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David Heyes

David Heyes: Legend No.1 'Ukko Ylijumala' for double bass quartet

David Heyes: Legend No.1 'Ukko Ylijumala' for double bass quartet

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About the Composer

Ukko is the God of the sky, weather, harvest, and thunder in Finnish mythology. In folk poems and prayers, he is also given the epithet Ylijumala, which means Supreme God, probably because of his status as the most highly regarded God and his traditional domain are in the heavens.

About the Composition

David Heyes writes: "This quartet was composed for my younger students at Wells Cathedral School, all aged from 11-14 years, and for a concert to celebrate the music of the legendary Finnish bassist-composer, Teppo Hauta-aho to whom the quartet is dedicated, on Friday 3 May 2019. I wanted the piece to have a Finnish theme or influence and Teppo suggested the title which I thought was perfect.

Recently I have composed several fast and rhythmic quartets for the junior basses and wanted to write something which was much slower and more atmospheric to develop different playing skills. Each part is carefully graded for a specific ability level, with Bass 1 playing in low thumb position and Bass 4 remaining in 1st position throughout.

The melodic material is shared between the parts, with the addition of Bartok pizz., glissandi and harmonics, to add contrast and color. A four-bar ground bass, played in open fifths by basses 3 and 4, acts as a unifying theme above which the melodic interest is displayed.

The bleak and vast Finnish landscapes of forests and lakes were the inspiration behind the piece, with thunderbolts added by Bass 4, and introduces music to younger players creating musical landscapes which are atmospheric, dramatic and evocative."

Legend No.1 'Ukko Ylijumala' was premiered by The Bass Legends in Quilter Hall, Wells Cathedral School (Somerset, UK) on Friday 3 May 2019.

Progressing Bass Quartet Bundle

Select the 'Progressing Bass Quartet bundle' option and get Ukko Ylijumala, Tarantella Napoletana, Slavonic Dance No. 1, and The Great Wall of China and get all 4 for the price of 3.

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 2014 and has had music performed and recorded in 27 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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