Bernhard Romberg

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portrait of Bernhard Romberg (1815)

Bernhard Heinrich Romberg (November 13, 1767 – August 13, 1841), was a German cellist and composer.

Life[edit]

Romberg was born in Dinklage. His father, Anton Romberg, played the bassoon and cello and gave Bernhard his first cello lessons. He first performed in public at the age of seven. In addition to touring Europe with his cousin Andreas Romberg, Bernhard Romberg also joined the Münster Court Orchestra.

Together with his cousin, he later joined the court orchestra of the Prince Elector Archbishop of Cologne in Bonn (conducted by the Kapellmeister Andrea Luchesi) in 1790, where they met the young Beethoven. Beethoven admired and respected Bernhard Romberg as a musician. However, Romberg had difficulty understanding some of Beethoven's musical ideas, and rejected Beethoven's offer of a cello concerto for him, saying that he primarily performed his own compositions[1]

Romberg made several innovations in cello design and performance. He lengthened the cello's fingerboard and flattened the side under the C string, thus giving it more freedom to vibrate.[2] He also invented what is known as the Romberg bevel, a flat section beneath the E string of the double bass that allowed the larger string to vibrate more freely when using a bow. This design is still used today, mainly by rockabilly bass players who prefer the bottom E string to vibrate more freely.[citation needed] He suggested that half-size and 3/4 size cellos should be designed to make it easier for young children to play the instrument. Romberg is responsible for simplifying cello notation to only three clefs, the bass clef, the tenor clef and the treble clef. Until his time, it was common to use many clefs for multiple uses - the 18th century cellist-composer Luigi Boccherini used as many as six clefs in his compositions. Romberg is thought to be among the first cellists to perform from memory, which was a skill praised highly in his day.[2] He died at Hamburg.

It has been suggested that Romberg's cello sonata in E minor was a strong influence on the first cello sonata in E minor by Johannes Brahms.[3]

Works[edit]

Works with Opus number[edit]

  • Opus 1, string quartets 1-3
    • String Quartet No. 1 in E-flat Major
    • String Quartet No. 2 in B-flat Major
    • String Quartet No. 3 in D Major
  • Opus 2, Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Major, for cello and orchestra
  • Opus 3, Grand Concerto No. 2 in D Major, for cello with orchestra
  • Opus 4, Potpourris in G Major for cello and string quartet (Also transcribed as Three Duos for violin and cello)
  • Opus 5, Three Sonatas for cello (or violin) and harp (or piano)
  • Opus 6, Concerto No. 3 in G Major, for cello and orchestra (also reduced as Three Grand Sonatas, for piano with accompaniment of violin)
  • Opus 7, Cello Concerto No.4 in E minor
  • Opus 8, Grand Trio in F Major for string trio
  • Opus 9, 3 duos for 2 cellos (also transcribed for violin and cello)
    • No.1, Duet in D Major
    • No.2, Duet in F major
    • No.3, Duet in E minor
  • Opus 11, Overture for orchestra
  • Opus 12, Quartet No.4 (2 violins, viola, cello)
  • Opus 13, Variations in A Minor for cello and orchestra
  • Opus 14, Airs Russes for cello and orchestra
  • Opus 17, Flute concerto in B minor (Also published as opus 30)
  • Opus 18, Variations et Rondo in E-flat Major for harp (or piano), violin, viola and cello
  • Opus 20, Variations sur deux airs russes in D Minor for cello and strings
  • Opus 21, Rondoletto per violoncello principale con strings in A Major
  • Opus 22, Piano Quartet
  • Opus 23, Trauer-Symphonie in C Minor
  • Opus 25, String Quartets 5-7
    • String Quartet No.5 in G Minor
    • String Quartet No.6 in C Minor
    • String Quartet No.7 in G Major
  • Opus 26, Overture to Opera: Ulysse et Circe
  • Opus 28, Capriccio sur des aire nationaux suédois for cello and piano (also Symphony in E-flat Major)
  • Opus 30, Concerto No. 5 in F-sharp Minor for cello and orchestra
  • Opus 31, Concerto No. 6 in F Major (Militaire) for cello and orchestra
  • Opus 33, 2 duos for 2 cellos
  • Opus 34, Concert Overture
  • Opus 35, Elegie sur la mort d'un objet chéri for cello and string orchestra
  • Opus 36, Duos for 2 cellos
  • Opus 37, String Quartet No 8 in A Major
  • Opus 38, Three Sonatas for Cello and Piano (also Three Trios for viola and two cellos)
    • No.1, Cello Sonata in E minor
    • No.2, Cello Sonata in G Major
    • No.3, Cello Sonata in B-flat Major
  • Opus 39, String Quartet No 9 in D Minor
  • Opus 41, Concertino in E minor for cello and orchestra
  • Opus 42, Divertimento on Swedish National Themes
  • Opus 43, 3 Sonatas (Also played as trios for viola, cello and bass). (and as duos for 2 cellos).
    • No.1, Cello Sonata in Bb Major
    • No.2, Cello Sonata in C Major
    • No.3, Cello Sonata in G Major
  • Opus 44, Concerto No. 7 in C Major (Suisse) for cello and orchestra
  • Opus 46, Divertimento from Austrian Folksongs for cello and guitar
  • Opus 48, Concerto No. 8 in A Major (Brillant) for cello and orchestra
  • Opus 49, Souvenir de Vienne, grosses rondo brillant, for cello and piano (originally with orchestra)
  • Opus 50, Theme and Variations for cello and piano
  • Opus 51, Concertino, for cello and piano or orchestra in D minor
  • Opus 52, – Airs Russes for cello and piano
  • Opus 53, Symphony in C major (published 1830 by Haslinger)[4][5]
  • Opus 55, Fantaisie sur des airs norvégiens in D Minor for cello and piano
  • Opus 56 , Concerto No. 9 in B Minor (Grand) for cello and orchestra
  • Opus 57, Concertino for cello and orchestra
  • Opus 58, Fantaisie sur des airs norvégiens pour violoncelle et piano
  • Opus 59, String Quartet No. 10 in A Minor
  • Opus 60, String Quartet No. 11 in E Major
  • Opus 61, Theme with Variations and Rondo for cello and piano
  • Opus 62, Symphonie burlesque (toy symphony)
  • Opus 65, Divertimento on Westphalian National Themes for cello and string quartet
  • Opus 70, Grande fantaisie for cello accompanied by string quartet or piano
  • Opus 71, Divertissement for piano trio
  • Opus 72, Concertino in A for two cellos and orchestra
  • Opus 75, Op. 75 – Concerto No. 10 in E Major (Brillant), for cello and orchestra
  • Opus 76, Introduction and Polonaise for cello and piano

Works by Bernhard and Andreas Romberg[edit]

  • Opus 1, Three Quintets for flute, violin, two violas and cello
    • Quintet 1 in D Major
    • Quintet 2 in C Major
    • Quintet 3 in G Major (written only by Bernhard Romberg)[6]
  • Opus 2, 3 Concertante Duos for violin and cello

Works without Opus number[edit]

  • Oeuvres Posthumes, 6 Morceaux Élégants for cello and piano
    • No.1, La réponse, Fantaisie
    • No.2, Divertissement
    • No.3, Notturno
    • No.4, Sérénade
    • No.5, Bagatella
    • No.6, Introduzione e Rondo giocoso
  • Le Rêve, pièce de fantaisie for cello and string quartet (or piano)
  • Two Canons
  • Recitative and Aria in B-flat Major for cello and orchestra
  • Pièce pour les amateurs sur des airs suedois for cello and string quartet
  • Cantabile et thème varié suivis d'un allegretto for cello and piano
  • Variations in A Minor for cello and orchestra
  • Variations in E Major for cello and piano
  • Trois themes de W. A. Mozart, variés pour violon et violoncelle
  • Double Concerto, for violin, cello, and orchestra
  • Divertimento sur des airs autrichiens, for cello and piano
  • Violoncello studies, three books
  • A Complete Theoretical and Practical School for the Violoncello

Media[edit]

Flute Quintet in G Major



Performed by James Galway and the Young Danish String Quartet

Problems playing these files? See media help.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raychev, Evgeni Dimitrov (2003). The virtuoso cellist-composers from Luigi Boccherini to David Popper: A review of their lives and works (PDF), . P. 21. D.M. dissertation, The Florida State University, United States -- Florida. Retrieved December 8, 2009, from Dissertations & Theses: Full Text.(Publication No. AAT 3109523).
  2. ^ a b Raychev (2003), P23.
  3. ^ hwa-chow oliver hsu. "Cello Sonata 1 Op. 38". Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Information and Description about and of Ars Produktion Recording of Symphonies opp. 23, 28 and 53". Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  5. ^ "Hofmeisters Monatsberichte". 1830. pp. 19, 66. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  6. ^ Wion, John. "Two Bernhards"., retrieved 22 August 2007.

External links[edit]