Edition of unpublished Classical double bass concerto

• Jun 6, 2018 - 12:54

Hi all,

Earlier this year, I uploaded a typeset of an unpublished Classical piece for double bass and orchestra to IMSLP, score and parts included. I put a lot of effort into making it a nice-looking, playable edition, imitating 19th century engraving practices. I uploaded an update recently to incorporate a new source and fix some things, but now I noticed yet a few other things I missed which I'll make an update for eventually.

In the meantime, I'd love to have some feedback on whether everything looks good, whether there are practical pitfalls I wasn't aware of, etc... Please have a look. You can find the score and parts on IMSLP (click through to download the files instead of pressing the "View" button or you might get shown the older version instead):


And here is the score on musescore.com. There is a videoscore available.



I downloaded this concerto to listen to it and look at it for you. I found some possible mistakes. The intervals are unusual and merit double checking.

Measure 13 beat 1, the clarions play a Concert A while most others play a G#
Measure 44 beat 1, Solo plays A#, Violin 2 B
Measure 158, 1 up beat ?
Measure 162 1 up beat ?
Measure 258, the viola has an F-natural while the cellos/basses have and F#
Measure 272 beat 3, Solo has an A, B/C a Bb. Is there a dynamic mark missing in 311 in the violins

In reply to by mike320

Thanks a ton for listening. The first point you mention is indeed a bad mistake; I can't believe I let that stay in.

Measure 44: This is no error; dissonant leading tones resolving upward while the rest has a tonic chord is very common in this period, although the leading tone is usually prepared, or at least approached from above. I think the C# in measure 46 is more unusual.

Measure 158, 162: I don't get what you mean?

Measure 258: The basses have G#, not F#. I think this is a ninth chord on E without the root note.

Measure 272: I don't see any A or Bb, can you clarify?

Measure 311: I'll check with the sources; dynamics are sometimes notated haphazardly and I made them more consistent on occasion, but this does look odd. Do you think a piano dynamic is necessary there?

Any comments on the aesthetic qualities? ;)

In reply to by Thingy Person

I was listening for what sounded like wrong notes, the notes I pointed out seem to be out of place in the overall sound of the piece. Since I don't have a source to look at, all I can do is listen. It is possible that the notes I'm hearing as wrong are actually out of tune in my soundfont and become apparent in these particular chords.

Measures 158 and 162, the upbeat of 1 sounds wrong in the strings.

Measure 272 should be 276. I was looking at the start of the system rather than the status bar.

As far as the aesthetic qualities, it's difficult to judge. I listened to it using the HQ Orchestral Soundfont and will get a different experience than you will unless you are using the same Soundfont. Most of the dynamics seem to make sense, but in measure 311 it seems like the violins are afraid to play compared to the Solo and it just sticks out to me as unusual. The dynamic could belong in the Solo and may belong in another measure, but affect 311.

In reply to by mike320

Sorry, by aesthetic qualities, I meant visually. I hand-picked most of the line breaks to achieve good spacing and conveniently hidden empty staves, adjusted the positioning of many articulations to avoid collisions, added staff spacers etc etc... but you have already done more than enough to help ;)

I generally pay very little attention to playback, but I did initially adjust volume levels on some notes and dynamics. I wasn't entirely consistent though, which may have caused some oddities in the audio.

Measure 276 is no error either; you could call it a german sixth chord, but I think it's just some very expressive voice leading that fits right in with the rest of this dark, angsty passage.

Thanks for your time in any case; the video score is actually a live recording with a period orchestra in case you're curious about what it really sounds like.

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