Skip to product information
1 of 5

David Heyes

David Ellis: Safranski's Heroic Leaps for double bass & piano

David Ellis: Safranski's Heroic Leaps for double bass & piano

Regular price $10.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $10.00 USD
Sale Sold out

About the Composition

Safranski’s Heroic Leaps is a modern but accessible work for the intermediate bassist, rich in melodic invention and rhythmic drive, exploring many facets of the solo double bass across its solo register. There are musical and technical challenges, but this is a work which offers much to players and audiences alike.

Safranski’s Heroic Leaps was composed for DOUBLE BASS 2000 and the commission was kindly funded by The Ida Carroll Trust.

The edition includes piano accompaniments for both solo and orchestral tunings.

“One of my ‘private passions’ is an appreciation of the great Big Bands who worked through the 1940s and 50s with considerable commercial success, and who are still enjoyed by huge numbers today. Foremost was the Stan Kenton Orchestra with many popular ‘hits’ and much innovatory music from composers Pete Rugio, Robert Greattinger and Kenton himself.

Underpinning this diverse repertoire, from 1945-48, was the legendary bass player, Eddie Safranski, who subsequently disappeared into the anonymity of New York studio session work, coupled with some teaching and, all too rare, public appearances in the jazz clubs. He died in 1974 at the age of just 55.

This short piece makes no attempt to reflect his specialism, but is the nature of a Threnody for a musician with a unique talent; it is a set of musical anagrams, hence the title which can also provide devotees of crosswords with a challenge!” [David Ellis, Stockport 2001]

About the Composer

David Ellis was born in Liverpool in 1933 and was a pupil at the Liverpool Institute before continuing his studies at the Royal Manchester College of Music from 1953-1957. Among his fellow students were Peter Maxwell Davies, Harrison Birtwistle, Elgar Howarth, Alexander Goehr and John Ogdon, who together formed the ground-breaking New Music Manchester Group. It was at this time that David's compositions gained recognition, not only through performances, but also in the form of commissions and awards: the Royal Philharmonic Prize, the Royal College of Music Patrons' Award, the Theodore Holland Award, the Royal Manchester Institution Silver Medal, the Ricordi Prize and a Gulbenkian Award. From 1964 he worked at the BBC as a Music Producer, initially having the responsibility for programme planning and administration of the BBC Philharmonic, and subsequently also for the development of the orchestra's international profile. In 1977 he became Head of Music, BBC North, leaving in 1986 when he was appointed Artistic Director and Composer-in-Residence to the Northern Chamber Orchestra.

In 1994 he moved to Portugal working with the newly-established Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesa in Lisbon as Assistant to the Director of Music and Chief Conductor, Alvaro Cassuto. He returned to the UK to devote himself exclusively to composition with time set aside for CD production work in a variety of interesting repertoire, both classical and contemporary - the result of his association initially with Naxos and ASC Records, and later with several important independent international labels.

Apart from performances by many organisations in the U.K., his music has been played and broadcast with considerable success in Canada, the U.S.A., Israel, Portugal, Denmark, Brazil, Australia, China, and throughout Europe in more recent years.

A recent CD review noted: "I find that all the works are approachable, occasionally a bit challenging, but always expressive and extremely well written – never problematic. This is exciting, fresh and imaginative music."

David Ellis died on 20 April 2023 at the age of 90.

View full details