Alexander Verster: Six Vignettes for unaccompanied double bass

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The origin of Six Vignettes is somewhat unusual: about half of the melodic ideas came from a series of recorded voice messages. These were very loosely transcribed and molded into tonal melodies and coherent rhythms, which provided a variety of distinct characters that the composer came to think of as a set of 'vignettes'. 

1. Prelude
The prelude introduces most of the thematic material used throughout the whole suite as well as a stylistic indication of what to expect from the work. 
2. Reverie
A short, dreamlike piece that also serves as a seamless introduction to the Dirge. These two movements can be used in isolation to serve as pair of contrasting pieces encompassing most of the instrument's range. 
3. Dirge
A dark and heavy piece of music fully exploiting the particular character and sonority of the double bass. Performance solutions can be devised by players without gated C extensions, although this will necessitate even more shifting and compromise the open string resonance.
4. Berceuse
A jazz lullaby performed entirely pizzicato. Somewhat naive in its harmonic simplicity but provides light relief after the Dirge, as well as stylistic variation within the suite as a whole. This movement was originally an improvisation based around the main pattern; ad lib is therefore encouraged! 
5. Lament
A return to the style and (melo)drama of earlier movements. This temporarily sombre mood is relieved and resolved by the more uplifting following movement, performed attacca. 
6. Denouement
Although there is no deliberate narrative thread linking the Six Vignettes, a sense of storytelling is inevitable in any work consisting of multiple contrasting movements. The denouement brings the suite to its resolution, and the 'plot' to its conclusion...
The piece is written for 4-string double bass with C-Extension.


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