Giovanni Bottesini (1821-1889)
Works for Double bass and Piano
The filter of history is inexorably merciless. More often than not, it cancels or mitigates the importance and weight of people or events. I cannot say whether history has been unkind to Bottesini. It is certainly true, however, that his musical activities were far richer and more variegated than the few works of his which remain in concert repertoire today, i.e., the body of compositions dedicated to the contrabass. In reality, the figure of Bottesini was not only that of an extraordinary instrumentalist, but also of a composer whose output included all genres, an orchestral conductor who at the age of 24 was already conducting in Havana, and, finally, an impresario and organizer of the musical life of his time. Bottesini’s solid training, the fruit of strict studies in composition, led him to write works for his instrument which go well beyond occasional pieces or instrumental etudes based on an improvisational approach.