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David Heyes

Simón García: 3 Quartets for double bass quartet

Simón García: 3 Quartets for double bass quartet

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1. Campana sobre campana [Bells Ring Out] 

Campana sobre campana translates as 'bells upon bells' and is a traditional Spanish Christmas Carol and was arranged for double bass quartet by Simón García in the style of a Christmas fox-trot.

The music is lively and jolly and, although it is meant to be played at Christmas-time, it could easily be included in any concert as a fun encore. The composer has also created a version for double bass and piano.

2. Elegia

Elegia is a piece I wrote in only one day, a few days before the death of my grandfather. It´s in a 19th-century romantic style and I wrote it in a similar style to a 19th-century string quartet. It begins with the main theme that will develop throughout the piece and in all parts, like a dialogue. Elegia is in one movement and is both expressive and reflective. Possibly a good piece to understand how a romantic string quartet works from an original piece for bass.

Elegia was premiered by Gravissimo Bass Quartet (Alfonso Morán, Marta García, Saúl Puga and Simón García) on 5th June 2018 at Via Stellae Festival in Spain.

3. Grata Galerudo

Grata Galerudo is like a tango waltz and I searched for Argentinian sounding words and 'Grata' and 'galerudo' are both words in lunfardo - an Argentinian dialect used by the tango musicians. ‘Grata' is an offender or criminal but treated with great respect in prison for his criminal history and also by the other prisoners. 'Galerudo' is a wealthy and refined person.

The title of the piece brings these two descriptions together and a translation could be a 'dangerous but refined criminal'.

About the Composer

Bassist and composer Simón García was born in Mugardos (Spain) in 1977 and graduated in double bass from the Conservatorio Superior of Salamanca. He has worked as a double bassist in the Royal Orchestra of Galicia, having also performed in many orchestras throughout Spain, and is the bassist in the Symphony Wind Orchestra of A Coruña.

His music has been performed in Mexico, Venezuela, Uruguay, Denmark, Spain, Japan, Italy, Austria, Germany, Canada, USA, and UK by The Bass Gang, Bass Instinct, and Il Quint-etto amongst others, and some of his music was used as teaching material in the 2011 ISB Year of Collaborative Music.

Simón García’s music is lively, jazzy, and rhythmic with great forward momentum and drive. Accessible for players and audiences alike, he writes colourful music of distinction and energy, employing the entire range of the double bass.

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