David Heyes

Simón García: The Luck of the Irish for double bass quartet

Simón García: The Luck of the Irish for double bass quartet

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About the Composition

The Luck of the Irish is a fun and exciting piece and would be ideal for any audience or occasion. It has constant rhythmic energy and drive, exploring the entire range of the double bass, and also exists in a version for double bass sextet. Aimed at the advanced quartet, this would be an ideal final concert item or encore with a standing ovation almost guaranteed!

Simón García writes: 'The Luck of the Irish is written with an Irish flavor. I wrote it for Barry Green and it was premiered and performed during a 'Barry Green and Friends' tour in January and February 2013 in the USA. I wrote it with a joyful and carefree feel as if it was a traditional Irish reel or jig. In the beginning, the theme is presented with one bass alone, gradually adding the other instruments as if it were a spontaneous meeting (jam) in an Irish pub. In the first part, you can recognize some characteristic sounds such as tin whistle, bouzouki ́s strumming, and bodhran ́s rhythms, and in the second part the same theme is processed in a more rhythmic and fun way with an accompaniment reminiscent of the way of the violins accompany Irish folk music.'

The Spanish premiere of 'The Luck of the Irish' was on 19 May in Barcelona by Kristin Korb, Alberto Bocini, Diego Zecharies, and Simón García.


"Rhythmic drive is perhaps the most important - and unifying - music element that extends through The Luck of the Irish...Aptly marked 'Tempo de Reel', The Luck of the Irish is a jig with fleeting fiddle tunes and energetic rhythmic lines. Bass one and bass two take on the role of duelling fiddlers, alternately playing each of four unique eight-bar themes. This music allows an opportunity for the fiddlers to showcase agile left-hand technique and virtuosic bow control. Bass three and four, meanwhile, provide the rhythmic impetus in the piece. Extra interest is added with their unyielding syncopated groupings of notes...accessible to intermediate and advanced bassists fluent in thumb position and confident with rhythmic playing. Garcia's command of the instrument is clear. His idiomatic writing allows the performer to take advantage of harmonics and open strings. Frequent repetition and ostinato rhythms will help hold the ensemble together and likely inspire the audience to tap or clap along." [Philip Alejo/Bass World, ISB]

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. He has collaborated with many musicians and ensembles, particularly in the field of contemporary music, and has recorded and performed on many commercial recordings and for television and radio broadcasts.

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