Dragonetti, Domenico

1763-1846

Renowned player of the doublebass, who was born in Venice, and who has been sometimes called " the Paganini of the contra-basso." He also composed and taught and played in the opera buffa at Venice and was choirmaster of St. Mark's for eighteen years. He made his first London appearance in 1794, and played with Lindley at the Ancient Concerts, the Philharmonic and others. He led the doublebasses at the Beethoven Festival at Bonn in 1845. Says one writer: " Dragonetti is to the aspiring bass-player what Paganini is, or used to be, to the violinist." His tone and execution were of the rarest type and placed him far above any contemporary performer. Many anecdotes are related of his eccentricity and penuriousness.