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Giovanni Bottesini was not only among the most famous double bass virtuosos of his time, but he was also a distinguished conductor and composer. Known to some as the Paganini of the double bass, he significantly extended the technical possibilities of the instrument.
The Gran Concerto in F sharp minor is arguably Bottesini’s most accomplished and involved composition for the double bass in which the instrument’s resources are fully exploited with virtuoso passages and adventurous modulations. The popular Gran Duo Concertante, originally scored for two double basses, was reworked by Paganini’s only disciple, Camillo Sivori, who rewrote and greatly expanded one of the double bass parts for the violin.
Giovanni Bottesini: Gran duo concertante
Gran duo concertante
Giovanni Bottesini: Andante sostenuto
Giovanni Bottesini: Duet for Clarinet and Double Bass
Duet for Clarinet and Double Bass
Giovanni Bottesini: Double Bass Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor
I. Allegro moderato
III. Finale: Allegro con fuoco
“Thomas Martin certainly has the virtuoso qualifications”
“It's all easy and delightful to digest, especially if you like a good tune, and calculated to disperse any elephantine image you may have of the double-bass, a revelation in fact…Of the orchestral playing and the recording I can find only good things to say; the double-bass is comfortably audible,
with its royal-purple sounds, but in believable perspective.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.