Masterclass: Ginastera’s Variaciones concertantes double bass solo


Orin O’Brien gives practical advice to help capture the magic and mystery of this most musically satisfying of bass solos

Ginastera’s beautiful and skilfully orchestrated Variaciones concertantes had its world premiere in Buenos Aires in 1953. It consists of eleven movements, each featuring a different solo instrument, or choirs of instruments, followed by a lively rondo as a coda. The first movement sets forth the theme of the variations, stated by a solo cello, accompanied by one harp. It leads into variations respectively for strings, flute, clarinet, viola, oboe and bassoon, trumpet and trombone, violin, horn, woodwind, and finally a reprisal of the theme, this time for double bass…

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