- Romanza Patética, for double bass & piano
- Introduction and Bolero for double-bass & piano (or orchestra)
- Elegia and Tarantella for double bass & strings in D major
- Allegro di Concerto alla Mendelssohn, for double bass & piano
- Fantasia on Bellini's La Sonnambula, for double-bass & piano (or orchestra)
- Introduzione e Variazioni sul "Carnevale di Venezia", for double bass & piano
In the same league as other composer-virtuosos of the time like Paganini and Liszt, Giovanni Bottesini was largely responsible for the double bass's rebirth as a solo instrument. His compositions, however, were far reaching and included genres from opera to sacred music to the many solo works for his own instrument. This concerto album focuses on a selection of works for double bass and piano, many of which draw their inspiration from works by other composers. The "Grande Allegro alla Mendelssohn," "Fantasia sulla Sonnanbula di Bellini," and "Introduction, Theme, and Variations on Carnival of Venice" all show Bottesini's considerable talents at mimicry while maintaining an original voice and translating it all into incredible feats of pyrotechnics and sonority on the bass. In the wrong hands, many of the works on this program can sound cheeky, trite, or even comical. Not so with bassist Francesco Siragusa, whose considerable technique and keen musicianship deliver what Bottesini had intended: works that show the true technical and musical potential of the large, sometimes cumbersome member of the string family. Siragusa's sound is especially pleasing; across the considerable range of his instrument, his tone is focused and clear without being either nasal or boomy. Intonation is virtually flawless, articulation is clean and precise, and vibrato is nicely controlled. Pianist Roberto Paruzzo conquers the considerable task of accompanying a bassist with ease; his playing never once covers Siragusa without seeming timid. Bassists and those who wish to see what the instrument is truly capable of will certainly enjoy this album.