Following Dittersdorf (HN 759) and Hoffmeister (HN 721), Johann Baptist Vanhal and his sole double-bass concerto add a further highlight to the classical bass literature in our catalogue. The virtuoso work was transmitted only in a copy of a part owned by the famous double-bass player Johannes Sperger (1750–1812) and found in his estate, which raises a few questions on account of the many later additions in the solo part (especially concerning the octave transpositions). In our Urtext edition, Tobias Glöckler proposes a solution to this dilemma with a musical text that is outstandingly well-prepared for the performing artist. The piano reduction is printed in two keys (C and D major), which allows for performances in the solo and orchestral tuning or, at will. Moreover an additional part, written in fingering notation, has been specially designed for use with the "Viennese tuning" customary in Vanhal's days. It allows players to use this resonant historical tuning immediately without tedious retraining.
- Double Bass Concerto
Only a single double bass concerto has come down to us from Johann Baptist Vanhal (1739 – 1813). Today it is one of the best-known and most frequently played works for double bass, and has long been an indispensable “standard” at auditions and competitions. The Concerto, assigned work number II h in Alexander Weinmann’s Catalogue of Vanhal’s works, was … more
About the composer
Johann Baptist Vanhal
A Bohemian composer and violinist. While his early compositions still employ Baroque elements, a transition to Classicism is clearly evident over the course of his output. His fame during his lifetime can be measured particularly by the many publications that contributed to dissemination of his works to places such as France and England. In his later keyboard compositions, which enjoyed great popularity, he was responding to the increasing demand from amateurs for keyboard repertoire. In addition he wrote 76 symphonies, sacred works, and chamber music, among other things.
|1739||Born in Nové Nechanice on May 12.|
|1752||Takes organ lessons with Anton Erban.|
|around 1752||He works as an organist in Opočno, becomes regens chori (choral director) in Hněvčeves, and receives violin instruction from Mathias Nowák.|
|around 1760||He moves to Vienna at the behest of Countess Schaffgotsch. Here he takes lessons with Matthäus Schlöger and, probably, with Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf. He establishes himself in Viennese musical life as a violinist, teacher, and composer, numbering Ignaz Pleyel among his pupils.|
|1769–71||He travels through Italy and meets Christoph Willibald Gluck as well as Florian Leopold Gassmann, assisting with the latter’s opera productions.|
|around 1780||He reduces his concert-giving. He primarily composes sacred music, organ works, and keyboard pieces.|
|1784||He plays in a quartet with Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf.|
|1813||Dies in Vienna on August 20.|
About the authors
Der Hrsg. Tobias Glöckler, Solobassist in der Dresdner Philharmonie, hat sich sehr intensiv mit diesem Manuskript beschäftigt und daraus eine äußerst genaue Neuausgabe erstellt, die zu dem Werk keine Fragen offen lässt. (...) Der sich ebenfalls sehr nah an den überlieferten Orchesterstimmen orientierende Klavierauszug erscheint in D-Dur sowie in C-Dur, was dem Kontrabassisten eine erfreuliche Flexibilität bei Aufführungen (Kombination mit einem Solo- oder Kammermusikprogramm) gewährleistet. Alle Stimmen sind sehr gut lesbar und bereiten keinerlei Probleme beim Blättern. (...) Insgesamt ist diese Ausgabe aufgrund ihrer Genauigkeit, guten Lesbarkeit sowie der Ausführbarkeit in verschiedenen Stimmungen eine sehr erfeuliche Neuerscheinung.
La parte del contrabbasso non si discosta quindi molto dalle edizioni pubblicate in anni precedenti, se non per il ricco apparato di note e l'interessante prefazione. (...) Apprezzabile l'intento di far conoscere la prassi di esecuzione dell'epoca, su contrabbassi accordati secondo la cosidetta "intonazione viennese", per terze e quarte.
Your new Vanhal edition is great! I’m so grateful everything worked out for us to use it with the Chicago Symphony.
Tobias Glöcklers Editionsarbeit vermittelt einerseits einen klaren Einblick in die Quellenlage, legt aber auch Zeugnis ab vom Willen, einen gut austarierten Kompromiss zu finden zwischen historischer Genauigkeit und Nähe zur heutigen Spielpraxis.