Heritage Series Book 3 for double bass & piano (ed. David Heyes)
Heritage Series Book 3 for double bass & piano (ed. David Heyes)
About the Book
The Heritage Series features a wealth of exciting and innovative music from the 19th century by some of the leading bassist-composers of the day. Each book includes three or four works for the intermediate-advanced bassist, bringing music by these important figures in double bass history back to life in the 21st century.
Book 3 includes four charming and inventive salon pieces from Russia, Czech Republic, and Great Britain, composed during the latter years of the 19th century, and is available with piano accompaniments for both solo and orchestral tuning.
Table of Contents
1. Serge Koussevitsky - Andante Op.1, No.1
2. Gustav Láska - Wiegenlied (Lullaby) Op.28, No.5
3. Josef Emanuel Storch - Solostück (Solo Piece)
4. A.C. White - In tiefen Keller (Down in the Deep Cellar): Fantasie Variée
Each purchase includes piano parts in both orchestral and solo tuning.
About the Pieces
Serge Koussevitsky (1874-1951) - Andante Op.1, No.1 Koussevitsky is one of the ‘Big Three’ names in double bass history, alongside Dragonetti and Bottesini, and his four salon pieces and Concerto are still at the heart of the solo register today. Andante is the least well known of the four pieces but is a charming and elegant miniature, in ternary form, which harks back to a different age. The themes are stylish and tasteful, played entirely in the solo register of the double bass, with an understated and supportive piano accompaniment which adds to the success of the piece.
Gustav Láska (1847-1928) - Wiegenlied (Lullaby) Op.28, No.5 Wiegenlied (Lullaby) is a short and lyrical salon work and is the final work of Op.28, a suite of five pieces for violoncello or double bass and piano. First published in Leipzig in 1892, it was recorded by Serge Koussevitsky in 1929 but not released until 1949. Almost exclusively in treble clef and in the solo register of the double bass, Wiegenlied demonstrates the beautifully sonorous and cantabile qualities of the instrument.
Josef Emanuel Storch (1841-1877) - Solostück (Solo Piece) Solostück is from a set of 3 Pieces for double bass and piano published by B. Schott’s Söhne, Mainz (Germany). Typical of the salon music of the day, it emphasises the lyrical and cantabile qualities of the double bass across its middle register, with a more impassioned and dramatic middle section, ending with a simple and evocative reimagining of the original theme but now played in harmonics. Solostück has been out of print for many years.
A.C. White (1830-1902) - In tiefen Keller (Down in the Deep Cellar) In tiefen keller is based on a popular German drinking song of the day, attributed to Ludwig Fischer (1745-1825),who was first bass at the Berlin Opera. The song was composed to suit a voice of exceptional register, the intervals being somewhat remarkable even in those days. The first edition of A.C. White’s piece was dedicated to Giovanni Bottesini, which dates it to the 1880s and it was originally written for a three-string double bass, with the lowest note of G, a tuning which White favoured for many years. The theme is followed by five variations ending with a fast and lively coda, utilising the entire solo range of the double bass.
About the Composers
Serge Koussevitsky was born in Russia in 1871 and was a virtuoso double bassist before becoming the revered conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He studied double bass with Josef Rambousek, joined the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra at the age of 20 and succeeded his teacher as Principal Bass in 1901.He studied conducting in Berlin with Arthur Nikisch, subsequently founding his own orchestra in Moscow and a publishing company to promote and perform the music of many fellow Russian composers. In 1924 Koussevitsky succeeded Pierre Monteux as conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, retiring in 1949. He was one of the most important champions of new music during his tenure in Boston, commissioning music from Aaron Copland, Serge Prokofiev, Paul Hindemith, Igor Stravinsky, Albert Roussel, Bohuslav Martinů, Béla Bartók and many more, and in 1922 he commissioned Maurice Ravel to create an orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Serge Koussevitsky died in Boston in 1951.
Gustav Láska was born in Prague on 23 August 1847 and died in Schwerin (Germany) on 16 October 1928, aged 81 and after a long and successful career. He studied at the Prague Conservatoire from 1861-7 with Josef Hrabě (double bass) and after graduation gave solo performances in Austria and subsequently became a member of the orchestra in Kassel, Germany. He travelled extensively in Europe and America, both as a soloist and orchestral player, and was Principal Double Bass at the Bayreuth Festival for many years. From 1878 until his death in 1928 he was a member of the Court Opera Orchestra of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and was also choirmaster of the Schwerin Singakademie and church choir. Láska was a prolific composer, writing in many genres, including three operas (Der Kaisersoldat, Sunde and Abu Seid), two orchestral overtures, two symphonies, sacred choral works, piano music, and many of works for double bass.
Josef Emanuel Storch was born in Semily (Czech Republic) in 1841 and between 1855-61 studied double bass at Prague Conservatoire with Josef Hřabe. After graduation he moved to Leipzig where he became a member of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and taught at the Music Conservatoire. The Storch-Hřabe studies for double bass, which are still in use today, were probably a collaboration between teacher and pupil, and Storch also composed a number of works for double bass which have been sadly forgotten and are now mostly out of print. Josef Emanuel Storch died in 1877.
Adolphus Charles White was born in Canterbury on 10 October 1830 and died in London on 4 September 1902. He was one of the leading English orchestral double bassists of his day and performed at every leading festival including the Handel, Leeds, Birmingham and Three Choirs. He was Principal Bass of the Italian Opera until 1897 and also combined his orchestral duties with teaching at the Royal College of Music and Royal Academy of Music in London. In 1890 A.C. White was appointed 'Musician in Ordinary' to Her Majesty Queen Victoria and for 22 years was organist at St Philip's Church, Waterloo Place.