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Bottesini Elegy question

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Paul Cherng, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. Paul Cherng

    Paul Cherng

    Aug 20, 2007
    Davis, Ca
    Hello, all. I have a question about the Bottesini Elegy concerning the ranges it is played in.

    In the Zimmerman score I have, the range of the piece does not seem to go as high as the recordings I have heard. One of my teachers has told me that my score is wrong and wrote in octaves that seem to match the recordings.

    My other teacher, however, disagrees and says he likes the piece as written in the Zimmerman score because it's sounds gutsier in the middle-low range of the bass. I would be inclined to agree with this sentiment since I do not particularly care for stratospheric playing, but I would like to know what the "correct" version of the piece is. This is further confused for me since when I looked at yet another version of the piece, the octaves were different the the two previous versions I had already seen.

    Failing that, opinions on what you think the "best" way of playing the piece is would be appreciated.
  2. Andrew Chilcote

    Andrew Chilcote

    Mar 20, 2007
    I know of your problem. I've seen the Zimmermann edition, and know that it's lower than other editions. I would be more inclined however, to go with what other editions say, since the Zimmermann book is all arrangements of pieces so as to be progressive in difficulty.
  3. The piece is almost always played in C (or D solo tuning), with the lowest note being C on the A string and the highest note being the fourth octave G on the G string (meaning if you're in 6th position, it would be the third finger harmonic G).

    I have occasionally seen the piece notated an octave lower as to be read in concert pitch, but it amounts to the same thing.
  4. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    I have noticed a lot of Italian music written at pitch. My copy is the same as yours, you just play it an octave up.
  5. Andrew Grandahl

    Andrew Grandahl

    Sep 11, 2007
    I play it as up high as possible. I like it up there personally. Most of it is played up an octave or sometimes two from what's written.
  6. labdude


    Sep 13, 2011
    My teacher has told me that Bottesini himself always played around with the octaves, and often varied them in different performances. So play whatever you like!
  7. eerbrev


    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN

    the octaves in question are originally the octave up. the zimmerman score puts it down the octave because it's in a collection of songs for students. he does the same with a bunch of the 2nd mvt of the Bmin concerto in the same book. if you decided to play them down the octave, go for it, but i find that some of the appassionato and drama is gone for some of the runs such as the run up to the high B (in the third octave on the G string) in the second half of the opening. Also, some of the arpeggiated figures work better up the octave as they follow the harmonic series.

    that being said, it's durn high. I call it playing in the nosebleeds. I think that this piece calls for it though. I think it is a dis-service to yourself to not learn how to do it comfortably, and it is certainly a show-stopper should you ever play it in a recital.

    your call man, but I say do it. it's how it's written, and it's "common practice."

  8. I think you will also be surprised to see that the higher octave actually makes the piece a bit easier. You can use the upper harmonics to great effect. Check out Thierry Barbe's version... Thierry Barbé plays Bottesini Elegie in D - YouTube ...

    If you would like I can scan and mail the Zimmerman version with 8va sections marked.

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