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David Heyes

Jacques Vanherenthals: Between Ether and Earth for double bass quartet

Jacques Vanherenthals: Between Ether and Earth for double bass quartet

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About the Composition

Between Ether and Earth is aimed at the advanced double bass quartet and is a serious and evocative one-movement work that explores and exploits the entire range of the double bass. A wealth of colors and timbres are employed in a work of great imagination and dramatic intent.

There are musical and technical challenges for each player in an engaging work that deserves a place in the quartet repertoire.

Composition which places matter in opposition, the Earth, represented by a country dance in 3/4, and the fluid world, the Ether, (or the ethereal world) the central part, suggested by pizzicati, ponticelli, glissandi etc. The finale inexorably leads back to matter in a lively 2/4. [Jacques Vanherenthals]

About the Composer

Jacques Vanherenthals (b.1948) began his musical career as a double bassist at Antwerp Opera, now Flemish Opera, in 1969. From 1973-1988 he was at the RTBF Symphony Orchestra, in 1988 he became Director of the Academy of Nivelles and the following year was appointed Director of the Academy of Music, Dance & Spoken Arts of Forest, where he headed the educational team until June 2010. He also held the post of instructor in chamber music at the Brussels Conservatory from 1984-2006.

Along with his activities as a virtuoso double bassist, he wrote numerous works for the instrument and in 1982 created the Brussels Double Bass Quartet, with which played, for ten years, over 300 concerts with the Jeunesses Musicales and many others in Louisiana, Quebec, Ontario, France, Italy and Belgium. From 1987-2005 he was Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of La Chapelle des Minimes, where he conducted more than 160 cantatas as well as the great choral works of J.S. Bach.

He is also founder and Artistic Director of the Ensemble Orchestral de Bruxelles which he created in 1994 with fellow bassist Eric Demesmaeker and musicologist Richard Dehon.

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