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Modern American Bass / Robert Black, Joseph Iadone, Halsey Stevens, Quincy Porter, Jerome Moross

Audio Samples

>Iadone, Joseph : Sonata for double bass & piano
>Stevens, Halsey : Arioso & Etude, for double bass & piano
>Porter, Quincy : Lyric Piece, for contrabass & piano
>Moross, Jerome : Sonatina for double bass & piano
>Luening, Otto : Suite for double bass & piano
>Beyer, Johanna : Movement for double bass & piano
>Childs, Barney : Sonata for Bass Alone, for double bass
>Perle, George : Monody 2 for solo double bass
>Sydeman, William : For Double Bass Alone
>Cage, John : 59 1/2", for a string player
>Tenney, James : Beast, for double bass (part of Postal Pieces series)
>Druckman, Jacob : Valentine for double bass

Album Summary

>Iadone, Joseph : Sonata for double bass & piano
>Stevens, Halsey : Arioso & Etude, for double bass & piano
>Porter, Quincy : Lyric Piece, for contrabass & piano
>Moross, Jerome : Sonatina for double bass & piano
>Luening, Otto : Suite for double bass & piano
>Beyer, Johanna : Movement for double bass & piano
>Childs, Barney : Sonata for Bass Alone, for double bass
>Perle, George : Monody 2 for solo double bass
>Sydeman, William : For Double Bass Alone
>Cage, John : 59 1/2", for a string player
>Tenney, James : Beast, for double bass (part of Postal Pieces series)
>Druckman, Jacob : Valentine for double bass
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

In the twentieth century, a series of instruments and ensembles have found their repertoire expanding exponentially, and their place on the classical stage suddenly front and center, instead of accompanying from the wings. The contrabass and viola were the last of the string instruments to make the leap to this prominence, and Robert Black's recital on these discs shows the remarkable emergence of the former as a leading voice for the most intimate and imaginative musings of American composers from the last century.

Black's program falls into two parts. Disc 1 features music for bass and piano, Disc 2 the instrument unaccompanied. It also breaks down chronologically, with the former works largely earlier and more traditional in character, the latter later and more experimental/avant-garde. The works for accompanied bass show the first step taken toward instrumental "equality": it becomes a lyric partner with the piano like any other string instrument. Composers come to realize that the exceptional range of the instrument, combined with its rich and differing timbres from one register to another, make it uniquely expressive. And the bass's importance in jazz is mirrored in a new interest in active rhythms and pizzicato textures. When we move to the unaccompanied works, a new conception of the bass emerges. In the postwar years, a series of factors combined to create a new instrumental practice, one combining elements of theatricality, a concentration of unusual sounds and techniques, and extreme virtuosity.

In the twentieth century, a series of instruments and ensembles have found their repertoire expanding exponentially, and their place on the classical stage suddenly front and center, instead of accompanying from the wings. The contrabass and viola were the last of the string instruments to make the leap to this prominence, and Robert Black's recital on these discs shows the remarkable emergence of the former as a leading voice for the most intimate and imaginative musings of American composers from the last century. Black's program falls into two parts. Disc 1 features music for bass and piano, Disc 2 the instrument unaccompanied. It also breaks down chronologically, with the former works largely earlier and more traditional in character, the latter later and more experimental/avant-garde. The works for accompanied bass show the first step taken toward instrumental "equality": it becomes a lyric partner with the piano like any other string instrument. Composers come to realize that the exceptional range of the instrument, combined with its rich and differing timbres from one register to another, make it uniquely expressive. And the bass's importance in jazz is mirrored in a new interest in active rhythms and pizzicato textures. When we move to the unaccompanied works, a new conception of the bass emerges. In the postwar years, a series of factors combined to create a new instrumental practice, one combining elements of theatricality, a concentration of unusual sounds and techniques, and extreme virtuosity.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Rogers City Center for the Arts, Merrimack College, Nor (08/24/2006-08/25/2006).



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Works Details

>Iadone, Joseph : Sonata for double bass & piano
  • Performer: John McDonald (Piano)
  • Notes: Rogers City Center for the Arts, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944

>Stevens, Halsey : Arioso & Etude, for double bass & piano
  • Performer: John McDonald (Piano)
  • Notes: Rogers City Center for the Arts, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1953

>Porter, Quincy : Lyric Piece, for contrabass & piano
  • Performer: John McDonald (Piano)
  • Notes: Rogers City Center for the Arts, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1950

>Moross, Jerome : Sonatina for double bass & piano
  • Performer: John McDonald (Piano)
  • Notes: Rogers City Center for the Arts, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1967

>Luening, Otto : Suite for double bass & piano
  • Performer: John McDonald (Piano)
  • Notes: Rogers City Center for the Arts, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1958

>Beyer, Johanna : Movement for double bass & piano
  • Performer: John McDonald (Piano)
  • Notes: Rogers City Center for the Arts, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1936

>Childs, Barney : Sonata for Bass Alone, for double bass
  • Notes: Rogers City Center for the Arts, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1960

>Perle, George : Monody 2 for solo double bass
  • Notes: Rogers City Center for the Arts, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1964

>Sydeman, William : For Double Bass Alone
  • Notes: Rogers City Center for the Arts, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1957

>Cage, John : 59 1/2", for a string player
  • Notes: Rogers City Center for the Arts, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1953

>Tenney, James : Beast, for double bass (part of Postal Pieces series)
  • Notes: Rogers City Center for the Arts, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1971

>Druckman, Jacob : Valentine for double bass
  • Notes: Rogers City Center for the Arts, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern