Andante Sostenuto

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Price £25.00

A beautifully lyrical and dramatic one-movement work for string orchestra or sextet (2 Vln, Vla, 2 Vc, Db).

Giovanni Bottesini's background in Italian opera is echoed in every bar of this exquisite work, demonstrating his abilities as a wonderful melodist and extremely talented composer. The piece is dedicated to Giulio Ricordi, Bottesini's publisher in Rome.

Giovanni Bottesini (1821-1889) was the greatest double bass soloist of the 19th-century and was also a prolific composer. His works for double bass are at the heart of the solo bass repertoire into the 21st-century but his non-bass music is less well known. Andante Sostenuto is the work to change this.

"How splendid to see something of Bottesini's output other than solo double bass music! This Andante Sostenuto scored for two violins, viola, two cellos and double bass can be played as a sextet or as a string orchestra. (Very generously, enough parts are supplied to equip an orchestra of 36 players.)
It is an eye-opener to see that Bottesini had such control over the string writing medium. The overall lyrical and cantabile writing also includes moments of high drama and excitement with exacting scale flourishes in first violin. The addition of an extra cello part adds greater depth and richness to the texture. Andante Sostenuto is warmly recommended and is certainly worthy of exploration. With all the parts and a full score, it is a bargain at the price." [ESTA News & Views]

The edition includes score and parts (

"How he bewildered us by playing all sorts of melodies in flute like harmonics, as though he had a hundred nightingales caged in his double bass... I never wearied of his consummate grace and finish, his fatal precision, his heavenly tone, his fine taste. One sometimes yearned for a touch of human imperfection, but he was like a dead shot; he never missed what he aimed at, and he never aimed at less than perfection." [H.Haweis, 1888]

Giovanni Bottesini was called the 'Paganini of the Double Bass' and was the finest double bass soloist of the 19th-century. He was born in Crema (Lombardy) on 24 December 1821 and studied at the double bass at the Milan Conservatoire with Luigi Rossi, alongside harmony and composition with Nicola Vaccai (1790-1848) and Francesco Basili (1767-1850). His remarkable career as a soloist began in 1839 and lasted fifty years, taking him to every corner of the world. From Italy, his travels took him to Cuba (1846), USA (1847), England (annually from 1849), Egypt, Ireland, France, Germany, Russia, Mexico, Spain, Belgium, Monte carlo and many other countries throughout a long and distinguished career.

Bottesini was also famous as a composer writing at least 13 operas (Cristoforo Colombo, 1847 / Il diavolo della notte, 1856 / Ali Baba, 1871 / Ero e Leandro, 1879), a Messa da Requiem (1880) and an oratorio, The Garden of Olivet (1887 - first performed at the Norwich Festival), works for orchestra, 11 string quartets, string quintets, songs and many virtuoso works for double bass. As a conductor he is remembered primarily for directing the first performance of Verdi's Aida in Cairo in 1871, but was also a repsected composer of Italian opera, including seasons in Mexico, Paris, Palermo, Barcelona, London, Buenos Aires and Parma.

Bottesini's music for double bass is still at the heart of the solo repertoire into the 21st-century, even though his orchestral and operatic music has generally fallen from favour, but his Elegia for double bass and piano is one of the most recorded works of the 20th-century.

Giovanni Bottesini died in Parma on 7 July 1889.

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Cat No. RMS001
Price £25.00
ComposerGiovanni Bottesini
EditorDavid Heyes
CategoryString Orchestra
ISMN 979-0-57045-801-1
EAN-13 9790570458011
Weight 180 grams
Published 19th July 2009
Availability 2 in stock
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RM429  Dreamland
RM520  Achavanich Wish
RMS024  Elegy Op.58
RMS037  Jazz Contrasts
RMS108  Sagas & Legends