hardest peice ever?

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by dragonetti11, Aug 21, 2002.

  1. dragonetti11


    Jun 20, 2002
    Im wondering what all you guys think is the hardest peice ever written for double bass
  2. b0nes83


    Dec 14, 2000
    The hardest peice ever...hmm. I am not sure..but the hardest i have ever worked on and still am is the first movment from Dragonettis Concerto, peace

    p.s. i like your TB name
  3. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    The most difficult piece is by far the Gunther Shuller concerto for double bass, its WAYYYY hard

    After that, i would say the bach cello suites because of the level of musical sophistication that is required to play them
  4. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    i've composed a few solos that I cannot play... If anyone else wants to take a stab at them let me know;)
    BASSFREAK_702 likes this.
  5. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    i just thought of one : Kenneth Gaburo's "string quartet for Double bass." All four parts are played by a solo bassist.

    Also, a very "hard" piece if "hard=complex" would be John Cage's "Ryoanji for double bass." Most db's i know cannot wrap their minds around the concept of this piece much less pull it off.

    You might want to ask Bert Turetsky; he's probably had the most technically difficult bass solos written for him than any other bassist alive.

    I've seen him pull off tremendously difficult works without breaking a sweat.
  6. Baron von Basso

    Baron von Basso

    Nov 3, 2002
    Scontrino's concerto for bass has to be up there. I've spoken with somebody that actually researched the piece and performed it and it sounds hellish. It is a HUGE scale work that was supposedly compared to the Brahms Violin Concerto during its time and the thing to keep in mind when looking at the Zimmerman edition is that all notes in treble cleff are sounding pitches (so read it up an octave to get it right).

    I've heard that Per Questa is a nasty bugger too.

    Although it isn't a solo work, I think that Mahler 5 should get an honorable mention.
  7. E.O.M.


    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I can actually do that. My teacher is a student of Bert's, and sees him every two weeks down at UCSD. During the next few years, my teacher is trying to get me into a workshop with Bert, which would be amazing.
  8. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Bert is an amazing guy. He makes it look effortless.
  9. dragon6


    Aug 17, 2006
    Thousand Oaks,CA
    When I was a student at SanDeigo State and pupil of Burt Turetzky back in the early 80's I saw Burt T play a piece called "Failing" by Tom Johnson.
    He had 12 music stands placed in a row on stage with like 24
    continuous pages of music. The piece was written for spoken
    word and dbl bass.
    So going from left to right moving his bass along with him I heard
    him play very difficult bass lines and recite the words and play
    hamonics and tap the wood in different places like conga's and make it all happen at the same time. At times he would take his middle finger and push it along the top of the bass like a drummer
    does to vibrate the head of a drum.
    It sounded like three players up there. It was amazing watching
    him do it. Impecable playing and dexterity.
  10. Valentine (Druckman) is one of the hardest solo pieces ever written for bass acordong to lemurs description.
  11. I heard Edwin Barker perform Tom Johnson's "Failing: A Very Difficult Piece for String Bass" on one of the local radio stations, and I found his recording of the piece along with the Schuller Concerto and some other pieces. "Failing" is simply amazing as it is partly written out, and partly improvised; both the bass part, and the text which is declaimed during the performance. The transitions between the written and improvised portions should be seamless. The audience has no idea of which bits are written out and which bits are improvised, and this adds to the humour of the piece, and of course is used by the performer to great effect.

    - Wil
  12. sibass89


    Jan 29, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    That Persechetti Parable is one of the most difficult pieces I've ever looked at (I didn't even try to attempt to sight read it). Also, the Tubin and Schuller Concertos are really difficult.
  13. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Houston, Tx
    I have the scores for "Theraps" by Iannais Xenakais and "Statments II" by Barry Guy. Both are very complex. "Trittico per Gertrude Stein" by Brian Ferneyhough Is pretty tough. I saw Stefano Scodannibio perform it at stanford with Ferneyhough in the audience
  14. Anonymous75966


    Jun 29, 2004
    Iiiiinteresting. Has this ever been recorded or published? I didn't know Gaburo wrote any solo bass music, though I like his work a lot - he's a composer who should be a lot better known than he is.

    I own the music for Theraps and look at it for a weekend about once a year, and then put it away. Heh.
  15. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
    Yes, I'm going to have to say the "Trittico Per GS" is the most difficult bass piece I've ever laid eyes or ears on. The technical demands, as well as the rhythmic demands of this piece are close to inhuman.

    I have a recording of Stefano Scodannibio playing it, and it is unbelievable.

    Theraps is also a very hip piece, but I think that Trittco is leagues harder than it (I have the scores for both and might actually attempt Theraps, I just look at Trittco with my jaw on the floor).
  16. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Houston, Tx
    - Stefano said he did not feel he had it well enough when he recorded it.
    I saw him play it a few times, the time he played it at Stanford Ferneyhough jumped up and hugged him afterward, so I imagine he played it well! that was pretty great to see.
    The next night in SF he played a lot of Italian stuff that all seemed really hard. At one point he say; "I will now play a piece by my master" and then played a Fernado Grillo piece that was just incredible and seemed hard.
  17. If all else fails we can always write something that we can garantee to be the hardest thing ever.
  18. My money's on Faerie's Air and Death Waltz.
  19. My vote goes for 4'33'', transcribed for bass of course.
    lucy mcknight likes this.