Leon Bosch

Virtuoso Double Bass

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Virtuoso Double Bass Review

by Mike D. Brownell

One of the most prolific composers for the double bass in all of music history, Giovanni Bottesini is responsible for a large portion of the instrument's standard repertoire concert and recital pieces. While some of the large-scale works for bass and orchestra -- like the B minor Concerto and the Gran Duo Concertante -- are more likely to be familiar to listeners, there is also an abundance of smaller scale works for solo bass and piano. It is these gems that are the focus of this album featuring bassist Leon Bosch and his favored pianist, Sung-Suk Kang. These works show the many different facets of Bottesini's output. While it is easy to imagine him as someone who composed only virtuoso show pieces for the instrument, this album quickly proves that he was equally capable of writing beautiful, singing melodies that showcase the potential of the double-bass's warm, lush sound qualities. It is quickly apparent to listeners that Bosch has a deep understanding and special connection with Bottesini's music, and his performances throughout this album are all quite musically sensitive. Bosch's technique is also quite refined, and when Bottesini does write a passage of pure technical bravura, Bosch is able to deliver with apparent ease. His sound quality is very deep and velvety; the only possible complaint here would be that the depth of his tone is sometimes incompatible with the precisely clear articulation in faster passages.

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