Bass Concertos

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by mcnaire2004, Jan 28, 2006.

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  1. In the CSYO there is a competition every year in september. This is basicaly just playing a concerto and the winner gets to play with the CSO and second place plays the concerto in one of the CSYO concerts. I know a bass has never one this competition (there has been several college basses to be in the CSYO so don't think the basses there suck). I have never seen or even heard of a bass concerto so if you guys know of one it would be great if you can tell me and please include how i can get it. I'd rather start now to have a chance to atleast be second place.
  2. I'll start it off, by composer:


    Most available through
  3. Snakewood

    Snakewood Guest

    Dec 19, 2005
    There's also Cimador and Dittersdorf 1 and 2
  4. kraid


    Apr 11, 2003
    These are all the ones I can think of off the top of my head for solo double bass and orchestra:

    Bottesini No.1 and No.2
    Dittersdorf No.1 and No.2
    Hoffmeister No.1, No.2, and No.3
    Sperger (I'm not sure how many he wrote...I want to say there's 18 of them)
    Dragonetti (he wrote 8 real ones, I believe)
    Meyer No.1 and No.2 (available for rental)
    Pichl No.1 and No.2

    There's also Viennese concertos by Kohaut, Kneissel, Roslaub, and Kozeluch. I'm not sure if they're published.
  5. kraid


    Apr 11, 2003
    Also, it should be noted that most of these simply can't compete with concertos for other instruments in quality. In my opinion, the true masterpieces written for bass and orchestra are Bottesini No.1, Tubin,, Nino Rota, Henze, and Rautavaara. If you plan on winning you might want to keep that in mind.
  6. Im going to search for them. If you can tell me where i might be able to buy them and the parts for the orchestra.
  7. I found a few of them. Im going to see if i can find one to listen to. The price is from 17-55$ and im going to listen to them to see witch one is harder and sounds better to me. Im still looking for other though.
  8. Machina


    Aug 1, 2005
    Get your hands on a recording too!
    By far the most popular though are:
    Bottesini no.2

    Recordings of Bottesini: Edgar Meyer has an outstanding cd, but he does some cadenzas that are his own with some mixture of the written parts (still check it out!)

    Mark Morton just released the Koussevitzky through the American School of Double Bass website.

    Best of luck!
  9. The Meyer recording of Bottesini 2 is great fun, but I wouldn't use it to study from. His interpretation is pretty far from the traditional bel canto that Bottesini would have played with.

    For me, the best recording I have of the Bottesini 2 as far as study is concerned is Thomas Martin's. It's on Volume Three of his four volume Bottesini set.
  10. By the way, if you have never played a concerto before, I wouldn't suggest starting with any of the really difficult ones. You'll learn much more if you start with the Capuzzi or Dragonetti concerti.
  11. I just heard Meyer perform Bottesini 2 with the Milwaukee Symphony last Friday (back-to-back with his own Concerto #1). You're right, it was a lot of fun. I think his playing overall is deeply informed by his background in bluegrass and other traditional American music, hence the eschewal of some of the very emotive elements of the bel canto style.

    Bottesini 2 is on my music stand right now (part of the post-concert afterglow), and I'd love to hear Martin's version. Thanks for the rec., Paul.
  12. Snakewood

    Snakewood Guest

    Dec 19, 2005
    Completely agree, Meyer's is technically flawless, but doesn't have the bel canto style and warmth.
  13. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
    Interesting...I haven't seen Meyer play, but I have heard that his technique is....shall I say unique.

    The way I heard it describe to me, is that he makes his technique work for him.

    That's not to say anything bad about his playing though. I love 99% of everything he does.

    To the original topic: I haven't played many concertos, but I would suggest the Koussevitzky for a competition 1st concerto type of expedition. I think that the Koussevitzky is very attainable, and quite good.
  14. JayR


    Nov 9, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you're just starting out with solo lit, do Capuzzi. I did it a couple of years ago with orchestra and it's a nice, musical little piece with some fun stuff but nothing gutbustingly hard. Norman Ludwin sells a really nice orchestral arrangement of it ( I'd give that one a look, there's a recording of it on Mark Morton's CD Thresholds that's pretty nice. Dragonetti is a fun bass part, but it's basically just a big fancy "LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!" kind of piece. Koussevitzky is really freaking beautiful, amazing piece, hard to find the orchestra part for though. I looked. Everywhere. Also, that's one of those pieces where the devil is in the details and I still don't have everything where I want it even after sawing away on the thing for almost a year. Bottesini No. 1 is very nice, a lot easier than the 2nd concerto, but again impossible to find the orchestra part. If you're got monster chops, ignore everything I just said and do bottesini no 2.
  15. kraid


    Apr 11, 2003
    Oh I don't think the first concerto is easier compared to the second concerto at all. There's so much more going on musically in the first concerto compared to the second, and plus I like the melodies so much more. I think that the second concerto has a lot of things in it that are technical because of leaps and things like that, but the last movement of the first concerto sounds equally difficult to the last movement of the second concerto, if not harder. I don't own the music yet so this is just based on recordings. I like the first concerto so much more than the second though.
  16. BGreaney

    BGreaney Guest

    Mar 7, 2005
    If I may offer my insight to the forum. Lets not forget the key words to mcnaire's initial post. He's never played a concerto before. How many on this forum played bottesini as their first concerto doing some sort of justice to it? That said, I concur with the thoughts on possibly playing Capuzzi or Dragonetti. Dragonetti is basically a flash piece, but, it is a sort of crowd pleaser too. Mcnaire, are the requirements the complete concerto or just one movement of it?
  17. I don't know the exact requirments. I do know that it has to be written for your instrument and the orchestra (doesn't matter if it's full or just string). And when you audition you have to play with some acompany. It isn't till Aug or Sept so I am looking for a realy hard and/or challenging piece. It probably has to be hard and challenging to compete with the other instruments (espeacialy the violins). This years second place (she's performing it in our concert next week) winner is a violin and she's playing 2.d Concerto op22. (don't know the rest b/c im not at home right now i'll add the composer ect... when I come home from symphony practice this evining). Good news for me is that if you have won 1st place you can't win 1st again or if you have won second you can't win second again. I have several months to practice so if you guys will, throw the hardest most melodic sounding bass (cello if i have to) concerto w/ orchestra parts at me. And please show me where i can get to please.
  18. GirlBass


    Jul 31, 2005
    New York
    I thought the requirement was that it was written for your instrument? It is quite ambitious for one who hasn't played a concerto to want the hardest melodic bass (or cello) concerto he can get his hands on.
    Do you have a teacher with whom you can discuss this with? realistically, it is very hard to compete soloistically (is that a word??) with the other instruments in a concerto competition, unless you're edgar meyer or daxun.
    I second everyones advice about the Dragonetti, which is tough, but also a crowd pleaser. (and a great harmonics etude!). has all the music you need, and recordings- but if something is out of stock don't wait for them to reorder it- I waited 4 months for an etude book. Robertsons violins (1-800-A-Violin) also has sheet music.
    Good luck and tell us your thoughts upon receiving and working on your concerto!
  19. JayR


    Nov 9, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you want to compete with the violinists and really have a chance of out-musicing them, do capuzzi. It's one of those pieces that, excecuted well, sounds a lot better than a flashy piece executed half-assedly. I believe I saw this point argued on these forums here somewhere a while ago. Capuzzi is a piece where you can really milk the dynamics and phrasing and put a lot of musicality into it very easily. Be sure to get the edition in F (Boosey and Hawkes) as the D major version is vastly inferior. Plus, while the first and second movements aren't as note-filled as some of the other popular concerti, the third movement, in my opinion, is at least on par with dragonetti and dittersdorf on notesyness, albeit in a less treble-cleffy kind of way. And even if you dont win the competition, Capuzzi makes a great college audition piece and is just a really fun nice piece you can learn for your own growth. The great thing about it is in very few places does it become technically difficult, thus making it easy to learn, but the process of learning the piece will definitely make you a better bass player and make all the flash concerti less intimidating to approach. Oh, and the first mvt cadenza opportunity is a lot of fun because the piece gives you so many good themes to work with that writing a cadenza is a whole lot of fun and lets you toss some flash in if you so desire. 3 octave F major arpeggio for the win.
  20. kraid


    Apr 11, 2003
    Sorry Jay, but I'm pretty positive that the Capuzzi has no chance against the violin concertos that most high schoolers work on like the Mendelssohn, Bruch No.1, or last three Mozart concertos. I wouldn't be suprised if there's a bunch of Paganinis and Wieniawskis thrown in there. What bass concerto would stand a chance against a well played Paganini No.1? Probably about six of them, which do not include your standard Capuzzi, Dragonetti, Dittersdorf in E Major, or Vanhal. Not to mention that you'll have to compete with violas and cellos for the string section. The Capuzzi will not win a concerto competition against the Dvorak cello concerto or a Saint-Saëns concerto. It's just not a good composition compared to those pieces when they're played well. For what the Capuzzi is, I think it's an okay piece. It just won't win you concerto competitions.

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