Anton Zimmermann’s double bass concerts:
As is known today, Anton Zimmermann contributed to the improvement of double bass literature with two double bass concerts. The concerto known and played today comes from the archives of the Landesbibliothek Schwerin (Mus 5187) and was found here in the transcription of J.M. Sperger. Just J. M: Sperger worked under the baton of A. Zimmermann in Count Batthyány’s band in today’s Bratislava. However, since we know that A. Zimmermann also composed another concerto (the second or the first in the sequence), we are prompted for a certain hypothesis and controversy about determining the origin and historical context of the creation of this work.
Zimmermann: Concerto per il Violone in D.
The work that you are holding in your hands is created on the impulse, or is dedicated to the senior double bass player, viola da gamba, cello and violin player Josepf Kämpfer. Kämpfer was born in Bratislava in 1735 and was a member of the Batthyan band. It is possible and, according to the available research, it is also obvious that next to the very active Sperger, Kämpfer remains slightly in the background (he is also led as a cello player). However, according to the manuscript of the concert published here, it is certain that it belonged to and was premiered by Kämpfer, probably on November 19, 1779 in Bratislava. From biographical, temporal, technical and artistic aspects, it is almost certain that this work was created earlier than the now well-known concerto for double bass and orchestra in D. Based on research and artistic and historical deduction, we can classify this concerto as A. Zimmermann’s 1st concerto.
Concerto in D Violone Principale, Violini 2, Viola obl, Corni 2, Con Basso, Del sign Zimmermann, (Kempfer).
From an artistic point of view, the concert bears all the important features of a work of high classicism. The compositional style and all its elements, such as figurations, harmonic and melodic procedures, are very mature and testify to the high level of experience of Zimmermann as a composer. It is also necessary to notice the author’s different approach when composing both of his double bass concertos. If the concert preserved in the estate of J. M. Sperger was composed, so to speak, “in the hand” of Sperger and places his musical-expressive, technical and interpretive demands on the limit of the range of the instrument, the concert published here bears all the marks and attributes of gamba technique while respecting the expressive and technical interpretive possibilities and means. It goes without saying that, like other literature of this period, this concert was created for the so-called Viennese tuning, that is, third-fourth tuning.
We are honored that, as the publisher of the Slovak Double Bass Club, we managed to publish this valuable work in its critical edition while respecting all the original aspects found in the period score. Original registration or a contemporary copy, preserved in Kremsmünster Abbey (Benedictine Monastery), from where this source of the edition of Zimmermann’s Violin Concerto also comes.
We believe that in the times when playing the so-called double bass Viennese tuning is of wider interest and attention to double bass players worldwide, this work will reach capable performers, researchers and double bass solo enthusiasts, and A. Zimmermann’s music will enrich the double bass repertoire worldwide.
Contains the orchestral score and all orchestral parts + solo part.
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Supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council