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Michael Montgomery

Double Bass Parts for String Quintets of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Michael Montgomery)

Double Bass Parts for String Quintets of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Michael Montgomery)

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About the Double Bass Parts

Which argued, in part, that there is a need for bass students to have more opportunities to perform chamber music, especially standard repertory written by established composers:

“Whenever and wherever students of the double bass gather with heterogeneous groups of string players, whether at summer festivals and camps, conferences and conventions, or music schools, they can more than likely count on seeing friends form themselves into string quartets - and bassists (of course) are not invited!  Many of us have probably wished there was some larger repertory we and our students could tap into or thought to ourselves, “Can’t we find or adapt works that would allow the addition of the double bass to those string quartets our colleagues form?”  Typically though, when we look at a quintet scored for five string players, it is a second viola that is added to the quartet, not a double bass.  Examples include the six string quintets Mozart, composed between 1773 and 1791, and Beethoven’s String Quintet No.2, Op.29, of 1801.  But what about a string quintet with a fifth part written specifically for the double bass?”

And further argued, after reviewing several famous string quintets in which a part written specifically for double bass is included, that the 2nd cello part of a number of string quintets with two celli might be easily adapted to include the double bass. These three bass parts are just that, adaptations of the 2nd cello part of well-known quintets of Onslow, Schubert, and Boccherini, which offer bassists the opportunity to team up with a string quintet and perform standard chamber music repertory.

Table of Contents

1. Luigi Boccherini: Quintet "Bird Sanctuary" Op.11, No. 6, G276, Final Movement

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2. George Onslow (1784-1853): Quintetto No. 4, Op. 17, Movement I

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3. Schubert: Quintette, Op. 163, Movement I

4. Double Bass Parts for String Quintets of the 18th and 19th Centuries? 

by Michael Montgomery. Originally published in the ISB Journal.

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First Published

These parts were first published by Lucas Drew's company, St. Francis Music Publications, and a hard copy is available from Elkin Music.

About Michael Montgomery

Double bassist Michael Montgomery, a student of Robert Rohe (Principal Bass,
New Orleans Symphony) and Lucas Drew (Principal Bass, Miami Philharmonic), earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in double bass performance from the University of Miami, played full-time in the bass section of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra for two decades.

He now lives in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, where he teaches double bass at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville and privately in his home studio. Michael has composed numerous works for young double bassists (including over five dozen short bass quartets for young students) which are published by Recital Music and two American publishers.

His articles about bass performance, literature, and teaching have been published in American Suzuki Journal, Bass World, and Pastoral Music.

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