On the Edge

Cover photograph
See larger image
Price £10.50

Tony Osborne writes:
'On the Edge was composed in 2004 and is all about rhythm and vitality. It has a rugged and powerful drive which is set in the opening bars - at first using percussive effects and then stated in G minor. A bridge section, played col legno, leads into a restatement of the theme.

An insistent ostinato figure for basses 1 and 2 accompanies the second theme, here introduced by basses 3 and 4, then the parts are switched around, followed by a recapitulation of the opening theme. Further percussion sections follow, with an exciting build-up of rhythmic variation and effects, leading to a final statement of the theme, first in G minor then G major, bringing the piece to a strong and confident conclusion. It provides excellent opportunities to develop rhythmic confidence and independence whilst working within an ensemble.'

The piece is lively and rhythmic, typical of Tony Osborne's jazzy and accessible music. Ideal for the good intermediate quartet, there are effective musical and rhythmical challenges for each player and the addition of percussive effects gives another dimension to the jazzy music.
Bass 1 plays in thumb position and Bass 2 ventures into low thumb position, but everything is playable and the quartet has been very effective and popular in performance.

On the Edge was written for David Heyes and the double bass students at Wells Cathedral School, where it was premiered on 27 February 2005.

'On the Edge for double bass quartet by Tony Osborne is a driving rhythmic piece that is loads of fun for bassists, incorporating percussive techniques. 1st bass plays in treble clef which might be best played by a teacher, but the notation for the other parts is straightforward and suitable for AMEB Grade 2-3 players. The syncopated rhythms will keep players concentrating in this piece. Add On the Edge to the school concert program and everyone will want to learn bass.1 [Alison MacGregor/Stringendo/Australian Strings Association]

Tony Osborne is an important educationalist and prolific composer who has made a significant and unique contribution to the double bass repertoire over the past 35 years. His solo music for young bassists is included by many international examination boards, and his many ensembles pieces are performed at workshops and concerts throughout the world. Tony Osborne notes the influences of Gershwin, Copland and Bernstein, alongside some of the Russian masters, on his music, which he combines with a jazzy, rhythmic and energetic style that has been popular with players and audiences worldwide.

Born in 1947 into a musical family, Tony Osborne studied at the Royal Academy of Music (London) with John Walton (double bass) and Richard Stoker (composition), and divides a busy career between composing, teaching and performing. A very prolific composer and arranger, Tony's original compositions include works in almost every genre, notably Chaconne Syncopations and Wainwright's Ways for brass quintet, Celebration Fanfare for brass ensemble, the musical A Fine Time for Wine, a beautiful and dramatic Requiem and many works for string orchestra.

In 2001 Tony Osborne was elected an ARAM (Associate of the Royal Academy of Music) for his pioneering and important work for double bass, and has been a featured composer at Bass-Fest for the past decade. He was a very successful BIBF Composer-in-residence in 2002-3 and wrote a number of impressive and innovative works for the project. He has been a judge for the British Composer Awards over the past few years and has been a judge for the BIBF Composition Competition since 1999. Recital Music is planning a major festival of Tony Osborne's music in 2012, to celebrate the composer's 65th birthday, and has formulated a 10-year project to publish all his works for double bass.

Samples available

Adobe PDF File

Get Adobe Reader

Cat No. RM352
Supplier Code RM352
Price £10.50
ComposerTony Osborne
CategoryDouble Bass Quartet
Difficulty level6 - 8
ISMN 979-0-57045-352-8
EAN-13 9790570453528
Weight 124 grams
Published 1st June 2010
Availability 5 in stock
See also...
RM024  All in a Day's Work