The Great Wall of China (Intermediate)

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Price £10.00

28 publications in this series

The Beginner Bass Series series

Recital Music publish music for every level of double bassist and in the past few years have concentrated on music for the younger player. This new and exciting series includes works with simple, accessible technical and musical challenges for beginners and progressing bassists. Piano accompaniments are supportive and written with the bass teacher in mind, creating a new repertoire which is ideal for concert and educational use.

"Great Wall was rehearsed in sectionals this morning and full orchestra before lunch - the varied textures and simplicity of melody were enjoyed by our huge range of bass players. Such a great teaching piece which I'm sure I'll be using for years to come." [Gemma Ashcroft​]

The Great Wall of China had its US premiere on Friday 11 November 2016 at St. Vincent de Paul Church (Rogers, Arkansas).

The Great Wall of China for double bass quartet was composed on 21/22 July 2016 and was premiered by a massed bass orchestra at the Purcell School (Bushey, Herts) on Sunday 24 July 2016. In one movement and lasting around three minutes, it is aimed at the intermediate ensemble using only 1st and 4th positions employing a number of effective and evocative playing techniques including arco, pizzicato, harmonics, sul ponticello, percussion, col legno and Bartok pizz.

It was designed to introduce younger bassists to a number of playing effects, alongside accessible musical and technical skills, offering solo and ensemble opportunities for each player. The music begins with a slow and stately unison theme, which is repeated pizzicato, before the main theme is introduced against a lively and driving percussive accompaniment. The music has a drive and momentum which is eventually interrupted by a series of dramatic chords to emphasise the amazing history and grandeur of the Great Wall, with a recapitulation of the opening theme ending with a strong, dramatic and sudden unison chord playing Bartok pizz.

"The Chinese flavour in this quartet comes from the pentatonic melody played in fourths, mostly by basses 1 and 2. Bass 1 can be played in 4th position with the use of harmonic G. Bass uses first and fourth positions. Basses 3 and 4 are in first position. Bass 4 has some percussive effects. All parts have similar simple rhythms: crotchet, quaver and two semiquavers-quaver... The Great Wall of China would be an effective piece to put together in a workshop bass day with players of grades 1 to 5." [Cathy Elliott / ARCO -ESTA]

The Great Wall of China also exists in an advanced edition (RM822).

David Heyes studied double bass with Laurence Gray and Bronwen Naish and later at the Royal College of Music in London. He completed his post-graduate studies in Prague with Frantisek Posta (Principal Double Bass, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra). He has given recitals and masterclasses in 13 countries over the past few years and has been a juror at a number of international competitions, twice as chairman.

David has been Specialist Double Bass Tutor at Wells Cathedral School for 19 years and received a prestigious award from the David Walter Charitable Trust of New York for his pioneering activities as a soloist, teacher, publisher and commissioner of new music for double bass. 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. Over the past 30 years he has commissioned more than 500 works, from beginner to virtuoso, and from one to twenty basses.

David has transcribed more than 200 works for double bass, many published by Recital Music, and in recent year has also composed a number of original works for double bass which have been performed in Britain, America, Venezuela, Turkey, Spain, Mexico, Germany and Czech Republic. David is self-taught as a composer and his music has been described as lyrical, evocative and accessible, but certainly of the 21st-century.


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Cat No. RM498
Supplier Code RM498
Price £10.00
ComposerDavid Heyes
CategoriesDouble Bass Quartet
Double Bass Ensemble
SeriesBeginner Bass Series
Difficulty level3 - 6
ISMN 979-0-57045-498-3
EAN-13 9790570454983
Weight 69 grams
Published 22nd August 2016
Availability 13 in stock
See also...
RM822  The Great Wall of China (Advanced) (DOUBLE BASS ENSEMBLE)