassist, combining musical and technical challenges in equal measure. The accompaniments are interesting and supportive, complementing inventive, lyrical and dramatic solo lines for the double bass, and written in a lyrical and late-romantic style. 

Book 1 includes five colourful and engaging pieces, primarily in the orchestral register but also venturing into low thumb position. The edition includes piano accompaniments for both solo and orchestral tuning. 

Table of Contents

Abendlied has a gently lyrical melody, against a supportive and chordal accompaniment, with much to say within its 26 bars. In four-bar phrases, it emphasises the singing qualities of the double bass over a two octave range. 

Albumblatt is marked ‘very slow’ with contrasting musical ideas creating a mini tone-poem which explores a wealth of colours and timbres. A flowing melodic line, supported by a simple and stable accompaniment, features dramatic episodes which offer contrast and interest. 

Furioso is in six parts with fast and dramatic episodes contrasting music of a more lyrical and song-like nature. There are musical and technical challenges aplenty in an exciting piece which will be popular with players and audiences alike. 

Idylle is slow moving, with a sonorous grandeur, and isprimarily in the solo register of the double bass. The accompaniment is both independent and supportive, creating a cushion of sound above which the long and sinuous double bass melodies are weaved. 

Alla Mazurka has a rhythmic energy throughout with a supportive accompaniment which adds drive and momentum. A middle section modulation adds engaging melodic interest before the opening music brings the piece to a positive and successful conclusion. 

About the Composer

Austrian bassist-composer Max Dauthage (1862-1937) studied at the Vienna Conservatoire with František [Franz] Simandl. He completed his studies in 1884 and joined the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, where he played until his retirement in 1918. 

Dauthage taught at the Vienna Conservatoire from 1910-31 and composed a number of recital and educational works for the double bass including 20 Melodische Übungsstücke [20 Melodic Pieces] (Db/Pno), A School of Virtuosity, Concerto (Db/Orch), Andante & Humoresque (Db/Pno) and Andante (4Db) amongst others. 

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