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About this Piece

David Anderson joined the Louisiana Philharmonic in New Orleans in September of 1996 after winning their Principal Bass audition. Prior to that appointment, he performed and recorded regularly with the Louisville Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, among others. Since 1994, he has served as Principal Bassist in the Britt Festival Orchestra in Oregon.

He has performed extensively with many diverse ensembles including, the Aspen Festival, Chautauqua (NY) Festival, Colorado Philharmonic (NRO), Colorado Music Festival, the LaSalle Quartet, and as a soloist with Richard Stoltzman, Gene Bertoncini, Nigel Kennedy, Bobby McFerrin, Doc Severinsen, and many others. He has served as Bass Instructor for the Music School at Loyola University and also on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Bassists (ISB) as bassist/composer. In 1984-85, Anderson took lessons with the legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius in New York, who firmly encouraged the idea of being able to cross over between classical and jazz.

Anderson began his pursuits in composition in 1984, recognizing that the solo repertoire for his instrument was limited. The influence of Frank Proto, one of his finest teachers, also led him to composition. Since then, his published work has expanded to other solo instruments, as well as for chamber orchestras and small ensembles. Anderson won first prize in the 1995 Allen Ostrander International Trombone Composition Competition, sponsored by Ithaca college, for Elegy for Van, a work for solo bass trombone and brass choir, which he composed as a tribute to the late Lewis Van Haney, former trombonist with the New York Philharmonic. Several years ago, Anderson completed a concerto for bass trombone, commissioned by his father, Edwin Anderson, former bass trombonist with the Cleveland Orchestra. His Concerto for Double Bass, Strings, and Harp, commissioned by Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Bassist Hal Robinson, was premiered at the ISB Convention in June of 1997 and performed on the 1997/98 subscription series of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Wolfgang Sawallisch conducting. His current work includes a second symphony, as well as several commissions.

The Double Bass Quartet 1987 was premiered in Louisville in 1988. It is cast in five inter-related movements, and from the movement titles you might expect something blithe. But get ready to rumble – this is spiky music in every way. The general attitude is neo-classical, but with a penchant for strong and sudden contrasts.

The first “Wedding Music,” a brief prelude, is marked “Violent!” and when the opening pileup returns at the end, Anderson adds, “with a savage tone.” The main rondo theme of the second movement is a wayward ramble, but the tune that opens next over the rhythmic ostinato will be very important in the finale. The Recitative – marked “Molto Rubato, in Operatic Style” – is just that, with elements of parody. “Wedding Music II” is again not what you would expect of a traditional wedding, filled with eerie timbral and textural effects.

The Finale is much the largest of the movements. It opens with its own little prelude, featuring that motive from the second movement. The main body of the movement is a driving Allegro molto that hits all manner of harmonic and metrical bumps and even includes a fughetta on the theme from the prelude. The Adagio at the end of the movement is like an agitated variant bookend to its slow prelude.

— John Henken