This is the second volume Naxos has released in their Bottesini Collection. The doublebass composer and virtuoso – who lived 1821-1889 – was considered at the time the Paganini of the doublebass and was also a renowned conductor who traveled the world performing. He extended the range of what the doublebass could do in many areas. The three-movement Concertino is popular with bassists today. It is a virtuoso piece but also of high quality musically. The Duo Concertante pits a doublebass and a cello against the symphony orchestra and demands virtuoso playing from both soloists. In the Passioni amorose we have a small concertino for two basses plus orchestra.
Bottesini wrote several operas, and three selections on the program employ themes from some of them. The instrumental transcriptions got more exposure for some of his operatic music since his operas were up against the extreme popularity of Verdi at the time. Naxos’ reproduction of the doublebasses is first rate; you will probably appreciate it more if you have at least one subwoofer in your system.
– John Sunier