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Giovanni Bottesini: String Quintets



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SOMM Recordings celebrates the bi-centenary of Giovanni Bottesini, a legendary double bass player and pioneering composer for the instrument,
with First Recordings of his String Quintets Nos.2 (E minor) and No.3 (A
major), performed by double bass virtuoso Leon Bosch and I Musicanti.
A passionate, articulate champion for the double bass, Bottesini brought
the instrument out of the orchestra and into the spotlight. His own prowess
on the double bass and his music for it has seen him described as “the
Paganini of the double bass”.
Making its first appearance on disc, the C minor Second String Quintet
adopts the string quartet-with-second cello scoring employed by Schubert
and Boccherini to create a work of rhythmic vitality, colour and contrasting
moods.
Also receiving its premiere recording, the intricately designed Third String
Quintet, in A major, employs the two-viola instrumentation preferred by
Mozart, Mendelssohn and Beethoven and is, as Toby Deller observes in
his booklet notes, “the more lyrically Romantic work of the three on this
recording, with four sharply characterised movements”.
Scored for string quartet and double bass, Bottesini’s Naples-composed
First String Quintet, dedicated to Mercadante and familiarly known as
the Gran Quintetto in C minor, completes the programme. It seamlessly
marries a venerable and inherited Italian instrumental tradition with the
bel canto poetry of Italian romantic opera.
Making their debuts on SOMM are double bassist Leon Bosch – of whom
The Strad has said, he “demonstrates a natural affinity” with Bottesini; “his
performances combine sonorous, lyrical, exquisitely nuanced playing with
a remarkable command of the instrument’s bravura potential” – and the
“flexible line-up of super-talented hand-picked performers” (Planet Hugill)
he founded in 2013, I Musicanti.
Leon Bosch celebrates his 60th birthday with I Musicanti at London’s
Wigmore Hall on December 7, including music by Bottesini, the 200th
anniversary of whose birth falls the same month.
Facts
Item number SOMMCD 0645
Barcode 748871064522
Release date 07/01/2022
Category
Label SOMM Recordings
Media type CD
Number of units 1
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