blues, with orange

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Price £6.00

30 publications in this series

The Fizz @ 50 series

A series of fifty short pieces for double bass and piano from composers throughout the world, instigated by David Heyes to celebrate his 50th birthday. Each composer received a bottle of champagne (Fizz) as payment.


John Alexander continues to write great pieces for double bass and his most recent 'blues, with orange' is a fun pizzicato piece with echoes of his previous 'unquiet air' for double bass quartet
and balloons.

John Alexander writes 'I had a desire to write a piece for bass and piano that followed a simple blues structure. Initially, once I had composed the bass part, I had a mind to just call it 'blues'. Then an additional consideration accured, wherein I thought it would be of more interest to incorporate a second colour. As orange is a strong contrasting colour to blue, and a juxtoposition I enjoy, that's what I chose. Almost immediately I envisaged 'orange' as a fruit, not just a colour. That in tunr led me to recall, from many years ago, seeing the Marx Brothers' film 'Go West' (1940), in which Chico Marx is playing the piano, with Harpo sitting alongside him about to consume an apple. Chico grabs the apple with his right hand, whilst still playing the piano with his helt, and proceeds to roll the apple backwards and forwards on the white keys of the piano, producing sounds that blend perfectly with the left hand accompaniment: very effective and skilfully done, the whole sequence being very funny to watch. In many ways, with music and humour, timing is almost everything...'

blues, with orange was premiered at Wells Cathedral School on Sunday 24 February 2013 by Dan Laurie (double bass) and Gus Tredwell (piano).


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. RM544
Supplier Code RM544
Price £6.00
ComposerJohn Alexander
CategoryDouble Bass & Piano
SeriesFizz @ 50
Difficulty level5 - 6
ISMN 979-0-57045-544-7
EAN-13 9790570455447
Weight 68 grams
Published 19th March 2013
Availability 5 in stock
See also...
RM707  night shift (DOUBLE BASS TRIO)