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David Heyes

Dragonetti: Concerto in C Major for double bass and piano (edited by David Heyes)

Dragonetti: Concerto in C Major for double bass and piano (edited by David Heyes)

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About the Composition

Dragonetti's Concerto in C major is a charming and accessible three-movement work and ideal for the good intermediate bassist. The first movement is longer than the other two movements combined and is similar to Cimador's Concerto in G major in terms of structure and level of difficulty. 

This new edition for double bass and piano is in orchestral tuning and includes two double bass parts - one edited and corrected by David Heyes and a second copy which is a typeset version of Dragonetti's original, wrong notes and all! The music is lively and rhythmic, dramatic and lyrical, and this new edition brings this long-forgotten work back to life. There are few technical challenges but much to enjoy, particularly in the orchestral register of the instrument, and this is ideal as both a study work and also for the concert hall. 

Few dynamics were included in the original manuscript and editorial ones have been added in brackets [ ]. Wrong notes and missing accidentals have been added, which can be compared between the two solo parts, and a new piano accompaniment, which is both lively and supportive has been created for this first edition. 

Dragonetti's Concerto in C major is originally scored for Solo Double Bass (orchestral tuning), 2 Oboes, 2 Horns and Strings. 

About the Composer

Domenico Dragonetti (1763-1846) was the leading double bassist of his generation and lived in London from 1794 until his death. He was one of the highest-paid orchestral musicians of his day and appeared at the leading concerts and festivals in London and the provinces for over 50 years, alongside his continuo partner, the cellist Robert Lindley (1776-1855). Dragonetti often performed as a soloist during his first years in London and it is likely that much of his music was written at this time. 

In his will, Dragonetti bequeathed his manuscripts to his good friend Vincent Novello, the composer and founder of Novello's publishing house, who donated them to the British Library a few years later on his retirement to Italy. The manuscripts have been a fascination to bassists for over 150 years and the 21st century has seen a resurgence of interest in Dragonetti's music. 

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