Musical header Click here for the latest news from the Shoppe Click here to discover some of the feedback our customers have given given us over the past few years. Click here for videos, audio, photos and articles from the Shoppe Click here for our range of Double Bass specialist Books Click here for our quality Double Bass Accessories Click here for our quality Double Bass Bows Click here for our highest quality Double Basses over UK£20,000 Click here for our quality Double Basses up to UK£20,000 Click here for our range of Budget Double Basses up to UK £5000 Click here to review some of the instruments previously sold by The Contrabass Shoppe. Click here for the web site introduction Click here to discover more about The Contrabass Shoppe Click here for the outstanding Double Bass Gallery Click here to make contact with us

Double Bass books - specialist books about the double bass and related CDs from the doublebass specialists The Contrabass Shoppe

Virtuoso Double Bass - Works of Giovanni Bottesini (1821 - 1889) - Bosch & Kang

Virtuoso Double Bass - The Works of Giovanni BottesiniTitle: Virtuoso Double Bass
Record Co: Meridian
Release No: CDE 84544
Features: Works of Giovanni Bottesini (1821 - 1889)
Artists: Leon Bosch - Double Bass, Sung-Suk Kang - Piano

Tell me about this recording ...

Meridian Records has just released (Feb07) this important recording of Giovanni Bottesini's principal works for double bass and piano - performed by the accomplished duo Leon Bosch and Sung-Suk Kang.

Which works are performed?

The CD starts with the Elegy followed by the Tarantella, Romanza Patetica (Mélodie), Gavotta, Reverie, Meditazione (Aria di Bach), Fantasie Sonnambula, Romanza Drammatica (Elégie), Adagio par Ernst - finishing off with the Capriccio di Bravura. The total playing time is 64' 55".

Click Here to Listen To The CD
Reproduced by kind permission of Meridian Records.

Why is the recording important?

It is little surprise that the works of Bottesini are rarely heard on the concert stage. As bass players - we all know too well that even though the music is colourful, dramatic and intense - it's just so darned-right difficult to play. Having written it - Bottesini would perform it - and because his performances were so virtuosic he became known as the 'Paganini of the double bass'. Indeed Bottesini had the ability to absolutely astounded concertgoers all over the world.

Following on in the footsteps of Bottesini is South Africa born - Leon Bosch. Leon is a virtuoso double bass player who has rapidly established an international reputation as one of the foremost advocates of the double bass and as a passionate interpreter of the works of Bottesini. This recording - which sees Leon reunited with the pianist Sung-Suk Kang for the first time since student days - demonstrates Bottesini's music at its very best.

Any more info on Leon's solo career?

Well yes - can you believe that Leon's London Concerto debut was at the age of 23 (1984) - playing Bottesini's Gran Duo Concertante at the Royal Festival Hall and with the Philharmonia Orcherstra. Since then Leon has performed concertos all over the world with conductors such as Pinchas Zukerman, Nicolas Kramer, Nicolae Moldoveanu and Guido Johannes Rumstadt. The list of leading Chamber ensembles and groups is no-less short and includes collaborations with the Lindsay, Medici, Emperor, Belcea and Brodsky string quartets, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, The Moscow Virtuosi and the Zukerman Chamber Players. Partnerships with solo performers have embraced such pianists as Peter Donohoe, Vladimir Ovchinikov, Mikhail Rudy and Maria Joao Pires.

Does Leon ever do any orchestral stuff?

Yes - it's difficult to know where to start. He is currently the principal double bass player with the London Mozart Players, the East of England Orchestra and is a member and Director of the Board of The Academy of St Martin in the Fields. In addition Leon was principal double bass of the Manchester Camerata (1985-96), co-principal of the Scottish Ballet (1985), and member of the Music Group of Manchester, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia and of the Northern Chamber Orchestra.

Phew... Did we mention his session work yet?

In brief - includes work for Cathy Giles, Cool Music Ltd, Hilary Skews, Isobel Griffiths and London Session Orchestra.

What about the pianist Sung-Suk Kang?

Sung-Suk Kang studied in England and Vienna. Her playing won both 1st Prize and the Schumann Prize for best performance at the International Competition in Macugnaga, Italy. Her concert activities and numerous recordings as both soloist and chamber musician have been well received for their unique blend of elegance, sensitivity and determination.

What else does the Recording Offer?

Leon was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1961. Although the extensive notes that accompany the CD touch on Bottesini's brilliance as a musician they are - in the main - an interesting and most moving insight into Leon's early struggles against the South Africa apartheid regime and his determined passion to play the double bass.

Why choose Meridian to make a bass recording?

Meridian really are the original experts in using natural-sound techniques. You can't fail to be impressed by this stylish, captivating recording. Bravo Meridian.

Why is this the first CD that The Contrabass Shoppe has ever offered for sale?

Tony Houska - Director of The Contrabass Shoppe - comments. "Ever since I heard Leon play the Gran Duo Concertante for violin and double bass at Kingston Parish Church in March 2001 with the London Mozart Players I have been a fan of his playing. You know how it is when you go to a concert and the double bass player walks onto the stage with his instrument - there is that moment - it's an incredible momentary-silence in the audience when all the punters strain their necks to get a better view and look on in bewilderment and disbelief that anybody can possibly play such a huge instrument - let alone play any sort of a solo. Just before the sceptical smattering of applause breaks out you can feel everybody thinking that - by including this in the programme - someone has got to be having a laugh. Anyway - I am so pleased to report that Leon and violinist David Juritz simply blew the audience away with their super-sized sense of musicianship and bravura style performance.

It was every thing you could have wished for from a performance - there was technical brilliance, there was fluency, there was lyricism and there was the dramatic. Most concertgoers would have been more than happy with that - yet on that evening there was much, much more on offer - there was a wonderful connection between artists and audience. It is something that doesn't happen too often - but if you are lucky enough to experience such an occasion - it is absolutely magic and you feel tingly all over. That to me is what music is all about and I can tell you that Leon and David held the audience absolutely spell bound right until the very end."

OK - you've got me interested - so what about the recording?

Just as in the live performance with Bosch and Juritz mentioned above - there is an understanding between Bosh and Kang that creates a wonderful sense of balance, completeness and clarity to each of the pieces. The playing is brilliant, fluent, lyrical, technically secure and full of great musicianship. This really is a recording par-excellence. Congratulations to Bosh, Kang and Meridian.

Can you offer any comments - just off the top of your head - on say the Elegy?

Yes - you'll absolutely love every single track of this CD but here are a few impressions - 10 for starters - of the first track - the Elegy. By the way - they all start will love.

i) Love the balance between bass and piano - it just seems so right.
ii) Love the soulful, lyrical sounds that Bosh plays the melody.
iii) Love Bosh's sense of phrasing and suspense - yes, just lovely.
iv) Love the speed of Bosh's vibrato - its just so nice.
v) Love the way Bosh plays the harmonics - they are all wonderfully clear and flute-like.
vi) Love the moment when Bosh gives the feeling of moving on.
vii) Love the dramatic section - it's just so well err.. dramatic.
viii) Love the warmth of Bosh's sound - just as I do a nice South African Pinotage.
ix) Love the intonation - it's nothing short of perfect.
x) Love the calm and sense of completeness of the closing bars.

How about a final word or two from Leon himself

Yes - not a bad idea. Taken from the rear of the CD container: "It's the performer's solemn duty to seek to understand what the composer intended and then to express that unique personal understanding as if one's life depended upon it."

Click Here to Listen To The CD
Reproduced by kind permission of Meridian Records.

Stats:
Title: Virtuoso Double Bass
Record Co: Meridian
Release No: CDE 84544
Features: Works of Giovanni Bottesini (1821 - 1889)
Artists: Leon Bosch - Double Bass, Sung-Suk Kang - Piano
Playing time: 64' 55"

Price: UK £14-00

Buy Now

Back to the Books and Cd's Section
Back to top
Contrabass Shoppe footer Click here to review some of the instruments previously sold by The Contrabass Shoppe Click here for our range of Budget Double Basses up to UK £5000 Click here for our quality Double Basses up to UK£20,000 Click here for our highest quality Double Basses over UK£20,000 Click here for our quality Double Bass Bows Click here for our quality Double Bass Accessories Click here for our range of Double Bass specialist Books Click here for the web site introduction Click here to discover more about The Contrabass Shoppe Click here for the outstanding Double Bass Gallery Click here to discover our articles in relation to the Double Bass Click here for videos, audio, photos and articles from the Shoppe Click here to make contact with us Click here to make contact with us Click here to email us.