Text Box: DOUBLE BASSist autograph
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MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
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Price: $150.00

NEAR MINT CONDITION

FRANTISEK HERTL - DOUBLE BASSIST

Early autographed formal postcard photograph of the Czech double bass virtuoso and composer, he writes a note regarding “great music in Prague” and has inscribed the verso with a division mark.

 

Hertl (1906-1973) remained a figment of the imagination of the double bass world, even by the cognoscenti until after the Revolution in 1989, 16 years after his death.  The Communist government had stymied the release of some of the most important compositions written for the double bass since Giovanni Bottensini in the 19th Century.  After the Revolution the bass world learned about what they had missed for decades and today he is widely performed world-wide.

 

Hertl’s first instrument was the violin which he studied with his Father, a local bandmaster in a small town near Pilsen. He entered the Prague Conservatory as a violinist when the most renowned double bassist of his era in Prague, Frantisek Cerny convinced him to pick up the double bass. He graduated after six years in 1926 joining the National Theater Orchestra as Principal Double Bass shortly thereafter. He taught briefly in Slovenia and was even more briefly in the military when he was appointed principal double bass of the Czech Philharmonic from 1929-1936 under Vaclav Talich.  He entered the Conservatory master’s program in 1933 to study composition under Czech composers Otakar Sin and Jaroslav Ridky until 1936.  In 1936 he left the Philharmonic to join the Prague Radio Symphony as Principal Double Bass at the request of the Chief Conductor Ottakar Jeremias where he stayed for the rest of his double bass career.  He also founded and was Artistic Director of the Czech Nonet the same year and kept the position until 1951.

 

In 1951 Hertl dropped the double bass in favor of a conductor’s baton and the position of Chief Conductor of the Brno Radio Orchestra. He was also appointed Professor of Double Bass at the Prague Conservatory; a position he held until his death.  He also founded the new Prague Chamber Orchestra where he was Artistic Director. The orchestra was mainly made up of 36 musicians from the Prague Radio Orchestra he had recruited.  They played both conductor-less and with conductor. 

 

Hertl’s work as a composer was essentially for the double bass and consists of concerti, sonatas for double bass and piano and also solo pieces.  He also wrote several books on “studies foer double bass” and “method for double bass”.  His sonatas for double bass and piano are oft graduation pieces for performers in their final year of conservatory world-wide.

 

A scarce autograph, especially this early!