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David Heyes

Tony Osborne: Basses Four Book 2 - Three Pieces for double bass quartet

Tony Osborne: Basses Four Book 2 - Three Pieces for double bass quartet

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About the Book

Basses Four Book 2 brings together three fun pieces aimed at the intermediate quartet. They are colorful and inventive, offering musical and technical challenges in equal measure, and written in engaging and appealing styles, which are typical of Tony Osborne’s upbeat and adventurous musical language.

Table of Contents

1. Italian Tarantella

Composed in 1996 and revised in 2013, this fun quartet is ideal for the good intermediate bass quartet and is also playable with larger forces. A lively and rhythmic accompaniment drives the music along and the melodic material is shared between basses 1-3. Bass 4 provides a strong and important bass line and Tony Osborne successfully captures the feeling and mood of a sunny Italian landscape with a group of dancers performing a fast and energetic dance which is enjoyed by all.

2. Pastyme with Good Companye

Based on the partsong by King Henry VIII, the use of open fifths and repetitive rhythms evoke the world of Tudor England, with its raw energy and brash sounds. Effective with massed basses and a firm favourite at many double bass workshops around the world. It was first published in 1997 which celebrated Tony Osborne's 50th birthday and commemorated the 450th anniversary of the death of King Henry VIII. 'Pastyme with Good Companye. The Kynges balade', originally for 3 voices, was one of the most popular tunes of the period and was composed in the early 1500s. Henry was trained in music from an early age and 34 of his original compositions survive, both vocal and instrumental. He ascended the throne in 1509 and was monarch until his death in 1547.

"This simple but powerful arrangement is successful in recreating the pungent sounds of renaissance instruments such as shawms, sackbuts, and the delightfully obnoxious racket." (ISB)

3. Real Cool

Dating from the 1980s, this lively quartet is full of jazzy rhythms and influences.

"Real Cool is in exactly the same vein as All in a Day's Work. The jazzy melodic and rhythmic clichés are all here as well; showing that there's nothing wrong with a cliche when handled real cool." (Double Bassist)

"A light jazz inspired piece for bass quartet. Those familiar with jazz phrasing will understand immediately the effect that Mr Osborne is after." (ISB)

About the Composer

Born in 1947 into a musical family, Tony Osborne studied at the Royal Academy of Music (London) with John Walton (double bass) and Richard Stoker (composition), and divided a busy career between composing, teaching, and performing. A prolific composer and arranger, Tony's original compositions include works in almost every genre, notably Chaconne Syncopations and Wainwright's Ways for brass

quintet, Celebration Fanfare for brass ensemble, the musical A Fine Time for Wine, a beautiful and dramatic Requiem, and many works for string orchestra. Tony’s music for young bassists is very much at the heart of the teaching repertoire, particularly his jazzy and enjoyable bass trios and quartets, and he had the rare ability to create wonderful music which is always player and audience-friendly.

In 2001 Tony Osborne was elected an ARAM (Associate of the Royal Academy of Music) for his pioneering and important work for double bass and was a featured com- poser at Bass-Fest for over ten years. He was a very successful BIBF Composer-in-residence in 2002-3, was a judge for the British Composer Awards and a judge for the BIBF Composition Competition from 1999 until 2015.

Tony Osborne died on 30 March 2019 at the age of 71.

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