1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Concerto for high school senior

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Robin Ruscio, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    One of my students who is a high school senior has been asked to play a concerto or other solo work with orchestra next spring. He’s getting around allright but I’m worried about giving him a piece that’s to difficult. I was thinking of the Capuzzi, but the Dittersdorf and the Dragonetti come to mind as well. I only studied those works fleetingly, (I’m mostly a jazz bassist, I did the Koussevitzky and Bottessini 2 in college), so I’m not sure which would be best for such a young student (well, young to be soloing at least). He does have 4 or 5 months to learn and he’s been making leaps and bounds this year.

    I wondering if their might be some sort of “Student” work or other modern piece that someone out there may have had luck with, or perhaps something else I’m just not thinking of. It need not be a concerto, either. I think whatever he picks I’m going to go ahead and learn with him!

    Last but not least, if you suggest a piece, recommend an edition and your favorite recordings. I have a few but I’d like to have as many is possible.
  2. LaurenBell


    Aug 10, 2004
    Cincinnati, OH
    Eccles Sonata in g minor
    The slow movements are so beautiful and it has 2 different tempo fast movements (2nd and 4th). The 2nd is slower than the 4th so it should be able to suit whatever level he's on. It's also a standard in the repetoire so it's a necessity to learn. It does have orchestration also. I have a couple Cd's of this piece. One by Gary Karr "Gary Karr Recital"and one by Joel Quarrington "Virtuoso Reality." I've heard that Edgar Meyer also has done a recording of this piece that is really good, but I haven't heard it myself. Hope this helps!
  3. The Capuzzi is pretty east, I did it when I was in 8th grade. Dittersdorf is always a possiblity. Dragonetti is a fun one to do, always challenging. But my favorite if he can pull it off is the Carmen Fantasy. It's from the Bizet opera Carmen. Think its done by someone thats name starts with an :confused:? Go for it though. Capuzzi is a great choice. Then the Botessini.
  4. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    I've got sa copy of Lars Eric Larson's "concertina" coming, i've heard locally that it's good, I'm looking forward to seeing it.

    capuzzi in the 8 th grade- impressive. I was only playing electric bass at that point.
  5. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    One of my students was asked to perform a concerto... I ended up writing one for chamber group...
  6. Contra|Brett|


    Oct 6, 2004
    I am a high school senior right now and am currently working on the Dragonetti right now. I would definatly suggest that because it is very challenging for me, but totally doable with the correct amount of time, he should be able to get it down by spring, but i don't really know his skill level, sounds like he's about where i am though.
  7. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    We tried the larson a bit last week, we're going with that. it's a very exciting piece but it's going to very playable, and i like it's more modern style. i'm looking forward to playing it more myself in my spare time.
  8. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    'Romance' from 'Lt. Kije' by Prokofieff has a nice Bass solo in it.......
  9. bass_bum


    Jun 4, 2005
    I also did the Capuzzi in eighth grade. That would be a great one to learn fast. I did the Dragonetti when I was a junior, and I had fun, but worked hard to be able to solo with my orchestra. And I did the Koussevitzky when I was a senior. One word of caution about the Koussevitzky; it is expensive to rent the orchestra part, and I am not sure, but when I did it with an orchestra, they didn't have the orchesteral tuning part for the orchestra so I also had to get solo tuning strings, and it was really expensive for me to perform that concerto with an orchestra. The Dragonetti you can do in orchesteral tuning, and find the orchestra parts a lot easier and cheaper.
  10. When I was a high school senior, I played the capuzzi concerto with the high school orchestra. Capuzzi is not terribly difficult, and is a great first concerto. That would be my recommendation.
    I had also worked on the Dragonetti around the same time, but I know that when I was at that level (with no solo experience as well) 4 months probably would not have been enough for the Dragonetti.

  11. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti

    Jun 7, 2005
    The Dragonetti is a really cool piece. It does not, however, have the musical character that makes a piece worth listening too. I second Jason by saying that 4 months may not be enough to learn it, or at least learn it well. I think that if you want a super challenging piece, that you should shoot for my favorite Bottesini piece, Concerto di Bravura. I doubt you would have enuff time for that, but who knows. I think another work that should not be overlooked is the Romance and Rondo by Franz Keyper (sp). It is fairly easy to find that for the orchestra, in orchestral tuning.
  12. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    We did the larrson concertina, and it worked very well. I will use it again. Capuzzi in the eigth grade!
  13. I love Larsson's concertino, but found it is maybe more difficult than appears. Capuzzi is an obvious choice, another classical concerto would be Pichl, although it's not very interesting musically speaking.
    Dragonetti is already a big concerto, more difficult. I wouldn't choose
    Dittersdorf : it's really one of the most difficult pieces for the modern bass tuned in fourths.

    Consider Gordon Jacob's concertino, very nice piece (Yorke Ed.).
  14. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti

    Jun 7, 2005
    Dittersdorf is no harder than the Dragonetti. I was just in a conversation about how they are essentially the same difficulty; the Dittersdorf has more shifts in it, while the Dragonettin has more spaces to use string crossings. Dragonetti II has a really challenging Cadenza, and so on. This is all debatable.

    Is it not commen for players to play the capuzzi in 8th grade? I played it in 8th grade, and then I am doing the concerto competition at EMF this week with it, as a sophmore. I find it to be easy to hit the notes, however, the musical side of the capuzzi is a b***. And that is what makes it a true joy to play. Capuzzi is the reason I started to play bass, I heard a High Schooler play it and I decided that day to pick up bass. To find the charactor in the capuzzi is just so hard, It really take a good half-year, to learn it well. The second movment is absolutly beautiful.

    This isn't a concerto, but while we are on the topic of good High School pieces, I am listening to my roomate play the Faure Apres un Reve, it is the most beautiful piece I have heard in a long time. I think in order of difficulty, it is right up there with the Eccles Sonata in G minor. I LOVE both of those works.

    Is the Jacobs Concertino hard? I haven't played this piece, or ever heard it for that matter. I will look into playing this.
  15. Capuzzi? Dragonetti? Dittersdorf?

    These aren't difficult pieces by any stretch of the imagination. I learned the Dragonetti as a sophmore in high school. The Eccles was my Frosh project. This last year, my Junior year, I learned the Koussevitzky. Now, with my auditions in mind, I'm learning the second Bottesini concerto and the third Bach suite. The Bach is difficult, but the Bottesini isn't as hard as it looks. It's very notey, but once you have it under your fingers it's not particularly challenging to keep it together.

    I would, at the very least, look at the Vanhal or Hoffmeister concerti. They're a little more interesting than Dragonetti or Capuzzi, but not as difficult as Bottesini.
  16. It's all a question of point of view. For me, Dittersdorf and even Hoffmeister are quite difficult on the modern bass. I'm excited to play it one day with Viennese tuning, which makes it much more interesting.
    The other day, a friend of mine, who considers Dittersdorf easy, played the 1st part for me : well, just in the middle of the phrase he was playing, one note was missing. Now, if you have ability for extensions, maybe it's not terribly difficult.

    Dragonetti is more virtuoso, and Vanhal really challenging.
    So many times I saw students playing Kouss. for the 1st time without getting tired ! I'm sorry, for me it's nonsense. Kouss. is not very difficult, but the 1st time you take it, you just have to get tired.

    Capuzzi as a 1st concerto may be a very good choice.
  17. Gordon Jacob : "A little concerto for DB & strings", Yorke Ed.
    Intermediate, nice stuff.

    Yorke has some other alternative concertos. In France they have a lot of pieces written for the Paris Conservatoire. Check out "Pièce en Ré" by Rivier; "Largo et Scherzando" by Serventi, beautiful music; "Aria et
    Rondo" by Desenclos.... all for DB & piano, Alphonse Leduc Ed.

    Belgian Nestor Higuet has a nice piece for bass and piano too, I haven't
    played it and don't remember the title.
  18. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti

    Jun 7, 2005
    It is one thing to say that compared to the Kussevitsky, Dragonetti, Cappuzzi, and Dittersdorf are a joke. Although, those of us who are apperently not as gifted as you are might acctually struggle with it. Go figure, a Concerto made to test a Bass player might be a stuggle. The cappuzi I did in 8th grade, and yea I thought it was hard. The Dittersdorf I think is hard, and the Dragonetti cannot even be compared to the Kussevitsky but you are out of your god damn mind if you try to tell me that the two latter pieces are easy by any strretch of the imagination. Get off your high horse and realize that most bass players won't be as gifted as you.
    Jolee likes this.
  19. Huh?

    I wasn't trying to say it's easy, but it's not particularly difficult, either. I didn't have an "easy" time with the Dragonetti, or the Koussevitzky. It took many hours of practice and patience to get it right. But requiring time doesn't make something difficult. The Bach Suites are terribly difficult because of the absolute perfection required of them. I understand everyone works at their own level, but I'd like to see people play something worth playing. We have lousy repertoire. The Dragonetti is a technical study. It's hardly worth performing. You can make some real music out of the Koussevitzky or Bottesini concerti.

    I'm a big believer in "teaching to the top of the class," so to speak. If we don't regularly challenge ourselves with the impossible, we'll never improve. Mediocre players aren't bad because they're untalented, necessarily, but because they aren't challenged to go beyond their own abilities. If I was asked to play music at my level, I'd still be playing Eccles. Sure, I can play it really well, but playing it constantly isn't going to make my playing any better. When I decided I would stop working on Dragonetti and focus on Koussevitzky, the Dragonetti still sounded lousy. But after 4 or 5 months with the Kouss, I tried the Dragonetti again and it sounded wonderful (my playing, not the piece). Now I'm working on Bottesini 2, and the Koussevitzky is sounding better than ever.
    Jolee likes this.
  20. Ashley Long

    Ashley Long

    Jan 3, 2004
    Another little known one is the Alan Ridout concerto. Really nie harmony and easy as well! Beautifully melodic........