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David Heyes

David Heyes: Three for Alex for double bass & piano

David Heyes: Three for Alex for double bass & piano

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About the Composition

Three for Alex was composed for Alex Gibberd, a talented young student in Bristol, with funding provided by the City of Bristol. Each of its three movements offer musical and technical challenges for the progressing young bassist and exploits the potential and possibilities of the double bass.

1. Recitative - a simple dialogue between double bass and piano, playable arco or pizzicato, with scope to create an atmospheric and rhapsodic performance which is free and flexible.

2. Vale Triste demonstrates the lyrical and cantabile qualities of the double bass, primarily in bass clef, and only using a small number of chords in the accompaniment but varying the melodic line to add contrast and interest.

3. Marche Triomphale is dramatic and rhythmic with a strong forward momentum. A more contemporary idiom is employed, inspired by Shostakovich and Prokofiev, which builds to a climax before a false ending as the music falls away, concluding with a loud and positive chord and a slap pizz. note from the bassist.

Three for Alex was premiered by Alex Gibberd (double bass) and Joachim Schwander (piano) at St. George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol on 29 January 2016. 

About the Composer

David Heyes (b.1960) 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 29 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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