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David Heyes

Miloslav Gajdoš: Three Pieces for double bass quartet

Miloslav Gajdoš: Three Pieces for double bass quartet

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About the Compositions 

This digital publication brings together three individual works by Miloslav Gajdoš, each offering musical and technical challenges in equal measure and all aimed at the intermediate double bass quartet or ensemble. Professor Gajdoš has a unique talent to write music that is idiomatic and inventive, showcasing the qualities and possibilities of the double bass quartet, and explores the entire range and register of the double bass 

1. Lacrimosa (1998) 

Lacrimosa is an expressive work employing a range of interesting harmony and rhythms, within a lyrical and melodic framework. The minor tonality, contrasting a middle section in the tonic major, and effective four-part writing produces a sonorous work of poignancy and deeply felt emotion. 

Lacrimosa was commissioned by David Heyes and Wells Cathedral School (Somerset UK) and premiered at the school on 11 June 1998 by Jenny Knight, David Heyes, Sara Johnson and Philip Anson. 

" haunting a piece." (ISB) 

"A lacrimosa is usually a traditional movement of the Latin Requiem Mass, reflected here in the church-like harmony...well worth adding to the repertoire of advanced quartets." (Bass News) 

"Gajdos brings to this quartet his usual well-balanced scoring and refreshing harmonies...Lacrimosa is a successful and enjoyable exercise in close harmony for four double basses." (Double Bassist) 

2. Festive Suite 

Festive Suite comprises three contrasting pieces (Fanfare & Sonnet / Memorial (Tryzna) / Hymnus). The outer movements abound with rhythmic energy, offering musical and technical challenges in equal measure, with a lyrical and sonorous middle movement which demonstrates the singing qualities of the double bass. Miloslav Gajdoš has composed a wealth of music for double bass over the past fifty years and writes in a traditional and tonal style which offers music popular with players and audiences alike. 

3. A Classical Puzzle 

This amazing three movement work has been created using themes from concertos of the Classical age, notably works by Dittersdorf, Vanhal, Hoffmeister, Pichl and Sperger. Each movement is a unique opportunity to perform a wealth of concertos with each theme like a beautiful piece of marble in an ornate mosaic or a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. 

Miloslav Gajdoš has created a new work from older music which is an amazing addition to the quartet repertoire. How good is your knowledge of the Classical concerto repertoire? How many themes can you recognise? Surely this is a work for the musical detectives. 

Miloslav Gajdoš writes: "The quartet was written for Klaus Trumpf, to mark his final time as Director of the double bass seminars at Kloster Michaelstein in Germany. My aim was to create a work that linked the music of the past with bassists of the present, and to celebrate 

the amazing work by Klaus to promote and publish many forgotten and unknown works from the Classical age. The themes have been put together in the form of a puzzle and there are opportunities for each bassist to play the melodic material. The quartet was first performed at Kloster Michaelstein in 1998 by Miloslav Gajdoš, Radoslav Šašina, Miloslav Jelínek and Klaus Trumpf." 

About the Composer

Miloslav Gajdoš is one of Europe's most active and inventive bassist-composers. He was born in northern Moravia in 1948 and initially learned violin before transferring to the double bass, studying with Alois Kříž, Jirí Bortlícek and Ludwig Streicher. 

He has been Professor of Double Bass at the Vejvanovský Conservatoire in Kroměříž (Czech Republic) since 1971, and was a member of the Olomouc Symphony Orchestra for a number of years. He is Director of the Gregora International Double Bass Competition, founded in 1979 and held every two years in Kroměříž, and has been a juror at many competitions in Hungary, Germany and the Czech Republic. 

Miloslav Gajdoš is a prolific composer and arranger and, for almost 40 years, has produced a vast body of original works and transcriptions for double bass which are performed worldwide. His original works combine Czech lyricism and melody with brilliant technical demands, and music from one to sixteen double basses. He writes in a traditional and accessible style, producing music for every level of performer, particularly for the advanced bassist, and his many works for unaccompanied double bass are frequently chosen as international competition repertoire. 

[Gajdoš is pronounced GUY-DOSH] 

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