Heritage Series Book 1: Music by Trautsch, Hegner & Nanny for double bass & piano (edited by David Heyes)

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Double Bass Blog Publications
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About the Collection

The Heritage Series features a wealth of exciting and innovative music from the 19th-century by some of the leading bassist-composers of the day. Each book will include three or four works for the advanced bassist, with accompaniments for both solo and orchestral tuning, bringing music by these important figures in double bass history back to life in the 21st-century.

Karel Trautsch - Moment de Valse

Moment de Valse is dedicated to Simandl and was first published in 1903 in Book 4 of Simandl’s 'High School for Double Bass - Advanced Course' - a series of 49 original works and transcriptions from some of the leading double bassists of the day published by C.F. Schmidt (Germany). In one extended movement, Moment de Valse is delightful and elegant, emphasising the musical and technical possibilities of the double bass, throughout its solo register. The style and grandeur of the Viennese waltz is captured throughout this enchanting, but mostly forgotten, solo.

Karel [Karl-Karoly] Trautsch (1830-1910) was a Czech bassist-composer who studied in Prague with Vaclav Hause and Josef Hřabe and worked in Budapest for most of his life. From 1859 he was the first professor of double bass at the National Music Conservatoire of Hungary and was also a bassist with Hungarian Opera and the Philharmonic Society. Trautsch was an important teacher and composed many works for double bass including a Bass School/Method, many of which remain unpublished.

Ludvig Hegner - Andante con variazioni (von Haydn)

Andante con variazioni is a transcription for double bass and piano of the second movement of Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No.94 ‘Surprise’. Hegner has created a masterly arrangement, using the entire solo range of the double bass, which was first published in Book 3 of Simandl’s 'High School for Double Bass - Advanced Course' - a series of 49 original works and transcriptions from some of the leading double bassists of the day published by C.F. Schmidt (Germany).

There are musical and technical challenges aplenty and this is an exciting and inventive addition to the transcription repertoire.

Ludvig Hegner (1851-1923) was born on 1 May 1851 in Copenhagen and initially studied violin and piano before embarking on a year of study of theory and composition at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with Niels Gade (1817-1890). There appears to be no documentation about his double bass studies but Hegner must have been a proficient player quite quickly and played in Folkteatret's orchestra as well as the Tivoli orchestra.

From 1884 he became a member of the Royal Theatre Orchestra and two months later was promoted to the position of Principal Bass and remained with the orchestra until 1919. Alongside his orchestral duties, Hegner also gave many solo performances often playing his own works, and after a solo performance in America the New York Times compared Hegner to the great Dragonetti and Bottesini.

During his early years in the Royal Theatre Orchestra Hegner was awarded a bursary grant which he used to travel to Vienna to study with the Czech bassist,

František Simandl (1840-1912). Simandl was one of the most influential bassists of his day and the two players struck up a friendship and dedicated compositions to each other. In the early 1890s, Hegner was appointed the first Professor of Double Bass at the Danish Academy of Music and in 1896 his Tutor for the Double Bass was published by Wilhelm Hansen, with text in Danish, German and English. Ludvig Hegner died in Copenhagen on 7 November 1923 and his son Louis, and later his grandson Oscar, both succeeded him as soloist in the Royal Danish Orchestra.

Édouard Nanny - Berceuse (Lullaby)

First published in 1925 but long out of print, Berceuse is a lyrical and cantabile work that explores the sonorous and cantabile possibilities of the instrument. There are a few simple passages in harmonics, which may be a useful introduction to this higher register, and Berceuse is suitable for any bassist who is beginning to explore thumb position and treble clef. The gently moving and supportive piano accompaniment adds to the mood of the piece and Berceuse would be ideal for any concert or recital.

Édouard Nanny (1872-1942) was the leading French bassist of his generation, taught at the Paris Conservatoire for 20 years, and is recognized as the founder of the modern French double bass school. Alongside a wealth of transcriptions for double bass, Nanny also composed a series of original works which are worthy of revival in the 21st-century. His music is elegant and charming, exploiting the lyrical and technical possibilities of the double bass, and all are useful as both study and concert repertoire for the progressing bassist.

An anniversary is a good time to reassess a composer’s work and Recital Music is creating new editions of a number of Nanny’s original works and transcriptions in 2022 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth.

13 ratings
  • bass + piano parts (solo and orch tuning)

  • bass + piano parts (solo and orch tuning)

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Heritage Series Book 1: Music by Trautsch, Hegner & Nanny for double bass & piano (edited by David Heyes)

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