Difficult Romantic Era Peices

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Illfavor, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. Illfavor


    Mar 9, 2005
    Howdy. I was wondering what the more difficult Bass peices there were that were written during the Romantic Era. I just completed the Dragonetti as a Junior, and I must admit it was the most boring solo I'd ever played. Not that it was easy, just that it didn't give me very much room to express myself as a soloist. I'm considering the Koussevitzky, but I'm willing to try any number of concerti. I'm looking for a song more difficult that the Dragonetti, and preferably in a Minor key. For some reason Bottesini comes to mind, but I really don't know how difficult his concerti are, or how easy they will be to play with a full orchestra.

    Romantic Era, Minor Key.
    More difficult than the Dragonetti.
    For Full Orchestra.

    Many Thanks!
  2. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2005
    Beethoven Romance in F. It's pretty well known, and it sounds a heck of a lot better on bass than it does violin, but what doesnt :D. Try it out, its really cool.
  3. redbrickhut


    Sep 13, 2005
    The bottesini concertos are perhaps the hardest written in the repertoire, and very well known. I think that it would be incredibly risky going from the dragonetti to say, the B minor concerto.
    However there is a range of bottesini music out there that is not quite as hard as the concertos, but is still technically quite demanding. I am a high school student in Australia currently working on an Amus, and I have on a couple of Bottesini's pieces namely the Elegie in D and the Tarantella in A minor. In this case the piece I would recommend would be the tarantella. It is a very challenging work, much more than the dragonetti, and is about 7 minutes long.
    Although it is written for bass and piano, it would be a fairly simple task to orchestrate it.
    I also think that the Koussevitzsky would be a great piece to start working on as well. However there is a problem in that it also is written out for bass and piano.
    I hope you find the right piece.
  4. Illfavor


    Mar 9, 2005
    Well, the Dragonetti isn't very difficult. It's a techinal study in G (A) Major, and I've spent quite a bit of time on scales. I've decided on the Bottesini #2 in B minor, simply because it's a much more difficult piece than the Koussevitzky. I was extremely dissapointed in the Koussevitsky because I had heard it was a difficult and it turned out to be rather easy. From what I can see is the only tough part about the Bottesini is, as some have said, getting all the notes under your fingers, but otherwise there's nothing too hard to play.
  5. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    For something beautiful, play the Bottesini Elegia in C (D), and have a pianist accompany you. I've gone through a lot of the bass solo repertoire, and almost all of it is terrible in terms of expression/beauty. But the Elegy, that one has stuck with me.
  6. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Yeah Illfavor the #2 rocks the house! I got to see Edgar Meyer perform it last year and it certainly showcased him too.

    At the same time I've gotta cast my vote for the Elegy too (I hope that's what we're talking about) it's an incredibly beautiful piece of work also...something that sounds better the slower you play it and exploit it to show off your vibrato skills and using the bow for dynamic expression.

    But it's not all about showing how dramatic your yawn can get (LOL) it's got a dash of speed in a spot where one does a chromatic G run. Most people slow down to do it and relish every single half-step but you can do it in tempo also and it works nicely.

    Another thing about that run is that I want to hear it "pulse" on the beat...but since the convention is 1-2-4 fingering and just shifting up the G string the shifting sound makes that pulse come out differently...a slight polyrhythm flavor. That tension makes a hum-drum lick even more interesting musically and adds yet another color to the rainbow that this piece is to me.

    There was a time that I wanted that pulse on the beat no matter what even going so far as to finger the line using all 4 fingers so the shifts would happen on the beat instead but now I'm more openminded about the whole thing. Plus I came from an electric bass background trying to tear out Jaco lines all the time so 4 fingers was my comfort zone when I started upright without knowing anything.

    Whatever...good luck with #2 you're definitely ahead of me if you've got the skill sets to knock that out onstage!
  7. Illfavor


    Mar 9, 2005
    I'm aware that there's a difference between playing something and performing it, but when I am learning a song, I set myself to a standard that essentially requires that I will have to LEARN SOMETHING NEW in order to play it. From what I've played, and what my teachers have told me, I am better off learning the Bottesini #2 or my new gem the Sankey Concerto. Both those songs are difficult, and require me to actually learn the notes (unlike the Koussevitzky, which is heavily sight-readable) and add musicality to them. I was talking purely about playing the notes, as my post CLEARLY says. There's nothing arrogant nor ignorant about saying the Koussevitzky is easy on the fingers and the Bottesini is less so. Next time try reading what people write before commenting.