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David Heyes

Miloslav Gajdoš: Sextdecimet for 16 Double Basses

Miloslav Gajdoš: Sextdecimet for 16 Double Basses

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About the Composition

Sextdeciment was composed for 16 bassists from 12 countries and was premiered on 20 March 1997 at Kloster Michaelstein International Workshop in Germany, with a second performance the following day.

Sextdecimet is a monumental and impressive work which features a solo for each bass alongside tutti passages which explore and exploit the entire range of the double bass. The music is primarily in four or eight parts and in a tonal and traditional style, with each stand/desk of two bassists playing the same part.

Sextdecimet is perfect for any massed double bass festival or workshop, playable with or without a conductor, and would be a spectacular finale to any concert.

The bassists at the premiere were:

Desk 1 - Miloslav Gajdoš & Klaus Trumpf
Desk 2 - Ovidiu Badila & Radoslav Šašina
Desk 3 - Rudolf Senn & Hans Roelofsen
Desk 4 - Petia Bagovska & Alexander Michno
Desk 5 - Miloslav Jelínek & Markus Rex
Desk 6 - Paul Erhard & Antal Szentirmai
Desk 7 - David Heyes & Mette Hanskov
Desk 8 - Lev Rakov & Karoly Saru

Performances Notes

With a few small changes Sextdecimet can be performed by bass octet. Each bassist should play both solos for their desk but Solo 6 (Desk 3) should be played by Bass 1 (Desk 1), from bar 309 to the first beat of bar 333, when Bass 1 continues with Desk 1 music.

About the Composer

Miloslav Gajdoš (b.1948) 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 Bortlíček 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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