No Man's Land (PFCD073) £12.50
David Heyes; a composer portrait
No Man's Land for double bass and piano
Invocation for double bass trio
A Spotless Rose for soprano and piano
Hold On... A Prayer-Song for Bridget for unaccompanied double bass
Passchendaele - a Meditation for 2 double basses and piano
When I’m Gone... for double bass and piano
Far Away...for soprano and piano
Sahara for unaccompanied double bass
The Last Poppy for double bass trio
Beneath the Stars for double bass and piano
Ilmarinen (Spirit of Air-Maker of Heaven) for unaccompanied double bass
The poppies Blow... for double bass and piano
The Great Wall of China for double bass quartet
"Powerful, musical, reflective and wonderful" Peter Byrom Smith, Sounds Magazine
"Postcards from Oslo" [...] leaves the listener displaced by its poetic beauty and ever-increasing sensitivity [...] A CD for true and authentic "audiophiles" who want to rediscover the dark sound of a double bass that is as agile as that of a violin." The Double Bass Blog "il Contrabbasso"
"...this CD is a gorgeous collection of works composed with obvious total familiarity with the instrument...The works on this disc are all recorded in a very warm, clear and detailed acoustic, and the sound of Heyes’ bass playing - rich, sensitive and impassioned - sells these compositions rather well, as does Sarah Poole’s stirring soprano voice. It should go a long way to bringing David Heyes the composer to more significant acclaim." Rob Nairn, Bass World / International Society of Bassists.
"...the music is sensitive and gentle, contemplative and mournful at times, all played beautifully and effectively by David." David Murray, Bass World / International Society of Bassists.
‘NO MAN’S LAND’ brings together a selection of works composed by David Heyes since 2014. David only began to compose seriously in his early fifties, has had music performed in 13 countries to date, and was Featured Composer at Galicia Graves International Double Bass Competition (Spain) in 2017.
David began to play the double bass at the age of 14 and has given recitals and masterclasses around the world for many years. His unique and extensive knowledge of the solo double bass and its possibilities enable him to write works which fit the instrument like a glove. His interest in the First World War has led to a number of works which have been particularly successful, notably 'No Man’s Land' for double bass and piano, 'Passchendaele-a Meditation' for 2 double bass and piano, 'The Last Poppy' for double bass trio, 'Beneath the Stars' and 'The poppies blow...', both for double bass and piano. 'Invocation' for double bass trio is prayer-like and mesmeric, contrasting the jazz idioms of 'When I’m Gone...’, composed in memory of the great Billie Holiday. 'A Spotless Rose' and 'Far Away..'. are performed with beautiful understatement and simplicity by Sarah Poole (soprano) and Derek Harris (piano), contrasting a more exotic and colourful 'Sahara' for unaccompanied double bass. 'Ilmarinen (Spirit of Air-Maker of Heaven)' explores a wide palette of muted colours and 'The Great Wall of China' for double bass quartet is a work of rhythmic energy and good humour employing many playing techniques to bring a unique CD to a happy and successful conclusion.
"As a soloist I have recently focused on the shorter works of David Heyes. I find them to be direct and emotive in a way that I feel may have eluded some other composers of solo double bass works in particular, and it’s a joy to play these works.” [Chris Clark, American double bassist & teacher]
Recording venues: Village Studios, Templecombe (Somerset) on 3 January 2017 and St. Mary’s School, Shaftesbury, Dorset on 4 January 2017
Performers: David Heyes (double bass), Gemma Ashcroft (double bass), Joe Prindl (double bass), Josie Jobbins (double bass), Alexander Heather (double bass), Sarah Poole (soprano), Derek Harris (piano)
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.