Two Eighteenth-Century Pieces
Arranged for Double Bass and Piano by H Samuel Sterling
The lively Tambourin by Rameau is among the most popular of baroque instrumental pieces, and in H. Samuel Sterling’s idiomatic arrangement for double bass and piano it forms a welcome addition to the bassist’s repertoire. Giordani’s stately Larghetto is an ideal counterweight, and an exercise in sustained, expressive playing that is included in the Associated Board Grade 6 syllabus for the instrument.
Originally published in the 1950s by Augener (London), H. Samuel Stirling’s eighteenth-century transcriptions have been newly typeset and given a nice glossy cover. The contrasting pieces, by Rameau and Giordani, offer interesting music for the Grade 6 – 8 bassist, useful as both study or concert music. Rameau’s Tambourin is full of energy and character and fits nicely under the fingers. It makes effective use of the orchestral register, using a two octave range, and the inclusion of tenor clef might make this a good piece for players who need to master this bugbear of many bassists. The accompaniment is simple and supportive, playable on piano or harpsichord, employing on the whole only tonic and dominant chords in G minor with the occasional diminished 7th. The majority of the melodic interest is given to the double bass. Giordani’s
Larghetto, more popularly known as ‘Caro Mio Ben’, is a truncated version of this popular Italian song. Its 24 bars, without an introduction or piano links, offer effective lyrical and expressive challenges for the Grade 8 player. These 50-year-old arrangements successfully stand the test of time, providing two enjoyable and accessible transcriptions for the intermediate bassist.
David Heyes – Music Teacher Magazine