Double Bass Solo

Keith Hartley

Sunday, November 17, 2019
[Keith Hartley]

Keith Hartley was sub-principal double bass in the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House for 32 years, being presented with the ROH Long Service Medal in 2013. Prior to that, he had been a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Northern & BBC Concert Orchestras. The Radio 3 programme: Building a Library made the Jascha Horenstein recording of Mahler “Das Lied von der Erde” with the BBC Northern Symphony and Alfreda Hodgson (alto) / John Mitchinson (tenor) it's First Choice Recommendation. This recording was made over 45 years ago!

Keith was fortunate to record the same work with Rudolf Kempe & Janet Baker in 1975. Many of these old recordings are available on the BBC Legends label. Rudolf Kempe will also be remembered for his Ein Heldenleben, with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (BBC Proms 1974)

Particularly during the thirteen years (1974-87) as a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Keith toured and recorded extensively. Here is a selection of his latest recordings:
ROH CD's  ·  ROH DVD's

For many years, Keith was also the bass player with the London Harpsichord Ensemble, and can be heard on the Albinoni, Telemann and Handel oboe concertos with Sarah Francis.
(These recordings are rated 3 and 4 stars in the Penquin Guide.)

Many thanks to the artist FRASER KING for permission to include a copy of his painting "The Lull - 2005"
& Neil Gillespie © 2012 (ROH Bass section photo) & Rob Moore © 2013 (for Medal Ceremony photos)
[Keith Hartley]

On the educational front, Oxford University Press started publishing the "Double Bass Solo" series in 1980. These books are still going strong, and a updated edition of Double Bass Solo Book 1 was published in 2019

Other publications include:
Double Bass Solo Book 2 - popular book of orchestral excerpts.
Double Bass Solo Techniques - This book was published in March 2008.
Subterranean Solos - 9 Concert pieces for Bass and Piano.
Bass Clef Duets - 15 Duets in bass and tenor clefs.

Keith played on a Joseph Panormo (1768-1837) Double Bass, which was featured in "The Strad" magazine of January 1999, and more recently in The English Double Bass book (2018). Click on the link above to read the instrument’s fascinating history dating back to c.1820.

Other useful links:
The Walking Bass Wheel
Bob Gollihur's Double Bass Links
Rachel Webley's Bassclef website