Volume 9, September 2017
Koussevitzky's Double Bass Repertoire: A Reassessment

by Andrew Kohn, Ph.D.

Volume 9 of the OJBR presents Koussevitzky's Double Bass Repertoire: A Reassessment by Andrew Kohn.

Serge Koussevitzky

Dr. Kohn's comprehensive, detailed, well-documented, and clearly organized research presents an overview and examination of Serge Koussevitzky's double bass repertoire. The study includes works that Koussevitzky composed, works composed by Glière, extant solo bass music, extant chamber music, and transcriptions. The article also surveys compositions that were composed for, but remained unperformed by Koussevitzky.

Much has been written about Koussevitzky's life and career as a conductor, a commissioner of new music, and as a double bass soloist, but not as much scholarship has been published about the repertoire, the actual double bass compositions, that Koussevitzky performed (or may have intended to perform) and the circumstances under which the compositions became part of his repertoire. A significant number of the discussed titles in Koussevitzky's repertoire will be familiar to most performers of classical double bass, but this article offers new and interesting information. For the works that are unfamiliar, this article provides a tangible connection to Koussevitzky, which allows for a gateway to scholarly exploration of otherwise unfamiliar compositions.

This article is different from other articles that have been published to date in OJBR, because this article is an "invited" article. On rare occasions, in order to expedite the publication of outstanding research from recognized scholars, an editor of a scholarly journal can invite an author to contribute an article to the journal.

The author, Dr. Andrew Kohn, enjoys a distinguished performance career and is regarded in the double bass community as one of the leading scholars of the double bass. He is on the faculty of the School of Music at West Virginia University and is a member of the bass section of the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra and Ballet Theater Orchestras. He holds his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and received the AD in double bass from the Peabody Conservatory.

1. Introduction

2. Koussevitzky composed some of his own performance repertoire.

3. Koussevitzky also performed a pair of pieces by Glière, the earlier of two pairs composed for him.

4. Koussevitzky performed extant solo bass music, including concerti.

5. He also performed extant chamber music.

6. He also played a lot of transcriptions, sometimes with orchestra, including some that were already published as well as those he had prepared for his personal use.

7. Other Transcriptions Associated With Koussevitzky, But Probably Not Performed

8. Repertoire Arranged Chronologically By Performance

9. Works Composed For Koussevitzky That He Never Performed

10. Larger Implications


About the Author