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David Heyes

Teppo Hauta-aho: Why? (in memory of Ovidiu Badila) for double bass quartet

Teppo Hauta-aho: Why? (in memory of Ovidiu Badila) for double bass quartet

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About the Composition

 Why? is dedicated to the memory of the Romanian double bass virtuoso Ovidiu Badila, who died in March 2001 at the age of 38, and is an elegiac meditation for this great international soloist. There is a poignant sadness and passion behind the music, almost asking the question, "Why did he have to die?" 

The music develops and progresses from a simple pizzicato theme, ending suddenly and dramatically after an impassioned and heartfelt climax, passing through various moods, idioms, and sound worlds along the way. 

Why? is aimed at the advanced quartet, offering musical and technical challenges in equal measure, creating a work which is dramatic, passionate, evocative, and unique. 

About the Edition 

The digital edition includes a score and two sets of parts. 

1) separate parts for basses 1-4 

2) parts for basses 1 & 2 and basses 3 & 4. The parts consist of two three-page spreads and the page turn for both is at the end of page 3 


"...the piece begins with an introspective blues-like melody which is passed from voice to voice. The work moves through a variety of emotions, from tranquillity to sorrow to anger, and belongs amongst the best pieces written for this instrument combination." [Double Bassist] 

"Why? was written in memory of the Romanian bass player Ovidiu Badila, and is a work of unusual poignancy for double bass quartet. Its beginning looks back to the melody used in Teppo's Two Dances, and as this material is developed it is, by turns, reflective, heartfelt and sad. There are some lovely harmonies and the closeness of the parts often creates an anguished tension. The impassioned climax, with its alternating chords, comes to an abrupt stop, leaving three silent bars of reflection. The upper parts are sometimes high and the work is advanced, but this quartet is worth exploring." [ESTA - News & Views] 


Why? was premiered on 6 April 2002 at Downe House School (Newbury, Berkshire) during Bass-Fest 2002 by an international quartet consisting of Teppo Hauta-aho (Finland), David Heyes (UK), Mette Hanskov (Denmark) and Peter Leerdam (Netherlands). 

About the composer 

Teppo Hauta-aho (1941-2021) was the most prolific composer in the history of the double bass and composed for every ability level, from the beginner to the virtuoso. His music is evocative and atmospheric, shaped by jazz and contemporary styles, and the influence of the dramatic and bleak landscapes and vistas of his native Finland are captured throughout his engaging and accessible m 

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