Contrabass masterpieces: Chamber music
J.B. Vanhal: Contrabass Quartet in D Major
Johann Baptist Vanhal (1739-1813) was, like Dittersdorf, a composer who was active in Austria. It is said that he also composed for contrabassists in and around Vienna. The contrabass-responsible for the lowest register-was intended to play a magnificent role with the violin, viola, and cello accompanying it, for a piece truly overflowing with a unique reverberation.
G. Rossini: Duet for Cello and Contrabass in D Major
This rare composition was written by Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868), an opera composer. It was composed due to his friendship with a contrabassist. Rossini was a great admirer of the musical ability of Domenico Dragonetti-said to be the greatest contrabassist of the time. More than that, he was also a very close friend. Dragonetti was active in London, and one of his powerful patrons, a banker and cello fan named David Solomons, asked Rossini to compose a piece that could be played by Solomons and Dragonetti. This duet was the result. The most noteworthy aspect of the piece is how the playing of two instruments that both carry the low register become intertwined and create a unique reverberation.