Next, I'd like update the list of compositions featuring the double bass, but before I sweep through it like a hurricane, are there any guidelines for pages like these? In short, I think it should:
- give newcomers an overview of the most popular solo works (of all kinds of instrumentation), while also showcasing notable pieces that have been neglected
- suggest interesting chamber music pieces to the reader that feature a double bass, preferably from great composers (like Dvorak's second string quintet or Rossini's sonate a quattro); this used to be quite a conundrum when I was the only bass player at a summer camp for string players
- offer some examples of notable orchestral pieces in the instrument's historical development (such as Beethoven's symphonies), or which contain double bass solos (like Haydn's symphonies 6-8, or Mahler's 1). Works for string orchestra also go here
So it's a tradeoff between completeness and usability. Here are my concrete ideas for each of the points above:
- Offer a virtually complete list of concertos, seperated by time period, with viennese works split off from the rest of the classical period. I say "virtually" because Keyper's seven concertos do not need to be referenced individually; I would link to the "romance and rondo" (which is a selection from two of the concertos and the only work by him that is ever played) and then add a link to a slice of the category walker for the concertos.
- For the other categories (e.g. duos, works for db & piano...), list only works of particular interest (the most well-known pieces but also hidden gems and unusual instrumentations), but have the title link to the category walker for a complete overview
- If allowed, maintain a list of concertos that are not yet available (e.g. Pichl, Hoffmeister, Zimmermann and Sperger for the Viennese section) and ones that are lost (Haydn, grrrrr); maybe also list some pieces that are not yet PD, for the reader's information, like Nino Rota's wonderful Divertimento Concertante?
- I would consider (especially for the Viennese concertos) adding a few words as a guide (these may be subjective); for example, that Dittersdorf is the most played, that Vanhal is the most musical, that Kohaut is the most antique in style; or that Scontrino's has never been recorded, or published in its orchestral version
- For chamber works, maintain a list of several common instrumentations (e.g. ordinary string quartet + db, strings with piano etc), with only the most notable examples for each, and a link to the category walker for the rest. There'd probably be an 'other' category
- If allowed, would add a few words indicating whether the bass part is independent/challenging/solistic
- Orchestral examples absolutely need some explanation to warrant their inclusion, IMO, since they're really just curiosities and did-you-knows; it's not like an orchestra director would browse this list looking for works to put on the programme. Right now this section is bloated, as if we want to maintain a list of all works with continuo, or all symphonies with combined cello/bass parts and ones without; I'd just scrap it and start fresh
- Also for historical purposes, maintain a list of notable method books (right now, that would be Bottesini and Simandl) with a link to the category walker for the rest
If anyone with some authority has objections, suggestions, or simply doesn't care, please let me know!