Seven Small Pieces

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Price £15.00

Bernard Salles writes: Seven Small Pieces for double bass quartet were specially written for David Heyes and his students at Wells Cathedral School. Each bass part respects the technical indications given by David, in order to be played by students of differing levels.

The pieces can be played in any order, separately or as a complete suite.

1. Prelude: The first double bass unfurls a simple and nostalgic melody over the continuous and repetitive melodic line of the second and third basses, and the held notes of the fourth bass.

2. Andante Cantabile: Firstly, the whole quartet plays the melody on long notes. This melody is then repeated in sixths by the first two basses whilst the other two play an accompaniment of pizzicato quavers.

3. Aria: A small aria written in an archaic modal style based on a ternary rhythm which the quartet plays in homorhythm.

4. Romance: intertwining arpeggios are played between the four basses. At the end of the piece, the theme of the Prelude is picked up in the arpeggios of the first bass.

5. Caprice: This piece has less classical feeling and is constructed around the same notes as the rest of the suite. It is an exciting and lively dialogue that echoes between the four instruments.

6. Intermezzo: This piece has a (falsely) classical character in terms of harmony and rhythm. It plays on the alternating dialogues and homorhythms between the instruments, whilst taking up the theme of the second piece, Andante Cantabile.

7. Scherzo Finale: over an ostinato rhythm that is identical for the whole quartet, the piece picks up fragments of the melody found in the Aria, bringing the suite to a lively, rousing and successful conclusion.

Seven Small Pieces for double bass quartet was premiered at Wells Cathedral School (Somerset, UK) on Sunday 28 June 2015 by Alexander Heather, Constance McDonnell, Jan Cowell and David Heyes.

Bernard Salles was born in 1954 and began his musical education in his home town of Perpignan (France) where he studied double bass, organ, composition and orchestral conducting at the Conservatoire. In 1973 he want to the Conservatoire of Versailles and in 1976, at the age of 22, he was awarded a double bass teaching diploma. Since then he has taught at the Conservatoire of Pau (South-west France) and played with many major French orchestras including the Orchestre de Paris and the National Orchestra of France, under the direction of conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Metha and Lorin Maazel.

In 1983 he began a parallel career as a conductor and was Music Director of the Orchestra of Pau from 1996-2001. He has directed the Orchestra of Pamplona (Spain) and is currently Music Director of the OSSO (Orchestre Symphonique du Sud-Ouest).

As a composer and member of SACEM (Society of Authors, Composers and Editors of Music), he has written over 30 works including two symphonies, a cantata, a psalm for bass and orchestra, a concerto for double bass and small orchestra, Rhapsody for viola and orchestra, Triptych for orchestra, Prelude for cello and orchestra, a symphonic poem for soprano, cello and orchestra, as well as works for chamber groups, and for choir and organ. His pedagogic works are published by G.Billaudot in Paris and his works for double bass are published by Recital Music (England).

In 2010 he began a series of short pieces for unaccompanied double bass - Portraits for Friends - dedicated to his double bass playing friends.


  • 1. Prelude
  • 2. Andante cantabile
  • 3. Aria
  • 4. Romance
  • 5. Caprice
  • 6. Intermezzo
  • 7. Scherzo-Finale

Samples available

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Cat No. RM791
Supplier Code RM791
Price £15.00
ComposerBernard Salles
CategoryDouble Bass Quartet
Difficulty level4 - 8, Advanced
ISMN 979-0-57045-791-5
EAN-13 9790570457915
Weight 181 grams
Published 10th July 2015
Availability 8 in stock
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