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The world premiere recording of Rolf Martinsson's double bass concerto marks the high point of Dan Styffe's new release 'Secret Memories' - fully packed with new music for the double bass.
Dan Styffe, solo double bass player with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, is ranked among the foremost of the double bass soloists today. His ability to communicate musical refinement through the double bass is renowned. Styffe's new release contains material ranging from solo, though chamber music and up to the concerto format: Together with his fellow musicians and chief conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste, he premieres a great new solo concerto for the instrument.
The Swedish composer Rolf Martinsson (1956) enjoys a world wide recognition as a truly outstanding writer for the orchestra. His music is characterised by a powerful stylistic awareness and exceptional musical craftsmanship. Recently his Clarinet Concerto for Martin Fröst has received great praise. In his Concerto for double bass he not only wrote specifically for Dan Styffe, but also for the ca. 1580 Gaspar de Salo which he plays; a rare gem among double basses built by the 'father' of the instrument. The opening of the concerto prepares the scene for a tremendously virtuoso and spectacular concerto full of colour and excitement.
Inviting violinist Peter Herresthal into the music, Styffe presents two works for violin and double bass. Thommessen's "Lyrical Duet" is indeed a conversation between the double bass and the violin, although rather more energetic than one might assume from the title. Per Nørgård, celebrating 80 years July 2012, reveals melodic fragments in his "Secret Voices", melodies that seems to display different aspects of the way a musical progression can develop. This work was originally written for viola with the title "La melodia segreta", but has been arranged for violin and double bass by the cellist Jakob Kullberg
Six of the works on this release are for solo double bass. The size and volume of the double bass gives ample possibility for the composers to work with different aspects of sound colour and sound changes. Auerbah's beautiful "Memory of a Tango", Scelsi's meditative "Mantram" and Kurtag's poetic "Message" are outstanding examples of this. Hauta-aho and Salle also display the more virtuoso aspects of modern double bass playing in their pieces.