Concerto in C


Composer: Václav Pichl

Instrumentation: Double bass and piano

Difficulty: Suitable for advanced players
Exam syllabus: Grades 7 and 8

The printed edition includes both the bass part and piano accompaniment

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Václav Pichl was born just south of Prague in 1741. At the age of 24 Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf engaged him as a violinist and his assistant director in southern Hungary. The orchestra was dissolved four years later and Pichl returned to Prague for a short spell before taking up a position in Vienna and then in Milan where he stayed for 21 years. As well as a virtuoso violinist Pichl was a versatile composer leaving numerous symphonies, pieces of chamber music, concertos, operas and church music. Some of his symphonies have been ascribed to other composers, notably Dittersdorf and Haydn. Pichl died from a stroke in 1805 while playing a violin concerto in the Palais Lobkowitz in Vienna.

The 1st movement is marked Allegro moderato and is in 4/4. Many elements of this movement are very reminiscent of the first movement of Haydn’s cello concerto in C. I don’t suppose we will ever know who wrote their concerto first.

In the 2nd movement, Andante molto the bass alternately takes the melody line and weaves accompanying semiquaver figures around the melody in the orchestra. This is not dissimilar to the slow movements of both the Capuzzi and Cimador double bass concertos.

The 3rd movement is fast and bubbly in three sections

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ISMN: 979-0-708191-30-8


Exam syllabus

ABRSM (2020-2023 and from 2024)

  • 1st movement (Gd 8)
  • 2nd movement (Gd 7)

MTB (since 2019)

  • 1st movement (Gd 8)

Trinity (2020-2023)

  • 1st movement (Gd 8)

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