Theodor Albin Findeisen

German bassist-composer, Theodor Albin Findeisen (1881-1936). Findeisen studied double bass with František Simandl (1840-1912) at the Vienna Conservatoire and subsequently at the Leipzig Conservatoire (1904-07) with Oswald Schwabe (1846-1909). He became Principal Bass in Breslau in 1907, from 1920 was the First Solo Bass with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and in 1922 he was appointed Professor of double bass at Leipzig Conservatoire. He held both positions in Leipzig until his death on 3 March 1936. Findeisen was influential as a teacher and produced a five-volume Method (Der Lehrer des Kontrabass-Spieles), alongside books of studies, and his work is the basis for the modern German school of bass playing.

Findeisen also composed a number of concert works for double bass, few of which are performed today, but his Quartet-Suite Op.26 for double bass quartet deserves to be better known. It was first published in 1934 and is dedicated to ‘Meinen Kollegen M. Schultz, W. Kilian & O. Martersteig’, three of his orchestral colleagues in Leipzig, and it is assumed that the composer would have played the top part. He follows the model of Bernhard Alt’s Suite and uses two tunings – solo for basses 1 and 2, and orchestral for basses 3 and 4 – and the first edition by Verlag Carl Merseburger (Leipzig) gives the title as ‘Quartettsuite fur 4 Celli od, 4 Kontrabasse’ and with a duration of about 18 minutes.