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David Heyes

Tony Osborne: Three Pieces for Solo Bass

Tony Osborne: Three Pieces for Solo Bass

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About the Compositions

1. Bert’s Bop! 

Bert's Bop! is lively and jazzy, full of fun and good humour, and is both player and audience friendly. It was the final work to be completed for A Turetzky Tribute, to celebrate the 85th birthday of legendary American bassist-composer, Bert Turetzky, and was premiered a week after it was written. 

Tony Osborne writes: "Bertram Turetzky is one of the greatest minds in the development and understanding of contemporary double bass technique, who has inspired and encouraged us all to experiment with countless resources readily available to us. His wonderful book 'The Contemporary Contrabass' is packed with information to achieve that. Bert is also a delightful and charming man, whom I am honoured to know. Happy Birthday Bert!" 

Bert's Bop! was premiered by David Heyes (double bass) at Wells & Mendip Museum (Wells, Somerset, UK) on Saturday 9 February 2019. 

2. New Syrinx 

Tony Osborne writes: "New Syrinx was composed for David Heyes, in response to his call for new works, based on the iconic Syrinx, for solo flute, written in 1913 by Claude Debussy. The response to the call has been prolific, with scores from all over the world. 

My new piece takes up the mysterious and exotic overtones, so indelibly set in Debussy’s original masterpiece. Where it takes a slightly different turn is perhaps in its relatively greater melodic and harmonic stability, particularly to make it more playable by anyone less accustomed to chromatic melody and harmony, but, who nevertheless desires to immerse themselves into the more meditative and pastille shades made so fragrant by the master Debussy. 

The popular tale tells of Syrinx doing all she could to free herself from the unwanted attention of the God Pan, and turning to the water nymphs to help, whereupon she was transformed into water-reeds! New Syrinx opens with a motif not unlike a melody made popular by the Rumanian Pan-Pipe virtuoso George Zamfir. It later calls for the bow to play a triplet variation of that, very staccato, off the string – with the effect of ‘spitting’ into the pipes – creating a feeling of agitation and unrest. There is further movement – flight to the safety of the river, where the pace softens, as she becomes subsumed into nature, heralding a tranquil conclusion to the piece." 

New Syrinx was premiered by David Heyes (double bass) on Sunday 18 March 2018 at Green Hammerton Hall, York and received its Italian premiere by Dan Styffe (double bass) on Thursday 2 August 2018 at Chiesa di San Romano, Lucca. 

3. Leonardo 500 - Genio Creativo 

Tony Osborne writes: "There can be few, if any, who have not been touched by the breadth and beauty of Leonardo da Vinci's genius, and relentless passion, that produced some of the most celebrated works of art, architecture, scientific investigation, invention, mystery and imagination, in history, that expanded our understanding of our world. 

I remember vividly the two occasions on which I have seen the Mona Lisa, among other works of Leonardo's, and the profound impact it made on me. Leonardo 500 - Genio Creativo aims to reflect his relentless creative energy and spirit." 

Leonardo 500 - Genio Creativo was premiered on Thursday 2 May 2019 at Silk Mill West, Frome (Somerset) by Dritan Gani (double bass). 

Dritan Gani also gave its Albanian premiere at Saal 'Tonin Harapi', Tirana (Albania) on Thursday, 19 September 2019, and its Turkish premiere in Ankara (Turkey) on 21 October 2019. 

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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