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David Heyes

Luis Guillermo Pérez: South American Suite for double bass quartet

Luis Guillermo Pérez: South American Suite for double bass quartet

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About the Composition

South American Suite was commissioned by David Heyes, as part of an international commission project supported and funded by 23 bassists from five countries.

In four movements and in bass clef throughout, each movement offers musical and technical challenges, with something of interest for each player. It can be performed as a suite or single movements and will work with quartet or massed basses.

South American Suite would be ideal for any teacher looking for music which works, because it is written by a bassist, but also includes sufficient challenges to maintain each players interest and imagination during rehearsals.

Bass 4 only plays in 1st position.

Table of Contents

1) Emigrant’s March features dialogues between players with a more upbeat middle section which contrasts music of a more martial and rhythmic nature.

2) American Dream has a 12-bar Blues pattern, with respective harmonies and contrasts between the major and minor modes. Repeated four times, with the melody passing between basses 1 and 2, and a quasi-improvisation played by bass 3, the music is rhythmic and confident.

3) Walking on the Roof is played pizzicato throughout with contrapuntal textures using a range of imitation between the voices.

4) Big River is in Rondo form, with a galloping and rhythmic 16 bar theme which develops into a chorale in E minor, before the opening music returns bringing the music to a confident and successful conclusion.

About the Composer

Luis Guillermo Pérez was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela in 1954. He graduated as a classical guitarist from the “Vicente Emilio Sojo” Conservatory in 1980 and began his double bass studies with Volmar Laubach in 1978, and later with Joel Novoa at the “Simón Bolívar” Conservatory in Caracas, in 1984.

He has been Principal Bass with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Lara, from 1989 until the present day, and has participated as a guest double bassist with the Orquesta Simón Bolivar in their tour in France “Festival Radio France” in 1986. He was the Assistant Principal Bass with the Orquesta de los X Juegos Panamericanos (Indianapolis, 1987), in the 50th anniversary of the Orquesta Sinfónica (1992), with the Bach Academy from Stuttgart conducted by Helmuth Rilling (1994), and in the premiere of the piece “A flowering tree” by John Adams in Vienna (2006).

Luis has worked as professor of double bass in Venezuela and in other Latin American countries, and now teaches at the Universidad Centro Occidental Lisandro Alvarado UCLA and in the “Vicente Emilio Sojo” Conservatory.

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