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Lucas Drew

Amy Beach: La Captive (for the G String) for double bass and piano (edited by Lucas Drew)

Amy Beach: La Captive (for the G String) for double bass and piano (edited by Lucas Drew)

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About the Composition

La Captive, means “The Captive” in French. This is a fitting title as Beach indicates that the whole work is to be played sul G, meaning the violinist bassist is to be held captive by the G string. La Captive is in binary form.

There are two measures of 69 introduction followed by eight measures of A, eight measures of B, and nine measures of the coda. The form is defined by the use of repeats, as each major section (A and B) is repeated once.

Beach clearly strove for symmetrical division within the form, a feature that will occur in other Op. 40 works. Each section of this piece is also defined by the piano texture. Between the A and B sections, these textures can be differentiated by the right hand of the piano, as the textural accompaniment in the left-hand stays consistent.

In the coda, the piano has the melody for the first time since the introduction, while the violin accompanies with either pedal tones or a G major arpeggio. Texturally, a surprise occurs at the very end when the violin plays natural harmonics. This allows the final pitches to be higher than otherwise possible without leaving the G string.

-Courtney Erin Grant, West Virginia University Graduate Thesis

About the Composer

Amy Beach (Mrs. H.H.A. Beach) was one of the first American women to achieve a reputation as a composer. After her husband died in 1910, she spent four years in Europe and appeared as piano soloist in major cities. Her works include a piano concerto, songs, church music, the Gaelic Symphony, etc. La Captive is the first movement of Three Compositions for Violin and Piano, Opus 40.

About the Editor

Lucas Drew, after a distinguished career of more than 40 years of teaching and performing, is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Miami Frost School of Music and Principal Double Bass Emeritus of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. Also, he is Founder/Artistic Director Emeritus of the Highlands - Cashiers (NC) Chamber Music Festival (1982-1999).

Dr. Drew studied double bass with Allen Warner, Dmitri Shmuklovsky, and Edward Krolick and later, coached with Frederick Zimmermann. He is a graduate of the University of Miami, University of Illinois, and Florida State University. Many of his former students are active in the music profession.

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