Audio CDs

Brothers in Brahms

In 2003, I was asked by Simon Wynberg, the music director of the ARC Ensemble (Artists of the Royal Conservatory) to perform Robert Fuchs’ “Double Bass Sonata op.97” in a program entitled “Brothers in Brahms.” I became rather smitten by this unjustly neglected work and I started planning the best way to present it in a recording…

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Virtuoso Reality

Joel Quarrington – the non-conformist, the rebel, the rabble-rouser? Hardly the adjectives we would expect to describe a talented classical musician, let alone a Double bass player. But Joel Quarrington is all of these, and more.

Bottesini-vol.2

It was a curious twist of fate that produced the nineteenth century’s reigning double bass virtuoso. When a lad of fourteen, Giovanni Bottesini had already greatly developed his musical talents, as a choirboy, a violinist, and a timpani player. His father sought a place for him in the Milan Conservatory, but found only two were available: for bassoon and for double bass…

Bottesini-vol.1

Giovanni Bottesini (1821-1889)
Works for Double Bass and Piano Vol. 1

It was a curious twist of fate that produced the nineteenth century’s reigning double bass virtuoso. When a boy of fourteen, Bottesini had already greatly developed his musical talents as a choirboy, a violinist, and a timpani player. His father sought a place for him in the Milan Conservatory, but found only two were available; for bassoon, and double bass. Double bass it was, then. He prepared a successful audition in a matter of weeks, and only four years later, a surprisingly short time by the standards of the day, still a teenager, he left with a prize of 300 francs for solo playing. This money financed the acquisition of an instrument of Carlo Testore, and a globe-trotting career as “the Paganini of the Double Bass” was launched.

Garden Scene

Garden Scene

Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) was one of the most gifted child prodigies in music history and was often compared to Mozart. He was born in what is now Brno, Czech Republic, on May 29th 1897 and moved to Vienna when he was four. Many of his teenage works were championed by the greatest musical minds of the era, including Mahler, Puccini, Richard Strauss, Zemlinsky, Schnabel, Nikisch, Weingartner and Bruno Walter. His most celebrated opera, Die Tote Stadt, dates from 1920 as does his incidental music to a production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing; the Garden Scene on this recording is drawn from the violin and piano arrangement of that orchestral score.