Three Dwarf Planets

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Price £10.00

Humphrey Clucas has a proven track record when writing for the double bass, producing a range of enjoyable, eclectic and accessible pieces for bassists of all ages and abilities.

The composer writes: 'On 16 August 2006, The Times announced that three new planets were to join the traditional eight, and Pluto, discovered in 1930. They were to be Ceres (discovered in 1801), Charon (1978) and 2003 UB313 (2005, and nicknamed 'Xena' by its discoverer).

Nine days later, a meeting of astronomers in Prague decided that Pluto was not, after all, a true planet; it was to be joined in a new category of 'Dwarf Planet' by Ceres and 'Xena'. Charon did not even make this group, but as I had already conceived the piece by then, I wrote it anyway.

Ceres is the goddess of corn and harvests. Growth is slow and imperceptible, and cornfields are peaceful, and this gives the piece its character.

Xena was named after the protagonist of the TV series, 'Xena, Warrior Princess'. I confess to never having seen this, but the piece would do for any warrior princess whatever.

Charon was the ferryman who carried the souls of the departed (or 'shades') across the river Styx in the classical underworld. The piece starts with the traditional 'gibbering' of the shades; there is also a wisp of half-remembered waltz. These are overtaken by the rocking of the boat and by the Stygian gloom. The other melodic material is a sort of ghostly parody of the 'Skye Boat Song'.

Three Dwarf Planets is dedicated to David Heyes and was premiered om 4 November 2007 at the Horsington Music Festival (Somerset) by David Heyes (double bass) and Mark Cracknell (piano).

This edition includes piano accompaniments for both solo and orchestral tuning.

Humphrey Clucas was born in 1941 and read English at King's College, Cambridge, where he was also a Choral Scholar. Having taught English for twenty-seven years he subsequently became a Lay Vicar at Westminster Abbey but is now retired.

As a composer he is self taught, and although he is well-known for a set of Anglican Responses written as an undergraduate, almost all his serious music has been written over the last twenty-five years. He has a growing reputation as a choral composer and has produced an impressive and steady stream of choral works, both sacred and secular, alongside much instrumental music. He has written works for Cathedrals in Chichester, Guildford, Salisbury and Winchester, as well as for King's College, Cambridge, Southwell Minster and Westminster Abbey.


  • 1. Ceres
  • 2. Xena
  • 3. Charon

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Cat No. RM366
Supplier Code RM366
Price £10.00
ComposerHumphrey Clucas
CategoryDouble Bass & Piano
Difficulty level8, Advanced
ISMN 979-0-57045-366-5
EAN-13 9790570453665
Weight 128 grams
Published 11th January 2012
Availability 5 in stock
See also...
RM066  Suite for Double Bass
RM141  Baroque Suite (DOUBLE BASS SOLO)
RM298  Valse-Caprice for 2 double basses and piano (DOUBLE BASS DUET)
RM327  Two Dances (DOUBLE BASS TRIO)
RM363  Song & Dance
RM501  Two Lost Somerset Folksongs