Double Bass Music

Klassik

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Aside from perhaps some obvious reasons, there are some technical reasons why the repertoire for double bass music is rather limited.  While many of the most popular double bass concertos are from the Classical era, there are also some technical challenges when it comes to performing those on modern double basses.  Wikipedia can explain this better than Klassik can so Klassik will link to Wikipedia here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_bass_concerto#Challenges

With that said, Klassik will share works from a few albums from Klassik's collection.  The first will be a relatively recent album put out in the last five years or so from Deutsche Grammophon.  It is performed by double bassist Ödön Rácz.  Rácz is one of the bigger names in classical double bass here in recent times.  The album features three works from three of the biggest names in double bass music.  One is one of the greatest names in classical music period, Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf.  xD   Dittersdorf was the teacher of the next composer, Jan Křtitel Vaňhal.  Vaňhal and Dittersdorf are both very much associated with the Viennese Classical era and performed string quartets with Mozart and J. Haydn.  The final composer is the name perhaps most associated with double bass music, the Italian Romantic era composer Giovanni Bottesini.  Dittersdorf and Bottesini both had multiple double bass concerti, but the Rácz disc in question only offers one each on the disc in addition to the Vaňhal concerto, but this is a great introduction to all of their works.

Klassik will post one movement from each concerto here:

Vanhal: Concerto in D major for Double-bass and Orchestra - 1. Allegro Moderato


Perhaps this thread will help Wigwammers enjoy double bass music.  Perhaps it won't.  xD

 
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Klassik

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Outrageous number of videos.
There are two reasons for that.  First, this is a pretty comprehensive look at the double bass repertoire.  Second, Klassik knew Klassik would have to post several different double bass works in the possible hope that someone will find one thing that they might like.  :/

FWIW, Klassik does like all of what was posted.  ;)

 

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Le Baron

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I can't trust you, you didn't even post The Elephant by Saint-Saëns.

 
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Klassik

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I can't trust you, you didn't even post The Elephant by Saint-Saëns.
Klassik lost confidence in the French while composing the OP.  The shenanigans pulled by Édouard Nanny were enough to make Klassik not want to post any additional French works.  ;)

Although the double bass doesn't get much credit for being a lyrical instrument like the violin, for example, there are some fairly lyrical works for the double bass in the works Klassik posted above.  The slow movement of the Nanny/Dragonetti work is probably the best example of this. 

For those wanting some vocals instead of double bass lyricism, :eek: , here is a Mozart aria, Per questa bella mano, K. 612, for bass (vocal), orchestra, and double bass obbligato.  Le Baron might be abhorred by this.  xD

 
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Le Baron

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I must say the Bottesini Bm concerto movement was good. As you already know I like the contrabas and so I'm not going to dismiss this music. It has a completely different timbre to the cello in both lower and middle registers so you can do a bit more. This and the Dragonetti waltzes give it more to do than just legato work and the odd burst of bottom end gravity in an orchestral/string section tutti.

I also like the fact that 'double bass concerto' just means: one instrument. Rather than those foolish concertos written for two or three competing instruments (I'm looking at you Braaahms!). So yes, always a thumbs up from me for double bass; it might not be as versatile as a bassoon, but close perhaps.

 
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pmcuk

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Trust me, there is no good classical music for the Double Bass. I'm a double bass player, ex-Royal Academy of Music, and I had to trudge through all the usual repertoire. It's just not worth playing all this stuff just to sound like a clumsy cello player. And yes, I've heard Gary Karr in person and that changed nothing.

Those that love the double bass should stick to jazz, where it really shines. Or relish the classical works where it's used to good effect, like the Soldier's Tale.
 
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Klassik

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This thread has not been a great success so far, but Klassik will try again here. :geek:

This album, Wiener Stimmung, came out just last month from the Glossa label. :D The recording has works performed by David Sinclair on a Viennese double bass. A Viennese double bass has 5 strings as opposed to an Italian double bass with 3 strings and a 'normal' double bass with 4 strings and it also has frets. As one can tell from the title of the album, some of the different works use different tunings. This is especially the case with the Lidl/Hammer work and also the Haydn work as they were originally written for viola da gamba and baryton respectively. The Lidl/Hammer work is especially interesting. It's musically good, but also the higher sound of the double bass is quite interesting sounding. It certainly doesn't sound like a viola da gamba, but still, it doesn't quite sound like a typical double bass either.

The liner notes are very detailed and worth a read. The text is extremely small on the actual CD notes so it helps to read it in PDF form with zoom. Link: https://www.chandos.net/chanimages/Booklets/GS2524.pdf

Back to Sperger, his Sonata in B minor for double bass and cello is perhaps the highlight of the disc. It's a strum und drang work which is a bit interesting for a double bass piece. Here is the first movement:


And here is the first movement of that Lidl/Hammer work:


Finally, here is the first movement of the work by Karl Kohaut. This is a bit more of a Baroque sounding work which is a bit interesting since much of the double bass repertoire is from the Classical era like the aforementioned works:

 

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JANDL100

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How about a wonderful transcription for double bass of Schubert's endlessly beautiful Arpeggione Sonata.
Usually played on the cello (or viola) these days rather than the defunct arpreggione, but sounding exceptionally good here on the db.

 

JANDL100

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Why not play Bach's cello suites on the db.
This is quite amazing.

... Darn, the YT vid won't copy.
Search for Bach Quarrington on YT.
 

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ff1d1l

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Double bass? Singing?
Musica Nuda, first album.
A few albums on, Quam Delica has rather more classical moments and is my favourite. Double bass/ female singer duo. Very inventive, and delightful bass arrangements.
 
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deggie

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Will have to check out the classic bass tunes ........ but i do like ...the art of the balkan bass by ...Nenad Vasilic
love the feel and groove he creates .......lovely .
 

audio_PHIL_e

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A few minutes of Charlie Haden playing alongside Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek is proof of this.
I saw Miroslav Vitous playing alongside Stanley Clarke, probably in the summer of 1989. Clarke has his usual Alembic electric bass (he's so big he made it look like a ukelele), and for a lot of the set Vitous was standing over his Double Bass in the same way as a short-arse like me would stand over a cello. They held a large audience spellbound for 50 mins, and didn't repeat musical ideas just to fill up time, they both had plenty to say. Brilliant gig!
 
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JANDL100

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This thread has not been a great success so far, but Klassik will try again here. :geek:

This album, Wiener Stimmung, came out just last month from the Glossa label. :D The recording has works performed by David Sinclair on a Viennese double bass. A Viennese double bass has 5 strings as opposed to an Italian double bass with 3 strings and a 'normal' double bass with 4 strings and it also has frets. As one can tell from the title of the album, some of the different works use different tunings. This is especially the case with the Lidl/Hammer work and also the Haydn work as they were originally written for viola da gamba and baryton respectively. The Lidl/Hammer work is especially interesting. It's musically good, but also the higher sound of the double bass is quite interesting sounding. It certainly doesn't sound like a viola da gamba, but still, it doesn't quite sound like a typical double bass either.

The liner notes are very detailed and worth a read. The text is extremely small on the actual CD notes so it helps to read it in PDF form with zoom. Link: https://www.chandos.net/chanimages/Booklets/GS2524.pdf

Back to Sperger, his Sonata in B minor for double bass and cello is perhaps the highlight of the disc. It's a strum und drang work which is a bit interesting for a double bass piece. Here is the first movement:


And here is the first movement of that Lidl/Hammer work:


Finally, here is the first movement of the work by Karl Kohaut. This is a bit more of a Baroque sounding work which is a bit interesting since much of the double bass repertoire is from the Classical era like the aforementioned works:

Listening to this Wiener Stimmung album now - very enjoyable (y)
 
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audio_PHIL_e

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While we're in the bass register, is there anyone who likes the violone ? I wouldn't mind playing one. If you compare the tone quality to the double bass it's similar to but not the same as the comparison between a Jazz Bass and a Precision Bass.
 
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Klassik

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While we're in the bass register, is there anyone who likes the violone ? I wouldn't mind playing one. If you compare the tone quality to the double bass it's similar to but not the same as the comparison between a Jazz Bass and a Precision Bass.
The term 'violone' can refer to many different instruments so it's hard to say if we have the same instrument in mind. For example, the Viennese double bass in the recording above could, and is, just as easily be referred to as a violone. But, yes, Klassik does generally like these instruments.