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Bosch: The Hungarian Double Bass

Bosch: The Hungarian Double Bass

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Here is a varied and colorful selection of Hungarian double bass music which takes the listener on a journey to Hungary, a journey which also reveals many strong influences of Central Europe. Through this recording Leon Bosch pays a personal tribute to his first influential double bass teacher, Hungarian Zoltan Kovats who has lived in South Africa since 1965. An inspiring teacher at the College of Music in Cape Town, Mr. Kovats, now a member for the World Orchestra for Peace, writes that "the strongest influence of the Hungarian bass school originated from Viennese and Czech bass players like Franz Simandl, Josef Hrabĕ, Eduard Madenski, Adolf Misek and Josef Emmanuel Storch, among others.”

Leon’s selected repertoire reflects this influential history of Hungarian double bass pedagogy, and highlights the history and close geographical proximity of its players. Looking back through time a musical link is made between Montag and Simandl – as Montag studied with Bertalen Tintner, who in turn studied with Simandl in Vienna. And further back, as Simandl studied with Hrabĕ at the Prague Conservatoire between 1855 -1862, firstly becoming principle double bassist at the Vienna Court Orchestra and then at Bayreuth.

So this connection is made in the choice of the music, through Leon’s original arrangements of Liszt’s powerful "La Lugugbre Gondola" to the performance of more standard repertoire such as the Austrian influence in Takács’ Old Hungarian “Hofballmusik”, from Bartók’s “Sonatina on Transylvanian Themes”, again a new transcription, to “Extreme” by Montag himself. Operatic, wild changes of character and mood within “Extreme” recalls that “nagybogo”, the Hungarian word used for “double bass”, can be translated literally as “the big screamer”, meaning one who cries with tears, abundant tears flowing, as Hungarian colleagues of mine pointed out, it is howling out of control like a child, or even an animal!

Read an interview about Leon Bosch’s recording project at Leon Bosch Interview


Zoltán Kodály
1. Adagio

Zoltán Kodály
Epigrams (Seven movements from the Series for Double bass and Piano)
2. Lento
3. Andantino
4. No. 3
5. Moderato
6. Allegretto
7. No. 6
8. Con moto

Lajos Montag
9. Extrême

Franz Liszt
10. La Lugubre Gondola

Béla Bartók
11. Dudások
12. Medvetánc
13. Finale

Jenö Takács
14. Alte Ungarische Hofballmusik Op. 115

Pál Járdányi
15. Melody

Ferenc Farkas
16. Allegro moderato
17. Andante espressivo
18. Allegro

Vilmos Montag
19. Silhouette

Elisabeth Eszlary
20. Allegro vivace
21. Moderato
22. Animato

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