Postcards from Prague (PFCD049) £12.50
Pieces for solo double bass and double bass duets performed by David Heyes, Ben Groeneveldt and Joe Prindl.
Postcards From Prague, I-V11, for unaccompanied double bass - David Heyes
Double Poem Basso II (In Memory of František Pošta) for double bass duet - Teppo Hauta-aho
Sonatina (In Memory of František Pošta): I. Lamentatio (Lament) and II. Souvenirs (Memories) - Bernard Salles
Hommage á František Pošta for double bass duet - Teppo Hauta-aho
Kith for unaccompanied double bass - John Alexander
Waltz Poem Basso for double bass duet - Teppo Hauta-aho
The Transience of Life - Simón García
Thoughts for Times Past - Armand Russell
The Last Summer for unaccompanied double bass - Teppo Hauta-aho
"Postcards from Prague brings together music composed in 2009 and 2014 in memory of the great Czech double bass virtuoso František Pošta (1919-1991), who would have celebrated his 95th birthday in the latter year. I had the great privilege of studying with František in Prague in 1986, shortly after his retirement from the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (where he had been Principal Bass for over 40 years), and also throughout the late 1980s. František Pošta was a very exacting teacher, but also an inspirational one, and his 'singing double bass' appealed to me very much, alongside his supreme musicality and beauty of sound. I have been lucky to have studied with three amazing double bass teachers - Laurence Gray, Bronwen Naish, František Pošta - who each taught in completely different ways and helped me to develop as a musician and to explore the many solo possibilities of the double bass.
František Pošta performed a wide range of music but was also interested to increase the repertoire by commissioning a number of Czech composers to write for the double bass. He chose his composers carefully, selecting ones who could create idiomatic music which emphasised the lyrical and cantabile qualities of the instrument. His activities inspired me to do the same and over the past 30 years I have commissioned more than 500 works for double bass, from beginner to virtuoso and from one bass to twenty, and am humbled to have received over 300 dedications. Many composers have written more than one work for me and I am pleased to have excellent working relationships with many throughout the world, including Teppo Hauta-aho (Finland), Tony Osborne (UK), Bernard Salles (France), Armand Russell (USA), Simon Garcia (Spain), John Alexander (UK), Eric Funk (USA), Sadie Harrison (Australia) and David Ellis (UK).
Since František Pošta's death I have organised a memorial concert every five years, which has featured Czech music for double bass alongside works by the Finnish composer-bassist, Teppo Hauta-aho, who studied in Prague in the 1960s. This CD is a celebration of the life and career of František Pošta and also looking to the future with music of great scope and breadth which I hope is a fitting tribute to this unique musician and person."
David studied double bass with Laurence Gray and Bronwen Naish and at the Royal College of Music and completed his postgraduate studies in Prague with Frantisek Posta (Principal Double Bass, Czech Philharmonic). He is in great demand and his engagements as a soloist and teacher have taken him to 12 countries over the past few years.
He works with composers throughout the world and is particularly interested to expand the double bass repertoire, by commissioning new works and by rediscovering forgotten ones; since 1990 more than 500 works have been written for him.
Douglas Finch is Professor of Piano and Composition at Trinity Laban, and a guest teacher at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.