the intelligent hand

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Price £6.50

the intelligent is an impressive and inventive work which tests the musicianship and technical prowess of the performer, but always with music to the fore. John Alexander continues to write works which communicate instantly with performers and audience alike, and is creating a unique body of work for double bass.

the intelligent hand, composed in 2011, is dedicated to Dan Styffe (Principal Bass, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra) who gave the premiere at the Sonore Hall in Helsinki on 18 February 2012. Dan Styffe gave its UK premiere at the Silk Mill (Frome, Somerset) on 6 August 2013, as part of Bass-Fest 2013.


"John Alexander is a significant contributor to the repertoire for double bass in the past decade, and his piece, the intelligent hand, written for Styffe is a great piece full of contrasts, alternating quickly between arco and pizz throughout, using fairly traditional textures and colours, but skillfully contrsucted." [Rob Nairn, ISB Journal]

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 was written an impressive and unique body of work for double bass.

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Cat No. RM497
Supplier Code RM497
Price £6.50
ComposerJohn Alexander
CategoryDouble Bass Solo
Difficulty level8, Advanced
ISMN 979-0-57045-497-6
EAN-13 9790570454976
Weight 86 grams
Published 15th March 2012
Availability 9 in stock
See also...
RM603  Three Fantasias
RM678  Rondo Suite No.1