Double-bass and piano | Grade 8-Diploma technical level | Duration: 8 minutes
Two contrasted concert pieces.
Underground is unaccompanied and dark in character; Perpetual motion, which has a piano accompaniment, is like a jerky Heath Robinson machine. Both pieces exploit the sonorities and possibilities of the double bass in an adventurous and exciting way.
First performed by Robert Irvine and Fali Pavri in July 2006 at the Cheltenham Festival, this major work (the first by Swayne for this combination of instruments since 1970) was commissioned by Beryl Calver–Jones and Gerry Mattock, to whom it is dedicated. It is marked by a return to classical principles and structures, and by the systematic use of contrasting eight–note modes. An important new addition to the cello repertoire.
“One of the many satisfying aspects of Giles Swayne’s cello sonata . . . was its ability to enrich and renew the tradition . . . a tremendous Brahmsian sweep that carried the listener along through skilfully fashioned paragraphs . . . compelling musical argument . . . convincingly encompasses both serious matters and unforced playfulness in an original, authentic voice. It was the pick of the premieres . . . at the 2006 Cheltenham Festival . . . deserves to be heard again and often.”