Bottesini, G. - Gran Duetto 3 for Double Basses - Quantum Bass Market
Bottesini, G. - Gran Duetto 3 for Double Basses - Quantum Bass Market

Bottesini, G. - Gran Duetto 3 for Double Basses

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Giovanni Bottesini, born 22nd December 1821, studied the violin, singing and tympani as a young. When, in 1835, his father entered him for a scholarship at the Milan Conservatory, he was obliged to take up the double bass as this was the only string scholarship available. So talented was he, that within five years he had won recognition as a brilliant bass player.

In 1846 he went to Havanna, where he wrote his first opera Cristoforo Colombo. His London debut in 1849 earned him the reputation of "Paganini of the double bass", and lead [sic] to a succession of concert tours which took him all over the world. He became principal conductor of the Italian Opera in Paris in 1855. Travelling became almost an obsession, and he would never remain long in one place. In 1871 he went with Verdi to Cairo, where he directed the first performances of Verdi's Aida. His last appointment was that of Director of the Conservatory in Parma, where he died, almost penniless, on 7th July 1889.

Bottesini's major compositions include twelve operas, a Messa da Requiem and an oratorio The Gardens of Olivet. His many compositions for the double bass are notoriously difficult, and require a thorough technical knowledge of the instrument. The Tre Grandi Duetti per Contrabbasso were written while Bottesini was studying at Milan. They were dedicated to his teacher Luigi Rossi.

Rodney Slatford