This treatise surveys a selection of concertos for double bass published since 1970. The concertos have been classified in terms of musical styles, performance approaches, instrumental techniques, and level of difficulty.
The document provides a guide to selected published and unpublished double bass concertos. Numerous concertos have been examined, and forty of them are included in this document. The primary goal of the treatise is to encourage interest in new concertos by teachers, performers and students so that such concertos can be included in the standard double bass repertoire as well as music curricula. Presenting the concertos to the general audience will likely increase interest in the double bass repertoire.
Chapter 1 includes a brief history of concertos for the double bass along with an overview of earlier and newer concertos. Chapter 2 is a list of selected concertos with brief analysis, general characteristics and background, and difficulty level for each concerto. Included in the discussion is biographical information about the composers, samples of the scores, forms of movements, and suggested approaches to the concertos from the composer’s and performer’s point of views when appropriate. Nicholas Cook pointed out that “analysis strengthens performance because it compels the performer to think about the relationships implied in the music.” For each concerto I examined musical context, techniques and styles, information regarding the composition's history, and pedagogical value. This chapter includes the title of the concertos, publisher and publication, recording(s), orchestration, scordatura, and duration. It also includes the level of technical difficulty for each, which will be determined by combining analysis, opinions of the composer or performer, as well as reviews when available. Chapter 3 is a list of existing concertos which, while not fully analyzed, are important additions to the double bass musical literature. Basic information is included to supplement the references in this paper and to encourage further analysis by others interested in the double bass repertoire.