Modern American Bass

Robert Black, bass John McDonald, piano

In the twentieth century, a series of instruments and ensembles have found their repertoire expanding exponentially, and their place on the classical stage suddenly front and center, instead of accompanying from the wings. The contrabass and viola were the last of the string instruments to make the leap to this prominence, and Robert Black’s recital on these discs shows the remarkable emergence of the former as a leading voice for the most intimate and imaginative musings of American composers from the last century. Black’s program falls into two parts. Disc 1 features music for bass and piano, Disc 2 the instrument unaccompanied. It also breaks down chronologically, with the former works largely earlier and more traditional in character, the latter later and more experimental/avant-garde. The works for accompanied bass show the first step taken toward instrumental “equality”: it becomes a lyric partner with the piano like any other string instrument. Composers come to realize that the exceptional range of the instrument, combined with its rich and differing timbres from one register to another, make it uniquely expressive. And the bass’s importance in jazz is mirrored in a new interest in active rhythms and pizzicato textures. When we move to the unaccompanied works, a new conception of the bass emerges. In the postwar years, a series of factors combined to create a new instrumental practice, one combining elements of theatricality, a concentration of unusual sounds and techniques, and extreme virtuosity.

Robert Black

Modern American Bass

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
2xCD $31.98
Sonata for Double Bass and Piano: I. Con moto
Joseph Iadone
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Sonata for Double Bass and Piano: II. Adagio
Joseph Iadone
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Sonata for Double Bass and Piano: III. Scherzo
Joseph Iadone
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Arioso and Etude: I. Arioso
Halsey Stevens
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Arioso and Etude: II. Etude
Halsey Stevens
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Lyric Piece for Contrabass and Piano
Quincy Porter
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Sonatina: I. Andante
Jerome Moross
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Sonatina: II. Allegro ma non troppo
Jerome Moross
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Sonatina: III. Poco lento ma ben ritmico
Jerome Moross
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Suite for Bass and Piano: I. Moderato con moto
Otto Luening
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Suite for Bass and Piano: II. Not too slow
Otto Luening
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Suite for Bass and Piano: III. Allegro moderato
Otto Luening
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Movement for Double Bass and Piano
Johanna Beyer
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Sonata for Bass Alone: I. Meditative
Barney Childs
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Sonata for Bass Alone: II. With relaxed motion
Barney Childs
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Sonata for Bass Alone: III. Recitative and March
Barney Childs
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Monody II
George Perle
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For Double Bass Alone: I. Rubato
William Sydeman
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For Double Bass Alone: II. Allegro ritmico
William Sydeman
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For Double Bass Alone: III. Moderato
William Sydeman
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59 ½ " for a String Player
John Cage
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Beast
James Tenney
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Valentine
Jacob Druckman
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