Masterclass: Koussevitzky Double Bass Concerto, first movement

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Double bass soloist Leon Bosch uncovers the challenges and opportunities of this emotionally powerful piece

Serge Koussevitzky is remembered as one of the great double bass virtuosos, often mentioned in the same breath as Dragonetti and Bottesini. However, whereas those two composers wrote a lot of music for their instrument, Koussevitzky only wrote five pieces for bass: the Concerto op.3 and four other works for bass and piano. His biggest contribution to new music was to come later with the commissions he made as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO). One of the most famous of these was Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, which is among many important 20th-century works that were commissioned for the BSO, and the Koussevitzky Foundation still gives funding for commissions…

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