Three Miniatures

(Hertl Remembered)
Publisher: Recital Music
Product Code: RMD1404
Composed by: John Alexander
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John Alexander – Three Miniatures
for double bass & piano

  • 1. a card for the pocket book (Lístek do památniku)
  • <li>2. confusion (Matenik)
  • 3. a song without words (Píseñ beze slov)
Three Miniatures were composed as part of Hertl Remembered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of the Czech bassist-composer František Hertl (1906- 1973). Each is a colourful and rhythmically charged miniature, aimed at the intermediate bassist and primarily written in the middle register of the double bass. Written in a modern but accessible style they have much to say in a short timespan. Three Miniatures is in Orchestral Tuning. 1. a card for the pocket book
I’m making a card, to send to a friend, to put in a small book that they own; every page has a neat pocket, each of which may house a card from other friends. Mine is a bit modern, perhaps abstract in form, with a few undulating outlines; but there are also solid geometric blocks of strong colours. 2. confusion
You start off in a mysterious vein, unsure of direction, looking this way and that; abruptly, the mood lightens and you feel like swaying, rhythmically moving, when just as suddenly, the opening serious character briefly returns, before – confusingly – you are back to the capricious nature of dance, where there are seemingly contradictions to the basic metre between the parts. In the end, the disparity of the sections appears to mutually and compatibly converge. 3. a song without words
Though it might be about unrequited love, or reticent joy, or even loss, lyricism here combines with harmony and rhythm, without recourse to explanation: it is what it is… 2023 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the Czech bassist-composer- conductor František Hertl (1906-1973). Hertl composed a number of impressive works for double bass and in the late 1960s or early 1970s he wrote a series of 30 Miniatures for double bass and piano, aimed at conservatoire level bassists, which are little known today. Each is colourful and inventive, combining musical and technical skills in tandem, with supportive accompaniments which add character and distinction. Hertl Remembered is a project to create a new series of 30 Miniatures in memory ofFrantišek Hertl, using the original titles and featuring eight composers from the UK, USA and Cuba. John Alexander was born in West Sussex in 1942 and began to compose at the age of 20. At the time he discovered a fascination for art, literature, dance, architecture and sculpture and these topics, along with mathematics, have continued to have a bearing on his work. He studied composition with Edmund Rubbra at the Guildhall School of Music in London, and later with Jonathan Harvey and Peter Wiegold at the University of Sussex. John Alexander has never been a prolific composer, but an impressive and growing body of work reflects a rare eye for detail and structure – each work beautifully crafted and reworked until every inflection, detail and nuance is perfect. Probably best described as a miniaturist, he writes in a fluent, independent and strongly personal style with an intense desire to create music which communicates to both performer and audience alike. In 1999 John Alexander won the 1st BIBF Composition Contest and was invited to be a judge for several BIBF competitions. He was a featured composer at Bass-Fest 2001, was an spnm short-listed composer for three years, and was Composer-in- residence at the 2004 Rotterdam Conservatoire Double Bass Weekend, Bass-Fest 2006 and 2007 Wells Double Bass Weekend. His works have been performed and broadcast throughout the world and he has written an impressive and unique body of work for double bass.

1. a card for the pocket book (Lístek do památniku)
2. confusion (Matenik)
3. a song without words (Píseñ beze slov)
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