Skip to product information
1 of 7

David Heyes

Teppo Hauta-aho: Elegy-Fantasy in Memory of David Walter for double bass quartet

Teppo Hauta-aho: Elegy-Fantasy in Memory of David Walter for double bass quartet

Regular price $20.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $20.00 USD
Sale Sold out

About the Composition

Completed on 25 November 2003 and revised in April 2004, 'Elegy-Fantasy in Memory of David Walter' is large-scale work in every sense of the term. David Walter (1913-2003), an eminent player and teacher in New York for many years, was a good friend of Teppo Hauta-aho and they worked together on many occasions. David Walter always said that Teppo was his 'bodyguard'.

'Elegy-Fantasy in Memory of David Walter' is in one extended movement, lasting around ten minutes, and offers both musical and technical challenges to the advanced and enterprising bass quartet. The notes DAE, taken from David Walter's name, are a recurring feature throughout and there are clearly defined sections which add contrast and interest to this amazing work of breadth and imagination.

The composer creates an exciting and exotic sound world, sometimes bleak and spare and at other time bright and expansive. The ever-changing moods and styles offer challenges aplenty and here is a work which requires far more than technical accomplishment. Teppo Hauta-aho employs a range of playing techniques, always within a lyrical and cantabile framework, to add variety and colour.

Bass 1 and 2 play in treble clef for much of the time, employing harmonics to add height and clarity, with bass 3 and 4 grounding the work with a strong foundation in the lower registers. Teppo Hauta-aho is a past master at writing evocative and atmospheric music for massed double basses and this is a case in point. Each bassist is able to explore and investigate the tonal and timbral colours available to the modern double bass, demonstrating the different facets and ensemble possibilities.

'Elegy-Fantasy in Memory of David Walter' is a work of enormous scope and breadth and offers much to performers and audiences alike. It was recorded on 1 July 2017 in Oslo for Prima Facie Records by Dan Styffe, David Heyes, Kenneth Ryland and Karol Ciesluk.

About the Composer

Finnish composer and bassist Teppo Hauta-aho was the most prolific bass composer of our time and since the 1970s has composed more than 400 works for double bass - spanning the entire range of standards from beginner to virtuoso.

Teppo Hauta-aho was born in 1941 and studied double bass with Orvo Hyle and Oiva Nummelin in Finland, and František Pošta in Prague. He played with the Helsinki Philharmonic between 1965 and 1972, and the Finnish Opera Orchestra from 1975 to 2000. Teppo Hauta-aho was an active recitalist, both classical and jazz, gave more than 300 recitals with his duo partner, Carita Holmström, and was at the cutting edge of modern improvisation - performing with leading improvisers throughout the world, for many years.

Finnish composer Harry Wessman writes: "As a composer, Teppo Hauta-aho has always been his own teacher, basing his technical knowledge on his wide practical musicianship as an orchestral player, chamber and jazz musician. It would not be an exaggeration to claim that he was the jazz bassist most in demand in Finland in the 1970s, and a few of his works are pure jazz compositions. But the compositional techniques and musical means used in the majority of his works originate in an unusual openness for any devices. Along with modern techniques, his source of inspiration includes all the previous stylistic periods in European music, impulses from Oriental music and, of course, jazz. His own instrument, the double bass, has profited especially from his rich inventiveness in finding new means to conjure forth unusual sounds from the instrument, and in applying them in an artistically meaningful and striking way."

Teppo Hauta-aho's music has been performed extensively in Finland and abroad, notably in America, Britain, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Soviet Union, Australia and Switzerland. He died in Helsinki on 27 November 2021.

View full details