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David Heyes

David Heyes: Postcards from Prague for unaccompanied double bass

David Heyes: Postcards from Prague for unaccompanied double bass

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About the Collection

Postcards from Prague brings together three evocative and inventive works for unaccompanied double bass by David Heyes, which were composed in memory of the Czech double bass virtuoso František Pošta (1919-1991), who was Principal Bass of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra for over 40 years. The pieces are short and succinct, and none outstay their welcome, exploring a wealth of colors and timbres and creating a series of atmospheric musical landscapes emphasizing the lyrical and sonorous qualities of the solo double bass. 

Postcards from Prague is a series of seven musical snapshots of Prague and is played pizzicato throughout. It was composed in August 2015 for a CD celebrating the life and career of František Pošta and recalls memories of the composer studying in Prague in 1986, when the country was still under communist rule. 

Postcards from Prague was premiered at Village Hall, Templecombe (Somerset UK) on 6 September 2015 by David Heyes, with its German premiere in Dortmund on 12 September 2015. 

Prague is represented by the opening three notes (A-G-E), and František Pošta is depicted by the notes F-A-E-E flat. Each movement portrays a different memory or image of Prague and its beautiful architecture, history, and culture. 


"We had two successful mini-concerts yesterday. "Postcards from Prague" was a huge success!!! Many visitors then talked to us about your composition and how they loved this work!" [Manuela Uhlmann] 

Table of Contents

Postcards for Pošta is a suite of six evocative and colourful one-minute pieces for unaccompanied double bass composed in memory of František Pošta (1919-1991). Each is dedicated to a different musical friend in the international double bass community. 

1. WALKS BY MOONLIGHT (Dedicated to Karol Cieśluk) 2. CROWDED PLACES (Dedicated to Dritan Gani) 3. SHADOWS & SILHOUETTES (Dedicated to Elsen Price) 4. A CANDLE BURNS - Remembering Jan Palach (1948-1969) - Dedicated to Frank Proto 5. LESSONS FOR LIFE (Dedicated to Lise Proto) 6. PRAGUE (Dedicated to Bert Turetzky) 

Remembrance was completed on 28 August 2020, a few days after the anniversary of the 101st birthday of František Pošta (1919-1991). It is centred around the letters F and A, from his name, and remains in F major throughout and without using any added accidentals. 

Remembrance uses a three octave range with a wealth of technical and musical challenges in equal measure. The overall mood is one of happy memories of studies in Prague with František Pošta in the late 1980s, tinged with sadness and loss for the death of a much loved husband, father, grandfather, friend and teacher. 

Remembrance has been recorded on YouTube by Susan Hagen in Boston (USA) and Dritan Gani in Ankara (Turkey). 

About the Composer

David Heyes 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 28 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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