CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Bassist Gannett will perform with pianist Rene Lecuona and three students
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Works for one, two and three double basses and works
for double bass with piano will form the program for a University of Iowa
faculty recital, to be performed by double bassist Diana Gannett and colleagues
at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Gannett, who teaches double bass at the UI School of Music, will perform
with pianist Rene Lecuona and three of her double bass students: Luciano
Silva, Anton Hatwich and Wes Phillips. Their performance will be free and
open to the public.
The largest member of the string family of instruments, the double bass
is not a common solo instrument outside of the jazz realm, but in recent
years Gannett has made double bass recitals a regular part of the UI School
of Music faculty performance series.
For the Sept. 21 recital Gannett will present works from the Baroque
period through the 20th century, ending with a contribution to the international
celebration of Franz Schubert's 200th birthday, a transcription for double
bass and piano of the Sonata in A minor D. 821, known as the "Arpeggione"
Other works on the program will be Gannett's double bass transcription
of a duet by Baroque composer Georg Philip Telemann, with Luciano Silva;
the Capriccio No. 2 for solo double bass by David Anderson; two show pieces
by the Romantic virtuoso double bassist Giovanni Bottesini, with Lecuona;
and Gannett's own arrangement for three double basses of three piano pieces
by Eric Satie, performed with Hatwich and Phillips.
Telemann's duet was published in 1728 in a bi-weekly magazine for amateur
musicians. It was published for flute and violin, but the composer suggested
-- perhaps aiming to enhance sales -- that it could be played by other
instrumental combinations. This suggestions was the cue that encouraged
Gannett to make her own arrangement.
A composer and double bassist, Anderson teaches at Louisiana State University
and plays principal double bass with the Louisiana Philharmonic in Baton
Rouge. His Capriccio No. 2 was commissioned for the 1997 International
Society of Bassists solo competition.
A thoroughly Romantic musician, Bottesini had three careers: as double
bass virtuoso, as conductor and as opera composer. This triple career took
him all over the world, from Italy to St. Petersburg, Paris, London, Cairo
--where he conducted the first performance of Verdi's "Aida"
--, New York, Havana and Mexico. His works for double bass are highly melodramatic
and sentimental, with alternating passages of virtuoso brilliance and bel-canto
Gannett will play Bottesini's "Elgia" -- which emphasizes
the sentimental and lyrical -- and the "Fantasia I Puritani e Bellini"
-- which emphasizes virtuosity.
An almost forgotten instrument, the arpeggione enjoyed a brief life
in the early 19th century. Invented in Vienna in 1824, it was a hybrid
string instrument, a bass viol with guitar-like metal frets embedded in
the arched fingerboard and with six strings tuned like a guitar. It had
a guitar-shaped body but was played like the cello.
Schubert wrote his sonata for the arpeggione in November of 1824 for
Vincenz Schuster, who was probably the only professional arpeggione player.
Although the instrument has disappeared, the music has been considered
too lovely to give up, and it is occasionally played in arrangements for
A graduate of the UI School of Music, Gannett returned to the UI to
teach double bass in the fall of 1992. She also is the principal double
bass of the Quad City Symphony.
As a teacher and performer she has had an active career including appointments
at Yale University, the Hartt School of Music, Oberlin College and the
University of South Florida. She has been principal double bass of the
Gulf Coast Symphony, the Black Hills Festival Orchestra, the Eastern Music
Festival and the Bronx Symphony, and been a member of the New Haven and
New Jersey symphonies. Her students have been winners in many solo competitions
and have won positions in professional orchestras.
As a chamber musician she has performed with members of the Guarneri,
Emerson, Laurentian and Stanford string quartets and the Borodin Trio.
Her frequent solo appearances have included many premieres and solo improvisations
as well as traditional repertoire. She has recorded for Irida Records.
At the UI Gannett studied with Eldon Obrecht, whom she has succeeded
on the faculty. She has also studied with legendary double bass virtuoso
Gary Karr at Yale, where she earned both master's and doctoral degrees,
and with Stuart Sankey at the Aspen Music Festival.
Gannett is president-elect of the International Society of Bassists
and plans to host the 1999 international convention of the organization
at the UI.
Lecuona has given solo and chamber music recitals throughout the United
States, as well as in South America and the Caribbean. As an Artistic Ambassador
for the United States, she has given concerts and master classes in Argentina,
, Peru, Ecuador and Trinidad and Tobago. She has also performed solo recitals
and given master classes at many universities in Brazil.
In 1993, she made her Carnegie Hall debut in a chamber performance in
Weill Recital Hall. In collaboration with her UI faculty colleagues, she
has appeared in numerous chamber music concerts on the UI campus. She has
been on the faculty of the UI School of Music since 1990. Her upcoming
activities include recording music of composers Margaret Brouwer and Craig
First, and performances in upstate New York.