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Giovanni Bottesini 22 December — 7 July , was an Italian Romantic composer, conductor, and a double bass virtuoso. Born in Crema, Lombardy , he was taught the rudiments of music by his father, an accomplished clarinetist and composer, at a young age and had played timpani in Crema with the Teatro Sociale before the age of eleven.
He studied violin with Carlo Cogliati, and probably would have continued on this instrument except for a unique turn of events. His father sought a place for him in the Milan Conservatory , but due to the Bottesini family's lack of money, Bottesini needed a scholarship. Only two positions were available: double bass and bassoon. He prepared a successful audition for the double bass scholarship in a matter of weeks. At the conservatory, he studied with Luigi Rossi, to whom he would later dedicate his Tre grandi duetti per contrabasso.
Only four years later, a surprisingly short time by the standards of the day, he left with a prize of francs for solo playing. This money financed the acquisition of an instrument of Carlo Giuseppe Testore , and a globe-trotting career as "the Paganini of the Double Bass" was launched.
On leaving Milan, he spent some time in America and also occupied the position of principal double-bass in the Italian opera at Havana, where he later became director. Here his first opera, Cristoforo Colombo , was produced in In he made his first appearance in England, playing double bass solos at one of the Musical Union concerts.
After this he made frequent visits to England, and his extraordinary command of his unwieldy instrument gained him great popularity in London and the provinces.
In and he conducted in Palermo, supervising the production of his opera Marion Delorme in , and in in Barcelona. During these years he diversified the toils of conducting by repeated concert tours through Europe. When conducting opera, Bottesini would frequently bring his double bass on stage during the intermission to play fantasies on the evening's opera. His fantasies on Lucia di Lammermoor , I puritani and Beatrice di Tenda are virtuosic tours de force that are still popular with those who are highly accomplished on the instrument.
Bottesini wrote three operas besides those previously mentioned: Il Diavolo della Notte Milan, ; Vinciguerra Paris, ; and Ero e Leandro Turin, , the last named to a libretto by Arrigo Boito , which was subsequently set by Luigi Mancinelli.
He also wrote The Garden of Olivet , a devotional oratorio libretto by Joseph Bennett , which was produced at the Norwich festival in , eleven string quartets, a quintet for string quartet and double bass, and many works for the double bass, including two concertos for solo double bass, the Gran Duo Concertante originally for two double basses, Passione Amorosa for two double basses, and numerous pieces for double bass and piano. Shortly before his death, in he was appointed director of Parma Conservatory on Verdi's recommendation.
Bottesini died in Parma on 7 July His solo works remain standard repertoire for accomplished double bassists to this day. Bottesini was widely acclaimed, and his virtuosic skill in the bass paralleled that of Paganini himself on the violin.
Because of the contributions of Bottesini along with those of Sperger and Dragonetti to bass technique, many have come to view the double bass as a diverse and versatile instrument. Most notably there are many virtuoso bass players who draw inspiration from the early renaissance of the double bass. Bottesini's bass was said to be a unique instrument with a remarkable sound. It was built by Carlo Antonio Testore in The instrument was owned by several unknown bass players. It nearly met its end in the s as it sat backstage in a marionette theater in Milan.
Bottesini purchased the Testore in for lire. The Testore bass was later converted back to a four-stringed instrument, and then to a three. Eventually, it was changed back to a four-string configuration and is now in the possession of a private collector in Japan. Bottesini was also one of the first performers to adopt the French-style bow grip for the double bass.
This style was previously used solely by violinists, violists and cellists. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: List of compositions by Giovanni Bottesini. This article includes a list of references , related reading or external links , but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations.
Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. February Learn how and when to remove this template message. Biography portal Classical music portal. Categories : births deaths 19th-century classical composers 19th-century conductors music 19th-century Italian composers Composers for double bass Italian classical composers Italian classical double-bassists Male double-bassists Italian conductors music Italian male conductors music Italian male classical composers Italian Romantic composers Honorary Members of the Royal Philharmonic Society Milan Conservatory alumni People from Crema, Lombardy 19th-century male musicians.
Gran duetto n ° 3
Giovanni Bottesini 22 December — 7 July , was an Italian Romantic composer, conductor, and a double bass virtuoso. Born in Crema, Lombardy , he was taught the rudiments of music by his father, an accomplished clarinetist and composer, at a young age and had played timpani in Crema with the Teatro Sociale before the age of eleven. He studied violin with Carlo Cogliati, and probably would have continued on this instrument except for a unique turn of events. His father sought a place for him in the Milan Conservatory , but due to the Bottesini family's lack of money, Bottesini needed a scholarship.
Bottesini - Gran Duetto No.2 for Two Double Bass