At last I shall know where to place my fingers.

This version of Bottesini's last words exists as an oral tradition among Bass players around the world. While this might seem to some shaky ground for scholarship, I find it not only impossible to disregard, but more believable than any other version, for a number of reasons.

First of all, Bassists of the Bottesini school have proven consistently honest and prudent in preserving and promoting knowledge and appreciation of Bottesini. Against overwhelming uncertainty, they have held on to every scrap of Truth about the Master they could find.

Secondly, the Bassists' version perfectly echoes Bottesini's famous youthful fingers statement; composer that he was, he would have been delighted by the idea of a "recapitulation" of that type. Bottesini's innate sense of craft, showmanship, and decorum should not be underestimated.

For these reasons, as well as for others than can't be revealed here for security reasons, the IBSU favors this, the Bassists' version as the mone most likely to be True.

"We all must learn where to place our fingers."
© 1997, Jeff Brooks (