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David Heyes

David Heyes: Mystery Sonata No.1 (Sonata in the Olden Style) for unaccompanied double bass

David Heyes: Mystery Sonata No.1 (Sonata in the Olden Style) for unaccompanied double bass

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1. Praeludium: Andante molto
2. Aria with Variations
3. Adagio
4. Presto 

About the Composition

Dedicated to Susan Hagen (Boston Pops Orchestra/Berklee College of Music) “Some years ago, Nicola Malagugini suggested that I write a series of Mystery Sonatas for unaccompanied double bass. Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704) and his 16 Mystery Sonatas for solo violin were the inspiration, and I decided to also write 16 sonatas for unaccompanied double bass. Each sonata would follow a similar pattern to the Biber, none lasting more than 5-6 minutes each, with the same key structure and movement titles, but they would be original for the double bass. 

It has taken me a few years to start the project, and Mystery Sonata No.1 was completed on 28 April 2022 although I only got around to editing and finally completing it on 10 June. It is written in an 'olden style' and is dedicated to my great friend Susan Hagen in Boston (USA) who has played, recorded and commissioned many pieces over the last few years. Sonata No.1 is in D minor, although sounding E minor for solo tuning, and the movement titles are the same as Biber's first sonata. It lasts around six minutes and I haven't included many performance directions because I think the musical lines suggest the phrasing and dynamics.” [David Heyes] 

About the Composer

David Heyes (b.1960) studied double bass with Laurence Gray and Bronwen Naish, later at the Royal College of Music in London, and completed his post-graduate studies in Prague with František Pošta (Principal Bass, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra). He has given recitals and masterclasses in 20 countries over the past few years and has been a juror at a number of international competitions, three times as chairman. 

David's collaborative work gained him a prestigious award from the David Walter Charitable Trust of New York for his pioneering activities as a soloist, teacher, publisher, and commissioner of new music for double bass and he works with composers throughout the world to expand the double bass repertoire by commissioning new music and by rediscovering forgotten ones. Since 1983 more than 700 works have been written for him, music from one to twenty basses and from beginner to virtuoso, and he has premiered ten contemporary concertos with orchestra. 

David began to compose in 2013 and has had music performed and recorded in 29 countries across five continents. He is a D'Addario Performing Artist and has recently commissioned a solo double bass from British master-luthier Martin Penning. 

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