Romantic Double Bass | Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Bottesini |

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Composers: Frédéric Chopin, Sergei Rachmaninoff
Artist: Hans Roelofsen (double bass)

Say double bass and people will probably think of jazz music. In spite of pioneering composers like Bottesini and active present-day players like Dutch Hans Roelofsen and Rudolf Senn, the double-bass does not have a serious image in classical music. Maybe Saint-Saëns’ Carnaval des animaux has something to do with this.

Back in the nineteenth century there were several virtuoso performers on this instrument who also wrote music for it. Bottesini being the best-known of them. His virtuoso pieces seem to stretch the instrument with its intrinsic slowness to its limits.

The first part with recordings from 1988 gives some examples of these typical showpieces. On the second part Hans Roelofsen gives newly recorded performances of two sonatas by Chopin and Rachmaninov which were originally written for cello with piano accompaniment. These transcriptions show how versatile the double bass really is. It works surprisingly well: this is the truly romantic double bass.

00:00:00 DUETTO for Clarinet, Double-bass & Orchestra
00:08:34 Allegro moderato
00:14:38 Andante
00:20:16 Allegro
00:24:33 DUO CONCERTANT on Themes from Bellini’s “I Puritani”, for Cello, Double-bass & Orchestra
00:36:35 GRAND DUO CONCERTANT for 2 Double-basses & Orchestra
00:51:43 Allegro moderato
01:03:58 Scherzo, allegro con brio
01:09:30 Largo
01:13:40 Finale, allegro
01:21:14 Lento-allegro moderato
01:35:19 Allegro scherzando
01:41:59 Andante
01:48:08 Allegro mosso


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