A somewhat impromptu performance of Giovanni Bottesini’s “Elegy” at Gusman concert hall, performed for the students of the University of.

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Elegy (Bottesini, Giovanni)

I recommend a simple, repetitive fingering pattern for accuracyfinishing the scale withensuring that the first finger remains on the string throughout the scale. The first is in mm. With the addition of slurs in the arpeggio, again to be practiced in small groups of the 32nd notes within the arpeggio, the critical timing and fluidity of movement of the line can be more easily accomplished.

The expected rubato in this gesture a judicious use is recommended!

Bel Canto Bass: Clearing the Hurtles in Giovanni Bottesini’s ‘Elegy’ – Strings Magazine

Listen carefully for the half steps between first and fourth fingers where the shift occurs. Of critical importance to guarantee a smooth ascent to the C is to use a fingering that stays on the G string in the last three eighth notes of m.

By playing the first eighth note E on the G string 4th finger in the upper half of boftesini bow on a down bow, and preparing the second finger horizontally for the upcoming E on the D string, the performer can retain a full up-bow to easily hold the longer E and control the resolution to the C in bar A mirror is often helpful in this regard.


Two of the first challenges facing the performer in this work occur almost immediately in the piece—something that many students find quite intimidating. Again, a simple shifting exercise, like Exercise 2can help provide the basis of learning the timing and finger and bow weight for the underslide.

One should strive for as seamless and vocal a transition as possible from a solid vibrating finger on the C often a second finger to a clearly articulated trill, followed by clear grace notes to resolve to a celestial top G. The simple shifting exercise in Exercise 1 has proven valuable to build confidence in that shift.

Elegy (Bottesini, Giovanni) – IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music

Measure 36 is performed in a variety of ways to incorporate a trill on the C, with my preference being to divide the value of the C in half within the bar, with the latter half played as a trill.

Although botteisni some editions of Elegymm.

Nonetheless, the work presents multiple challenges to the intermediate and professional player alike, as the bel canto vocal style demands considerable facility in accurate shifting, and sophisticated and supple bowing. With a hint toward introducing eleegy students to Romantic period string gestures, I encourage them to try a tasteful underslide while changing strings on the repeated E in the second half of m.

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Bel Canto Bass: Clearing the Hurtles in Giovanni Bottesini’s ‘Elegy’

It may also be advisable to use a thumb F on the last eighth note of the bar for ease on the shift to the C, and to keep playing a closed rather than harmonic G throughout the turn. The conclusion of Elegy also poses a challenge, particularly the turn and grace notes at the end of m.

One of my favorite moments in Elegy is the simple but beautiful cadence at mm. And to further enhance the bel canto style, I ask my students to learn the shift with a closed eldgy vibrated upper D, rather than a harmonic.

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