The Double Bass Concerto was commissioned by Leon Bosch who gave the first performance at the Minehead Festival in July 2018 with the Festival Orchestra conducted by Richard Dickins.

1. Allegro deciso

After a short, bustling, rhythmically complex and unison orchestral introduction, the soloist enters in the same vein. After some development, including some use of harmonics by the soloist, a second, gentler theme is introduced by the soloist against a shimmering accompaniment and gradually becomes more passionate. The coda, however, is gentle and the orchestral double basses continue playing to provide a link to the next movement.

2. Lento tranquillo

The movement begins with a muted statement of a beautiful waltz-like theme by the orchestra, which is taken up more resolutely by the soloist against a tremolo background. The soloist leads the orchestra, with some vigorous exchanges, to a climax which in its turn leads to a final quiet reminder of the opening theme.

3. Allegro con spirito

The finale is prefaced by the soloist’s exciting cadenza, complete with accelerating scale passages, high harmonics, driven arpeggios and then double stoppings with great leaps. A final upward glissando brings in the orchestra for a powerful introduction before the soloist returns with the main jazzy theme, leading to snappy conversations with the orchestra. The finale becomes a virtuosic display with soloist and orchestra in great spirits together.

Programme Note Written by Trevor Bacon. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Details

Written: 2017

Instrumentation:
Double Bass and String Orchestra

Length: 18′

Commission & dedication:
Leon Bosch
Publisher:
Josef Weinberger

First Performance:
23rd July 2018, Minehead Festival
Leon Bosch, double bass
Minehead Festival Orchestra
Richard Dickins, conductor

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